Wichita on the Cheap

Live the Good Life for Less & Never Miss a Deal

Wichita Summer Checklist of Activities on a Budget

Are you looking for things to do in Wichita? Our  city is filled with lots of things to do during the summer months. From fan-favorite events to little gem locations, there is so much to explore. Bust the boredom in your household and knock out these list items all summer long! 

Wichita Summer Checklist

Summer Checklist for Kids and Families 2023: 

See the Dinosaurs – Also, at Botanica this summer, they are hosting an exciting exhibit, Dinosaurs Around the World. The exhibition includes 10 animatronics, such as the T. Rex, Oviraptor, and a towering Spinosaurus! The exhibit is free with admission or membership. More information on their website.
Click HERE to learn more about the Dinosaurs Around the World Exhibit

Chicken N Pickle is a big attraction with so much fun for all ages in Wichita, Kansas. They offer so many fun activities and deals throughout the year. Personally, I love how much they give back to the Wichita community. Their slogan is Our Hearts are Local, and they mean it! Here is a list of FREE events and things to do at Chicken N Pickle 

The Sunflower Summer App provides various ways for families to get out, explore something new, and enjoy time together. Kansas families can visit museums, zoos, historic landmarks, and more for FREE! This is the BEST DEAL!! Visit over 100 different Kansas attractions for FREE

Go to a Wind Surge Game – If you haven’t visited our new and impressive Riverfront Stadium to take in a baseball game, it needs to be on your MUST list this summer. Not only is the facility incredible but there is nothing better than an All-American good-time by watching a baseball game with your family. *WOTC tip: go for the Outfield Berm tickets to save some cash and enjoy a different way of watching the game. You can bring a picnic blanket and be a spectator in a relaxed and spacious environment! 
Click HERE to read Wichita Wind Surge Tips and Deals
Visit their website for more info I suggest reading the FAQ’s before you arrive)

ICT River Rides. You can enjoy the beautiful river view of the iconic Keeper of the Pains. This is a unique thing to do in Wichita. The owner was inspired by the WagonMasters, who give pontoon boat rides during Riverfest. He thought that this would be something fun for the whole summer. Take a boat ride down the Arkansas River with ICT River Rides

Kid-Friendly Attractions in Wichita. There are so many wonderful things to do for kids. Here is a collection of ideas for you to visit.  

Ride the Carousel at Botanica – Sticking with the theme of Old-Fashioned Good Times, make sure you take the kids to Botanica Gardens to ride the gorgeously restored Joyland Theme Park Carousel. This checklist item makes for great lasting memories and some fun photo opps too! As a bonus, the ride is inside a fully air-conditioned building so it’s a great way to beat the heat! While you are there, be sure to take some time to explore the Downey Children’s Garden, as it’s incredibly unique and a fun way to explore nature. 
Click HERE to see how to ride the Carousel for FREE  

Visit Exploration Place – A Wichita family staple, Exploration Place is always hours of fun with permanent exhibits such as Heath Inside and Out, Textron’s Design Build & Fly, and the medieval area – Where Kids Rule. The traveling exhibit this summer will be Circus, where you will explore the science behind the spectacle. Be sure to stop by their new incredible outdoor park, The Gallery Place. See their website for more information. 
Exploration Place Shop & Grub happening all summer long. This is a fun FREE event to attend

Go to a Movie  – Take a break from the heat by taking in a movie. This summer there are lots of options like FREE outdoor movies and enjoy the $2 summer theater deals at Regel theaters. We have a list of all the movie deals, events and more. Click HERE to find all the movie deals this summer. 

Explore Downtown on the FREE Q-Line –The Q-LINE, a free bus operation typically serving Douglas Avenue from Crown Heights to Delano, will operate a Summertime extension from Saturday, May 27 through Saturday, August 12, 2023. Find out more HERE about the Summer extended hours

Movies in the Park –Andover Central Park will be hosting FREE outdoor movie viewings at their ampitheater. This is a great, and frugal, activity that is fun for the whole family. Food trucks are expected and you are allowed to bring a picnic. Be sure to let the kids play on their update playground as it’s one of the best around!  
 FREE outdoor summer movies 

Explore the Zoo – Wichita’s Sedgwick County Zoo has frequently been listed in Ameica’s top 20 Zoo’s and for a great reason! SCZ is home to 3,000 individual animals of nearly 400 species over about 2 square miles of land! Some of the more popular exhibits are the new Sting Ray Cove, Big Cat Trek, Penguin Cove, and the Elephants of Zambezi River Valley. Visit their website for ticket pricing and more information. 
Click HERE to see what ZOO in Wichita is FREE

Explore the Playgrounds – With over 14 great parks in, and around, Wichita, you can explore until your heart’s content! Some of the most unique locations will be OJ Watson Park, Andover Central Playground, Dalton Palmer, Riverside Park, and Sedgwick County Park. 
Click HERE to see the Best Playground and Parks for Kids in & around Wichita 
Click HERE to learn more about OJ Watson Park 

Splish Splash Due to their popularity, Splash Pads have blown up, here in Wichita. There are over 20 location options in, and around Wichita to choose from so you can fill your entire summer with a splash pad tour! Some of the most popular ones are the Tanganyika Spash Park, Buffalo Park, and Maize Splash Park.
Here is a list of Splash Parks in and around Wichita

Go out to Dinner where Kids Eat FREE – Nowadays, for most families, going out to dinner is a decision based on how much money is in the budget. Wouldn’t you love a convenient list compiled of local Wichita kids eat free (or cheap) deals? We tracked down some of the most budget-friendly and kid-friendly restaurants in Wichita. 

Summer Camps –Need a break from the kiddos (and do the kids need a break from the grown ups)? Summer camps can be a great way to shake things up during break and allow the children to explore and learn new things! Wichita has a mile-long list of camps available.
Check out our extensive summer camp list HERE to help you decide! 

Wichita Public School will offer FREE Meals for Children and Teens across Wichita. Kids and teens ages 1-18 can get healthy meals during the summer months when school is out of session. Adults can get breakfast and lunch as well for a fee. Find out more HERE

Wichita Transit is offering free, unlimited transit rides on all regular bus routes and paratransit service during the summer through its RIDE summer program. Find out more HERE

Wichita Explore Card is one of our favorite Wichita “coupons”. Get a discount on admission to several great Wichita-area attractions with the FREE Wichita Explore Card. 


Unique Shopping this Summer 2023: 

The Wichita Flea Market is back again for 2023! This year they will be doing a “Tour of Wichita” Each show will be at different locations. This is a monthly Flea Market in and around Wichita with typically over 200 local and regional vendors. Perfect for “one-stop” shopping. Find out where the Flea Market will be this summer 

Farmer’s Markets in Wichita and surrounding communities with locally grown fresh food, plants, honey, handmade items, and more. Some markets offer kids activities and live entertainment; all offer an excellent opportunity to meet your neighbors, learn more about local produce, and share in the fun of discovering things produced right here in our own state by talented Kansans! All of the Farmer’s Markets are FREE to attend!  

Shop and Grub is a monthly outdoor market featuring local and out-of-town merchants. Shop & Grub is an all-ages event, and it’s FREE to attend. It used to be held at Naftzger Park, but it will now the majority of them will be held at the Exploration Place Plaza. Learn more about Shop and Grub HERE

Bin Store is a liquidation place with crazy good deals. They get their items from retailers such as Amazon, Walmart, Home Depot, Dollar Tree, and Target. Prices you can’t beat. Here is a list of Bin Stores in Wichita. 

The Second Saturday Shopping Event is every month, local Wichita businesses in the Delano, Downtown, Old Town and Douglas Design districts offer special bargains and discounts as part of the 2nd Saturday shopping event in Wichita. Find out more HERE


Summer Checklist for Adults 2023: 

Garage Sales – Here is a list of some neighborhood garage sales and city-wide sales this year. Click HERE to see the dates and details of Wichita Garage Sales. 

Happy Hours and Specials – Happy hour deals throughout the week make us really happy! Alcoholic beverages at restaurants and bars can REALLY add up. take advantage of these awesome restaurant deals. Click HERE to see a list of Happy Hours and Specials in Wichita. 

Derby Third Thursdays – Summertime means longer daylight hours, warmer weather, and the return of Third Thursdays in Downtown Newton! Every Third Thursday from May – August, many of your downtown merchants and restaurants will be open until 7:30 or 8:00 PM! Find out more HERE 

8 Wonders of Kansas is a great list of cool road trips.  Most of the “Wonders” on this list are pretty close to Wichita, making these an easy day trip. The furthest location on this list is four hours. Here is a list and info about the 8 Wonders of Kansas.  

40 Date Night Ideas for $10 and under. Not all special data have to expensive. We got creative and make a list for you and your sweetheart to help you have a special date on a budget. Wichita has a lot to offer for couples of all ages and hitting up these local locations makes it much more special. Here is the list of date night ideas. 

Experience Top Golf on a Budget. As your budget-friendly experts, here is our guide for how to do Top Golf in a way that won’t empty those (plaid or houndstooth) pant pockets! Find out what day you can play for half price. 

Dog-Friendly Eateries in Wichita. We have the list for you! Just about every restaurant that has outdoor seating allows dogs. To narrow it down for you, and make it easier, we compiled this list of restaurants in ICT that let you bring your fur baby, to the outdoor seating of course.

The Wichita Art Museum now has FREE admission. Visitors will no longer be charged general admission to view artwork in the galleries that showcase WAM’s permanent collection, which is owned by the City of Wichita. Find out more HERE

Live Music Venues in Wichita. The more we learn about Wichita, the more we realize we have so much to uncover! And that is especially true when it comes to free or inexpensive live music events happening all around town. The venues that offer live music are as varied as the artists playing them. These can range from casual jam sessions and open mic nights to full-on concerts and band performances. Here is a list of live music venues 

Summer Chceklist for Ourdoor Activites 2023: 

Self-Servie Kayaks. Wichita Park & Recreation now offers self-service kayak equipment rental stations in three locations in Wichita. Users scan a QR code on the cage to reserve and pay for a kayak rental for a specific amount of time at the location. Find out how to rent a kayak HERE

Outdoor Adventures – Get outside and explore the great outdoors with your family. Nothing is better than some fresh air and sunshine to create some lasting memories this summer. Wichita has several great parks, trails, and wildlife conservation centers for you, and your family to visit. Some of the most popular locations would be Great Plains Nature Center (With Chisolm Creek Park), Pawnee Prarie Park, and Sedgwick County Park. 
Click HERE to read about Wichita Walking and Biking Trails 

Go to the Drive-In –Drive-In movie theaters are a dying pastime and we are very lucky to have the opportunity to still experiece this classic summertime activity. Impressively enough, this is Wichita’s Starlite Drive-Ins 70th year! The drive-in is a memorable and yet affordable option this summer with even more frugal opportunities such as their “carload pricing” nights and season passes.
Click HERE to see our Starlite Drive-In guide

Go Camping – Grab your hotdogs, firewood, tent and smore supplies – it’s time to go camping! This classic summer activity is a MUST DO this summer. While not exactly in Wichita, there are several great campsite options in short driving distance to the city. A few of the most popular would be Fall River, Cheney State Park, Lake Afton, and the gorgeous Kanapolis State Park.
Make sure to read our complete Kansas Camping Guide before planning your adventure! 

Fish Free Fishing Days – Every year the state of Kansas allowed for a weekend of “free fishing” where anglers are not required to pay for a fishing license. This is a great way to take your kids out fishing and get their feet (and lures) wet for the first time with out having to incur the expense of a licence! It is typically always the first weekend in June so the 2023 dates are June 3rd and 4th.  
Find out more about Free Fishing in Kansas HERE

Go Berry Picking – Wichita and surrounding areas have some great berry-picking options! From strawberries to blackberries, your kiddos will love to live picking nature’s candy by the basketfuls! This wholesome activity produces some adorable photo ops too! Make sure to add this to the top of your list, as berry season ends in early June! See our list of local “You-Pick” farms here. 

Great Plains Nature Center in Wichita is always FREE to visit. They provide opportunities for the public to investigate, understand and develop an appreciation for wildlife. They have weekly  FREE events that and no registration is needed! Great Plains Nature Center

The Keeper of the Plains sculpture has become known as the centerpiece of our city, standing at the confluence of the Little and Big Arkansas Rivers, flanked by the striking spires of the pedestrian bridge and surrounded by fire drums. Here is info about the Keeper and times to see the fire

Where to Walk in Wichita. When the weather is nice, not much is cheaper or more relaxing than walking outside. Thankfully, some really great walking trails in Wichita ensure we never get bored with the scenery. Here is a list of great trails and parks 


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