I learned my lesson early one July morning when I took my toddler to the zoo. All she did was pick up pretty rocks on the ground! I realized she didn’t care (yet) that there was a giraffe standing a few feet away.
After that experience, I began thinking about her perspective rather than my own (or worse, others) and found that her favorite things to do were easy, and readily available here in Wichita. A walk down the sidewalk was as much adventure as any trip to Kansas City as far as my toddler was concerned.
As she grew, visiting neat places like the zoo, a dairy farm, a pumpkin patch, a mini-golf course, and a museum were more appreciated. But she still loved the simple joy of playing on a playground – even one that wasn’t fancy.
Cool Free parks in and around Wichita
So I learned to appreciate them too. Wichita has some beautiful parks and playgrounds. Some have train rides, mini golf, paddle boats, free zoo, zip lines, and more. The best part is ALL of these parks are FREE to visit (some of the rides might cost extra).

Here are our top Playgrounds and Parks:

O.J. Watson Park

Location: 3022 S. Mclean Boulevard, Wichita, KS 67217
Website
O.J. Watson Park is one of the largest parks in Wichita. The beautiful 119 acre site offers a rustic setting which includes a 40-acre lake for fishing, kayaking, and pedal boats. The park also offers a variety of recreational and educational programming for all ages. Check out the Evolve activities guide for dates, times and fees.
Additional attractions:

For extra savings, purchase the ride ticket book!
Ride Tickets: Purchase a ride ticket for $4 for the train, pedal boats, pony rides and mini golf. Park guests can purchase a ticket book to take advantage of a discount.

OJ Watson Park Wichita

OJ Watson Park. Photo: OJ Watson Park Facebook

Sedgwick County Park

Location: 6501 W. 21st St., North Wichita, KS 67212
Webpage
This park is the largest in Wichita, with several playgrounds, 4 ponds, and several recreation buildings. Their playground, Boundless, is the best in Wichita, with swings of all kinds (including several ADA swings), 4 different play zones, and even a small slide area for toddlers covered in fake turf. The playground also has a maze that is great for small children and children with disabilities. One of my favorite features is the music zone with many unique instruments. On top of the great playground options, this park has the best-paved bikings/walking trail in Wichita, spanning a loop over 4 miles with large trees providing heavy shade and forest hiking vibes.
Amenities at Sedgwick County Park:

Sedgwick County Park

Photo By: Sedgwick County

Riverside Park

Location: 720 Nims N, Wichita, KS 67203
Website
This park lies in the middle of the city with a lots of shade, a slash pad, and even a wildlife exhibit! One of the most impressive attractions at this location is the splash park which is one of the most impressive in the city.
Amenities at Riverside Park: 

Riverside Park Wichita

Riverside Park. Photo By: 360 Wichita

College Hill Park

Location: 304 Circle Drive, Wichita KS 67218
Website
This park is somewhat of a hidden gem with some incredible shade trees and relaxing walking trails. There are also tennis, shuffle board, and basketball courts. Also at this park location is a City public swimming pool.
Amenities at College Hill Park: 

Photo By: Wichita Parks and Rec

Eastborough Park

Location: 33 Willowbrook Rd, Eastborough, KS
Facebook Page
One of the best features at this park is their giant blue playground made with modern equipment with varying age range activities. There is also a large walking path that is great for bikes, strollers and more. Beat the heat and hit the shade in their covered gazebo area with picnic tables.
Amenities at Eastborough Park:

Eastborough Park

Photo By: Simpson Construction

Edgemore Park

Location: 5815 E. 9th, 67208
Webpage
If you’re a pickleball plater, this park is for you with 12 pickleball courts being one of the largest of this in the city. Also included in this location is a children’s playground, tennis and basketball courts, a swimming pool, and a recreation center. Another unique feature here is that they have a small skate park which is a great beginner course for any children getting into the sport.
Amenities at Edgemore Park:

Edgemoore park

Photo By: Visit Wichita

Oak Park

Location:  1100 W 11th St N, Wichita KS 67203
Webpage
Calling all disc-golf lovers! Oak Park has the largest disc-golf course in the area. With 37 acres of wooded path, this park is a fantastic place to take a stroll and throw a disc around. Besides the wooded areas, it also contains large open stretches of lawn, lily pond, and artificial springs and brooks. This park has proudly been designated a Wichita Wild habitat area so you are bound to catch a glimpse of some critters, too!
Amenities at Oak Park:

Photo By: Visit Wichita

Pawnee Prairie Park

Location: 2625 S. Tyler Wichita, KS 7209
Website
This playground is a nature hikers dream! Pawnee Prairie has over 400 acres of natural park land with trails that serve hikers, bicyclists and even special paths for equestrians. Families will enjoy the new playground complete with a berm slide with a covered shelter next to it. As an added bonus, the Caretakers of Pawnee Prairie Park have created a butterfly garden south of the old stables off Tyler that will be teeming with pollinators all spring and summer!
Amenities at Pawnee Prairie Park: 

Pawnee Prairie Park Wichita

Pawnee Prairie Park. Photo By: Pawnee Prairie Facebook

Dr. Glen Dey Park (Grove Park)

Location: 2801 N. Grove, Wichita KS 67219
Webpage
This massive 126 acre park consists of walking and biking path and newly renovated playgrounds and basketball courts. The open shelters are recently renovated, as well, and are perfect for group gatherings. The new playground has many fun new modern equipment pieces that the children love to explore! If you haven’t seen this park in it’s new condition, its definitely one to add to your list!
Amenities at Grove Park:

Photo By: bestquestict.com

Exploration Place Park

Location: 300 North McLean Boulvrd Wichita, KS 67203
Info about Exploration Place Park:

xploration Place Park Wichita

Exploration Place Park. Photo By: Exploration Place website

Parks Outside of Wichita:

Dalton Palmer Park – Augusta

Locaton: Frisco Plaza,  Augusta, KS
Webpage
The tallest play park in the state of Kansas, this park is best for older kiddos. With zip lines, tube slides, and plenty of climbing, this is a fabulous park to work off some energy. Perfect for thrillseeking kiddos with a one-of-a-kind gravity rail that swings riders around a rollercoaster-like circular track!
Amenities at Dalton Palmer Park:

Click HERE to see more about Dalton Palmer Playground
Dalton Palmer Park Augusta KS

Dalton Palmer Park Augusta, KS. Photo By: CJonline.com

Island Park Playground – Winfield

Location: 200 North Main Winfield, KS 67156
Webpage
This 20-acre park includes a unique spectacle of a playground featuring a customized castle entry, fire truck, barn play house, corn crib, windmill, and boat.There are also walking trails, picnic areas, and accessible restrooms. There is also a new performance stage that hosts many community events. In addition, this park has a beautiful piece of nature with it’s fishing pond, waterfall, and Peace Garden.
Amenities at Island Park:

Island Park Playground Winfield Kansas

Island Park. Photo By: Playgrounds.com

Madison Avenue Central Park – Derby

Location: 512 East Madison Avenue Derby, KS 67037
Website
Kids of all ages and abilities can enjoy the accessible playground. It features a one-of-a-kind interactive sculpture that educates children about animals and underground nature. This park also has a splash pad, an amphitheater, an event venue, and a half-mile path for hiking and biking.
Amenities at Madison Avenue Central Park:

Madison Avenue Central Park 

Madison Avenue Central Park Derby. Photo By: Derbyweb.com

High Park

Location: 2801 E. James Derby, KS 67037
Webpage
High Park is Derby’s largest park located on the east side of the city. Great for getting your steps in, High park has more than two miles of Hike and Bike Path. This park also contains sand volleyball courts, an amphitheater, gazebo, soccer fields, baseball/softball complex, two playgrounds, fishing and more! The playground is surrounded by rubber padding, which is great for the toddler crew.
Amenities at High Park:

Photo By: City of Derby

Andover Central Park

Location: 1607 E Central Ave Andover, KS 67002
Newly redone in 2022, the Andover Central Park is worth the short trip outside of the city. A large playground with an impressive structure with slides of varying heights made of netting and recycled tires, with the entire playground covered in fake turf. Also at the park are swings, a sand pit, and a climbing dome. Great for the littles, too, with toddler ride-ons and 2 toddler playhouses. In addition to the playground, is surrounded by a beautiful walking trail and an amphitheater for events, concerts, and summer outdoor movie nights.
Amenities at Andover Central Park:

Maize City Park

Location: 10100 W Grady Ave. Maize, KS 67101
Webpage
Maize’s city park is centrally located with 5.15 acres. It includes a recently refurbished playground, new public restrooms, skateboard park, open picnic shelters, splash pad, and a community building.
Amenities at Maize City Park:

Photo By: City of Maize

North Main Park – El Dorado

Location: 1000 N. Main El Dorado KS
Webpage
North Main Park in El Dorado is just a short drive from Wichita. North Main offers something for everyone, from a gazebo and a pavilion for gathering, room to run and play in the open lawn, to a spray park and modern playground for the childen. The playground is equipped with modern and interactive structures that are sure to entertain and the splash pad is the best in the city with bright colors, non-slip grounds, and lots of great spray zones!
Amenities at North Main Park:

Photo from: El Dorado Parks Facebook

Summit Park

Location: 200 N. Summit El Dorado KS
Webpage
Summit Park’s best feature is it’s all-inclusive playground. The modern playground zone is the largest in the city and as an added bonus is surrounded by non-slip rubber flooring. This park is definitely one of the more popular ones in the area.
Amenities at Summit Park: 

Photo from: El Dorado Website

Click HERE to find more Free and affordable things to do with Kids.