The Sedgwick County Science and Discovery Center, Wichita, Kansas
Parked along the picturesque Arkansas River, Exploration Place inspires the next generation of Wichita scientists and engineers. The interactive museum emphasizes aviation, Kansas geography and hosts traveling exhibits that showcase the importance of math and science in the world around us. Permanent exhibits include: - Big Mouth Exhibit - Bridging Art & Science - CreatorSpace - Design Build Fly - Explore Kansas - Kansas in Miniature - Kansas Kids Connect - KEVA: Build Your Mind - Making a Landmark - Nano - The Vanishing Cowboy - Where Kids Rule. Visitors can also enjoy the Dome Theater, Explore Store as well as the outdoor Exploration Park.
Exploration Place offers 12 permanent exhibits and 3 traveling exhibits. Here are just a few of the offerings:
PERMANENT EXHIBITS - THREE OF TWELVE
Kansas Kids Connect (Oklahoma kids can, too!)?
Young children will discover the world around them and find out how country and city living are more alike that we may think. Exhibit highlights include: fixing a tractor, climbing through layers of earth to see how wheat grows, crank water to fill a cloud and watch it rain, and nestle inside a giant meadowlark’s nest.
This exhibit has a GREAT Adult Guide that offers learning goals and activities for each of the 13 stations in the exhibit AND an audio file with Spanish translation.
Where Kids Rule
Kiddo Kings and Queens “rule” in this newly renovated area. There’s a town center with tents, a corral, and the centerpiece of the exhibit, a three-story castle where many adventures await. More than 60 hands-on activities, focused on math and science readiness, are part of this exhibit.
Design Build Fly
This completely renovated aviation exhibit of 5,100 square feet honors the history and impact of Wichita’s aircraft plants! Dozens of hands-on activities like testing landing gear, plotting a flight path to an exotic destination using GPS, and climbing into a luxurious executive jet and pretend you’re a superstar or business mogul, are just a few of the experiences in this exhibit.
TRAVELING EXHIBITS - THE CURRENT THREE (could change when the COVID-19 shutdown ends)
Imaginate - Dare to design new objects using everyday items. Craft kinetic sculptures, tell tales with your heartbeat, direct stop motion animation scenes and stretch your wings and fly!
Rock U - Interactive exhibit where rock music can be explored and experienced. Become a speed-talking DJ, take a stroll down Abbey Road, bang out a beat on the drums and much more.
Beyond Human Limits – Climb rock walls, tip toe along a tight rope, and cut through the clouds with wing suits - plus more!
As for stay-at-home "play to learn" experiences, Exploration Place offers Stay at Home STEM on YouTube.
Details: Location, Admission, Additional Features
Location: Exploration Place, located in Wichita, Kansas, is approximately a 2-hour drive from Stillwater, straight up I-35. There are tolls on this route.
The museum has approximately 100,000 square feet of interior space located on 20 acres. You'll find the museum along the Arkansas River in the scenic downtown Musuems on the River district in Wichita.
The facility also has two Theaters – Digital Dome & Planetarium and Kemper Creative Learning Studio.
Outdoors, the grounds include wetlands habitat, adventure play yard, picnic groves, and Festival Plaza.
300 N McLean Blvd.
Wichita, KS 67203-5901
2 and under: Free
Youth (3-11): $8 – Dome: $3 – Combo: $9
Adult (12-64): $11.50 – Dome: $5 – Combo: $14.50
Senior: (65+): $10 – Dome: $4 – Combo: $12
Exploration Place doesn't list any holidays when they are closed but it would be best to call and check these holidays: Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, and New Year's Day