Blake Walsh

20 Best Things to Do in Hutchinson, KS

  • Published 2022/08/31

Hutchinson is the largest city in Reno County in Kansas, the city is home to over 40,000 residents, and its small-town feel will welcome you with warmth.

The town gained the nickname “Salt City” for its prosperous salt mine industry established in 1887.

“Hutch,” as locals call it, is a one-stop destination city in Kansas, perfect for some family fun and adventure.

The city offers unique experiences to everyone—whether you are a history buff, an outdoor junkie, sports fan, or an art enthusiast, this city has everything covered.

Read on to know what adventures await you on your trip to Hutchinson, Kansas:

Go on an Underground Adventure at Strataca Underground Salt Museum

Outside View of Strataca Underground Salt Museum

undergrounddarkride, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Head out for an exciting underground adventure on a museum set on the world’s largest rock salt deposits.

Strataca means subterranean adventure, so be prepared to go on an adventure in the dark filled with exciting explorations in the salt mine museum.

You would have to wear hard hats for protection and go down on an actual mine shaft to explore the underground exhibits to get to the museum.

You can get around the museum on an unguided walking tour, and two guided shuttle tours are included on the regular entrance ticket.

Tram ride at Strataca Underground Salt Museum's great hall

undergrounddarkride, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

They offer a 40-minute guided tour on a train called the “dark ride,” where you can see salt formations, exhibits, and abandoned pieces of equipment.

The Safari Tour is another addition to the tour, and you can go deeper into the salt mine and go to previously inaccessible areas to the public.

Not only will you learn about the history of salt mining in America, but you’ll also get to experience how salt mines work.

Hike the Trails of Sand Hills State Park

Escape the city’s bustling atmosphere on an outdoor adventure at Sand Hills State Park, go on a thrilling outdoor adventure, or bask in natural lands.

Located in the north of Hutchinson are 1,123 acres of natural land with lush grasslands, sand dunes, wetlands, and woodlands.

There are a lot of outdoor activities perfect for doing in the area—you can hike, cycle, or go horseback riding.

There is a campground if you want to stay for the night and portable toilets for your comfort.

If you are not in the mood for some outdoorsy fun, you can spend a quiet time under the canopy of the woods and enjoy the tranquility of the area.

Meet Kansas Native Animals at the Hutchinson Zoo

Hutchinson Zoo is a perfect place for a day out with your family.

This 9-acre zoo may be small, but it is home to over 160 animals native to the United States and some exotic ones as well.

Watch otters do some somersaults in the water, feed the fish, and meet the popular raccoons of the zoo.

You should also check out their gift store and bring home a cool souvenir from the zoo.

This place also has picnic tables and a Prairie Thunder Railroad ride to get you around the area.

A trip to Hutchinson Zoo is perfect for budgetarians because it’s free with a donation-only entrance.

Old-timey family fun at the zoo is an enjoyable experience for young and old alike, so stop by this zoo for your next destination.

Appreciate Local Arts at Hutchinson Art Center

If you are an art enthusiast, you should spend a day of art appreciation at Hutchinson Art Center.

The museum features the talent of local artists, showcasing a variety of artworks like paintings, potteries, and other crafts.

They aim to enrich creativity and artistry in the region by hosting a platform for these talented artists.

The gallery’s carefully curated exhibits will inspire you with an expansive collection of local quality art, so your eyes will surely marvel at the beautiful creations of Kansas artists.

You should take the opportunity to channel your artistic side through events and workshops hosted by Hutchinson Art Museum.

You can also shop for art that resonates with you and take home a unique piece of art from Hutchinson.

Join the Annual Kansas State Fair

Petting Zoo in Kansas State Fair

mark reinstein /

Have fun on the ten days long annual Kansas State Fair at Hutchinson’s fairgrounds.

If you miss state fair foods and events, make sure to mark your calendar on a Friday after Labor Day in September.

Night scene at the annual Kansas State Fair

Robert D Brozek /

Choose from various food vendors for some of the best-tasting fair food, get your blood pumping on thrilling rides at the carnival, and watch live concerts.

A person feeding the goats at Kansas State Fair

mark reinstein /

There are also booths for different activities showcasing the products of Kansas, and you’ll get a glimpse of Kansas’ thriving commercial industries and be acquainted with the locals.

This 10-day fun showcases Kansas’ agriculture, commercial industry, and community.

Fried food stand at the annual Kansas State Fair

Robert D Brozek /

Discover Reno County History at Reno County Museum

If you are a history buff, check out the Reno County Museum—it features a collection of historical exhibits and preserved artifacts.

This museum was constructed in the 1870s which started out as a jail, and now it houses over 36000 historical items dedicated to preserving the county’s history.

The Reno County Museum is like getting into a time capsule with interactive exhibits that will surely pique your curiosity.

You can also attend some of their organized educational events and programs to learn more about the county’s history.

They also have a play area for kids on their second floor with all sorts of toys to let their imagination be carefree.

Get Acquainted With the Community at George W. Pyle Park

If you want to spend a relaxing day out in the sun but still near the community, head out to George W. Pyle Park.

You can sit by the benches to read a book or go on a short walk around the park to get acquainted with the warm community of Hutchinson.

This place is also perfect if you are coming with children because there is a play park where kids can have some fun and play with other children in the community.

The park also has a bit of history—this is where President Harding talked to local farmers in 1923 in a pavilion that still stands in the park.

Witness Incredible Local Talent at Stage 9

If you want to delve deeper into Hutchinson’s local art scene, then Stage 9 is a must-visit place for you.

Stage 9 showcases local talents through compelling theatrical performances and fantastic live entertainment, its home to the artistic expression of Hutchinson’s talented artists.

They produce plays and musicals ranging from classics and contemporary hits, and they also host arts education events to enrich the artistic community of Hutchinson.

They present the most introspective shows that will leave an impact on you, with their terrific production for a small-town community.

You won’t regret catching a show in this intimate theatre—prepare to fall in love with the local art scene in Hutchinson.

Learn About Space Exploration at Cosmosphere

Exterior of Cosmosphere

Ppelleti at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Wander through the museum filled with many space exhibits that will make you relive your childhood dream of being an astronaut.

This is a great place to learn about space programs of Russia and the USA—they display artifacts that were flown to space and replicas of rockets and space shuttles.

Inside View of Cosmosphere

Patrick Pelletier, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Their most popular attractions are the digital dome and planetarium enhanced with world-class technology that will make you feel like you’re in space.

Apollo 13 command module in Cosmosphere

HrAtsuo, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

They feature interactive exhibits and simulators for a hands-on learning experience.

Make sure to visit the Cosmosphere for a fun experience for young and old alike.

Interior of Cosmosphere

Patrick Pelletier, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Slide and Splash at Salt City Splash Aquatic Center

If you want to chill out on a hot day, the Salt City Splash Aquatic Center has got you covered!

This water park features a number of slides for adults and children where you can wind your way down on a slide and land with a splash.

They also have a 50-meter Olympic-sized pool, diving boards, children’s splash pools, and floating toys.

They even organize swimming lessons, water fitness classes, and other special events to make your visit filled with plenty of experiences.

This place is perfect for an enjoyable day out to have a dip in a pool; just make sure to bring your appropriate swimming suit.

Go Grocery Shopping at Smith’s Market

If you want to try local produce from Hutchinson, stop by Smith’s Market for a unique shopping experience.

Smith’s Market became downtown Hutchinson’s landmark since it was founded in 1933—this gem of a shop will surely take you back in time, and every aisle will surprise you with products that are not common for typical grocery stores.

Smith’s Market offers a variety of specialty foods, old-fashioned candies, nostalgic toys, and fresh local produce.

A trip to the grocery should not be a typical and tedious chore because Smith’s Market offers the best quality of products and a nostalgic experience for all the shoppers.

Go Bowling at The Alley of Hutchinson

Don’t miss out on an exciting day with your family and friends at The Alley of Hutchinson.

This family entertainment center offers a lot of indoor fun and great foods; it’s a must-visit for families and friends visiting Hutchinson.

Grab your bowling shoes and prepare for a perfect strike in their sleek and modern bowling alley.

They also feature other attractions like laser tag, bumper cars, and a variety of arcade games.

Whatever fun activity you want to try, this place always has something to offer for the young and old alike.

Go on a Day of Exploration at Dillon Nature Center

Yellow Flowers at Dillon Nature Center

Robert D Broze /

This 100-acre urban sanctuary is located northeast of Hutchinson—it houses indoor and outdoor exploration facilities.

The urban sanctuary features four hiking trails for different difficulty levels, and learn about plants and wildlife in the area.

You can play and get a little dirty in their Jim Smith Family Playscape, an outdoor exploration center perfect for families to have fun and learn.

You can also stop by their 1-acre pond for trout fishing and canoeing.

There are lots of fun activities for all ages in Dillon Nature Center, so make sure to visit the Dillon Nature Center for another outdoor fun with the family.

Catch a Movie at B&B Hutchinson Mall 8

If you are a cinephile, make sure to stop by this movie theatre on your list because it’s an ideal location if you want the combination of great movies and comfort.

Grab your popcorn and reserve a seat for your favorite movie at B&B Hutchinson Mall 8 movie theatre.

This family-owned theatre hosts regular movie screenings for the latest movies.

Their movie theatre features reclining, lazy boy seats for a more comfortable movie viewing experience.

Make sure to stop by for a pleasant cinema experience with a great selection of movies.

Go Golfing at Carey Park

Carey Park is the perfect place if you want to head out for golf on a lovely sunny day.

The 18-hole golf course is open to the public with no membership required, and you can also rent out whatever you need to play in their shop.

Aside from golfing, this large-scale park is an all-in-one place for outdoor recreation activities.

Aside from golfing, you can play baseball and disc golf, visit the small zoo, go river fishing, or go skating in their skate park.

If you are visiting with kids, there are play areas with various play equipment suitable even for older kids.

You can also set a nice picnic lunch in their picnic areas and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere of the park.

Discover Attractions at Downtown Hutchinson

Aerial view of Downtown Hutchinson

Jacob Boomsma /

Downtown Hutchinson is the hub for local festivities, distinctive businesses, sophisticated and simple cuisine, and entertainment.

Among the biggest owner-operated vintage districts in the state may be found in the downtown area, where many of the shops are situated in structures with late 19th-century architecture.

Home furnishings, collectibles, and décor are examples of specialty products.

Numerous locally owned stores and eateries and the Antique District contribute to this dynamic ambiance.

Furthermore, it is the location of venues that showcase murals and works by well-known local and national artists, performers, and entertainers.

The Hutchinson Farmers Market also sells fruits, vegetables, baked goods, and other locally created goods when they are in season.

Watch a Show at Hutchinson’s Historic Fox Theatre

Exterior of Hutchinson's Historic Fox Theatre

Hellbus, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Boller Brothers, renowned for building opulent “movie houses,” created Hutchinson’s Historic Fox Theatre, which debuted on June 8, 1931.

In the Central United States, it is acknowledged as one of the best displays of theater art deco architecture.

The theater offers 1221 seats, clear lighting, and outstanding acoustics.

Signage of Hutchinson's Historic Fox Theatre

Hellbus, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The theater distinguishes itself as an art deco structure thanks to its projecting pilasters with stepped designs, which call attention to the structure’s geometric shape.

The art deco style is evident throughout the structure in the floral, botanical, architectural reliefs, capitals, columns, stair rails, light fittings, letterings, friezes, and other decorative elements of compressed aluminum and metallic glazed terra cotta.

Play, Snack, and Shop at Hutch Putt

Hutch Putt, an 18-hole miniature golf course, debuted in 2017 and is located outside the Hutchinson Mall on the route to the airport.

First of all, Hutch Putt doesn’t have any of the stereotypical mini golf clichés like windmills and subpar plastic animal miniatures.

You get well-designed holes with unique elevation variations, excellent landscaping, two ponds, and a watercourse.

A booth offers merchandise, cold beverages, ice cream, and other food in addition to paying a little more for limitless play.

They are open on Fridays and weekends for a fun-filled day with friends and family.

Book a Party at Skateland Family Fun Center

It is a company run by a family that has been in operation for more than 41 years is the roller skating facility Skateland Family Fun Center.

To encourage youth to practice a more active and healthy lifestyle, they provide skating opportunities to those within 50 miles of Hutchinson, Kansas.

Skateland Family Fun Center is one of the greatest places to celebrate important events in Hutchinson, Kansas.

The Skateland Family Fun Center provides various skating party packages featuring basic, deluxe, nerf, and private parties.

For your child’s next birthday, reserve a fun skating party and enjoy an entertaining day.

Grab Fresh Products at Reno County Farmer’s Market

You’ve come to the perfect spot if you want to improve your health, create stronger ties within your community, encourage local businesses, live more sustainably, and teach your children about where their food is made from.

The Reno County Farmer’s Market opened in 1985 and is a lifelong project designed to highlight nearby farmers, artists, craftspeople, musicians, and neighbors.

The market pavilion, located in the center of Hutchinson’s historic downtown, provides an outdoor market with a wide range of merchandise.

They provide artisan sourdough, pastries, cakes, pies, local fruit, jams, honey supplies, and other baked delicacies.

Additionally, they provide different kinds of apparel, healing essential oils, health items, handcrafted wood, cosmetics, body care, accessories, and other crafts.

Final Thoughts

Hutchinson is the perfect city for your next weekend getaway, the city always has something for everyone, and you’ll surely enjoy your time here.

There is a lot to explore and discover in Hutchinson—its historical background, culture, and community will surprise you with exciting experiences in Hutch.

Make sure to reference this list on your trip to Hutchinson so you don’t miss out on fantastic places to explore in the city.

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