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Wichita Summer Checklist of Activities on a Budget

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Here is our ultimate Summer Checklist of things to do in Wichita this Summer. This list includes things to do with kids’ and Adults’ activities in Wichita. Our city is filled with many things for kids and adults to do this summer. There is much to explore, from fan-favorite events to some of our Summertime Free activities. Bust the boredom in your household and knock out these list items all summer long! 

Are you looking for things to do in Wichita? This list offers a variety of activities that will keep you busy without spending a fortune. Whether you’re a local resident or just visiting, Wichita has plenty to offer. From exploring beautiful parks and museums to enjoying local festivals and unique attractions, there is something for everyone. Check out these affordable and free options to make the most of your time in Wichita!

Printable Wichita Summer Checklist

In This Article:

  • Summer Checklist for Kids & Families
  • Summer Checklist of Adults
  • Unique Shopping this Summer
  • Summer Outdoor Activities

Click here to sign up for a FREE printable version of the Wichita Summer Checklist!

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!!

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!

Visit Exploraiton 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.

Splish Splash & Swimming 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!

FREE Things for Kids This Summer – Make sure to take advantage of these wonderful FREE activites and proframs this Sumemr.

Sports – Engaging in friendly competition outside is a fantastic way for families and friends to enjoy physical activity, strengthen bonds, and have fun.

Lakes & Rivers

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Kid-Friendly Attractions. There are so many wonderful things to do for kids, like visiting a museum, seeing animals at the zoo, visiting outdoor attractions, and more.

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.

Zoos - Zoos play a multifaceted role in today's society, balancing the needs of animal welfare with educational and conservation goals.

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. 

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.

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.

More Ways to Save this Summer. We all love a deal so here are other ways to enjoy our city without breaking the bank.

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. 

Road Trip - Over the past few years, we’ve been writing about fantastic places to see in our Kansas Road Trips series. Kansas Road Trips & Scenic Drives

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 

The Wichita Flea Market is back again! 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

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 

Not Confirmed for 2024:

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.  

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