Wichita is one of those places described as a "nice place to raise your kids". Traffic is relatively light. You only see anything remotely like a jam if there's a wreck in a bad spot during rush hour. Cost of living is relatively low, so you can afford to live in or near the area you frequent if you prefer. Or if you like suburbia, you can get from one end of town to the other in under half an hour. Most destinations in Wichita are usually less than 30 minutes away. Even with its many amenities, Wichita's overall cost-of-living index is a very moderate 89.7, 10.3% below the national urban area average of 100. Wichita Transit is a bus service that offers transport all across the Wichita area. The City of Wichita maintains more than 60 miles of bicycle paths, lanes and other bicycle facilities. Many of the paths travel through and along scenic areas, such as the Arkansas River. (Source – City of Wichita website-www.wichita.gov)
Wichita boasts a professional opera, symphony and ballet, as well as dozens of cinematic and performance theatres that stand ready to impress with independent films, old favorites or new drama. From traditional to contemporary, our art galleries, varied museums and breathtaking gardens are sure to engage you with their many enticing exhibits. As a region globally recognized as a top pick in test markets by those in the restaurant industry, Wichita residents have their choice of the best of the best. As development in Wichita continues to boom, so do options in shopping. Local boutiques, antique shops and specialty stores can easily be found throughout the city, as well as nationally recognized retail chains and department stores.
Events like Riverfest, Tallgrass Film Festival, and the National Baseball Congress World series keep Wichita life exciting throughout the year.
Wichita USD 259 Public Schools is proud to be the state's largest school district, one of the most successful large-city districts in the United States, and a great place to educate all of the city's children. The district's enrollment is 51,330 students. Enrollment has grown by 2,512 students over the last ten school years. Forty-one schools received 141 Standard of Excellence Awards in reading, math and/or science from the Kansas Department of Education for their performance on the 2012 state assessments. Students in the Wichita Public Schools continue to see growth on Kansas state assessment scores. Over the past five years, the district has seen a 4.3 percentage point increase in reading and a 3.1 percentage point increase in math. Graduation rates continue to increase – The Wichita Public Schools' graduation rate is 76.5% - up 21% in four years.
Wichita State University is a vital part of the Wichita community. WSU Engineering programs ranging from aerospace to engineering management are nationally recognized. WSU’s Barton School of Business is 1 of only 165 Universities throughout the world to hold the highest level of accreditation through the AACSB. The WSU men’s basketball team has gained national attention for their performance in the NCAA March Madness tournament, making it to the Sweet 16 in 2015 and the Final Four in 2013. With the coming Innovation Campus and new student centers and dorms, it’s a great time to be a Shocker. (Source –City of Wichita Website-www.wichita.gov)
NORTHEAST Development is everywhere you look. Substantial acreage is still available for homes to be built in some areas. The Waterfront at 13th and Webb is the city’s newest upscale destination to work, live, play…and shop. With Wichita State University’s current expansion, the Innovation Campus, development will continue to grow in the coming years (Source – www.wichitachamber.org )
Great Plains Nature Center - Conveniently located off of K-96 at 29th and Woodlawn, the Great Plains Nature Center features a 2-mile paved trail system in Chisholm Creek Park. The beautiful, interactive educational diplays in the Koch Habitat Hall offer a fun way to learn about the diversity of wildlife and plants in Kansas and the Great Plains region.
The Orpheum Theatre - This theatre in downtown Wichita originally opened on Sept. 4, 1922, as the first atmospheric theatre in the United States. The auditorium features colonnades, balconies, lamps and a starry night sky meant to evoke a summer evening in an old Spanish garden courtyard. Today the Orpheum is being restored and is home to concerts, films, cultural events, local music, dance, lectures and entertainment. Going strong after more than 90 years, the Wichita Orpheum is a beautiful theater with a reception venue and versatile stage.
Get Air Wichita - Get Air Wichita Trampoline Park is the newest Wichita area entertainment venue offering thousands of square feet of trampolines, dodge ball courts, foam pits and more. We are one of the largest jump centers in the nation, featuring state of the art facilities which utilize the top industry standards for trampoline safety and fun.
Old Town Marketplace - Once home to warehouses and manufacturers fueled by the bustling railroads during the early 1900s, Old Town's eight block area has now been transformed into an exciting entertainment district. With restaurants, night clubs, retail shops, loft apartments moving into the mix, the area offers a unique urban experience with something to see and do at every turn.
Museum of World Treasures - Discover treasures from around the world and through the ages at the Museum of World Treasures. Where can you explore the crusty bones of long-lost creatures, marvel at Egyptian mummies, uncover the secrets of ancient civilizations, and enter the battlefields of World Wars? The Museum of World Treasures, has three floors of exhibits and surprises around every corner. Discover your inner explorer! (Source- Museum of World Treasures Website-www.worldtreasures.org)
Wichita City Arts - CityArts is a visual arts and cultural facility with a mission aiming to enrich the lives of community members with educational and artistic opportunities. By embracing creativity and diversity, CityArts is home to 35 professional artists who teach their crafts, the Boutique and several gallery spaces featuring local and regional artists. (Source- Wichita City Arts Website-www.wichitacityarts.org)
Warren Theatre - Enjoy new releases in a beautiful multi-screen theatre. The east side Warren is right off I-35 for easy access. The Old Town Warren is located downtown and offers a restaurant style theatre experience.
Bradley Fair - Bradley Fair is home to name brand stores and restaurants as well as local businesses. Bradley Fair is conveniently located on North Rock Road and is a great place to spend a day with family or friends. During the summer you can enjoy free jazz concerts every Thursday in June.
Once a year, Bradley Fair Plaza is transformed from marketplace to opera-hall as Wichita Grand Opera (WGO) performs highlights from some of the most famous operas. WGO artists and musicians create the drama, passion and musical force of opera vignettes against the backdrop of Bradley Fair Lake. This community event is free.
An alfresco fine arts show and sale, Autumn & Art at Bradley Fair, takes place lakeside on beautiful Bradley Fair Parkway. The event features approximately 100 artists from across the U.S. Thanks to our Patrons, this is free and open to the public, . (Source- Bradley Fair-www.bradleyfair.com)
The far NORTHWEST sector is currently the fastest growing part of the city, absolutely booming with brand new shopping plazas, restaurants, businesses and new homes. Home owners can choose from groundbreaking master planned communities to condominiums on the lake.
Sedgwick County Zoo - Sedgwick County Zoo, was established by the volunteer efforts of civic-minded citizens who formed the Sedgwick County Zoological Society in 1963, many years before the Zoo would take shape. When the American and Asian farms opened as the only exhibits in 1971, families were pleased, but they had little idea of the great things that were in store. Now gorillas, penguins and tigers inspire more than 500,000 guests annually. Enjoy the array of exhibits year-round! The Zoo is open 364 days a year.
Sedgwick County Park - Sedgwick County Park is large and beautiful with lots of activities. It is located between 13th and 21st , west of the zoo. With four lakes, there is plenty of room for fishing, relaxing or feeding the ducks and geese. Over four miles of paved pathways loop around the park going through open and wooded areas filled with birds and other wildlife. Walk, run, jog or bring the bicycles out loops for some exercise and fun. There are water fountains and restrooms located throughout the park. A Kansas State Fishing License is required and available at the park.
Botanica, The Wichita Gardens - This botanical paradise is comprised of over nine acres of stunning gardenscaping that features more than 4000 species of plants both native and new to the region. Twenty-six themed display gardens such as the Butterfly Garden, Woodland Bird Garden, Shakespearean Garden, Sensory Garden, Wildflower Meadow and the all-new Downing Children's Garden combine with more than 30 sculptures and multiple flowing fountains to create a visually stunning atmosphere. Explore the Gardens and take home inspiration for your own backyard.
Exploration Place - Kansas’ premier hands-on science center for all ages is located on a 20-acre site along the Arkansas River in Wichita’s downtown Museums on the River district. Five hands-on exhibit areas focus on flight, Kansas, medieval life in a three-story castle, imaginative spaces for toddlers, and a special traveling exhibition area. In Kansas’ largest domed theater, the Boeing Dome Theater and Planetarium, travel to faraway destinations and embark on unforgettable adventures during these state-of-the-art, digitally-produced films.
The Keeper of the Plains - The Keeper is a 44-foot tall steel sculpture standing at the point where the Big and Little Arkansas rivers join together in near downtown.. This land between the two rivers is sacred ground to the Native American people and is also home to the All-American Indian Center. The Indian Warrior sculpture was created by Wichitan and Native American artist Blackbear Bosin (1921-1980). Erected on May 18, 1974 to celebrate the United States Bi-centennial, it has kept a watchful eye on the city ever since. The Keeper of the Plains now has an even larger view of Wichita. A complete renovation of the sculpture and installation of the Keeper of the Plains Plaza now brings people out each evening to see the Keeper and the "Ring of Fire."
The Mid-America All-Indian Center - The Mid-America All-Indian Center is the only facility of its kind in Kansas that is solely dedicated to preserving and promoting the rich cultural history of American Indians in North America. Events are held regularly at the Indian Center, including Powwows that attract American Indian dancers representing tribes from across the United States.
Wichita Art Museum - Nestled in the heart of the Museums on the River district just five minutes from downtown in the Riverside neighborhood, the Wichita Art Museum is home to a nationally renowned collection of American art.
NewMarket Square - This shopping center is home to many nationally popular retailers and restaurants, as well as Wichita favorites. Enjoy convenient storefront parking with main street ambiance.
Old Cowtown Museum - Located on 25 acres off the Chisholm Trail, Old Cowtown Museum is a unique, open-air living history museum which re-creates Wichita and Sedgwick County from 1865 to 1880. A thriving community all its own, Cowtown gives visitors a true taste of the myths, truths and romance of the “Old West” and America’s frontier.
Warren Theatre - Enjoy new releases in a beautiful multi-screen theatre. The west side Warren also has an IMAX where you can watch new releases in 3-D.(Source – http://www.360wichita.com/)
SOUTHEAST Wichita combines modern design with Wichita’s rich history. Just a short drive away from Cessna and McConnell Air Force Base, there is easy access to the Kansas Turnpike which makes Southeast Wichita an ideal commute to jobs in the aircraft industry or jobs in Wellington, Haysville, and Derby (Source – City of Wichita website-www.wichita.gov)
Towne East Mall - Anchored by Dillard's, Von Maur, JCPenney and Sears, you'll find 125 of your favorite stores. Enjoy the enclosed, super-regional shopping center with stores ranging from specialty gifts, to men and women's apparel, to sporting goods. Also at Towne East Square you will find many dining options from sit down restaurants to grab and go choices. Towne East Square is the main shopping destination for south-central Kansas located at the intersection of Rock Road and Kellogg in east Wichita. (Source- Simon Mall website-www.simon.com)
INTRUST Bank Arena -The INTRUST Bank Arena is Wichita's state-of-the-art sports and entertainment venue located in downtown Wichita. It is owned by Sedgwick County and managed by the world-leader in venue management, SMG. Visit the official INTRUST Bank Arena web site at: www.intrustbankarena.com.
Kansas Aviation Museum - The importance of the Kansas Aviation Museum highlighting the glory days of Kansas aviation cannot be overstated. Its grand art-deco style appeals both to the aviation community and to anyone interested in historic preservation. This isn’t the first time the building has been in transition. The airport site, known then as Wichita’s “California Section,” was identified in the 1920’s by then City Manager L.W. Clapp. In 1927, the city purchased 640 acres of buffalo grass sod. The land, a square mile east and south of 31st South and Oliver, was still nothing more than prairie when the first air show was held on the site in August 1924.
Crown Uptown Theatre - The historic Crown Uptown Theatre offers elegantly renovated spaces, an expanded bar, sumptuous catering services and state-of-the-art lighting and sound systems that will make any event a unique and memorable occasion.(Source- Crown Uptown Theatre website-www.cownuptown.com)
Starlite Drive-In - The Starlite Drive-In is one of few remaining Drive-In theatres in the country. Starlite features triple feature movies every day of the week for affordable entertainment for the entire family.
Kansas Star Casino - Located just south of Wichita in Mulvane, KS, The Kansas Star has over 1,800 slots plus bar-top video poker and a high limit slot room. For table players, there’s plenty to choose from with more than 50 table games including Craps, Roulette, no-ante Blackjack, plus a 13-table poker room. New restaurants include the live action Kitchen Buffet, An Pho – the authentic Asian Noodle bar, Shark Bar – home of “double-fisted” burgers and local craft beer and Kansas Star’s classic deli, Panini Jo’s.
The SOUTHWEST area features affordable homes alongside new developments. It is a quiet area, with many shops and businesses nearby. Local businesses and restaurants make this area feel homey and provide residents with many unique attractions. It is a short drive away from Friends University, Bombardier Learjet, and Textron. This easy access makes Southwest Wichita an ideal commute for college students and the aircraft industry. Wichita Dwight D. Eisenhower National Airport is located just off the Southwest side of Kellogg, making travel more convenient. (Source – City of Wichita website-www.wichita.gov)
Tanganyika Wildlife Park - As you walk among the kangaroos, hand-feed the giraffes and ride atop a camel, there’s a moment you realize you’ve crossed the usual boundaries of a typical zoo and entered a special place. You don't just observe animals at Tanganyika, you experience their world. (Source- 360 Wichita Website-www.360wichita.com)
Lake Afton Public Observatory - Young and old alike can share the excitement of the night sky at the Lake Afton Public Observatory. Through the Observatory's 16-inch telescope you can view such wonders as the giant planet Saturn and its rings, the Moon with its craters and mountains, glowing clouds of gas, star clusters with thousands of stars, and distant galaxies many times bigger than our own Milky Way. After touring the universe, you can explore the Observatory's museum area with its interactive astronomy exhibits. (Source- 360 Wichita Website-www.360wichita.com)
The Century II Performing Arts & Convention Center - Century II is a multi-functional facility, fully accessible to all users. It has five separate performance and convention spaces available, three of which can be combined into nearly 200,000 square feet of display space. From theater, opera and ballet performances, to concerts and lectures, conventions, trade shows, and banquets... Century II can meet your needs. (Source- 360 Wichita Website-www.360wichita.com)
Wichita Symphony - Come listen to the marvelous sounds of the Wichita Symphony. Made up of both local and nationally recognized musicians and lead by conductor Daniel Hege, the Wichita Symphony is a shining example of Wichita’s thriving music programs.
Music Theatre Wichita - Founded in 1972, it is currently the largest subscribed not-for-profit arts organization in the state of Kansas and has attained an international reputation for excellence. Each summer at Century II Performing Arts Center in downtown Wichita, MTWichita self-produces five Broadway-scale musical productions, using a unique mixture of top-flight professionals from Broadway and Hollywood working hand-in-hand with talented Midwesterners. (Source- Music Theatre Wichita Website-www.mtwichita.org/home.com)
Kansas Sports Hall of Fame - The Kansas Sports Museum at the Chisholm Trail Center highlights the great history of sports in Kansas with exhibits dedicated to high school sports, college sports, and Kansans who have played professional sports. The museum is open Monday through Saturday 10 to 5 and Sunday 1 to 5. (Source- 360 Wichita Website-www.360wichita.com)
Towne West Mall - Towne West Square makes shopping simple, convenient and fun. Anchored by Dillard's, JCPenney, and Dick's Sporting Goods, Towne West Square offers great variety and selection in a climate controlled indoor mall. For "reel" pleasure enjoy a movie at the "Movie Machine" by the Warren Theatre, located at the South West mall entrance. Need a way to entertain the kiddo's? Visit our Bungee Jump and Train or Mini Golf. (Source- Simon Mall website-www.simon.com)