Newton, Kansas is just big enough to have fun stuff to do and eat, and just small enough to make a cozy community. It’s about 25 minutes north of Wichita on I-135, and has some unique day trip opportunities for families.
Where to Eat in Newton:
- Back Alley Pizza is one of the top 10 pizzerias in the state, according to Best Things in Kansas. The dough is homemade and the ingredients are all fresh. You have to try the B.B.Q – it comes with pickles on it. TRUST ME. I’m told the gluten free crust is pretty good too. They also have a delicious selection of salads and sandwiches. Fun garage-style decor if you dine in, though there’s patio seating and carry-out as well.
- The Breadbasket If you like hearty Mennonite/German food, this is your place! On weekdays, they are open 6:30 am to 5:30 pm with deli-style food, with German buffets on Friday and Saturday. These feature Verenika with ham gravy, Bohne beroggi , Zwieback with homemade apple butter and more! There’s also a Sunday buffet at 10:30am.
- Gurty’s Burgers & Shakes is another local fave. Burgers, fries, sandwiches, salads, shakes, and more!
- Norm’s Coffee Bar is owned by a non-profit, the So Shine Foundation. It’s located on Main Street in a gorgeously renovated storefront (and neon!) with a great atmosphere for working, meeting or hanging out – very kid friendly too. Their coffee is fantastic, as well as their Italian sodas, Chai, and made-on-site pastries and breakfast items.
- Norm’s also sells a bunch of swag for the town’s newly approved city flag.
- Buying coffee at Norm’s means you’re also supporting their outreach program, Later@Norm’s, which offers kids a free snack and time to hang out with mentor volunteers. They usually have 100-150 fifth and sixth graders from the nearby Santa Fe Middle School.
- Druber’s Donuts is the legendary second home of college students for a couple generations. They open at 11:30pm (11pm Fri/Sat) so kids have a place to hang out and play games while waiting for piping hot donuts. Ownership has changed, but it still looks like my parents’ favorite haunt.
- The Sweet Shoppe is a specialty candy store right on Main Street. Just look for “the pink door”! Candy, nostalgia, popcorn, and gifts! Opened by The So Shine Foundation, your dollars go to cool projects like an Entrepreneurial Learning Lab with Chisholm Middle School students.
- Genova Italian Restaurant is a great family-owned option your whole family can enjoy. The homemade garlic knot rolls are dreamy.
- Railer Nutrition offers healthy shakes and energizing teas and coffee, plus snacks like protein bites.
What to Do in Newton
- Newton Murals and Arts Project has been working to encourage beautiful murals. See if you can find the sunflowers, the Beatles, wings that feature our first responders and more!
- A “Newton Walking Tour” booklet is available at most chamber businesses and tells the history of the business and the buildings – Newton has some Wild West history! The Visitor’s should have a kids version available soon too.
- The Warkentin House Museum is the fully furnished mansion of a Mennonite immigrant during Newton’s railroad and cattle heyday. The docents will give you an amazing tour, with so much history of our area. At Christmas time, the house is fully decked out and amazing. Tours are by appointment and the house is available for events as well. Great even for elementary-aged kids.
- The Historic Fox Theater is now home to The Gathering church. They’ve hosted family-friendly special events and movie showings, so check their Facebook page.
- Parks – Newton has 17 parks and over 8.5 miles of bike/jogging paths.
- Don’t miss the Splash Park at Springlake – it also has a playground, bathroom and picnic table area..
- We love Centennial Park, which has a dog park, baseball fields, a playground and shelter, AND a with rock-climbing stations (park by the Blue Skies Sculpture and follow the mowed trail into the grass.)
- Sand Creek Trail is an awesome well-maintained wood-chip walking path around Bethel College (technically North Newton) that connects to the paved paths alongside the creek in Newton. You can start by parking at the Mennonite Central Committee building (121 E 30th St, North Newton, KS 67117) to explore through the trees. Or park at Athletic Park off First Street to walk along the creek. Great for small children, pregnant mamas and anyone who wants to stroll along.
- Newton is famous for TRAINS – there’s a little garden and fountain in front of the train station if you want to hang out and watch them. Your choo-choo-loving kiddos may want a photo with the black engine at Military Park (by the library off Broadway and Main) or the red caboose at the entrance to Sand Creek Station Golf Course.
- A 15-minute drive east or west from Newton, Harvey County East and Harvey County West Parks offer fishing, swimming, boating, camping and just a good ole time.
- Sand Creek Station Golf Course This highly acclaimed course is one of the town’s hidden treasures. It even hosted the USGA the U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship!
- Chisholm Trail 8 movie theater is just off I-135 in the Chisholm Trail Shopping Center. A great and inexpensive way to take kids to the movies! The shopping center also has a variety of other stores such as Golf USA, Famous Footwear, Baker Furniture, Vanderbilts, Game On and others.
- Highrollers Skate and Funzone – Who doesn’t have memories skating? Freshly renovated for tons of fun! Open Friday-Sunday, with party packages also available.
Where to Shop in Newton
As I started I realized how many Main Street mavens we have – many of our small businesses are women or family-owned. Here’s a few that I love. You can find parking on 6th Street, west of Main, across from Back Alley Pizza. Then enjoy walking to these great boutiques.
- Moyo Clothing – Ladies, are you looking for a unique look or something with flair? You’ll enjoy the rich experience of shopping at Sue’s store! You may just find your prom dress here too.
- Prairy is a our locally-owned answer to the desire for fresh, natural foods! You can get everything from natural detergents and supplements, to organic vegetables and natural meats. They feature local producers like Alma Creamery cheese, Faye Farms handmade soap, Primal Jerky from Hutchinson, Salted Creamery ice cream and more.
- Prairy is famous for their bakery with whole grain breads and zwieback. You must try their Pfeffernusse (peppernut) cookies.
- There’s also a juice and kombucha bar and deli with yummy healthy lunch options, like soups and salads. There’s also frozen dinners and to-go meals.
- Kitchen Corner and Main Street Company – Come to these linked stores and find everything you need, your mom needs and your friends need! There’s kitchen decor to specialty utensils, cute pans plus gourmet foods, spice mixes and sauces…you really need to see for yourself. In the Main Street Company, there’s women’s wear and accessories – I’m serious, you’ll either treat yourself or someone else! You can even shop online now and watch Tina’s Facebook Live 7pm every Tuesday and Thursday to see what’s new.
- Charlotte’s Sew Natural – Sewing and quilting enthusiasts, this is your place. You’ll find a large selection of fabrics, patterns, tools, with knowledgeable service to help you out!
- Eau Lily Boutique – Connected to Charlotte’s, you can purchase fabric-focused home décor and fashion accessories, the majority of which are made by local artists in central Kansas.
- Metcalf Sisters Antiques and Collectibles – Don’t get lost in this spacious shop with a variety of booths (with a second building in the back! Great selection and prices. If you love thrifting and antiques, also check out Etcetera Shop and Layman’s Antiques on Main Street. You’ll definitely come away with a vintage Barbie or chair to refurnish!
- Creation Station offers knitting and crochet yarns, as well as whatever else you may need, with embroidery supplies too. They have a wide array of fibers, price points as well as beautiful yarns from indie dyers.
- Bella Veil Bridal – Brides come from all around for these special designer dresses, such as Evelyn Bridal, The Emily Hart Collection, and Lillian West. The owner Ericia makes this a wonderful experience in her lovely boutique. She also has a dazzling selection of prom dresses!
- Faith & Life Bookstore is a non-profit Christian bookstore, with women at its heart. From Bibles to study guides, decor and more, this is a lovely place to shop local.
- Anderson Office Supply – You just can’t miss stepping in this business that’s been family-owned in Newton since 1892. The historic store front is truly like time-traveling. They have a huge variety of Melissa and Doug toys to treat the kids. You’ll also find Kansas-themed books, items and postcards, state sports apparel and decor.