What’s New in Wichita
In 2020, get set to “play ball” when Wichita’s new $75 million baseball stadium and its upstart Wind Surge team celebrate opening day on April 14. All year long, Kansas’ all-star lineup of attractions and events score big with stylish new downtown developments in Salina and Topeka, an out-of-this-world Apollo 13 50th anniversary gala at Hutchinson’s Cosmosphere, the opening of the expanded Boot Hill Museum in Dodge City, and a full roster of other highlights.
Catch a big-time game throughout the inaugural season when Wichita’s Triple-A farm team, affiliated with the Miami Marlins, plays 70 home games in its brand-new park. Fireworks, bands and kids’ play and splash areas add to the game-day fun.
While in the city, visitors can take a nostalgic spin on Botanica Wichita’s renovated, antique 36-horse carousel that used to delight Wichitans at Joyland Amusement Park. Work begins soon on a new garden, outdoor patio, bistro and children’s play area surrounding the carousel. Also just opened in Wichita, the new downtown Hilton Garden Inn with its unique rooftop glass-bottomed pool that juts out over Douglas Avenue.
What’s New in Topeka
Topeka plans to unveil its new downtown hub, Evergy Plaza, in March. The gathering space features a performance stage, digital screen, splash park, fountains and ice-skating in winter. A new multi-million-dollar Japanese garden is coming to the Topeka Zoo next summer. Seasonal flowers, koi fish, a flowing stream, bridges and experiential trails will accent the spacious 2.5 acres.
What’s New in Salina
Salina is putting finishing touches on its $160-million revitalization of downtown, giving it a modern, open-space, art deco-inspired streetscape. The Alley bowling and family fun center and the Salina Fieldhouse indoor sports facility are among attractions already open. Downtown additions in 2020 include Homewood Suites, the American Classics Car Museum and additional restaurants.
What’s New in Dodge City
At Dodge City’s Boot Hill Museum, feel the thunder as the floor shakes during an immersive buffalo stampede video at the new exhibit hall, set for a May 23 grand opening. Nine new permanent exhibits, a gift shop and traveling exhibit hall fill the 13,000-square-foot addition.
Also on the Horizon
- Construction begins next summer on the American Royal’s new agriculture complex near Village West in Kansas City, Kan. Plans call for more than 800,000 square feet of indoor event space, including barn and expo areas, three performance arenas, more than 50,000 square feet of exhibit space, plus 2,400 parking spots and outdoor areas to host festivals and events. Significant progress should be completed by December 2021.
- Fort Riley’s U.S. Cavalry and 1st Infantry Division museums – closed through 2020 for renovations – are expected to re-open summer of 2021. In the meantime, a temporary museum features the “Duty First: 100 years of the Big Red One” exhibit.
- Work continues on new exhibits and renovations at Kaw Mission State Historic Site in Council Grove. Closed for 2020, the museum is tentatively set to open Kansas Day weekend in late January 2021.