Wichita, Kansas is the largest city in the state. There are many unique things to do in Wichita, KS, including visiting Old Cowtown Museum, a living history museum, and seeing life-sized and moving dinosaurs at Field Station: Dinosaurs. For fun teenage things to do in Wichita, KS, check out All Star Adventures amusement park and grab lunch from one of the food trucks at the ICT Pop-Up Urban Park.
As for things to do in Wichita, KS in the winter, stay indoors and visit the Mid-America All-Indian Center, Exploration Place, and the Museum of World Treasures. For more ideas for things to do in Wichita, KS this week and weekend, keep reading.
1. Old Cowtown Museum
Old Cowtown Museum is a living history museum that takes you back in time to local life in a Midwest cattle town in the 1870s. The museum’s 70 historic and recreated buildings include a blacksmith’s shop, a general store, a one-room schoolhouse, and a saloon where you can purchase a glass of sarsaparilla. Other things to do here include watching a gunfight in the main street, enjoying a wagon ride, and dressing up to take a souvenir photo.
2. Sedgwick County Zoo
An award-winning wildlife park and one of the top attractions in Kansas, Sedgwick County Zoo is home to over 3000 animals from nearly 400 different species. Just some of the animals to see at Sedgwick County Zoo include elephants, lions, tigers, rhinoceros, and gorillas. The zoo also offers giraffe feeding, as well as boat and tram tours. A visit to Sedgwick County Zoo is one of the most family-friendly things to do in Wichita, KS.
3. Exploration Place
Established in a 100,000 sq ft building designed by renowned architect Moshe Safdi, Exploration Place is the state’s premier science and discovery center. Home to the Boeing Dome Theater and Planetarium, it has several interactive permanent exhibitions, including Explore Kansas and Kansas in Miniature, which focus exclusively on Kansas. There are also exhibits on nanotechnology, aviation, and art. Exploration Place’s adjacent pack is home to a wetlands habitat, playground, and 18-hole mini-golf course as well.
4. Botanica, The Wichita Gardens
Botanica was established in 1987 to generate public interest in horticulture. Since then, the award-winning attraction has grown to include over 30 themed landscaped gardens and exhibits, which feature sculptures, streams and waterfalls, fountains, and over 4000 plant species. All flora is well-suited for the Kansas climate and the gardens change according to season. For example, tulips bloom in spring, while chrysanthemums take over in fall. Botanica also regularly hosts events throughout the year.
5. The Keeper of the Plains
The Keeper of the Plains is a 44-ft tall steel sculpture created by local Native American artist, Blackbear Bosin. It stands where the Big and Little Arkansas Rivers meet downtown, which is sacred ground to Native American people. People tend to visit the Keeper of the Plains at night when its Ring of Fire (a ring of fire pits) illuminates that statue for 15 minutes (from 9 pm daylight savings time and then 7 pm standard time).
6. Museum of World Treasures
Another one of the most family-friendly things to do in Wichita, KS is to visit the Museum of World Treasures. Spread over three floors, the museum has exhibits on natural, American, and world history. Inside, visitors will find a section of the Berlin Wall, Egyptian mummies, military exhibits from the Civil War to the Vietnam War, a fossil gallery, the Hall of Presidents, and ancient Greek artifacts. It truly is a museum filled with treasures.
7. Frank Lloyd Wright’s Allen House
Frank Lloyd Wright’s Allen House is one of the architect’s best prairie houses. Completed in 1918, it’s named after its first owners – newspaper publisher Henry Allen and his wife. Just like most of the architect’s famed prairie houses, this property includes horizontal lines and earth tones. Its living room also features over 30 pieces of furniture designed by Wright. Fortunately, you can visit one of Wright’s last prairie houses on guided tours on select days.
8. Great Plains Nature Center
The Great Plains Nature Center is a place where you can learn more about the region’s flora and fauna through a variety of exhibitions, habitats, and public programs. There is the Koch Habitat Hall, with interactive exhibits including a large aquarium. Meanwhile, Chisholm Creek has 2.5 miles of paved trails that take you through restored prairies, wetlands, and woodlands. Some of the center’s most interesting programs include a walking book club, bird walks, and a photo club.
9. Wichita Symphony Orchestra
Wichita Symphony Orchestra was founded in 1944 and has nearly 100 musicians. The Symphony Orchestra does a range of annual events, including a Masterworks series, Pops concerts, and free community performances. Century II Performing Arts and Convention Center predominantly hosts the orchestra’s performances. Wichita Symphony Orchestra also maintains three youth orchestras. Visit their website for upcoming event details, as seeing a performance is one of the best things to do in Wichita, KS at night.
10. Century II Performing Arts & Convention Center
Century II Performing Arts and Convention Center is the city’s largest space for concerts, art performances, and trade shows. It is the home base for four different art organizations: the Wichita Grand Opera, Music Theater Wichita and Music Theater for Young People, and Wichita Symphony Orchestra. The Century II Performing Arts and Convention Center has multiple spaces, including 20 meeting rooms, the Concert Hall, the Mary Jane Teall Theater, an exhibition space, and the Convention Hall.
11. Kansas Star Casino
Located just south of the city, Kansas Star Casino is home to over 1750 slot machines, an eight-table poker room, and more than 50 table games. If that isn’t enough, the casino also has five restaurants and three bars, as well as the Kansas Star Arena and the Kansas Star Event Center. Hosting everything from weekly karaoke nights to some of the biggest international musicians, Kansas Star Casino is one of the city’s top entertainment destinations.
12. Field Station: Dinosaurs
With two locations across the United States, Field Station: Dinosaurs offers a unique prehistoric experience, as it’s home to over 40 life-sized and active dinosaurs. Field Station: Dinosaur also has live shows, fun activities and games hosted by expedition guides, the Paleo Playground, a maze, and an observation tower. You can even play a round of Jurassic Golf at the 18-hole mini-golf course. There’s an attraction for every member of the family at Field Station: Dinosaurs.
13. Sedgwick Park
Sedgwick County Park is a large park with four lakes, four miles of paved pathway for pedestrians and bicycles, and a huge play area called the Boundless Playground. Although a fishing license is required to fish at the lakes, this can easily be obtained from the office in the middle of the park. Sedgwick County Park also has several sports facilities, like basketball, tennis and volleyball courts, as well as a bocce court and a softball hill.
14. Mid-America All-Indian Center
The Mid-America All-Indian Center is dedicated to Native American history, art, and culture. It has rotating and interactive exhibits displaying traditional American Indian artifacts and contemporary artworks. The center also has a full-size tipi and grass houses outside, which replicate the life of Plains Indians in the 1850s. It focuses not just on local Native American people, but on tribes from across the United States and Canada. There’s nothing quite like the Mid-America All-Indian Center in the entire state of Kansas.
15. Old Town
Old Town is located in the heart of the city. It’s home to over 100 businesses, including shops, restaurants, bars, art galleries, and clubs. Some of its must-see attractions include the Museum of World Treasures, Uniquities Home Wichita, and the Old Town Farmers Market. Other places to check out include River City Brewery Co, the city’s oldest microbrewery; Larkspur for a combination of Mediterranean and American cuisine; and The Pumphouse, which is a great late-night spot.
16. Wichita Public Library
Wichita Public Library is the city’s public library system. Although its central library building is situated downtown, Wichita Public Library has six branches located across the city. The central library is large, with plenty of areas for quiet reading and a cafe. The library also hosts regular events that are free to the public, as well as summer programs. So if you need a little bit of quiet time while visiting the city, head to the public library.
17. Douglas Avenue
West and East Douglas Avenue stretch for 10 miles through multiple neighborhoods. It would take about 25 minutes to drive from one end to the other. Along Douglas Avenue, you’ll find a few of the places mentioned in this list of the top things to do in Wichita, KS, like the Century II Performing Arts and Convention Center (home to the Symphony Orchestra), the ICT Pop-Up Urban Park, and a part of the Old Town district.
18. All Star Adventures
All Star Adventures is the city’s only amusement park. It has 26 amazing attractions, including an 18-hole mini-golf course and driving range, two go-kart tracks, an arcade, and bumper cars and boats. There’s something fun for everyone, including batting cages and swings for adults, and mini coasters and a carousel for younger children. So when searching for family-friendly things to do in Wichita, KS, remember to check out the rides at All Star Adventures.
19. B-29 Doc Hangar & Education Center
Doc is one of only two airworthy Boeing B-29 Superfortress aircraft remaining in the world; although over 1600 were manufactured during World War II. Doc was discovered in the Mojave Desert in 1987 and has since been restored to flying status. When the aircraft isn’t up in the air, it calls the B-29 Doc Hangar and Education Center home. People are welcome to visit the center at Eisenhower National Airport to learn more about the city’s aviation history.
20. ICT Pop-Up Urban Park
Nestled between two buildings in the city’s downtown district, ICT Pop-Up Urban Park is a unique concept designed to bring food and fun back to the city. Visit at any lunchtime to enjoy food from a range of local food trucks serving delicious international cuisine. This includes German, Italian, Asian fusion, and Mexican fare. The ICT Pop-Up Urban Park also has seating areas, a table tennis set, regular activities and events, and free WiFi, of course.
21. Crown Uptown Theatre
For another fun and entertaining thing to do, you can check out the Crown Uptown Theatre. Known for its lively musical theater, band performances, and comedy shows, this historic theater is a great place to enjoy a show and a meal with friends. Originally opened in 1928, this is one of the oldest continuously operating entertainment venues in all of Wichita. For a fun thing to do in Wichita at night, we’d suggest looking that the Crown Uptown Theatre event schedule to plan your visit.