Wichita gets a bad rap for having nothing fun for teens to do, but you can find a cool attraction or interesting event going on nearly every weekend. Look for discount and specials on business Websites and social media so you can save some money, too. Text your friends and go check out some (or all) of these ideas:
Experience live music
Pandora and Spotify are nice, but there's just something about getting out with your friends to enjoy good food, a caffeinated beverage, and a live band. Wichita has a several venues that regularly host all-ages concerts, poetry readings, and even stand-up comedy shows.
- The Donut Whole hosts live music almost every weekend, and there's an art gallery featuring local artists. Of course, they also have coffee drinks and delicious donuts in unexpected flavors.
- Mead's Corner is a coffee shop that has a full entertainment calendar that includes music, poetry and comedy.
- Intrust Bank Arena is host to larger concerts and events like the Foo Fighters, Lil' Wayne, and Ariana Grande.
If you're into gaming, you have options, too. You can get out of the house and play a collectible card game, an immersive video game, or challenge your friends to a game of pool.
- BattleStations Gaming offers video games, trading card game tournaments for Yu-Gi-Oh!, Magic: the Gathering, and Dragonball Z, as well as tabletop games. They also host reasonably-priced birthday parties that let you choose which game consoles you and your friends want to reserve.
- Fireshark Gaming is a unique, immersive gaming experience that lets you actually stand inside the game. Depending on the game, you and your friends can play as a team or battle to the death.
- Billiards Sports Plaza has a different type of gaming environment. They offer pool for all ages and an arcade. Never played pool before? This is a great place to learn.
- Hero Complex Games and Entertainment is another trading card game shop, located near 21st and Woodlawn in northeast Wichita. Games include Magic, Pathfinder Society, Dungeons & Dragons, Pokemon, Dice Masters, Dragonball Z and Warhammer, among others.
Don’t worry about the Kansas weather – you can stay inside and still do something fun. These activities and attractions are open year-round.
Indoor trampoline parks are a great place to jump around and hang out with friends.
- Urban Air is in west Wichita, and they have dodgeball and slam dunk areas.
- Get Air Wichita is on the east side of town, and they offer dodgeball, a slackline, and Friday night blacklight jumping. Both parks have coupons and specials on their Websites.
Bowling is fun when you go with friends. (Even if you never get a strike.) There are several bowling alleys in the Wichita area, and many of them have great specials that can make a night out more affordable.
- Derby Family Entertainment Center is located just south of Wichita, and their specials include all you can bowl and cosmic bowling.
- Northrock Lanes has cosmic bowling and specials that change regularly.
- Seneca Bowl features cosmic bowling on Saturday nights, and their specials include an “all-you-can-bowl” price.
- The Alley Indoor Entertainment offers bowling, cosmic bowling, go karts and a laser maze.
- West Acres Bowling Center offers cosmic bowling and several specials throughout the week.
Laser Tag is a chance for a little friendly competition with your friends.
Laser Quest offers different levels, and a membership option that can saves you $2 per game.
Or, try the Key Quest Escape Room, where your group is placed in a room together, and you have to work together to solve puzzles and find the key that lets you out.
All Star Sports also features the Lazer Runner laser tag arena. Play as a team or individually.
Ice Skating at Wichita Ice Center is fun any time of year, but be sure and dress warm – the temperature on the rink is only 45-60°. Check their Website for public skate times.
Roller Skating is fun with a retro feel, and everyone should try it at least once.
Take it outside
When the weather DOES cooperate, Wichita has lots of free outdoor entertainment: parks, basketball courts, skateparks, disc golf courses and miles of paths for walking or biking. But, there are also some affordable paid activities that will challenge and thrill you.
Paintball is one of the higher-priced option on this list, but you pay for a whole day’s play so it’s a great value. Group pricing is available to make it an even better deal.
- The Edge Paintball Adventures features 7 wooded and 3 speedball fields, each featuring several types of games. Plan ahead and make a reservation for a group of at least 8 players to get a better rate.
- Frog Holler Paintball also offers all-day admission, plus discounted pricing for groups of 15 or more.
Miniature golf, rides, and go karts can by enjoyed by a couple of friends or a whole group.
- OJ Watson Park offers paddle boats, mini golf, fishing, a miniature train ride, and sand volleyball. They sell coupon books that can save you some money on attraction tickets.
- All Star Sports in west Wichita offers go karts, bumper boats, miniature golf, batting cages, and an indoor climbing wall.
- All Star Adventures in east Wichita features miniature golf, bumper boats, batting cages, go karts, and amusement rides like you’d find at a carnival.
Disc golf is like miniature golf, but better, because you use Frisbees. If you haven’t played before, here’s a rundown of the Disc Golf Association recreational rules.
- Stone Creek Disc Golf Park in Derby has a printable map of the course online, so you’ll know where to park and where the baskets are.
- Oak Park Disc golf course has two tee pads per hole and permanent baskets.
- Herman Hill Park Disc golf course uses moveable baskets, and a printable course map is available online.
Skateparks have been getting more popular in Wichita, so now there are more places you can show off your skills and pick up some new ones.
- Ryan Woodward Memorial Skate Park is located at Edgemoor Park in northeast Wichita. It has several street elements that would be good for beginner to intermediate skaters.
- Wichita Skatepark is a free public skateboard park with concrete bowls and a street course with elements like ramps, stairs, handrails and ledges. It’s located downtown, underneath Kellogg, so check out the map, directions and rules online before you go.
- Aley Park, in southwest Wichita, also has a skate park for beginner to intermediate skill levels.
Keeper of the Plains Ring of Fire is another free attraction you owe it to yourself to see. The ring of fire runs for 15 minutes every evening, and you can also walk down the river and check out the sidewalk next to the Westar Energy building to look for the troll hiding there.
Cheer for the home team
If your high school football or basketball team is playing, go. Even if you’re not into sports, you’ll at least know what everyone’s talking about in class on Monday. If you DO like watching sports, there are also several pro and college teams in town that you can see for a very affordable price.
- Wichita Thunder hockey always has specials and promotions that can save you money, and you don’t have to know anything about hockey to enjoy a game.
- Wichita Wingnuts baseball also offers discounts, theme nights and giveaways. Some games are even followed by a fireworks show.
- Wichita Force arena football plays during the spring and early summer, and they have deals and specials just like Wichita’s other pro teams.
- Wichita State baseball, softball, and women's basketball tickets are usually inexpensive, and you might even see former players from your high school on the teams.
Have a paranormal encounter
Do you like the creepy, spooky, and unexplained? Instead of a Netflix 2-star horror flick marathon at home in your pjs, you could participate in a ghost hunt or paranormal investigation and see the equipment that’s used, learn about haunted locations in Wichita, and discover the evidence that’s been uncovered.
- Moonlit Ghost Hunts offers paranormal investigations and tours several times a year at locations like Amira Dance Productions in Wichita, the Mulvane Train Depot, and the Kansas Museum of Military History in Augusta.
- Ghost Tours of Kansas does a bus tour of several historic locations along Douglas in Wichita, like haunted theaters, Maple Grove Cemetery, and The Forum. You will hear tales of Wichita’s paranormal past along the way, and you can get out and explore two locations. Ghost Tours of Kansas also offers a Paranormal birthday party, complete with a walking ghost tour, paranormal investigation training, listening to EVPs, checking out photos of ghosts, and participating in an actual investigation of a haunted location.
- Ghost Stories of Delano is an annual event that takes you by trolley to several haunted locations in the Delano district of Wichita. Check the Website for updates.
- Wichita Paranormal Research Society (WPRS) Paranormal Class is inexpensive, and teaches you about the techniques and equipment used in paranormal investigations, including recording from real investigations. Classes are held periodically during the year.
Take in a movie
Wichita has several unique movie theater experiences, where students can check out cult classics, new releases, and second-run movies at bargain prices.
- Starlite Drive-In offers carload pricing in the spring and fall, so you and your friends can enjoy up to 3 back-to-back new release movies only $13 total.
- The Warren Old Town shows new releases for only $5 on Wednesdays. No one under 18 is admitted after 8 pm. (That’s okay, it's a school night anyway.)
- The Palace Theatre West shows second-run movies for just $1.50 every Tuesday. Regular ticket prices are only $3.50, but they only accept cash. One weekend a month from spring through fall, you can also catch a cult classic like Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure or Flash Gordon.
- The Orpheum Theater also shows classic movies like Jurassic Park, Psycho, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show once a month, and student tickets are only $4.
Most of the attractions in this list are year-round, but there are lots of other programs and events that are only offered during specific times, like Halloween, Christmas or spring break. Check the 360Wichita.com events page for updates when you’re looking for something to do.