Whether you’ve lived here your whole life or you’re a recent transplant, chances are you haven’t experienced all Wichita has to offer. So, what’s keeping you from doing a little exploring in your own hometown? In honor of spring break, challenge yourself to live like a tourist. You may be surprised by what you find. Following are a few ideas to get you started on your Wichita staycation.
Wichita’s Symphony Orchestra has been inspiring audiences since 1944. See this cultural gem for yourself the second weekend of March when guest pianist Natasha Paremski joins the orchestra to perform Tchaikovsky’s Second Piano Concerto. Make a night of it with dinner in Old Town before the show. You could even make a weekend of it by visiting the Wichita Museum of Art earlier in the day. If you go on Saturday, you’ll have the added bonus of getting free admission to the museum.
If you are looking for laughs, have you tried a Loony Bin Comedy Show at Live at 215 Performance Theater? Comics from around the country perform every weekend, Thursday through Saturday. You can even try out your own comedic chops the third Sunday of every month during open mic night.
Wichita also has several comedy theatre venues, including Roxy’s Downtown, a cabaret that is currently featuring “The Golden Girls” with an all-male cast, and Mosley Street Melodrama, which is playing “Little Miss Moonshine” this month.
With fun and unique bars throughout the city, there is no shortage of places to meet with friends and take in live entertainment. In Old Town and the Delano District, you’ll find everything from venerated gathering spots such as Mort’s Cigar Bar, to the adventurous spirits of the Monarch, and the surprising musical artists regularly popping up at Barleycorns.
Ernie Biggs Piano Bar in East Wichita is yet another option for those looking for a fun, casual night out. With karaoke on Thursdays, and dueling pianos Friday and Saturday, you won’t be able to stay off your feet. Or for a completely different pace, dust off your boots and go dancing at Club Rodeo, where you can even see live bull riding by professional cowboys.
As the weather gets nicer, take a walk on the wild side at Sedgwick County Zoo. The zoo is currently working on a new elephant exhibit that will be the third largest elephant exhibit in the country when it is finished this May. Check out the construction progress while you walk the grounds with exhibits featuring more than 3,000 animals.
For closer encounters, check out Tanganyika Wildlife Park where visitors get the opportunity to interact with many of the animals. The park is home to more than 300 animals, including many rare species such as the white Bengal tiger.
If you want to go outdoors and get a good glimpse of wildlife, but don’t have time for a full zoo experience, visit the Kansas Wildlife Exhibit in Central Riverside Park. The free exhibit hosts 25 native Kansas species, including a beaver, bobcat and owls.
Another great outdoors option is Botanica. Explore 18 acres of themed gardens. By the end of the month, more than 60,000 tulips should be starting to bloom.