Wichita, the largest city in the state of Kansas, lies along the Arkansas and Little Arkansas Rivers. This bustling city is home to more than 380,000 residents, as of 2012. You'll find plenty of engaging activities for your toddler or preschooler in the area, whether you live in Wichita or are planning a visit.
Spend some time exploring the Sedgwick County Zoo (scz.org) with your wild little animal. Make your way through exhibits featuring animals from the jungle, Australia, Asia and South America. Visit the Children's Farms and the Cessna Penguin Cove. Participate in events like the Owlet program for your 2 to 3 year old or Animal Tales Preschool with your 3, 4 or 5 year old. This gives your kiddo an up-close glimpse of wildlife. Stop by The Aquarium in Old Town (theaquariuminoldtown.com) where your little guy can see a variety of saltwater fish swimming in their tanks. There are starfish, clownfish and an assortment of other vibrant tropical fish.
Make a visit to one of the museums in Wichita. Exploration Place (exploration.org) is a fantastic place for little ones to explore and play. The AgMagination exhibit gives your kiddo the chance to climb aboard a real combine and pretend to be a veterinarian helping farm animals. Drop by Tots' Spot for Little Explorers Preschool Playgroup. This weekly event is for children 3 to 5 and includes hands-on activities, science experiments and new themes every month. Visit the Wichita-Sedgwick County Historical Museum (wichitahistory.org) with your kiddo to learn about the history of the area. Participate in kids and family events that regularly take place at the museum. These events normally include an exhibit tour, hands-on lesson and craft activity.
Don't hide out inside on a cold or rainy day. Bundle your little princess up and head over to one of the Wichita Public Library branches (wichita.lib.ks.us). You'll find free programs that your little one will love. Attend one of the movie times where you and your kiddo can dress up like a character from the movie that is playing and enjoy the movie with other children. Stop by for Books, Block and Board Games. This event is for 3 to 6 year olds and their families and includes stories, board games and building with blocks. Visit the Greater Wichita YMCA for rainy-day fun. Events are scheduled throughout the year, like the family luau in the summer and breakfast with Santa around the holidays.
Get outside when the weather is nice for some exciting nature activities. Go to Botanica (botanica.org) for scavenger hunts, crafts, stories, art and other activities. Step into the butterfly garden and watch your little man's eyes light up as butterflies flutter about. Visit the Great Plains Nature Center (gpnc.org) for all sorts of engaging children's activities. Your little guy can go for story time in the summer or go on a full moon walk. Go on a nature adventure, walk with wildlife or learn how to make sense of nature.