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Fall visit to Kansas

australia
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Fall visit to Kansas

Our family will be living in Wichita for four weeks in September/early October. We have accommodation in the East part of the city, near the Lake and Country Club, I believe. We have a car, so I'd like to plan a few excursions each week for my young family. I'd also like to know about any great parks and shopping centres as I'd like to live like a local for four weeks - shop, cook, eat out occasionally, go to the park and muesum - that sort of thing. Also, I am wondering to if there will be any pumpkin patches etc, in preparation for Halloween, as we don't celebrate that in Australia and my children are quite capivated by the idea. I believe, weather wise, it will be a great time of year. I look forward to your responses.

Kansas
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for Mackinac Island, Mackinaw City, Kansas
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1. Re: Fall visit to Kansas

Wichita is well positioned to see much of Kansas, and I think you will find much to entertain your family in town. Excursions that may entertain your family would include:

Bonner Springs - Kansas City Renaissance Festival & Moon Marble Company

Dodge City - Boot Hill Museum. Along the way stop in Mullinville to see the odd art of M. T. Liggett

Hutchinson - Cosmosphere (world class space museum) and Salt Mine Museum. Visit the mixed Amish/Mennonite community of Yoder along the way.

Lucas - the Garden of Eden, Grassroots Art Center and other art is quirky and fun

Olathe - - Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop & Farm Historic Site has a Wild West Show & Bullwhacker Days in September.

Overland Park - Overland Park Arboretum & Deanna Rose Children's Farmstead, both free.

Winfield - Walnut Valley Festival in September is a nationally known acoustic music festival.

Depending on your interests, there are many others. http://www.kansastravel.org/ has details on these and other attractions with candid comments to help you decide which ones are for you. Be sure to include a framers market in your stops.

wichita,ks
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for Wichita
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2. Re: Fall visit to Kansas

G'day,---- I have a suggestion for a short day trip, There is a small town,Cottonwood Falls, a little over an hours drive northeast of Wichita that is certainly well worth a visit. It is located in an area called the Flint Hills and is part of the largest area of tall grass prairie left in the USA. In a good year, and if there are no cattle in the pasture, the grass can grow to a height of 2+ meters. There is also a restaurant , The Central Hotel, where you can get a good steak. It is also a b&b.

Try these two sites.www.parktrust.org/zb-glim.html. This is the ZBar/Springhill ranch and

www.galleryatcwf.com.

I think you will find this a worth while trip. Where else can you find a store that sells furniture,carpets,guns and ammo and fish bait?

There is also a historic court house built in the French Renaissance style that is all locally quarried native limestone.

The area of Wichita where you will be has the best shopping areas in Wichita. Bradley Fair is one that comes to mind but I am not really into shopping. We also have a good zoo and several museums

wichita,ks
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3. Re: Fall visit to Kansas

There should be several pumpkin patches in the area. I was surprised to hear that you do not celebrate Halloween in Australia. I just assumed that with the number of Irish immigrants who have arrived there over the years that Halloween would be a big holiday.

Pat

australia
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4. Re: Fall visit to Kansas

Thank you both for your suggestions. I have a lot of great ideas to keep us entertained. The Cosmosphere and Salt Mine received a very positive response from the kids, as well as seeing grass that is taller than them! My husband loves the idea of a good steak house.

How long is the drive from Wichita to Kansas City? I am wondering whether we can drive there and back in a day.

I am really looking forward to getting a taste of living life (all be it for only a month) in Wichita.

Kansas
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for Mackinac Island, Mackinaw City, Kansas
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5. Re: Fall visit to Kansas

From the east side of Wichita to the southwest side of metro KC (Olathe) takes me about 2.5 hours. Downtown is another 20-25 minutes.

Don't take the Turnpike all the way unless you are going to Bonner Springs. If your teens have never been to a Rennisance Festival, I think they will be impressed. It is the size of a small theme park and can take 3 hours to an entire day.

Wichita, Kansas
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6. Re: Fall visit to Kansas

Our zoo is quite good with wonderful exhibits from lions to penquins. Cowtown Museum is quite fun especially if there is a special weekend event scheduled. This is a living history museum, they have a website. There are several pumpkin patches around and don't forget about a haunted house (or field or whatever they cook up this year). Also at this time of year there are usually maizes around (they are cut out of corn fields, going at night and trying to find your way using a flash light can be even better). These are quite popular activities and can involve long lines but goofing around waiting can be part of the fun. We also have a dirt track car race (81 Speedway) nearby that doesn't end its season until sometime during this period of time. There is also a drag car raceway (Wichita International Raceway) open through September.

How old are your children and will they be attending school here during this time?

There is an art museum on the East side of town as well as downtown. In the downtown area there is another art museum, Indian Museum, Exploration Place (childrens museum, but enjoyable for adults, too)and Botanica (a wonderful garden, I don't know that I have ever been there during this time of year, but I'm sure it is beautiful with the leaves started to change.) There is also a wonderful park near all of these attractions.

Wichita also has a renaissance festival at the end of September in a wonderful park on the West side of town. I'm sure it's not the scale of the Kansas City festival, but you mentioned living as the locals.

If you want to get an idea of Wichita's history visit the Historical Museum downtown or the Kansas Aviation Museum. The Historical Museum is wonderful, I haven't been to the Aviation Museum but have heard good things. The Museum of World Treasures is downtown in Old Town and is very good as well!

Another possibility, depending on when you are here and when they will close for the season, is the Starlite Drive-In Movie Theater. Definately something every family should experience! We also have a nice ice skating rink just to the West of the downtown area.

Restaurants (fast food to nice) to experience in town: NuWay (get a root beer float), Cafe Bel Ami (downtown, nice dining, reservations taken), Old Mill Tasty Shop (downtown, old fashioned soda fountain), Hog Wild Barbecue (haven't had Kansas City BBQ but we love this), Thai Tradition (delicious!) - I'll quit with this.

Hope your time here is enjoyable - let us know any other questions you have!

Wichita, Kansas
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7. Re: Fall visit to Kansas

Oh yeah, how could i forge the steak - in the middle of cattle country and the grand daughter of a farmer that also raised cows!

Scotch & Sirloin always has good food and is locally owned. We also have a really good chain restaurant, Texas Roadhouse that also has good food and a fun, louder atmosphere.

8. Re: Fall visit to Kansas

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