Remember in September when 55 felt so cold you could barely move? Well, now that it’s March, and every activity doesn’t require a minimum of three layers plus a jacket, 55 feels pretty good. It brings out short sleeves, Frisbees and jampacked playgrounds. Restaurant patios are filling up, moods are looking up and winter is going back into its annual hibernation.
Whether you’re searching for outdoor date night ideas or ideas for you and the kids, here’s a roundup of my favorite ways to harness early spring while staying on track financially.
A Day at the Park(s)
Kansas City has no shortage of free activities. Loose Park, Kessler Park, Penguin Park and Shawnee Mission Park are some of my personal favorites. Each has amenities like jungle gyms, tennis courts, disc golf, and running, hiking and biking trails, as well as ample space for picnics and leisure. On warm days people flock to the parks to soak up the sunshine, making them the perfect setting for family outings or neighborhood field days. Arrive early to save yourself a spot in the grass!
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The Lakeside Nature Center, nestled in Swope Park, is one of the city’s best options for kids, with free admission for the whole family to explore Missouri wildlife exhibits. After a day with the birds of prey your family can grill out at one of the park shelters or play a round of disc golf.
Events and Venues
In addition to the scenery, there are a number of festivals and events taking place throughout Kansas City this spring. First Fridays in the Crossroads District boasts some 40 free art galleries, live music and dozens of street vendors. It’s as inexpensive as you make it. By either eating at home before you go or grabbing a bite at a one of the many food trucks, you can save yourself quite a bit. I recommend Taco Republic and Jerusalem Café.
The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art boasts an amazing outdoor sculpture garden that loops around the museum. Take a stroll, settle in for a picnic on the lawn and pose for a picture with the shuttlecocks. You can also check out one of the many family-friendly events the museum hosts on weekends.
For an unconventional evening out, my family loves the drive-in theater. We arrive early to picnic and play a few rounds of catch before getting comfy for a movie under the stars. Depending on the flick, it’s a great outing for the whole family or can also be a fun, romantic date night.
Kansas City has much to offer, and affordable outdoor activities are no exception. No matter where your interests lie, your budget is no excuse to stay home this spring!
Kat's Money Corner is posted on Dollars & Sense every Tuesday. Kat Hnatyshyn, when not blogging or caring for her little ones, is a manager with CommunityAmerica Credit Union. For more financial chatter, click http://twitter.com/savinmavens or visit http://communityamerica.com.