When it comes to the arts, Kansas City does it right. How lucky are we to live in one of the nation’s best hubs for the arts? With warmer weather upon us, now is the perfect time to get out and experience all the city has to offer. As always, I’m a big fan of saving money on entertainment of any kind. Here are my tips and suggestions for hitting up the local arts scene on a budget.
The Nelson Atkins
The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art is completely free to the public, not to mention an architectural beauty. Touring the museum and packing a picnic is a perfect way to spend a beautiful day with your family, a significant other or friends. Be sure you get there close to opening, as parking around the facility gets more challenging as the day goes on. If you do pack a picnic, keep in mind that many people come to lunch at the museum’s sprawling lawn. Plan on an early or later lunchtime to dodge the crowds and snag a perfect spot near the famed Shuttlecock!
CommunityAmerica partners with a local organization called ArtsKC to offer affordable arts experiences called ArtsKC Encounters . Throughout the year, the events pair a dining experience with an arts outing for an extremely affordable cost. March’s Encounter is already sold out, but May’s Encounter will be ‘Folk Songs and Stories’ at the Midland. This is a phenomenal way to dip your toe into the arts scene without taking a financial plunge!
On the third Saturday of every month, The Kemper Museum hosts free ‘Scavenger Saturdays’ that are ideal for families. Sometimes kids have a hard time engaging with art and understanding how it’s relevant to their lives. This activity brings art to life in a fun and adventurous way, while exposing them to Kansas City’s fabulous art destinations. No reservations are required. Simply check in at the Visitor’s Desk to get a copy of the self-guided activity.
Tune into Nature
My personal favorite is the Overland Park Arboretum. You may be wondering what this has to do with the arts. Once you experience the floral gardens, you will appreciate the artistic vision and skilled craftsmanship that goes into the botanical gardenscapes. It’s pretty far south of the city, but absolutely worth the drive. Take a hike, tour the gardens or enjoy a peaceful rest in the shade along the trail. There’s so much to see and experience, and admission is only $3 for adults, $1 for kids aged 6-10 and free for kids under 5.
Don’t let the arts scene intimidate you! There are plenty of experiences to be had around the city that are affordable, fun and provide a unique opportunity to do something new and enriching with your free time.
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, visit http://communityamerica.com.