Free Museums, Kemper Museum

Beware of The Spider – the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art is one of our many museums that offer free admission.

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Free Museums

Feel FREE to explore many of our top museums. Kansas City is nationally recognized for its vibrant arts community. This generosity leads to big savings for you during your stay as many of our museums offer free admission.

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1827 Log Courthouse

Type: Free Admission | Location: East

Photo of 1827 Log Courthouse

Jackson County's first government building, constructed with slave labor, was the only courthouse between St. Louis and the Pacific at the time the Santa Fe Trail trade began. Two-room log structure was home to roots of Jackson County where controversial slave state, land disputes and westward expansion issues were dealt with. Once a Mormon mercantile store, this structure has a great significance to members of the LDS church. Harry Truman held court here in the 1930s....
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2010 Gallery

Type: Reception | Location: Downtown Area

Photo of 2010 Gallery

2010 Gallery, formally Park Place Gallery of Fine Art in Leawood, Kansas will continue our fine tradition of exhibiitng art on local, national and international levels. On April 2nd, we will showcase nationally acclaimed artist, Mark Christopher Weber along with other fine art, accessories and custom jewelry....
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Belger Arts Center-Red Star Studios

Type: Art Associations | Location: Downtown Area

  • Belger Arts Center-Red Star Studios has been rated 5 out of 5 stars

Photo of Belger Arts Center-Red Star Studios

Belger Arts Center hosts contemporary art exhibitions featuring the work of notables from the Belger Collection. Our annual exhibition schedule also includes rotating solo and group exhibitions of national and international artists. Through our Touring Exhibition Programs, major works of art are made available to museums, university galleries and other arts organizations for exhibition and study. Red Star Studios features a functional and sculptural ceramics gallery, classes, workshops, and artist studios. The Gallery showcases work by emerging and established regional, national and international artists. Classes and workshops available for all skill levels. The Studio is also home to a renowned Artist-in-Residence program. Red Star Studios is located at Belger Arts Center, in the KC Crossroads Arts District, and at Belger Crane Yard Studios (2011 Tracy Ave.) near KC's 18th & Vine Jazz District. Groups of 10 to 30 may schedule a free, docent-led tour and hands-on activity by calling 816-474-3250. Hours are 10am-5pm Wed. - Fri., 10am-4pmSat. ...
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Black Jack Battlefield

Type: Gardens | Location: West

Photo of Black Jack Battlefield

Site of the June 2, 1856, battle between John Brown and the Free-State militia and Pro-Slavery militia of Henry C. Pate. First armed battle over the issue of slavery. Three miles east of Baldwin City, Kansas, 1/4 mile south of Hwy 56 on E2000 Road....
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Bruce R. Watkins Cultural Heritage Center

Type: Free Admission | Location: Southeast

  • Bruce R. Watkins Cultural Heritage Center has been rated 5 out of 5 stars

Photo of Bruce R. Watkins Cultural Heritage Center

The Center is named in honor of Bruce R. Watkins, a political and social activist. Watkins was fueled by the need to recognize and preserve the varied contributions African-Americans made to the development of Kansas City. The facility is located on one of Kansas City's major thoroughfares. It is part of the Cultural Mall complex, which includes the Spirit of Freedom Foundation, the Satchel Paige Stadium, an amphitheater and a hillside garden, which greets visitors with thousands of multi-colored irises. The center provides visitors with culturally rich entertainment and educational experiences in the form of exhibits and displays, films, classes and workshops, stage performances and special ceremonies. The center is open to visitors of all ages. It includes permanent exhibit space, children's workspace, resource library, auditorium, small gallery and glassed encased exhibit area for small pieces and artifacts. Admission is free, although there may be a small fee for some events and classes. ...
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Crossroads Arts District

Type: Festivals | Location: Downtown Area

  • Crossroads Arts District has been rated 1 out of 5 stars

Photo of Crossroads Arts District

If you’re looking for an eclectic gathering place, head to the Crossroads! This area has recently undergone an amazing transformation. Once-vacant buildings now house unique shops, restaurants and a thriving art scene. First Fridays are a local favorite with galleries and shops remaining open from 7-9 pm the first Friday of each month. First Fridays - Frequently Asked Questions What is First Fridays? This FREE event is fast becoming a Kansas City favorite. "First Fridays" occur on the first Friday of every month year round, rain or shine. Art galleries, retailers and other participating art venues located in the Crossroads Art District showcase art from 7-9pm. With ample parking and an abundance of indoor and outdoor entertainment, there's no better way to spend a night than enjoying drinks or dining at an area restaurant, followed by a stroll through the galleries and shops of KC's heart of cultural activity. When is First Fridays? The first Friday of every month, year round. Where do I park? There is an abundance of on street parking and small lots throughout the area. Be prepared to walk between venues. It can be crowded. Where can I eat? In keeping with the eclecticism of the neighborhood, the Crossroads District is home to a variety of restaurants, bars and eateries including; fine dining, Italian, Mexican, Barbecue, Thai, Cajun, Seafood, Steaks, Burgers and more! Can I bring my children? Children are welcome! However, galleries and streets tend to become crowded and most galleries cannot accommodate strollers....
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Excelsior Springs Hall of Waters & Cultural Museum

Type: Museums | Location: Northeast

  • Excelsior Springs Hall of Waters & Cultural Museum has been rated 3 out of 5 stars

Photo of Excelsior Springs Hall of Waters & Cultural Museum

Ground-breaking took place in 1936 with a ceremony and the laying of the cornerstone. This structure was partially completed in 1937, when the "Hall of Springs" (today known as the water bar) opened and the mineral waters were dispensed to visitors and health-seekers. Besides the Hall of Springs, the first floor contained the women's bath department, a sunroom, a covered porch, a grand foyer, offices for the management of the springs and for the chamber of commerce. The swimming pool met the A.A.U. regulations for championship events and was located on a lower floor that opened to outdoor terraces. The balcony around the pool could seat 500 people. Adjoining the pool in the south wing was a special hydrotherapy department, devoted to research into the uses of the waters and treatment of chronic cases of different ailments on prescriptions of licensed physicians. The bottling department was located on the east side of the north wing. Five varieties of mineral water were bottled in the Hall of Waters Processing and Bottling Plant and shipped all over the world. ...
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Frontier Army Museum

Type: Museums | Location: Northwest

  • Frontier Army Museum has been rated 4 out of 5 stars

Photo of Frontier Army Museum

Focuses on Fort Leavenworth's role in westward expansion, exhibiting one of the finest collections of horse-drawn military carriages in the nation, including a 1790 prairie schooner and a 1917 JN4D "Jenny" bi-plane. Donations accepted....
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Grace and Holy Trinity Cathedral

Type: History | Location: Downtown Area

Photo of Grace and Holy Trinity Cathedral

Norman-Gothic downtown structure, seats 600, across from Convention Center. Reception hall seats 250 at dinner, up to 500 with theater seating. Facility available 8am-11pm, Mon.-Sat. Office open 9am-5pm Mon.-Fri....
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Hallmark Visitors Center

Type: Free Admission | Location: Crown Center Area

  • Hallmark Visitors Center has been rated 4 out of 5 stars

Photo of Hallmark Visitors Center

See one of the world's most creative companies come to life. Located in Kansas City's Crown Center complex, the Hallmark Visitors Center celebrates the Hallmark story in a display of remarkable exhibits, from our founder's humble beginning in 1910, to the creation of one of the world's largest greeting card company. Step inside the Timeline exhibit where you'll view historical artifacts that reflect various eras and trends throughout 20th century America into the new millennium. Marvel at the J.C. Hall Christmas Trees, a collection of 17 unique and imaginative trees. Visit with some of our Hallmark craftspeople a graphic arts technician or press operator as they demonstrate hot foil stamping and die cutting, processes used in the manufacture of greeting cards. You can even press a button to create a star-shaped bow that you can take home as a souvenir. There's so much more to see at the Hallmark Visitors Center. This stop is sure to add many happy memories of your visit to Kansas City. And the best part's FREE!...
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Harry S. Truman National Historic Site - Truman Farm Home

Type: History | Location: Southeast

  • Harry S. Truman National Historic Site - Truman Farm Home has been rated 5 out of 5 stars

Photo of Harry S. Truman National Historic Site - Truman Farm Home

The farmhouse, built in 1894 by Harry Truman's grandmother, is the centerpiece of a 11-acre remnant of the family's former 600-acre farm. Mr. Truman's home from 1906-1917 (ages 22-33) before leaving for WWI. Operated by the National Park Service. House is not open for tours. Farm grounds open all year from dawn to dusk. The Truman home in Independence is part of this national park site....
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Haskell Indian Nations University Cultural Center & Museum

Type: Museums | Location: West

Photo of Haskell Indian Nations University Cultural Center & Museum

Preserves the vast history of Haskell's evolution from boarding school to university. Features exhibits from Haskell's unique archival and artifact collections including traditional art forms, contemporary work, artifacts and oral history projects. Rental space: 50 seated. Open 9:30am-5pm, Mon.-Fri. Closed weekends and holidays....
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Historic Liberty Jail

Type: Free Admission | Location: Northeast

Photo of Historic Liberty Jail

Historic Liberty Jail features a reconstruction of the original Clay County Jail on the same site of its initial location. We offer free tours, including art, sculpture, photographs and an audio-visual presentation focusing on social and religious history of the area during the 1830s, with special attention to events associated with the Liberty Jail. The site is sponsored and operated by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints....
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Johnson County Museum of History

Type: Museums | Location: Southwest

  • Johnson County Museum of History has been rated 4 out of 5 stars

Photo of Johnson County Museum of History

Step back in history and discover your future. See what has lured people to Johnson County for the past 175 years. Includes 14 hands-on stations, KidScape and changing exhibit gallery. Youth programs include tours, classes and interactive play. The Johnson County Museum of History opened in 1967 in the former Greenwood School. Over the years, the museum has continued to achieve its mission of preserving and sharing the community's history through its award winning permanent and changing exhibits. The facility includes permanent and changing galleries, a research library, an education center, KidScape and a museum store....
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Type: Free Admission | Location: Crown Center Area

  • Kaleidoscope has been rated 5 out of 5 stars

Photo of Kaleidoscope

Kaleidoscope is a magical art studio where children can be creative and feel good about their own special ideas. Creating with bows, cardboard, jazzy junk, making puzzles and painting with melted crayons are just a few of the fun things to do. Independent art sessions for children ages 5-12 and family art Sessions for children of all ages! Kaleidoscope is free as a public service by Hallmark. Call for session times. Way back in the 1960s, a bright, bright Kansas City man named Don Hall had a bright, bright idea. He got together some of the other idea makers at his company, Hallmark, and they cooked up an imagination machine, where children from all over our planet could explore, create and cook up their own bright, bright, ideas. Millions of children across the United States have been creating ever since using melted crayons, polka dots of all sizes, zig and zags, shooting stars and lots of other jazzy junk that tickle the minds of young artists everywhere. Kaleidoscope's imaginative worlds inspire each child's creativity. Children explore exciting environments as they discover the joy of creativity by making their own amazing art from Hallmark scrap materials. Kaleidoscope gives children (and grown-ups, too) a unique opportunity to express themselves in a supportive, encouraging environment. At Kaleidoscope, every idea is a good idea! ...
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Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art

Type: Art Museums | Location: Country Club Plaza Area

  • Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art has been rated 3 out of 5 stars

Photo of Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art

The sleek exterior of Kansas City’s Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, designed by Gunnar Birkerts, only hints at the activity within its walls. The open, light-filled atrium provides a striking setting for art activities in the Museum, which is accessible to all, free of charge, year-round. The permanent collection, temporary exhibitions, free public programs, special events, and the ever-popular Café Sebastienne provide endless opportunities for education and entertainment. Since opening in 1994, the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art has become a leader among modern and contemporary art museums in America. The Museum has always had a strong commitment to its mission: to present contemporary art of the highest quality and significance through a permanent collection and a balanced exhibition program, and to stimulate dialogue, understanding, and appreciation of contemporary art through free educational public programming. With nearly a dozen special exhibitions each year featuring works by well-known, mid-career, and emerging artists, the Kemper Museum almost always offers visitors a chance to experience something new. The heart of the Museum is its permanent collection, which has more than tripled to nearly one thousand works in just over ten years time. At the core of the permanent collection is the Bebe and Crosby Kemper Collection, a gift by the Museum’s founders R. Crosby and Bebe Kemper and the Kemper Foundations. Encompassing art created from the time of the 1913 New York Armory Show to today, the collection includes works by such renowned artists as Dale Chihuly, Petah Coyne, Morris Louis, Georgia O’Keeffe, Fairfield Porter, Jaume Plensa, Matthew Ritchie, Wayne Thiebaud, and Andy Warhol. The Museum’s celebrated Café Sebastienne serving lunch, dinner, and brunch has won high praise, including its inclusion in Zagat Guide’s Top American Restaurants. The unique environment of the Museum along with Executive Chef Jennifer Maloney’s artful creations also make the Museum an extraordinary place for special events. The Café serves lunch 11:00 a.m.2:30 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday; dinner 5:30 9:30 pm. Friday and Saturday; and brunch 11am 2:30pm, Sunday. For reservations, call 816-561-7740. Museum admission and parking are free. To learn more, visit or call 816-753-5784....
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Legler Barn Museum

Type: Gardens | Location: Southwest

  • Legler Barn Museum has been rated 4 out of 5 stars

Photo of Legler Barn Museum

Historic stone barn, railroad depot, caboose and more. Museum about Lenexa's colorful history. ...
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Miami County/Swan River Museum

Type: Free Admission | Location: Regional

Photo of Miami County/Swan River Museum

Permanent exhibits in three 19th century buildings include Native American and St. Philippine Duchesne Shrine artifacts, history of Miami County ghost towns and artifacts of early settlements. Local and seasonal exhibits are changed monthly. Gift shop and area publications. I-35 South to Exit 215....
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Mid-America Arts Alliance

Type: Art Associations

Photo of Mid-America Arts Alliance

Mid-America Arts Alliance (M-AAA) was created to support and stimulate cultural activity in communities throughout Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Texas. Based in the heartland, M-AAA now creates and manages regional, multi-regional, national, and international programs including traveling exhibitions, performing arts touring, and professional and community development. ...
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Midwest Genealogy Center

Type: Free Admission | Location: East

  • Midwest Genealogy Center has been rated 5 out of 5 stars

Photo of Midwest Genealogy Center

Nationally recognized resource center. U.S. Census schedules, family genealogies and county sources for all U.S. states offer excellent opportunities for the family historian. The 52,000 square foot Midwest Genealogy Center is part of the Mid-Continent Public Library system. MCPL has a long history of providing outstanding genealogy resources. The new center is simply the next step in the growth of the system. Amongst its many features, the MGC houses a uniquely expansive circulating collection and almost completely open stacks. New technology is also a major attribute of the building. Microfilm reader-printers, two self-digitization stations, and significant database access allow researchers to use today's technology to assist their investigation ...
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Mormon Visitors Center, The Church of Jesus Christ/L.D.S.

Type: Free Admission | Location: East

  • Mormon Visitors Center, The Church of Jesus Christ/L.D.S. has been rated 4 out of 5 stars

Photo of Mormon Visitors Center, The Church of Jesus Christ/L.D.S.

Tours present the basic beliefs of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, including the teachings of Jesus about the purpose of life and the importance of families, and the history of the Mormon pioneers in Missouri. Paintings, museum and A/V presentations. ...
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National Archives at Kansas City

Type: Free Admission | Location: Crown Center Area

Photo of National Archives at Kansas City

The National Archives at Kansas City is one of 14 facilities nationwide where the public has access to Federal archival records. It is home to more than 50,000 cubic feet of historical records. This includes documents, photographs, maps and architectural drawings from 1820s to 1990s created or received by federal courts and more than 100 federal agencies in Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota....
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Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art

Type: Art Museums | Location: Southwest

Photo of Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art

Johnson County Community College is home to the largest contemporary art museum in the four-state region. The Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art features major exhibitions of internationally, nationally and regionally renowned artists. Free admission and parking....
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Pioneer Spring Cabin

Type: Free Admission | Location: East

Photo of Pioneer Spring Cabin

The austere two-room cabin offers a sharp contrast with the area's opulent Victorian estates. The typical 1850s log cabin gives an insight to everyday life in the pre-Civil War era. Originally constructed in the Brady Town Irish community, the cabin was moved to its present location in 1971. ...
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Shoal Creek Living History Museum

Type: Museums | Location: Northeast

  • Shoal Creek Living History Museum has been rated 5 out of 5 stars

Photo of Shoal Creek Living History Museum

Shoal Creek Living History Museum, which started in 1975, is nestled quietly on 80 acres out of the 1,000 acres that makes up Hodge Park. The museum has twenty-one structures including seventeen authentic log cabins and homes, relocated from surrounding counties, dating from 1807-1885 to create a village setting. The grounds are open daily, dawn until dusk, free of charge except during Special Events. Enjoy self-guided tours by using our Walking Tour Guide Brochure located at the front entrance information box, kiosk and the mercantile front porch. Picnic under the large shade trees or venture out on the walking trails throughout Hodge Park. Reservations required for School Programs, Weddings, Victorian Teas, Private Tours and Commercial/Private Museum Rentals. Go to our website and plan to visit during our Special events! Admission for 1st Saturdays is free and other events is $5 per person (children age 5 and under free). The buildings are open, reenactors bring the village to life with skits, skirmishes and demonstrations. Proceeds go toward preservation and educational programs....
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