Welcome to our kids’ guide to summer! Below are some ideas of inexpensive summer fun with kids in Wichita – summer activities for kids, fun things to do, and family-friendly ideas that will help keep them busy and happy all summer long.
Our guide has tons of ideas for summer family outings, summer events, and more things to do with your kids this summer in Wichita. Can you think of some other inexpensive and fun summer activities for kids in Wichita? If you see that we’ve missed something, please let us know in the comments!
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Check out Kid-Friendly Attractions in Wichita for more fun.
Summer Family Fun Events in Wichita
Here’s a list of family-friendly summer events coming up in the next 7 days. You’ll want to bookmark this page because it will show new events every day.
If you’d rather, you can skip the events and go directly to the kids summer activity ideas.
Be sure to click the links to get more information about each event!
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Make sure you check the Wichita Free & Cheap Events Calendar too, because we’ll be adding events to it throughout the summer.
And subscribe to the free Wichita on the Cheap e-newsletter so you never miss a deal.
Summer Activities for Kids & Families in Wichita
(These are ongoing activities available through most of the summer.)
Get FREE admission to many popular local attractions with the Sunflower Summer program. Kids in grades pre-K through 12th along with up to two accompanying adults can participate in this Kansas State Department of Education program.
Grab a Groupon
Before you head off to the sports complex or kid-friendly attraction, be sure to check Groupon for local deals that will save you 20-50% off. If you can find a Groupon promo code, it will be an even better deal!
Troll the Keeper
- Every evening you can watch the ring of fire around the Keeper of the Plains light up our sky.
- Get to the Keeper area a little early so you can look for the Troll. He’s hidden under the sidewalk that goes along the river – you’ll know when you’ve found him!!
Explore walking trails
- Get a breath of fresh air and some exercise with our list of Walking trails in Wichita.
- Visit Great Plains Nature Center for some completely free fun with nature.
- Be entertained for hours without paying a dime at Riverside park, zoo, playground, and splash park. (Splash parks open Memorial weekend.)
- Play all afternoon at O.J. Watson Park, which has a miniature train to ride, pony rides, pedal boats, miniature golf, and three playgrounds. Activities are all very inexpensive, but you can also buy coupon books for even more savings. The park is at 3022 S. McLean Blvd. in Wichita.
- Be sure to check out Reflection Square Park downtown when it reopens. It’s getting an update!
- While you’re waiting for that, pack a picnic and head to the newly renovated Naftzger Park. It’s open and active – they’ve already had a few family-friendly events and I’ve heard of more that are coming.
Go for 300
- Kids bowl free and grown-ups bowl cheap all summer long.
Pick some summer fun
- Find a farm to pick some fresh berries, apples, peaches, or pumpkins at a you-pick farm near Wichita.
Become a Kansas tourist
- A vacation in your own state can be just as refreshing and fun as a long-distance trip, with the added bonus of getting there faster! Check out our series of Kansas road trips for some ideas! Here’s a good place to start: Kansas Road Trip Travel Essentials
- TravelKS, from the Kansas Department of Commerce and Tourism, is also a good place to start, as is their Facebook page, to get ideas and find ways to save.
- Explore Wichita like a visitor and get $2 off admission at some of our favorite local attractions.
- Check out Emily’s list of Wichita’s kid-friendly attractions.
- The Sedgwick County Zoo is open, and if you have a family membership, it’s a great way to spend the day. If not, you can look forward to Twilight Tuesdays at the Zoo again this year.
- Take in Tanganyika. If you bought the season pass, you can go practically every day. If you didn’t purchase the season pass, you can take advantage of a $2 per person admission discount with the Visit Wichita Explore Card.
- Stroll through the “roofless museum” of the Wichita Art Museum’s Art Garden. Admission is free year-round, and on the third Saturday morning of the month, they have docent-led tours, also free.
- The Wichita Art Museum is free every Saturday, and in the past, on the fourth Saturday of the month they have had a free Family Artventure.
- The City Arts building in Old Town Square is fun and free to visit. Or you can sign up for some art classes (kids and adults). You’ll see them listed in the city’s Evolve guide.
- Crawling isn’t just for babies. The First Friday Art Crawl is a wonderful time to enjoy the art in Wichita.
- Find every Wichita mural.
- Visit some awesome outdoor sculptures around town.
Go to town
- Relive the old west days with free admission to Cowtown on Sunday afternoons.
- Visit some citywide and/or neighborhood garage sales.
- Or you might enjoy these barn sales and outdoor markets.
- And take a stroll through our very own farmers markets.
Become a bookworm
- Summer reading programs are back and there are prizes! Get back in the books and have the kids sign up.
Cast your cares and catch some family time
- Did you know that fishing is free for kids under 16? (They don’t need a license.) Find your favorite spot for fishing in the Wichita metro area.
- Also, the first weekend in June is free fishing for everyone in Kansas.
Discover some artifacts
- Learn some history about our city via our city museums and attractions.
- Museum of World Treasures offers discounted admission each month on Late Nights.
- Go out to eat at a restaurant with a kids eat free special!
- Take a culinary tour of cheap eats in Wichita by trying out every $5 lunch special
Fly a kite
- Your summer will be looking up when you watch your kite take flight! Check out our favorite kite shop in Wichita, Wings of the Wind Kites and Toys.
- Most years, you can find a free, family-friendly kite-flying event in Wichita and nearby. Tip: If there are no kite-flying events, find a nice area in the park where there are few trees and no power lines to get tangled up in. We have a list of great places to fly a kite in Wichita.
Enjoy the Drive-in
- Enjoy one of the very last drive-ins and check out a movie at Starlite Drive-in.
Get your game on
Putt-putter around town
- Kids love to play mini-golf! Watson Park and All Star Wichita are two places that have mini-golf.
Be friends with the Bison
- Kids under 12 should sign up for the free City Crew club! Registration is open now and it looks like they have some really fun events planned for this summer.
Be a sports nut
- Visit the Wichita Sports Hall of Fame on a Saturday afternoon or the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame at the Boathouse on a weekday. Admission is free, although donations are accepted.
Learn something new
- Sign up for classes and activities through the Wichita recreation department HERE.
Go to school??
- School is fun when you don’t need a hall pass to walk around. Visit the McCormick School Museum on Sundays and Wednesdays when you schedule an appointment. Admission is free, but donations are accepted.
Golf fore free
This year, kids ages 17 and younger can golf free at any Wichita Public Golf Course! It’s totally true (and totally free)!
Debut a family movie night
- Do the Dome at Exploration Place
- Make Tuesday movie night with cheap tickets at AMC Northrock 14.
- Watch FREE movies on the lawn at the Capitol Federal Amphitheatre.
- Beat the heat by coming to watch some inexpensive movies with your kids at Derby Plaza Theatre.
- Watch a $1 kids’ movies at Regal Cinemas in Wichita
- Or see the whole list of Summer Movies in Wichita! (<– This is the one that will update automatically as we add new movie events we find.)
Groove with the music
- Kick back and listen to music in the heart of Bradley Fair.
- Enjoy a summer concert on the lawn at the new CapFed Amphitheater.
Waltz at the Waterwalk
- Cool off by watching the waltzing waters at the Waterwalk Fountains.
Be a literal cheapskate
- Chill out with $2 ice skating days at the Wichita Ice Center.
- Lace up your skates and let your kids can enjoy two free skating sessions this summer with the Kids Skate Free Program.
Make a splash
- Cool off with FREE Interactive Fountains and Splash Pads in the Wichita area.
- Go swimming for free! Visit all the city pools on Free Swimming Days.
- Or check out our complete guide to Where You Can Swim in Wichita.
- Spend the evening splishing and splashing at Rock River Rapids with $5 after 5.
Learn Something new
- Take up a new hobby with kids’ craft classes at Home Depot, Michael’s and other local maker-type stores
- Or, learn something old with these Free Summer Programs at the Wichita-Sedgwick County Historical Museum
Unconfirmed or Not Happening Summer Deals and Ideas
Unfortunately, the WATER center is closed temporarily. We have our eye on reopenings and will update this as soon as we get word. You CAN visit the outside aquariums there though!
The WATER Center in Herman Hill Park is a great place to look at aquariums and learn about water.
SayYES! to a whole summer of free activities and transportation around town for Wichita kids ages 5-18. (Stay tuned to see if they do this again!)Looks like the Sunflower Summer program will be a great replacement for this!
- We have not seen this deal advertised anywhere.
After all your fun, you can treat yourself and your kids with half price shakes after 8 at Sonic.
Still not enough ideas? Sign up for our free email newsletter because we send out updates with new events or activities when we find out about them.
Do you have littles in the toddler set? You’ll appreciate this big, big list of free and cheap kids activities!
Feeling hot? Enjoy some of these free and inexpensive Indoor Play Places.
See the full list of free or inexpensive summer movies in Wichita!
Pin this to your Wichita Kids Activities board!