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Things to Do in Wichita Kansas this Weekend

As the largest city in Kansas, Wichita has an impressive mix of history, nature, and western culture. Recently, the city has experienced a fresh wave of modernization, with unique landmarks, contemporary museums, and a revitalized community.

Downtown Wichita has emerged from an old western trading post into a vibrant city. With more than 33 museums, 22 attractions, eight shopping districts, 22 theaters, and year-round festivals, there's always plenty to do.

The city is also gaining notoriety as a foodie destination. More than 1,000 restaurants are in town, including a boom in creative farm-to-table options. Wichita's central location in the state makes it an easy place to reach by driving or flying, and the city center is only 10 minutes from the airport.

Here are some destinations you can do or visit while in Wichita, Kansas, on the weekends.

1. Keeper of the Plains

One of the most stunning and memorable sights in Wichita is the Keeper of the Plains, a 44-foot-tall steel statue that is most impressive at night. The statue stands on sacred ground where the rivers Big and Little Arkansas converge.

The plaza surrounding the statue has benches and a walkway for pedestrians. If you're visiting during the day, take time to check out the Mid-America All-Indian Centre, which has historical information on the area and statues.

The most memorable time to visit is at night, when you have the stunning backdrop of the Wichita sunset and the "Ring of Fire" nestled beneath the Keeper of the Plains statue.

2. Sedgwick County Zoo

The Sedgwick County Zoo is one of the top things to do in Wichita. It is home to more than 3,000 animals. Exploring the zoo is easy, as the animals are grouped together in geographically defined areas for several reasons.

The zoo allows you to get the best views of lowland and lowland gorillas in Africa; grizzly bears in North America; and the ever-entertaining penguins at Cessna Penguin Cove.

3. Botanica Wichita

Spring and summer are popular times to visit Botanica Wichita, when more than 150,000 tulips and daffodils color the gardens. This community garden in the heart of Wichita has more than 30 sections to explore.

Two of the most popular gardens are the Butterfly Pansy House, which showcases butterfly habitats, and Downing Children's Park, which has large, colorful sculptures among flowers, trees, and shrubs that engage children. During the holidays, Botanica Wichita is decorated with a million lights throughout the 18-acre garden.

4. The Museum of World Treasures

You can go on a scavenger hunt through history at the unique Museum of World Treasures. It is a collection of artifacts and information from ancient civilizations and countries around the world.

There are three floors that feel like a time capsule when you see Ivan the T. Rex (one of the museum's most popular exhibits), religious art from Asia, the exploration of royal dynasties, and Egyptian mummies. It's worth taking a look at the calendar of events to see if there are opportunities for coffee with a curator to suit your visit.

5. Tanganyika Wildlife Park

Tanganyika Wildlife Park is one of the more unique things to do in Wichita. The open spaces in the park allow you to enjoy wild animals such as lemurs, crocodiles, giraffes, and hundreds of other animals in their natural environment.

The park focuses on preservation and conservation, so you'll find encounters with these animals different from what you'll find at a zoo. Interactive experiences with animals range from sunset tours or swimming with penguins to behind-the-scenes encounters and painting experiences with baby leopards or other animals.

6. Century II Performing Arts Center

You can enjoy Wichita's rich cultural scene with a theater or symphony performance at the Century II Performing Arts Centre. Theaters, concert halls, and exhibition centers always have something on the calendar, from concerts to plays.

Take in a performance from the Wichita Symphony Orchestra or enjoy local talent during a performance from the Wichita Music Theatre. For a truly special experience, catch a performance by the Opera Grand Wichita, which often features international opera stars.

7. The Arkansas River Trail

The Arkansas River Path is a beautiful way to see downtown Wichita as you stroll or bike along the Arkansas River. This 3.6-mile paved trail follows the river and takes you past the All-American Indian Center, Cowtown, and the Keeper of the Plains statue.

You can download trail maps from the Wichita Parks and Recreation Department to your phone for easy navigation and to find parking spaces. This is one of more than 125 green parks and 26 miles of bike trails across the city if you want to spend some time outdoors during your stay.

Read also: The 7 Best Things to Do on Mackinac Island Michigan

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