Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Kansas City with Kids - Frugal Edition

Our trip to Kansas City was derailed before it began.

Instead of spending Fall Break with our family, we were waiting in the car shop. That, coupled with some unexpected expenses, meant we were going to have to tighten down on the trip to Kansas City.

I'd lived in KC for a decade, but we found great ways to enjoy the days with Grandma and Grandpa even on a budget. We weren't completely perfect - we did eat a few meals out and did stock up on some local foods to take home for the year - but these were great budget extenders, and even better activities to do!

Getting Crafty At Kaleidoscope

I'd heard of Kaleidoscope in Crown Center but had never been, as we were childless when we lived in the Kansas City area. An afternoon at Kaleidoscope was just the trick for creative types with a big case of the wiggles.

Kaleidoscope is basically a huge kids craft playground, filled with the leftovers from Hallmark's projects. Paper crafting with glow-in-the-dark paints, making cards, designing your own puzzles. It was the fastest hour spent all week. Everyone from my rambuncious 5 year old son to his preteen cousin and grandfather enjoyed experimenting and creating their own works of art. Best of all, it was free to the public - just requires a timed ticket.

(As an aside, Girl Scout leaders and educators take note: Kaleidoscope offers themed packs that you can take home - for 50 cents per child. For frugal troops, this is a great idea, and they do ship!)

Betting on Basketball in Lawrence

One bet failed, but the other was a hit.

We had hoped to attend the (free!) open scrimmage for the basketball team, but weather and a sick cousin derailed our plans. Luckily, our little jock had the chance to enjoy some KU basketball earlier in the week.

The Booth Family Hall of Athletics at Allen Fieldhouse has a stuffy name, it's far from a boring monument to basketball. Sure, there's 100 years worth of sports memorabilia to peruse, but the kids loved the interactive exhibits. Their favorites? Pretending to call some classic basketball games - from the tie-breaker game against Memphis in the Final Four to a game from Wilt Chamberlain's days. They also loved checking out their wingspan and attempting to palm as many balls as they can in 10 second's time. Mostly, they loved wandering the stands around the hallowed basketball court - site of many a memory for their mom and dad.

Other Free Things to Check Out In and Around KC

Family time is just that, so while we had a lot of ideas on our list, we also kept things simple: a lot of time with Grandma and Grandpa, with ample time at the local park.

On our list to do this fall but didn't get accomplished:

Kansas City natives: What are your favorite ways to spend a week with the kids?

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