Sometimes it can feel like you are stuck in an activity rut! So, to help you get out of that rut we have compiled a list of the 20 places in Hutchinson that you can enjoy with the kids!
A lot of people think of the Cosmosphere as a purely big kid thing, but you can also take your younger kids for a stroll through their air conditioned/heated museum just to get some energy out. Sure they won’t think many of the artifacts are cool, but the big ships and space suits will still grab their attention! The Hall of Space Museum is free to explore for those living in Reno County.
Located at 901 N. Main St the Hutchinson Library hosts a wide range of community events and programs. For kids, the library has S.T.E.A.M. storytime on Mondays, pre-school storytime on Wednesday and Thursdays, Toddler Time on Tuesdays, and Baby Time on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at different times during the year. Besides these programs, the Library also has a lot of hands-on learning opportunities and a little coffee shop!
3. The Alley
Bowling can be a lot of fun, but one of our favorite things about The Alley isn’t the lanes! For $20 (or less, up to you) you can load a game card and have some fun family competition! The games wrack up points that you can cash out for cute little prizes at the end of the night.
Tucked away in a quiet little spot along 30th Avenue just east of Ken Kennedy Freeway is the Dillon Nature Center. They are a National Urban Wildlife Sanctuary housing more than 300 tree species, 200 bird species, many large species of wildlife, and an overabundance of wildflower and native grasses. This makes them an ideal place to go exploring! Inside the Visitor’s Center, you will find numerous displays and interactive exhibits too. One of our favorite spots is the Jim Smith Family Playscape.
There is nothing better than being able to wear your kids out so well that they practically fall asleep on their way to bed. You can accomplish this with a visit the Skateland.
6. Toy Depot
This cute little Downton shop is on our list for one very important reason. Stop in at 127 S. Main St and head immediately to the very back room with your kids. This room is called the Train Room. Back there you will find an interactive, large model train table and over 3000 various model train pieces on display. If your little one loves trains, this is the place to be!
7. Local Parks
We have a total of 16 parks around Hutchinson. Check out this graphic to find the one closest to you:
Hidden within the Reno County Museum and up the stairs is a fun creative space called Oodleplex! Using pioneer themes the Reno County Museum has created an oasis from hours of free play. All ages are welcome to come stretch their imagination while they play pretend but the Oodleplex is geared towards ages 2-12. The museum also has many interesting exhibits throughout (and outside!) for learning more about the history of Reno County. Located adjacent to Cow Creek and Herman Bunte Park you could spend a fun afternoon playing, learning, and exploring.
Free to all visitors the Hutchinson Zoo is and Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) accredited zoo! They have over 150 animals on exhibit ranging from white-tailed deer to Bald Eagles and more! A really important part of the Hutch Zoo happens behind the scenes at the Cargill Wild Care Center where around 500 animals a year are treated as part of their wildlife rehabilitation program. While at the Zoo you can also take a ride on the Prairie Thunder Railroad, a big hit with younger kids!
This activity is reserved for families with older kids since children under the age of four are not allowed down in the museum. However, they do have an engine that was once used in the mine sitting outside that a younger child might think is pretty cool. So if you have kids too young to go in the mine but happen to be driving down Airport Road consider stopping for just a minute for a quick photo!
The local YMCA has numerous programs for your kids to enjoy from gymnastics to dodgeball. You can even get a punch card to participate in fitness classes while the kids play in the Playland Nursery.
12. Sports Arena
Looking for some place to help burn off your kids’ energy even when the weather outside is either too cold or too hot to play? Take them over to the Hutchinson Sports Arena located at 700 E 11th Ave. It is open to the public Mon – Sat 8am-6pm to get in some exercise for the whole family.
Looking for a camp or activity for your child? Check out the HutchRec! Between sports, camps, swim lessons and more you can find fun with the HutchRec! Every season they put out an activity guide full of options for your family. Within the guide, you can choose from Community Events, Family Events, Early Year (0-5yrs), Youth, and Adaptive activities. Many of the activities are even free!
Located just north of Hutchinson, the Sand Hills State Park can be accessed from 56th Ave and 69th Ave just east of K-61 Highway. It is an 1123 acre park of grasslands, woodlands, wetlands, and sand dunes. There are 14 miles of trails for you to explore with the family and even campgrounds you can reserve for a night or two.
15. Bluebird Books
Not only is Bluebird Books a relaxing place to take the kids to discover new books, they also have Kid’s Book Clubs! You can drop your older kids off to enjoy discussing new books with peers while you enjoy a drink from the Bluebird Cafe! They often host fun, family-friendly events too. Some recent events include Ultimate Waldo Hunt, Saturday Storytimes, and more!
Every third Thursday of the month the community gets together in Downtown Hutchinson. You can enjoy live music and visit many vendors along the way. Most downtown businesses stay open late during the event. Most Third Thursday’s have a theme or core event for the evening. In the past, they have hosted a community Film Festival, Open Paint Night, Bike Parade, and other community participation opportunities.
Also Downtown, you will find the SculptureWalk. Each year, new sculptures are added to the walk by world-class regional artists. The SculputureWalk extends from 7th Ave to Ave C along Main Street on both sides of the street. This is a great activity for families with older children on a nice evening to enjoy!
FCT is a local non-profit organization located downtown at 310 N Main St. here in Hutchinson. Their mission is to bring local talent and the community together to enjoy quality theatrical performances. They strive to inspire creativity and help people connect through the performances.
19. Hutchinson Splash Pads
Within the City, there are two free to the public splash pads that open on Memorial Day and close on Labor Day. They are located at Ave A and Washington and off of Severance between 17th Ave and 23rd Ave. A new splash pad is also being built in Rice Park!
20. Salt City Splash
Open during the summer months Salt City Splash is a great place to cool off. Throughout the summer they have Toddler Swim Saturday were they open early and only families with little ones under 5 years of age can come and swim. This is great because the pools are usually a lot less crowded. They also occasionally throughout the summer do Twilight swims where they open later in the evening when it is cooler out and the sun has gone down some.