We’re seeing more and more announcements about businesses reopening in Wichita. Most have modified operations somewhat – especially in terms of sanitation procedures and ensuring customers can maintain social distancing.
Some places of business are requesting or requiring that customers wear masks. You don’t need a medical grade mask. I made a super simple one from a pattern at the CDC website here. (That link has instructions for no-sew masks as well.)
It isn’t possible for us to track all Wichita businesses that are reopening, but we’ll try to keep up with those we think you’ll be most interested in, with a focus on attractions and entertainment, thrift/bargain and local shopping, and places that have broad general interest.
We’ve been paying attention to information from state, county, and local officials. You can see our notes on the latest guidelines below, at the bottom of this post. You can also go straight to the source and get the latest information about the current situation on the City of Wichita website here and the Sedgwick County government website here.
If you know of a business that is reopening, please let us know in the comments. (A link to their announcement would be awesome if you have it!)
- The Wichita Public Library is open for limited in-person services. More details here.
Entertainment and Attractions
- July 4 Exploration Place will open its doors to the public once again! They will open exclusively to members July 1-3.
- Regal Cinemas announced reopening plans for its theaters. Nationally, this starts
July 10. [Update: This has been pushed back to July 31Aug 21.] The company outlined its planned health and safety measures based on national health organizations, feedback from employees and customers, and in accordance with state and local ordinances.
- AMC Theaters plan to reopen
July 30, 2020. AMC has also changed its plans; according to the website, theaters will be opening at staggered times depending on each locality, and they hadn’t offered a start date as of July 31, 2020. More info
- Starlite Drive-In reopened on Friday, May 22.
- Wichita-Sedgwick County Historical Museum reopens to the public June 23, resuming normal hours of operation. They will have additional protective/safety measures in place. The museum recommends reserving your visit time in advance due to capacity restrictions. Visit wichitahistory.org for more details.
- Kansas Aviation Museum reopens to the public starting Wednesday, July 8, 2020. Before then, it will have some members-only open days. You can read more here about what to expect and some policies that are being put in place to protect guests and staff.
- Shocker Sports Grill & Lanes is open for dining and carryout food, but bowling and billiards reopens on June 8. Social distancing should continue to be followed and their announcement says “masks are expected.”
- Kansas Cosmosphere is open for business as of May 20. They will be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mon – Sat and Noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday. Check the linked page above for more details about new safety precautions the Cosmosphere will be taking.
- Dave & Busters is open again! Their hours are currently Wed – Fri 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Check out their new precautions at the link.
- Wichita Art Museum Update: WAM has rescheduled its opening date to June 23 for the public. It will open for members on June 16. Facial coverings will be required and the museum will be implementing other safety measures, such as occupancy limits on events and in certain galleries.
- Cheney swimming pool plans to open on June 15 with new safety precautions in place. Swimmers/guests will need to bring their own chairs.
- El Dorado swimming pool will open on June 9. Swimmers will need to call the pool in advance to reserve a spot in one of the two available swimming sessions. Admission will not be charged this year.
- Rock River Rapids in Derby plans to reopen on June 8 with limited tickets, two separate sessions per day, and additional safety precautions in place.
- Haysville swimming pool will open June 6.
- Old Cowtown Museum will reopen on Tuesday, June 2. The first hour (from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m.) is reserved for seniors and vulnerable populations. Entry for other guests starts at 10 a.m. Because Cowtown is a City of Wichita property, masks are required to enter and inside buildings, however masks are not required outdoors if 6′ distancing can be maintained. The museum will limit guests to 300 people at a time.
- Kauffman Museum reopens Tuesday, June 2 with regular business hours.
- Field Station: Dinosaurs has scheduled its opening for June 1, 2020.
- Splash Aqua Park plans to open
Memorial Day weekend, on May 23, 2020. This opening had to be rescheduled for June 1May 30.
- Derby Plaza Theater is reopening May 29 and will show 4 classic family films for $5!
- Museum of World Treasures reopened Wednesday, May 27 with some new measures in place designed to protect staff, volunteers, and visitors.
- Botanica Wichita reopened Tuesday, May 26 with new guidelines in place and a limit on the number of visitors. Because it is a City of Wichita property, masks are required.
- The Arcade announced its Friday, May 22 reopening.
- Boats and+ Bikes opened at 12 pm on Friday, May 22.
- The Alley Indoor Entertainment announced it would reopen on Friday, May 22.
- Sedgwick County Zoo reopened to the public May 21 with limited and scheduled admission times. (You must purchase tickets online in advance.)
- Tanganyika Wildlife Park began reopening in phases beginning May 4. Check the linked page above for more details about the phased reopening of the park.
- Union Station Farmers Market opened May 20, 2020. Other farmers markets have already opened because they were considered essential, so this was probably the originally scheduled date for this market.
- Goodwill of Kansas reopened stores Wichita-area stores for shopping and donations, with temporary hours of 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Sundays.
- Wichita Habitat for Humanity ReStore at 601 N. West Street has reopened. Its hours are Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- Moler’s Camera announced on Facebook that the store has reopened with regular hours as of May 4.
- Uptown Cheapskate is open with temporary store hours of 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and closed on Sundays. As of May 20, all of their dressing rooms are open; however their restrooms are still closed. Staff will wear masks and customers are requested (but not required) to do the same. As at other businesses, you should maintain a six-foot distance between yourself and other shoppers; Uptown Cheapskate is requesting that you leave the kids home if possible.
- Towne West Square Mall began a phased reopening on May 4. Not all stores within the mall are open yet. Temporarily, the west mall’s hours will be 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Saturday.
- Towne East Square Mall is open as of May 4. Not all stores within the mall are open though.
- The Workroom reopened on Saturday, May 9, 2020. You will need to wear a mask to shop.
- Several of Wichita’s discount retail stores have reopened (yay!) including SteinMart, Home Goods, T.J. Maxx, and Ross Dress for Less. Expect to wait in line outside, as they are limiting occupancy and encouraging shoppers to maintain at least six feet of distance from others. Staff are wearing masks; many of the customers are also wearing masks (including me).
- Paramount Antique Stores are open again. As usual, maintain the 6′ distance between yourself and others and wear a mask if you can.
- Bookaholic (all locations) is open now, with standard hours beginning May 8. Curbside pickup is still available if you prefer. They’re limiting their used book purchases for now.
- Home Goods, T.J. Maxx, and Marshalls have reopened. Number of guests inside each store is limited, so you should be prepared for a brief wait in line outside the store. Staff are wearing masks.
- Ecclesia Coffee has reopened its lobby from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day.
- Milkfloat will reopen Wednesday, June 3, at 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. for curbside and carry-out. Then will be open for dine-in with regular summer hours on Monday, June 8.
Do you know of other Wichita businesses reopening that we should include? Grocery stores and home improvement/garden centers have remained open, and many restaurants offered curbside, drive-through, or delivery orders. But if you know of a Wichita place that has changed its status recently, please share it with us in the comments below.
Previous updates to this post are below…
Update, May 28, 2020: Sedgwick County officials voted on Wednesday to recommend that residents and businesses adhere to the Ad Astra plan put in place by the state of Kansas. They also increased the limit on public gatherings to 20 people.
Update, May 21: The City of Wichita has begun reopening many of its facilities to the public, with modifications to accommodate social distancing and other safety protocols. Masks are required at all City facilities, and will be provided if needed. The City’s plans are flexible and will change if necessary.
Update, May 19: Governor Kelly plans to move Kansas into a modified Phase 2 of the reopening plan on Friday, May 22. This will include an increase of gathering size to 15 people, and more Wichita businesses will be allowed to reopen.
You can see the Governor’s reopening plan here.
Some things are staying the same. Governor Kelly cautions Kansans to continue to maintain social distancing, staying home if you are sick, and other best practices that helped us get to the point where we can reopen at this level.
People are encouraged to wear cloth masks in public, and high-risk individuals are advised to continue to stay at home except for essential needs. Non-essential travel is still discouraged and special restrictions apply for travel to high-risk areas. (From the governor’s plan: “Essential travel includes travel for urgent and necessary family, medical, and businessrelated needs as determined by the individual or business.”)
On May 18, Kansas added a Phase 1.5 to the plan that was more restrictive. That phase kept the 10 person limit on gathering sizes and “indoor leisure spaces” had to stay closed.
Phase 2 still prohibits large entertainment venues with a capacity of more than 2000, swimming pools, summer camps, bars and nightclubs (excluding those already operating curbside and carryout services), and fairs, festivals and parades from opening.
But community centers, organized sports facilities, practices, and tournaments (with some exceptions), and indoor leisure spaces will be allowed to open.