Rentals Main

Rental OptionsA Venue With A View

Imagine our museum in a different light — the versatile event venue of choice in Wichita, Kansas, for your next company gathering, holiday party, meeting, wedding, reception or charity gala.

Halls and Larger Venues

WaterWay Hall and Terrace

Capacity: 400 to 800 • Price: $700 to $2,800+

WaterWay Hall and Terrace

Experience a stunning view of the tranquil Arkansas River as you walk into this breathtaking 3,000-square-foot space. Slate floors, massive windows that provide picturesque views, a simple catering kitchen and an audio system complement this area.

Features

  • WaterWay Hall is furthest away from the museum’s busy areas, and with prior approval, setup can begin earlier in the day.
  • WaterWay Terrace is an outdoor space adjacent to the hall and is perfect for a cocktail pre-party before your main event inside. We’ve added more lighting and fencing with private, gated entry. The terrace is shaded; as the sun sets, you can’t beat this alfresco atmosphere – peaceful yet festive, with a view of the river and the majestic Keeper of the Plains in the background.
Capacity/Pricing Details
Main Lobby and Promenade

Capacity: 120 to 250 • Price: $1,000 to $1,500+

Main Lobby and Promenade

Many rental clients have chosen these unique areas for reunions, business mixers and receptions amid the scenic view of downtown Wichita and our Reflecting Pond.

Capacity/Pricing Details
Exhibit Building

Capacity: 1,000 • Price: $2,000 to $2,500+

Exhibit Building

With the singular backdrop of our dynamic exhibit galleries and scenic river views, your next business gathering will be unforgettable. Network in the more than 35,000 square feet of space, which includes the popular aviation exhibit, Design Build Fly, and the new health arcade, Health Inside Out.

Capacity/Pricing Details

Smaller Venues

  • Explorer Room Event Venue Rental Options At Exploration Place In Wichita KS

    Explorer Room

    Capacity: 50 • Price: $150/Hr.
    The expansive Explorer Room works best for groups that are looking for a classroom setting or versatile open space.

  • Board Room Event Venue Rental Options At Exploration Place In Wichita KS

    Board Room

    Capacity: 30 • Price: $50/Hr.
    Ideal for meetings, small luncheons, seminars and workshops, the Board Room offers a more formal setting. The Board Room is equipped with privacy shades, a projector screen and a private kitchenette with a connecting restroom. It’s perfect for serving as a bride’s room.

  • Discovery Room Event Venue Rental Options at Exploration Place in Wichita KS

    Classrooms

    Capacity: 25 to 40 • Price: $50/Hr.
    Ideal for meetings, small luncheons, seminars and workshops. Located in the exhibit building, our classrooms provide a dynamic backdrop for your event or meeting.

  • Conference Room Event Venue Rental Options At Exploration Place In Wichita KS

    Conference Room

    Capacity: 10 to 15 • Price: $50/Hr.
    The conference room works for small meetings, luncheons, seminars and workshops. Our clients have also used our Conference Room as a groom’s prep room or entertainment staging area.

Theaters

  • Kemper

    Kemper Creative Learning Studio

    Capacity: 145 • Price: $150/Hr.
    Plan your next lecture, workshop or presentation in this auditorium that includes audio/visual equipment, a sound system and stage lighting. Seats 130.

  • Dome

    The Dome

    Capacity: 165 • Price: $150/Hr.
    The Dome is the largest theater of its kind in Kansas – boasting a 360-degree view and 60-foot screen. The theater’s 4K projector system and powerful surround sound envelop guests as they take in a film, attend a seminar or even enjoy a wedding! Seats 165.

Outdoor Spaces

  • Rentals FestivalPlaza

    Festival Plaza

    Capacity: 750 to 1,200+ • Price: $500 to $1,000
    Use the spacious Festival Plaza for your next employee gathering or outdoor special event such as a walk or run.

    Capacity/Pricing Details
  • Picnic Grove Event Venue Rental Options At Exploration Place In Wichita KS

    Picnic Grove

    Capacity: 200 to 500+ • Price: $250
    Picnic Grove is a 2,300-square-foot wooded area featuring picnic tables, ideal for family reunions and other gatherings. The area allows easy access to Exploration Park for hours of outdoor fun.

    Capacity/Pricing Details

Facility Rental FAQs

General Questions
  • How much time is included with my rental?

    Rentals for Halls and Larger Venues include four hours of event time. Additional hours for these spaces are available for $300 per hour. Smaller venues and theaters are charged at an hourly rate. Outdoor spaces are charged as either daytime or evening rentals. For all-day access you have the ability to rent both daytime and evening together. All rental times are subject to availability.

    Complimentary set-up and tear-down time is included with your rental and does not count against your rental times.

  • When can I start to set up?

    You can begin setup in the Exhibit Building after Exploration Place has closed to the public, 5 pm daily and 8 pm on Thursdays. WaterWay Hall can accommodate decorations as early as 2 pm for evening events. Smaller venues and theater availability can be determined upon booking.

  • What is your food and beverage policy?

    Exploration Place has a list of preferred vendors for catering and bar service. These approved vendors are familiar with our facility, policies and procedures. If your vendor of choice isn’t listed we are accepting applications and encourage them to apply.

  • What is included in a rental?
    • Indoor rentals include tables and chairs
    • Table and chair setup/teardown
    • Security (when alcohol is being served)
    • Ample, free parking
    • Custodial duties
    • Decoration and clean up time
  • Who is responsible for cleanup?

    You are responsible for anything you or your guests bring into the event. Exploration Place will be responsible for the breakdown of chairs, tables, trash, etc. 

  • If I have an outdoor event, is there a rain contingency plan?

    We encourage you to plan ahead for rain and make a contingency plan that includes using tents. We are happy to rearrange the layout of your event if rain is in the 48-hour forecast, but there are no guarantees for inclement weather. We ask that you notify the Events Manager of any major changes 48 hours in advance. If you need to cancel due to dangerous outdoor conditions beyond rain, we would be happy to find another date that is agreed upon by both you and Exploration Place. 

  • What happens if I need to cancel?

    Exploration Place requires 30 days’ notice for all canceled rentals. For cancellation requests received 30 days or more before the event date, 50% of the rental fee will be refunded. For cancellation requests received 29 days, or less, from the event date, there will be no refund given.

Preferred Vendors

Exploration Place has a list of preferred vendors to choose from who are familiar with our facility, policies and procedures. If your vendor of choice is not listed, we are accepting applications and encourage vendors to complete a Preferred Vendor Application.

  • Culinary Catering

    (316) 448-5325
    Contact: Kayla Huckins

    Visit Website
  • Larkspur

    (316) 262-5275
    Contact: Rachel Hayes

    Visit Website
  • Nancy's A-Maize-N Sandwiches

    (316) 708-4383
    Contact: Nancy Parish

    Visit website
  • Olive Tree Catering

    (316) 636-1100
    Contact: Joumana Toubia

    Visit Website
  • Rice n' Tings

    (253) 304-2178
    Contact: Tiffany Akas

    VISIT WEBSITE
  • Shaken or Stirred Bartending

    (316) 210-3650
    Contact: Pat Pelkowski

    Visit Website
  • Sippy’s Mobile Bar

    (316) 512-6330
    Contact: Jordan Smith

    Visit Website
  • The Bar’s Open

    (316) 209-3473
    Contact: Sara DeLong

    Visit Website
  • Xclusive Event Services

    (316) 806-7135
    Contact: Kary Taylor

    Visit Website

Visitor Reviews

“Exploration Place was the perfect location for my daughter’s dream wedding! She was thrilled to say her vows while standing in front of floor-to-ceiling windows in WaterWay Hall. The architecture is lovely all-around, and every photo was made even better by the outdoor view. (And the kids had plenty to look at if their attention span was short.) NBC Nightly News and Inside Edition were there filming the wedding and reception, and the EP team was professional, accommodating and genuinely happy for us. I would give 10 stars if I could!”

Stacey S.

"The entire process was easily organized and my group enjoyed the room that we rented as well as the staff's accommodations to all of our questions and requests. You are all very professional and we very much enjoyed having our event at your building. Thank you for all of your hard work in making it an excellent time for us"

"The Exploration Place is an excellent venue. I am surprised that it is not utilized more. I would recommend it to any group for an unique experience. The logistics and staff are the best to deal with; they take great care of the customer."

Glen Fondaw, Education Chair, American Society for Quality

“Everything turned out just perfect for our event and the event staff went out of their way to accommodate all of our requests. We have already recommended Exploration Place to other brides as a beautiful backdrop for their wedding events and as a venue they will enjoy doing business with."

"It seemed to me that every single staff member went out of their way to be extra helpful throughout the day. I couldn’t possibly be more pleased. Thanks so much to everyone."