Welcome to summer! School is out this week for most public schools in the Wichita area. Below are some ideas of inexpensive summer activities for kids and fun things to do with kids this summer in Wichita that will keep them busy and happy all summer long.
Written and compiled by a kid (my kid, to be specific!) who has grown up with this blog, this guide is kid-tested and approved. It’s got tons of ideas for summer family outings, summer events, and more things to do with your kids this summer in Wichita. (Note that these aren’t just activities for kids, like summer camps and story times; the emphasis is on things the whole family can do together.) We will likely add to this list, so keep checking back.
Can you think of some other inexpensive and fun summer activities for kids in Wichita? If you see that we’ve missed something, please let us know in the comments!
First we’ll start with a few specific events that you won’t want to miss…
Summer Family Fun Events in Wichita
(These are one-time activities. Scroll down for a list of ongoing activities.)
- May 20: Walk with Wildlife at the Great Plains Nature Center.
- May 20: Fly the friendly skies at the Derby Kite Festival in the afternoon.
- May 20: Camp Starwoods is having a free open house for Girl Scout camps this summer.
- May 26: Go on a Family Night Hike at Botanica. Campfire dinner and s’mores are included.
- June 1: Kick off the new month with the first Family Game Night of the year at Botanica! Admission is only $3.
- June 1: It’s also family night at the Museum of World Treasures, which comes with discount admission.
- June 2-10: Enjoy Riverfest! (Of course!) A Riverfest kid’s button is only $5 and gives you access to an entire week of fun activities!
- June 3 and 4: Fish together for free during Kansas’ free fishing days!
- Make sure you check the Wichita Free & Cheap Events Calendar too, because we’ll be adding events to it throughout the summer.
And subscribe to the free Wichita on the Cheap e-newsletter so you never miss a deal.
Summer Activities for Kids & Familes in Wichita
(These are ongoing events or activities available through most of the summer.)
- Find a free, family-friendly kite-flying event in Wichita or nearby and your summer will be looking up!
- Visit all the city pools on Free Swimming Days.
- Watch the ring of fire around the Keeper of the Plains light up our sky.
- Get to the Keeper area a little early so you can look for the Troll. He’s hidden under the sidewalk that goes along the river – you’ll know when you’ve found him!!
- Cool off with FREE Interactive Fountains and Splash Pads in the Wichita area.
- Get a breath of fresh air with our Walking trails in Wichita.
- Visit Great Plains Nature Center for some completely free fun with nature.
- Be entertained for hours without paying a dime at Riverside park, zoo, and fountains.
- Sign up for classes and activities through the Wichita recreation department HERE.
- Take a stroll through our very own farmers markets.
- Become a Kansas tourist on the cheap. A vacation in your own state can be just as refreshing and fun as a long-distance trip, with the added bonus of getting there faster! TravelKS, from the Kansas Department of Commerce and Tourism, is a good place to start, as is their Facebook page, to get ideas and find ways to save.
- Enjoy a FREE summer movie at NewMarket Square.
- Advertisement: Save money on Vacations in Branson by searching for deals using the ReserveDirect savings engine. You’ll find deals for Silver Dollar City, Ride the Ducks, Adventure Ziplines or 76 Flylines, and more.
- Chill out with $2 ice skating days at the Wichita Ice Center.
- Stroll through the “roofless museum” of the Wichita Art Museum’s new Art Garden. Admission is free year-round, and on the third Saturday morning of the month, they have docent-led tours, also free.
- Relive the old west days with free admission to Cowtown on Sunday afternoons.
- Enjoy gardens and games with $3 Thursdays and family game night at Botanica.
- Visit some citywide and/or neighborhood garage sales.
- The Final Friday Art Crawl is a wonderful time to enjoy the art in Wichita.
- Kick back and listen to jazz in the heart of Bradley Fair.
- View some awesome outdoor sculptures around town.
- Go nuts with $1 tickets to the Wingnuts games every Monday night home game.
- Visit the Wichita Sports Hall of Fame on a Saturday afternoon or the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame at the Boathouse on a weekday. Admission is free, although donations are accepted.
- Cool off by watching the waltzing waters at the Waterwalk Fountains.
- Catch some family time with fishing in the Wichita metro area. (Kids under 16 do not need a license)
- Take a small trip to play mini-golf! Watson Park, Exploration Place, and All Star Wichita are a few places that have mini-golf.
- Learn some history about our city via our city museums and attractions.
- Museum of World Treasures offers discounted admission each month on Family Night.
- The Wichita Art Museum is free every Saturday, and on the fourth Saturday of the month they have a free Family Artventure.
- During June you can bring in your kids’ report cards to Family Video and get a free movie rental for every A!
- Beat the heat by coming to watch some inexpensive movies with your kids at Derby Plaza Theatre.
- Make Wednesday night movie night with $5 movies at Old Town Warren.
- Pull an all-nighter at Starlite Drive-in.
- Find a spot to pick some fresh berries, apples, peaches, or pumpkins at a you-pick farm near Wichita.
- Knock down some pins, because kids bowl free and grown-ups cheap all summer long.
- Summer reading programs are back! Get back in the books and have the kids sign up.
- Kids can get a free book through Barnes and Noble summer reading program.
- The WATER Center in Herman Hill Park is a great place to look at aquariums and learn about water.
- Play all afternoon at Watson Park, which has a miniature train to ride, pony rides, pedal boats, miniature golf, and three playgrounds. Activities are all very inexpensive, but you can also buy coupon books for even more savings. The park is at 3022 S. McLean Blvd. in Wichita.
- Get FREE admission to the Sedgwick County Zoo on Tuesday evenings in July.
- Get $1 admission to the Sedgwick County Zoo for the Back to School Bash in August.
- Explore Wichita like a tourist and get $2 off admission at some of our favorite local attractions.
- After all your fun, you can treat yourself and your kids with half price shakes after 8 at Sonic.
Still not enough ideas? Sign up for our free email newsletter because we send out updates with new events or activities when we find out about them.
Do you have littles in the toddler set? You’ll appreciate this big, big list of free and cheap kids activities compiled by Cynthia!