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16 Things to Do in Kansas & Best Places to Visit


Kansas is a landlocked state within the Midwest, identified for its pure magnificence, seemingly limitless prairies, and rolling hills. While most individuals mechanically consider Dorothy’s well-known line from the Wizard of Oz, “We’re not in Kansas anymore, Toto,” Kansas is far more than a film reference. There are many enjoyable issues to do in Kansas, whether or not touring with a bunch, visiting with children, or taking a {couples} journey!

If you’re searching for family-friendly locations in Kansas, there are a number of world-class interactive museums, zoos, and delightful state parks. Kids will LOVE the Cosmosphere in Hutchinson, particularly you probably have any budding astronauts. And you possibly can gown your children of their best cowboy or cowgirl apparel when visiting the Boot Hill Museum in Dodge City, the place you possibly can discover the historic jail, saloon, and church.

And for those who’re touring with out younger ones, there are enjoyable issues to do all around the state! For instance, you possibly can eat some scrumptious Kansas City-style barbecue in Kansas City, go to the Evel Knieval Museum in Topeka, discover the almost 20 acres of gardens at Botanica in Wichita, or catch a NASCAR race on the Kansas Speedway in Kansas City.

Regardless of who you’re touring with, there are lots of enjoyable issues to do in Kansas! Trying to plan which Kansas vacationer sights to place in your itinerary? We’ve obtained you coated!

Kansas City Indoor Skydiving

1. Kansas City Indoor Skydiving Admission with 2 Flights & Personalized Certificate
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Looking for a singular and thrilling expertise in Kansas City? Look no additional than indoor skydiving at iFLY Kansas City! No earlier expertise is critical – after a non-public coaching session along with your teacher, you are all set to enter the vertical wind tunnel and hover for 2 60-second classes. This is an unforgettable expertise that is good for thrill-seekers and adventure-lovers. And there isn’t any want to fret concerning the price ticket – indoor skydiving is a fraction of the price of leaping out of a airplane!

Strawberry Hill and Downtown KCK Hike
2. Strawberry Hill and Downtown KCK Hike

Looking for an city mountaineering journey that may take you off the overwhelmed path? Then look no additional than Kansas City’s Strawberry Hill neighborhood. With your information main the best way, you may cross 30+ sights over 4-5 miles, from beautiful river views to Indigenous burial grounds to downtown’s vivid avenue murals. This is a good way to get to know KCK’s most colourful district, whereas additionally getting some nice picture ops and studying a factor or two concerning the space’s wealthy historical past. And the very best half is that all of it begins with a simple meetup along with your information at Splitlog Coffee.

Wichita Scavenger Hunt
3. Wichita Scavenger Hunt: Wichita, To The Arkansas River

Looking for a enjoyable and interactive method to discover Wichita, Kansas? Then look no additional than the Wichita Scavenger Hunt: Wichita, To The Arkansas River. Using this app-based sport as your information, you may go to Wichita landmarks whereas studying all concerning the metropolis’s tradition and historical past. With no minimal age requirement, this scavenger hunt is enjoyable for all ages. Throughout the sport, you may reply trivia questions and resolve challenges for factors. At the tip of the sport, the crew with essentially the most factors can be declared the winner. S

TLDR

  • Most important landmark – Monument Rocks Natural Landmark
  • Best park – Wilson State Park
  • Best free exercise – Kansas State Capitol Building
  • Best exercise for youths – Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead
  • Best exercise for adults – Kansas Speedway
  • Best Kansas City BBQ – Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Que
  • Best nightlife – Revolution Lounge
  • Best all-around lodgingCourtyard by Marriott Wichita at Old Town

Best & Fun Things to do in Kansas

1. Monument Rocks Natural Landmark

Address: Lewis, KS 67748

Known as one of many “Eight Wonders of Kansas,” Monument Rocks are fascinating rock outcroppings in western Kansas. The web site can be designated as a National Natural Landmark, the primary of its kind in Kansas.

The rock outcroppings and Chalk Pyramids are positioned in Gove County, close to US-83. When you first see them, you may assume you’re “not in Kansas anymore,” because the sedimentary formations look straight from Utah. But don’t fear, you ARE in Kansas!

These unimaginable formations had been shaped over 80 million years in the past in the course of the Cretaceous Period. Because the limestone is sort of mushy, small modifications within the outcroppings happen over time.

Visitors to Monument Rocks will get pleasure from seeing fossils among the many big chalk monoliths, additionally known as the Chalk Pyramids. Monument Rocks is likely one of the top natural attractions in Kansas, and also you’re certain to be wowed by its pure magnificence!

Want to remain close by earlier than one other day of sightseeing? Rest your head on the highly-rated Best Western El-Quartelejo Inn & Suites with free parking and breakfast!

2. Cosmosphere

Address: 1100 N Plum St, Hutchinson, KS 67501

As the winner of the “Best for Geeks” Editors’ Choice Award, the Cosmosphere is definitely some of the unimaginable museums in Kansas for all ages. And you don’t need to be a self-proclaimed “geek” to get pleasure from any a part of the museum! 

Located simply northwest of Wichita in Hutchinson, this interactive house heart is enjoyable for individuals of all ages. Whether you get the All-Access Mission Pass or buy single attraction tickets, you should have an out-of-this-world time!

The Hall of Space Museum is the principle attraction, with galleries starting from the Apollo to the X-plane. These galleries have essentially the most intensive assortment of American and Russian house artifacts worldwide. Visitors can see the Odyssey command module from Apollo 13, an atomic warhead from the Cold War, rocket engines from the X-15 program, and Germany’s V-1 and V-2 rockets. 

If you may have time, it’s value including the Carey Digital Dome Theatre move, the place you possibly can see documentaries resembling Serengeti or Wings Over Water in 4K. Also, go to Mars or see Night Sky Live with a present within the Justice Planetarium. As a part of the planetarium present, you’ll additionally go to Dr. Goddard’s Lab, an interactive science present with occasional explosions!  

This house museum, previously often called the Kansas Cosmosphere, is definitely one of many high issues to do in Kansas with children, and for good cause! The house heart is one in every of solely three museums to point out spacecraft flown from three early-manned house packages, together with Liberty Bell 7, Gemini 10, and Apollo 13.

Traveling with a big household? Stay in consolation on this 3-bedroom home with space for 12 family members. Just a couple of minutes away from Hutchinson!

See Related: Most Beautiful Valleys in the US

3. Coronado Heights Castle

Address: Walking Trail, Falun, KS 67442

Northwest of Lindsborg is Coronado Heights, the hill the place Francisco Vásquez de Coronado allegedly gave up on his mission to seek out the “Seven Cities of Gold” and determined to return to Mexico. This legend (or is it?) started with a neighborhood professor’s discovery of a mysterious Spanish coin in 1881. When rusty chainmail was found quickly after, the story was seemingly confirmed.

As the story goes, Francisco Vásquez de Coronado explored over 4,000 miles with tons of of Spanish troopers, hoping to seek out these ancient sites of riches. And when he didn’t discover any of the “Cities of Gold,” he left for Mexico.

Many imagine this story could also be rooted in reality, whereas others doubt its authenticity. Regardless, the Coronado Heights Castle is a small stone fort constructed within the Nineteen Thirties to commemorate Coronado’s epic quest.

Visitors to Coronado Heights Park will benefit from the spectacular view from the scenic overlook. You may also picnic at many stone picnic tables close to the fort. And for those who deliver your mountain bike, you possibly can get pleasure from a 3-mile path across the park’s base. So, whatever the authenticity of Coronado’s travels, Coronado Heights is value a go to for the views alone!

See Related: Real, Magical Castles in Fairytales to Visit

 4. Museum of World Treasures

Address: 835 E 1st St N, Wichita, KS 67202

Located in Old Town Wichita, the Museum of World Treasures is simply because it sounds- an unimaginable assortment of world treasures! Opened simply over 20 years in the past, the three-story museum is house to many distinctive artifacts from historical civilizations to the founding of America.

On the primary flooring, guests can see every thing from a real shrunken head (eek!) and mummies to Logan the Tylosaurus and Ivan the T-Rex. You may also see a timeline of Roman cash and a Buddha assortment.

As you stroll upstairs, you’ll love the uniform show and weaponry of the navy by way of the years, with a trench reproduction to higher perceive trench warfare. The Military Galleries start with the Founding of America and embrace the Civil War, WWI, WWII, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. And The Hall of Presidents consists of the signature of every US president.

The museum’s high flooring is the favourite for youths, with Ivan’s Playhouse. Children could make artwork on the coloring station, construct on the Lego wall, or play on the stage. And, exterior the playhouse, they’ll see a Gatling gun from the Old West! You may also get pleasure from a scavenger hunt in your go to to Wichita.

Since Old Town Wichita is such a cool place to remain, take a look at the Courtyard by Marriott Wichita at Old Town, which is steps away from every thing! And, for those who’re staying in Old Town, dance the night time away on the close by Revolution Lounge!

5. Botanica, The Wichita Gardens

Botanica, The Wichita Gardens

Address: 701 Amidon St, Wichita, KS 67203

Located in downtown Wichita, Botanica, the Wichita Gardens is definitely one of many top tourist attractions in Kansas. However, please don’t assume it’s just for backyard lovers, because the 17-acre botanical gardens are good for all ages!

Kids will love the Downing Children’s Garden, the place they’ll expertise the magic of childhood. A stage gives reside family-friendly performances and live shows, whereas the Zerbe Family Sleeping Troll Hill is AMAZING for youths to climb and roll down the hill of the “troll’s again.”

There are additionally massive board video games like checkers, Jenga, and a marble maze. Older children will quickly have the ability to benefit from the Koch Carousel Gardens, the place a 50-foot tower and slide are within the works, in addition to a zipper line!

If you don’t have children in tow, you’ll respect the intensive gardens, just like the Rose Garden, the Wildflower Meadow, the Shakespeare Garden, or the Chinese Garden of Friendship. However, for those who’re feeling overwhelmed and don’t know the place to begin, take into account one in every of their Garden Tours or a customized golf cart tour!

Whether you may have a inexperienced thumb or don’t know a factor about crops, The Wichita Gardens is likely one of the finest issues to see in Kansas!

Want to remain close by on the border of Old Town and Delano? Look no additional than the highly-rated Home2 Suites, only a 5-minute drive from the gardens.

See Related: Best National Parks to Visit in November

6. Kansas State Capitol

Address: SW eighth & SW Van Buren St, Topeka, KS 66612

Located in Topeka, the Kansas State Capitol is the workplace of the state legislators and governor. Built-in 1903, it’s virtually twenty toes taller than the US Capitol Building in Washington, DC!

The Visitor Center is the place to move for data, reveals on native historical past, and the reward store. While guests are greater than welcome to take a self-guided tour across the Kansas State Capitol and Capitol Square, there are additionally guided historic excursions highlighting architectural and Kansas historical past. Of course, some of the spectacular experiences is the Dome Tour, the place you climb virtually 300 slim, spiral, and steep stairs to succeed in the highest!

Visitors can be shocked on the beautiful murals all through the constructing, the dome, the attractive stained glass home windows, and the unique Cage elevator. You may also go to the Capitol grounds and see the Abraham Lincoln and Dwight D. Eisenhower statues and a duplicate of the Statue of Liberty.

If you’re hoping to study just a little about Kansas historical past and see stunning structure, be certain to place the Kansas State Capitol in your record!

7. Kansas Speedway

Address: 400 Speedway Blvd, Kansas City, KS 66111

Located close to Kansas City, the Kansas Speedway is a NASCAR-owned and operated race monitor. This 1.5-mile tri-oval monitor hosts two NASCAR race weekends yearly.

Not solely does the Kansas Speedway provide normal admission tickets, however they provide premium choices resembling particular person suites, VIP tailgating, and a pre-race move. And if you wish to hear real-time audio from the drivers and crew, you possibly can hire a scanner!

Also, the Richard Petty Driving Experience and Kansas Speedway reached an settlement the place guests to the racetrack can expertise being behind the wheel of a race automobile. SO COOL!

Not solely can you may have enjoyable on the races, however there may be additionally a on line casino on the racetrack! Overlooking the second flip, the Hollywood Casino consists of eating places, nightclubs, and extra. The on line casino is a high attraction with over 2,000 slot machines, 25 poker tables, and 60 desk video games. Whether you’re a fan of quick vehicles or not, a visit to Kansas Speedway is likely one of the most enjoyable issues to do in Kansas!

See Related: Best Spring Break Destinations for Families

8. Boot Hill Museum

Boot Hill Museum Architecture
RaksyBH / Shutterstock.com

Address: 500 W Wyatt Earp Blvd, Dodge City, KS 67801

Located in Dodge City, the Boot Hill Museum is the proper place to take the youngsters for a Wild West experience! With greater than 20,000 artifacts and 200 unique weapons, the museum highlights Dodge City’s time because the “Queen of the Cowtowns.” 

You may know the phrase, “Get outta Dodge,” however you most likely don’t know its origin. In the outdated present Gunsmoke, the heroes all the time informed the villains, “Get outta Dodge!” once they needed the unhealthy guys to depart Dodge City. 

Visitors to the Boot Hill Museum will see early Dodge City depicted alongside Front Street. The metropolis’s historical past dates again to the Native Americans and their dependence on the buffalo, nevertheless it didn’t develop into “Dodge City” till the Santa Fe Trail introduced European settlers. It didn’t take lengthy to develop into a middle of commerce and a frontier city on the prairie. 

The city’s glory days are depicted with actions and animated shows for all ages. You can get pleasure from selfmade fudge from the General Store, order a Sarsaparilla from the bar (like a selfmade root beer), or store on the Gift Shop. A visit to Boot Hill is definitely among the finest issues to do in Kansas!

9. Sedgwick County Zoo

Address: 5555 W Zoo Blvd, Wichita, KS 67212

Visitors to the Sedgwick County Zoo are in for an actual deal with! As one of many high sights in Kansas, the zoo is an accredited wildlife park for all ages.

Kids will get pleasure from driving the Safari Express practice across the property and seeing behind-the-scenes views. All ages will love the contact tank, Stingray Cove, the zoo’s latest exhibit. Not solely are you able to contact a stingray, however you can too pet a small shark! Fin-tastic!

The zoo has many animals, resembling orangutans, chimpanzees, kookaburras, elephants, gorillas, bears, and penguins. Sign up for a particular encounter with an animal for an expertise you’ll always remember! Hand feed a rhinoceros, say hello to the Humboldt penguins, pet the horses and donkeys, or feed an elephant!

While there are a whole lot of zoos within the US, few have an intensive record of animals, like Sedgwick County Zoo. Not solely that, however their private encounters make this zoo among the finest issues to do in Kansas!

See Related: Best Family Vacation Spots in the World

10. Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve

Address: 2480B KS-177, Strong City, KS 66869

Located within the Flint Hills area north of Strong City, the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve protects the tallgrass prairie ecosystem. Once masking virtually 200 million acres of North America, the prairies are almost all farmland as we speak. However, round six million acres are nonetheless intact, most of that are within the Flint Hills.

The Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve was established in 1996 and, since then, has been a vacation spot for wildlife sightings, solitude, wildflowers, stunning surroundings, and scenic vistas. The protect additionally features a one-room schoolhouse and a historic ranch.

Visitors to the protect can benefit from the three hiking trails, that are all comparatively quick. Or you possibly can take a self-guided tour of the nineteenth Century National Historic Site, Spring Hill Ranch. A visit to the Visitor Center will educate you extra about tallgrass prairie land, or you possibly can see prairie wildlife on the Scenic Overlook Trail.

11. Flint Hills Discovery Center

Address: 315 S third St, Manhattan, KS 66502

Located within the metropolis of Manhattan (Kansas, not New York!), The Flint Hills Discovery Center is a vacation spot for company of all ages. The science and tradition museum is in a 35,000-square-foot constructing with over 10,000 sq. toes of interactive reveals.

Not solely are there reveals, however you can too expertise the Kansas Flint Hills space with the present “Tallgrass Prairie: Tides of Time” taking part in on the Horizon Ranch Flint Hills Immersive Experience Theater. This theater will allow you to really feel the wind by way of your hair and see a prairie hearth up shut.

If you’ve already seen the quick movie and reveals on the Discovery Center, it’s best to discover the out of doors areas. The Prairie Garden Terrace is a rooftop house the place you possibly can see wildflowers and revel in gorgeous views.

Or you possibly can head to the Prairie Garden Trail, which works across the again of the Flint Hills Discovery Center. There are informational indicators alongside the path which characteristic Flint Hills natural world.

A Flint Hills Discovery Center journey is likely one of the finest Kansas actions, whether or not you’re 5 or 95! 

See Related: Best Places to Visit in the Midwest

12. Wilson State Park

Address: 3 State Park Road, Sylvan Grove, KS 67481

Often regarded as Kansas’ most beautiful state park, Wilson State Park is positioned in Sylvan Grove, the center of the Smoky Hills. There are two principal areas – Hell Creek and Otoe- inside the 945 acres of the park.

Visitors to the park have many alternatives for tenting, mountaineering, searching, and water recreation, resembling swimming, fishing, and boating. If you’re a photographer, you’ll love the native wildlife, resembling pheasants, furbearers, bobwhite quail, deer, and songbirds.

One of the most well-liked elements of the park is Wilson Reservoir, with a rugged shoreline with rocky outcroppings and scenic cliffs. Visitors to the park usually fish for white or striped bass on this wonderful angling location.

There are a number of hiking trails at this state park. If you’re searching for a brief hike, take the one-mile loop on the Cedar Trail within the Otoe space.

For among the finest views of the Wilson Reservoir and the Kansas Prairie, take the Dakota Trail. Or, for those who’re searching for a difficult mountain biking path, the 24.5-mile Switchgrass Bike Trail is for you!

A visit to Wilson State Park is a should for nature lovers, whether or not searching for wildlife, renting a ship, mountaineering, tenting, fishing, or mountain biking. It’s undoubtedly among the finest issues to do in Kansas!

13. Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library & Museum

Address: 200 S E 4th St, Abilene, KS 67410

Most Abilene, Kansas, residents would possible agree with former President Eisenhower’s quote that he got here “from the very coronary heart of America.” The thirty fourth president grew up on this small city; Today, guests can tour his boyhood house and the Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum.

As the one 5-star normal to develop into President, Eisenhower was well-known for conserving the United States at peace in the course of the Cold War and ending the Korean War. Before coming into the museum, you possibly can cease on the bronze statue of Eisenhower along with his well-known “Eisenhower jacket” from WWII.

The museum is over 25,000 sq. toes, with revolutionary and interactive reveals to have interaction all ages! Current reveals embrace Eisenhower’s formative years, his time throughout WWII, his spouse Mamie Eisenhower, his time as President, and a farewell. The Presidential Library homes an intensive assortment of 26 million pages of historic papers and data, together with over 70,000 artifacts and 335,000 images.

See Related: Best Museums in the US You Need to Visit

14. OZ Museum

Address: 511 Lincoln Ave, Wamego, KS 66547

The followers of Dorothy, the Tin Man, the Scarecrow, and the Cowardly Lion will get pleasure from visiting the distinctive OZ Museum. Located in Wamego, the OZ Museum is likely one of the finest issues to do in Kansas for all issues associated to the Wizard of Oz.

The idea of the Wizard of Oz started a lot sooner than the film, with L. Frank Baum’s youngsters’s guide in 1900. When the film got here out in 1939, it didn’t obtain an incredible response initially. However, in keeping with the Library of Congress, it’s the most-watched movie in historical past!

The museum is ideal for all ages, nevertheless it is likely to be extra fulfilling for those who’ve seen the traditional film. There are reveals concerning the film actors from the 1939 movie, however there are additionally first version L. Frank Baum books and collectible items.

Some in style artifacts embrace hand-jeweled ruby slippers, hand-painted character masks, unique film posters, film manufacturing notes, and a yellow brick from Baum’s grade faculty.

You will possible be pondering of this music as you stroll by way of the museum:

Follow, observe, observe, observe, observe the yellow brick highway.
Follow the rainbow over the stream,
Follow the guy who follows a dream,
Follow, observe, observe, observe,
Follow the yellow brick highway.

The OZ Museum is sort of a magical world with the most important assortment of OZ artifacts, so whenever you go to Kansas, don’t neglect to place this museum in your itinerary!

15. Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead

Address: 13800 Switzer Rd, Overland Park, KS 66221

If you go to Kansas with children, you could put the Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead in your to-do record! This Overland Park farmstead is not like some other typical farm, with greater than sufficient actions to spend all day right here!

This farm takes guests again to the times of frontier life. Visitors to the farm can see a Kanza Indian encampment, go to greater than 200 livestock, have a look at a one-room schoolhouse, go fishing on the pond, find out about rising a vegetable backyard, mine for treasure, discover ways to milk a cow, and MORE!

If you wish to study extra about historical past, cease by Ben’s Bank, the place you possibly can see vintage machines, typewriters, and even a cannonball secure! Or head to John’s Blacksmith Shop, the place a real-life blacksmith demonstrates the best way to make horseshoes and bridles. There’s even a barbershop the place guests can see haircutting artifacts from the early 1900s!

Younger children will get pleasure from all of it, however they’ll particularly love the playground, the slides within the Barn, and the pedal tractor monitor! And in case you haven’t introduced meals, cease by the Farmhouse Concessions for meals, and bear in mind a visit to the ice cream parlor whenever you’re performed!

This family-friendly attraction is likely one of the high issues to do in Kansas, definitely! And for those who’ve labored up an urge for food after spending a number of hours on the farmstead, head to Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Que for some true Kansas City barbeque!

See Related: Best Midwest Festivals Worth Traveling To

16. Evel Knievel Museum

Address: 2047 SW Topeka Blvd, Topeka, KS 66612

Whether you’re a daredevil or not, a visit to the Evel Knievel Museum is a brilliant enjoyable addition to your Kansas itinerary! The two-story museum is over 13,000 sq. toes and has essentially the most intensive assortment of Evel Knievel memorabilia. Located within the Historic Harley-Davidson in Topeka, the museum has virtually every thing associated to the well-known daredevil!

Some individuals might marvel why an Evel Knievel Museum is in Topeka, Kansas since he was born in Montana. The easy reply is that his iconic Mack Truck was restored in Topeka. In truth, “Big Red” is the centerpiece of the primary flooring, with a video exhibiting its restoration and historical past.

The museum highlights the motorbike jumps he tried, and a few embrace movies. They additionally present a skeleton with a number of the jumps, noting Knievel’s accidents as a result of leap. For context, they present virtually 170 jumps over 25 years!

Knievel suffered tons of of accidents from bone fractures and different wounds. As a outcome, he spent a whole lot of time between his daredevil jumps within the hospital or a wheelchair.

Visitors will see Knievel’s licensed gadgets on the second flooring, resembling lunch containers, video games, toys, slot machines, and bicycles!

FAQ

What are the very best locations to go to in Kansas with children?

If you’re an animal lover, you possibly can’t go fallacious with a visit to Sedgwick County Zoo, one of many area’s finest zoos. And some of the enjoyable actions for households is the Kansas Cosmosphere, which homes the world’s largest assortment of Russian house artifacts! And, for a day of completely enjoyable studying, be certain to cease by the Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead to see the livestock!

Is Kansas value visiting?

Absolutely! Kansas has so much to supply guests of all ages, whether or not you’re trying to tour Kansas City BBQ joints, see the Jayhawks play on the University of Kansas campus, go to one of many many superior zoos, or cease by the Wichita Gardens for an extremely fantastic expertise. You can’t go fallacious with a visit to among the finest Kansas sights, the Cosmosphere, a museum devoted to house exploration.

What is Kansas identified for?

Kansas is called the Sunflower State, with its huge prairies (the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve, for instance) and pure magnificence such because the Monument Rocks. Many individuals affiliate Kansas with the Wild West, grass-fed beef, the Wizard of Oz, and a number of the finest slow-smoked bar-b-que.

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