to do in Wichita, Kansas
Our Wichita, Kansas attractions and museum guide has
nearly 30 great things to see and do in Wichita. Twelve are marked Free
and do not charge, although some of those request donations. The Wichita
Art Museum is free on Saturdays.
|Botanica, the Wichita Gardens,
includes 10 acres of theme gardens with a butterfly garden, Shakespeare
garden, rose & wildflower Garden, greenhouse, aquatic garden, woodland
walk, and the new Sensory Garden. During the warm months, there is a butterfly
house where you will be surrounded by hundreds of butterflies and watch
as new butterflies emerge from their chrysalides, dry their wings &
take their first lights.
701 Amidon Street, Wichita, Kansas 67203 (316) 264-0448
of the Immaculate Conception, popularly known as St. Mary's
Cathedral, is among the oldest churches in Wichita, Kansas. The first
Catholic Church in Wichita was built in 1872. Construction on the cathedral
began in 1906 and it was dedicated September 19, 1912. St. Mary's
is considered the mother church of the Diocese of Wichita. Free
307 East Central, Wichita, Kansas 67202 (316) 263-6574
|Thirty One bronze sculptures by Puget Sound, Washington
artist Georgia Gerber were placed along streetscape of Wichita, Kansas
along East Douglas Avenue in the late 1990s. The whimsical Douglas
Avenue sculptures are incorporated into Lewis Reflection Square
Park and the nearby sidewalks, some times incorporating small fountains.
Douglas Avenue between Main &
Topeka, Wichita, Kansas 67202
|Resthaven Gardens of Memory is the final resting
place for Ralph
Waldo Emerson Dunham, great grandfather of President Barack Obama.
Ralph died on October 4, 1970 and is buried with his second wife, Martha
Mae Stonehouse, His first wife, Ruth
Lucille Armour Dunham, is the President's great grandmother. She died
in 1926 and is buried in El Dorado, Kansas. Free
11800 West Highway 54, Wichita, Kansas 67209
|Wichita Park Cemetery and Mausoleum in Wichita
is the final resting place of President Obama's great-great grandparents,
Jacob William Dunham and Mary Ann Kearney Dunham. Jacob
died in 1930 and Mary died in 1936. They are buried in unmarked graves
in Lot 188 Spaces 2 & 3 in the Acacia section of the cemetery. Free
3424 East 21st Street North, Wichita, Kansas 67220
Place is a hands on science museum. When we last visited this Arkansas
River front museum, much was devoted to traveling exhibits, but I more
enjoyed the permanent displays, which currently include "Design, Build,
Fly" and "Kansas in Miniature," which
is a small scale recreation of early 1950s Kansas which includes many famous
Kansas attractions and an "O" gauge miniature train. The "Kids'
Explore" area has a three story castle.
300 North Mclean Boulevard, Wichita, Kansas 67203 (316)
Dinosaurs on the south side of Wichita in Derby, Kansas is the
newest Kansas theme park, having opened in May 2018. The 14 acre, suburban
Wichita park has 44 life sized animatronic dinosaurs. They move their head,
mouth or tail, rather than walking. The dinosaurs are motion activated,
so they respond when your family moves close to them. The largest dinosaur,
the Alamosaurus, is 90 feet long.
2999 North Rock Road, Derby, Kansas 67037 (855) 833-3466
Nature Center provides opportunities for the public to learn about
the natural resources of the Great Plains Region. The Koch Habitat Hall
is the centerpiece of the Great Plains Nature Center, with 3,500 square
feet of displays devoted to the original prairie, the climate, hands-on
interactive learning, streams, wetlands, lakes, rivers, riparian habitat,
and woodlands. The center is surrounded by 282 acre Chisholm Creek Park
with 2 1/2 miles of paved trails which cross native and restored prairies,
wetlands, ponds and woodlands.
6232 East 29th Street North, Wichita, Kansas 67220
Plains Transportation Museum has a great location in the Old Town
section of Wichita, Kansas, with tracks and an large old steam engine extending
over a main street. I'm not sure why "railroad" or "train" isn't in the
name of the museum, because railroads are what the museum is all about
and it seems like their are more people who would be interested in trains
than "transportation." The museum is operated by the Wichita Chapter of
the National Railway Historical Society.
700 East Douglas, Wichita, Kansas 67202 (316) 263-0944
|Neff Hall on the Wichita State University Campus houses
one of the best kept travel secrets in Kansas. The Lowell
D. Holmes Museum of Anthropology is a fascinating, free museum
which you will probably have entirely to yourself. The Holmes museum is
a teaching museum operated by students enrolled in the Museum Studies Program
and gives potential museum professionals hands on experience in museum
administration, operations, and exhibition. The museum's collections include
a wide range of cultural, archaeological, and biological objects, with
the largest collections being Asmat and Native American. Free
1845 Fairmount, Wichita, Kansas 67260 (316) 978-7068
is a grassroots art environment in Rose Hill, Kansas, just southeast
of Wichita. Dozens of folk art creations by Phil Brinkley cover about an
acre surrounding the auto and motorcycle shop of Heavy Metal Restorations
and Margaret Brinkley's Spiritual Healing and Consultation Studio. Phil
Brinkley largely creates this wonderful metal folk art for his own pleasure,
but does commissions and creates some smaller pieces for sale.
256 West Rosewood Street, Rose Hill, Kansas 67133 (316)
African American Museum occupies a handsome building which was
the home of Calvary Baptist Church from 1917 to 1972. When Calvary Baptist
Church moved to a different building, the community formed the First National
Black Historical Society to preserve this part of Wichita's Black heritage.
Thanks to their work, the building was placed on the the National Register
of Historic Places in 1993 and in 1997, became the Kansas African American
601 North Water Street, Wichita, Kansas 67203 (316)
|The Kansas Aviation
Museum in occupies a beautiful WPA (Works Progress Administration)
building which was the Wichita Municipal Airport terminal from 1935 to
1951. The Aviation Museum displays its larger aircraft outside the building,
but there are many smaller aircraft and displays inside the building.
3350 George Washington Blvd South, Wichita, KS 67210
|Wichita Kansas Fire Department's Engine House No. 6 opened
in 1909. It was the last horse drawn fire station in Wichita to switch
to motor vehicles in 1918, and continued to operate until 1953. In 1993
the building was restored and became the Kansas
Firefighters Museum. The memorial garden south of the Kansas Firefighters
Museum was dedicated in June, 2002. The garden includes a wall with the
names of Kansas fallen firefighters, a courtyard of engraved bricks donated
by family and friends and "Last Call," a life sized statue of a firefighter
holding a fallen firefighter.
1300 South Broadway, Wichita Kansas 67211 (316) 264-5990
|The Kansas Sports
Hall of Fame was founded in 1961 as a part of the Kansas Centennial
Celebration. The criteria for induction into the Hall of Fame is that the
individuals have brought pride to the state of Kansas through their involvement
in sports. The KSHOF maintains the official Kansas high school state records
and state championship results for teams, individual athletes and coaches,
along with a compilation of every state champion crowned by the Kansas
State High School Activities Association. Free
515 South Wichita Street, Wichita, Kansas 67202 (316)
|Karg Art Glass
is located in the heart of Kechi, Kansas, just north of Wichita.
It has a large gallery with art glass produced by many artists and a large
studio with many kilns where Rollin Karg's staff of artisans work several
mornings a week. Metal work, which is made made into separate sculptures
or combined with the art glass, is done in a separate building across the
parking lot. Free
111 North Oliver Street, Kechi, Kansas 67067 (316)
|The Keeper of the
Plains was created in 1974 and placed at the confluence of the
Arkansas and Little Arkansas Rivers. The 44', 5 ton stylized sculpture
of an Indian Chief was designed by Native American artist Blackbear Bosin
(1921-1980) and constructed by Tom Washburn of Architectural Metal Products.
For 15 minutes in the evening, the Keeper is surrounded by a "ring of fire."
Confluence of the Big and Little Arkansas Rivers, Wichita,
|The 1970 combination
Street Dam and Bridge across the Big Arkansas River was reconstructed
in 2011 & 2012. During the $13.7 million makeover, the layout was changed
so that the dam was no longer underneath the bridge and the new attractive
dam included an attractive fish ladder and kayak run. There have been problems
with erosion of the fish ladder, kayak run and retaining wall when there
is high water, but the combination has been an aesthetic success and the
waterfall has become a bit of a destination. Free
487-499 West Lincoln Street, Wichita, Kansas 67213
|Occupying a building
formerly used for the Farm & Art Market, the Museum
of World Treasures is an impressive addition to Wichita's Old
Town. Its has memorabilia from athletes, actors, presidents and public
figures going back several hundred years. In some cases it is just an autograph
or a document that the person had written, but there are often more interesting
artifacts. It has dinosaurs, a huge military section and mummies!
835 East First Street,
Wichita, Kansas 67202 (316) 263-1311
|Old Cowtown Museum
is a living history museum recreating a plains cattle town of the 1870s.
When we visited Cowtown in November the friendly cashiers told us about
interesting activities that would be taking place in the community. But
we saw few reenactors and only one of the activities that we had been told
would be taking place. There are about 40 old buildings that have been
moved to this location.
1865 West Museum Boulevard, Wichita, Kansas 67203 (316)
|The Pizza Hut Museum
is located in the Wichita, Kansas building which was the first Pizza Hut.
The company was started at the corner of Bluff and Kellogg in Wichita by
Wichita State University students (brothers Dan and Frank Carney) on June
15, 1958. That building was moved onto campus in 1986 where it largely
sat empty. In 2017 it was moved to this new location and opened at the
Pizza Hut Museum on April 25, 2018. Free
2090 Innovation Boulevard, Wichita, Kansas 67208 (800)
|River Festival opens
with the Sundown Parade and a fireworks display along the Arkansas River.
Most activities at Wichita RiverFest are close to the River. There is even
a floating stage where the breeze off the water helps cool visitors on
the hot June days. River Fest is May 29 - June 6, 2019. Riverfest Classic
Car Show is June 5 & 6.
Various locations, Wichita, Kansas (316) 267-2817
|The Sedgwick County
Zoo in northwest Wichita is the largest zoo in Kansas and one of
the largest zoos in the United States. One of Kansas' largest attractions,
the Wichita zoo is home to more than 2,500 animals of nearly 500 different
species. Things to do, in addition to viewing and sometimes interacting
with the animals, include a children's play area, story times, snack bars,
boat rides and trams. Plan to spend a half day at the Sedgwick County Zoo.
5555 Zoo Boulevard, Wichita, Kansas 67212 (316) 660-9453
Grassroots Art of Gary Pendergrass is so cool! It fills a side
yard at Gary's home in Wichita, Kansas and is open during daylight hours.
The sign says, "Welcome, Be careful & safe." The small yard is packed
with steampunk, fantasy and science fiction art, with each piece fighting
for your attention. There is so much entertaining art in this space that
it is hard to take in! Free
3831 West 17th Street North, Wichita, Kansas 67203
|The Wichita Toy Train
Museum moved into its present location on south Laura Street in
2012 and is open to the public on the second and fourth weekend each month.
"Museum" isn't really the correct name for the club, but it is definitely
130 South Laura Street, Wichita, Kansas 67211 (620)
|The Ulrich Museum
of Art at Wichita State University opened in 1974. The building
is rather striking, but the museum is rather modest There are 2 small galleries
and a couple of hallways. The best part of the Ulrich Museum of Art's collection
is outside: the Martin H. Bush Outdoor Sculpture Collection, more than
70 statues spread across Wichita State University's campus. It includes
art by Scott Burton, Luis Jiménez, Henry Moore, Louise Nevelson,
Claes Oldenburg, George Rickey and Auguste Rodin. Free
1845 Fairmount Street, Wichita, Kansas 67260 (316)
|The Wichita Art
Museum is the largest art museum in Kansas. The museum expanded
into the current facility in 2003. The permanent collection includes more
than 6,000 works of art, but large portions of the museum are devoted to
traveling or temporary exhibits and there are usually several temporary
exhibits at the same time. The collection of American art spans three centuries
of painting, sculpture, works on paper, and decorative arts, as well as
an expanding glass collection. The Wichita Art Museum is free only on Saturdays.
1400 West Museum Boulevard, Wichita, Kansas 67203 (316)
|Wichita's former 1892 City Hall is home to the Wichita-Sedgwick
County Historical Museum. One of the most striking buildings in
Kansas, The old Wichita City Hall is beautiful inside and out. The Wichita-Sedgwick
Museum has exhibits on the 2nd, 3rd & 4th floors of the building, with
a gift shop and offices on the 1st floor.
204 South Main, Wichita, Kansas 67202 (316) 265-9314
|The Wichita WATER
Center (Wichita Area Treatment, Education & Remediation) is
a treatment facility for the Gilbert-Mosley Project and as a museum
devoted to public education about the importance of water quality and conservation.
The WATER Center treatment facility is a the focal point of a water remediation
system which begins with five and a half miles of conveyance piping and
thirteen extraction wells. The wells extract and convey polluted groundwater
to the center, where it is cleaned by a hydraulic venturi air stripper
treatment system. This remediation system removes groundwater contamination.
101 East Pawnee, Wichita, Kansas 67211 (316) 350-3386
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