Western Heritage - The 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, TV shows and movies, Old Cowtown Museum injects you into the Wild West with experiences like frosty-cold sarsaparilla, shoot-outs and other cowboy adventures from Wichita's past.
Air Capital of the World - Approximately 35 percent of the world’s (48 percent of the U.S.) general aviation aircraft are produced in Wichita. The Kansas Aviation Museum displays Wichita's aviation history including a B-47 and a B-52 jet bomber. Fly in or drive in for lunch at Stearman Field Bar & Grill and rub elbows with fellow aviation enthusiasts. Stroll through the Wichita-Sedgwick County Historical Museum to ooh and ah over Wichita’s many aviation pioneers and leaders. Then, cool off with a craft beer at Aero Plains Brewing.
World-class Zoo - The Sedgwick County Zoo is Kansas' most popular outdoor attraction, and it's the seventh-largest zoo in the United States! Spend hours up close and personal to 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.
Keeper of the Plains - At the confluence of the Big and Little Arkansas River - pronounced OUR-Kansas locally - see where Wichita was founded and visit the iconic Keeper of the Plains. The area represents the circle of life every night between 9 and 9:15 p.m. (or 7 p.m. during fall/winter hours) when the 40-foot-tall statue is illuminated by the Ring of Fire. When you visit the Keeper of the Plains, you'll see why it's one of the most photographed locations in Wichita.
Worldly Museums - Nowhere else in the world can you feed ring-tailed lemurs by hand, admire the third-most-complete tyrannosaurus rex on display and see one of the finest collections of early 20th-century art. You could spend days visiting Wichita's 33 museums that span from Wichita's Wild West roots to its technologically advanced aviation heritage.
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 and award-winning food trucks. Spend a weekend trying authentic Mexican, delicious Mediterranean, fresh Vietnamese pho and locally-raised beef. You'll leave blown away by Wichita's selection of more than 1,000 restaurants.
Booming Brewery Scene
In a matter of only a couple of years, Wichita breweries have grown from two breweries to 10, with a high concentration in the city’s core.
Wichita has evolved into a vibrant, multicultural city, with many new eateries, shops, breweries and outdoor spaces like the ICT Pop-Up Park, an urban park in downtown Wichita and regular gathering spot for food trucks, and Gallery Alley, a once under-utilized alley turned lively public space. Final Fridays are a way to experience the local art scene, which earned Wichita a spot in Expedia’s list of Most Artistic Towns in the United States. Additionally, expansion of the city’s free Q-Line Trolley and Bike Share ICT have ignited vibrancy into downtown and popular districts Historic Delano, Old Town and Douglas Design District.
With more than 21 years of entrepreneurial experience, co-founders Matt Baysinger and Ryan Henrich built Blade & Timber upon their passion for bringing people together through remarkable, interactive experiences. Matt and Ryan opened Blade & Timber as Kansas City’s first and only axe throwing experience in 2017. Propelled by Blade & Timber’s instant popularity, the duo brought Blade & Timber’s high-quality axe throwing experience to Wichita’s historic Delano District in fall 2018.
A new museum highlighting the success story of Pizza Hut is located on Wichita State University’s (WSU) Innovation Campus. Brothers and WSU students, Dan and Frank Carney, founded the pizza chain in Wichita. The company’s original building is now a museum, providing inspiration for future generations of entrepreneurs.
Families can now experience Field Station: Dinosaurs, which offers a trip back to prehistoric times when dinosaurs roamed the earth. Kids can enjoy dozens of activities and performances while learning about both sea and land creatures from different periods. They can even dig up their own fossils at the largest, animatronic dinosaur park in North America.
The all-new permanent exhibit at Exploration Place, Design Build Fly, is the only exhibit in the country where families can learn what it takes to create an aircraft – made possible by tapping into aerospace experts and resources in Wichita, known as the Air Capital of the World for its innovation and manufacturing aptitude in the aviation industry. Iconic aviation brands Beechcraft, Cessna and Stearman were born in Wichita; and modern-day Airbus Americas, Bombardier, Spirit Aerosystems and Textron Aviation now design and manufacture aircraft and aircraft parts in the city. The current traveling exhibit is Toytopia.
Nov. 23 – Dec. 31, 2018
Enter a true winter wonderland with a stroll through Kansas' most grand Christmas light display. Botanica's Illuminations features more than one million lights glittering throughout the garden. Head there on New Year's and experience fireworks at 8 p.m.
Exploration Place celebrates the holidays in a miniature way through a beautifully-crafted gingerbread village. For a hands-on experience, decorate your own gingerbread house as creators work to build the much-larger village. While you’re there, check out the Kansas in Miniature Holiday Show, as a popular exhibit is decked out in 1950s holidays flare, equipped with holiday music and pure nostalgia.
For other holiday music options, Wichita Symphony Orchestra will feature a variety of Christmas performances. Whether you’re a Wichita Native or just visiting, let Maestro Daniel Hege and Wichita Symphony guide you to a musical world you might’ve never dreamed possible. The orchestra was founded in 1944 and is one of the oldest and most active arts organizations in Kansas.
Nov. 23 – Dec. 28, 2018
The Prairie Rose Chuckwagon transforms into a Christmas wonderland right after Thanksgiving through late December, providing an old-fashioned Christmas gathering place for businesses and families as well as church and civic groups.
Nov. 16 – Dec. 21, 2018
Join the fun at Field Station: Dinosaurs as their prehistoric friends prepare for a hilarious, unforgettable holiday celebration, where triceratops glisten and children listen to hear T-Rex in the snow. At Holly Jolly Jurassic Holiday, families will marvel at a one-of-a-kind exhibition and light show with 44 life-sized Dinosaurs wrapping gifts, decorating trees and kissing beneath the mistletoe. For seven weeks only, the Field Station will become a sparkling mesozoic winter Wonderland where laughing, learning and holiday cheer go hand-in-hand-in-hand.
Dec. 7-8 and Dec. 14-15
This annual season celebration is sure to bring joy to the whole family. Enjoy period decorations, wagon rides, singing, crafts, cookies, hot chocolate and even buy some Christmas gifts at Old Cowtown Museum.