Blake Walsh

17 Best Things to Do in Sedgwick County, KS

  • Published 2023/06/11

Sedgwick County is one of the three most populous counties in Kansas.

It’s home to probably the most famous city in the state, Wichita—the city home to a lot of museums, history, and nature exploration.

While Wichita is the centerpiece of the county, there are a few other attractions from neighboring cities that made my trip here even more memorable.

Expect a lot of museums and entertainment attractions in the county, especially near the Arkansas River.

To give you a glimpse of what it has to offer, here’s a list of the best things to do in Sedgwick County, Kansas.

Do Photography at The Keeper of the Plains

Steel sculpture at The Keeper of the Plains

EWY Media /

The Keeper of the Plains is a can’t-miss destination in Sedgwick County as it’s one of the symbols of Wichita City.

A 44-foot monument that pays tribute to the Native Americans, The Keeper of the Plains is nestled at the intersection where the Little Arkansas River and Arkansas River meet.

There’s a lot of picturesque photo opportunities here, as the monument is connected via a beautiful footbridge across the river.

The Keeper of the Plains during sunset

Sean Pavone /

The overall aesthetic of the monument itself is also amazing to look at, utilizing rock formations and beautiful landscaping.

To make things better, the Keeper of the Plains is just a stone’s throw away from a museum that’s dedicated to the Native Americans, adding more value to my visit.

Take a Stroll at Botanica Wichita

Fountain at the Botanica Wichita

Kit Leong /

Another can’t-miss in Wichita is the Botanica Wichita that’s one of the most beautiful botanical gardens I’ve seen.

The place is huge and pretty—you’ll find a diverse range of blooming flowers and plant life in this serene place.

Rainbow colored archway at the Botanica Wichita

Kit Leong /

There are also plenty of cool art installations that have themes connected to nature, a pleasant surprise for me as I love art.

To cap it all off, there’s a beautiful butterfly garden here that animal lovers will surely enjoy.

I visited here during spring time which is arguably the best season for the place, but I heard Botanica Wichita also lights up during the winter season.

Butterfly collecting nectar from the flowers at Botanica Wichita

Kit Leong /

Play Sports at Wichita Sports Forum

If you love all things sports, Wichita Sports Forum is a great indoor attraction that might be a solid addition to your itinerary.

There’s a lot to take in here because of its sheer size—you can do sports tournaments here or you can do dyad or solo activities as well.

The batting cages here and the trampoline park were awesome—just note that in my experience, I don’t think this is great for younger children as it’s geared towards adults.

Wichita Sports Forum is also an awesome place to do sand volleyball, as their facility here is huge.

They also have sprawling basketball courts indoors along with football fields—it’s truly a haven for sports lovers.

Engage in Fun Science at Exploration Place

Signage of the Exploration Place

Kit Leong /

Exploration Place is one of the top attractions in Wichita, famous for its interactive exhibits that’s great for all ages.

You don’t need to have a kid with you to enjoy this place, as there are loads of fun things to do for adults as well.

Some of my favorites here are the dinosaur exhibits, flight simulations, and their IMAX theater.

Outside view of the Exploration Place

Nagel Photography /

Animals lovers will surely enjoy this as well, as you’ll see tons of dioramas, displays, and plenty more engaging surprises.

This is one of my favorite places in Wichita, so give it a shot as it can be enjoyed as long as you love knowledge and learning.

Try Your Luck at CrossWinds Casino

Found in Park City, CrossWinds Casino is your go-to place for slot machine and poker fun.

The place isn’t that big, but it has a fun and vibrant energy that I appreciated for a few games.

The prizes are great here and the other services like the food and beverages complete the experience.

While this isn’t related to the games, I loved the Philly Cheese Steak from the restaurant here, so go try it for lunch!

Overall, CrossWinds Casino was a great way to spend some down time in the county.

Bike through Pawnee Prairie Park

Wooden pedestrian bridge at Pawnee Prairie Park

Melisa A Skinner /

Pawnee Prairie Park is one of the biggest nature spots found in Wichita, making this a great place to do some biking.

The prairie park is home to a lot of wildlife, and it’s very common to spot some deer here, something which I appreciated as I’m a big fan of large mammals.

The park is brimming with biodiversity as well, teeming with all sorts of plant life thanks in large part to its ecosystem that features plenty of creeks.

Thick vegetation at Pawnee Prairie Park

Melisa A Skinner /

Even if you’re not the adventurous type, there are family-friendly areas here with playgrounds that are great for children.

There is also a good balance of paved and unpaved trails here, making this one of the best family-oriented destinations in Wichita.

Tanganyika Wildlife Park

Colorful parrot at Tanganyika Wildlife Park

Trichoglossus_haematodus_-Tanganyika_Wildlife_Park-8a.jpg: Peter Linehan derivative work: Snowmanradio, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Found in the city of Goddard, Tanganyika Wildlife Park is one of my favorite destinations in Sedgwick County.

This place is a small zoo that has a twist: instead of just admiring the animals in front of thick glass walls, you can instead interact with them through various activities.

We did a lot here that really made me feel closer to these majestic creatures—we fed healthy giraffes, met a caracal on a leash, and petted some kangaroos.

However, the real highlight of this show in my opinion are the funny (but friendly) lemurs that will climb on your shoulder.

There is a lot more wildlife to see and meet in Tanganyika Wildlife Park; give it a visit if you’re fond of animals like me!

Explore High Park

Located in the city of Derby, High Park is one of the best outdoor attractions in Sedgwick County.

It’s teeming with all sorts of nature trails because of how big the park is—you’ll find tons of prairies here along with creeks that make it great for fishing.

While there are nature trails, I also saw that the park has a more modern space dedicated for families who just want to chill.

They have playgrounds for the little ones, baseball fields, and picnic grounds that make it a great all-rounder.

I also saw a lot of wild ducks and geese here which accentuated the tranquil vibes High Park gives.

Visit the Wichita Art Museum

Exterior view of the Wichita Art Museum

Larry Schwarm, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

As someone who appreciates art a lot, it’s a no-brainer for me to visit one art museum everytime I visit a place for the first time.

Wichita Art Museum was a great all-around experience in what it offers.

It has a lot of permanent exhibits that have different themes and a wide range of mediums that’ll keep you engaged for hours.

Georgia O’Keeffe’s works are some of the highlights of the Wichita Art Museum, but there are also plenty of traveling exhibits all throughout the calendar year.

I also loved the gift shop—it was a great place to buy a couple of souvenirs as remembrance in my first time in Wichita.

Watch a Movie at Starlite Drive-In

It’s not often you see drive-in theaters, especially in this age, so it’s a great change of pace to try one like Starlite Drive-In.

There’s a nostalgic feel to this drive-in theater because it’s been a long-standing icon in Wichita.

The concessions are great and the bathrooms are clean here—of course, the big screen and audio definitely do not disappoint.

This is a great atmosphere overall, especially for intimate couple dates.

During my trip, Starlite Drive-In was a pleasant surprise that made my trip all the more memorable.

Go Back in Time at Old Cowtown Museum

Wooden cabin at the Old Cowtown Museum

Danita Delimont /

Another favorite of mine in Wichita, the Old Cowtown Museum is a picture-perfect opportunity to relieve the old history of the city.

The Old Cowtown Museum recreates the look of late 19th Century Wichita, one that was full of cowboy gunfights and blacksmithing.

You’ll find a lot of cool houses here, most of which depict agricultural life back in the day.

View of the Old Cowtown Museum

Barbara Kalbfleisch /

There’s also a nice railroad track here that really brings the museum to life, along with plenty of indoor displays that feel like entering an 1800s house.

Just a stone’s throw away from the Wichita Art Museum, this is a great way to create one day in your itinerary for museum hopping.

Attend a Show at Kansas International Dragway

Do you love cars and drag racing like me? Kansas International Dragway is a no-brainer if that’s the case.

Located in the city of Maize, Kansas International Dragway is one of the best ways to spice up your adventure in Sedgwick County.

Great for evening excursions with the family, you’ll see lots of cars here in a chaotic (but great) environment that’s full of fun and excitement.

What I enjoyed the most here is seeing vintage cars customized depending on the owners’ taste—it’s definitely a nice way to show off one’s creativity.

Beyond that, the great race track and overall vibes just make this place one for the books that I’d highly recommend.

Spend a Whole Day at Sedgwick County Zoo

Fish swimming in a pond at Sedgwick County Zoo

Jessbydesigns /

Located in Wichita, Sedgwick County Zoo may be the top attraction of the county due to its sheer popularity and foot traffic weekly.

Visited by hundreds of people on a daily basis, Sedgwick County Zoo is known to be an enormous place for all things wildlife.

They have a wide range of animals here thanks in large part to the size of their place—you’ll find various creatures from each continent.

Bird at Sedgwick County Zoo

Greg Goebel from Loveland CO, USA, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Some of the most striking discoveries I saw here were orangutans, manta rays, and leopards.

Regarded as one of the best zoos in the Midwest, don’t miss out on Sedgwick County Zoo.

Gorilla Forest at Sedgwick County Zoo

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

Take a Breather at Riggs Park

Found in the city of Haysville, Riggs Park is one of the most picturesque parks in the county for me.

The park features plenty of creekside areas that give it a serene atmosphere all throughout.

You could say it’s also the centerpiece of Haysville, as plenty of festivals and events are held here.

Even if there’s nothing going on, it has a disc golf course, fishing ponds, and plenty of picnic areas.

For me, this was truly a scenic experience that’s easy to get to from Wichita.

Visit the Kansas Aviation Museum

Interior view of a cargo plane at Kansas Aviation Museum

Barbara Kalbfleisch /

Located in Wichita, the Kansas Aviation Museum is one of the best museums in the state of Kansas.

It’s formerly a municipal airport that has beautiful art deco architecture that is still maintained until today.

Exterior view of the Kansas Aviation Museum during winter

David G. Keith, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

While the place is absolutely gorgeous and picturesque, my favorite part is still the rich aviation history that you can learn here.

The place is huge—I saw tarmacs, a B-52 airplane up close, and control towers that really complete the experience.

There’s also a flight simulation area here which makes the trip even more fun.

Exhibit at the Kansas Aviation Museum

Eric Friedebach, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Get Spooked at Field of Screams Kansas

Another interesting attraction in Maize is a haunted house called Field of Screams Kansas.

This amazing place is something I did not expect to enjoy as much as I did—as someone who doesn’t like horror, this place was still enjoyable for me.

The actors are solid and the overall experience inside the haunted house doesn’t feel tacky or forced.

Field of Screams Kansas also does a good job with pacing—it only takes about two hours to complete the experience, so it’s great for adding on to your itinerary.

If you have a penchant for jump scares and horror settings, this is probably one of the best in Kansas.

Admire the Exhibits at the Museum of the World Treasures

Exterior view of the Museum of the World Treasures

Museumworldtreasures, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Another fantastic museum in Wichita is the Museum of the World Treasures.

This museum honors the history of the world, so you can find all sorts of exhibits here.

I’ve been to countless museums from all parts of the world, and this is one of the most memorable for me.

Fossil of a Tylosaur at the Museum of the World Treasures

Bendianajones, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

There are dinosaurs, U.S. political history, World War II, and even mummy exhibits in this awesome museum.

While it’s not as big as popular museums across the country, the Museum of the World Treasures’ wide range of exhibits is one that’ll stick with me for a long time.

Flag flying high at the Museum of the World Treasures

Box Lab /

Final Thoughts

Sedgwick County is definitely a must-visit if you’re planning to go to Kansas.

It’s home to Wichita, which is easily one of the best cities in the state from a tourism perspective.

I enjoyed my stay here more than I expected, especially when I ran into attractions like the Museum of the World Treasures, Tanganyika Wildlife Park, and Kansas Aviation Museum.

So before you finalize your trip, don’t forget to revisit my list of the best things to do in Sedgwick County, Kansas!

© All rights reserved.