Old Cowtown Museum
Old Cowtown Museum
4.5
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
Sunday
12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
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.
Duration: More than 3 hours
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  • scott r
    Silver Spring, Maryland707 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    One of the BEST recreation villages I've experienced.
    Really enjoyed this. You can do this as a causal tourist, a serious history buff, or 'bring the kids' day. Enough information that can spend hours or whiz through with some sage comments on what it was like way back then for the 10 year olds. There's enough moving around and varied attractions to keep even pre-teens from getting bored (also an old time refreshment opportunity). 40+ buildings on display and open to varying extents; room enough that you don't feel crowded even if there's a fair crowd that day. Well signed. Did not notice the usual complement of interpretive staff, might not be something that's offered / did not miss it. All in all a really good afternoon outing. Some of the buildings have AC, others do not; dress appropriately and bring a hat if it's sunny - you will be walking a bit.
    Visited June 2023
    Traveled solo
    Written June 23, 2023
  • Gregor A
    Mount Horeb, Wisconsin3 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Exemplified 1880s Cowtown
    Friendly staff and showed what the West was like in the late 1800’s. Went during the week so quite quiet and able to take time at each building exhibit. Missed being able to see the activities that occur during the weekends. Great museum/exhibit.
    Visited June 2023
    Written June 24, 2023
  • VanEsq12
    Dallas, Texas3,927 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Just like stepping back in time!
    This is an ACCREDITED historical museum. That's a big deal, and not something that is easy to receive. Being here, you'll understand why. This is a living history museum that has 44 structures on site (many of them air conditioned) that show visitors what life was like as Witchita moved to an official city. All of the structures are either original donations to the museum, or are structures that existed and needed renovation. They are full of period pieces and artifacts. Depending on when you go, you can see people wearing clothing of the period, blacksmithing and giving oral histories. At less than $10 per person (first responders, teachers and military are FREE), this is a MUST-DO attraction!
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled solo
    Written July 11, 2023
  • Marilee H
    Wichita, Kansas207 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Hard sell, but worth it!
    I have to be honest, for years I had no interest, same buildings, same signs, same history. But, I bought my partner an annual pass and my opinion changed. I spent more time getting to know the history of the buildings and time period, and got to experience some fun events they have through the year. The Halloween event really stands out, but there are events every month.l, and even more in the summer. The volunteers make this place special and they try the best to provide both education and entertainment.
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written July 24, 2023
  • Kassie J Runyan
    New York City, New York234 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Lots to see - Solid open-air museum!
    While we managed to make it on the hottest weekend of the year - it was still a great time. Most of the buildings are air-conditioned. It was easy to get around for our full family. And very informative. There is enough to see and do to easily make it a full day.
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written December 26, 2023
  • GlobetrotterBella
    San Antonio, Texas2,220 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    History and entertainment
    We were looking for something to do while in Wichita, Kansas for the day. We spent about an hour here. We walked around and looked inside the houses, businesses, and the farm area. They did have sheep. There was a lot of kids there. It was a weekday, so it probably was a school field trip. I expected more staff to be dressed like that era, but I only encountered one staff member on the grounds. It is interesting finding the history behind this town. Only $10 to go in which isn’t bad for an hour of entertainment. Wear comfortable walking shoes because it is a good walk. Parking is free and on site.
    Visited April 2024
    Traveled with friends
    Written April 9, 2024
  • Ian H
    4 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Engaging Open Air Museum Experience
    Really cool open air museum, the buildings are very fun to explore and the staff are friendly and knowledgeable. If you follow the path the building also get progressively more modern as you move through time which was an entertaining and educational touch. Highly recommended for anyone that loves learning about history.
    Visited May 2024
    Traveled solo
    Written May 28, 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

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4.5 of 5 bubbles486 reviews
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295
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144
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32
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VanEsq12
Dallas, TX3,927 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2023 • Solo
This is an ACCREDITED historical museum. That's a big deal, and not something that is easy to receive. Being here, you'll understand why. This is a living history museum that has 44 structures on site (many of them air conditioned) that show visitors what life was like as Witchita moved to an official city. All of the structures are either original donations to the museum, or are structures that existed and needed renovation. They are full of period pieces and artifacts. Depending on when you go, you can see people wearing clothing of the period, blacksmithing and giving oral histories. At less than $10 per person (first responders, teachers and military are FREE), this is a MUST-DO attraction!
Written July 11, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

MNDoodles
Stillwater, MN679 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
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. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

rhaltn56
Murfreesboro, TN203 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
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. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Tommy S
Lakewood13 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
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. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Alison P
Wyomissing, PA630 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
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. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Shufesco
Kansas67 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
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. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Lou D
Valparaiso, IN390 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
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. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Julianne H
State College182 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2021
Cowtown is a collection of old buildings from all over Kansas, brought together to recreate what life in the late 1800s was like. Many of the building are set up to illustrate life, others have a museum quality. We spent a good part of the day there and learned a lot. A "saloon" was open to provide food and refreshments for those who wanted to purchase a lunch.
Written April 9, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

belinda m
Portsmouth, UK653 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2021 • Family
This activity is a little gem and a must do in Witchita. So easy to visit and we were very surprised the family got in free as my husband is active military. So wonderful. We were there on a very very got day with 2 teenagers and we all absolutely loved it. Almost every building had air-conditioning which was lovely. Make sure you stop by the saloon for a drink and hot dog and at 3pm there is reinacted mini show which was fun.
Written August 1, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Paul507
Port Charlotte, FL264 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
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. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Old Cowtown Museum - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

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