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Is Wichita Fun? Here's Everything You Need to Know

By: Swena Kalra

Edited By: Scott Sidders

Updated on November 5, 2023

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Wichita may not be the most exciting city in the world, but it has its own unique charm. The city is home to a variety of museums and art galleries, as well as a number of historical sites. Wichita is also known for its diverse food scene, with everything from barbecue to Mexican to Italian cuisine. And, of course, there are a number of activities to enjoy in Wichita, from hiking and biking to kayaking and fishing. So even though it may not be the most exciting city around, Wichita can be a lot of fun.

Top 10 Attractions & Things To Do in Wichita

The list of things to do in Wichita is nearly endless, but here are 10 of the best:

1. Visit the Sedgwick County Zoo

Red Panda in a Tree at Sedgwick County Zoo

One of the top things to do in Wichita is to visit the Sedgwick County Zoo. With more than 3,000 animals from all over the world, the zoo is a great place to explore and learn about different species. The exhibits are well-designed and provide good views of the animals. You can also watch feeding time with the elephants and learn their names. For all ages, it's a fun and educational experience.

2. See a show at the Orpheum Theatre

The Orpheum Theatre is a historic theatre in downtown Wichita that originally opened in 1922. The theatre has been restored and now hosts a variety of shows and events, from Broadway musicals to live concerts. It's a great place to see a show or catch a movie in an intimate setting. You will feel like you've stepped back in time when you enter the theatre.

3. Explore the Old Town district

The Old district is a focal point of Wichita city, and it acts as a cultural gathering place for activities and other cultural events. Old Town hosts various events and seasonal festivities throughout the year, making it a fun place to explore.

Wichita's Old Town district is filled with converted warehouses that now serve as restaurants, shops, cafes, bars, entertainment venues, art galleries, offices, and condos. The area is also home to various public attractions, making it a great place to visit for anyone looking for a good time.

4. Take a Scenic Ride Down the Arkansas River

Arkansas River in Wichita, Kansas

It's always a great time for a scenic ride down the Arkansas River, especially when you're in Wichita. The city has made a point of ensuring that its visitors have access to some of the most beautiful scenery and landmarks by creating the Arkansas River Bike Path. This 10-mile paved trail is perfect for both biking and walking and takes you right past some of Wichita's most popular attractions, like the All-American Indian Center, Cowtown, and the Keeper of the Plains statue.

You can easily download a map of the trail from the Wichita Parks and Recreation Department, so you never have to worry about getting lost or not being able to find parking. If you're looking to spend some time outdoors during your stay in Wichita, this is just one of the 125 greenways and 26 miles of bike trails that the city has to offer.

5. Visit the Botanica Wichita Gardens

In the spring and summer, when the tulips and daffodils are in bloom, Botanica Wichita is a popular destination. The community garden features more than 30 sections, including the Butterfly House and the Downing Children's Garden. The Butterfly House showcases different butterfly habitats, while the Downing Children's Garden has large, colorful statues among the flowers, trees, and shrubs. During the holidays, the garden is decorated with one million lights.

6. Learn about history at the Wichita-Sedgwick County Historical Museum

The Wichita Sedgwick County Historical Museum is a great place to learn about the history of Wichita and see some interesting exhibits. The museum is located in downtown Wichita in the old City Hall building. There are four floors of exhibits, including permanent displays about the city's past, economic developments, notable figures, and technological changes. The museum also has feature exhibits and special events throughout the year. You can also learn about the city's heritage and unique qualities. If you're interested in learning more about Wichita, the Wichita Sedgwick County Historical Museum is a great place to start!

7. Visit Keeper of the Plains

Keeper of the Plains steel sculpture on the Arkansas River

The Keeper of the Plains is a 44-foot-tall steel sculpture that is located in Wichita, Kansas. The statue is most impressive at night, as it is illuminated by various lights. The plaza that surrounds the sculpture has benches and walkways for pedestrians, making it a popular tourist attraction. With the Big and Little Arkansas rivers converging at this location, the Keeper of the Plains is a symbol of the city's history and culture.

The Mid-America All-Indian Center is also a must-see if you're visiting Wichita during the day. It has historical information about the area and the statue of the Keeper of the Plains. In the evening, when the Wichita sunset and the "Ring of Fire" are in full effect, the center is even more impressive.

8. Check out the Museum of World Treasures

The Museum of World Treasures is a fascinating place to visit if you're interested in history. It contains exhibits from ancient civilizations all over the world, as well as sections on military history and world cultures. If you're looking for an interesting and informative museum to explore, the Museum of World Treasures is a great choice.

When visiting the Museum of World Treasures, one can feel as if they are stepping into a time capsule. With exhibits ranging from fossilized bones of Ivan the T. Rex to religious art from Asia, there is something for everyone to explore. A popular exhibit among visitors is the Egyptian mummy exhibit. The museum also has an event calendar, which sometimes includes many opportunities to explore the museum in depth.

8. Visit Tanganyika Wildlife Park

The Wichita Tanganyika Wildlife Park is a fun and unique place to visit. At this park, you can enjoy seeing wild animals in their natural habitats. This includes animals like lemurs, alligators, giraffes, and hundreds of other creatures. What makes this park so interesting is that it focuses on preservation and conservation. This means that you will have a different type of experience with the animals than you would at a zoo.

There are many interactive experiences available at the Wichita Tanganyika Wildlife Park. For example, you can take a sunset tour or go swimming with penguins. You can also choose to have a behind-the-scenes encounter with the animals or participate in a painting experience with baby leopards.

9. Admire the Exhibits at Wichita Art Museum

The Wichita Art Museum is a great place to enjoy the arts and learn about the heritage of the Great Plains region. The museum has an extensive collection of American artwork, including sculptures, paintings, and glasswork. Visitors can also enjoy the river views from the museum's location.

You'll want to spend some time in the Art Garden surrounding the museum. The free, 24-hour art garden is full of beautiful trees, plants, and 13 sculptures, making it a peaceful and serene setting. If you're looking for a bite to eat that's also locally grown, stop by The Muse café for lunch or a snack.

10. View the City from atop Exploration Place

If you're interested in getting a bird's eye view of Wichita, head to Exploration Place. This hands-on science museum has an observation deck on the top floor, which offers stunning views of the cityscape. The museum also has interactive exhibits on a variety of topics, making it a great place to learn and have fun at the same time.

In addition to the observation deck, some other popular attractions at Exploration Place include Kansas in Space exhibit and the Planetarium. Visitors can also take part in hands-on science experiments in the Science On a Sphere exhibit. It's a great place to spend a day if you're looking for something educational and fun to do.

Top 4 Day Trip Ideas from Wichita

In addition to all the great things to do in Wichita, there are also many interesting places to explore nearby. If you're looking for ideas for day trips from Wichita, here are four of the best:

1. Visit the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve

Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve

Located just an hour and a half from Wichita, the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve is a must-see. This 10,894-acre park is full of beautiful tall grass prairie, which is a sight to behold. You can explore the park on foot, by bike, or even on horseback. There are also many opportunities to see wildlife, including bison, deer, and pronghorn.


2. Take a Hike at Elk City State Park

Elk City State Park is a beautiful place to enjoy the great outdoors. The park is located in southeast Kansas and is home to a variety of landscapes, including forests, meadows, and streams. There are also many opportunities for wildlife viewing, including elk, deer, and wild turkeys.
There are more than 20 miles of hiking trails at Elk City State Park, so you can easily spend a day exploring the park. If you're looking for a challenge, check out the Elk River Hiking Trail, which is around 15 miles long.

3. Spend the Day at Cheney State Park

With more than 1,900 acres of land, Cheney State Park is a great place to spend the day. The park offers a variety of activities, including hiking, biking, fishing, and swimming. You can also rent boats and paddleboards to explore the water.

Cheney State Park is also home to Cheney Reservoir, which is a popular spot for birdwatching. The reservoir is home to more than 200 species of birds, making it a great place to see some beautiful wildlife.

4. Go on a Scavenger Hunt in Wichita

If you're in Wichita and want to have some fun, go on a scavenger hunt tour! Your smartphone will lead you through the city as you explore and complete challenges for points. If you get stuck, your host can give you hints and clues. Whoever has the most points at the end of the tour wins! This is a great way to see the city and have some fun with friends. It's also a great way to get some exercise.

Top 3 Places To Stay in Wichita

Wichita, Kansas, USA Downtown Skyline

When you're planning a trip to Wichita, you'll need to choose somewhere to stay. Here are three of the best places to stay in Wichita:

1. The Ambassador Hotel Wichita

With its contemporary design and upscale accommodations, the Ambassador Hotel Wichita provides travelers with a comfortable and stylish place to stay while in the city. The hotel, which is located in a former bank building, is just a short walk from the Century II Performing Arts & Convention Center and the Museum of World Treasures. Guests can enjoy plush rooms with plenty of amenities, including free WiFi, iPod docks, high-thread-count linens, mini-fridges, marble showers, Keurig coffeemakers, and 42-inch flat-screen TVs with HD channels. For an even more luxurious experience, guests can upgrade to a suite that features a fireplace, dining room, bar, and soaking tub.

2. Courtyard by Marriott Wichita

In the heart of historic Wichita, the Courtyard by Marriott Wichita is a modern hotel situated in a converted 1930s warehouse. It is just a 3-minute walk from the Museum of World Treasures and only 8.4 miles from Wichita Mid-Continent Airport. The rooms are contemporary and come with plenty of amenities for a comfortable stay, including free WiFi, flat-screen TVs with premium cable channels, desks, mini-fridges, and coffeemakers. If you're looking for even more space and comfort, book one of the suites, which comes with additional features like pull-out sofas, microwaves, and views of Old Town. The hotel also has plenty of social spaces for guests to enjoy, such as a casual atrium lobby and an American restaurant serving Starbucks coffee.

3. Comfort Inn East

The Comfort Inn East is a great hotel for those looking for budget-friendly accommodations near Wichita, Kansas. The hotel is modern and offers amenities such as free WiFi, en suite bathrooms with showers, flat-screen TVs, and coffeemakers in each room. Suites also feature separate living areas with pull-out sofas, microwaves, and mini-fridges. Guests can enjoy a complimentary hot breakfast buffet each morning. The hotel also has a meeting room, an indoor heated pool, and an exercise room for guests' use.

Final Thoughts

Wichita, Kansas View from Arkansas River

All that's left to do now is to start planning your trip to Wichita! You can't go wrong with any of the hotels listed above. With its many activities, attractions, and restaurants, Wichita is sure to provide you with a fun and memorable experience. We wish you all the best on your travels and have fun!

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