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Wichita museums offer ever-changing installations, including national traveling exhibitions and temporary displays of featured works from their impressive permanent collections. Here’s your guide to new temporary and permanent exhibits that have opened recently or are opening soon.

Wichita museums are affordable and several museums mentioned below even offer free admission (as noted below).

Big Bugs Dragonfly Exhibit at Botanica

Botanica Wichita

  • “Big Bugs,” May 1-July 31: Just when you thought it was safe to go outside, big bugs are invading Botanica Wichita. This traveling exhibition features 12 larger-than-life animatronic insects installed throughout Botanica’s 20 acres. Penny Centipede stretches out to nearly 10 feet long, Perry Mantis stands 7 feet tall and Drake Dragonfly’s wings span 10 feet wide. Learn fun facts and background information about each species as you enjoy the exhibit during general admission visits and special events.

B-29 Doc Wichita Warbird Weekend

B-29 Doc Hangar, Education & Visitors Center

  • Wichita Warbird Weekend Static Exhibition, July 2-5: The B-29 Doc Hangar, Education & Visitors Center is hosting this event to give visitors a unique, up-close and personal opportunity to see the three American bombers that helped win World War II. Joining Wichita’s B-29 Doc will be a B-17 Aluminum Overcast and B-25 Berlin Express. All three aircraft will be on static display and open for ground and cockpit tours Friday, July 2. The aircraft will each operate ride flights on Saturday, July 3 and Sunday, July 4. The aircraft will be on static display the remainder of the weekend unless serving ride flight customers.

CityArts Building Exterior

CityArts

Admission to the galleries at CityArts is free.

Monster Fish Exhibit at Exploration Place

Exploration Place

  • Ending soon! “POPnology: From SciFi to Wifi,” through May 2: This national traveling exhibition on pop culture is included with general admission at Exploration Place. You’ll discover how innovators reach through the silver screen and turn fiction into fact. Go back to the future with a full-scale replica of the Delorean Time Machine. Dive into the realm of augmented and virtual reality. Journey to Mars with a red planet rover and much more.

  • “PAW Patrol Adventure Play,” May 15-Aug. 29: In this exhibition based on the hit preschool series, you and your family will join Marshall, Chase, Skye, Rubble, Everest, Rocky, Zuma and Tracker to explore your unique abilities, overcome challenges and help friends.

  • “Monster Fish: In Search of the Last River Giants,” May 29-Sept. 6: Based on the popular Nat GEO WILD show, this exhibition takes visitors beneath the surface of the world’s rivers, examining these ancient fish that are enormous in size and rapidly dwindling in number. See five extraordinary, life-size sculptures of monster fish as well as videos and hands-on activities for all ages.

  • "Drone-Tography: The Elevated Eye,” through 2021: What started as a hobby for Wichitan Jeremy Miller has grown into much more. Miller is the owner of Wichita’s Drone-tography, LLC and is known for capturing stunning imagery of Wichita and showcasing the city and the state of Kansas in a new light. Through this uniquely Wichita exhibit, shift your perspective on the world, look eye to eye with sky scrapers and soar above the horizon.

Father and son looking at airplane at Kansas Aviation Museum.

Kansas Aviation Museum

  • Play on a Plane, May 22: While the Kansas Aviation Museum is open year-round, visitors only get the chance to climb inside the aircraft on static display on the ramp during Play on a Plane. On this day, select aircraft will be open to explore and other activities include WSU Tech’s Future Maker Lab, a bounce house, food trucks and more.

Imán by María Alarcón Aldrete Wolf as part of The Space Between Exhibit at Mark Arts

Mark Arts

Mark Arts’ galleries are open by appointment only 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday; admission is free. Call 316-634-ARTS to schedule. Drop-ins can usually be accommodated, but gallery attendance is limited.

  • “The Space Between,” April 9-May 15 in the Wiedemann Gallery: This show curated by Wichita’s Armando Minjarez features artists from the Heartland exploring the space between self and space itself, perception and memory, vestige and vanguard.

  • “The Study Collection: Portraiture Exhibition,” April 9-June 12 in the School of Creativity Gallery: More than 40 works from the Mark Arts Study Collection that reveal life.

  • Youth Gallery exhibitions include: Congressional Art Awards, April 9-30; Walk a Mile with EmberHope Youthville, May 7-28; and Mark Arts STEAM Academy, June 1-Aug. 7.

Original Document from Mary, Queen of Scots and James I of England on Display at the Museum of World Treasures

Museum of World Treasures

  • “Original documents from Mary, Queen of Scots and James I of England,” on display at the Museum of World Treasures through early May: Every three months, museum staff rotates the original and unique documents its displays in the “Dark Room” within the European history exhibit. The 500-year-old documents currently on display are from Mary, Queen of Scots, and James I of England.

  • “Ancient Chinese Imperial Grave Goods,” through June 30: These Han and Sui Dynasty era figurines representing guardians and nobles of ancient China are part of the first floor Small Stories.

  • “Wichita Veteran Spotlight: Field Musician Harry Campbell Jr.,” through June 30: A bugle and banner, a uniform, his words, and his story as provided by Campbell’s family are part of the second floor Small Stories.

  • “Petrified Wood,” July 1-Sept. 30: View the beauty and intricacy of a variety of petrified wood pieces and learn the science behind petrification with this exhibition in the first floor Small Stories.

  • “Remnants from Nazi Concentration Camps,” July 1-Sept. 30: A somber look at items from Buchenwald and Munchen-Dachau with this display in the second floor Small Stories.

Through Our Eyes

The Kansas African American Museum

Saffronia Photograph by Ayana Jackson from “Art Is a Superpower” on Display at Ulrich Museum of Art

Ulrich Museum of Art at Wichita State University

The galleries at the Ulrich Museum of Art offer free admission.

Ruby Heart Teapot by Richard Marquis on Display at Wichita Art Museum

Wichita Art Museum

The Wichita Art Museum is open Tuesday through Sunday with free admission on Saturday. Among the museum’s current exhibitions:

Metal to the Pedal Exhibit

Wichita-Sedgwick County Historical Museum

  • “Turn It Up to 90! - the 90th anniversary of the Electric Guitar and its World Debut from Wichita,” through July 2021: This special exhibition at the Wichita-Sedgwick County Historical Museum explores Wichita’s connection to the genesis of this most popular musical instrument, featuring dozens of historic electric guitars.

  • Extended! “Metal to the Pedal,” through June 30: showcases a nearly 50-year span of pedal vehicle manufacturing, from a 1924 fire truck to a 1967 cherry red Ford Mustang. There are 45 vehicles in the exhibition.

  • April 15-May 30: Enjoy free lunch-time admission to the museum! Bring your lunch and enjoy it outside in Heritage Square and then take a walk through the museum at no charge during the lunch hour. No food or drink inside, please.

Check out more Wichita area museums and galleries.