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Best things to do in Wichita
Top 15 things to do in Wichita
1. Sedgwick County Zoo
See rare and endangered species from four continents and take a trip through their natural habitats at Sedgwick County Zoo. The zoo is a renowned preservation center, and it houses more than 2,500 animals. You can visit the recreated natural environments of Africa, Asia, and North and South America, as well as specialized exhibits that display various species, such as penguins, reptiles, and primates. Thanks to the zoo's successful history of breeding critically endangered animals, you'll have the rare opportunity to admire creatures like Amur tigers and lowland gorillas. Choose from many learning programs, activities, and events suitable for all ages. Many of these have limited space, so check the schedule and make reservations online.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 minLearn more about Sedgwick County Zoo
2. The Keeper of the Plains
The Keeper of the Plains is a 13.4 metres (44 ft) Cor-Ten steel sculpture by Kiowa-Comanche artist Blackbear Bosin. It stands at the confluence of the Arkansas and Little Arkansas rivers in Wichita, Kansas, adjacent to the Mid-America All-Indian Center. Surrounding the base of the statue are multiple displays which describe the local tribes that used to inhabit the area, as well as several fire pits which are sometimes lit to illuminate the statue at night. The fire pits, which are known as the Rings of Fire, are lit manually for public safety and run in 15-minute increments. They are generally lit once a night around 7 pm during the winter and at sunset during the summer.
Suggested duration: 2 hoursLearn more about The Keeper of the Plains
Tours including The Keeper of the Plains:
3. Botanica: The Wichita Gardens
Botanica, The Wichita Gardens was opened in 1987 as a collaboration between the Wichita Area Garden Council and the City of Wichita. Originally it had four gardens and now encompasses 17.6 acres (7.12 hectares) of botanical gardens located at 701 North Amidon, Wichita, Kansas, USA. They are city-owned as part of the Wichita Park System and are operated by Botanica, Inc. a non-profit 501(c)3.
The gardens include: an aquatic collection; butterfly garden and 2,880 square foot (270 m2) butterfly house featuring pansy exhibits during the winter; greenhouse for tropical plants; juniper collection with more than 30 types of junipers; peony collection of 104 cultivars; pinetum; rock garden with sedum and sempervivum; rose garden with more than 350 rose plants; sensory garden; Shakespearean garden; woodlands with azaleas, dogwoods, elm, hackberry, honey locust, mulberry, osage orange, and redbuds; and Xeriscape demonstration garden.
Botanica opened the Downing Children's Garden in July 2011 and features several themed areas including the monster woods, salamander stream, granddaddy's musical maze, a rainbow and sunflower fountain and plaza.
A new events center opened in 2014 which will hold 299 people in chairs or 240 at tables. The inspiration for it came from the wood-and-glass Thorncrown Chapel in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. “It’s not a church but it can give that feeling, particularly when you have something spiritual like a wedding. It has that ambience.” Botanica hosts more than 200 weddings a year, bringing in about 27 percent of its revenue, but it wasn't built with such rentals in mind.
In May 2014, it was announced the 1949 Allan Herschell Company carousel from the former Joyland Amusement Park was donated to the Botanica and would be placed in the Downing Children's Garden.
Suggested duration: 2 hoursLearn more about Botanica: The Wichita Gardens
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4. Nifty Nut House
Nifty Nut House, established 1937.
We're a third generation family-owned business. We pride ourselves on quality products, great prices, and friendly service.
We offer many varities of nuts, candy, and gum. All nuts are available raw, roasted salted, and roasted unsalted, roasted fresh daily in house. We also have a wide selection of milk and dark chocolate treats, gummies, dried fruits, mints, ballgum, licorice, and many sugar free items.
We are adding more products all the time. Check back often, and thanks for your patience and your support. If you're in the Wichita, Kansas area, stop by our store at 537 N. St. Francis.
Suggested duration: 2 hoursLearn more about Nifty Nut House
5. Museum of World Treasures
The Museum of World Treasures is a world history museum in Wichita, Kansas, United States. Among the many items on display are Tyrannosaurus, Daspletosaurus, and Tylosaurus specimens (Including "Ivan the T. rex"), Egyptian mummies, signatures of all the American presidents, a section of the Berlin Wall, the Scarecrow's pitchfork from The Wizard of Oz (1939), and the scalp of George A. Custer's nephew, Henry Armstrong Reed, removed by Native Americans at the Custer's Last Stand. The Museum of World Treasures is not limited to a particular aspect of history, but has opted to display an extremely diverse collection representing many different fields of interest and a wide range of subjects. This museum is a member of the American Alliance of Museums, but is not accredited by the organization.HistoryThe museum first opened as the Museum of Ancient Treasures on April 22, 2001, at the Garvey Building in Downtown Wichita. The bulk of the exhibits was originally from the collection of the museum's founder, Dr. Jon Kardatzke. As the Museum of Ancient Treasures began to attract more visitors, it asserted its dedication to serving and educating the community of Wichita. In the process, the museum began to attract more lifetime collectors who shared Kardatzke's passion for history; realizing the scope and aim of the museum, the collectors were honored to display their collections there.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 minLearn more about Museum of World Treasures
6. Old Cowtown Museum
Old Cowtown Museum is an accredited history museum located in Wichita, Kansas, United States. It is located next to the Arkansas River in central Wichita. The Museum was established in 1952, and is one of the oldest open-air history museums in central United States with 54 historic and re-created buildings, including a period farm and out-buildings, situated on 23 acres of land off the original Chisholm Trail. Cowtown is a combination of attraction, museum, living history site, and historic preservation project. It is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit institution.
Suggested duration: 2 hoursLearn more about Old Cowtown Museum
7. Safari Zoological Park, Caney
Suggested duration: 2h 30 minLearn more about Safari Zoological Park
8. Exploration Place
Exploration Place is a science museum located on the west side of the Arkansas River in the Delano neighborhood of Wichita, Kansas, United States. It is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit institution.
Suggested duration: 2 hoursLearn more about Exploration Place
9. Wichita Art Museum
The Wichita Art Museum is an art museum located in Wichita, Kansas, United States.
The museum was established in 1915, when Louise Caldwell Murdock’s Will which created a trust to start the Roland P. Murdock Collection of art in memory of her husband. The trust would purchase art for the City of Wichita by “American painters, potters, sculptors, and textile weavers.” The collection includes works by Mary Cassatt, Arthur G. Dove, Thomas Eakins, Robert Henri, Douglas Abdell, Winslow Homer, Edward Hopper, Yasuo Kuniyoshi, John Marin, Paul Meltsner, Horace Pippin, Maurice Prendergast, Albert Pinkham Ryder and Charles Sheeler. The Museum's lobby features a ceiling and chandelier made by Dale Chihuly.
The museum opened in 1935 with art borrowed from other museums. The first work in the Murdock Collection was purchased in 1939. Mrs. Murdock's friend, Elizabeth Stubblefield Navas, selected and purchased works of American art for the Murdock Collection until 1962. The building was enlarged with a new lobby and two new wings in 1963. In 1964, a foundation was established for the purpose of raising funds for new acquisitions. In the 1970s, the city built a new and larger climate controlled facility. In 2003, the museum finished another expansion project giving the building a total of 115,000 square feet (10,700 m2). The current building was designed by Edward Larrabee Barnes.
Tera Hedrick, an art historian and Wichita East High School graduate, was hired as curator in 2017 after serving in an interim role.
In January 2020, the museum announced that it would begin renovation on its main entrance and lobby.
Suggested duration: 2 hoursLearn more about Wichita Art Museum
Tours including Wichita Art Museum:
10. Room Escape Games
Suggested duration: 1h 30 minLearn more about Room Escape Games
11. Old Town
Suggested duration: 2 hoursLearn more about Old Town
12. Frank Lloyd Wright's Allen House
Commissioned in 1916 and completed in 1918, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Allen House is named after its first owners, newspaper publisher Henry Allen and his wife, Elsie. It was the last of the architect’s famous brick prairie houses, which emphasized horizontal lines, earth tones and a continuous blending of interiors with exteriors.
Architectural writers who have visited the house believe its living room is “one of the great rooms of the 20th century.” The home features more than 30 pieces of Wright-designed furniture, all of its original art glass and several new-for-their-time innovations, such as wall-hung water closets and an attached garage. Visit the site that USA Today considers one of the “10 great Frank Lloyd Wright home tours” in the nation.
This beautiful home has been preserved as a museum thanks to the Allen House Foundation.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 minLearn more about Frank Lloyd Wright's Allen House
13. Sedgwick Park
Suggested duration: 2 hoursLearn more about Sedgwick Park
14. Dwight D. Eisenhower Library and Museum, Abilene
Immerse yourself in the life and times of one of America's most memorable presidents at Dwight D. Eisenhower Library and Museum. Learn all about Eisenhower's varied life, from his strict religious upbringing to his leadership of the War Plans Division in World War II and subsequent two-term presidency. Featuring Eisenhower's boyhood home, this complex gives you a real sense not only of this leader's origins, but of life more generally in early-20th century Kansas. Those with kids should bear in mind there is a dearth of interactive activities and any trip here will involve lots of reading. Make sure to pay your respects in the meditation garden, the final resting place of Eisenhower, his wife, and their infant child.
Suggested duration: 2 hoursLearn more about Dwight D. Eisenhower Library and Museum
15. Great Plains Nature Center
The Great Plains Nature Center is a cooperative project between the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism, and the City of Wichita Department of Park and Recreation. We offer experiences that connect people to the environment, wildlife and conservation measures.
The adjacent 240-acre Chisholm Creek Park provides our outdoor classroom. More than two miles of wheelchair-accessible trails and boardwalks meander through riparian woodlands, prairies, streams and wetlands.
An indoor wildlife observatory lets visitors relax in front of a stream of cattail-ringed wetland, where beaver, muskrat, ducks and graceful egrets make regular appearances.
Suggested duration: 2 hoursLearn more about Great Plains Nature Center
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