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.
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 Ulrich Museum of Art was established in 1974 and is named after New York businessman Edwin A. Ulrich, who donated over 300 paintings by Frederick Judd Waugh to the museum. The museum has a striking appearance on the outside and houses two galleries. The Martin H. Bush Outdoor Sculpture Collection has over 70 statues. These include the works of eminent artists like Luis Jiménez, Henry Moore, Louise Nevelson and others. The museum provides free guided tours.
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.