I found a few more stops in the Midwest on my USA bucket list trip, and since I’ll probably need to watch my funds, I found some cool, inexpensive cheap activities that show me what each city is all about.
Any activity with the word “nature” in the title means cheap. In Wichita, Kansas, a visit to the Great Plains Nature Center offers an opportunity to get close to nature without running into any bears or anything that might kill you. The park offers programs for children as well as for adults and seniors. Each activity offers visitors a better understanding of our relationship with nature, in a safe environment. They have bird walks in the morning for the bird watcher or bird curious and a Full Moon walk in the evening for those vampire enthusiasts or if you like full moons.
Guided walks are available free of charge.
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Des Moines, Iowa
My favorite country to visit is England. My favorite things to tour in England are the castles. Now I don’t have to travel across the pond to get a feel for England, I can take a trip to Des Moines, Iowa. Built in the 1920s and modeled after the King’s House in Salisbury, England, Salisbury House captures the medieval and renaissance architecture of jolly old England. The castle provides self-guided and guided tours and hosts many programs and performances such as musical performances, recitals and book signings. Self-guided tours cost $8, but fork over an additional $2 for the guided tour and get access to rooms not available for the general public.
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In the conservative Midwest, you don’t expect to find an architectural marvel like The Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum on the campus of the University of Minnesota. The stainless steel and brick building looks like the Tin Man’s residence. The famous architect Frank Gehry, known for his use of unusual materials and strange shapes, designed the building in 1990. The unique exterior houses a modern interior. The collection includes modern American art from artists like Georgia O’Keefee and Marsden Harley, along with ceramics and pottery from the 20th century. Admission to the museum in Minneapolis, Minnesota, is free.
The guided tours are free, too.
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Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Eating cheap is a must for traveling on a budget. In Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, I have to try Mutts Amazing Hot Dogs. They offer over 30 versions of hot dogs, and if one of their creations doesn’t appeal to you, they allow you to create your own. You can grab a Liberty Dog (spicy mustard & kraut) or a S’noran Dog (bacon-wrapped dog, chipotle ketchup, mayo, mustard, cheddar-jack cheese, sliced avocado, pico de gallo, pinto beans) with sides, all for under $10.
If hot dogs aren’t your thing, they have burgers and my favorite, corn dogs, too. My stomach’s growling just thinking about it.
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I had never heard of Rosemont, Illinois, before doing some research. It’s odd considering I used to live in Chicago, but if you’ve never heard of it, you might know it by its more common name, Chicago’s O’Hare Airport. Yes, the city has its own airport that just so happens to be the third-busiest in the U.S. Fun in this region starts in Rosemont, and there is no better, faster and cheaper way to get around than the O’Hare Airport Transit. From the airport, the transit system can take you anywhere in Northern Illinois.
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