May 18 is International Museum Day! Established in 1977, the day serves to recognize that museums are important for enriching culture, cultural exchange, and developing mutual understanding and peace among people. Wichita has a lot of great museums to visit. If you're looking for a place to celebrate, check out these local museums!
Exploration Place is a science center for all ages that offers a variety of hands on activities. Featuring exhibits on Kansas, flight and more, you're sure to learn a lot! Exploration Place also highlights imaginative spaces for toddlers, travelling exhibits, and even a three story castle where kids can play and learn about medieval times! When you visit Don't forget to catch a show at the largest dome theatre in the state, the Boeing Dome Theatre and Planetarium! On your way out, be sure to stop by the Explore Store for a souvenir!
Exploration Place is open from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Tuesdays through Saturdays, and noon until 5 p.m. on Sundays.
The Great Plains Transportation Museum
The Great Plains Transportation Museum focuses on demonstrating the key role that railroad transportation has played in Kansas history. The museum highlights an abundance of railroad artifacts, equipment and memorabilia. In addition, the museum's two largest displays are actual locomotives!When you visit, you'll get to see the Santa Fe steam locomotive #3768 and the Santa Fe FP45 diesel #93. Go back in time as you learn the history of these trains. Guests are welcome to browse the gift shop at no charge. The shop features artifacts, clothes, books, hats, toys, railroad paraphernalia and more.
The Great Plains Transportation Museum is open on Saturdays from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m., on Sundays between April and October from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m.
The Kansas Aviation Musem
Spend a day learning about one of the biggest elements of Wichita's culture: the Aviation industry. The Kansas Aviation Museum, which was once a municipal airport, allows all kinds of great learning experiences that are both educational and fun! For example, children are able to build and fly various types of paper airplanes! Guest can also fly in a Cessna simulator, view a variety of aircrafts, and visit the Aviation Hall of Fame!
The Kansas Aviation Museum is open from 10 a.m until 6 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, with the exclusion of major holidays.
The Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center
Take a trip out of this world at the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center. At the Cosmosphere, you'll find an actual SR-71 Blackbird Spy Plane, a T-38 training jet and a scaled Space Shuttle replica, and that's just in the lobby! The Cosmosphere also highlights the Hall of Space Museum, which features three flown spacecrafts, one flown Russian spacecraft, a buzz bomb, a moon rock and much more. The Kansas Cosmosphere is also home to the Carey Digital Dome Theater, Justice Planetarium, and Dr. Goddard's live rocket demonstration shows.
The Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center is open from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m. on Mondays through Saturdays, and from noon until 7 p.m. on Sundays.
Kansas Firefighters Museum
Built in 1909, the Kansas Firefighters museum has a lot of history to offer. The museum building was once Engine House No. 6-- Wichita's last horsedrawn fire station. Wichita later became the first all-mechanized fire department in the U.S. and the second in the world. Guests who visit the museum now are able to get a taste of what a day in the life of a firefighter was like over 100 years ago. Featuring old fire engines, uniforms, badges, wooden water mains, hydrants, alarms, leather buckets, ladders, axes, sirens, photographs and more, there's plenty to see!
The Kansas Firefighters Museum is open from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Saturdays.
Kansas Sports Hall of Fame
The Kansas Sports Hall of Fame serves to "honor those that significantly contributed to the history of sports in Kansas and to educate and inspire the public regarding the value of athletics and Kansas athletic history by providing the requisite leadership and resources." The Kansas Sports Hall of Fame is located in the Wichita Boathouse. The Hall of Fame occupies the Boathouse's first floor, and features an inductee gallery that is permanently on display, as well as a few rotating exhibits that highlight particular inductees.
The Kansas Sports Hall of Fame is available to tour on Mondays through Fridays from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.
McCormick School Museum
This museum's history lessons will take you right back to the classroom. The McCormick School Museum is housed in Wichita's oldest school building, built on 1890. The museum preserves the history of Wichita Public schools, offering guests a look at an 1890's school setting. The museum also highlights a print shop, a 1920's science lab, a library, and several rooms full of old school furniture.
The McCormick School Museum is open from 9 a.m. until 11 a.m. on Wednesdays, and on the second Sunday on the month from September through June from 2 p.m. until 5 p.m.
The Mid-American All Indian Museum
The Mid-American All Indian Center is dedicated to promoting and preserving the cultural history of American Indians in North America. The only museum of it's kind in the area, it's a great place to go to learn about the local tribes that once dominated the area. The museum features traditional artifacts and contemporary works of art that depict the American Indian cultures, as well as interactive interactive exhibits, outdoor exhibits, a gift shop that sells American Indian-made items, music, movies and jewelry, and so much more.
The Mid-American All Indian Center is open from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Tuesdays through Saturdays.
Old Cowtown Museum
If you've ever wondered what life in Wichita was like in 1865, Old Cowtown Museum is the place to go. Experience the Old West first-hand at Cowtown, when you take a ride in a covered-wagon, walk through the actual historic 19th Century buildings, dress in period costumes and take old-style photos, drink a sarsparilla in the Saloon, watch gun-fight re-enactments, interact with costumed interpretors and so much more.
Old Cowtown Museum is open from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. Summer hours are Wednesdays through Saturdays from 9 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. and Sundays from noon until 4:30 p.m.
The Wichita Art Museum
The Wichita Art Museum is home to a nationally renowned permanent collection of nearly 7,000 works of art. The Largest museum in the State of Kansas, the Wichita Art Muesum even features works by renowned artists such as Mary Cassatt and Edward Hopper, and thats just in the permanent collection. The Wichita Art Museum also features a selection of constantly rotation exhibits, so there's always something new to see. In addition, the museum features two large-scale works by Seattle glass artist Dale Chihuly. Guests will notice his work almost immediately, as it provides a grand entrance into the museum.
The Wichita Art Museum is open from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Tuesdays through Saturdays, and from noon until 5 p.m. on Sundays.
The Ulrich Museum of Art
Wichita State University's Ulrich Museum of Art is the region's source for modern and contemporary art. The museum is home to the a collection of 76 outdoor sculptures, as well as a permanent collection of more than 6,300 works. Located on the WSU Campus, the Ulrich Museum of Art is open from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Tuesdays through Fridays, and from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m. of Saturdays and Sundays. Admission to the Museum is free.
The Kansas African American Museum
Dedicated to making the African American experience relevant and resonant to every Kansan, The Kansas African American Museum highlights a variety of exhibits that serve to educate museum guests on the African American experience and History in the State of Kansas. The Kansas African American Museum is located at 601 N. Water, and is open from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. un Tuesdays through Fridays, and from noon until 4 p.m. on Saturdays. Admission os $5.50 per person and $2.50 for children.
The Museum of World Treasures
At Wichita's Museum of World Treasures, guests can expect to find a variety of historical displays, including ancient Egyptian artifacts, war artifacts, dinosaur fossils, and more. Take a step back into the past as you look at a piece of the berlin war, explore the old west, learn about World War II and so much more. The Museum of World Treasures is located at 835 E. 1st Street, and is open from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Mondays through Saturdays and from noon until 5 p.m. on Sundays. Admission is $6.95 for children, $7.95 for seniors, $8.95 for Adults, and free for children three and under.