As a family who loves to travel, we enjoy trying to see and experience as many new cities as possible. As a homeschooling family, we try to turn these trips into educational field trips whenever possible.
Seeing the world first hand is so much better than reading about it in a textbook, so we try to travel and experience new places any chance we get.
*Disclaimer: This trip was sponsored by Visit Wichita. We received this entire trip and all of our travel expenses completely free of charge in exchange for an honest review of our experience. I was not required to write a positive review (if you know me, you know I don’t do dishonest!).
Travel Diaries: Our Trip to Wichita, Kansas Part 1
My first thought when I heard “Wichita” is probably what everyone else thinks of when they hear the word. It’s in Kansas, in the middle of the Midwest plains. What could possibly be exciting and fun there? I mean sure, they have the Wichita State University, so it’s a college town, but I wasn’t sure how exciting it would be for our next family vacation.
Luckily, we’re a family who loves to take adventures and see as many new places as possible. We were more than ready for this challenge! Little did I know though, that it wasn’t going to be a challenge to enjoy ourselves here at all.
Hotel at Waterwalk
For the first two nights of our trip, we stayed at Hotel at Waterwalk. You guys, this hotel was ah-ma-zing! I believe KK’s exact words as we walked in the door was “Um, mom? Can we live here please?” The girls still claim this is the best hotel ever.
The hotel is actually a loft-style apartment, so there was plenty of room for all of us to spread out and be comfortable.
The rooms had two king size beds (or maybe one of them was Queen? I can’t remember now), two bathrooms, kitchenette with microwave and refrigerator, two closets, and a cute living room/seating area complete with fireplace.
When it was time to leave, we were sad to go! If you’re planning on visiting Wichita, these rooms are worth every single penny!
Hotel at Waterwalk is located at 711 S. Main in Wichita.
Here’s a random funny story moment from our trip. Because, you know, we always seem to find ourselves in some sort of chaos in every thing we do.
The night before our trip, poor Hubsterdude was sick. I mean, full blow fever, chills, you name it. We were so scared that we were going to have to cancel our trip at the very last minute, but just to be safe, we packed anyway.
Hubsterdude packed his necessities in the wrong bag, in the dark, while he was sick. It wasn’t until we got to Wichita that we realized, the bag he packed his things in never made it to the car. Yep – that meant he had nothing. No clothes, no medicine… nothing!
That being said, we had to do a quick Walmart run for the essentials. It’s never a dull moment with the Roberts!
We started our first day of the trip with breakfast at the Doo-Dah Diner, which was a walking distance from our hotel. Their made-from-scratch selections were to die for!
I tried to be good and stick to my diet as much as possible (that Keto-life though!) and opted for scrambled eggs and bacon. The girls had biscuits and gravy, and pancakes (which were massive!).
The service was great, and there was a cozy small-town diner feel the entire morning.
Doo-Dah Diner is located at 206 East Kellogg in Wichita.
Botanica – The Wichita Gardens
Our first big adventure in Wichita began at Botanica – The Wichita Gardens.
The girls had a blast playing and exploring in the children’s garden, and I had a hard time keeping them moving along. They loved climbing through tree house, digging for dinosaur fossils, and even exploring a section full of little fairies. KK said it reminded her of the Tinkerbelle movie.
I was happy that they learned interesting facts about different types of insects and flowers along the way.
Botanica – The Wichita Gardens is located at 701 N. Amidon.
Delano Barbeque Company
After Botanica, we made our way over to Delano Barbecue Company where we ate a delicious spread of all-American barbeque. Anyone who knows our family knows we have a deep love for some good BBQ, and Delano’s didn’t disappoint!
I devoured my pulled pork in no time. The smoked macaroni and cheese was incredible too. KK has a thing for trying grilled cheese sandwiches everywhere we go, so she was happy that was an option – and a good one at that!
Delano Barbeque Company is located at 710 W. Douglas Ave in the historic Delano District. It was perfectly located for convenience while exploring the Douglas Design District.
After lunch we hopped on the free Q-Line Trolley that runs throughout downtown Wichita. We rode up and down multiple streets seeing what each of the different neighborhoods had to offer.
I think my favorite neighborhood was Clifton Square because of it’s college-town feel and the super cute shops set up inside old Victorian style houses.
We were lucky enough to be in town for (PARK)ing Day held downtown every year. This is where local businesses and shops set up little parklets in their parking spots all day long full music, artwork, games, and more.
The girls had a ton of fun playing games like bean bag toss and came home with pockets stuffed full of little trinkets and goodies.
If you ask my girls what their favorite part of our trip was, Exploration Place was definitely high up on the list. Exploration Place is a science center who aims to inspire Wichita’s future scientists and engineers through STEM themed exhibits.
Note – if you are a homeschool mom in the Wichita area, you need to go check out Exploration place for your next science themed field trip! Especially if you enjoy STEM based learning!
We had a ton of fun exploring the exhibits, especially the traveling exhibit “Hall of Heroes“, but the kids favorite part, hand’s down, was the medieval section, otherwise known as the area “Where Kids Rule“.
The girls ran around dressed in medieval costumes while climbing through the castle, launching boulders from a catapult, and riding toy horses. They even found other kids to play with, each taking on a royal role for themselves.
Exploration Place is located at 300 N. McLean Blvd.
Nifty Nut House
After all of the running around and exploring at Exploration Place, we stopped for snacks at the infamous Nifty Nut House. I was excited to check this out for myself after hearing that Food Network’s Alton Brown called the place “a national treasure”.
There were so many different types of candies, nuts, and snacks. It was overwhelming! I had to circle the place a few times before I could wrap my head around what I wanted.
At first I was bumming out that I couldn’t really eat any of it. I’m on the Ketogenic lifestyle (and surprisingly doing very well with it) and didn’t want to bring home anything that could keep me from getting back on track once the trip was over.
Then, I spotted the sugar free section, and all was right in the world again.
In the end, we walked out of there with over $30 in chocolate and sweets and had zero regrets. Well, I take that back, I really wanted a t-shirt or hoodie but they didn’t have them in my size. So sad! But my sugar free chocolate made up for it.
Note: I highly recommend the sugar free peanut butter cups!
For dinner, we checked out a local old-Mexico themed restaurant called “Carlos O’Kelley’s”. Their made-from-scratch queso was bomb and so was the taco salad. Hubsterdude had the quesadilla which he also thoroughly enjoyed.
By this point, I was so full from all of the amazing food, I’m surprised you didn’t have to roll me out of there. I also may or may not be craving taco salad since that day.
All Star Sports
Our last stop of the day was spent at All Star Sports, where we burned off any lasting energy we had. While there were so many different things to do, including go karts, outdoor mini golf, laser tag, rock climbing, etc, we decided to spend our time at the arcade.
Honestly, we would have had a ton of fun at all of the other attractions, but it was so expensive. If the five of us wanted to do everything, it would have easily cost us over $150 for the night. I’m far too cheap for that y’all!
Luckily, I live among a bunch of video game lovers, so the arcade was more than enough to keep us entertained for a couple hours. Since the hubsterdude and I used to work at Chuck E. Cheese, we had plenty of experience with how to win a decent chunk of tickets too.
The girls collected their prizes at the end of the night, and we all went home full of good food, exhausted, and thrilled about our first day in Wichita.
All Star Sports is located at 8333 W. 21st.
End of the Day Recap
Overall, our first day in Wichita was fantastic. There is so much to see and do, more so than I would have ever thought possible. The food was incredible, and we truly enjoyed spending the time together as a family in another new city for us.
The icing on the cake though? Being able to log nearly the entire day as school since the girls learned so much!
I made a video of our first full day in Wichita and am excited to share it with you! Bare with me, it’s my first travel vlog and I realized while making this that I should have recorded so many more things. Next trip, I’ll do much better!
Check out the video below:
If you are looking looking for a good family-friendly getaway I highly recommend you give Wichita a try. We were pleasantly surprised with how much their was to do, and how much we enjoyed ourselves.
If you are a homeschooling family, Wichita has so much to offer when it comes to educational experiences! There is so much to learn while taking in the city, and how much fun we had during our stay.
I want to give a huge shout out to Visit Wichita for sponsoring this trip, and giving us an amazing family filled weekend full of memories to cherish forever. Make sure you check out their website to plan your next trip to Wichita!
Have you ever visited Wichita? If so, what was your favorite part of the trip? Share your recommendations for places to visit in the comments below!
This post is a 2 part series, so stay tuned for part 2 coming soon!