Wichita Family Weekend Trip: Things to Do in Topeka KS with Kids

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As a Kansas native, I’ve traveled to Topeka a handful of times in my life. I’ve often traveled through Topeka, but our family decided to explore thecapital city a little this summer. The fact that it is just a short 2 hour road trip from Wichita made it the perfect day trip destination.

Topeka Zoological Park

This was a quaint zoo that was easy to navigate. It is very stroller friendly. They currently have several large displays and are building on to the impressive African section. We loved the butterfly house. Your membership to the Sedgewick County Zoo offers a reciprocity discount!

Gage Park

Pack a picnic basket, and walk across the street from the zoo, and you’ll find sprawling Gage Park complete with a fun playground, beautiful carousel, mini-train ride, and a lovely botanical garden.

The Kansas Children’s Discovery Center

Check out the perfect children’s museum located adjacent to Gage Park. It has sections for infants and toddlers up to elementary aged kids. Plan to spend time exploring the kid oriented city, play cars on the ramps, and make some art. And don’t miss the 4.5 acre certified Nature Explore Classroom. Your Old Cowtown Museum membership offers a 50% discount.

Evel Knievel Museum

Check out the interesting life of daredevil Evel Knievel. This private collection turned museum was fascinating for the whole family. We watched videos of his many jumps, crashes, and were able to do a Virtual Reality jump. 

Capitol Building

There is free 2 hour parking. Tours are free but reservations are encouraged, especially between January and May. The Capitol has recently completed a building restoration and the distinctive copper dome is pretty impressive.

Eats and Treats

The Wheel Barrow – Located in the NOTO Arts District, it’s a locally owned grilled cheese bar with yummy hummus and pretzels and famous for it’s craft beer.

The Pennant – Located downtown and a few steps away from the Capitol, it serves all American cuisine with a fun arcade bar upstairs and a bowling alley downstairs. We loved the cheese fries! 

Lonnie Q’s – Located in East Topeka and it’s arguably the most famous local Barbeque. Check the hours before you go and get there when it opens as there is often a line.

Hazel Hill – Located downtown, Hazel Hill is a locally owned chocolate shop. Treat yourself to a caramel apple.

Tad’s Shaved Ice – Located near Gage Park, try the local seasonal Hawaiian shaved ice treat to cool off.

Cashmere Popcorn – Located downtown, run by and get some locally made treats from this family owned shop. Try some popcorn and a Tang slush!

G’s Frozen Custard – Located a mile west of the Capitol Building, this family owned frozen custard shop is famous for it’s Brown Bread flavor which is maple with Grape Nuts cereal mixed in. Our personal favorite was lemon, but you can try a sample of their soft serves and decide!

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Amy is a lifelong Wichita-area resident, with the exception of her college and grad school years. Amy has worked as a pediatric physical therapist for a local non-profit organization during her 22 year career. She married Brett, a youth pastor turned special education teacher and coach, and can be seen supporting Andover Middle School with her two boys, aged 11 & 9, only 18 months apart! They keep her occupied in athletic activities . When she isn't busy momming, she likes to go for walks in her neighborhood.