Just because money is tight does not mean that you have to sit at home and stare at the walls. There are plenty of free activities to keep you and your family busy. Why not challenge yourself to find the most interesting free activity? Here are some suggestions to get you started on your path of Free and Exciting Things to Do in the Midwest.
In Kansas, try the Fashion Museum, a museum that covers 100 years of style, from 1870-1970. Or visit one of the many free activities in Amelia Earhart’s birthplace of Atchison. Click on the Other Attractions option on Amelia’s Birthplace Museum for a listing of free and/or inexpensive activities.
In Omaha, visit a replica garden of Mt. Vernon Gardens, that half-size replica of George Washington’s Mount Vernon estate. The estate sits on top a bluff overlooking the Missouri River and is said to be reminiscent of the view from the original Mount Vernon of the Potomac. Or visit the Mormon Trail Center at Historic Winter Quarters, a museum and visitor’s center that showcases the Mormon Trail from Illinois to Salt Lake City, with a Mormon temple and cemetery adjacent to the Center.
In Illinois, you can see a cube made from 1 million dollars and learn how to properly identify fake bills at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago Money Museum. Of course, there are plenty of opportunities for history buffs in Illinois, as it is the birthplace of Abe Lincoln. For a list of free Abraham Lincoln sites, visit the Springfield Visitors Center web site. If a more rural take on Midwestern history interests you, then check out the Deere and Company World Headquarters.
In Michigan, honor those who fought, lived, and died during the Holocaust by visiting the Holocaust Memorial Center. For more history specific to the state, try the Michigan Historical Museum, where you can get a sample of arts and culture, research your family’s history, and discover much about Michigan’s past.
In North Dakota, the Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site features exhibits, trails and a film that explore the culture and history of the villages where Sacagawea once lived. Or stop by the North Dakota Heritage Center, where a giant marine lizard greets visitors at this kid-friendly history museum.
Clearly there are plenty of options for those of us who are trying to tighten the belt and watch our budget. If you want to continue entertaining yourself and your family, you can pinch pennies at the same time by enjoying so much of what the beautiful Midwest has to offer. So load up the kids and head on out!