WICHITA, Kan. – August is National Picnic Month, a time to celebrate eating outside. Whether you opt for a family-friendly, romantic or large gathering, packing a basket and having a picnic is a great way to discover some of Wichita’s most relaxing outdoor spots.
- Grab a blanket, a basket of snacks and take in the view at the Keeper of the Plains Plaza, which houses the iconic 44-foot tall steel sculpture at the point where the Big and Little Arkansas Rivers join together in downtown Wichita. If visiting during the day, step inside the Mid-America All-Indian Center to learn about the history and culture behind this Wichita icon. In between the center and the Keeper of the Plains you’ll find a few picnic tables, which are available for picnics between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. If you visit in the evening, make sure stick around until 9 p.m. to experience the Ring of Fire, a lighting of the fire pots surrounding the sculpture.
- At the Great Plains Nature Center, you can experience the wild beauty and uniqueness of North America's heartland and investigate native Kansas wildlife. There are more than two miles of accessible trails, two fishing areas and an area to eat near the park entrance at 3228 N. Oliver.
- Enjoy a day of wildlife at Sedgwick County Zoo, the seventh largest zoo in the country, or at the area’s interactive wildlife park, Tanganyika. Both parks allow outside coolers for picnic eating. Sedgwick County Park offers plenty of cozy places to spend the afternoon. You can set up shop under a shelter or simply find a shady spot under a tree. Wherever you decide to picnic, you’ll find trails, basketball courts, fishing and playgrounds nearby.
- Exploration Park, the area between Exploration Place and McLean, is shaded and has picnic tables for anyone to access for a relaxing lunch. Larger groups, such as schools, can request to include it in their field trips. Companies and organizations can rent the area for picnics and events.
- Located off the Arkansas River in south Wichita, O.J. Watson Park has a variety of activities to work up an appetite, such as miniature golf, the newly-opened miniature train ride, pedal boats, playgrounds and pony rides. The park also features more than 100 picnic tables to choose from.
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About Visit Wichita
Visit Wichita markets the greater Wichita area as a major convention and tourism destination, thereby enhancing the economic development of the city, county, region and state. Visit Wichita is led by president and CEO Susie Santo, and in 2015 travel and tourism contributed more than $1 billion in economic impact to the greater Wichita area.