Last Updated on August 27, 2023 by Molly Egan
The top fun things to do in Wichita, Kansas, are listed here! Walk along the Arkansas Riverfront. learn about aviation history, art galleries, art museums, Frank Lloyd Wright’s home, eat your heart out – BBQ, and more!
Where is Wichita, Kansas?
The distance from Wichita, Kansas, to Kansas City is around 200 miles, and it takes about 3.5 to 4 hours. Tulsa, Oklahoma, is approximately 160 miles away, with a driving time of about 2.5 to 3 hours. When traveling to Denver, Colorado, the distance from Wichita is about 525 miles and takes around 8 to 9 hours.
Itinerary: Fun things to do in Wichita Kansas, in 48 Hrs
Start your day with a visit to the Wichita Art Museum, home to a diverse collection of American art. Explore its galleries and enjoy the scenic views of the Arkansas River. The state’s largest art museum offers free general admission – see Edward Hopper and Dale Chihuly.
Then head to the Old Cowtown Museum, an immersive living history museum that transports you to the 1870s. Interact with costumed interpreters and learn about life in the Old West.
Or visit the Kansas Aviation Museum and learn the history of the birthplace of well-known aircraft manufacturers, including Cessna, Beechcraft, and Learjet.
Have lunch at a local eatery. Consider trying some Kansas-style barbecue or exploring one of Wichita’s unique dining spots.
Explore the Delano District, known for its shops, boutiques, and dining options on the West bank of the Arkansas River. Enjoy an art-filled stroll and grab a coffee or a sweet treat.
Walk along Douglas Design District, which flanks Douglas Avenue. It features 500 locally owned businesses.
Or, if you are a pickleball fan, visit the Chicken N Pickle for a game! If you are a big fan of pickleball, then check out the best pickleball courts in the US!
Choose a restaurant for dinner downtown – see our top picks here. Afterward, catch a performance at the historic Orpheum Theatre if there’s an event scheduled.
Grab a coffee at Reverie Coffee Roasters or Espresso to Go. Begin your day at the Sedgwick County Zoo, home to many animals worldwide. It’s an excellent place for families and animal enthusiasts.
Then, head to Botanica Wichita, a beautiful botanical garden featuring themed gardens, sculptures, and seasonal displays.
Grab lunch at a local spot or a food truck, then visit the Exploration Place, a science center with hands-on exhibits and interactive displays.
Or take a leisurely walk or bike ride along the Arkansas River Path. You can kayak or pedal boat on the Arkansas River, too! Enjoy the scenic beauty and relax by the river.
On your last evening, explore another aspect of Wichita’s culinary scene in Old Town. The brick-lined district is charming.
For those architectural history fans, take advantage of an evening “Moonlight Tour” of the Frank Lloyd Wright, The Allen House. You can visit during the day, Wednesdays through Saturdays as well.
Below is a breakdown of the common attractions or top things to do in Wichita.
Century II Performing Arts Center
This performing art center is in Downtown Wichita, next to the East bank of the Arkansas River. This Performing arts center is an architectural gem of the city!
It was built to commemorate Wichita’s 1970 centennial and has remained a hot topic of whether to tear down, renovate, or turn into a park – it’s a beautiful structure with a nod to Kansas’ wheat field colors.
Frank Lloyd Wright’s Allen House
This home, by the famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright, was created in 1915 for the former Kansas Governor and his wife – Henry and Elsie Allen.
Great Plains Nature Center
This nature center has many events for adults and children – so much fun! Check out the schedule of events at the Great Plains Nature Center here.
Explore the Sedgwick County Zoo
This 3000-animal zoo is quite impressive! The zoo has giraffes, elephants, penguins, cows, and relative farm animals.
This science museum has a dome with even a Pink Floyd experience, live science shows, and summer camps for all ages. It is excellent for the whole family and is one of the top tourist attractions.
Museum of World Treasures
The Museum of World Treasures has a section of the Berlin Wall or ancient artifacts like a tyrannosaurus.
Botanica, The Wichita Gardens
This botanical garden has several events for all ages – great for family nights! Symphony on the lawn, a hunted woodland walk, or beer events in the gardens. Unexpected live music venues of Wichita.
Old Cowtown Museum
It brings the 1870s to life with exhibits and a gunfire street saloon demonstration – pretend you are back in 1865!
Wichita Art Museum
Thanks to the Murdock family trust, this Wichita art museum is a local art and interactive exhibits. The Prairie Print Makers collection is quite memorable!
Wichita Symphony Orchestra
The Wichita Symphony Orchestra is based in the Century 2 Performing Arts Center.
Arkansas River Trail
This 12.57-mile trail starts in Orchard Park, continues down the Arkansas River, and terminates in the South City neighborhood.
Kansas Aviation Museum
This museum houses a Cessna exhibit, Ryan International Airlines exhibit, Boeing exhibit, and Lattner Learning Center. Wichita is considered the air capital of the world; visit here and discover why.
Mid-America All-Indian Center
A museum to preserve and educate all on the history and culture of Native Americans.
Keeper of the Plains Firepot Lighting
The statue along the Arkansas River has a fireport lighting experience but is also great to view at any time of the day. The bridges in the background compose an interesting dichotomy.
History at the Pizza Hut Museum
Did you know that in 1958, two Wichita University brothers started a restaurant selling pizza that eventually became the Pizza Hut chain we all know? It’s an interesting factoid on Wichita but not the most engaging things to do in Wichita.
Support Local Growers at the Old Town Farmers’ Market
If you find yourself in Wichita on a Saturday, scope out the locals frequented Farmers Market. It has an art market, local groups, and in the city center.
It is in Old Town so you can visit a museum before or after, such as the Great Plans Transportation Museum or River City Brewing Company.
Kansas Firefighters Museum
It is a great place to visit for the whole family and children that love firefighting. There are some cool 1930s fire engines.
River City Brewing Company
It is a lovely brewery in Old Town that is a nice break from museums and has good food for all.
Some others include Emerson Biggins, Meddys, Mort’s Martini & Cigar Bar, Old Chicago, and Pumphouse – our favorite!
Great Plains Transportation Museum
It’s a railroad museum that’s great for the whole family.
Live Music and Performing Theaters
Find live music at Wave, Orpheum Theatre, The Loony Bin, Hartman Arena, Intrust Bank Arena, The Cotillion, Crown Uptown Theatre, and TempleLive Wichita.
Find performing arts at Century II Performing Art Center, Wichita Symphony Orchestra, American Theatre Guild, Roxy’s Downtown, Wichita Grand Opera, Crown Upton, Ballet Wichita, and Dunbar Theatre.
The Artichoke Sandwichbar is an Irish dive and icon of Wichita for sandwiches, live music, and a Guinness.
The Nifty Nut House is a candy shop with all kinds of nuts! It is a great place to go for fudge and a healthy or sweet snack – beware of the puppy chow!
The Pumphouse and
The Little Saigon is excellent – wow, the Bahn mi is so good!
There are wineries in Kansas – it surprised us, too! The Grace Hill Winery. Alzavino Wine Tavern and Jenny Dawn Cellars are worth a visit!
Fun Fact – 90% of the US wine was grown and made in Eastern Kansas and Missouri before Prohibition!
We love local street art – a great find and adventure in any city. There are mini versions of the city’s iconic Keeper of the Plains sculptures all over the city – a fun scavenger hunt.
The Douglas Design District has many murals along the buildings on Douglas Avenue.
Douglas Design District
Our favorite stop in the Douglas Design District is the Aida Stenholm shop – handcrafted bags and custom shoes. Our favorite is the topsider driving shoes!
Free Events for Families in Wichita
Inflation has us all feeling that things are not as affordable as they used to be, so free entry is a welcome reprieve!
- Keeper of the Plains Plaza Ring of Fire
- Old Town Plaza splash fountains
- Wichita Art Museum is free all year round to everyone (only special exhibits have a fee)
- Fountains at WaterWalk
- Great Plans Nature Center exhibits and trails
- Ulrich Musuem outdoor scultpures
- A Naftzger Park picnic
- Old Cowtown Museum – free on Sundays
- The street art, murals, and bronze sculptures in downtown
The top attractions to visit in Wichita, KS
As you can see, Wichita has a lot of events that are great for the whole family, as well as fantastic art and architectural attractions.