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May 20, 2014

Things to do in Wichita

When you have visitors

Heather Bohrer

Are you having friends visit, but not sure where to take them? Are you looking to visit Wichita in the future yourself? Here are some ideas of places to check out.

There is always something fun going on in Wichita. These are some of the memorable events that are worth checking out.
  • Tallgrass Film Festival: This 5-day festival screens more than 180 films from 32 countries around the world. This is essentially our “Cannes;” many of the independent movies that are not typically played throughout the year are showed at this time.
  • Wichita River Festival: This classic Wichita event is a people watcher/fried food fan’s dream. Aside from the interesting attendees, and savory fried butter, there are many fun events going on throughout this time, including live concerts every night and fireworks on opening night.
  • Final Friday: As the name implies, this happens the last Friday of every month. All those attending are welcome to “hop” between various galleries in Old Town to see highlighted artwork. This event is free and open to the public.
  • Zoobilee: This event, a fundraiser for the Sedgwick County Zoo, is one of the craziest events in Wichita. Zoobillee patrons spend the night dancing, mingling, and sampling food and drinks from Wichita’s finest. It’s the only day of the year that the Zoo closes to the public!
Wichita has a ton of amazing restaurants. There are many restaurants that have been around for 30+ years, as well as new local staples. I can go on forever about the great local eateries, but will spare you with some of my favorites.
  • N&J’s: This local gem serves up delicious Mediterranean cuisine. If hummus, grape leaves, or shawarma is what your heart desires, look no further. 
  • DeFazio’s: This is a small Wichita staple that serves legit Italian food. If you are in town and have an itch for chicken parmesan, ziti, or pasta, ditch the chains and come here!
  • Tanya’s Soup Kitchen: If you want a great lunch spot in the city, this is it. Tanya’s is a city favorite that serves unique soups, salads, and sandwiches. They use fresh produce and have a good amount of vegetarian/vegan options. (Tip: order the bread pudding!)
Wichita has some pretty neat museums that are especially great for families visiting this area. If you are a half as much as a nerd as me, you will love exploring these ones out.
  • Museum of World Treasures: You can come here to discover treasures from around the world, including dinosaur artifacts, and Egyptian mummies.
  • Wichita Art Museum: We have a great collection of artists work, and have many interesting traveling displays. You can get in free all day Saturday.
  • Old Cowtown Museum: This place is an interactive, living history museum where you can experience life in the 1870s.
  • Exploration Place:  This is Wichita’s premiere science center with hands-on exhibits for all ages, and is also home to state’s largest digital dome theatre. (Added bonus: they play Pink Floyd laser light shows!)
One of the most important aspects of vacationing is to find artifacts to bring back home. These artifacts can be pictures of your travels, a postcard, or five adorable purses if it was entirely up to me. We have many great shopping centers in our area that offer fun and unique options.
  • Bradley Fair: This is a gorgeous “lifestyle center” that features over 50 specialty stores and restaurants. This shopping area also offers occasional entertainment throughout the year. There are many concerts that go on throughout the summer, and also carriage rides offered throughout the winter months.
  • New Market Square: This is Wichita’s largest outdoor shopping center. New Market is home to many popular retailers, as well as some smaller boutiques.
  • The Delano District: If unique is something you are seeking, the small eclectic stores in the Delano neighborhood might be more your style. If you are a hipster, a closeted hipster, or just enjoy hipster watching – this is your area.

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