Wichita, Kansas, has a history dating to its founding in the 1860s. Originally a trading post on the Chisholm Trail, Wichita grew as a cattle town and transportation hub, earning it the nickname “Cowtown.”
The city’s strategic location at the confluence of the Arkansas and Little Arkansas Rivers contributed to its economic significance.
In the early 20th century, Wichita became known as the “Air Capital of the World” due to its association with aviation pioneers like Clyde Cessna and Walter Beech. This legacy is celebrated in museums like the Kansas Aviation Museum.
Today, Wichita is famous for tourism for several reasons. The city offers diverse cultural attractions, including the Wichita Art Museum, the Old Cowtown Museum, and the Exploration Place Science Center.
Visitors can also enjoy the stunning gardens at Botanica Wichita and the serene landscapes of the Sedgwick County Zoo.
Additionally, Wichita hosts numerous festivals and events throughout the year, such as Riverfest and the Wichita River Festival, drawing in visitors with music, food, and entertainment. Wichita, Kansas, experiences a continental climate with hot summers and cold winters.
The best months to visit are typically late spring (April to June) and early autumn (September to October), when the weather is mild and outdoor things to do in Wichita, KS, are enjoyable. Summers can be hot, while winters can be quite cold with occasional snowfall.
The city’s aviation heritage remains a major draw, with the annual Wichita Flight Festival celebrating its enduring connection to the aerospace industry. These elements collectively make Wichita a dynamic and appealing destination for tourists.
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1) Wichita Art Museum
The Wichita Art Museum, located in Wichita, Kansas, is renowned for its collection of American art. Founded in 1935, it houses over 7,000 works, including pieces by Mary Cassatt, Winslow Homer, and Thomas Eakins.
The museum’s modernist building, designed by architect Edward Larrabee Barnes, opened in 1975. It hosts rotating exhibitions, educational programs, and community events, making it a regional cultural hub.
The Wichita Art Museum’s commitment to showcasing American art spans centuries and continues to enrich the local art scene.
It has many artistic things to do in Wichita, KS, for art enthusiasts and visitors. Its modernist architecture provides a stunning backdrop for exploring a diverse collection of American art from colonial times to contemporary pieces.
The museum also boasts a welcoming atmosphere with spacious galleries, interactive displays, and educational resources. Visitors can enjoy guided tours, workshops, and lectures to deepen their art appreciation.
For relaxation, the museum features a beautiful outdoor Art Garden where you can unwind amidst sculptures and lush greenery.
The on-site Museum Store offers unique gifts and art-related items. The on-site Café Muse also provides a delightful culinary experience with its delicious menu and scenic views.
The museum hosts special events throughout the year, including art exhibitions, cultural festivals, and family-friendly activities, making it a vibrant cultural destination for all ages.
Whether you’re an art connoisseur or a casual visitor, the Wichita Art Museum provides a captivating and enriching experience that celebrates the beauty and diversity of American art.
1400 Museum Blvd, Wichita, KS 67203, United States
2) Sedgwick County Zoo
The Sedgwick County Zoo was established in 1971 and has since become one of the largest zoos in the Midwest. It covers 247 acres and is home to over 3,000 animals representing 400 species.
The zoo is renowned for its conservation efforts, education programs, and immersive exhibits. Visitors can explore diverse ecosystems, including the African Plains and the North American Prairie.
However, it remains a popular destination for families and wildlife enthusiasts, fostering a deep appreciation for the natural world.
The Sedgwick County Zoo offers many facilities and things to do in Wichita, KS, to enhance your visit. Explore immersive exhibits like the Downing Gorilla Forest, where you can observe these incredible primates up close.
Stroll through the Children’s Farms, where kids can interact with farm animals. The Koch Orangutan & Chimpanzee Habitat provides a glimpse into the lives of these intelligent creatures.
The zoo offers dining options, picnic areas, and a gift shop for convenience. Also, enjoy the Wildlife Theater, which offers entertaining and educational presentations.
Throughout the year, the zoo hosts special events, including Boo at the Zoo and the Zoobilee Gala, ensuring there’s always something exciting happening.
Whether you’re a wildlife enthusiast, a family seeking adventure, or someone looking for a relaxing day in nature, the Sedgwick County Zoo has something to offer everyone. Come and be captivated by the beauty of the animal kingdom.
5555 W Zoo Blvd, Wichita, KS 67212, United States
3) Old Cowtown Museum
Old Cowtown Museum, located in Wichita, Kansas, brings the Wild West to life. Established in 1952, it’s a living history museum spanning 23 acres. Visitors return to the 1870s and experience life on the American frontier.
It features historic buildings, costumed interpreters, and exhibits showcasing the Old West’s culture, including blacksmith shops, saloons, and more. This immersive attraction educates and entertains, offering a glimpse into the past of the American heartland.
Old Cowtown Museum boasts fun things to do in Wichita, KS, to ensure an enjoyable visit. Explore historic buildings such as a blacksmith shop, saloons, and a one-room schoolhouse.
Engage with knowledgeable costumed interpreters who bring the 1870s to life, sharing fascinating stories and insights. Take advantage of the beautifully landscaped grounds, perfect for picnics and strolls.
The museum often hosts special events, reenactments, and educational programs, adding to the fun. With gift shops offering souvenirs and memorabilia, you can take home a piece of the Wild West.
Whether you’re a history buff or just looking for a unique outing, Old Cowtown Museum has something for everyone.
1865 Museum Blvd, Wichita, KS 67203, United States
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4) Great Plains Nature Center
The Great Plains Nature Center was established in Wichita, Kansas in 1989. Spanning over 240 acres, it showcases the rich biodiversity of the Great Plains region.
Visitors can explore its diverse ecosystems, including prairies and wetlands, and learn about local wildlife through exhibits and educational programs.
The center is a hub for environmental education, promoting conservation and appreciation of the Great Plains’ natural beauty.
The Great Plains Nature Center offers a range of fun things to do in Wichita, KS, to enhance your visit. Start at the Visitor Center, where you can find informative exhibits, interactive displays, and friendly staff to guide you.
Explore over 240 acres of diverse landscapes, from pristine prairies to tranquil wetlands, perfect for hiking and wildlife observation.
Numerous walking trails, some wheelchair accessible, wind through this natural oasis. Birdwatchers will delight in the variety of avian species, while photographers will find endless opportunities to capture the beauty of the Great Plains.
Fishing enthusiasts can cast their lines in Chisholm Lake, stocked with various fish. There’s also a shooting range for those interested in honing their marksmanship skills, with safety measures in place.
Younger visitors can blast at the Kids Pond, designed for catch-and-release fishing, and a playground area.
Throughout the year, the center hosts educational programs, workshops, and events, making it an ideal destination for families, nature enthusiasts, and anyone looking to connect with the stunning natural world of the Great Plains.
Remember your camera, binoculars, and a sense of adventure when you visit the Great Plains Nature Center!
6232 East 29th St N #2200, Wichita, KS 67220, United States
5) Keeper of the Plains
The Keeper of the Plains is a prominent statue in Wichita, Kansas, USA, created by Blackbear Bosin in 1974. It symbolizes the Native American heritage of the region, standing at the confluence of the Arkansas and Little Arkansas rivers.
The 44-foot-tall sculpture holds a sacred fire, lit regularly. The site also features a plaza with exhibits on local indigenous history. It is a significant cultural and artistic landmark, celebrating the area’s rich Native American heritage.
The Keeper of the Plains area in Wichita, Kansas, offers various facilities, amenities, enjoyable activities, and things to do in Wichita KS for visitors of all ages. Explore the fascinating history of Native American culture at the onsite Mid-America All-Indian Center, showcasing art and artifacts.
Enjoy scenic walks along the Arkansas River, with beautiful views of the Keeper statue and downtown Wichita.
In the evening, witness the mesmerizing Ring of Fire ceremony, when the statue is illuminated in flames, creating a captivating spectacle.
The nearby Exploration Place science center offers hands-on exhibits for families, while the Keeper Plaza provides a tranquil spot for picnics and relaxation. Remember to capture the breathtaking sunsets that paint the Kansas sky over this iconic landmark.
339 Veterans Pkwy, Wichita, KS 67203, United States
6) Botanica Wichita
Botanica Wichita is a botanical garden located in Wichita, Kansas. Established in 1987, it spans 17.6 acres and features diverse gardens, including a butterfly and Chinese gardens.
Its mission is to promote horticultural excellence, education, and environmental stewardship. The site also hosts events, educational programs, and art installations.
Botanica Wichita serves as a serene urban oasis, engaging visitors with the beauty of nature and sustainable gardening practices, offering many fun things to do in Wichita, KS.
Explore themed gardens like the Shakespeare Garden or the Sensory Garden, providing a tranquil escape and educational experience.
The Downing Children’s Garden is perfect for kids, featuring interactive exhibits and a treehouse. Enjoy picnics in the picturesque setting or visit the butterfly house filled with colorful fluttering insects.
Attend seasonal events like the Illuminations light display during the holidays. Take advantage of the visitor center, gift shop, or educational programs, as it is a delightful destination for nature lovers, families, and anyone seeking a serene escape.
701 Amidon St, Wichita, KS 67203, United States
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7) Kansas Aviation Museum
The Kansas Aviation Museum showcases the rich aviation history of Kansas. Housed in a historic Boeing manufacturing facility, it features exhibits on aircraft manufacturing, Kansas aviation pioneers like Clyde Cessna and Amelia Earhart, and the state’s role in aviation innovation.
Visitors can explore vintage aircraft and learn about Wichita’s “Air Capital of the World” legacy. The museum also offers educational programs and is a hub for aviation enthusiasts and history buffs.
The Kansas Aviation Museum offers a range of facilities and amenities to enhance your visit. Inside the historic Boeing manufacturing plant, you’ll find interactive exhibits showcasing the evolution of aviation in Kansas.
The museum features a collection of beautifully restored aircraft, including classics like the Beechcraft Bonanza and the Boeing B-52 Stratofortress.
Visitors can also enjoy fun things to do in Wichita, KS, like a gift shop with aviation-themed merchandise, a refreshment cafe, and ample parking.
Educational programs, guided tours, and special events also provide engaging experiences for all ages. For aviation enthusiasts and families, it’s an exciting opportunity to immerse themselves in Kansas aviation’s rich history and innovations anytime they want.
3350 George Washington Blvd, Wichita, KS 67210, United States
8) Exploration Place
Exploration Place, located in Wichita, Kansas, is a dynamic science center and museum that offers engaging exhibits and educational experiences. It was founded in 2000 and has since been a hub for science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) learning.
The facility features interactive displays on aviation, space, and Kansas history. Visitors can enjoy hands-on activities, planetarium shows, and special events. Exploration Place is dedicated to inspiring curiosity and fostering a love for science and exploration in people of all ages.
Exploration Place offers visitors many exciting activities and things to do in Wichita, KS. Interactive exhibits cover diverse subjects, including aviation, space, and Kansas history. The state-of-the-art planetarium provides immersive celestial shows.
For added convenience, the venue offers a café and gift shop. It’s an ideal destination for families, with hands-on learning experiences for kids. They can explore science through engaging displays and experiments and even enjoy special themed events.
The outdoor area, known as the “Keeper of the Plains Plaza,” boasts stunning views of the Arkansas River and the iconic Keeper of the Plains sculpture because it’s an ideal spot for relaxation, picnics, and photos.
300 N McLean Blvd, Wichita, KS 67203, United States
9) Mid-America All-Indian Center
The Mid-America All-Indian Center in Wichita, Kansas, celebrates Native American culture and heritage. Established in 1969, it offers exhibitions, educational programs, and events showcasing the rich traditions of Indigenous peoples.
The center promotes understanding and appreciation of Native American history and art, fostering cross-cultural connections.
With its diverse collection of artifacts, contemporary artwork, and interactive exhibits, the center serves as a vital resource for preserving and sharing the vibrant Native American heritage of the region.
The Mid-America All-Indian Center offers a range of fun things to do in Wichita, KS, making it a fascinating destination for visitors of all ages.
Its modern museum boasts a diverse collection of Native American artifacts, artwork, and historical exhibits, providing an immersive educational experience.
Visitors can enjoy interactive displays, storytelling sessions, and traditional dance performances that offer insight into Indigenous cultures.
The center’s gift shop offers unique Native American crafts and jewelry, making it a perfect place for souvenir shopping.
The serene outdoor area features a beautifully landscaped garden with sculptures and a peaceful reflection pond, providing a tranquil space to relax and appreciate the natural beauty of the Plains.
Additionally, the center hosts special events throughout the year, including powwows, cultural festivals, and workshops, allowing visitors to engage more deeply with Native American traditions.
Whether interested in history art or looking for an enriching cultural experience, the Mid-America All-Indian Center offers many opportunities to learn, enjoy, and appreciate Native American heritage.
650 N Seneca St, Wichita, KS 67203, United States
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10) Wichita Public Library – Central Branch
The Wichita Public Library’s Central Branch in Kansas has been a cornerstone of community education since its founding in 1878. Housed in a stunning neoclassical building, it offers a vast collection of books, digital resources, and engaging programs for all ages.
The library’s rich history includes expansion and renovation projects to meet evolving community needs. With its commitment to literacy and accessibility, the Central Branch remains a vital resource hub for Wichita residents and visitors alike.
The Wichita Public Library’s Central Branch boasts many educational things to do in Wichita, KS, designed to enhance the visitor experience. Within its stately neoclassical walls, you’ll find a treasure trove of knowledge with an extensive book collection spanning genres, from classic literature to the latest bestsellers.
State-of-the-art technology and free Wi-Fi enable research, work, and learning, while numerous study areas, meeting rooms, and computer stations accommodate diverse needs.
For an immersive experience, the library hosts regular events, including author talks, workshops, and exhibitions. Younger patrons can explore the engaging children’s section and participate in interactive programs.
If you feel hungry, a café offers refreshments, while the outdoor garden provides a serene retreat.
Whether you seek knowledge, inspiration, or a quiet spot to read, Wichita’s Central Branch Library has something for everyone, fostering community growth and intellectual curiosity.
711 West 2nd St N, Wichita, KS 67203, United States
11) Chisholm Creek Park
Chisholm Creek Park, located in Wichita, Kansas, boasts a rich history and diverse offerings. Established in 1981, it spans over 200 acres and features picturesque trails, playgrounds, and a tranquil creek.
The park is named after the historic Chisholm Trail, a cattle drive route, and offers hiking, birdwatching, and picnicking opportunities. It’s a cherished natural oasis in the city’s heart, providing a place for recreation and reflection.
Chisholm Creek Park is a diverse outdoor haven in Wichita, Kansas, offering many facilities, engaging activities, and things to do in Wichita, KS. The park boasts 200 acres of natural beauty, including walking and biking trails that wind through serene woodlands and scenic meadows.
For families, there are well-maintained playgrounds and picnic areas perfect for gatherings. The park features a fishing pond stocked with various fish, making it an angler’s paradise. Birdwatchers will delight in the abundant avian species that call the park home.
Additionally, Chisholm Creek Park offers a dog park, ensuring furry friends can enjoy the fun. Sports enthusiasts can take advantage of the basketball courts and softball fields.
If you’re looking for a more tranquil experience, peaceful areas by the creek are ideal for reading or meditation.
Educational opportunities abound, with interpretive signs detailing the park’s natural history and wildlife.
Whether you’re seeking an active day outdoors or a place to unwind in nature’s embrace, Chisholm Creek Park offers an array of activities and amenities to suit all interests and ages, making it a true gem in Wichita’s park system.
Chisholm Crk Pk, Wichita, KS 67220, United States
12) Lake Afton Public Observatory
The Lake Afton Public Observatory in Kansas was established in 1980. It served as a popular community resource for astronomy enthusiasts, offering public viewing nights and educational programs.
Equipped with telescopes and a dome, it facilitated celestial observations and stargazing events. However, it faced funding challenges and temporarily closed in 2013.
Lake Afton Public Observatory offers a delightful blend of facilities and celestial wonders with things to do in Wichita, KS, for visitors of all ages.
Equipped with state-of-the-art telescopes, it provides an exceptional opportunity to explore the cosmos. You can marvel at distant galaxies, planets, and nebulae during public viewing nights.
The observatory’s knowledgeable staff and volunteers are eager to share their expertise and guide you through the night sky. They often host informative talks and workshops on astronomy-related topics.
For added convenience, picnic areas and restroom facilities are on-site, making it a perfect spot for a family outing. The serene lakeside setting adds to the charm, offering picturesque night sky views.
Whether a seasoned astronomer or a novice stargazer, Lake Afton Public Observatory promises a unique and educational experience that will leave you with lasting memories of the universe’s wonders. Therefore, go and take advantage of this celestial adventure!
25000 West 39th St S, Goddard, KS 67052, United States
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13) Frank Lloyd Wright’s Allen-Lambe House
The Allen-Lambe House, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1915, is an iconic example of Prairie School architecture. It is located in Wichita, Kansas, showcasing Wright’s signature horizontal lines and overhanging eaves.
Originally a private residence, it’s now a museum. The house features innovative design elements, including a cantilevered balcony and extensive use of art glass.
It’s a testament to Wright’s pioneering architectural vision and remains an important cultural landmark.
The Allen-Lambe House offers visitors a unique blend of historical significance and enjoyable things to do in Wichita, KS. Explore its remarkable architecture, characterized by horizontal lines and stunning art glass windows designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.
The house operates as a museum, providing insightful tours that delve into its rich history. Visitors can also appreciate the surrounding gardens and tranquil ambiance, perfect for strolls and photo opportunities.
The on-site gift shop offers distinctive souvenirs and architectural books. Additionally, the house hosts occasional special events and lectures, making it an engaging destination for architecture enthusiasts and history buffs alike.
However, this iconic landmark combines education, aesthetics, and a serene atmosphere for a memorable visit.
255 N Roosevelt St, Wichita, KS 67208, United States
14) Douglas Design District (Art galleries and boutiques)
The Douglas Design District in Wichita, Kansas, is a vibrant hub known for its eclectic mix of art galleries and boutiques. Established in 2009, it has since evolved into a thriving creative community.
Visitors can explore diverse art, from contemporary pieces to local craftsmanship, and shop for unique fashion and home goods. The district hosts various events and promotes local artists and businesses, making it a dynamic destination for art and style enthusiasts.
The Douglas Design District in Wichita, Kansas, offers many facilities and things to do in Wichita KS to cater to diverse interests. Art enthusiasts can explore galleries showcasing local and contemporary artwork, providing an immersive cultural experience.
For shoppers, boutique stores line the streets, offering unique fashion, home decor, and artisanal goods. Dining options range from cozy cafes to trendy restaurants, serving delicious cuisine for every palate.
The district hosts engaging events, including art walks and live music, fostering a vibrant atmosphere. With its charming streets, creative spirit, and welcoming community, the Douglas Design District is an inviting destination for exploration and enjoyment.
1336 E Douglas Ave, Wichita, KS 67214, United States
15) Old Town Wichita
Old Town Wichita, Kansas, boasts a rich history dating back to the late 1800s when it served as a bustling cattle town. Today, it’s a vibrant entertainment district filled with historic brick buildings, shops, restaurants, and nightlife.
Key landmarks include the iconic clock tower and the Museum of World Treasures. Old Town celebrates its heritage through events like the Wichita River Festival. It’s a charming blend of history and contemporary culture, making it a must-visit destination in the city’s heart.
Old Town Wichita offers many historical things to do in Wichita, KS, that cater to all interests. Explore its historic charm by visiting museums like the Museum of World Treasures, which showcases fascinating artifacts worldwide.
Enjoy a diverse dining scene with restaurants offering everything from gourmet cuisine to local favorites. The district also boasts lively bars and clubs for nighttime entertainment. Shop for unique gifts and souvenirs in the boutique stores.
Take advantage of the bustling farmers’ market on weekends, offering fresh produce and crafts. Additionally, seasonal events, live music, and art exhibitions make Old Town a dynamic hub for culture and leisure.
151 N. Rock Island St. · Ste. 1C · Wichita, KS 67202
16) Museum of World Treasures
The Museum of World Treasures, located in Wichita, Kansas, was founded in 2001 by Dr. Jon and Lorna Kardatzke. This unique museum houses a diverse collection of historical artifacts, including dinosaur fossils, ancient Egyptian mummies, military memorabilia, and rare documents.
Its mission is to educate and inspire visitors about the rich tapestry of human history. With over 30,000 artifacts spanning centuries and cultures, the museum offers a captivating journey through time and across the globe. It continues to be a popular destination for history enthusiasts of all ages.
The Museum of World Treasures offers fun things to do in Wichita, KS, to enhance your visit. Start at the welcoming lobby with friendly staff ready to assist you. You’ll find informative exhibits, guided tours, and interactive displays throughout the museum that make learning engaging for all ages.
Take a break at the museum’s café and gift shop, offering refreshments and unique souvenirs. For an immersive experience, don’t miss their special events and educational programs.
Whether exploring ancient civilizations’ mysteries or marveling at paleontology’s wonders, the Museum of World Treasures promises an enriching and enjoyable day for history buffs, families, and curious minds.
835 E 1st St N, Wichita, KS 67202, United States
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Best Hotels To Stay In Wichita, KS
These hotels offer a combination of comfortable accommodations, convenient locations, and excellent amenities for a pleasant stay in Wichita, KS.
With a range of options from luxury to budget-friendly, they cater to various preferences and provide quality service, making them great choices for visitors to the city.
- Ambassador Hotel Wichita
- Drury Plaza Hotel Broadview Wichita
- Hyatt Regency Wichita
- Hotel at Old Town
- DoubleTree by Hilton Wichita Airport
- Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Wichita Downtown