Wichita on the Cheap

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Wichita’s 152nd Birthday: 3 Fun and Cheap activities

Happy birthday, Wichita and Sedgwick County! Both were founded 152 years ago this year! You can celebrate with $1.52 kids’ sized sundaes for all ages at Andy’s Frozen Custard on Thursday, Free admission this weekend to the Wichita-Sedgwick County Historical Museum and visit Old Cowtown Museum for Free on Sunday. 

Andy’s Frozen Custard deal will be held on Thursday, July 21st from 11 a.m. – 11:30 p.m. at all Wichita locations. The $1.52 sundae will include sprinkles, whipped cream and a cherry on top but you can order to your liking. 

The Wichita/Sedgwick County Birthday at the Wichita Historical Museum will be on July 23rd & 24th from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. If you bring in a Birthday Card for any of the Sedgwick County’s towns and cities, you will get Free admission. Enjoy refreshments and music in the Museum’s Heritage Square which is a wonderful place for a picnic. Don’t forget to bring a birthday card to get your Free Admission.  

 

Old Cowtown Museum Civil War Day event

Another great way to celebrate Wichita/Sedgwick County Birthday is by visiting the Old Cowtown Museum on Sunday where admission is always Free (Sunday’s only). Doors are open from 12:00 p.m. -5 p.m. and catch a Free show at 1pm and 3:30 p.m. by the Cowtown Cowboys.

Wichita-Sedgwick County Historical Museum

This isn’t ONLY the birthday of Wichita – it’s also the birthday of Wichita’s original City Hall at 204 S. Main St., which is now the Wichita-Sedgwick County Historical Museum.

Wichita was officially “born” July 21, 1870. Twenty years later, a grand ceremony was held on July 4, 1890 to celebrate the laying of the City Hall cornerstone.

Beneath the cornerstone was a time capsule, opened 100 years later in celebration of the building’s Centennial.

If you’ve never been to WSCHM, this will be a great time to go. The museum’s mission is to preserve and educate others about our local history. Exhibits in the old 1890 Wichita City Hall (the clock-tower building downtown) span four floors and are as eclectic as Wichita’s history. Core exhibits include the entrepreneurial history of our city, the dust bowl, a 19th century Victorian cottage, its Native American roots, a 1916 Jones VI automobile (ask them how they got it into the building!), and more.

My family enjoys our visits every time we go. The photo below shows a working 20th century phone booth with a rotary dial phone. I think I may be a relic, because I had to show my teenager how to use it! (If I’m not mistaken, the phone booth is a permanent exhibit, so it’s probably still there. Bring a dime and let your kids make a local phone call.)

Rotary dial phone booth at Wichita Sedgwick County Historical Museum

Fun fact: Wichita was incorporated as a city on July 21, 1870. One of the signers of the incorporation petition – and the only woman – was Billy the Kid’s mother, Catherine McCarty. Interesting, right? I first learned about this at a Diamond W Wranglers concert, and then later looked it up in the history of Wichita at the Wichita Metro Chamber website.

Find more information about  Wichita’s FREE Museum Days!

Andy’s Frozen Custard
Date: Thursday, July 21, 2022
Time: 11 a.m. – 11:30 p.m. 
Location: All 3 Andy’s Wichita locations 
Cost: $1.52 kids sundae for all ages 

The Wichita-Sedgwick County Historical Museum
Date: Saturday, July 23 & 24, 2022
Time: 1-5 p.m.
Location: The Wichita-Sedgwick County Historical Museum, 204 S. Main St., Wichita, KS
Cost: FREE with birthday card
For more information, visit WichitaHistory.org

Old Cowtown Museum
Date: Sunday, July 24
Time: 12:00 p.m. -5 p.m. and catch a Free show at 1pm and 3:30 p.m. by the Cowtown Cowboys 
Location: 1865 W Museum Blvd, Wichita, KS 67203
Cost: FREE 

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