The start of the school year is fast approaching for Wichita so there’s a good bet your district is about to welcome students to a new year of learning, too. If you’re looking for a last-minute family getaway to Wichita in August, here are some suggested events and attractions.
Don’t forget to get your Wichita Attractions Tour passport before you start exploring; a completed passport enters you into a drawing to win a 2023 family season pass (up to six members) or membership to ALL 13 participating attractions and one Wichita Wind Surge home game of your choosing. Learn more about the tour here.
Back to school events
The 88th National Baseball Congress World Series, powered by Evergy, will host a Teacher Appreciation Day, presented by Mel Hambleton Ford, on Tuesday, Aug. 2. All education workers, including teachers, administrators and support staff, receive a free ticket to the game when they show their school ID at the box office on game day. Additional tickets are $9 for general admission or $12 for infield reserved and include admission to all four games on Aug. 2 (12 p.m., 3 p.m., 6 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.). The NBC World Series starts at Hobart-Detter Field in Hutchinson (July 28-31) and ends at Eck Stadium in Wichita (Aug. 1-6)
Get into the zoo at the discounted admission of $3 on Saturday, Aug. 6. Wichita is proud to be home to the seventh largest zoo in the country. Spend your day exploring more than 3,000 animals and nearly 400 species grouped geographically in settings mimicking their natural habitats across the zoo’s 250 acres. You won’t want to miss touching and feeding a variety of stingrays and small sharks all swimming in a shallow saltwater pool, which is part of the new Stingray Cove attraction that is open April to October. The zoo also debuted the Safari Express electric train ride in July. Learn more about a visit to the zoo by reading this blog post.
Join your middle school friends for a night of music and fun in the water from 7 to 9 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 19. Admission is $5 with a student ID. Rock River Rapids is a full service aquatic park with concessions, lockers (provide your own lock), a bathhouse and gift counter. Bring your family and friends to spend a day splashing, soaking, sliding and sunning yourself as you enjoy the lazy river, lap pool, zero-depth pool and feature slides.
Rock River Rapids is ending the season with a doggie splash with contests and activities! Water chemistry will be adjusted for a different breed of swimmers. Those 16 years and older will be allowed in the water up to their thighs, but no children are allowed in the water. No aggressive dogs or females in heat will be allowed to ensure the safety of everyone attending.
The Museum of World Treasures offers $5 per person (plus tax) admission for students from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 1 for its annual Homeschool Family Day. Teaching parents get in free when showing their HSLDA card or non-accredited school registration form. There will be crafts, activities and learning opportunities that will be fun for the entire family.
Back to School Night at Riverfront Stadium coincides with Fireworks Friday on Sept. 9. See a game between the Double-A affiliate of the Minnesota Twins and the farm team for the Kansas City Royals, then stick around for post-game fireworks!
Other all-ages events in August
For the most up-to-date information, visit our calendar of events and search by the dates you’ll be visiting.
- Monday Movies at the Museum - “Goonies" at Kansas Aviation Museum – Aug. 1
- Teenage Halloween w/ Junior Retreat, Abandoncy, The Travel Guide, Pops Junior at WAVE – Aug. 2
- Sarah Shook & the Disarmers at WAVE – Aug. 3
- A Summer of Magic: Harry Potter Dome Theater at Exploration Place – Aug. 4, 5, 11, 12, 18, 19, 25, 26
- Little Aviators at Kansas Aviation Museum – Aug. 4, 12, 19, 26
- Lauren Alaina at TempleLive – Aug. 4
- Bieber Bash at TempleLive – Aug. 5
- First Fridays Under the Stars! at Old Cowtown Museum – Aug. 5
- KEYN Summer Concert Series: Annie Up at Hartman Arena – Aug. 5
- 10 YEARS | Dragged Under, In the Whale at WAVE – Aug. 5
- Hellzapoppin Circus at TempleLive – Aug. 6
- 80th GOODE Water Ski National Championships at Mystic Lakes Ski Club – Aug. 7-13
- Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears w/Jalopy at WAVE – Aug. 9
- KEYN Summer Concert Series: The Banned at Hartman Arena – Aug. 12
- Art Together: The Stories We Share at Mark Arts – Aug. 13
- Cowtown Throwdown with Mountain Deer Revival all-ages event at Old Cowtown Museum – Aug. 13
- Movies in the Park “The Mighty Ducks” at Capitol Federal Amphitheater in Andover – Aug. 13
- Three Days Grace w/ Wage War and Zero 9:36 at WAVE – Aug. 13
- UUCW Live Pro Wrestling presents Disturbing the Peace with Matt Sydal at TempleLive – Aug. 13
- Kansas Motocross Championship Series at Bar2Bar MX Park – Aug. 14
- Jamey Johnson at WAVE – Aug. 18
- “Casablanca” film screening at Orpheum Theatre – Aug. 18
- “Smokey and the Bandit” film screening at Orpheum Theatre – Aug. 19
- American Aquarium at WAVE – Aug. 19
- ICT Burger Battle at O.J. Watson Park – Aug. 20
- A Day To Remember at WAVE – Aug. 20
- Kansas Maze Sunflower Festival at Gaeddert Farms – Aug. 20-Sept. 11
- Morgan Wallen - The Dangerous Tour at INTRUST Bank Arena – Aug. 25
- Avenue Art Days 2022 at Douglas Design District – Aug. 25-28
- Shamarr Allen at WAVE – Aug. 26
- Hawthorne Heights' Kansas Is For Lovers Festival at WAVE – Aug. 27
- People of the Plains at Old Cowtown Museum – Aug. 27
- Cane Hill at TempleLive – Aug. 30
- "Dogs! A Science Tail" traveling exhibition at Exploration Place – ongoing through Sept. 5
- “Superpower Dogs” in the Dome Theater at Exploration Place – ongoing
- "Everest" in the Dome Theater at Exploration Place – ongoing
- Wichita Attractions Tour at various locations – ongoing through Sept. 6
- “Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Sea” traveling exhibition at Botanica Wichita – ongoing through Oct. 23
Take care of your back-to-school shopping in Wichita, a regional shopping destination where you can find something for everyone at one-of-a-kind shops or got-it-all shopping centers. Learn more about Wichita’s shopping districts and check out these shopping events that happen regularly.
- First Friday Pop Up Market Series at Revolutsia – Aug. 5
- Kansas Grown Farmers Market at Sedgwick County Extension Office – Aug. 6, 13, 20, 27
- Old Town Farm & Art Market at Old Town’s Farm & Art Plaza – Aug. 6, 13, 20, 27
- Home2 Suites Wichita Northeast Pop-Up Market at Home2 Suites by Hilton Wichita Northeast – Aug. 13
- 2nd Saturday at various locations – Aug. 13
- 2nd Saturday Sell-A-Bration! Indoor/Outdoor Marketplace at Generations Antiques and Artisans – Aug. 13
- Outdoor Vintage Flea Market at Paramount East Antique Mall – Aug. 13
- Outdoor Vintage Flea Market at Paramount Antique Mall – Aug. 13
- Community Fair Days at Old Cowtown Museum – Aug. 21
- SHOP & GRUB at Naftzger Park – Aug. 21
- Outdoor Vintage Market at Paramount Marketplace Antiques, Vintage & New – Aug. 27
Attractions to visit
Wichita has diverse and affordable attractions including several that are participating in Sunflower Summer. This Kansas State Department of Education program is designed to provide a wide variety of ways for families to get out, explore something new and enjoy time together. We know that social interaction and exposure to a variety of activities support healthy development. Sunflower Summer is an experiential approach to learning that can support the transition of school-aged children into the fall school term.
Exploration Place, Field Station Dinosaurs, Great Plains Nature Center / Kansas Wildlife Exhibit, Kansas Aviation Museum, Sedgwick County Zoo, Wichita Art Museum, Wichita-Sedgwick County Historical Museum, Wichita Wind Surge (select Sundays) are participating in the program by providing free admission to all Kansas students enrolled in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade along with up to two adults through Aug. 14. Download the Sunflower Summer app for full details.
All of our attractions would make a fun getaway before school starts and don’t forget many are participating in the Wichita Attractions Tour so get your passport before visiting. Here are several attractions that have special exhibitions and events planned in August.
Now is a great time to see “Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Sea,” a traveling exhibition featuring sculptures made from trash recovered from our oceans and rivers. There are 14 oversized installations throughout the gardens at Botanica and they are on display through Oct. 23.
- Wet & Wild Wednesdays at Botanica Wichita – Aug. 3 & Aug. 10: Catch the final two days of this Botanica summer event. Enjoy water play on the Grand Lawn from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. with general admission. Enjoy sprinklers and water toys (no swimming pools) and the Mel Hambleton Ford ice cream truck will be handing out free ice cream while supplies last.
Time is running out to explore "Dogs! A Science Tail," at traveling exhibition on display through Sept. 5 at Exploration Place and included in general admission. Check the science center’s schedule for special activities connected to “Dogs!” You’ll also get to experience the new Health Inside Out permanent exhibition whose interactive, carnival-style games have been an instant hit with visitors. Don’t miss a show in the Dome Theater, which currently includes “Superpower Dogs,” "Everest" and this Harry Potter special:
- A Summer of Magic: Harry Potter Dome Theater at Exploration Place – Aug. 4, 5, 11, 12, 18, 19, 25, 26: Exploration Place is bringing the world of Harry Potter to Wichita! Each week wizard and muggle guests will watch one movie in the series on the dome screen with booming surround sound. Before the show, participate in themed classes and interactives provided by a variety of Hogsmeade shops and magical places. Butterbeer will flow freely and there will be an opportunity to take home muggle artifacts.
Discover treasures from around the world and through the ages at the Museum of World Treasures. Explore the crusty bones of long-lost creatures with one of the most complete T. rex in the world, marvel at civilizations and enter the battlefields of the World Wars.
- Customer Appreciation Day 2022 at Museum of World Treasures – Aug. 6: Take advantages of the yearly Customer Appreciation Day at the Museum of World Treasures with $5 per person (plus tax) admission from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 6. In addition to the museum’s exhibitions, staff will also lead crafts and activities along with other learning opportunities.
- Homeschool Family Day 2022 at Museum of World Treasures – Sept. 1: The Museum of World Treasures offers $5 per person (plus tax) admission for students from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 1 for its annual Homeschool Family Day. Teaching parents get in free when showing their HSLDA card or non-accredited school registration form. There will be crafts, activities and learning opportunities that will be fun for the entire family.
Experience Wichita like it’s 1865. Old Cowtown lets you immerse yourself in the sights, sounds and activities common to a Midwestern cattle town. Hear the ring of the blacksmith anvil, try an ice-cold sarsaparilla in the saloon and be prepared to duck in the doorway as reenacted gunfight erupts. The living history museum has several all-ages special events in August:
- First Fridays Under the Stars! – Aug. 5: Admission is just $6 per person for this event that runs from 6 to 10 p.m. and features local artists, live music, dancers, ghost tours and a gunfight reenactment.
- Cowtown Throwdown with Mountain Deer Revival – Aug. 13: Bring your lawn chairs to enjoy performances by Pretend Friend, Big Red Horse and Mountain Deer Revival. Between sets, tour the historic buildings and enjoy reenactors dancing, shooting and reliving 1865. Admission of $10 advance and $15 day of show includes access to the grounds from 4 to 9 p.m.
- Community Fair Days – Aug. 21: Free admission to Old Cowtown Museum from noon to 5 p.m., plus shop more than 50 great local vendors for food, treats and great handmade art, home decor, glasses, T-shirts and more.
- People of the Plains – Aug. 27: Come out for a day of exploring the evolution of the great plains, including Native Americans, soldiers, trappers, traders and settlers.
Late summer is a great time to save money on a visit to Tanganyika Wildlife Park, where admission also includes Tanganyika Falls Splash Park. The park is offering $14 admission to celebrate its 14th anniversary from Aug. 1 to 7, plus these special events:
- Wild Wednesdays – through Sept. 21: Enjoy extended hours (until 8 p.m.) and discounted tickets at Tanganyika on Wild Wednesdays through Sept. 21.
- Connect & Preserve Lemur Weekend – Aug. 13-14: Celebrate Tanganyika Wildlife Park’s most popular residents with exclusive experiences for the weekend plus games, crafts, fundraisers and more.
Two months of the regular season remain for the Wichita Wind Surge Double-A baseball team. They play two six-game series at downtown’s Riverfront Stadium in August and another six-game home series in September. Be sure to check the team’s schedule for special promotions in addition to their weekly promos, such as Two for Tuesdays and Fireworks Fridays. Check out this guide to Riverfront Stadium and the Wichita Wind Surge and plan your trip to the ballpark with these things to do around Riverfront Stadium.
Wichita is the perfect weekend destination for families looking for last-minute fun before school starts. Plan your trip today!