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Floatin’ on the River kayak events with Wichita Park & Recreation

Summer is the perfect time of year to do some floatin’ on the river! In addition to its kayak rentals on the river, The City of Wichita Park & Recreation office will be offering a series of guided kayak floats along the Arkansas River this summer.

What a treat it will be to enjoy the moonlight or the sunrise (depending on which tour you choose) on the water in Wichita and float past the Keeper of the Plains.

You won’t need any equipment to participate – the fee will cover your rental. You also won’t need prior experience, because each float begins with a short training. (You will want to make sure you’re up for the exercise, because even though the float is leisurely, it’s still a strenuous activity that lasts a little over an hour.)

This is a great family event for those with teens. The fee for the tours is $35 and includes instruction, equipment rental, food, beverages and music, and transportation back to the starting place. Space is limited, and pre-registration is required for the tours. Signed waivers are also required before you participate.

Kayak Floats on the Arkansas River

Whether you’re an early riser or a night owl, there’s a float for you!

Sunset Kayak Tours

You’ll paddle at a leisurely pace from the ramp just south of the Wichita Boathouse, to the Keeper of the Plains, so you’ll see the Keeper like you’ve never seen it before! Afterwards, gather for a relaxing BBQ dinner and music and talk about your adventure. 

The sunset tours are scheduled for the following dates/times (and pre-registration is required):

  • Friday, June 17 from 7- 9:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday, June 22 from 7- 9:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, July 16 from 7-9:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday, August 3 from 6:45- 9:15 p.m.
  • Wednesday, August 17 from 6:30- 9:15 p.m.
  • Friday, September 9 from 6:00- 8:45 p.m.
  • Saturday, September 24 from 5:30- 8:15 p.m.

 Register online at the Park & Recreation department website here.

Glow Kayak Tours

Ages 16 and up can enjoy a moonlit (and glowstick lit) kayak tour on the Arkansas river. You and the kayaks will be glowing with lights and glow sticks as you make your way to the Keeper of the Plains to watch the Ring of fire lighting from the water. Enjoy desserts and light snacks afterwards. The fee for the glow tours is $35. The glow tours are scheduled for the following dates/times (and pre-registration is required):

  • Friday, July 22 from 7:30- 10:15 p.m.
  • Saturday, August 6 from 7:30- 10:15 p.m.
  • Friday, August 26 from 7:30- 10:15 p.m.

Register online at the Park & Recreation website here.

Senior Tour

For anyone age 55+ who would like an easier introduction to kayak tours, there is a senior tour scheduled. If you don’t think you’re up to the return paddle (from the Keeper back to where you started), they have you covered. The kayaking event ends with a BBQ dinner on the patio of the Wichita Boathouse.

As with the other tours, pre-registration is required. The price is $35 per person.

  • Friday, September 2 from 5:30- 8:15 p.m.

Register online here

Sunrise Kayak Tours

Sunrise kayak tour includes a brief time with instruction, a leisurely (but still strenuous) paddling tour to the Keeper of the Plains and back, and pre-registration is required. Breakfast on the Wichita Boathouse deck is included afterwards. The fee for the sunrise tours is also $35.

So far I do not see any Sunrise Paddle Board and Kayak Tour scheduled:

  • Will update as we get information

Register online at the Park & Recreation website here.

Kayak Rentals

If the sunrise and sunset tour dates don’t work for you, the City has also scheduled open float times in the coming months. You’ll receive some basic instruction on paddling techniques and safety, then take off for a leisurely float down the Little Arkansas River. These are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Park under Kellogg at 605 S. Wichita. Parking is free there.

The price for kayak rental will be $10 per hour. They’ll only accept cash, so be sure to bring some with you.

Kayak rentals are cash-only.

*The river has been closed in the past due to high flow rates, so this activity may be cancelled. Be sure you double-check before heading out!

Kayak rental will be available from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays from June 26 to September 5 . No pre-registration is available; it’s strictly first-come, first-served. (And cash-only.)

This is a great idea for a fun date activity.

Of course, the unpredictable Kansas weather could get in the way of the best plans, so since this is an outdoor activity you’ll want to double-check that these kayak floats down the Arkansas River are still on if the weather looks iffy.

Make sure to check the City of Wichita Park and Recreation Facebook page for any updates!

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