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Must-dos for family in Wichita

Kansas
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for Lawrence
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Must-dos for family in Wichita

Hi,

We are going to Wichita for couple of days, with two kids (2, 5) what are the attractions that we shouldn't miss?

Is the zoo any different/special than the other zoo around the country?

Any special family friendly resturants?

Kansas
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for Mackinac Island, Mackinaw City, Kansas
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1. Re: Must-dos for family in Wichita

The Sedgwick County Zoo zoo is one of the best in the country. Second best of the more than 40 zoos around the world which I have visited.

The Museum is World Treasures is real cool for young people. It has things like dinosaurs and mummies.

After dusk, go down to the confluence of the Big and Little Arkansas Rivers for the hourly "Ring of Fire" at the Keeper of the Plains. www.kansastravel.org/keeperoftheplains.htm

Stroud's Restaurant is in a 1930s barn that was once part of a working ranch. It has wonderful family style meals, particularly fried chicken, pork chops, and catfish.

Nu-Way Cafe, 1416 W Douglas Avenue was the very first Nu-Way and opened on July 4, 1930. Nu-ways are loose meat hamburgers, but really everything there is great. They make their own rootbeer.

Aliceville, KS
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2. Re: Must-dos for family in Wichita

** The Zoo isn't much different or more special than any other zoo, but it's a pretty nice one for kids that age. It's small enough to get around with being totally exhausted, there is a fun boat ride, and they have an excellent petting zoo area. My kids always had a great time at this zoo when they were little like yours.

** Also not much different than other ones is the Wichita version of a children's museum, which is located on the west bank of the river downtown and is called Exploration Place. They have lots of hands-on exhibits and activities for little ones, and the park outside is free (or pay to play mini-golf). One note here: Exploration Place is hosting one of the exhibits with real (live?) dead bodies, all skinned and plasticized and whatever they do. You may think that is wonderful and educational, and could go to it; or, like me, you might think it is an immoral, degrading, and should-be-illegal exploitation of human beings -- solely for the profit, not the education -- and would want to keep your little ones as far away from it as possible. That's what we'll be doing this summer. Even so, the park outside is a good place to play, walk along the river, feed the birds (bring a bag of cheap popcorn from WalMart, or some bread to tear up and throw around ... favorite activities for kids.

** Eating with the kids ... hmmm ... Wichita has most all of the usual chain places. Nu-Way is kind of interesting for oldsters, but not so much for youngsters, I think. For the most part, with kids at that age, we sunk into the doom of any fast food place with a "play place" to climb, slide, play in the ball pit, etc. I don't really remember too many kid-cuisine spots in Wichita. I'll be in Wichita tomorrow and again at the end of the week, and I'll come back and update this if I hear of or spot something new and notable. Probably your best bet, eating-wise, is to get carry out and find fun places to picnic.

Dallas
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3. Re: Must-dos for family in Wichita

I grew up i Wichita and loved going to Cow Town. I don't even know if it's there any more, but it was always so much fun...and the kids would love it.

I did always like the Sedgwick County Zoo too!

Kansas
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for Mackinac Island, Mackinaw City, Kansas
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4. Re: Must-dos for family in Wichita

I think Cowtown is only good during the peak season. The rest of the time, when they have fewer costumed staff, it can be boring.

Kansas
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5. Re: Must-dos for family in Wichita

Recently visited Wichita and had an afternoon to fill with kids' activities. We visited the Tanganyika Wildlife Park, which is in Goddard on the west side of Wichita. I had never heard of it, and my daughter found info on it and wanted to go. It is a different kind of place. It is smaller than the zoo and has a smaller selection of animals, but you can have "close encounters" with several of them. We hand fed lorikeets and lemurs (feed items cost a dollar or so), saw a baby snow leopard up close, rode a bactrian camel, and almost fed the giraffes at eye-to-eye level, but they were a little timid (the attendant in that area said the elevated observation platform was new, and the animals haven't adapated fully to it). Anyway, this was a unique place, and much better than my skeptical gut feeling as I drove out west to get there. By the way, getting there requires just a little extra attention ... there aren't really any signs until you are almost in the park ... so: go West from Wichita on Kellogg Ave/US54/US400 to Goddard, a distance of maybe 10 miles, but it seemed less; just as you get to Goddard, there is a traffic light at 183rd St., where you turn and go north one mile to Maple St., which is the first crossroad of any size. Go left (West) on Maple for about a half mile and there is a little sign the size of a "For Sale" sign at Hawkins, where you turn left and go south to the park ... it's a strange entrance area, as Hawkins goes through what obviously used to be a cul-de-sac which had the street opened on through it ... and when you get past the former cul-de-sac you will see the modern roofs of the Tanganyika buildings and, if you are like me, feel a big rush of relief that it's a sharp looking place. The park is very laid-back and slow-moving, even for a zoo, and may not be for everybody, but we spent between 3 and 4 hours there and had really enjoyable afternoon.

Wichita, Kansas
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6. Re: Must-dos for family in Wichita

I agree. I think Tanganyika is one of the best places to go in the Wichita area. It is actually in Goddard, West of Wichita. It is definitely worth visiting. They have several interactive exhibits and tons of fun for the kiddos!

7. Re: Must-dos for family in Wichita

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