Summer Road Trip: Visit Wichita!

We have partnered with Visit Wichita to highlight what Wichita, Kansas has to offer for a weekend getaway. However, all opinions are those of the writer.

When planning our summer, we were looking for easy road trips. We did our big family vacation in February so we needed something with an easy car ride from KC, plenty of toddler activities, hotel with suite options for our family of five and food choices beyond grilled cheese and chicken nuggets.

We’ve done St. Louis and Omaha but Wichita as a weekend road trip was really never on our radar. But man, we were missing out! Wichita is just under three hours and fit everything on our checklist for an easy, fun summer weekend.

Must-see attractions

Botanica – The Wichita Gardens 
This was AMAZING and definitely one of the weekend highlights! The Downing Children’s Garden kept our littles busy and happy climbing in the creek and treehouse, water plants, playing house, exploring nature and chasing a centipede. 

As per usual for our family, we headed to the zoo. The Sedgwick County Zoo is the seventh-largest zoo in the country! We loved the new elephant exhibit and world’s largest elephant pool. We spent a majority of our time watching the gorillas. The zoo had a unique feel with lots of natural landscaping.

Tanganyika Wildlife Park
My kids can now say they fed giraffes and lemurs, pet a kangaroo and rode a camel. This attraction 15 minutes from downtown Wichita is a private zoo with rare animals and one of a kind animal encounters. If it weren’t for nap time, we would have stayed all day.

Exploration Place
We headed straight to the preschool area with a Kansas theme where my littles played and played. We also explored the three-story castle where kids can practicing ruling somewhere else beyond their own house.   

Keeper of the Plains
The Keeper of the Plains is a 44-foot tall steel sculpture standing at the point where the Big and Little Arkansas rivers join together in downtown Wichita. It’s a great photo opportunity and beautiful walk day or night.

Restaurant Recommendations

Yo-B Yogurt & Burgers in Wichita’s Old Town DistrictThe kids had fun dancing around the modern decor and peppy music before devouring burgers and fries topped off with self-serve frozen yogurt. 

Ziggy’s Pizza 
Ziggy’s is a locally-owned neighborhood pizza store located in the heart of Wichita’s College Hill neighborhood. After dinner, we walked to the College Hill Deli a few blocks away to take a photo at the community mural.

Egg Crate Café 
Egg Crate Café made some darn good French toast and any classic breakfast item you desire. Plus, it left us full through mid-afternoon.  

Old Mill Tasty Shop
Everybody loved this stop and the charming soda fountain atmosphere. Tasty malts and even a peanut butter and honey sandwich on the kids menu.

Hurts Donuts 
Besides the giggle-worthy name, the donuts were tasty and the laid-back atmosphere allowed us to get some energy out before starting the ride back home.

Since we visited in early June, we were able to take in Wichita’s Riverfest, which is Kansas’ largest and longest running festival. We had a blast at the Sundown Parade, hanging out in the kids area with many a bouncy house to choose from and introducing the kids to fresh squeezed lemonade and food on a stick. 

We stayed at the SpringHill Suites by Marriott Wichita Airport, which gave us enough space for our family of five and enough separation that allowed for a good afternoon nap when needed it.

There’s still summer left – consider a trip to Wichita for a quick weekend away. Go to Visit Wichita for tools to plan an itinerary perfect for your family.

Sarah is mama to 8-year-old, Henry, 5-year-old Clark and 3-year-old Lucy. After growing up in Manhattan, Kansas (Go Cats!), she moved to Minnesota where she met her husband, Shea. Realizing how much she hated snow in May, she convinced him to move to Kansas City in 2010. Together they have lived in Midtown, Waldo, the Plaza before migrating to Johnson County. Sarah has her master’s in urban administration and works part-time as a content strategist. In between the crazy, she likes to try new restaurants, go for walks around the neighborhood, dig in the sand at Franklin Park and experience all things KC.