At the meeting point of the Big and Little Arkansas rivers is a weathered steel statue by American Indian sculptor, Blackbear Bosin. The Keeper of the Plains was installed in 1974 to celebrate the nation's bicentennial. Standing tall at 44 feet (13.41 meters), it is set on a huge headland and is considered a sacred site by the Native American tribes. Encircling it is a plaza with many displays, describing the lives of local American Indians who dwelt here. There are walking bridges to access the area. Fire drums on bluffs at the foot of the sculpture light almost every night, giving a dramatic effect to its surroundings.
This unique theater takes you back in time to an era where drive-ins ruled the country. At Starlite Drive-In, you can enjoy the latest Hollywood blockbusters from the comfort of your own car. They usually offer a good selection of kids' movies, making this a great spot for a family outing. Add some snacks and soda into the mix and you've got a great night ahead of you.
Featuring several lakes where you can fish, Sedgwick County State Park is a must-visit for fishing aficionados. Even if fishing isn't your thing, there's plenty to do for the whole family. Hike or bike along a trail, taking in the sights of wildlife. If you're into sports, head to the softball field or basketball court for a game. In the winter, the sledding hill is tons of fun!
Opened in 1987, these gardens were a collaboration between the Wichita Area Garden Council and the City of Wichita. They include an aquatic collection, butterfly garden, a butterfly house, greenhouse for tropical plants, a rock garden, a rose garden, a sensory garden, a Shakespearean garden, and more. They opened a children's garden in 2011 that features several themed areas for kids.
The Wichita Art Museum is one of the largest art museums in all of Kansas. Established in 1935, it has a sterling collection of American art. The art collection of approximately 7,000 works spanning over three centuries includes sculptures, paintings, and decorative arts. It boasts works by illustrious artists like Mary Cassat, Winslow Homer, and many more. Established in 1935, the museum has a unique area known as The Living Room where visitors can try their hand at creating their own art. The museum also features a cafe and a store where gift items made by local artists are available.
Feel like you've traveled back in time at this museum, where costumed actors recreate the lifestyle of a cattle town from the 1870s. This sprawling museum is designed as a working town complete with residential houses, an industrial area, a farm and various other elements that comprised a town back in the day. Well thought-out re-enactments of scenes from daily life make this an interesting attraction for kids as well as adults. The Hunter Area, Drovers Camp, DeVore Farm and the Industrial Area are some of the prominent living exhibits of the museum. In addition to this, the Empire Hall showcases an extensive collection of historical artifacts. The gift shop on site has unique souvenirs and tours are available.
The Kansas African American Museum is a historical museum, dedicated to the lives, ordeals and experiences of the African-American community in the State of Kansas. The building was first built in 1917 as the Calvary Baptist Church, which was considered to be the cornerstone and an important landmark of Wichita's African-American community. In 1972, the church was relocated and the first National Black Historical Society was set up to safeguard the historical building. In 1993, the building was added to the National Register of Historical Places and by 1997, it was renamed the Kansas African American Museum. This museum is especially renowned for its annual celebrations and events, including the Cranford Village Celebration, Doris Kerr Larkins Brunch and Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration.
Located in the Veterans Memorial Park, the Operation Freedom Memorial honors the memory and sacrifices made by several soldiers of United States' Armed Forces who fought bravely and perished in terrorist attacks and combats. A tribute to the memory of 90 soldiers from Kansas who fell in Iraq and Afghanistan, the marble monument was completed in 2014.
The Century II Performing Arts & Convention Center is notable not only for its architecture - this round building is easy to pick out in the Wichita skyline - but also for the quality of performances that grace the stages here and the facilities it has available for conventions, trade shows, and meetings. Featuring 200,000 square feet (18,580 square meters) of convention space, this is a great option for large-scale events.
Douglas Avenue is one of the main streets in Wichita. Walk along the street and you'll see numerous sculptures. There are businesses all around, including restaurants and shops. Stop in one of the museums or galleries to see works from local artists. Whether you're looking to shop for some gently used clothes at thrift stores, enjoy a cup of coffee, or just take a nice stroll, Douglas Avenue is a great option.
Learn about Wichita's history, as well as that of the surrounding area at The Wichita-Sedgwick County Historical Museum. Over four floors of exhibits, you'll discover interesting facts about the city from past centuries. "The Spirit of Wichita" is an exhibit showcasing the history if the city through the early 20th Century, including the Dust Bowl. Located in a building that once served as city hall, this attraction is steeped in history - a must visit for anyone hoping to learn about the area's rich past.
The Great Plains Transportation Museum consists of two levels. Downstairs, at the gift shop, you'll be able to get t-shirts, collectibles, books, toys, and other items relating to transportation. Upstairs, the exhibits include railroad artifacts, signs, and other memorabilia. By far the most popular attraction is the collection of antique locomotives outside. Kids and adults can actually explore inside the locomotives, seeing all the controls and machinery. Employees are knowledgeable and will be able to answer your questions about the exhibits.