Topeka’s Natural Attractions

If you want to get out and see some of Kansas’ great outdoors than a stay in Topeka will put you in easy distance of some great sights. Anyone looking to experience some beautiful scenery and give themselves a gentle bit of exercise should definitely look into taking a stroll along the Kansas Historical Society’s Nature Trail. The trail, which is situated in western Topeka consists of four different sections. The eastern section is made up of a 2.5 mile long circuit which takes in creeks, grasslands and woodlands. As you walk along you’ll come across signs imparting interesting facts both about the natural history and the cultural significance of the sights you’ll see on the way. On the north trail you’ll pass through more woodland, whilst the south will take you down to the charming Stach School, a one room building of historical interest where you can see just how far education has come in the last couple of hundred years. The path to the west will take you over a series of bridges, including the Wea Creek Bridge, which is one of the only bridges featuring a Bowstring Arch Truss design still in use today. (The faint of heart should probably also be aware that one of the three bridges is of the rope variety, but don’t worry, it’s a lot safer than the ones you’ve seen in adventure movies!). There’s some great wildlife in the area that you might be lucky enough to catch sight of whilst out on the trail. In the prairie and alongside the banks of the creek you could spot a number of smaller animals as well as larger mammals such as the white tailed deer. If you’ve got an ornithological streak, keep an eye out for meadowlarks and red-tailed hawks. You might even see a wild turkey roving about. Another prime spot you should drop in on is Shawnee Lake. There are a range of places there in which to relax and it makes an ideal setting for a picnic. There’s a swimming beach as well as facilities for organised sports if you’d like to indulge in a game of tennis or volleyball. If you’d like to appreciate the view from the water head down to the marina and take a boat out or, if you have the requisite skills, you could go windsurfing. If you really want to get out on the water and enjoy yourself, try kayaking or canoeing down the Kansas River. At the Kaw River State Park, as well as enjoying a variety of hikes and mountain bike rides you can take through the 76 acres of...

Read More

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...

Read More