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How to explore KC on a budget (by homeschoolers)

By July 20, 2015May 18th, 2023No Comments
explore Kansas City on a budget

If you’re new to Kansas City or just want to explore KC more, this is the place for you! See our homeschool community’s top tips for budget-friendly ways to enjoy area activities and events year-round:

Plan field trips to free or low-cost attractions.

Just a few of the free destinations recommended by area homeschoolers:

When thrown together with packed lunches, many of these field trips can become extremely reasonable outings!

(For additional inspiration, see these 20 field trip ideas recommended by retired homeschooler Traci Matt.)

Bonus tip for Kansas residentsIf you visit state parks regularly, consider adding a state park pass onto your car tag renewal for $15. It will give you access to all the state parks for the year.

Explore the area trail system.

summer opportunities for homeschoolers

Many homeschool families recommend the extensive hiking and biking trails throughout the Kansas City area. For instance, the Johnson County Park & Recreation District manages almost 20 parks and facilities (including Theatre in the Park) and offers a free trail guide for your enjoyment.

One homeschool mom and her son moved to Kansas City from San Diego and spent their first year just exploring the over 21 miles of walking trails in Overland Park. “You have to see them in each season, because they are different!” she writes.

Consider season passes for family favorites.

If your family enjoys going to the same place, such as Union Station or the Kansas City Zoo, you may want to buy one or two season passes for a year (and seeing if you make up the money in visits).

One homeschooler writes that she uses different season passes each year. “Each place has enough to go many many times and have fun,” she writes. “The money seems to work out well.”

Plan for seasonal specials and discounts.

Once you’ve been in the area for a while, you can learn about upcoming deals or special days where attractions can be discounted or even free.

Just a few examples:

We’ll occasionally highlight upcoming events on Facebook, so make sure you subscribe to take full advantage of these deals (and save money!).

Bonus tip: Check out this post featuring great homeschool deals in Kansas City.)

Find cheap but high-quality alternatives.

So you want to go see a movie, but can’t stomach the ticket prices? Several area Cinemark theaters will give out matinee tickets at $4 each.

Homeschool families also recommend going to high school plays and games, all of which run cheaper than professional theaters and sports.

You can also watch for regular discounts, such as Skate City in Overland Park that provides a discount rate of $5 admission to homeschoolers (skate rentals are $2) from 1-3 p.m. on the first Thursday of every month.

So does Emerald City Gym, which offers “Home School Open Play” ($5 per child for all ages) from 2-3 p.m. every Thursday.

Consider breaking up the times and groups.

homeschool conference youth volunteers

Maybe you have a large family or group that makes going out considerably more expensive.

If so, one homeschool mom advises, consider buying tickets for just a few family members over several showings “to enjoy one-on-one time as well as experience different things.”

See if you can subscribe for email discounts.

Just one example is Powerplay, which offers discount dinner and ride prices if you subscribe to their email list.

Bonus tip: Don’t want to clog up your email inbox? Try opening a separate email account for just the homeschool freebies and discounts you want. It can be an account like “” or “” – you can be as creative as you like!

Shanxi Omoniyi

Shanxi Omoniyi (@ShanxiO on Twitter) is MPE's online content director. A homeschool alumna, Shanxi graduated from the University of Kansas with degrees in journalism and English. Her company, Wordspire Media, helps businesses and nonprofits share their stories through content marketing, social media management, and email marketing.

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