After a strange few months of distance learning and working from home – sweet summertime is finally here. And though summer activities may look different this year, we are ready to get out, explore Wichita, and give our kids a nostalgic old school summer. We are ready for a fantastic Wichita summer!
Who’s ready to have fun and make some memories? We have included a printable for you to enjoy below!The following Wichita summer list takes social distancing into consideration – and of course every family should do what feels best and safest for them this summer and make sure to follow city and state guidelines. Please be sure to check websites and social media of places you plan to visit as statuses are consistently changing. As always, be safe and have fun!
Wichita Summer Bucket List (Social Distancing Style)
1. Get out and play at the park.
2. Hop in the car and go on a day trip.
There are so many great spots for day trips –here are some of our favorites (including some nearby weekend trips). We also love Newton, Salina, Cowley State Fishing Lake (near Dexter, KS home of Henry’s Candy Factory where kiddos can watch candy being made), and Lindsborg.
3. Visit the Zoo.
We are lucky to have two really fabulous zoos. Tanganyika provides animal encounters where you can touch or feed some of the animals – some family favorites are the lemurs and the pygmy hippopotamuses. The Sedgwick County Zoo is Kansas’s most visited outdoor attraction and named one of the 10 Best Attractions in Kansas by USA Today.
4. Head out on a family bike ride.
A Wichita summer is all about bike riding. And ICT continues to develop paved bike paths, and here you can find the 10 Best Bike Paths to Ride with Kids. And Bike Walk Wichita is a local group with great ideas for biking areas as well.
5. Go on an outdoor adventure.
We may not be next to mountains or oceans, but Wichita has great outdoor options! There are some great hiking trails, bike paths, and plenty of spots to take the kids exploring! Check out our favorite local area spots for outdoor adventures.
6. Give Yourself a campus tour.
Have you walked around the WSU campus lately? It’s beautiful and has plenty of sculpture and mural sightings that kids love. We’ve had some from our team bring their balance bikes for a stroll through the campus!
7. Visit the Keeper of the Plains
Pack a picnic and head downtown near to visit the most photographed attraction in town, the Keeper of the Plains. Then take a walk along the river (and don’t forget to look for the ICT Troll!)
8. Enjoy summer water activities.
Things may look a little different with pools this year, but Derby’s Rock River Rapids is open June 8th, and we have 5 water activities for your own backyard! And at time of publish, county official had not yet made a decision on splash parks opening just yet, but just in case – here is a roundup of our favorites.
9. Visit a Museum.
10. Go chasing waterfalls.
Did you know Kansas has some great waterfalls? Nearby there are falls at Santa Fe Lake in Augusta and also Chase State Fishing Lake and Waterfalls. We have a roundup coming soon!
11. Dine out at your favorite ICT patio.
Some of our favorites with the family include Chicken n Pickle, Revolutsia, and ICT Popup Park. And we have a whole list of family favorites here.
12. Take the kids to get a favorite cool treat.
Who doesn’t love a cool treat in the summer? From sno cone options to ice cream, there are a lot to choose from in the Wichita area. Here are some of our favorites.
13. Spend the evening at the Drive-In Movie Theatre.
Is there anything that gives a sense of nostalgia like the drive in movie theatre? Star-Lite Drive In is open and ready for families!
14. Fill a pail and go berry picking.
Berry picking is a favorite summer tradition! Check out these spots, some are open now for berry picking: Where to Pick Berries in the Wichita Area.
15. Explore nature at the Great Plains Nature Center.
The Great Plains Nature Center is scheduled to open its building June 1st. And in addition to the indoor interactive learning opportunities, the GPNC is in the middle of Chisolm Creek Park – which is a beautiful spot for walking and exploring (we love feeding the turtles)!
16. Watch a Kansas Sunset.
You can’t live in Kansas and not take advantage of the beautiful sunsets. Here are some of our favorite unexpected spots to watch a sunset in the Wichita area.
17. Go on a picnic.
Picnics make mealtime so much more fun! Enjoy one of these fun picnic spots in the Wichita area.
18. Go on an ICT Mural Tour.
Grab your smart phone and take the family on an ICT Mural Tour – here is an updated list of the local murals around town, complete with a map.
19. Spend the day at OJ Watson Park.
This is such a fantastic (free) local gem! From fishing, paddle boats, pony rides, walking paths, train rides, and playgrounds – this park has a variety of options for families.
20. Get pre-historic and visit a dinosaur.
Have you been to Wichita’s (technically it’s in Derby) one and only dinosaur park? Field Station, scheduled to open June 1, is 10 acres of walking trails surrounded by dinosaurs. Check out this unique attraction!
21. Stop and smell the flowers.
We sure do miss Botanica’s special events, but we hear the magic of the gardens is more beautiful than ever. Be sure to visit the gardens, we especially love the Children’s Garden and of course the new Carousel. And don’t forget about Belle Plaine’s Bartlett Arboretum.
22. Let’s have an Acts of Kindness Summer.