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Wichita Story Ideas

Wichita offers a unique backdrop from its western heritage to its hip, urban artwork. Below you’ll find a list of story ideas and key items that makes Wichita the place to be.

Old Cowtown Museum

Western Heritage

Old Cowtown Museum offers visitors a living history experience as reenactors stroll among 26 historic buildings depicting life in Wichita in the 1870s. Used for commercials, television shows and movies, the museum injects you into the Wild West by awakening your senses through a frosty-cold sarsaparilla, gunfights in the street and other cowboy adventures. After your trip back in time, zoom back into modern times and refuel at Monarch or other eateries in the historic Delano District, which was once a hangout for cowboys in the late 1800s.


Air Capital of the World

About 35 percent of the world’s (and 48 percent of the United States’) general aviation aircraft are produced in Wichita. The Kansas Aviation Museum displays Wichita’s aviation history with exhibits like the B-47 and B-52 jet bombers. See one of only two airworthy Boeing B-29 Superfortress aircraft left in the world at the B-29 Doc Hangar & Education Center. Doc is a B-29 Superfortress and one of 1,644 manufactured in Wichita during World War II. Fly in or drive in for lunch at Stearman Field Bar & Grill in nearby Benton and rub elbows with fellow aviation enthusiasts. Stroll through the Wichita-Sedgwick County Historical Museum to learn about the city’s many aviation pioneers and leaders.

Sedgwick County Zoo

Wonderful Wildlife

The Sedgwick County Zoo is Kansas’ most popular outdoor attraction and the seventh-largest zoo in the country. Spend hours up-close-and-personal with tigers, gorillas, penguins and more than 3,000 other animals at this truly world-class facility. The remarkable Elephants of the Zambezi River Valley opened in 2016, showcasing the 3rd largest elephant exhibit in the country and the world’s largest elephant pool at 550,000 gallons.

Petting Lemurs at Tanganyika Wildlife Park

Tanganyika Wildlife Park

From ring-tailed lemurs to pygmy hippos, you can get up-close-and-personal with many rare animals at Tanganyika Wildlife Park. This exotic destination is located just 15 minutes west of the city and features some once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to interact with wildlife. You can even go behind-the-scenes with an okapi or sloth or swim with African penguins.

Keeper of the Plains with Lit Fire Pots

Keeper of the Plains

At the confluence of the of the Big and Little Arkansas Rivers – pronounced OUR-Kansas locally – see where Wichita was founded, and visit the iconic Keeper of the Plains. Watch for the nightly Ring of Fire, which happens between 9-9:15 p.m. (7-7:15 p.m. during fall/winter hours) when this 44-foot-tall monument is illuminated by fire pots.

Music Theatre Wichita presents Chicago

Arts & Culture

Wichita is a cultural hub with a variety of offerings, including the amazing sounds of the Wichita Symphony Orchestra, and the unmatched performances of Wichita Grand Opera, one of only 110 operas in the country. Bursting with talent, there are Music Theatre Wichita alumni in nearly every Broadway production currently running. Plus, you can see comedic and musical live shows at Roxy’s Downtown and Mosley Street Melodrama. Wichita’s rich culture can be experienced at attractions like the Mid-America All-Indian Museum and The Kansas African American Museum.

Pizza Hut Museum exterior

Worldly Museums

Nowhere else in the world can you see The Original Pizza Hut Museum, admire the one of the most complete Tyrannosaurus rex in the country and see one of the finest collections of early 20th century art. You can spend days visiting Wichita’s museums that span from Wichita’s Wild West roots to its technologically advanced aviation heritage.

Larkspur Patio

A Foodie's Dream

In a town where hummus is as popular as potato salad, Wichita is home to an incredible selection of international restaurants, fine-dining, award-winning food trucks, coffee shops, breweries and more. Spend a weekend trying authentic Mexican cuisine, delicious Mediterranean dishes, fresh Vietnamese pho and locally raised beef. You’ll leave blown away by Wichita’s more than 1,000 restaurants taking you on a trip around the world without leaving city limits.

What’s New in Wichita

Wichita is ever evolving and welcoming new features, businesses and restaurants. Below you’ll find a list of the latest gems in the city.

Big Developments

A photo of the exterior or Niche


Classes began in January 2023 at WSU Tech's new downtown culinary school, NICHE. Located inside a 63,000-square-foot former Henry's department store building, the National Institute of Culinary and Hospitality Education (NICHE) has five culinary lab kitchens, including one pastry kitchen, a banquet kitchen, a chocolate room, two classrooms, a student lounge and a conference room. There will also be a food hall on the first floor that will be open to the public for dining and educational purposes. The first restaurant to open as a part of NICHE is Jinya Ramen Bar. The second is Envision Bistro. In partnership with Envision, a nonprofit organization in Wichita that serves the blind and visually impaired, the school will have a culinary pilot program for the blind and visually impaired.

Another unique feature will be the Cargill Culinary theater on the mezzanine, complete with a green room for celebrity chefs who visit. The building, built in 1948, will also have a rooftop event space with an indoor and outdoor component. See more projects planned for downtown Wichita here.

Cessna Stadium

The sports stadium on the campus of Wichita State University (WSU), Cessna Stadium, is being renovated. Currently in the first phase of construction, the renovations will turn the stadium into a state-of-the-art home for WSU athletic and community events such as the Kansas State High School Track and Field Championship. When complete, capacity will be 13,500. Find more details here.

Patrons play pinball games at The Arcade

Museums and Attractions

Envision Art Gallery and Engagement Center – The first national gallery primarily for artists with vision loss, championing art accessibility opened in downtown Wichita in January 2022. 

Sedgwick County Zoo – 2022 ushered in Stingray Cove, a ferret exhibit and an electric train takes visitors 1.3 miles around the zoo’s perimeter.

The Sandbox – A new volleyball, cornhole and pickleball complex is now open in Derby, a suburb southeast of Wichita. It features eight sand volleyball courts, five outdoor and four indoor pickleball courts, cornhole area and yard games, all covered by a 65,000-square-foot dome during the winter months to allow year around play. In addition to the restaurant, which has retractable doors, you will also find a large rooftop deck with a full bar, variety of beers on tap and an outdoor fireplace. 

Topgolf Wichita – In December 2022, Wichita welcomed Dallas-based Topgolf to Greenwich Place – a popular entertainment, shopping and dining area in east Wichita. It features 52 outdoor (but climate controlled) hitting bays spread throughout two levels. Additionally, visitors to the entertainment venue will find a nine-hole miniature golf course, a full-service restaurant and bar, music, family-friendly programs, an outdoor patio, private event rooms and more.

Wichita Baseball Museum – Opening its doors in summer 2022, the Wichita Baseball Museum at Riverfront Stadium features trivia and historical artifacts showcasing Wichita’s baseball history.

Blast Off Bay – This attraction that opened in 2023 includes an indoor water park, arcade, swim up bar, surf machine and more. An all-new Hampton Inn is also located on the attraction grounds.

Exploration Place – A five-year strategic plan has been created to capitalize on Exploration Place’s location along the Arkansas River in downtown Wichita. In 2022, the science center received a $1.3 million Economic Development Administration grant to create an outdoor riverfront park on the six acres on the southeast side of their campus.

Kansas Aviation Museum – As a result of its first capital campaign in more than a decade, the Kansas Aviation Museum plans to add a new theater and three new exhibits, one of which is complete. The Rip Gooch Black Aviators exhibit opened in 2023 and honors Rip Gooch and other Black aviators. The other two exhibits coming soon are Welcome to Wichita, an all-new section highlighting the story of the building from 1935-1954, including celebrities who visited and an expanded Kansas Aviation Hall of Fame.

Old Cowtown Museum – An exhibit that has been in the making since 2018 opened this year at Old Cowtown Museum. The exhibit features a unique part of the museum's collection that includes buggies and wagons and is often referred to as its "rolling stock."

Scheels – The sporting goods giant opened in July 2023 at Towne East Square. It includes a store and entertainment attractions within its 222,000 square-foot space. Additionally, Towne East Square recently completed a multi-million-dollar interior and exterior makeover.

The Kansas African American Museum (TKAAM) – In celebration of its 25th anniversary in 2022, TKAAM launched a $6 million capital campaign to fund a new home for the museum in downtown Wichita. The new location at 201 North Main will provide twice the space for programming, exhibition and research compared to the museum’s current home.

Tanganyika Wildlife Park – Construction is underway on a Safari Barn, which will be the new home of the park’s rhinos, giraffes, bongo, sable antelope and others.

The Arcade – This attraction, featuring an amazing collection of retro arcade games, recently expanded into a new space, which was an old warehouse that the owners have completely rebuilt. The expansion allows for food service and has four times the indoor space as the original plus two private party rooms and a 2,200 square foot outdoor space for patrons to enjoy.

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