22 Best Things To Do in Kansas Everyone Will Love

Welcome to the sweeping plains of the Sunflower State, a.k.a. the great state of Kansas. You no doubt think of a certain red-heeled gal running through Oz when you hear the name, but there’s so much more to Kansas than twisters and Toto!

Kansas resides in the American Heartland. The state has seen many historical events, from the flights of Amelia Earhart to the opening of the first Pizza Hut! In Kansas, you’ll discover the beauty of the American prairie, the culture of Americana, and the fun of big cities and small towns – in short, you’ll never run out of things to do in Kansas!

Ready to explore this great state? Here are 22 things to do in Kansas that you’re going to love.

22 Best Things To Do in Kansas Everyone Will Love
This intricately massive sculpture of Buffalo Bill Cody can be found on Kansas’ Western Vistas Historic Byway in Oakley, Kansas. Photo courtesy of Kansas Tourims


Located in Kansas’ largest city, Wichita, the Sedgwick County Zoo brings the world’s wilds to the American prairies. The Sedgwick County Zoo is one of the best in the world, noted for its efforts in conserving rare and endangered animals.

A visit to the Sedgwick County Zoo is an all-day trip. Trust me — you’ll want to spend hours exploring every inch of the zoo, from the Slawson Family Asian Big Cat Track, where tigers prowl, to the Children’s Farm, where kids visit with water buffalos, cows, and domestic animals. 

The zoo also hosts periodic special events throughout the year, including the Zoobilee fundraiser and the always popular “Boo At The Zoo” Halloween event. Check out the zoo’s calendar for upcoming events and book your tickets early; they’re sure to sell out quickly!



Before the American Heartland became a patchwork quilt of farms, it was a vast carpet of swaying tallgrass. Over 170 million acres of tallgrass prairie once covered the American plains, but today only 4% remains – and most of it grows in the Kansas Flint Hills.

In 1996, the U.S. government moved to protect the dying ecosystem of the prairie, creating the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve. Today, nearly 11,000 acres of prairie grass grow unabated in the preserve. Sheltered in the grass are wildflowers, humming bees, bison herds, and a historic ranch waiting for you. 

While visiting the preserve, wear hiking gear and sunblock, and bring plenty of water! The preserve has several nature trails, fishing ponds, and bison viewing on the Scenic Overlook Trail. Picnic areas and a visitor’s center provide a space to relax and rest after your outdoor fun. After your visit, you can find additional amenities in Strong City and Council Grove.


The Wichita Art Museum has a longstanding reputation for sharing culture and artistic expression with the people of Kansas. Founded in 1935, the museum has one of the most extensive art collections in the Midwest. 

The Wichita Art Museum, known fondly as WAM by locals, has something new waiting for every visit. While the museum has a permanent collection, the stars of the museum are the Special Exhibitions that feature niche pieces and genres, like Art Deco and Greek pottery. Check out the museum’s website to find out what it’s currently displaying. 



Another one of Kansas’ museums that will wow every visitor is Exploration Place. This fantastic attraction takes science and fun and turns them into an exploration and discovery museum. While the museum is kid-focused, there’s plenty of fun for parents and guardians too.

It’s not often that you find a museum with live science shows and a movie theater under the same roof. However, Exploration Place has both, with its state-of-the-art Digital Dome Theater and Planetarium providing 360-degree views of Everest, Mars, and more. At the science shows, you’ll watch the experts dabble in chemical reactions, the laws of physics, and the occasional science joke!

Of course, the real fun is in the exhibits, where kids learn about everything from the human body in a giant game of ‘Operation’ to the science of airplanes and flight. Plan on spending several hours here. We promise, every minute will be worth it!


Speaking of airplanes and flight, Kansas is home to some of the biggest names in aeronautics, but perhaps their biggest high-flying celebrity is the one and only Amelia Earhart. Earhart was born and raised in the Sunflower State, and her childhood home still stands today.

The small Gothic Revival cottage resides in Atchison, KS, on a small hill overlooking the rolling currents of the Missouri River. The home operates as a museum commemorating and sharing the legacy of Amelia Earhart with the world.

A visit to the Amelia Earhart Birthplace Museum takes you back to the early 20th Century. You’ll see artifacts from Amelia’s childhood on tour, and if you choose to take a guided tour, your guide will share unique facts about the famous aviator. Swing by the gift shop on your way out so you can remember the experience!


On the shores of Lake Wilson, the reservoir awaits Kansas’ premier state park. Wilson State Park has some of the best lakeside scenery in the entire state. The park is divided into two distinct areas, Hell Creek and Otoe, each offering a variety of activities. 

In Wilson State Park, you can get your taste of water activities, whether fishing, water skiing, boating, or swimming. If water isn’t your thing, biking, hiking, and hunting are options offered inland. You can also camp in the park in one of the many campgrounds or rent a cabin.


Kansas has an attraction sure to help “speed” you into a fun day. It’s called the Kansas Speedway, and here, the adrenaline of NASCAR fills every visitor’s veins. 

The Kansas Speedway hosts two NASCAR weekends during the season, but they aren’t the only thing going down on the track. Major NASCAR fans enjoy camping at the Speedway or getting up close to the racers during a Pre-Race Concert.   


The University of Kansas has a fantastic collection of art held in its Spencer Museum of Art. The museum has galleries dedicated to artwork from throughout history. Over 100,000 visitors come to the museum a year to peruse the 47,000 artifacts and artwork pieces on display here.

Note that the Spencer Museum of Art only allows visitors Tuesday through Sunday. Its exhibitions range from the Debut, a gallery showcasing items never displayed at the museum before, to exhibits on the Silk Road. In addition, the museum frequently hosts talks, special presentations, and other activities, so check their calendar out to see what’s happening before you go!


Discover space, science, and adventure at the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center! In 1962, Patty Carey set up a makeshift planetarium on the Kansas Fairgrounds – one of the first planetariums to open in the United States. By 1980, Carey’s planetarium had grown into a 35,000-foot campus featuring a planetarium, IMAX dome theater, and a museum. 

Today, the Cosmosphere offers families a chance to dive into outer space and aerospace science. You’ll spend hours exploring the exhibits on rockets, planes, and spaceflight, catching a spaceship to Mars in the planetarium, and enjoying snacks at the Cosmo Cafe!


In the heart of Wichita, Kansas, a paradise known as Botanica blooms. The gardens of Botanica cover over 18 acres in lush landscaping and colorful flower beds, with over 4,000 plant species on display in the gardens.

You can expect to find plenty of unique landscaping, sculptures, and water features during your walk through the gardens. I recommend picking a few gardens to stroll through before picnicking or grabbing snacks at the concession stands. 

Visitors to the gardens can explore 28 distinctive gardens and features, each with its own beauty and personality. For families, the Water Well Education Garden, Downing Children’s Garden, and the Butterfly Pavilion offer hands-on, educational activities.

The Koch Carousel Gardens have a historic carousel the kids can ride, and it’s a perfect photo op for capturing memories! If you want to escape to another time and place, check out the Chinese Garden of Friendship, where Chinese pavilions and the “Thousand Foot Bridge” evoke the beauty of Asia. 



Kansans view their state capitol building as one of their most prized architectural achievements and the center of their government. The towering building, with its copper dome roof and Roman columns, took over three decades to build!

At the Visitor Center, you’ll learn that the Kansas State Capitol is one of the few state capitols still offering tours up to its impressive dome, which stands taller than the U.S. Capitol in Washington D.C. During the guided or self-guided tour through the building, you’ll discover intricately carved statues, painted murals, and stained glass depicting events of Kansas history. It’s a must-see for anyone interested in history or architecture.


On May 17, 1954, the United States Supreme Court declared segregated schools unconstitutional after hearing the landmark case of Brown v. Board of Education. However, it was not until 1992 that the Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site was named to commemorate the historic event.

Monroe Elementary School stands on a manicured lawn surrounded by tall trees. It may seem unassuming now, but the brick building once held one of the segregated elementary schools in Topeka, Kansas. 

Today, the grounds hold a playground, picnic table, and access to the Landon Nature Trail that crosses both the Santa Fe and Oregon Trails. Inside the school, exhibits on segregation and the legacy of Brown v. Board of Education educate visitors on an essential part of American history. The site is open for indoor visits Tuesday through Saturday, with the grounds available for public enjoyment year-round.


There was a time when Wichita, Kansas, was better known by the moniker “Cowtown.” Back in its heyday, Wichita was one of the main stops along the cattle drive routes in the Midwest. Today, visitors can get a taste of the Old West and cattle driving life at the Old Cowtown Museum.

The Old Cowtown Museum comprises historical reproductions and genuine buildings from 1860 to the 1880s, including a farm, Trapper’s Cabin, and even a saloon. Inside the buildings are over 10,000 historic artifacts detailing the life and times of Old Cowtown. 

Keep in mind that visits to the Old Cowtown Museum take about two hours if you plan to speak with any of the historical re-enactors and partake in snacks at the saloon.



The Flint Hills of Kansas is home to the previously discussed Tallgrass National Prairie Reserve and four other prairie grass preserves. At the Flint Hills Discovery Center, the whole family can learn about the history and preservation of the Flint Hills and the prairie grass ecosystems it protects.

The Discovery Center has two floors full of exhibits that teach parents and kids about geology, animals, and plant life that reside in the Flint Hills. It also has a theater that shows educational films on Flint Hills, a play center, and an outdoor garden terrace and trail.


The University of Kansas has a remarkable museum on its campus that shares the natural history and wonders of the region with its visitors. The Natural History Museum at KU has exhibits on everything from dinosaurs to live honey bees and snakes.

The University of Kansas Natural History Museum takes an interactive approach to science. Kids can participate in scavenger hunts, explore how bugs eat at “Grub’s Diner,” and touch fossils from thousands of years ago at the Paleo Garden.


It’s traditional for a former president to open a library after retiring from the White House. In the case of Dwight D. Eisenhower, that library resides in his childhood town of Abilene, KS. 

The Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library includes a museum, the boyhood home of Eisenhower, a meditation garden, and the library itself on its grounds. You’ll learn about Eisenhower’s life and legacy as president at the museum and house. 


Located in Salinas, KS, the Rolling Hills Zoo has plenty of wild fun for everyone! This unique attraction has over 100 species of animals living in the zoo and a museum displaying creatures of the Animal Kingdom on its grounds.

One of the best parts of the Rolling Hills Zoo is its special events. Visitors can sign up to have breakfast with lemurs, rhinos, and other zoo animals during the Safari Breakfast experience. 

The Rolling Hills Zoo has a ton of amenities to make your visit easier. It offers tram rides, stroller parking, a dog kennel service, and picnic areas and restaurants. Between the zoo and the museum, you’ll have a busy day ahead of you!


Take a trip back in time at the Boot Hill Museum, where the history of the Old West and Dodge City come to life.

The museum, named after the Boot Hill Cemetery on its grounds, has one of the best interactive Old West experiences around. The museum is actually more of a historical reenactment, with several buildings from the Old West, dressed-up actors, and guided tours available 362 days a year. 

At Boot Hill Museum, you can mosey over to the saloon for an ice-cold Sarsaparilla Soda, explore over 20,000 Old West artifacts, and tour the Kansas Cowboy Hall of Fame. The museum becomes a hive of activity during the summer to celebrate Dodge City Days, an annual celebration of Dodge City’s Old West past. But, if you aren’t visiting Dodge City in July or August, never fear; the Boot Hill Museum is worth visiting any time of the year!


Grab your ruby slippers and get ready to explore the world’s largest collection of Wizard of Oz memorabilia. The Oz Museum resides in Wamego, KS, and has over 25,000 Oz artifacts spanning the books and films from author L. Frank Baum’s fantasy world.

The museum features hand jeweled ruby slippers created to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the MGM film, autographed movie and Broadway posters, movie production notes, and more. You’ll feel transported to Oz the moment you step into the museum!


NFL fans know that the Kansas City Chiefs have a fantastic stadium at their disposal during football season. Arrowhead Stadium resides in Kansas City, Missouri, but the Chiefs have a massive following in its sister city of Kansas City, Kansas.

Visiting Arrowhead Stadium to catch the Chiefs play is a six-minute drive from the Kansas City, KS border.

On another note, Kansas City, KS is home to Sporting KC and is considered the soccer capital of the US! Make sure to catch one of their matches at Children’s Mercy Park.


At the Museum of World Treasures, visitors can explore the mysteries of the ancient past, the stories of American presidents, and the magnificent fossils of dinosaurs all under the same roof. The Museum of World Treasures opened in 2001, and in the last two decades, it has inspired wonder in everyone who visits it. 

Some of the treasures on display at the museum include a piece of the Berlin Wall, ancient Greek pottery, and a WWI trench. The museum also offers guided group tours, scavenger hunts, and a museum-driven escape room in addition to their educational exhibits. 

A visit here is absolutely one of the best things to do in Kansas!


On the plains of Kansas, gorgeous sculptures created by Mother Nature rise to 70 feet off the ground. They are the Monument Rocks Natural Landmark, a group of large chalk formations that form arches, buttresses, and bridges that resemble a castle.

The grounds surrounding Monument Rocks Natural Landmark are privately owned; however, visitors can explore the landmark during daytime hours.

The rocks have apt names like “Eye of the Needle” and “Charlie the Dog,” given based on their shapes. In addition, many of the formations have fossils embedded in their walls. The rocks are a quiet place, perfect for a peaceful time taking in nature.


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