Oh baby it’s cold outside! (or raining, or too hot!) When the weather is bad and you need to find things to do with the kids indoors, turn to our comprehensive list of indoor play places and activities in the Wichita area!
Hey, this is Kansas after all and the weather is always changing. As the saying goes, “If you don’t like the weather in Kansas wait five minutes and it’ll change!” In case the weather is less than ideal and the kids are driving you nuts, here is a list of indoor play places and other activities in the Wichita area to keep them entertained.
I’ve tried to include something for kids of all ages – from toddlers to teens. And the list isn’t finished! Be sure to subscribe to Wichita on the Cheap by email so you’ll be notified whenever this article gets updated!
Public Libraries are a great resource for families. The children’s reading area at the library usually has puzzles and lots of books to read. In addition, there are many free activities and story times throughout the year. Libraries are also a great place to check out books and rent free movies. Below, is a list of some of our local libraries in Wichita and the surrounding area.
- Wichita Public Library has story times, LEGO CreateSpace events, family movies, book clubs, lectures and other free events that vary by location.
- Andover Public Library has a Children’s Story Time, monthly LEGO Club, and Family Movie night among other activities.
- Goddard Public Library offers children’s story times every Monday at 9:30 a.m. throughout the year. They also have Makerspace all day, every week on Mondays where kids are invited to use specific craft objects and their imagination to create something.
- Derby Public Library has a variety of youth and family programs throughout the year including preschool story times on at 10 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
- Haysville Community Library has many activities for kids and families throughout the year, including story time on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 10:30 a.m., a monthly LEGO Club event, board game events, and Monday Evening Movie nights (See website for exact dates).
Free and Cheap Play Areas / Indoor Playgrounds
- McDonald’s Indoor PlayPlace: Take the kids for an ice cream treat or for lunch. Either way, you can enjoy the free Wi-Fi while the kids enjoy the indoor PlayPlace. The McDonald’s locations on Seneca & Douglas, Hydraulic & I-135, West Kellogg & Maple St., K-96 & N. Rock Rd., Webb Rd. & Harry St., and the Park City location on 61st St. & I-135 all have indoor PlayPlaces.
- Chick-fil-A Playgrounds: Locations at 21st & Maize, Maple & Ridge, and Central & Rock Rd. have indoor playgrounds. Enjoy some drinks or a full meal and let the kids play to their heart’s content.
- Burger King Playland: Eat lunch out and let the kids play at the Burger King Playland locations at 21st & Woodlawn, and Kellogg & Greenwich Rd.
- Carousel Skate Center Play Zone: The new Play Zone is open during all public skate sessions. It is now Wichita’s largest indoor play place. Up to 100 kids can play in it at a time! Kids can have a good time in the Play Zone for $6, skate for $6, or play AND skate for $10. Skate rental is $2. Check the Carousel website for current public skate times. Carousel is located at 312 N. West St.
Places to Go Bowling
- West Acres Bowling on Central and Ridge Rd.: has lots of weekly bowling specials, including a Sunday Family special that is $12 per lane/per hour, shoes included. (Lane must be rented by 3 p.m. and a Kids Bowl Free program in the summer.
- Seneca Bowl on Harry and S. Seneca: has a daytime special Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. where you can bowl as much as you want for $6 per person. (Does not include shoe rental.) They also offer the same special Wednesday and Thursday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. See their website for other specials.
- Northrock Lanes on Rock Road between K-96 and 21st St.: has daily bowling specials and an arcade.
- The Alley Indoor Entertainment: (see details in the All In One Indoor Activity Centers section of this post.)
- Also, during the summer months you can sign your kids up to bowl free and adults can bowl for cheap!
Places to Play Tabletop Board Games and Arcade Games
- Sente Games & Refreshments in downtown Wichita: is a cozy place to play one of hundreds of board games and enjoy a specialty coffee or other beverage. Kids 10 & under are free to play with an adult and adults are $5 for all day play.
- The Arcade in Downtown Wichita: Play retro arcade games such as Pac Man, Galaga, Street Fighter, and Mortal Kombat all for one price.
- All Star Adventures on E. Webb Rd. between 13th St. and Central: is known for its many outdoor games but they also have several indoor attractions too including an arcade with 85 games, Bowlingo (similar to bowling), and bumper cars. Visit their webpage for coupons and special discounts.
- All Star Sports on 21st St. just East of Tyler Rd.: has an indoor arcade, laser tag, a climbing wall and a free yellow tornado slide to entertain the little ones. Check online for specials and promos before you go.
- Chuck E. Cheese: (see details in the All In One Indoor Activity Centers section of this post.)
- The Alley Indoor Entertainment: (see details in the All In One Indoor Activity Centers section of this post.)
- Sedgwick County Extension Center Family Board Game Nights: The extension center is located on 21st St. and Ridge Rd. and offer several free family game nights throughout the year.
All In One Indoor Activity Centers
- The Alley Indoor Entertainment on 13th and Greenwich Rd.: has bowling, go karts, an arcade and more all indoors. If you sign your kids up for the Birthday Club, they will get one free game of bowling during their birthday month.
- Chuck E. Cheese S. of K-96 on Rock Rd.: Kiddie rides, video and arcade games, laser challenge, pizza and more all in one location. If you sign your kids up for the Chuck E. Club, they will receive a special discount for their birthday.
- The Greater Wichita YMCAs: has 9 locations in the Wichita area that offer a variety of activites including indoor swimming, rock climbing walls, gyms and a variety of family activities. Even if you don’t have a membership, you can get a single day pass for $10 or a family day pass for $18.
- South YMCA and North YMCA have a FREE late night teen program on Saturdays from 8:30 to 11:30 p.m.. This program is free for Y members and non-members alike.
- Battle Quest on 2626 S. Rock Road is a family-owned entertainment center with a dart “war arena”, arcade, birthday rentals, and after-school drop-in times. They are currently in the middle of switching management and hours may vary. Call before you go: 316-570-4389.
- All Star Adventures (see details in the Places to Play Tabletop Board Games and Arcade Games section)
- All Star Sports (see details in the Places to Play Tabletop Board Games and Arcade Games section)
Places to Watch Movies
I know that going to the movies isn’t the most original idea for getting out of the house, but we have combined quite a list of movie specials that might be just what you’re looking for. Check it out!
- Movies on the Cheap
- Here are also: 8 Superstar Ways to Save at Regal Cinemas
- Furry Film Fridays: Every 2nd Friday of the month, you can take your kids grade K-5th to watch a movie and play with pets! (for a small fee) Pre-registration is required.
Places to Skate
- Carousel Skate Center on West Street: is a great place to stretch your legs and roller skate on a polished cement floor. They have daily public skate sessions from 1 to 4 p.m. and Toddler Time on certain Saturdays. Check their website for current specials.
- Skate South on MacArthur and Hydraulic : offers a traditional wooden floor to roller skate on. Check their schedule for open skate times, Dollar Night on Wednesdays from 6-8p.m. where admission is $1 (does not include skate rental), and other specials. The schedule varies.
- Roller City on 3234 S. Meridian: has a polished hard wood floor for skating. Visit their website for open skate times and weekly skate specials. They also offer speed skating classes.
- Wichita Ice Center on Maple and Sycamore St.: is the place to go for ice skating lessons, hockey lessons, and public ice skating sessions. They also have a lots of specials that rotate on a regular basis. Wichita Ice Center discounts
- You can also sign the kids up to (Roller) Skate for FREE up to two times a week!
Places to Jump / Trampoline Parks in Wichita
Wichita is fortunate enough to have several indoor trampoline parks and indoor inflatable bounce houses too. These are a great place to wear the kids out in a short amount of time while having lots of fun.
- Get Air on 130 N. York St.: has trampolines, a toddler area, dodgeball courts, and a foam pit. They also offer daily deals and a toddler time from 10 a.m. to noon on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
- Urban Air on Kellogg and Irving St.: has an indoor ropes course, trampolines, a dodgeball court, a foam pit and a basketball dunk area. Check out their special events and pricing sections for coupons and details about events such as Jumperoo Toddler Time as well as Teen Night.
- Jumpy Jump Land has three locations in (Andover, Haysville, and Bel Aire): They offer lots of fun in the form of inflatable bounce houses. Check out the schedule at each location to find the open jump times. They are $5 per kid and adults are free with paying child.
- Aviate on K-96 and Greenwich Rd.: is Wichita’s largest indoor trampoline park. They have a Ninja Obstacle Course, dodgeball, an Air Dunk basketball area, a slack line, trapeze, aerial silks, log roll, foam pits and a Kid Zone. View their Activities section on the website for special pricing such as Family Night and Junior Flight (preschool).
- Acrobatic Academy: (see details about the sack lunch Fridays in the Drop-In Kid Zones section of this post.)
Places for Kids to Climb Indoors
- Bliss Boulder & Climbing Complex on Greenwich Rd. and E. 29th St. N: is “Wichita’s only full-service indoor rock climbing facility”. Visit their webpage for a full list of weekly specials.
- Greater Wichita YMCA: rock walls (see details in the All In One Indoor Activity Centers section of this post.)
- Urban Air: has an indoor ropes course “built 30+ feet high above Urban Air’s trampoline attractions. Visitors can climb, zip, soar and adventure through the state-of-the-art High Ropes Course.”
- NEW! The Kansas Climb at Field Station Dinosaurs in Derby is America’s only challenge course in a dome!
New! Places to See Trains
- Great Plains Transportation Museum, 700 E. Douglas. Your little train lovers will love this place! There is a small indoor museum and gift shop. Outside, there are lots of train cars they can climb on and go inside of. Adult admission $5, children 3-12 $3, children under 3 are free. (There is a coupon in the Entertainment book: Get up to two complimentary admissions when two admissions are purchased.)
- Wichita Toy Train Museum, 130 Laura Street. Open Saturdays 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.?? (except on holidays) Admission is $7 for Adults (age 13 and up), $4 for Youth (age 6 thru 12), free for Children (age 5 and under).
Hands-on Museums to Visit
We are lucky to have such a wide variety of kid-friendly museums in Wichita. The following are a list of museums that the kids can learn at while getting the wiggles out.
- Exploration Place in Downtown Wichita: has both traveling and permanent hands on exhibits such as the Design Build Fly exhibit and the medieval castle to play in. There’s always something fun to explore at Exploration Place.
- Wichita Art Museum near the museums on the river: is in itself not a place for kids to run and play in the exhibit area. However, they do have the Chihuly Bridge that kids can walk on in socks or barefoot. They also have a kids room in which everything is hands on. They can make crafts, color, read and play with the puppet theatre. The WAM is free on Saturdays. They also offer a free Family Artventure on the fourth Saturday of the month and a free Art Start program on Tuesdays and Thursdays for pre-school age kids. (Reservations are required for Art Start.) Regular admission is free for kids under 5, $3 for kids 5-17, $7 for adults, and $5 for seniors.
- Museum of World Treasures on 835 E. 1st St.: is an eclectic mix of everything from dinosaur bones, to Egyptian mummies, sports memorabilia and World War exhibits. The exhibits are not hands on but they also have a newly opened children’s area called Ivan’s Playhouse where kids are free to climb and explore. They also have a Family Night among other events and specials.
- Kansas Aviation Museum on 3350 South George Washington Blvd.: Your kids can explore the world of aviation through simulators. You can visit during regular hours or enjoy the Little Aviators Program every Friday from 10 a.m. to noon. This event is for children 5 and under. Admission is $5 per child, plus one accompanying adult gets in free.
- Old Cowtown Museum allows kids to travel the streets of Wichita as it would have looked in the 1800s, hear the stories of the folks who lived in that time, play in an historically accurate schoolyard and more! Check out the link above for museum hours and prices.
Other Kid-Friendly Museums
If you’re looking for more of an educational adventure with the kids, you’re in luck. Wichita and the surrounding area has a wide variety of free and reasonably priced museums to choose from.
- Wichita-Sedgwick County Historical Museum on Main & William St. downtown: is a great place to take the family to learn about our city’s history. You can explore a Victorian cottage, a vintage toy exhibit, as well as an exhibit all about Wichita’s history among others. There is also children’s area where they can touch and explore a telephone booth, a typewriter and all the uses of a buffalo. Admission for children under age 6 is FREE. Adults are $5 and kids ages 6 to 12 are $2.
- Kansas Firefighters Museum on 1300 S. Broadway: is inside of a two-story original Wichita firehouse. This is a kid-friendly museum (Though I have not been myself. Not yet anyway!) They are open on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and by appointment for groups over 15. Admission is FREE for kids under 5, adults are $5, seniors are $2.50 and students in grades K-12 are $3.
- City Arts, in Old Town Square, offers a variety of adult and youth art classes as well as a free art gallery.
Coleman Factory Outlet and MuseumThe Coleman Factory & Museum in downtown Wichita closed in 2018. It is now a Cocoa Dolce store.
- Coutts Museum of Art (in El Dorado)
- Kansas African American Museum provides fun and educational opportunities for the entire family. On the fourth Saturday of each month families gain information on a wide array of topics as it relates to African American Culture.
- Kansas Sports Hall of Fame in the Wichita Boathouse at 515 S Wichita. Admission is free, but there is a suggested $3 donation for adults. It is open Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Not open on weekends unless there are special events.
- Kansas Sports Museum at Newton Chisholm Trail Center, 601 SE 36th, Suite 123, in Newton, KS.
- Kauffman Museum is located at 27th and North Main in North Newton, KS.
- Mark Arts Museum galleries are open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Admission is free.
- McCormick School Museum is the oldest school building in Wichita. It is open Sundays from 2-5 p.m. and Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to noon. Admission to the museum is free, although donations are accepted.
- Mid-America All Indian Center Museum where you can learn a variety of stories about American Indian culture and heritage.
- Museum of World Treasures The first Thursday of every month, from 5-7 p.m., admission to the Museum of World Treasures is only $5 per person. Kids 3 and younger get in free.
- Ulrich Museum of Art 1845 Fairmount Street(Located on the Wichita State University campus) Admission is free.
- Wichita Center for the Arts 9112 E. Central. Open Tuesdays through Sundays, 1-5 p.m. Admission is free.
- Wichita Sports Hall of Fame, 4700 E. Central. Admission is always free during regular hours of operation. Open Wednesday — Friday, 1 pm – 5 pm, and Saturday, Noon – 5 pm.
- WWII History Center (in El Dorado)
Story Times and Learning
New! See Emily’s roundup of FREE Story Times in Wichita!
- Library (see the library’s website for specific times. They vary by location.)
- Great Plains Nature Center on 6232 E. 29th Street North : offers several different FREE story times throughout the week including Naturally Crafty on Tuesdays where they can make a craft, FREE Story Time on Wednesdays, and Little Nature Lovers on Thursdays.
- Barnes and Noble on 1920 N. Rock Road: offers FREE Story Time every Saturday at 11 a.m., followed by an activity related to the theme of the story.
- Kansas Humane Society Tot Tuesday on 3313 N Hillside St: is held on the first Tuesday of each month during the September – May school year in the KHS Learning Center from 10:30 to 11 a.m. There is a suggested donation of $4 per family. Pre-registration is not required.
- FREE Sedgwick County Zoo Tot Tuesdays
- Hurts Donuts has free weekly story times on Wednesdays at 10:30 a.m. at either (east or west) location. Buy a donut and enjoy a story and/or a craft to go along with it.
- Watermark Books Story Time
- Moxie Junction, a locally-owned coffee shop in Maize, offers FREE story times and activities for kids on Tuesday mornings at 10:30 a.m.
Places to Craft with the Kids
Crafting is an awesome indoor kids activity, but save the mess at home with these kid-friendly make-and-take craft places!
- New! Evans Ceramic Supply, a family owned Wichita business since 1966, has walk-in paint your own pottery times as well as a full supply shop for clay, paints, glazes, tools, and a mold manufacturing company called Starlite Mold Co. Their hours are Monday thru Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturdays 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The cost for paint your own pottery is $7 per person per day, plus the cost of the ceramic items. Their ceramics range from $3.50 for a small piece, to $15 for a large piece. No reservations needed unless you have a group of 6 or more! Then call (316) 262-2551 to make arrangements. They are located at 1518 S Washington.
- Color Me Mine is a paint-your-own-pottery studio. It is open Monday-Saturday 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. & Sunday 12 p.m.-6 p.m. unless otherwise noted on their event calendar. Walk-ins are welcome anytime or contact them for a table reservation 316-425-5614. Studio fee is $10 for adults and $5 for children. Ceramics start at $16.
- Paint the Town offers a variety of host guided paint parties for kids and adults alike. They often have specials over Christmas and Spring break just for the kids.
- Michael’s Kids Club every Saturday, they offer inexpensive crafts for kids 3 and up from 10 a.m. to noon.
- Karg Art Glass in Kechi: Make your own hand blown glass ornaments. While this may not be the cheapest craft at $30 an ornament, it is definitely a unique experience for kids and adults alike. Call 316-744-2442 to make your reservations. If you can’t swing that cost, you can watch the glass-blowing artists for FREE!
- Home Depot: On the first Saturday of the month, Home Depot stores in Wichita offer free kids’ workshops for kids ages 5-12.
- Great Plains Nature Center: (See the Story Times and Learning section for more details.)
Places to Watch a Children’s Show or Play
- Wichita Children’s Theatre and Dance Center
- Intrust Bank Arena
- Crown Uptown Theatre
- Music Theatre Wichita
- Wichita Community Theatre
- The Orpheum
Places Just for Toddlers 6 & Under to Play
- New! The Barnyard Indoor Playground is a play area designed especially for kids 6 and under to play with their caregivers in a fun farm themed environment. They have age appropriate and sensory toys such as a ball pit, mini trampoline, play saucers and more. They also offer story and craft times. Check their monthly calendar for a list of activities. Drop in rate is $6-$8 depending on the age of the kid. See rates here. Adults are always free. They also offer discounts for multiple visits. There is no time limit. You can play as long as you like! Located at 9428 W. Central.
Drop-In Kid Zones
- Greater Wichita Area YMCAs offer a variety of camps, school day out fun clubs, and early learning centers to name a few. Check the schedule of your nearest YMCA for the latest schedule.
- Acrobatic Academy on 21st St. N. and Maize Rd.: hosts a Sack Lunch Open Gym for children ages 3-10 on Friday afternoons from 11:45 a.m. to 2 p.m. Send your child with a sack lunch and enjoy a couple of hours kid free! The cost is $9 ($14 if paid after 6 p.m. Wednesday). Punch Cards are available. Call 316-721-2230 to reserve you child’s spot.
I tried to make this list as complete as possible. If you know of any other great indoor play places, let us know and we’ll add them to the list!