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.
- Ecclesia Coffee has reopened its lobby from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day.
Entertainment and Attractions
- Museum of World Treasures reopens Wednesday, May 27 with some new measures in place designed to protect staff, volunteers, and visitors.
- Kauffman Museum reopens Tuesday, June 2 with regular business hours.
- 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.
- Starlite Drive-In reopened for single features on Friday, May 22.
- 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.
- Splash Aqua Park plans to open
Memorial Day weekend, on May 23, 2020. This opening had to be rescheduled for June 1May 30.
- Field Station: Dinosaurs has scheduled its opening for June 1, 2020.
- Wichita Art Museum has scheduled its reopening for June 2. Facial coverings will be required and the museum will be implementing other safety measures, such as occupancy limits on events and in certain galleries.
- 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.
- Derby Plaza Theater is reopening May 29 and will show 4 classic family films for $5!
- 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.
- Cheney swimming pool plans to open on June 15 with new safety precautions in place. Swimmers/guests will need to bring their own chairs.
- Haysville swimming pool will open June 6.
- 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.
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.
Wichita, KS 67203-3200