KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The venerated barbecue that's put Kansas City on so many maps may not be available free of charge, but the city does have other entertainment options that don't require money — or sauce. There's even one venue where you can walk out with a free bag of U.S. currency. From the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art to the city's largest brewery, the former cow town has plenty for the thrifty, or those who'd rather spend their money on a slab at Bryant's barbecue restaurant.
THE NELSON-ATKINS MUSEUM OF ART
The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art is home to high-caliber collections that include great works ranging from the photography of Edward Steichen to ancient Chinese scrollwork. The Nelson's expansive space also includes its new Bloch Building and the Donald J. Hall Sculpture Park, a 22-acre (9-hectare) sloping landscape with sculptures including the iconic "Shuttlecocks," four 18-foot (5.5-meter) badminton birdies, and 30 other works. . Pack a lunch, a book or a Frisbee. Check the Nelson's schedule too for the free events and films often hosted there. The Kemper Museum of Modern Art, which is also free and hosts free tours and classes, is about a block away.
BOULEVARD BREWING CO.
Boulevard Brewing Co., Kansas City's biggest brewer and maker of the coveted Chocolate Ale and other beer, holds free 45-minute tours that showcase Boulevard's history and brewing process and end at the tasting room. All ages are welcome, but they'll check IDs for those who need to sample the beer in order to learn about the company. Boulevard is located near Kansas City's Westside, which is filled with restaurants, and not far from the Crossroads District, a walkable neighborhood with galleries, restaurants and shops. The Roasterie, Kansas City's specialty coffee-roasting company, is also block away from Boulevard and also gives free daily tours.
A few blocks south of the much-visited Country Club Plaza shopping district is Jacob L. Loose Park, a well-used 75-acre (30-hectare) oasis with low crowds, playgrounds, tennis courts, a 1.3-mile (3-kilometer) walking trail, ponds and a decades-old rose garden, where weekend weddings have long been popular. The park also commemorates Kansas City's Civil War heritage and was a major site for the Battle of Westport.