Step into the enchanting world of Arendelle and join us for an experience filled with music, laughter and the heartwarming tale of sisters Elsa and Anna as we watch the beloved film Frozen on the big screen in Kemper theater.
Hands-on Science Fun for the Whole Family
Many one-of-a-kind experiences await you at Exploration Place, featuring hands-on science fun for the entire family! Our various permanent exhibits will allow you to rivet an airplane wing, chuck buffalo chips, marvel at a miniaturized 1950s Kansas, rule a medieval castle, get comfortable in a giant meadowlark nest and more! We are also pleased to host various special exhibits throughout the year, so plan your visit as soon as possible.
Design Build Fly
Soar into this award-winning exhibit that reveals what happens behind the scenes in Wichita’s aircraft plants. Design an airplane seat. Test landing gear. Rivet a wing. Pretend to be a superstar in a luxury jet.
Step into a slice of life showcasing our sunflower state. Drive a combine, and step into an EF1 tornado. Measure speed, humidity, and storm direction in our storm chaser vehicle. In the aquifer, determine your personal water use and learn ideas for steps to conserve water.
Where Kids Rule
Calling all kings and queens! We hereby request your presence at our three-story castle. Ride a trusty steed, build a bridge across a treacherous moat and catch a fish for dinner. Explore simple machines as they were used during medieval times. Use a pully to lift buckets of grain, use a wheel and axle to transport your harvest and use a lever to launch a catapult across the kingdom.
Kansas Kids Connect
We’re planting the seeds of STEM in young children’s minds as they discover the world around them — from the country to city living. Plant a garden, fix a tractor, run through golden waves of wheat. Create your own town, go to a farmer’s market and more. For the security and safety of our young visitors, this exhibit is for ages five years and younger who are accompanied by an adult.
Experience a Sensory Garden that engages your sight, smell, touch and hearing. With over 50 plant varieties, interactive musical instruments, outdoor seating and a water vortex, this space is one for your family to enjoy a break from the busy museum crowds. The Sensory Garden is located on the terrace across from Keva and near Explore Kansas.
The Magic Carpet
Experience the intriguing Magic Carpet exhibit, where you’ll discover a fresh perspective from underfoot. This unique installation showcases a customized carpet with informative panels inspired by satellite imagery. Covering a 26.2-mile stretch of the Arkansas River, equivalent to a marathon’s distance, the carpet spans the 135-foot walkway connecting the museum’s entrance and exhibition sections.
Gaze down upon a representation that extends from Derby to Maize and Valley Center, capturing the Arkansas and Little Arkansas rivers in inky black tones. Look out for Century II’s distinct circular rooftop in a gentle light blue shade. You’ll also spot building shapes and structures, including the Keeper of the Plains statue at the river junction, depicted in a softer color.
Enrich your understanding with 14 informative panels, shedding light on topics ranging from Derby’s past name (El Paso) to the area’s ecosystems and significant landmarks. Join us in exploring the Magic Carpet exhibit, a journey that unveils the beauty and stories of the Arkansas River’s surroundings.
Making a Landmark
Our breathtaking building is unlike any other in the city, state and beyond and it’s a seminal work of world-renowned architect Moshe Safdie. Delve into how our museum came into being – from the land’s rich history to the groundbreaking geometric toroid shape that the building’s architecture is based upon, as well as the museum’s challenging and innovative construction.
Mickey Shannon’s Kansas Is Beautiful
Located in WaterWay Hall
Born and raised in Kansas, Mickey Shannon is a self-taught landscape photographer specializing in large-format, museum-quality fine art photography prints. With roots in Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Colorado and South Dakota, Shannon has explored this underrated region of North America as a photographer and nature lover.
Shannon began selling prints of his work online in 2010. His business steadily grew as he traveled both near and far. In 2017, Shannon was awarded the Kansas Finest award by Kansas Tourism for his dedication to showcasing our beautiful state through photography. His most recent project is a high-end coffee table photography book of Kansas images titled Kansas is Beautiful, released in spring 2023.
“This place is still such a great place to bring kids! Came here years ago, and it's still as wonderful as I remember. My girls love the castle, and my little boy could have spent longer than we did (all afternoon) in the aero center. In the time we were here, I saw staff go through at least three times and sanitize everything.”Sarah Peterson
“Love Exploration Place. The kids love to come and play; they never get tired of it. New exhibits are added, making it interesting every time we go.”Victoria Parker
“I absolutely love this place. It’s the perfect setting for curious minds. I highly recommend people of all ages check out the Exploration Place. The views are beautiful, the exhibits are awesome, and the staff is super friendly.”Sheena Youngers
“Great place for young children to learn about our natural world with interactive resources. Think of documentary films (such as one presented by Robert Redford), a real tornado-making machine, traveling exhibits and other exciting surprises! If you are a tourist traveling with your family to Wichita or just live in the area, check this place out.”Thomas Wilson
“We had a great time with our little people! Would love to go back just for the temporary exhibits and spend more time reading! The survival exhibit was super informative! Our crew loved The Lava Challenge too!”Lori Kerwood