Wichita Family Day Trip: Things to Do in Hutchinson KS with Kids

With gas prices soaring and air travel less reliable, our family is getting a little more creative but no less adventurous with our family vacations. This month we didn’t have to go far at all to enjoy a long weekend AND we got to spend quality time with extended family. Exploiting the fact that my sister resides in Hutchinson, we’ve opted to make her new hometown a day trip destination and the next long weekend vacation.

And guess what? Smallville actually has a lot to offer besides the annual Kansas State Fair. The fact that hotels are exceptionally affordable in Hutch and close enough to do on a tank of gas, our trip to Hutchinson always promises to be more than we bargain for.

Here is how our mini vacation in July took shape and how they can be split into individual day outings:


8:00 a.m. Breakfast at Carriage Crossing on the way into town. This idyllic eatery is a must do for us either on the way into or out of Hutch. Pro tip: share the cinnamon roll, not the piece of pie. 

10:00 a.m.  Catch a kids film series movie at the Historic Fox Theatre for only $4.

2:00 p.m.  Pack a snack and head to the Hutchinson Zoo. (Free admission with suggested donation $5 a family!) 

Later, we like meeting for dinner at Pizza Ranch or AJ’s for bowling and pizza.


10:00 a.m. Anything to referred to as an urban sanctuary is worth a look and we fell in love with Dillon Nature Center from the get go. Hiking, fishing, canoeing, picnicking, and a playground can all be enjoyed at this incredible space.

12:30 p.m. Any chance we get to have the fried chicken at lunch buffet at Airport Steakhouse is a special occasion for us. Definitely check out this is a reasonably priced and amazing spread during the week.

2:00 p.m. Can you actually say you have visited Hutch without going to the Cosmosphere? Although admission is a little pricey, you can use the Sunflower Summer App in the summer months for free admission or wait until September for the Smithsonian’s Museum Day.

Another family meet up favorite is dinner at Bogey’s.


12:00 p.m. Spending a hot and humid weekend in July at the Salt City Splash inside of Carey Park is affordable ($2-5.25) and fun for kids of all ages. Pro tip: Make sure to eat before you go, no outside food is allowed.

7:30 p.m. Pack your Sunday best and head to the Family Community Theatre to see their current production.

Strataca Salt Mine


1:00 p.m. Our last day we visited Strataca. This is a fascinating underground salt mine and museum that sits 650 feet below ground! It not only houses thousands of important documents, films, and equipment, they also have pre-historic rocks and sediments you can hold and observe.

Cost starts at $14 for kids (check website for age restricts on attraction rides).

Pro tip: Make reservations, travel light, and pack a sweater. This is also a wonderful outing for teens.

Rachel Banning
Originally from the Wichita area, Rachel’s greatest adventure began 20 years ago when she married her husband. Together, they have one living child with Asperger’s (Dylan, ‘03) and one heavenly daughter with cerebral palsy (Mia, 2000-2013). She is a homeschool mom and business owner. Rachel is an unapologetic advocate for children of all abilities, a bookworm, and she will find any excuse to use her Kitchen Aid and wear Junior League red.


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