Best Things To Do In Wichita
Wichita began life as a cowtown but has grown to be the largest city in the state of Kansas as well as the self-proclaimed Air Capital of the World. This claim is not made lightly with more than half of the worlds aircraft being built here thanks to the presence of some of the aviation worlds major players.
Whilst the rest of the state of Kansas should take precedent during a visit to the area, there is still plenty to warrant spending a couple of days in Wichita including some great museums and park spaces as well as the vibrant Oldtown area.
Oldtown has plenty of history in its buildings but the current occupants provide good value for a visit too. The area is lively and vibrant with a host of restaurants, shops and entertainment venues worth visiting. If you only have one day to spend in Wichita then be sure to visit the Oldtown area at some point in the day.
If you have a little longer to explore, here are the 25 Best Things to do in Wichita:
Make The Great Escape At Escapology
Are you itching to solve puzzles, crack codes and discover clues with friends and family?
Escapology is the perfect place for you.
This premier escape room is located inside Alley Indoor Entertainment in Wichita.
At Escapology, players are locked inside a themed room and must complete their designated mission within 60 minutes to escape.
There are six immersive games that you can choose from depending on your preferred difficulty.
Among these adventure-packed games include the Mansion Murder, set on New Years Eve in the Scottish Highlands, where you play as Robert Montgomerie.
Montgomerie is the only remaining direct heir to the estate who uncovered the murder of your grandfather.
Youre now locked in the Drawing Room, and the game revolves around piecing together evidence to prove your innocence.
Other exciting games include the Cuban Crisis, where youre tasked to stop a nuclear war, and the Lost City, a rare treasure hunt in an abandoned temple.
You can book a room online.
Also, if you’re with a group of more than seven people, you’ll need a reservation.
Exploration Place Wichita Kansas
Exploration Place is a hands-on science-learning center in downtown Wichita. The building is nearly 100,000 square feet and is housed on a 20-acre campus. The building is only accessible by walkway, as a moat of water surrounds the unique structure. Inside, guests are able to experience a variety of permanent exhibits, whose intention is to facilitate learning and scientific engagement through entertaining hands-on learning. Exploration Place is one of the best things to do in Wichita, Kansas with kids.
Permanent exhibits include a seven-foot tall mouth replica to demonstrate oral health, a fossil dig, a tornado simulator, a space exhibit, a dinosaur exhibit, and a flight exhibit, which features a real plane propeller and a flight simulator.
300 N McLean Blvd, Wichita, Kansas, Phone: 316-660-0600
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Dates For Diy Couples
- Get a sitter, some cold drinks, and tackle a DIY home project youve been putting off
- Spruce up your landscaping
- Make state string art outlining your state and using a heart for the city where you live, got married, etc.
- Plant a vegetable garden in the spring/summer and can your veggies for winter
- Take an upholstery class and give your old furniture a fresh look
- Attend a free DIY workshop at Home Depot
- Enroll in a fun, homework-free WSU Community Education DIY class
Wichita Sedgwick County Historical Museum
The Wichita Sedgwick County Historical Museum is a nonprofit museum dedicated to preserving the history of the city of Wichita and educating the public on the citys heritage and unique qualities. The museum, located downtown, resides in what was once the original City Hall. The gothic style structure houses four floors of interpretive information and interactive exhibits, all of which are open to the public.
The museum has a variety of permanent exhibits that outline the citys past, including economic developments, notable figures, and the technological changes that have taken place over time. Throughout the year, the museum also provides feature exhibits and special exhibits, including seasonal displays and special events.
204 S Main St, Wichita, Kansas, Phone: 316-265-9314
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Fun Things To Do In Wichita With Kids
I visited Wichita, Kansas as part of a summer road trip with my son. I was surprised that the town offered such a terrific array of activities for family fun. Wichita is a small town that offers big city perks like a great zoo, waterslide park, arcade, and old-fashioned ice cream shops. Here are my favorite things to do in Wichita with kids.
Follow along so you can plan your perfect day of family fun in Wichita!
Watch Musicals And Theater Performances
If you have a penchant for the performing arts and adoration for talented performers, then you must include this in the list of things to do in Wichita. There is no shortage of broadway and operatic performances in the city of Wichita. Enjoy a sophisticated night of good music and live acts in:
- Century II Performing Arts and Convention Center to watch the Wichita Symphony Orchestra perform
- Crown Uptown Theater
- Roxy’s Downtown Theater
- Music Theater Wichita
You can also visit the first atmospheric theater in the country–the timeless Orpheum Theater! With the establishment’s classical style and 1930-esque look, you’ll be hit by the nostalgia of your good ole days. The theater hosts a variety of performances from comedy acts to movies and musical performances. You can also book a tour inside the theater to admire its architectural beauty.
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Take Flight At The Kansas Aviation Museum
The former airport terminal, which operated between 1935 and 1951, is the perfect setting for this aviation museum in Wichita. The museum is a good day out for all ages with interesting and well researched exhibits as well as plenty of exciting craft for children to marvel at. The planes on show here include a 1927 Swallow, which crashed in 1929 and was put into storage before being restored, as well as more modern aircraft including a passenger Boeing 727.
Breathe Your Stress Out At Plumlee Trails
Before its renaming in 1986, Plumlee Trails was called Pawnee Prairie Horse & Nature Park.
It was renamed in honor of Marsh & Irene Plumlee, who helped the City of Wichita acquire and develop the trails.
Dubbed Wichitas largest park, the area spans approximately nine miles of natural trails and 4.75 miles of the marked trail.
You can also find a wide range of flora and fauna like deer, foxes, coyotes, bobcats, raccoons, and even various birds.
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Visit The Original Pizza Hut
Back in the 1950s, the pizza craze gripped the United States, it was at this time that two brothers opened the very first Pizza Hut restaurant. The building has since been moved to the campus as a symbol for the students of what hard work can achieve. Although this is the holy grail for pizza fans, the inside of it is actually used for office space by the University and cannot be accessed by the public.
Visit The Sedgwick County Zoo
This AZA accredited zoo is certainly one of the most popular tourist attractions in Wichita. Founded back in 1971, the zoo has been ranked as one of the best in the country and is home to more than 3,000 animals from over 400 species. The park is divided into themed exhibits from each continent, for example, the North American area is home to otters and grizzly bears whereas in the African area of the zoo, you will find rhinos, lions and elephants.
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The Prairie Sunset Trail Is A Wichita Ks Hidden Gem
You probably wont find the Prairie Sunset Trail on a ton of visitors guides, but it should be. Its one of the coolest hidden gems in the Midwest.
Locals love this 15-mile public trail that travels from Garden Plain, passes through Goddard, and ends around South Hoover Road in Wichita.
You can go jogging, walking, or biking on the trail.
All along the trail, youll learn about local Kansas wildlife.
The portion of Prairie Sunset Trail that ends in Wichita is surrounded by the beautiful plains of Kansas.
Even if you dont want to walk the whole thing because it is very long, many of the stops in Wichita are beautiful.
Rifle Through The Coleman Factory Museum
The Coleman Factory Museum is not quite large or special enough to justify a trip on its own merit. But if you are passing by, it is worth popping in and seeing some of the items on display. The company was started in Oklahoma in 1900, two years before moving to Wichita. The company sold gas pressure lamps. Entrance to the museum is free and may appeal to fans of Wichita Old Town.
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Find Out About Wichitas History
No trip to Wichita should be complete without a visit to the interesting and informative Wichita Sedgwick County Historical Museum. The museum explores the history of the Wichita and Sedgwick County and is housed in the stunning City Hall building. Exhibits include exploring the industries that have provided for the county in the past as well as the earliest inhabitants of the area and the first 50 years of the countys existence.
The Keeper Of The Plains
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock
The Keeper of the Plains is one of the most famous Wichita attractions.
The Keeper of the Plains is a steel sculpture at the city center looking over, keeping if you will, the plains.
Soaring 44 feet into the sky, The Keeper of the Plains was sculpted by artist Blackbear Bosin, a local Kiowa-Comanche artist.
Situated at the point where the Arkansas and Little Arkansas Rivers meet, the sculpture was erected in 1974 to celebrate the U.S. Bicentennial.
One of the main attractions in downtown Wichita, The Keeper of the Plains is a figure built to symbolize Native American brotherhood and faces east.
The Keeper of the Plains weighs a whopping five tons and sits upon a 30-foot pedestal giving him an even greater vantage point to oversee the plains.
Enigmatic of the Native American influence on local culture and one of the best sights to see, The Keeper of the Plains is a must-see.
Address: 339 Veterans Pkwy, Wichita, KS 67203, United States
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Learn About Wichitas World War Ii History
Wichita churned out nearly 1,650 Boeing B-29 Superfortress bombers during World War II. Most of the workers who built the planes were women including several young women fresh out of high school. Working around the clock, they constructed planes that played a major role in winning the war.
Today you can visit Doc, a restored B-29 housed at the B-29 Doc Hangar, Education & Visitors Center. Youll learn about the B-29 and the Wichita plant, as well as see sections of the plane. When the center is open to visitors on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, you might even get to meet an actual Rosie the Riveter one of the Riveters volunteers as a docent.
Take A Step Back In Time At The Old Cowtown Museum
The Old Cowtown Museum offers a fascinating walk through Wichitas past. The living history museum takes visitors back to 1865 when Wichita was indeed a Cowtown at the end of the Chisholm Trail a cattle drive on which cowboys herded longhorns from Texas.
Walk the dirt streets past the sheriffs office to the general store, or maybe stop in the saloon for some sarsaparilla and live entertainment. Dont hesitate to interact with the reenactors playing the local sheriff, fur traders, and saloon folk!
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Tour The Orpheum Theater
The Orpheum Theater claims to be the first atmospheric theater in the United States and hosts many world class performances throughout the year. You will find the theater on the corner of 1st and Broadway in the downtown area of the city. Tours of the theater, which include architectural highlights and historical facts, can be booked by phoning the theater directly. The tours cost a minimum donation of $10 per person.
Experience Animals Up Close
Wichitas Tanganyika Wildlife Park features more than 400 animals and 40 exhibits. At the 12-year-old zoo, youll see lemurs, giraffes, monkeys, and penguins, among many other animals. Even better, the park offers up to nine animal encounters in which guests can feed lorikeets, lemurs, hippos, and penguins.
The zoo also participates in conservation programs and is a leader in breeding the okapi an African animal that resembles a cross between a zebra and a giraffe.
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Travel The World At The Museum Of World Treasures
Cant decide what you want at a museum? Youll find what youre looking for at the eclectic Museum of World Treasures. From the huge dinosaur with a toothy smile in the entrance to cultures ancient and modern to every era of American history, including the Hall of Presidents, the museum has intriguing treasures around each corner. And the three-story building has lots of corners.
The Museum of World Treasures is in Old Town, No. 7 in the top 11 things to do in Wichita.
Visit The Toy Train Museum
Lots of good fun and trains can be found at the Wichita Toy Train Museum. The museum was founded by a club who originally were just responsible for a large exhibit at the Wichita Childrens Museum. As their collection has grown so has their exhibit space and now consists of enough toy trains to warrant its own museum.
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Things For Adults To Do In Wichita Ks
We write a lot about events and deals in Wichita, but what about fun things to do for young adults and grownups specifically? Theres plenty of those things to do in Wichita too, and its going to get even better in the near future!
And of course, as always, our emphasis will be on fun things to do in Wichita that are free, inexpensive, or at the very least discounted in some way.
First well some ideas of fun things for adults to do in Wichita, then youll see a list of events for adults.
Tiptoe Through The Tulips
Wichitas 17-acre botanical garden, Botanica, features walking trails with flowers, trees, and shrubs. Its a beautiful nature preserve in an urban setting. From the Woodland Walking Trail to the Chinese Friendship Garden, as well as gardens featuring wildflowers, roses, and perennials, Botanica is home to two dozen gardens and displays. Youll also want to visit the butterfly garden, where you can take in the seasonal visit of hundreds of Monarchs and other insects. The botanical garden hosts an annual light show and luminary walk each holiday season.
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Frank Lloyd Wright’s Allen House Wichita Kansas
Frank Lloyd Wright’s Allen House is one of the last additions to the famous designers Prairie home collection, and one of the best things to do in Wichita, Kansas. Frank Lloyd Wright designed the house, and he himself considered this piece one of his personal bests. Designed to allow visitors engage with natural landscapes while feeling that they are living among nature, the home represents Wrights perspective on prairie living.
Originally designed in 1915, the home has been restored to its 1918 condition. It now functions as a museum, and guests are able to tour the home and experience Wrights architectural gift and design philosophy. The house is open by appointment and each tour lasts about 1.5 hours.
255 N Roosevelt St, Wichita, Kansas, Phone: 316-687-1027
Attend A Show At An Iconic Theater
Carry on, Wayward Son. Hearing your favorite bands from way back when is a great way to reclaim your younger days. Or find an upcoming favorite. Either way, Wichitas historic Orpheum Theater is the place to watch a show. The Orpheum was the first Atmospheric-style theater in the United States. It resembles an Andalusian garden, complete with shimmering stars in the night sky. It opened on Labor Day, Sept. 4, 1922, and was a major vaudeville destination. Restoration continues while the theater hosts major touring events.
In 1941, the historic Dunbar Theater wasnt the sole Wichita place for Blacks to watch movies. Instead, the 340-seat theater was the only place that didnt segregate them. Restoring the Dunbar is part of the McAdams neighborhood revitalization plan.
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Visit The Kansas African American Museum
To learn about Black history in the plains, I suggest going to the Kansas African American History Museum.
The goal of this museum in Wichita is to make sure that the people of Kansas know the history of Black people who call the state home as well.
Part of this is actually in the building that once held the Calvary Baptist Church.
The Calvary Baptist Church was a cornerstone of the Black community in Wichita.
Today, the museum houses exhibits detailing the varied history of different Black cultures that helped shape Kansas and Wichita.
There is a small entrance fee, but youll get to experience a truly unique
Eat And Drink In Old Town Wichita
After all that walking around, its time to put up your feet and dine in Old Town Wichita, one of the top 11 things to do in Wichita. However, deciding which lovely venue will satisfy your hunger and thirst can be difficult. Id start with pizza at River City Brewing Co. In good weather, though, relaxing in Nortons Brewing Companys courtyard is paradise.
Sabór Latin Grille will save you huge sums of money. Instead of traveling to South America, savor the continents cuisine at Sabór.
On Saturdays, shop at the dog-friendly Wichita Farm & Art Market.