Kansas isn’t called the Sunflower State for nothing, and students will enjoy exploring the state’s captivating flora and fauna at locations dedicated to preserving its natural landscape. In addition to nature’s bounty, Kansas is home to many must-see educational attractions and quintessential destinations students won’t want to skip.
3 Places to See Kansas’ Natural Beauty
Konza Prairie Biological Station
Students wanting to immerse themselves in a typical Midwestern setting will find the Konza Prairie Biological Station enticing. Located in the Flint Hills of northeastern Kansas, the station encompasses a grassland region of steep slopes overlain by shallow limestone soils unsuitable for cultivation. Tall grasses, endless sunflowers and roaming bison give students an authentic look at Kansas’ natural state.
Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead
Suitable for students young and old, the Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead in Overland Park features a wide variety of animals and offers an educational glimpse into the fauna of Kansas. The farmstead houses over 200 animals in a structure designed to depict a typical 19th century Kansas family farm. In addition to the farm, students can explore a one-room country schoolhouse, relax at an old-time fishing pond and go on horse rides.
For a broader animal experience, students will enjoy Tanganyika Wildlife Park in Goddard, where animals native to Kansas and across the world are on display, including zebras, penguins, monkeys and gazelles. Students will have the opportunity to interact with the animals by feeding and petting them.
4 Educational Experiences in Kansas
The Cosmosphere in Hutchinson is a STEM education center and museum where students can observe over 13,000 spaceflight artifacts. Early space exploration is detailed through exhibits about Germany’s V-1 and V-2 rockets and Russia’s Sputnik program. Exhibits on U.S. space launches include Gemini X capsules and a full-scale replica of the space shuttle.
Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site
It is important for students to celebrate the steps taken towards racial equality, and at the Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site in Topeka they can make emotional and intellectual connections with the Supreme Court case. Students can explore the exhibits and tour the historic Monroe School building.
Music Theater Wichita
Students will enjoy the Music Theater Wichita, the largest nonprofit arts organization of its kind in Kansas and has earned an international reputation for excellence. The theater self-produces five Broadway-scale musical productions each year, using a talented group of professionals from Broadway, Hollywood and the Midwest. Shows the theater has put on include Mamma Mia, Beauty and the Beast and Oklahoma!
Museum of World Treasures
Students seeking a gateway to the past will find it at the Museum of World Treasures in Wichita. The museum boasts many invaluable artifacts, including mummies, statues from the Ming Dynasty and dinosaur bones. Students can have a sleepover among the treasures through the Midnight at the Museum program, which accommodates groups of over 30 students.
3 Quintessential Stops in Kansas
When in Kansas, students must visit the Oz Museum in Wamego. Dedicated to keeping the enchantment of The Wizard of Oz alive, the museum invites students to experience the story’s magic by exploring over 2,000 Oz artifacts and movie set memorabilia, including jeweled ruby slippers, character masks and original MGM 1939 movie production notes.
Old Cowtown Museum
Students wanting to have an authentic Great Plains experience will love the Old Cowtown Museum in Wichita. Here, they will discover a replica of a late 19th century Midwestern town that serves as a living history museum. A staff made up of buffalo hunters, traders, cowboys, blacksmiths, carpenters and farmers depicts life on the frontier.
Strataca-Kansas Underground Salt Museum
Students are welcome to explore part of one of the world’s largest rock salt deposits at Strataca-Kansas Underground Salt Museum in Hutchinson. At the museum, students will take an elevator 650 feet underground into a working salt mine and learn about the geology and history of mining.
By Deanna Charkewycz