Oh baby it’s cold outside! (or raining, or too hot!) When the weather is bad outside and you need to find things to do with the kids indoors, turn to our comprehensive list of 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.
- Derby Public Library has a variety of youth and family programs throughout the year.
- Haysville Community Library has many activities for kids and families throughout the year, including story time, board game events, and Monday Evening Movie night.
Free Play Areas
- 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 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.
Places to Go Bowling
- West Acres Bowling on Central and Ridge Rd.: has lots of weekly bowling specials, including a Sunday Family special 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. 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.)
Places to Play Board 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 on 3405 S. Meridian : has 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.
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!
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-where admission is $1 and skate rental is $1, among other specials. The schedule varies.
- 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.
Places to Jump
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 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 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”. Monday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., climb for only $12. Every Wednesday after 4 p.m. is Youth Night. 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.”
Places to Golf Indoors
- Opry Glow Golf at Towne East Square: is located near JCPenney in the lower level. They offer Glow in the dark golf, ping pong, pool and bean bag toss. They also have a Laser Maze Challenge with Beam Buster® in which players work through a series of lasers to either break the least amount or the most amount-depending on the gameplay you choose!
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 monthand 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.
Other Museums to Visit
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!) 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
- Coleman Factory Outlet and Museum
- Coutts Museum of Art (in El Dorado)
- Indian Center Museum
- Jesse James Museum
- Kansas Sports Hall of Fame
- Kansas Sports Museum
- Kansas African American Museum $2 admission
- McCormick School Museum
- Museum of World Treasures
- Kansas African American Museum hosts a “Soar Saturday” event in which KAAM recognizes and 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.
- Ulrich Museum of Art
- Wichita Center for the Arts
- Wichita Sports Hall of Fame
- Wichita Toy Train Museum
- WWII History Center (in El Dorado)
Story Times and Learning
New! See Emily’s Ultimate List of FREE Story Times in the Wichita Area!
- 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
- Color Me Mine
- Paint the Town
- Home Depot kids workshops
- Michael’s Kids Club
- 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 Show
- Wichita Children’s Theatre and Dance Center
- Intrust Bank Arena
- Crown Uptown Theatre
- Music Theatre Wichita
- Wichita Community Theatre
- The Orpheum
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!