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6 Free Or Almost Free Things To Do In Kansas City This Weekend

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You don’t have to spend any money to have a good time. OK, maybe a few bucks, because it’s a jungle out there and even the squirrels might want to charge you breadcrumbs to chase them. And they say the recession is over.

Where was I? Oh, yeah, patting the old wallet, which you can keep fatter than you might think while investigating free or frugal stuff this weekend, including yummy apples, cool comic books or an afternoon of family friendly team competitions for a good cause.

By the way, if the squirrels get on their high horses (now there’s a visual) and demand nuts, remind them that the birds are happy to fly away from your flailing arms at no charge. Greedy squirrels.

1. Louisburg Ciderfest

It’s the second and final weekend to get your apple-loving self out to the Louisburg Ciderfest, where the red-and-delicious treats are pressed into cider before your watering eyes. I call them tears of gratitude. While you’re at it, try a cider doughnut while trying to keep up with the kids cavorting around the pumpkin patch. Throw in an all-ages hay ride, hands-on visits with farm animals and the place’s 10-acre corn maze, and you’ll be too tuckered to spend more than you should.

Saturday and Sunday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Louisburg Cider Mill, 14730 K68 Highway, Louisburg, Kan.; admission: free.

2. Free State Comicon

This annual celebration of comic books and their creators features more than 30 local talents who want to show off their imaginative work and maybe sell a funny book or two. Remember when comics cost 12 cents or even a dime? You can find some of those vintage mags from comic dealers in attendance, but many of those rusty-stapled tomes are now collectors’ items, so be prepared for some sticker shock. Or you can simply chat about sequential art with such guests as Erica Batton (“Panty Vigilante”), Travis Fox (“Foxymoron”), Sara Rude (“How We Stay Sane at Work”), Richard Chamberlain (“Monster Movie Kid”) and Chris Yarbrough (“Commander Assbad of the 82nd Century”).

Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Douglas County Fairgrounds, 2110 Harper St., Lawrence, Kan.; admission: $5 for adults, free for ages 12 and younger.

3. KC Games for Good

A kids’ scavenger hunt and a kite flying exhibition are the cherries on top of this virtual sundae of civic pride keyed to community service-oriented team competitions, including a Clean Water Relay, a Lunch Box Jam and an Emergency Kit Assembly. You can also visit with a variety of workaday local heroes, including first responders. Thanks for your service, folks. Proceeds go to Hope House, Urban Ranger Corp and other organizations that reach out to those in need.

Saturday, noon-5 p.m. Saturday; front lawn of the National WWI Museum and Memorial, 100 W. 26th St., Penn Valley Park, Kansas City, Mo.; admission: free.

4. WaterFire KC

Cue the Deep Purple! There will be smoke on the water at the 10th annual WaterFire art installation along Brush Creek on the Country Club Plaza. And it won’t cost you a dime to be dazzled by the sight of flames rising up from the urban H2O, along with fire performers and live music to picnic by.

Saturday, 7-10 p.m., Country Club Plaza, 4750 Broadway, Kansas City, Mo.; admission: free.

5. Theatre Hikes: ‘Driving Miss Daisy’

See a show and get in a little exercise during this costless combo of live theater and a laid back 2-mile nature hike. After each scene of the play unfolds, audience members with lawn chairs and blankets will pack up and head to a new scenic location to follow the famously tender comedy-drama about the complicated relationship between a black chauffeur and his white employer before, during and after the tumultuous 1960s civil rights era.

Saturday and Sunday, 2 p.m.; Black Hoof Park, 9053 Monticello Road, Lenexa, Kan. (meet at Stone Wall Shelter); admission: free.

6. Kansas City Royals vs. Cleveland Indians

Maybe I’m living in the past (maybe?), but I remember when you could show up in the parking lot of Kauffman Stadium and be given tickets by fans who had extras and didn’t want to toss them before heading to their seats. Although the Royals are still World Series champs, they’re out of the playoffs this year, so I’m guessing that there might be a few freebies available before you get to the turnstiles. Even if you have to pay to be at the home team’s last home stand of the season, lap-sitting kids no more than 32 inches tall get in free as always. Sorry, no squirrels allowed at any price. Go Royals!

Friday, 7:15 p.m.; Saturday, 3:15 p.m.; Sunday, 2:15 p.m.; Kauffman Stadium, 1 Royal Way, Kansas City, Mo.; tickets start at $23. 

Brian McTavish is a regular arts and culture contributor for KCUR 89.3. You can reach him at brianmctavish@gmail.com.

Brian McTavish follows popular culture in the belief that the search for significance can lead anywhere. Brian explains, "I've written articles and reviews ... reviewed hundreds of concerts, films and plays. And the thing is, these high arts all sprang from the pop culture of their day. Don't forget: Shakespeare was once Spielberg."
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