Old Cowtown Museum

Old Cowtown Museum, Wichita: Hours, Address, Old Cowtown Museum Reviews: 4.5/5

Old Cowtown Museum
4.5
Historic Sites • History Museums
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10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
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About
Be transported back in time at this unique, 23 acre open-air history museum that recreates Wichita and Sedgwick County, Kansas from 1865 to 1880. Museum staff dress in period costume and demonstrate everyday activities including, gardening, tending livestock and cooking. Historic Wichita Cowtown Inc. works with the City of Wichita to further the Museum and its mission. Established in 1950, Cowtown's unique programming chronicles Wichita's transformation from a frontier settlement to a cattle town to an agricultural and manufacturing area. The Museum has the distinction of being accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, the highest national recognition achievable by a museum. Accreditation recognizes high standards in individual museums and ensures they continue to uphold public trust. Only 3 percent of the nation's estimated 34,144 museums are accredited.
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Tripadvisor gives a Travelers’ Choice award to accommodations, attractions and restaurants that consistently earn great reviews from travelers and are ranked within the top 10% of properties on Tripadvisor.
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
Popular mentions

4.5
463 reviews
Excellent
276
Very good
142
Average
32
Poor
8
Terrible
5

Paul507
Port Charlotte, FL262 contributions
Apr 2022 • Solo
I really enjoyed my visit here. I was there on a Wednesday in April and there weren’t a lot of other people there which actually gave it a sort of ghost town feel.

I’d like to come back when there are the volunteers there which would make it more like a bustling western town.

Still, off season travel has its benefits as I was able to read a lot of the information contained in the signage inside each building.

If I lived in the area, I would definitely be a volunteer here
Written April 6, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Bstew
12 contributions
Aug 2021 • Couples
We visited this museum earlier today and are very impressed! Hands down this museum surpasses The Boot Hill Museum in Dodge City! The buildings are authentic, with a few exceptions. There is a variety of occupations and lifestyles represented . All information was complete and well displayed. They presented the history of the area and people in a way that both adults and children would enjoy. The staff we interacted with were professional and friendly. Really wish we hadn’t wasted our money at The Boot Hill Museum.
Written August 4, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Shufesco
Kansas64 contributions
Aug 2021 • Family
It was a great time. Our group loved all of the old shops in which artisans were re-creating how things used to be done. The old time soda shop was a hit. The Sarsaparilla was loved by all. You can spend a lot of time wandering from shop to shop and down Main Street. There’s also an old time shoot out, toned down off course, so the young ones don’t get freaked out.
Written December 20, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

MNDoodles
Stillwater, MN631 contributions
Oct 2021
Traveling from Minnesota, we carefully planned our two day visit to Wichita by reviewing websites for open days and hours on places we wanted to see, Cowtown among them. Not one spot on their website (including their homepage) mentioned anything about being closed Saturday Oct. 16. Their calendar showed a ‘hootenanny’ event starting at 4:00 with no other details. We arrived at Cowtown at 2:00 pm to find a closed sign at the front door and a rude staff person behind the door telling us ‘we are closed today’ with no other explanation. Apparently a $50 fundraiser started at 4:00, the ‘hootenanny’, and out of state visitors were expected to know this intuitively from their zero communication website. Horrible.
Written October 16, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

rhaltn56
Murfreesboro, TN143 contributions
Sep 2021
Good for history to see the way things were in the 1800's. Reproduction of a town during that period. Easy walking and information is available at most buildings. Did have a shoot-out around noon and it was okay. It is a self paced tour and take your time to get the entire feel. Several people are in the area doing different skills and some in period clothing. Gift shop was okay as well
Written October 11, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

hsbvim
Dublin, OH1,194 contributions
Feb 2020
We visited the Cowtown Museum in late February, arriving just minutes after they opened. For the first hour, we were two of only eight people at the museum, so it was easy to get photographs with no 21st century people in the photo.

We thought that they had nice displays in all of the stores and houses. I was happy to see that they were very upfront about which buildings were original construction and relocated to this spot and which buildings were "newly" constructed to show how a particular building would have looked.

They had a mock "gun fight" at noon, but we were told earlier that it was "visiting gunfighters" for that show. We thought the show was pretty lame, but perhaps it is better with the regular actors.

I was surprised that there weren't character actors in any of the stores, buildings or houses like one would see when visiting Colonial Williamsburg. I think that would be a great addition to the museum. We did see that on some days one can have portraits taken in period costumes, but that was not available when we were there.

Despite its location being in the city limits and not that far from the city center, its 23 acres are closed off enough that you rarely see a car drive by the perimeter. All in all, it was a nice two and one-half hour visit for us.
Written March 3, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Tamara H
Granite Falls, WA252 contributions
Jul 2020
This was a fun stop for history lovers, with houses and shops relocated and restored to be what one might find in the 1800s. The displays set up in the buildings were well laid out and seemed to be authentic. It was an easy walk to see all of the “in town” buildings, but we ran out of time, so skipped walking out to the farm homestead. I had only allotted 90 minutes for our stop here, but we easily could have used another hour, as our favorite part was talking with the docents in period dress, especially the blacksmith and the printing press attendant; they have a lot of information and stories to share. We were sad to have had to skip a couple of the other buildings with docents, as our time was short. The saloon was closed (I’m guessing it opened at noon) and we had to leave too early to see the gun fight, which was also at noon.
If you’re planning a stop here, give yourself at least 2 ½ to 3 hours in order to be able to see and do everything.
Written August 10, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Lou D
Valparaiso, IN351 contributions
Oct 2021 • Couples
Cowtown is an amazing tribute to historic preservation and it's benefactors of many years are to be deeply congratulated. I greatly enjoyed my visit through 1860's and 70's Wichita but left with far more questions than I had answers. Most notable was the near total absence of Wichita's amazing story from the viewpoint of the displaced American Indians. Likewise, the roles of black people and women are barely mentioned. Catherine McCarty seems like a historic figure that could be easily built upon.

My other major question involves the role of The Four Horsemen in redirecting cattle from Park City to Wichita using large "compensation". The ominous painting commissioned by the Carnegie Library suggests a far more complex story than merely compensation. I think Cowtown could become a model of historic and cultural learning and entertainment and I was encouraged by my inquiry in the gift shop about their awareness of these shortcomings and efforts to improve. I look forward to a future visit to learn even more about Wichita's amazing past.
Written November 1, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Alison P
Wyomissing, PA594 contributions
Sep 2021
We have visited sites similar to this in several locations and were a bit disappointed - perhaps it was the time of year we visited. The store fronts were not operational. We went into the carpenter shop and there was a person there, but there was no project underway and no explanation of what would go on in that shop.
The biggest disappointment was the "shoot out" . There were several people who waited 30 minutes or longer for this event. In my opinion, it was a poor scenario and lacking - again not what was expected. Again it may be the time of year we visited.
Written October 5, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Tommy S
Lakewood13 contributions
Jul 2021
I was so impressed with this museum that is dedicated to preserving the life style of the early settlers in Wichita Kansas. Walking down the streets of Cow town made me feel like I took a trip back into the old west. The old buildings, the Church, school house, general store, the blacksmith, and many more, were very informative. Very affordable admission makes this attraction very desirable.
Written July 16, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Old Cowtown Museum

Old Cowtown Museum is open:
  • Tue - Sat 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM


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