Wichita's Best Picnic Spots
With the fall season quickly approaching, many people will start looking for more ways to spend time outside to enjoy the beautiful weather. Why not pack up the family (and a lunch) and go on a picnic! There are many wonderful spots around Wichita that are perfect for this activity—and most of them are completely free! Here is a list of some of the best spots around Wichita to picnic:
Sedgwick County Park
Located within Wichita's city limits is a wildlife and scenic getaway spot—perfect for a picnic lunch or dinner! With numerous trails running throughout, Sedgwick County Park is large enough you can make a game out of finding a new "best" picnic spot every time you visit. After lunch, go on a bike ride around the park or cast a line in one of its many water spots. This park is always bustling with energy—and there are always new parts of it to explore!
Hours of Operation: Open every day 6:00 a.m.—10:00 p.m.
In the heart of Wichita is a beautiful garden of flowers and statues that will make you forget you are in the middle of a city when you are walking through it. From the magnificent Butterfly Garden to the stunning Chinese Garden of Friendship, the sites and smells of Botanica are breathtaking. Bring a picnic lunch and eat on a bench in the Shakespeare Garden or stop by the Garden Café! Botanica was opened to the public in May 1987 and has grown and expanded since then to what it is today. If you grew up in Wichita, there's a good chance you have experienced a special event or wedding hosted at Botanica—but why not take your time and stroll through the gardens just enjoying the beauty that it is.
Hours of Operation: M-Sa 9:00 a.m.—5:00 p.m., and most Tuesdays and Thursdays open until 8:00 p.m. (with the exception of special events)
Admission: $7 Regular Adult Admission (13 years and older), $6 Military and Senior Adult Admission (Seniors 62 years and older), $5 Regular Youth Admission (3 years old – 12 years old), Children 2 & Under - FREE
Keeper of the Plains
One of Wichita’s most iconic figures is the Keeper of the Plains, located right alongside the Arkansas River. Every night (weather permitting), the Keeper is lit up with the Ring of Fire, which are torches of fire surrounding the base, creating a spectacle worth going to see every chance you get! Need a date night idea? Pack an after-dinner snack or dessert and a picnic blanket and go down to the river by the Keeper in time to see the Ring of Fire. After the show, you can take a look at the artifacts and learn all about the history of how this statue came to be a renowned Wichita icon.
Hours of Operation: Open every day 5:00 a.m.—12:00 a.m.
Ring of Fire displays:
- During Daylight Savings—Ring of Fire displays for 15 minutes beginning at 9:00 p.m.
- During Winter Months—Ring of Fire displays for 15 minutes beginning at 7:00 p.m.
If you grew up in Wichita, chances are you made it to Cowtown on a school field trip at least once. But, how long has it been since you went back to discover new things? Cowtown is an immersive experience that takes you back to the days of horse-drawn carriages and saloons. Want to experience a county fair from the 1870s? Head over to Cowtown on October 6th and take part in the pie eating contest or tug-of-war. You can also go on a Sunday and get free admission! Bring a lunch and take a trip back in time!
Hours of Operation: Monday: CLOSED, Tuesday - Saturday: 10:00 a.m.—5:00 p.m., Sunday: Noon—5:00 p.m. Last admission sold one hour before closing.
Admission: $9 – Adults, $8 - Seniors (62+), $7 - Youth (12-17), $6 - Kids (5-11), FREE – Kids (4 and under) & Members.
Hot outside but still want to get the kids out of the house? Try out one of Wichita’s water playgrounds with fountains that spray straight through the pavement! If you've gotten out at all this summer, you've most likely seen at least one of these water playgrounds that have popped up around Wichita. Kids and parents alike have sought out these fountains for relief from the heat and a fun afternoon of quality time! The six water playgrounds are located in Buffalo Park, Old Town Plaza, Fairmount Park, Lincoln Park, Osage Park, Riverside Central Park, Linear Park (Goddard), Maize Splash Pad, New Market Square Fountains, Reflection Square Park, and Andover Splash Park. Pack some food for the family and head out to the one closest to you!
Hours of Operation: Check individual park hours, but most are open from 10:00 a.m.—8:00 p.m. during summer