Explore with Kids: Flint Hills Discovery Center in Manhattan KS

Sponsored by Flint Hills Discovery Center.

Fun and education await at the Flint Hills Discovery Center where the whole family will explore life in the Flint Hills. Make plans to check this one off your Kansas Kids Bucket List this summer, and check out more fun things to do in Manhattan KS during your visit!

Exterior of Flint Hills Discovery Center in Manhattan KS building
Flint Hills Discovery Center in Manhattan KS

Things to Do at Flint Hills Discovery Center:

Prairie Playscape

Explore this children’s area that provides an exceptional, hands-on experience all about the Flint Hills. Kids will be inspired to explore the wonder of this unique and important ecosystem as they build a model railway, harness the wind, and experience what it’s like to be a grasshopper in the prairie climber.

Playscape inside Flint Hills Discovery Center
Playscape inside Flint Hills Discovery Center

Horizon Ranch Flint Hills Immersive Experience Theater

Everyone will enjoy the sights, sounds, and smells of the prairie in the 4-D film Tallgrass Prairie: Tides of Time. Viewers are taken through 250 million years of life in the region as bitter winds, blanketing snow, raging wildfires, stampeding bison, and more come to life.


Life in the Flint Hills

Learn about the unique tallgrass prairie ecosystem and the special role humans play in its management through 10,000 feet of interactive exhibits. See ancient fossils, prehistoric tools, and modern ranching gear as you uncover the hidden history of this area. Find out if you have what it takes to be an auctioneer, hear from the people who call the Flint Hills home, and hop on a saddle to try your hand at cattle roping.

Dome inside Flint Hills Discovery Center
Dome inside Flint Hills Discovery Center

Tallgrass Gallery

Three to six times a year, explore a new temporary exhibit focused on a variety of subjects including science, history, and fine arts. Visit www.flinthillsdiscovery.org/exhibits for information on our current and future exhibits.

May 18 through September 8, 2024, earn your wings in the interactive maze exhibit, Amazing Butterflies.

Embark on a challenging journey teeming with friends and foes revealing the unusual relationship between caterpillars, butterflies, and their natural surroundings.

Kids will love to adventure through the leaves, move like a caterpillar, discover an ant that reaps the reward of an unusual friendship, then transform into a butterfly and take flight!

Opening in the fall of 2024, immerse yourself in the Flint Hills like never before with Stepping into the Prairie, an exciting interactive, digital environment that introduces visitors to the animals, plants, weather, and so much more in the Flint Hills.

Prairie Garden Terrace and Trail

After you explore inside, take a stroll through the Prairie Garden Terrace and Trail to see beautifully landscaped native prairie grasses and wildflowers specific to the season.

Enjoy spectacular views and see native wildflowers from the Prairie Garden Terrace. Native grasses and wildflowers fill the space with bright colors and sweet aromas. The Prairie Garden Trail wraps around the backside of the Flint Hills Discovery Center, from the terrace down to ground level.

Annual Events

On the first Saturday in May, experience live entertainment, food trucks, activities for youth and adults, and community groups at the annual Flint Hills Festival. Celebrate our ranching heritage the fourth Saturday of July at National Day of the Cowboy. Shop til you drop at the Kansas Holiday Market featuring dozens of Kansas made products the Saturday after Thanksgiving. To learn more about all these and other upcoming events visit www.flinthillsdiscovery.org/upcomingevents.

315 S. 3rd Street, Manhattan, KS, 66502

Plan your visit:
Click here to plan your visit. Get details on hours, pricing, and more information on Manhattan.

*ASTC members (two adults and up to four children (ages 2-17) living in the same household) visit free – that means if you have an Exploration Place membership, you can use it here!

Local hotel guests get $2 off a regular adult admission with a hotel room card or receipt.

We are also a proud participant in the Sunflower Summer program, when eligible Kansans can visit for free from May 25 through August 11, 2024.

Opened in 2012, the Flint Hills Discovery Center (FHDC) is a $25 million heritage and science center located in downtown Manhattan that inspires people to celebrate, explore, and care for the Flint Hills of Kansas–the largest remaining tallgrass prairie in North America. The FHDC has 10,000 square feet of interactive, permanent exhibit space to tell the fascinating story of the Flint Hills, including a 4-D immersive theater and the remodeled Prairie Playscape children’s area. The FHDC also hosts three to six traveling exhibits every year of varying science and humanities topics. The FHDC is wholly owned and operated by the City of Manhattan, part of the Parks and Recreation Department.


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