Wichita is a small city with big fun for families with kids of all ages. Regardless of age, season, or budget, there is something for everyone. For families looking for something to do together on th weekends or for those visiting Wichita, this is a round up of our favorite things!
Top 10 Things to Do in Wichita with Kids
Wildlife and Animals
Tanganyika Wildlife Park: is a MUST where you can get up close and personal with lemurs and tropical birds, swim with penguins, play in the splash park, and more!
Sedgwick County Zoo: check out the elephant exhibit, get up close and personal with goats, sheep and more in the petting zoo, or take a class with your child to learn more about the critters.
Kansas Wildlife Exhibit: known as the Riverside Zoo, has a free interactive daily feeding time, where zookeepers answer questions and share facts about the wildlife that lives there.
There is something for everyone at Exploration Place! The Kansas Kids Connect preschool exhibit attracts families with young, but this Wichita favorite truly has something the entire family can love at the science and discovery center, whether it be experiencing a tornado through 20-foot tall simulation to ruling medieval life. And of course their dome theater and traveling exhibits are a must! Plus once you’re done learning inside, you can make more memories outdoors at EP’s very own Exploration Park.
Not only are the gardens stunning year-round, but the Downing Children’s Garden encourages interactive play for families through pumping water for the farm with raised beds, winding through the musical maze, or climbing into a giant tree house, plus the Koch Carousel Gardens are a must to explore (and of course ride the Khicha Family Carousel). The butterfly house can be magical to walk through and don’t forget to stop by the Railroad Garden for train-lovers. And it’s magical walk-about premiere lights display, Illuminations, is a can’t miss during the holiday season.
We love a good walk along the river downtown, packing a picnic and viewing the iconic steel sculpture marking where the where the Big and Little Arkansas rivers join together downtown. Don’t forget to go on a hunt to find Wichita’s Troll along the way. And the Keeper is a huge bonus if you see it at night through the Ring of Fire.
Parks and Nature Centers
No matter what part of town you’re in, there’s a park nearby, and one of the best is OJ Watson Park! But, if you’re not really interested in the typical playground check out one of Wichita’s amazing nature centers. These little gems of natural Kansas terrain are perfect for a quick reprieve, viewing wildlife in natural habitat at the Great Plains Nature Center, forging your own way at Chisholm Creek Park, or even bring horses to ride along the trails of Pawnee Prairie.
There are many family-owned and operated apple, peach, and pear orchards plus berry farms that are so worth the short driving distance from Wichita proper. Call ahead to get the details on whether pails or baskets are provided, when the fruit will be in season and ready to be picked, and whether reservations are needed! And don’t forget about Wichita pumpkin patches in the fall!
Concerts, Shows, & Sporting Events
Wichita is home to Intrust Bank arena, a state-of-the-art sports and entertainment venue, and home of the Wichita Windsurge MLB Team, Wichita Thunder of the ECHL, Wichita Wings Soccer, and Wichita Force of Champions Indoor Football, plus hosts shows from Disney on Ice to Jason Aldean. The Orpheum is a smaller, but iconic Wichita venue that hosts a classic film series, world-class entertainment as well as local and national music, dance and theater. And be sure to check out the amazing Music Theater of Wichita to see incredible local and national talent, and the home-town team Wichita State University for sports and the arts, as well. Check out our family calendar for current kid-friendly events in Wichita!
Wichita Art Museum offers free admission on Saturdays, and Mark Arts has programs as well for kids to engage with art, imagine and create. Wichita’s history is brought to life at Cowtown, and The Museum of World Treasures appeals to children of all ages, displaying treasures from dinosaur skeletons to Egyptian mummies, plus an expansive military exhibit.
Be sure to check out the Top 20 Museums in Wichita for Kids & Families to Visit Here!
And when the weather isn’t cooperating to be outdoors, check out one of Wichita’s popular trampoline parks, indoor play places, bowling alleys, or movie theaters. All the details are in our 25 Best Spots for Indoor Fun in Wichita has even more great ideas to give you boredom-busting inspiration!
Ask any family in town, and they’re sure to have their own family-friendly restaurant they’re considered regulars at, but these tasty local gems come up in recommendations from our readers and team time and time again specifically with families in mind!
Stearmans: for food and entertainment as planes take off and land on the runway right outside the restaurant, and bonus…there’s a playground for little ones while you’re waiting for your food!
Chicken N Pickle: Great for indoor or outdoor fun and grabbing a bite to eat for dinner or lunch complete with outdoor yard games, pickle ball courts, and big screen tvs and foosball.
Ziggy’s Pizza: is the home to one of Wichita’s favorite patios, with delicious summer brew and pizza to boot!
Nifty Nut House: Also a must for visitor’s, especially with kiddos to oogle over all the different candies, nuts and chocolates.
Old Mill Tasty Shop: open since 1932, this Wichita classic is a fun place to head with the family for lunch. Make sure to order a malt or an old-fashioned soda!
Wichita Food Trucks: Wichita’s food truck scene is vibrant and delicious. A must if you are visiting or looking for something unique to try!