08/18/2011 12:10 pm ET | Updated Oct 01, 2011

Family Vacations In Kansas: A Huffington Post Travel Guide

Family vacations in Kansas can be rewarding experiences or absolute disasters -- it all depends on pretrip homework. To make planning easier, we've done all the preparation. As part of a Huffington Post Travel series on traveling with children, here are recommended attractions for those planning Kansas family vacations.

Sedgwick County Zoo

The Sedgwick County Zoo is the largest zoo in Kansas, with more than 2,500 different animals spanning 500 species. Visitors can feed many of the animals at its petting zoo. Other highlights include the large hippo habitat, penguin exhibit and boat ride.

Address: 5555 W. Zoo Blvd., Wichita, KS 67212-1643
Phone: 316-660-9453 ‎
Hours: Summer hours beginning March 1, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.; winter hours beginning Nov. 1, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Price: Adults 12 to 61, $12; children 3 to 11, $7.50; children 2 and under, free

Exploration Place

Exploration Place is a children’s science center featuring hands-on exhibits that teach kids about science, natural history, aerospace and medieval life. This Kansas museum is housed in a three-story stone castle and also hosts traveling exhibits, so there is always something new for kids to discover.

Address: 300 N. McLean Blvd., Wichita, KS 67203-5901
Phone: 316-660-0600 ‎
Hours: Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.
Price: Adults, $9.50; seniors (65 plus), $8; children 4 to 11, $6; children under 4, free

Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center

The Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center has the actual Apollo 13 capsule in its collection, as well as classic spy airplanes and other exhibits detailing the history of space travel. There is also a planetarium, an IMAX theater and a science laboratory with fun experiments for visitors.

Address: 1100 N. Plum St., Hutchinson, KS 67501
Phone: 620-662-2305
Hours: Monday to Saturday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Sunday, noon to 7 p.m.
Price: Adults, $12; seniors (60 plus), $10; children 4 to 12, $10; children 3 and under, free

Dodge City

When visiting Kansas, there are not many places more iconic than Dodge City. The site of some of the most legendary events in the Wild West, the city retains its classic feel with store fronts that look like they came straight out of a Western movie. Also in town are Boot Hill Museum, the Coronado Cross and the Dodge City Trail of Fame. Make sure to plan a visit in the last week of July for the Dodge City Days Western Celebration, which includes concerts, a rodeo, carnival and parades.

Address: Dodge City, KS 67801
Phone: 620-225-8186
Hours: N/A
Price: Visiting the town is free

Museum of World Treasures

The Museum of World Treasures houses a variety of exhibits, from ancient Egyptian mummies to pop culture paraphernalia -- props from "The Wizard of Oz" and sports memorabilia from athletes like Babe Ruth and Muhammad Ali. The three-floor museum even has a wing devoted to dinosaurs and other fossils.

Address: 835 E. First St. in Old Town, Wichita, KS 67202-2700
Phone: 316-263-1311 ‎
Hours: Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.
Price: Adults, $8.95; children 4 to 12, $6.95; children 3 and under, free

Snow Creek Ski Area

While technically located in Missouri, the Snow Creek Ski Area sits on the state line with Kansas, and has the best skiing in the region. Its slopes include eight intermediate trails, one trail for beginners, and a beginner learning area. There are also two triple chair lifts, a double chair lift and three rope tows to get you to the top of the mountain.

Address: 1 Snow Creek Dr., Weston, MO 64098-9067
Phone: 816-640-2200
Hours: Sunday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Monday through Thursday, noon to 9 p.m.; Friday, noon to 2 a.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. to 2 a.m.
Price: Prices for adults vary depending on time of day and day of week; children 6 and under and seniors (70 plus), free

Dwight D. Eisenhower Library & Museum

The Dwight D. Eisenhower Library and Museum is a regional point of interest for World War II buffs and other fans of historical sites. Information about President Eisenhower’s family history, a large library and many other exhibits -- from his military career and administration -- are on display. Eisenhower and his wife are buried on the library grounds.

Address: 200 S.E. Foutth St., Abilene, KS 67410
Phone: 785-263-6700 ‎
Hours: Daily, 9 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.; closed on Christmas, Thanksgiving and New Year's Day.
Price: Adults, $8; children 8 to 15, $1; children 7 and under, free

Have you been to Kansas? What are your favorite attractions?


Sign up for our email.
Find out how much you really know about the state of the nation.