Blake Walsh

15 Free Things to Do in Olathe, KS

  • Published 2023/01/06

Olathe is a beautiful and diverse city in Kansas with plenty of fun and exciting attractions and activities to explore.

As the seat of Johnson County, Olathe is home to a wide variety of things to see and do.

From outdoor adventures to indoor cultural experiences, there’s something fun for everyone in Olathe.

Olathe is also home to many free activities, so visitors don’t have to break the bank to experience the city.

From parks to other outdoor recreational centers and beyond, here are some free things to do in Olathe, Kansas:

Get Active at the Olathe Community Center

Farmer's market at Olathe Community Center

Matt Fowler KC /

Taking advantage of a city’s free activities and attractions is a great way to learn more about it.

The Olathe Community Center offers free recreational activities, including a triple basketball court gymnasium, an elevated running track, a fitness center, a dance studio, a theater, and a great lawn.

Some of these facilities will require you to pay a fee for rent; however, some are free.

The Olathe Community Center also offers free classes and programs in aerobics, dance, and exercise.

So, if you want to get active while also experiencing Olathe, you can do so without spending a dime at the Olathe Community Center.

Enjoy the Day at Frisco Lake Park

Frisco Lake Park is a well-known park divided into an actual garden and a lake.

The park and lake span 38 and 24 acres, respectively, and offer plenty of free activities to participate in.

Frisco Lake Park has a sizeable state-of-the-art playground with plenty of equipment for the kids to enjoy, as well as fishing and walking trails.

A popular event is the Family Fun Days, which occur yearly at Frisco Lake Park.

Family Fun Days offer free inflatables, crafts, and activities for adults and children.

You and the entire family will have a fun and memorable time at Frisco Lake Park.

Join an Event at Stagecoach Park

Stagecoach Park is a great place to have picnics, take walks and enjoy time outdoors.

Like your average city park, Stagecoach offers a playground and open spaces for the whole family to enjoy.

The park is also adjacent to the Olathe Community Center, so visitors can visit both while they’re there.

Stagecoach Park is also home to many events, including free concerts, festivals, and community programs, without any admission fees.

It’s the perfect place to learn more about Olathe and experience its culture while having a great time.

Enjoy the Great Outdoors at Prairie Center Park

The Prairie Center Park is an 86-acre community park with a fishing pond, a loop trail, soccer and baseball fields, and a disc golf course.

Located in downtown Olathe, you can head out on the 2.4-mile loop trail and enjoy the area’s natural beauty.

It’s a well-known and easy route that takes an average of 51 minutes.

The trail is the main attraction of Prairie Center Park and is excellent for hiking, biking, or running.

It is also an excellent spot for bird-watching and observing some of the local wildlife.

You can go bird watching and witness some of the most exotic birds in the area.

You can also relax and enjoy the scenic views of the pond.

The trail is open year-round and is beautiful to visit anytime.

So, if you’re looking for a free outdoor activity, Prairie Center Park is worth checking out.

See the Breathtaking Scenery along the Indian Creek Trail

Speaking of scenery, the Indian Creek Trail is another nature activity that should take your breath away.

The 26-mile trail is a great way to experience the natural beauty of Olathe and its surrounding areas.

The trail runs along the Indian Creek stream, passing through wooded areas, open fields, and historic sites.

You can spot wildlife along the way and a beautiful array of wildflowers in the spring and summer seasons.

The trail surfaces vary from concrete to asphalt and natural soils, offering a variety of terrain for different levels of fitness.

You can also take photos of the trail’s stunning views and explore the different aspects of Olathe.

So, if you’re looking to see some of Olathe’s most stunning views, the Indian Creek Trail is a great place to visit.

Step into the World of the Deaf at the Museum of Deaf History, Arts, and Culture

The Museum of Deaf History, Arts, and Culture is a great place to learn about the history of deaf people in Olathe and worldwide.

The museum offers free admission and interactive exhibits that help visitors gain insight into deaf culture.

Visitors can explore various aspects of the lives of deaf people, from education and employment to language and communication.

The museum also offers educational workshops, as well as a variety of books, videos, and other materials about deaf culture.

The museum’s nonprofit organization aims to educate and promote understanding of deaf culture through programs and activities.

Likewise, the museum accepts donations of any kind to help support its educational mission and keep the entire facility running.

If you want to explore the world of the deaf, visit the Museum of Deaf History, Arts, and Culture.

Spend Quality Time at Frontier Park

Frontier Park is a 28-acre community park well-known as one of the oldest standing parks in Olathe, Kansas.

Dedicated in 1979, it has served the Olathe community for nearly four decades.

Frontier Park features sports fields, several playgrounds, a green open space for playing sports, and picnic pavilions.

The grounds at Frontier Park are also where timely concerts from local and international artists occur throughout the year.

The Frontier Park Amphitheater hosts a variety of performances in the summer season, from music and theater to educational programs and more.

So, if you’re looking for an entertaining activity that won’t cost you a dime, head to Frontier Park.

Embrace Nature at Ernie Miller Park & Nature Center

Deer at Ernie Miller Park & Nature Center

Wirestock Creators /

Ernie Miller Park & Nature Center offers a scenic escape from the city’s chaos, allowing you to enjoy peace.

Located in downtown Olathe, the Park offers a three-mile hiking trail that traverses forests, prairies, and a beautiful stream.

Spanning 116 acres, the Ernie Miller Park & Nature Center comprises many habitats, including tall grass, bottomland forest, upland meadows, and a scenic stream to explore.

Tree barks at Ernie Miller Park & Nature Center

Wirestock Creators /

Immerse yourself in nature while exploring vast trails filled with wildlife, or relax among beautiful flowers, streams, and ponds!

The Nature Center also lets kids of all ages view local wildlife while developing an appreciation for nature and history through interactive learning experiences.

So, if you want to embark on a free outdoor adventure, the Ernie Miller Park & Nature Center is the perfect place.

Let the Kids Play at Black Bob Park

Black Bob Park is one of many notable outdoor areas in Olathe, Kansas.

This park features a recreational complex with an outdoor pool, waterslides, a massive playground complex, athletic fields, a mini-golf course, and much more.

The park also offers a variety of events, such as outdoor concerts, farmer’s markets, school programs, and more.

The playground is enjoyable for kids of all ages as it features a variety of activities like slides, swings, monkey bars, climbers, spinners, and much more.

While your kids play, you can sit back and relax under the shade of nearby trees and benches.

Whether you’re looking for a place to relax or want to let the kids have some fun in the sun, Black Bob Park has something for everyone.

Visit Ensor Park & Museum

Located 7.3 miles south of downtown Olathe, Kansas, Ensor Park & Museum is an excellent place to explore and experience the area’s history.

This National Historic Site was the former home of Jacob and Ida Ensor and their two children, Marshall and Loretta.

Spend a memorable hour or two touring the two-story 1890 farmhouse, and let its history transport you to another era.

There is even an old peg barn that showcases various items, such as tools, farm equipment, radios for transmitting and receiving signals, and educational resources.

You can also see beautiful hand-crafted objects, including tables, rockers, wine coolers, utensils, spinning wheels, racks, and more.

The Ensor Park & Museum gives you a glimpse of what it was like to live in Olathe during the late 1800s.

So, if you want to learn more about the history of Olathe, add this museum to your list of things to do.

Have a Picnic Date at Heritage Park

Located at 159th Street and Pflumm Road, the breathtaking Heritage Park spans a whopping 1,238 acres.

The park was opened in 1979 through a public referendum that approved bonds for the park’s purchase.

It has served the community for years and has seen a ton of renovations and upgrades, making it one of the best parks in Olathe.

Some recreational facilities you can find at Heritage Park include picnic shelters, a 40-acre lake and marina, a 30-acre dog park, concessions and picnic areas, athletic fields, and much more.

The best part about Heritage Park is that it’s free to visit, so it’s a great place to relax and enjoy quality time with your family.

Drop by Kill Creek Park

Kill Creek Park is another outdoor attraction in Olathe, Kansas.

This park has a ton of personality and features a variety of recreational activities for visitors to enjoy.

You can take a stroll, ride a bike, or even ride a horse through the park’s 12 miles of trails, which wind through oak-hickory forests, meadows, and wetlands.

The park also features a marina for visitors to launch a boat and a picnic area beside the creek.

A welcome center lets you acquaint yourself with the park and a swimming beach where you can cool down and relax.

There are also several playgrounds for kids, so the whole family can come along and make a day out of it.

Whatever you decide, you’ll have a great time exploring and enjoying Kill Creek Park.

Visit the Kansas State Olathe Horticulture Research & Extension Center

Located in eastern Olathe, in rural Johnson County, the Kansas State Olathe Horticulture Research & Extension Center is a crown jewel of K-State research.

Here, experts from all over pursue breakthroughs to improve vegetable and turfgrass varieties for commercial growth.

The Center occupies a former Sunflower Army Ammunition Plant, spanning 342 acres.

It comprises 150 acres of verdant woodlands, 75 serene acres of bottomland, and 117 lush upland grassy meadows.

If you’re with kids, the Kansas State Olathe Horticulture Research & Extension Center will increase their awareness and appreciation of their natural surroundings.

Focusing on vegetable and turfgrass research, the center has indoor and outdoor growing plots, natural grasslands, and woodlands.

Learn about plant cultivation, soil health, and sustainable agricultural practices in this free educational experience.

Other Things to Do Nearby

The fun and free things go beyond the borders of Olathe, Kansas.

Here are other free things to do nearby Olathe.

Learn a Piece of Local History at Legler Barn Museum

Legler Barn Museum in nearby Lenexa, Kansas, is a historic barn that dates back to 1864.

The barn is a testament to early Kansas settlers and pays homage to the city’s agricultural roots.

This museum offers free admission, and you can explore the collection of artifacts and displays related to the history of Legler and its surrounding areas.

You can also take a walk around the grounds and learn more about the buildings that have been preserved and restored.

You can take pictures and explore the grounds at your own pace or join some educational programs that Legler Barn Museum offers.

Access to the Legler Barn Museum is free; however, the staff does accept donations for the upkeep of the museum and its grounds.

This museum is 14 minutes from Olathe.

Take Pictures at Overland Park 9/11 Memorial

The Overland Park 9/11 Memorial is a tribute to those affected by the tragic events of September 11, 2001.

The memorial is located near Overland Park, Kansas, and features a large 14-foot girder recovered from the World Trade Center.

This two-and-a-half-ton artifact is the memorial’s focal point and is a tribute to the victims and heroes who lost their lives in the terrorist attacks.

The memorial grounds also feature several plaques and sculptures that commemorate the fallen and a panel listing all the names of the 2,983 victims of the 9/11 attacks.

Visiting the Overland Park 9/11 Memorial is free and open to the public, and it’s a great place to pay your respects and take memorable photos.

This memorial is 16 minutes from Olathe.

Final Thoughts

Olathe is a testament that traveling to a new place doesn’t have to break the bank.

You can enjoy some of the free activities and attractions this city offers and its nearby locations.

Enjoy the free things to do in Olathe, Kansas!

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