October 7, 2022
The holidays are just around the corner, and holidays means welcoming back friends and relatives for visits. As I have gotten older, I have started to realize that very few of my most cherished memories were made while visiting on the couch; they came from going places and doing things with those that I love most dearly.
Have some downtime while your guests are around? Why not go explore and make some memories? There’s no better way to encourage folks to come back home more often than to show them what they’re missing … And who knows? Maybe they’ll decide to stay for good once they fall in love with their community again.
Here’s a mixture of old favorites and new haunts that will keep you and your guests coming back for more, all around the state.
Visit the High Plains’ official Christmas city, see art and history, take in natural wonders and dine.
Prairie Museum of Art & History. Ogle at the largest barn in Kansas and experience early prairie life at this Colby attraction.
Christmas city of the High Plains. ’Tis the season in WaKeeney, the official Christmas city of the High Plains. You’ll find a 35-foot tree, plenty of Christmas lights and some special Christmas-themed murals lining Main Street.
The Elephant Bistro & Bar. The elevated culinary experience at this French-inspired restaurant in Hoxie is destination dining at its finest.
Little Jerusalem Badlands State Park. You’ll find towering chalk formations that look out of this world at Kansas’ newest state park.
Check out museums celebrating the Wild West, a very large well and a meteorite. Finish your southwest Kansas journey by viewing some folk art and then caffeinating yourself in Lakin.
Boot Hill Museum. Cowboys. Sarsaparilla. Reliving the legendary days of the Wild West. Get the heck into Dodge City.
Big Well Museum. The world’s largest hand-dug well and the world’s largest pallasite meteorite under one roof? This museum is a Greensburg treasure.
MT Liggett Art Environment. The notable (and controversial) works of the acclaimed Kansas folk artist, Liggett, are preserved at this Mullinville attraction.
Cottonwood Coffeehouse. The vibes at this Lakin coffeeshop are strong, and the delicious drinks are sure to fuel you up for your southwest Kansas adventure.
Time in nature, learning about Dwight D. Eisenhower and enjoying a handcrafted beer are a fun way to spend the day. And if you haven’t ever seen the world’s largest ball of twine in Cawker City … now’s your chance.
Wilson State Park. Enjoy the serene views of the lake, or get your thrills on the Switchgrass Mountain Bike Trail, north of Wilson.
Irrigation Ales. You’ll love what’s on tap at Courtland’s Irrigation Ales, with local handcrafted beer, Kansas wines, kombucha and snacks.
World’s Largest Ball of Twine. You can’t miss this essential Kansas road trip stop, but make sure to see what new is happening in Cawker City along the way.
Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum. If it’s been years since you’ve been to Ike’s museum in Abilene, you’ll definitely want to revisit after this presidential site’s recent remodel.
Take the time to experience an immersive holiday display in Wichita, a salt mine museum and shop for decorative metal art in Florence. Finish your day with a tasty meal in an elegant 19th-century setting at Parlour 1886.
Botanica. Experiencing Illuminations, an immersive holiday light display, is a holiday must in Wichita.
Strataca. Do some exploring 650 feet under Hutchinson at this unique museum in a salt mine.
Parlour 1886. Fine dining in the Flint Hills? Sign us up for this Marion eatery.
Prairie Oak Designs. Select a decorative metal holiday gift for a loved one or two at this Kansas-grown shop in Florence.
Expend some energy cross-country skiing, see an actual stagecoach stop, learn to blow glass, and fuel yourself with apple cider and doughnuts in northeast Kansas.
Clinton State Park. Have some fresh snow? Take a lap at the only cross-country skiing trail at a Kansas state park.
More than Lemons. Try your hands (and mouth) at blowing glass at this Holton shop.
Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop. Take a step back in time in Olathe and experience the only remaining stagecoach stop on the Santa Fe Trail.
Louisburg Cider Mill. Apple cider doughnuts, anyone?
Learn about little-known heroes, get started playing disc golf, marvel at Big Brutus and indulge in sweet treats on a day in southeast Kansas.
Big Brutus. This larger-than-life electric shovel near West Mineral is a machine that has to be seen to be believed.
Lowell Milken Center for Unsung Heroes. This Fort Scott attraction brings history to life through the tales of people (just like you) who have changed the world for the better.
Dynamic Discs. Emporia is now known as “Disc Golf Disneyland,” so visit the store that started it all —and don’t forget to play a round afterward.
Bijou Confectionary. Careful, visitors with a sweet tooth: This Humboldt shop is a candy-lover’s dream!
Roemerman is marketing manager for Kansas Tourism. Kansas Tourism aims to inspire travel to and throughout Kansas to maximize the positive impacts that tourism has on the state and local communities. For more trip inspiration and to order a free Kansas Travel Guide, head to travelks.com
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