VISIT WICHITA

My family and I had the best weekend! We went to Wichita, KS — just a short drive (less than three hours for us) from Kansas City. I’d be lying I if I said I wasn’t exhausted. I’m BEAT! But, so worth it because we did so many fun things in a short amount of time. If you want to ‘steal’ our itinerary, here ya go! Everything you need to know for a fantastic, affordable weekend getaway with the fam…

Friday

We left KC late Friday afternoon and checked into our hotel. A VERY family friendly hotel, I might add. I DID have to sign a ‘no parties allowed’ waiver. I laughed with the front desk attendant about that and assured her with a six and eight year old, there would be no partying! She nodded her head and told me it had more to do with their ‘no glitter, no confetti’ policy!

We stayed at the Hotel at WaterWalk in a ‘Suite Loft’ — which I would recommend if you’re traveling with little ones. We had a little kitchen and living room area. The kids stayed downstairs in a double bed with their own bathroom. Matthew and I stayed upstairs in a king with our own bathroom. It was nice having a little more space than a typical hotel room situation. Cleanliness is key for me and I had zero problems!

I love how my kids make themselves totally at home in hotels. Notice Miles fully decorated his night table with all of his goods!

I love how my kids make themselves totally at home in hotels. Notice Miles fully decorated his night table with all of his goods!

We grabbed a quick bite to eat on the patio at The Monarch (yummy sandwiches), then headed over to ‘The Keeper of the Plains’ - a must-see in Wichita! It’s a 44-foot steel sculpture standing at the point where the Big and Little Arkansas rivers join together in downtown Wichita. The firepots light at 9pm and stay lit for 15 minutes. A beautiful thing to see and it was nice kicking off our adventure with a little history.

The weather was just about picture perfect during our trip. But, note — the firepots will not light in severe weather or winds above 15 mph.

The weather was just about picture perfect during our trip. But, note — the firepots will not light in severe weather or winds above 15 mph.

Saturday

We didn’t waste a minute! We got up Saturday morning and headed straight to Botanica Wichita. More than 30 themed gardens and exhibits including a magical children’s garden and Sean Kenney’s ‘Nature Connects’ (amazing Lego sculptures throughout the gardens). I’ll be honest, I wasn’t sure if the kiddos would enjoy this as much as us adults. But, they truly did… and then some! There are lots of hands-on things for them to do and explore! I’d recommend letting them wear flip flops and bring a change of clothing (or let them wear their swimsuit). There are lots of areas where they can get wet.

I took a zillion pictures and it was just nearly impossible to capture the true magic and beauty of this place.

I took a zillion pictures and it was just nearly impossible to capture the true magic and beauty of this place.

We ate lunch at ‘The Kitchen in Union Station’. What a cool little area! And the food? A-MAZING. Locally owned and family run (my favorite kind of place), they serve fresh, clean food made from scratch in a casual, relaxed atmosphere. I had quite possibly the best hot ham and cheese I’ve ever had in my entire life with the most delicious salad (get the Italian dressing… YUM).

Next on the agenda, Exploration Place! It’s an interactive museum that emphasizes aviation, Kansas geography and hosts traveling exhibits that showcase the importance of math and science in the world around us. We got to see ‘The Science of Ripley’s Believe it or Not!’ and it was SO cool! All of us really enjoyed the brain-teaser puzzles and art. A few of our favorite moments…

We had dinner at the ‘Old Mill Tasty Shop’ in downtown Wichita — the cutest place! We had sodas made the old-fashioned way from a working, marble countered soda fountain.

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Next up, ‘All Star Adventures’! My. Kids. Loved. This. Place. We started out in the arcade, then outside for a round of mini-golf, followed by go-karts and amusement park rides. It was a blast!

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We were spent! Back to the hotel for the night.

Sunday

Breakfast at ‘Homegrown Wichita’ (get the homemade pop-tarts) and then off to ‘Tanganyika Wildlife Park’. We got to feed a giraffe! I’m honestly not sure who was more excited, me or the kids!

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I was expecting a typical ‘zoo’. But, Tanganyika was even better than that. Once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to interact with wildlife. Very hands-on! My kids loved every minute of it.

While we did have the BEST time, it was HOT and we definitely wanted to cool off! So, for our final Wichita adventure, we went to ‘Rock River Rapids’. The perfect place to wrap up our trip. It’s a unique waterpark featuring a tree-house themed spray-ground, six water slides, a lap pool, lazy river and shallow water play area. Such a blast.

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What a fun trip. www.visitwichita.com made it incredibly easy to plan our activities and places to eat. Highly recommend!

















































































Jennifer Waldman