Children’s Attractions in Topeka
Topeka has a lot to offer visitors of all ages. If you’re going to be seeing the city with little ones, there are some great attractions that you certainly won’t want to miss.
Nestled away in the beautiful Gage Park, the Kansas Children’s Discovery Centre is the ideal place for curious minds who love to play whilst they learn. The building, which is the best part of 16,000 square foot, contains nine different exhibits all geared towards teaching valuable lessons on a range of subjects including science, art and economics, whilst being a bucket load of fun to boot.
As well as the hands on experiments inside, there are a number of outdoor activities on offer too. There are adventure playgrounds, tree house trails and a garden featuring an expansive, interactive water feature.
The centre is closed most Mondays and is open 10am-5pm the rest of the week with the exception of Sundays on which it is open between 1pm and 5pm. Various events go on throughout the year, so it’s a good idea to phone ahead and see what is happening on any given day before you start planning your trip. Admission is $7.25 for adults and children alike.
Also located in Gage Park is the Topeka Zoo, where you’ll find a whole host of your favourite animals, including creepy crawlies, birds and bats, lazy sloths, big jungle cats, reptiles, black bears and various members of the ape family. There’s even a kid’s zoo featuring cute farm animals that you can feed and pet. On top of that, there’s a ‘living classroom’ where you can go for even more educational fun. Perfect for anyone with a love of nature.
The zoo is open from 9am to 5pm everyday of the week except for major holidays. You’ll need to get there before 4.30pm for last admissions. Tickets are $5.75 for adults and $4.25 for children. Again there are lots of special events that run throughout the year so check what’s on before heading down to make sure you make the most of your trip.
Of course, Gage Park is beautiful in of itself and a good place to let the kids run around and get some air in their lungs. If you go for a look around you should definitely drop into the Blaisdell Family Aquatic Centre which features a huge outdoor swimming pool – the ideal place to cool off if you’re coming during the heat of the summer months. The pool is, as the name suggests, family friendly and there’s lots to keep swimmers entertained, including diving boards, slides and waterfalls. There are shallow paddling areas and zero depth entry points for toddlers too.
For more wet and wild fun you could head up to 43rd street to the Shawnee North Aquatic Centre. This Viking themed three pooled area has green spaces where you can laze about in the sun, diving boards for those wanting to be a little more energetic and toddler friendly zones for the younger kids. All children under ten years of age need to be accompanied by an adult to enter and, being outdoors, the park does close in the colder months.
If, after all that, your kids still have a bundle of energy to burn off, you might try Going Bonkers, an impressive five level indoor playground on Southwest 21st. As well as the epic adventure zone there’s an also an arcade where you’ll find a wide variety of prizes up for grabs and a restaurant where the little ones can refuel after a long hard day’s play.
Another great venue for family fun is the Topeka Sports Centre where you can get involved in a range of cool activities, including; a wild 18 hole crazy golf course, a driving course for those who take their golf a bit more seriously, a go-karting track, batting cages with a variety of pitching speeds and an indoor arcade. Prices depend on what it is you’d like to do, but all the activities are highly affordable.