Why You Should Never Say "There's Nothing to Do in Wichita"
“Is there anything to do in Wichita?”
Yes!!! There’s a ton of cool stuff to do in Wichita. But Wichitans still hear this question all the time from out-of-town friends and family and even our fellow Wichitans. There seems to be this lingering perception that our city is half a million people who have no options other than to stay home and watch Netflix every night.
If you are one of those Wichitans who does stay in and watch Netflix every night because you think Wichita is dead, I’ve got good news! You don’t need to stay home like a hermit anymore. Wichita has you covered.
There's More to Do Here Than You Think
You don’t have to be a single, beer-guzzling hipster with no kids to have fun here (although it probably doesn’t hurt). Wichita has gone through a metamorphosis in recent years, and there are now entertainment options far beyond the typical “dinner and a movie” date followed by an inevitable trip to the store where you both wander around until someone says “well, you ready to call it a night?”
Ugh, that’s boring, and Wichita is not a boring place. In that same spirit, for this blog I’m not going to simply list the multitude of cool things happening in this city. It’s all available to you on this site and the many other cool local sites that work hard every day to inform you of your entertainment choices.
Rather I’m going to address the Eeyores out there - the ones who are mired in this negative reality where Wichita isn’t as good as some other place they’ve been or where living somewhere else seems like a better option because “there’s more to do.”
First of all if you think there’s nothing to do in Wichita, you simply aren’t paying attention. From the variety of meetups and groups, to the thriving local music, comedy and theater scenes emerging, to the influx of awesome new breweries and bars starting up, to the wide range of classes and lessons taught here, to the museums, attractions, parks and sports teams we all know and love, not to mention the fantastic annual festivals that are held here - Wichita has plenty to do.
So Let's Fix The Problem
So what’s the problem then? What makes so many of us dismiss our home city as an entertainment desert where no joy can be found? The answer will shock you…
Not really. It’s us. We feed this negative stereotype all the time, maybe without even realizing it. When you’re making plans with friends do you ever hear something said like “Why doesn’t Wichita have (insert business literally 5 people would go to)?” or “If only Wichita would get a (insert big market chain)” or “Why can’t Wichita be more like (insert regional city with twice our population)?”
A lot of us have “Grass is Greener” syndrome and are quick to overlook the cool and amazing efforts and contributions of people right here to help Wichita grow into one of these places we long to be like so much. Take a good look around and you’ll discover Wichita is becoming more and more like a “big city” every day with courageous local entrepreneurs starting new and maintaining current exciting business ventures and making efforts to engage the public along the way.
We are building an exciting new culture in Wichita, but it starts with all of us and our willingness to support it rather than tear it down. We are in uncharted waters in terms of what this city is able to achieve. We built the Intrust Bank Arena with the goal of getting NCAA tournament games here. Now what was once a pipe dream is actually happening.
That’s how cities grow and thrive - when people leave behind their petty assumptions and negative past experiences and work together to create something new and exciting.
It’s happening right now in Wichita, whether you see it or not. If you’re living mostly in a 3-mile-radius bubble and never venture into other parts of town, you’re missing out.
This isn’t the old “whatever one side of town has, the other side of town has the same” Wichita anymore. There are so many cool places to visit, events to attend and new ideas happening that you simply owe it to yourself to seek them out.
Our lives all become richer and more positively-impacted when you say to yourself, “instead of shutting myself in or running down the place where I live, I’m going to be out and involved in my city to make it a better place for me, my family and future generations of Wichitans.”