As the capital of Kansas, Topeka offers the convenience of a big city with the exceptional service and friendly people of a small town. Museums, theaters, nature trails, unique shopping, art galleries and fantastic restaurants are located throughout the city, so you are never far from the action!
We think this is a great list to start your planning, but you can find even more cool places and interesting stops here. Take a look at 'Things to Do', flip through our Visitor Guide, or try one of the other many options on the menu bar above.
Kansas Children’s Discovery Center
Topeka’s newest attraction, the Kansas Children’s Discovery Center’s interactive exhibits encourage both critical and creative thinking as children explore, play and discover. Experience “Serious Fun” for the entire family. Explore the newly opened outdoor learning environment with wooded trails, gardens and much more! Ideal for ages ten and younger. Hours: Tues.-Sat 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sun. 1- 5 p.m.
North Topeka Arts District
Located near the Kansas River at the north end of the city’s downtown corridor, the North Topeka Arts District (NOTO) features some of Topeka’s most historic buildings, which have been transformed into studios, galleries, and antique stores for entrepreneurial artists from the Midwest region.
In addition to the galleries regular hours, you can check them out during the monthly First Friday ArtWalk or the NOTO Saturday Market events, which run seasonally from early April through early November. Create your own work of art in a variety of weekend and evening art classes offered by the NOTO Community Arts Center.
Kaw River State Park
Kansas’ newest state park features biking and hiking trails in a hardwood forest near the Kansas River. Connecting to MacLennan Park which surrounds the Governor’s mansion, the park also provides canoe and kayak access to the river.
Mulvane Art Museum
Explore “Inside Peanuts: The Life and Art of Charles M. Schulz” at the Mulvane Art Museum, June 16 through September 16. The exhibition follows Schulz from his Minnesota roots to his life in California and the development of the characters that make up the unique world of Peanuts. Make some art of your own in the ArtLab, a hands-on creative center for all ages. Free admission.
Lake Shawnee Recreational Area
Lake Shawnee offers fishing, boating, sailing and swimming. The park surrounding the lake includes foot trails, fish hatcheries, a golf course, marina, tennis courts, shelter houses, horseback trails, ball diamonds and gardens. Call for a complete schedule and applicable admission fees.
Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library
Designed by world-famous architect Michael Graves, this landmark library features the Alice C. Sabatini Art Gallery, the Millennium Cafe, a gift shop and ongoing programs for people of all ages.With a full schedule of kid's entertainment, hands-on learning activities, quality art exhibitions, summer films and adult classes, this beautiful library is worth a visit. Free admission.
Board v. Board of Education National Historic Site & Museum
Gain an understanding of the role this 1954 Supreme Court decision played in the Civil Rights Movement. This interactive, experiential museum is location in the historic Monroe Elementary School. Open 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. daily, admission free.
This 160-acre park is home to the Topeka Zoo, Reinisch Rose Garden and Helen Hocker Theatre. Take a mile-long scenic train ride through the heart of the park or enjoy a ride on the historic carousel. Both operate seasonally, April-Labor Day.
Heartland Park Topeka
Home to dragstrip, road course and dirt track racing on one of the world’s fastest tracks. Heartland Park hosts numerous events, including national NHRA and AMA events, in a season running from March-October. Check the race schedule at www.HPT.com
Topeka Civic Theatre & Academy
Enjoy new hit comedies, cutting-edge dramas, and beloved Broadway musicals during dinner and non-dinner shows. This summer’s line-up includes ‘The Sound of Music’, ‘The Shape of Things’, Hitchcock’s ‘The 39 Steps’, ‘Pinkalicious’, and more!
Topeka Performing Arts Center
This multi-functional facility hosts touring Broadway shows, popular comedians, local dance performances and musical artists. Check www.TPACTix.org for performance schedule.
Topeka Zoological Park
The Topeka Zoo, located in Gage Park, is home to nearly 400 animals from all over the world. Exhibits include the Hill’s Black Bear Woods, Tropical Rain Forest, Discovering Apes, Lions Pride and Children’s Petting Zoo. Hours: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily.
The Woodward Inns on Fillmore
Originally built in 1923, The Woodward is Topeka’s luxury historic inn featuring Gothic English Tudor-style architecture with original floor-to-ceiling stained glass, chandeliers, and imported stone and tile. Hours: Tours by appointment
From circus elephants and monster trucks, to rock concerts, sporting events and ice shows, you can see it all at the Kansas Expocentre. Landon Arena is also home to the Topeka RoadRunners NAHL hockey team and the Kansas Koyotes APFL football team.
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