Wichita on the Cheap

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Free and Cheap Things to Do with Kids in Wichita

Our updated list is here! Keep the whole family busy year-round with these inexpensive and free kids activities in Wichita and the surrounding areas. This list is fantastic for toddlers and young kids, but take note – some offer activities for big brothers and sisters too.

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Since we’ve found so many things to do with the kids that are either low-cost or completely FREE, we’ve separated the list into two different sections. 

First, there are the totally free things kids can do. After that we’ve collected a great big list of other activities that are really inexpensive and fun.

New! Scroll to the bottom for the day-by-day kids and family event calendar.

Free things to do with kids in Wichita:

The Wichita Public Library has free kids’ storytimes, family activity nights, and even educational and fun programs for teens – not to mention free books and movies to borrow. Activities vary by age, and may vary by branch location. Space is limited; first come, first seated. All are free unless otherwise noted. Check out Wichita Public Library Programs for Kids and Teens to see what’s coming up.

The Wichita Art Museum offers free educational art activities for kids and families. Art Start is an hour-long interactive program for preschoolers ages 3–5 offered on Tuesdays. (Pre-registration is required.) Family Artventure includes fun activities and art projects for the whole family on select Saturdays. Also, admission to the Art Museum is free every Saturday.

Great Plains Nature Center is a cornucopia of free kids activities! First off, the Nature Center is free to visit anytime they’re open. It has a walk-through exhibit area inside and there’s a wonderful walking path in Chisholm Trail Park just outside the center. They also offer free kids’ programs year-round. View the GPNC’s events on our calendar here. 

Join the CityCrew! City Crew is a free club for kids ages 12 and younger organized by the Wichita Department of Park and Recreation. They host FREE activities throughout the year, and kids get club membership lanyards and something for their birthday when they sign up.

Sedgwick County Extension Center holds Family board game nights several times throughout the year and these kid-friendly events are completely FREE. The Extension is also the venue for lots and lots of free or cheap family-friendly events, like the Farmers Market.

Riverside Park Zoo Locals call it a zoo, but it’s officially called the Kansas Wildlife Exhibit. Located in Central Riverside Park at 720 Nims, it’s open year-round and is always free. The exhibit includes 25 species of animals like beavers, red fox, porcupine, mink, hawks, owls, and more.

The Sedgwick County Park boundless playground is one of Wichita’s favorites. It’s located on the north end of the park, which is east of Ridge Road between 13th and 21st Streets. (Map it: 6501 W. 21st St. North, Wichita, KS 67212) Really, the whole park is great. It has walking paths/bike paths, ponds, a tennis court, multiple playgrounds, grills and picnic areas, and geese, ducks, and squirrels (all of which will chase you for a piece of bread, so don’t feed them)! Also check out Where to Walk in Wichita.

Exploration Park is fun and free for everyone. It includes a playground, rain garden, giant sandbox, picnic tables, and walking paths. It’s open from sunup to sundown every day.

Fishing in Kansas is inexpensive for adults and free for kids under 16 years old, who do not need a license. We have so many great places to fish in Wichita. <–Check out that link for a ton of fishing resources.

Splash parks in Wichita (and beyond) are seriously the most free fun you and your kids can have in hot weather, Wichita and nearby communities have all these wonderful free interactive fountains. Make sure the kids wear sunscreen, and definitely bring a towel because they (and maybe you) will get soaked.

Fly a Kite! Flying a kite is a free activity you can do any time the weather is nice. Find a nearby park or go to a kite-flying event where you can fly your kite with others, learn more about kites, and watch some pros demonstrate their skills! Find The BEST Places to Fly Kites in Wichita.

Kids Skate Free is a year-round program. Sign up and your kids can skate free up to two time per week!

Kids Bowl Free is only during the summer, but offers free games of bowling for kids and discounted bowling for adults. Plus, it gives everyone something cool to do inside during those sweltering hot days.

Towne East Square Mall has a free play area for kids in front of Sears. (Hey, we have a huge roundup of free & cheap indoor play areas for kids.)

Barnes and Noble has a free storytime for kids most Saturday mornings at 11 a.m.

Watermark Books, Wichita’s independent bookstore, has a free children’s storytime for kids ages 4-8. Storytime is held Saturday mornings from 10:30 to 11 a.m.

Home Depot has free Kids Workshops for kids ages 5-12 years. These require registration in advance.

Fly a Plane Yes, really. Did you know Wichita’s Young Eagles Flights are FREE for kids ages 8-17. This would be the opportunity of a lifetime. Go get signed up.

Major in Math Have a brilliant mathematician living in your home? WSU has a FREE math circle for kids in grades 5-7 that meets weekly.

Read on to find some very affordable, inexpensive things your kids can do around town!

Inexpensive things for kids to do in Wichita

These activities may charge a small fee or are included with admission. Members may receive discounts or even get to participate for free.

Check out our list of Popular Wichita Kid-Friendly Attractions

Paint Kindness Share the satisfaction of spreading kindness with your kids, and get in some crafting time as well. Find out how to join the Kindness Rocks movement in Wichita.

Go Retro with Games Let kids experience fun and games as it was in the 80s at The Arcade, or go even further back in time with these Places to Play Pinball in Wichita. Or you can go low-tech at these Wichita Tabletop Board Game Places.

Wichita Park and Recreation has very affordable classes, camps, and youth sports leagues year-round for Wichita kids. Be sure to check out the Wichita Park and Rec Activities Guide once each season to find out when you can register your kids for these fun programs.

Kansas Humane Society offers a variety of educational programs, including Tot Tuesday story time for kids 5 and younger, Read to Rover and Furry Film Fridays for elementary school age kids, scouting activities, and resources for teachers.

Mini Golf is an inexpensive activity for kids and families! Wichita has plenty of places to play cheap mini golf.

Michaels offers Kids Club activities on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to noon for just $3 per project. Supplies are included.

Botanica cultivates kids’ love of learning with a few different educational programs, which are probably best to find under the Education tab on the Botanica website, because they change from time to time. Winter Storytimes are for kids of all ages and a participating adult. Story time is included with Botanica admission. From spring through fall, Botanica also has Family Game Nights and $3 Thursdays. In the past, during spring break kids 12 and under get in FREE to Botanica!

Sedgwick County Zoo has a half-hour program for kids ages 3-5 held on the fourth Tuesday of most months called Tot Tuesdays. This fun kids’ program is included with Zoo admission.

The Zoo also has a variety of other educational children’s programs with varying fees, like the Early Childhood learning adventures for children ages newborn through kindergarten. Activities vary by age. Space is limited, so pre-registration is required. Kids must meet age requirements – older or younger siblings will not be allowed. Fees per class range from $6 to $10 (discounts for zoo members) and generally require a minimum of one adult and one child ticket per visit. Lots to choose from. Also enjoy the Zoo with Winter Wednesdays, $3 admission.

The Wichita Toy Train Museum is only $5 for adults and kids 12 and younger get FREE admission. You’ll want to check the schedule in advance, because it isn’t open every day.

The Kansas Aviation Museum has a really inexpensive program for little kids called Little Aviators. During school breaks, they often extend the age-range to include kids up to 12 years old. The price is only $5.

O.J. Watson Park is a gem! The park has paddle boats, fishing ponds, pony rides, miniature train rides, mini golf, picnic tables, playgrounds, and more. The paid activities are inexpensive ($2 or $3 each) and admission to the park itself is free. There’s no cost to play on the playgrounds or to picnic there, unless you choose to rent a picnic shelter.

Go Swimming Indoors or out, swimming is a fun and inexpensive, family-friendly activity. Check out this extensive list of places to swim in Wichita.

Wichita Ice Center has $2 skating on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays – and with their Family Skate package, any day of the week can be discount day.

Chicken N Pickle has so many fun activities for the whole family to enjoy; from pickleball, to giant connect four, to ice skating on their outdoor ice pond— Chicken N Pickle has plenty of fairly inexpensive activities to do with kids. Check out our article about fun events at Chicken N Pickle.

Chick-fil-A Wichita and Derby locations always seem to have special events and activities for families and kids. Keep an eye on your nearest location’s event calendar or Facebook page.

Even More Free/Cheap Wichita Kids Activities

There are even more things for families to do together in our big list of Local Wichita Attractions  and/or our list of Kid-Friendly Wichita Attractions These are all affordable – and some of them are even free.

You’ll also want to save these pages:

Get a big list of Kids Eat Free deals for Wichita

Oh boy. When the weather’s nice outside, we have a whole lot of options for free fun open up! Be sure to check out our guide to things for kids to do in the summer for even more great ideas!

When the weather’s not so nice? Check out our list of free and cheap indoor activities for Wichita kids Many of those can be terrific activities for kids when the weather’s not conducive to playing outside.

Do you have a 4th grader? Find out how to get a FREE National Park Pass for your family.

Kids’ Birthday Freebies

Kid-Friendly Attractions in Wichita

The Ultimate List of FREE Kids Story Times in Wichita

Indoor Playgrounds and Play Places in Wichita

Non-Toy Gift Ideas for Kids

Seasonally

Find things to do with kids during holidays and when school is out.

Spring Break Activities for Wichita Kids

Easter Egg Hunts and More Activities in Wichita

A Kid’s Guide to Summer in Wichita

Fall Farm Fun and Trick-or-Treat/Halloween Activities for Kids

Things to Do during Christmas Break

Outside of Wichita, check out:

Family having fun together walking in the park. Free and Cheap Things to Do with Kids in Wichita in 2019

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