Great Bend, Kansas may not be the first place that comes to mind when you’re planning a family vacation. However, this charming city is packed with hidden gems just waiting to be explored. From historic downtown streets to thrilling outdoor activities, Great Bend offers something for everyone. So, put on your exploration hat and get ready to discover the hidden treasures of this small yet vibrant town.
Downtown Great Bend: Where History Meet Modernity
Start your adventure in Downtown Great Bend, where the perfect blend of history and modern attractions will leave you awestruck. Stroll along the picturesque streets adorned with beautifully preserved historic buildings. You’ll find a plethora of unique shops, boutiques, art galleries, and cozy cafes to fulfill all your shopping and dining desires. Take the time to soak in the captivating architecture and immerse yourself in the rich history that this area has to offer.
Dilly and Doc: Quirky and Whimsical Fun
For a whimsical experience that’s sure to delight the whole family, make a stop at Dilly and Doc. This delightful store brings imagination to life with a vast selection of painting and art projects. Let your inner child run wild as you take on a fun and challenging activity. Dilly and Doc is a favorite among both kids and adults, providing hours of fun and laughter. You can take a variety of class here, have a wine and paint party, or just come in to relax while painting your new project. This is truly a family friendly activity for the whole family.
Great Bend BatCats: A Home Run for Baseball Fans
Sports lovers will be thrilled to visit Great Bend’s own baseball team, the BatCats. Catch an exciting game with the family and cheer on the local team as they swing for the fences. The BatCats create a lively atmosphere at the ballpark, complete with concessions, team merchandise (make sure to take home a BatCat Shirt), and plenty of entertainment for all ages. Whether you’re a die-hard baseball fan or just looking for a night filled with fun, watching the BatCats play is a home run. Plus, home games have free admission! Your family will beg you to take you back over and over again!
Murals: Streets That Tell Stories
As you walk through the streets of Great Bend, keep an eye out for the stunning murals that adorn the walls of buildings throughout the town. These vibrant and intricate artworks tell the stories of the city’s history, culture, and natural beauty. Take a leisurely stroll and let the murals guide you through the tales of Great Bend’s past, adding a touch of art and creativity to your exploration.
Great Bend Britt Spaugh Zoo: Up Close and Personal with Wildlife
No family-friendly adventure is complete without a visit to the zoo, and the Great Bend Britt Spaugh Zoo does not disappoint. Discover a variety of wildlife species from all corners of the world, including lions, tigers, bears, and exotic birds. The zoo offers interactive exhibits, educational programs, and animal encounters that provide a truly immersive experience for visitors of all ages. Get ready to connect with nature and create unforgettable memories at this hidden gem.
B-29 Memorial Plaza: Paying Tribute to Those Who Fought in War
History buffs will appreciate a visit to the B-29 Memorial Plaza, a remarkable tribute to the brave men and women who served during World War II. This memorial honors the B-29 airplane, a pivotal aircraft used during the war. Take a moment to reflect on the sacrifices made by these heroes as you explore the captivating exhibits and pay homage to the past.
Kansas Wetlands Education Center: Nature’s Classroom
For an educational and immersive nature experience, head to the Kansas Wetlands Education Center. Situated on the edge of the captivating Cheyenne Bottoms, this center offers hands-on activities, guided tours, and interactive exhibits to help visitors understand the importance of wetland ecosystems. Explore the wildlife-rich wetlands, spot birds in their natural habitat, and learn about conservation efforts. The Kansas Wetlands Education Center is a hidden gem that combines education, exploration, and natural beauty.
Cheyenne Bottoms: A Bird-Watching Paradise
If you’re a bird enthusiast, a visit to Cheyenne Bottoms is an absolute must. This vast wetland area is the largest interior marsh in the United States and serves as a crucial stopover for migrating birds. Grab your binoculars and witness the staggering variety of bird species that flock to this natural wonder. Take a scenic drive along the wildlife loop and immerse yourself in the awe-inspiring sights and sounds of Cheyenne Bottoms. Read more here:
Wetlands Waterpark: Splash Around and Beat the Heart
When the temperatures rise, there’s no better place to cool off than Wetlands Waterpark. This family-friendly waterpark offers thrilling slides, lazy rivers, and splash zones that will keep kids entertained for hours. Lounge in a poolside cabana or tackle the exhilarating water attractions. Wetlands Waterpark is the ultimate destination for endless summer fun. This waterpark is popular, but still remains quite a hidden gem in Great Bend.
Local Eats: Savor the Flavors of Great Bend
After a day of adventure, be sure to satisfy your taste buds at one of the many local eateries in Great Bend. From mouthwatering Mexican food at Los Cabos Fajita House to a delicious steak and potatoes dish at Handlebar and Grill, the culinary scene in this hidden gem is diverse and delightful. Indulge in the local flavors, try new dishes, and support the community by dining at one of the many family-owned restaurants that make Great Bend a haven for food lovers.
Great Bend, Kansas may be off the beaten path, but its hidden gems offer an abundance of family-friendly activities waiting to be discovered. From the historic downtown streets to the interactive zoos, this charming town beckons explorers of all ages. Whether you’re seeking history, nature, or simply a good time, Great Bend has it all. So, pack your bags, and unlock a world of hidden gems in Great Bend.