Memorial Day honors the men and women who died while serving in the United States military, and it’s also an important time for friends and family to gather. If you’re in Wichita this Memorial Day weekend, you’ll find exciting events, a variety of museums and attractions plus tons of great food in the Heart of the Country.

Find inspiration below for Memorial Day activities and events in Wichita.

A young mother and father enjoy a picnic with their young daughter and son at Botanica Wichita

Get Together

Memorial Day can be considered the unofficial start of summer – the kids are out of school and grown-ups are ready for a three-day weekend away from work. Everyone is itching to get outside, enjoy the early summer sun and maybe fire up the barbecue.

What you’re cooking matters, but so does what you’re cooking with. All Things Barbecue is Wichita's retail outdoor living destination, with a wide selection of grills, grill tools, barbecue sauces and seasonings, patio furniture and outdoor kitchens, plus cooking demos and education. Find more great seasonings and ingredients at The Spice Merchant. Area farmers markets including Kansas Grown Farmers MarketKansas Grown! Derby Farmers Market and Old Town Farm and Market are also great options for finding local goods.

Of course, you don’t have to do all the cooking yourself. Most Wichita barbecue joints cater holidays and parties, including local favorites B&C Barbeque Pub & Grill, Delano Barbeque CompanyStation 8 BBQ, Hog Wild Pit Bar-B-Q’s many locations (NorthSouthWestNorthwestEastSouth Rock) and Two Brothers BBQ - East and West.

Depending on the size of your guest list, a backyard cookout might not be in the cards. Luckily, Wichita is home to beautiful and spacious parks perfect for get-togethers with family and friends. Sedgwick County Park features several shelters–open and enclosed–and charcoal grills for rent. While the burgers are on the grill, family and friends can enjoy the park’s fishing docks, playgrounds and courts. O.J. Watson Park also offers shelters and grills, plus the new enclosed Seasons Venue, and is a great place for fishing, renting pedal boats and kayaks on the lake, enjoying the playgrounds or getting tickets for the miniature train ride, pony rides and miniature golf. Find other picnic spots.

A young boy makes a face at the camera while he shoots out of a water slide at Rock River Rapids

Explore Attractions

There are plenty of Wichita-area attractions, museums and restaurants to help you find things to do throughout Memorial Day weekend, and 19 of them are participating in the 2024 Sunflower Summer program. Brought to you by Kansas Tourism, the program allows all Kansas families with school-aged children free admission from May 25 to Aug. 11. That means FREE admission at 19 Wichita attractions all summer long! In total, there are 220-plus attractions and museums throughout the state participating in the program this year. Check out Kansas Tourism’s Sunflower Summer guide for details and the full list of participants.

Also, many Wichita museums are part of the Blue Star Museum program in which military members and their family members may visit the museum free of charge. It begins on Armed Forces Day (May 18) and ends on Labor Day (Sept. 2). Blue Star Museums in Wichita include Exploration Place, Kansas Aviation Museum, Old Cowtown MuseumWichita Art MuseumWichita-Sedgwick County Historical Museum and Botanica Wichita.

A new traveling exhibition at Exploration Place, “DC Super Heroes,” will open in time for the holiday weekend on May 24. You also won’t want to miss Sean Kenney’s “Nature Pop!” which will open May 18 at Botanica Wichita.

Wichita area outdoor water parks, pools and splash parks including the one at Tanganyika Wildlife Park will be opening for the summer season over Memorial Day weekend. Splash Aqua Park, an inflatable playground installed on a lake in south Wichita, will begin its summer season on May 25. Rock River Rapids, a full-service outdoor water park just south of Wichita, will open for the season Monday, May 27. Plus, indoor water park Blast Off Bay is open year-round!

The three members of the Bee Gee's are photographed together

See a Show

It’s opening weekend for several of Wichita’s performing arts troupes. Music Theatre Wichita will perform “Gypsy” May 22-26 at Century II Performing Arts and Convention Center, The Forum Theatre Company will feature “Stayin’ Alive” May 25-26 at the Wilke Center. There’s also “Bloomfield Carillon Concert” at the Wichita-Sedgwick Co. Historical Museum.

Catch a double feature at the Starlite Drive-In. Known best for its specialty carload pricing for special events, the Starlite Drive-In has been part of Wichita since 1953. Check their website for details on what’s being played on Memorial Day weekend.

Commemorate the Holiday

Memorial Day 2024 will be commemorated in Wichita at 11 a.m. on Monday, May 27 at the flag pavilion in Veterans Memorial Park. U.S. Army Veteran Sam Brent will be a guest speaker. There will also be a rifle detail from the Marine Corps League and a bugler will play the national anthem and taps for this free, public event. The 4.5-acre riverfront park sits between downtown Wichita and the Historic Delano District, near the Keeper of the Plains Plaza and the Museums on the River. The event typically lasts 45 minutes. Some seating is available but bringing your own chair is recommended.

A baseball player swings to hit a ball during a Wind Surge game at Riverfront StadiumPhoto credit: Timothy Larsen

Get in the Game

Head to Riverfront Stadium to see Wichita Wind Surge vs. San Antonio Missions May 21-26. Then, on May 28, the Surge kick off a four-day series against the Springfield Cardinals. Remember to stick around after Friday’s game for a fireworks show and bring the whole family out for an afternoon matinee baseball game on Sunday, complete with pre game catch on the field and an opportunity post game for kids to run the bases. Each game will feature the Wind Surge’s pregame Happy Hour with $5 domestic drafts (from gates open to first pitch). Gates usually open 60 minutes before first pitch. Check to confirm gate times for your specific game and find their full promotion schedule here.

Another sporting event to check out is the 2024 KSHSAA 4-1A Girls Soccer Championship, taking place May 24-25 at Stryker Sports Complex.

Other events on the Memorial Day weekend schedule:

Click here for the most up-to-date list of events you can expect if you plan to spend your Memorial Day weekend in Wichita this year.