We have partnered with Visit Wichita to show you what Wichita, Kansas has to offer for a weekend getaway. However, all opinions are my own.
School was out! Summer was stretching out in front of us, full of days spent in the pool, countless trips to the library, and more boxes of popsicles than necessary. I was excited. The first full day was a dream! The kids slept in, they played creatively, practiced math facts without tears, and even did a few chores. BEST. SUMMER. EVER. Day two dawned with my middle son whispering in my face, “When can we go to a hotel?” Apparently we needed a vacation.
Luckily, the incredible people at Visit Wichita reached out to us with the perfect trip, already planned with our family’s interests in mind.
The kids were ecstatic! There isn’t much that they love more than sleeping in hotels and eating at new restaurants, and my husband and I were excited that we could get away without being in the car for very long. Sure enough, one Disney movie on their tablets and two chapters in their books and we were in Wichita! It was such a quick and easy trip!
Our first stop was Nifty Nuthouse. I had heard about this amazing place before from some family friends that live in the area, and it was exactly what little kids’ dreams are made of! It was by far the biggest candy store we had ever been in, and they had every kind of candy imaginable! My kids were delighted with the giant-sized lollipops and the candy that fit all of their interests (superheroes, Harry Potter, Star Wars, Nintendo…) and I had a blast showing them candy that I hadn’t seen since my childhood! My husband spent his time deciding between all the different chocolate and candy covered fruits and nuts we could buy in bulk. It was magical!After the sugar rush, we decided we should probably get some real food in everyone and we headed to Molino’s Mexican Cuisine for lunch. Their queso was amazing and we loved that everything was made from scratch.
One of our favorite parts of the entire trip happened next! We got to visit Botanica Wichita. We weren’t sure what to expect, but we were delighted! Botanica has over 30 themed gardens and exhibits and they were GORGEOUS! We found so many beautiful spots to take pictures of our little guys. There were also LEGO statues hidden throughout the park that the boys loved hunting for, and then reading about how many pieces were used in each one. The Train Garden was right up my little train fanatic’s alley. The couple that builds and maintains the track patiently answered all of his questions and helped our kids find all the tiny details they had hidden throughout the scene. We also loved the Children’s Garden (complete with a beehive they could see inside and an awesome treehouse) and the butterfly house! It was the perfect size to burn all of their energy without feeling overwhelming. For dinner, we ventured over to Clifton Square and ate at Ziggy’s Pizza. It is locally owned and family operated and had an adorable patio with string lights! We all tried some new combinations and thought it was incredible!Right across the parking lot, my oldest spotted a cute little ice cream shop and decided we had to try it. Flavors Coffee and Ice Cream Bar did not disappoint. Not only was their ice cream creamy and delicious, but they also had a play space upstairs!
After dinner, we headed to our hotel, the Candlewood Suites Wichita East, where my boys were DELIGHTED to discover that they had their own room AND a kitchen! They never want to stay in a regular hotel room again. It was a game-changer to put them in their room with a kid’s show and walk across the living room to our own room and watch some grow-up TV! The front desk was also very helpful when we realized we forgot toothpaste and a toothbrush.
The next morning, the boys didn’t want to leave the awesome hotel room, but we had big plans! We started with breakfast at Dempsey’s Biscuit Co. and it was my favorite meal of the trip! Their menu was creative, while still offering plenty of tried-and-true options for the pickier members of the family. Their biscuits are already calling me back for another visit.Our main objective of this trip was to visit the Wichita Riverfest! I remember going once with my grandma when I was little and was excited to take my own kids. Sunday morning was the perfect time to go. It wasn’t crowded at all; we almost had the kid’s area to ourselves! Bounce houses, face painting, and a gorgeous view of the river were the highlights. There was also a Comic Con building where we met Stormtroopers, R2D2 and an airplane pilot! Sno cones and corn dogs were the perfect way to cool off on a hot day!Our last stop featured some exciting guests: the kids’ cousins were able to meet us for a visit to the Old Cowtown Museum! This was another place I had visited as a child and couldn’t wait to experience with my own kids! Cowtown is set up like an old-fashioned town with historic and recreated buildings (and they were air conditioned!). We loved that there was room to run, but there were also plenty of opportunities for teaching moments and discussing what life was like back in the late 1860s and 1870s. There were characters dressed up in period clothing in some of the buildings, and the kids had a blast asking them questions about “way back then” and watching them work metal, sew, and carve wood with authentic 19th century tools! It was a perfect weekend getaway, and there were several more things we can’t wait to go back and try like the Keeper of the Plains Statue and the Field Station Dinosaur Museum. We will definitely be back soon![/vc_column_text][/vc_column]