Wichita is the perfect place for a family getaway for many reasons. It won’t break your budget, it’s family-friendly and it offers plenty of things to do for all ages.
From amazing attractions and museums to free and affordable fun, you’ll have to stay the week just to mark everything off your list – or keep coming back to visit the Heart of the Country. Plus, you can enjoy FREE admission to 15 Wichita attractions participating in the Sunflower Summer Program. Read on for a breakdown of all the things to do for kids as young as age 3. We hope this vacation-planning guide helps you map out your next trip to Wichita!
Kids Ages 3-6
Wichita has a ton of offerings for even the smallest explorers! Here are some ideas if your child is between the ages of 3 and 6.
- Let them jump around and burn energy at Aviate at Wichita Sports Forum.
- Visit one of Wichita’s 144 parks, some of which have special activities geared toward younger kids. Riverside Park’s Kansas Wildlife Exhibit is always free and if you visit at noon, you can experience feeding time. Littles will also love O.J. Watson Park’s train rides, pony rides and miniature golf.
- Explore Wichita Riverfest, happening June 2-10 in 2023, for tons of family fun.
- Watch the water and light show at the Fountains at WaterWalk (May-October).
- Visit Wichita during the holidays and experience the magic of the season at one of Wichita’s many family-friendly holiday events.
- Go swimming at one of Wichita’s many YMCA locations (Downtown, East, North, Northwest, South, West, WSU).
- Learn about Kansas wildlife and habitat at the Great Plains Nature Center.
- Play in the interactive splash fountains in Old Town Square and at many of Wichita’s city parks.
- Experience Blast Off Bay, an indoor water park with a plethora of water features, slides, a surf machine and more.
- Discover a path through history at Museum of World Treasures, go on a scavenger hunt and play in Ivan’s Playhouse.
- Become a Little Aviator every Friday at Kansas Aviation Museum.
- Explore a hands-on science museum with various traveling exhibits and permanent ones like Health Inside Out, a wonderfully weird exhibit that explores the human body, at Exploration Place.
- See one of the biggest elephant pools in the world, touch stingrays and more at Sedgwick County Zoo.
- Get up-close-and-personal with a variety of exotic animal experiences at Tanganyika Wildlife Park.
- Roll down Troll Hill, play in the interactive children’s garden and ride the fully restored carousel at Botanica Wichita.
- Appreciate the Native American heritage in Wichita at the Keeper of the Plains.
- Become an honorary paleontologist and discover prehistoric beings at Field Station: Dinosaurs.
- Enjoy the Wichita Art Museum, which is free throughout 2023, with hand-on experiences for kids and an always-accessible outdoor art garden.
Kids Ages 6-12
In addition to the list mentioned above, here are a few more things to do geared toward children ages 6-12:
- Eat, drink and play hundreds of games at Dave & Buster’s.
- Watch planes take off and land just feet from your table at Stearman Field Bar & Grill.
- Take aim at giant outfield targets or opt for miniature golf at Topgolf Wichita.
- Scale the rock wall at Bliss Climbing & Fitness.
- Go bowling or play in the arcade at The Alley Indoor Entertainment. Find more bowling fun at Northrock Lanes or West Acres Bowl.
- Go for a family bike ride with Bike Share ICT and explore downtown Wichita.
- Learn how to ice skate or play hockey at Wichita Ice Center.
- Have a blast swimming at Rock River Rapids water park (summer only).
- Try your hand at pickleball or any of Chicken N Pickle’s oversized yard games.
- Experience the inflatable slides, bouncers and more at Splash Aqua Park (summer only).
- Ride go-karts, play miniature golf and more at All Star Sports and All Star Adventures.
- Bike, walk, run or just enjoy some fresh air at Open Streets ICT (seasonal).
- During summer months, take a dip in one of the city’s six public pools.
- Hit the pizza buffet and then play games at Pizza Ranch’s Fun Zone Arcade.
- Learn about what life was like in Wichita in the late 1800s at Old Cowtown Museum.
- Explore Native American culture and heritage at the Mid-America All-Indian Museum.
- Did you know Pizza Hut was founded in Wichita? Visit The Original Pizza Hut Museum and learn all about the restaurant’s early years and reminisce with memorabilia.
- Train lovers will have a blast looking at the trains at the Great Plains Transportation Museum.
- Find half-price books plus DVDs, games and more at Book-A-Holic Bookstore (Northwest, Southeast and West locations).
- In October, immerse yourself in the Asian culture with the Wichita Asian Association’s annual Asian Festival.
- Enjoy affordable, action-packed basketball during a Wichita Sky Kings game at Charles Koch Arena (April-May).
- Love soccer? Experience it live with FC Wichita (May-July).
- Watch the indoor football action unfold at a Wichita Regulators game (March-May).
- Catch the Wichita State Shockers playing basketball, volleyball and more at Charles Koch Arena, softball at Wilkins Stadium and baseball at Eck Stadium.
- Experience the city’s professional hockey team, the Wichita Thunder, as they play at INTRUST Bank Arena (October through March).
- Catch minor league baseball action at Wichita’s beautiful Riverfront Stadium, home of the Wichita Wind Surge (regular season April-September). Don’t miss the in-park Wichita Baseball Museum with several hands-on stations.
- Have a good time watching the Wichita Wizards, Wichita’s Minor League Basketball Association (MLBA) team (April through June).
- Watch the NBC World Series each August, which has been around for nearly 90 years.
Kids Ages 12+
Kids 12 and older are more than welcome to enjoy any of the above activities – but if that list isn’t jam-packed with enough fun, here are a few more options geared toward older kids.
- Strike a pose and create beautiful memories together at The Selfie Spot on Douglas.
- Look at all the cool public art around the city – and be sure to have your camera ready!
- Learn to throw axes like a pro at Axe to Grind, Kiss My Axe! Throwing or Blade & Timber.
- Hang out and play video games while you enjoy a delicious meal at Headshots Bar & Grill.
- Kayak on the Arkansas River in downtown Wichita via Boats & Bikes (seasonal) or utilize one of Wichita Park & Recreation's self-service rentals. Find pricing and more details here.
- Zip around downtown Wichita with electric scooters.
- Shop local to find retro treasures or shop until you drop at Wichita’s many shopping centers.
- Sign up for an art or culinary class at Mark Arts and hone your artistic skills at CityArts. You’ll also find culinary classes at The Kitchen, Mark Arts as well as Viola’s Pantry and All Things Barbecue.
- Get creative at Rayer's Bearden Stained Glass, Senseney Music or Paint the Towne, Infinity Art Glass and Karg Art Glass.
- See Doc, one of only two air-worthy B-29 Superfortress aircraft left in the world at B-29 Doc Hangar & Education Center.
- Older kids might enjoy the live theater experience at Mosley Street Melodrama, where the audience becomes part of the shows. Subject matter is for older kids, recommended for ages 14 and over.
- See the first electric guitar, an original Jones VI automobile and learn about Wichita’s rich history at the Wichita-Sedgwick Co. Historical Museum.
- Get a taste of Broadway when Music Theatre Wichita brings live entertainment to Wichita.
- Discover the stories of influential African Americans in Kansas at The Kansas African American Museum.
- Observe Juneteenth in Wichita at the annual JuneteenthICT Weekend Celebration.
- See traveling Broadway shows when the American Theatre Guild brings productions to Wichita.
- More live theater can be enjoyed at Roxy’s Downtown, a cabaret-style theater in downtown Wichita.
- Learn to appreciate art at the Ulrich Museum of Art on Wichita’s State University’s beautiful campus, and be sure to explore the outdoor sculpture garden as well.
- Experience the ambiance of the late-night bazaars of Asia at Wichita’s Asian Night Market.
- See artifacts depicting Kansas’ firefighting history at the Kansas Firefighters Museum and Fallen Firefighters Memorial.
- Celebrate the history and culture of long ago at the Great Plains Renaissance & Scottish Festival (annual spring and fall events).
- A little more intense than soccer or football, the Wichita Barbarians RFC rugby club brings hardcore action to Harrison Park (September through November).
- Looking for hunting, fishing and other outdoor gear? Swing by Cabela’s or visit Wichita’s all-new SCHEELS (opening July 1).
Whether you are looking for sensory-friendly activities, special events, dining options or even more spots for family fun, Wichita is the perfect place for your family’s next vacation. Plan your trip today!