Free summer fun with little ones

Kansas City has so many activities for kids and many of them are absolutely free. One of our favorites when my children were little is Crown Center and Kaleidoscope. Often we would go with my friend Diane and her daughter and always had a blast. Between 9:30 and 3:30 monday through friday children ages toddler through 5th grade get to enter into the magical world of arts & crafts. A variety of stations from painting to puzzle making take place within a whimsical room sure to enchant young children. The sessions last 45 minutes and the tickets are free but you must get them on the day you choose to go. (Unless you have a group of 15 or more, in which case you must make prior reservations). Don’t forget to check out the bow machine in the Hallmark visitors center attached to Kaleidoscope. Kids can push a button and a bow will be created just for them to take home!

We would usually arrive for the 9:30 session, shop around Crown Center and then eat lunch near the fountains. (Back then, kids were allowed and encouraged to run through the fountains and mine loved it! ) But there are many food choices to consider as well such as Fritz’s, Crayola Cafe, Spin and d’Bronx. Don’t forget a little sweet treat at Smallcakes or why not call ahead at Chip’s Chocolate Factory and schedule a tour and chocolate tasting!

Crown Center is now also home to Sea Life aquarium, Legoland and the Coterie theater and although not free, they are a must visit for kids of all ages. If you visit in the winter, don’t forget the Crown Center Ice Terrace. Plan on making a trip with your kids, grandkids, nieces and nephews for this fabulous “staycation” spot. Pictured, my children at Crown Center.

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