When it comes to shopping and entertainment, Wichita’s got a pretty clear winner: downtown. Let’s face it. Downtown has it all.
In terms of entertainment, there’s Intrust Bank Arena, Century II, Lawrence-Dumont Stadium, Old Town, the Loony Bin, the Museum of World Treasures, the Old Town Warren and so much more. (Other major attractions like the Wichita Art Museum, Cowtown, and the Mid-American All Indian Center are technically considered downtown per our boundaries.)
So, whether you’re into rock concerts, hockey games, stand-up comedy, theatre, baseball games, history or art, you’ll find something to do in the heart of downtown Wichita.
Downtown also has a variety of great opportunities for shopping and they’re all within close range, allowing more time to shop at each store. In downtown, you’ll find a variety of one-of a kind shops like Uniquities, Tessera Art Gallery, Athena Jewelry, Beyond Napa, Gander Mountain, Lucinda’s and more.
But, downtown isn’t a valid answer in an East vs. West battle, so we’ve got to pick a fair winner.
To clarify, we have defined the borders as follows: everything east of I-135 is considered “East Side”, and everything west of the river is classified as “West Side”. The area in between is downtown, and neither the east nor the west can claim this space.
Towne West Mall vs. Towne East Mall
On the west side, you’ve got Towne West Mall. With 73 retails shops and food court options. This mall features one story, a small food court, and several vacancies. Towne East Mall, however, has two stories, offering more than 132 retail shops and food court options. With a much larger variety of stores, extra space and a larger food court, Towne East is the clear winner when it comes to malls. Though the recent addition of a two story carouse at Towne West is worth noting, it isn’t enough to surpass Towne East Mall. Sorry, west-siders, but you know it’s true, and you’re reminded every time you hop on eastbound Kellogg to go to .
Bradley Fair vs. New Market Square
That brings us to a major Wichita debate: Bradley Fair or New Market Square? These are the two major outdoor shopping centers, one located at 21st Street and maize, and the Other at Rock Road and 2st Street. No matter where you live in the city, you probably familiar with at least one of these shopping centers.
The west side’s New Market Square claims to be the largest shopping center in Kansas, and rightly so. The Square features a total of 91 shops, including retailers of sporting goods, accessories, shoes, menswear, women’s apparel, children’s clothes, home décor, bed and bath and pet supplies as well as restaurants, bakeries, beauty products, a creamery, a portrait studio, a ceramic painting studio, and more. New Market Square features events like free family movie nights and sampler Saturdays in the plaza. New Market square also highlights a Walmart Supercenter and a Super Target, making the shopping center a one-stop-shop for everything you need.
Bradley Fair also offers an upscale shopping experience for Wichita shoppers, but falls just short of New Market Square with 81 shops and restaurants. Bradley fair highlights menswear, women’s apparel, home décor, accessories, beauty products, a bookstore, children’s clothes, a creamery, and a variety of restaurants. This picturesque shopping center highlights a variety of events of its own, including Autumn and Art, a Christmas tree lighting, Christmastime Carriage rides and more.
Though the combination of Towne East and Bradley Fair is hard to beat, the west side has something that the east can’t possibly parallel: the Delano District. Wichita’s Historic Delano District is located on Douglas Avenue between Sycamore and Seneca. The district has got a little bit of everything, from custom hats at Hatman Jacks to grills and everything you could possibly need to go with them at All Things BBQ. With shops for apparel, books, art, music, gifts, cars, cycles, gifts, wine and spirits and more, Delano’s storefront shopping offers convenient access to a variety of unique local shops you won’t find anywhere else.
While it may have been a close call before, the Delano District seals the win for west Wichita.
Wichita is jam-packed with things to do, so finding an entertainment venue is never hard. When you break it down into East Vs. West, however, you might just be surprised by the results.
East Wichita is home to a variety of entertainment options, like Bliss Bouldering and Climbing Complex, Xtreme Racing, The Great Plains Nature Center, All Star Adventures, Wichita Room Escape, Fireshark Gaming, Laser Quest, the Alley, and the Warren Theatre.
This range of activities appeals to athletes, nature lovers, families, film fanatics, thrill-seekers and more. It seems as though the entertainment industry is ever-growing on Wichita’s east side, with Xtreme Racing opening just this year. The east side offers a lot in the way of entertainment, but is it enough?
West Wichita certainly isn’t lacking in entertainment options, either. Home to the Wichita Ice Center, Tanganyika Wildlife Park, Exploration Place, Roller City, the Bullet Stop, Diamond Archery, All Star Sports and Glow Golf West Wichita is a great place to go to play, shoot, skate and explore.
West Wichita is also home to the west 21st Street Warren Theater, which features a world-class IMAX Theatre, offering an immersive film experience that east Wichita can’t possibly compete with. If that’s not enough, factor in a nationally renowned zoo with more than 3,000 animals of nearly 400 species and the choice is clear. Once again, the west side takes the cake.