Fingers crossed, we are officially through winter and we will be outside exploring and enjoying springtime in Kansas! I love Spring, watching nature wake up from its long winter nap and the explosion of colors throughout the Flint Hills and the river valley is always spectacular.
When the weather is a mix of cold, warm, cold, and warm, I think more about all the things I can not wait to do when the weather warms up for good!
This list makes up some of my favorite things to do in Manhattan, KS, and the surrounding areas and I hope you enjoy them as well!
2. Tuttle Creek is a 1200-acre park and has everything you can imagine. Locals enjoy boating, camping, fishing, archery, swimming, paddle boarding, and more at Tuttle! Several years ago permanent cabins were brought in that visitors can rent at Tuttle Creek State Park. You will also find many enjoying live music at the marina during the Summer. All are welcome to take in the fun of live bands throughout the summer playing on the dock at the marina!
3. Axe Throwing at Axe to Grind and Manhatchet! Both places have various locations and Manhatchet even has a mobile Axe throwing option if you are having a get-together and want to have a fun and unique activity for your guests! Perfect for a night out, fun with friends, or a stress-reliever!
4. Murals of Manhattan, KS has an ever-growing selection of murals to enjoy and photograph throughout town! Take of tour of Manhattan, KS, and enjoy the murals along the way! These murals also make for fun backdrops for photos with friends and family. Incite MHK has even more murals in the works and I can't wait to add them to my list of Murals in Manhattan, KS
5. Hang out at the pools and splash parks! For those looking to cool off when the heat of summer kicks in, Manhattan, KS has a variety of spots to cool off and enjoy fun in the sun! The Manhattan City Park pool is the largest in town and also has a lazy river, slide, and wave pool. The splash park is also in Manhattan City Park and the wading pool at Blue Earth Plaza, both are free to use and a great place to cool off with kids!
6. Walk the Trails! Manhattan, KS has a variety of trails throughout and around the community! As mentioned above, the Konza Prairie is very popular, but there are a variety of paved trails with entrances at local parks and in neighborhoods throughout the city. You might notice some trails are under construction, it has been part of a project by the City of Manhattan, they have been working on building the trails that will allow you to travel around the entire city!
7. Kansas State University Flower Garden is absolutely a must-see! The flower gardens are an amazing opportunity for visitors to see a variety of plants grown at Kansas State University. Visitors can also spend a little extra time and enjoy the rose garden, peony garden, Iris garden, butterfly garden, and more! For those who are interested in the creepy crawlies, the Kansas State University Insect Zoo is at the center of the KSU Flower Gardens.
8. Sunset Zoo was originally opened in Manhattan, KS in the 1930s by Doctor EJ Frick. In the 1980s the Zoo had its first expansion funded by various groups in the community and city. Currently, the zoo operates on 26 of its 48 acres and has recently opened the latest exhibit, Expedition Asia! Expedition Asia is a world-class $4.3 million dollar exhibit that opened on April 10th, 2022. In addition, the zoo has some famous faces, Susie is a local celebrity as the oldest Chimpanzee in human care. Even Jane Goodall has been to the zoo to meet Susie! Keep up with the events held throughout the year like Wine in the Wild and Brew at the Zoo on the Sunset Zoo Facebook page!
9. Liquid Art Winery is a 20-acre vineyard that was founded in 2014 by Dave & Danielle Tegtmeier. The Winery features a tasting room, wine production space, vineyard, and an event center! Visitors to the winery will enjoy their time on the large patio overlooking the vineyards nestled into the Flint Hills and the amazing Kansas Sunsets! Throughout the year Liquid Art Winery has several events you can learn about on their Facebook page. Liquid Art Winery also offers wood-fired pizzas and a variety of charcuterie options either at the winery or to-go!
10. Manhattan Farmer's Market is one of the oldest farmer's markets in Kansas! During the Spring and Summer, the Manhattan Farmer's Market is held downtown in the parking lot next to the Manhattan Town Center (mall). In the Winter you will find the market in Pottorf Hall in Cico Park! The variety of vendors offers shoppers fruits, vegetables, meats, cheeses, herbs, popcorn and so much more!
11. Midwest Dream Car Collection opened in 2019 and displayed the private collection of automobiles of Ward and Brenda Morgan. The museum showcases 65 cars ranging from 1906 to today! The events held at Midwest Dream Car Collection allow guests to take in a variety of automobiles like the Sonny and Cher cars, Tesla, 1931 Hupmobile Century 6 Series S coupe, and a 1963 Ford Thunderbird Sports Roadster. The cars rotate and so do the events which you can keep up to date with through their Instagram!
12. Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art, locally known as the Beach Museum. The Beach Museum exhibitions allow guests the opportunity to view a variety of regional art, student art, and cultural art from around the world! Kansas State University students and local artists have been allowed space for their art to be displayed no matter the medium. As they say, their goal at the Beach Museum is to foster growth in the arts and creative expression for all ages. The Marianna Kistler Beach Museum is open and admission is FREE! To learn about current exhibits you can click here to find out more.
13. Flint Hills Discovery Center, originally opened in 2012, the discovery center greets thousands of visitors a year and provides a truly unique look into the prairie ecosystem. The 10,000 sq ft space features interactive exhibits, traveling exhibits, the prairie playscape children's area, a one-of-a-kind immersive theater experience, and prairie-inspired outdoor plazas. Located near the Blue Earth Plaza in Manhattan, KS, the museum provides a fun opportunity for guests, especially those traveling to the area!
14. Blue Earth Plaza is located just outside the Flint Hills Discovery Center. This greenspace area hosts several community events such as the Flint Hills Festival, Bayou Gater Crawl, Purple Power Play, and the largest event, Festival of Lights! In the Summer the wading area opens and Blue Earth Plaza is a wonderful spot for little kids to cool off and the covered area provides a great space for a picnic lunch! Guests of the hotels enjoy the area as a place to gather outside their rooms and during the cooler months, the fireplace is a perfect spot to warm up from stretching your legs and taking in some fresh air!
15. Aggieville is part of the heartbeat of the community in Manhattan, KS! An ever-changing landscape keeps this local favorite fresh and exciting. The mix of restaurants, shopping, and of course bars offers those young and old a place to go in the Aggieville District! Some of the restaurant favorites are Varsity Donuts, Dusty Bookshelf, So Long Saloon, and Taco Lucha! For Shopping stop in and enjoy the Dusty Bookshelf, ACME Local, and ACME Gift! Aggieville is also a popular spot to watch the parades, watch the New Years' Eve Apple Drop, the finish line for road races/walks, and even barricade its entrances and exits for a variety of festivals during the year!
16. Explore Downtown Manhattan, KS! One of my favorite things to do is enjoy time in downtown Manhattan, KS! This vibrant area of town has everything you need from clothing, home decor, furniture, food, fun, and even fitness! I can easily spend the day in downtown Manhattan, KS
17. Attend a KSU Football game! There is nothing quite like Bill Synder Family Stadium on a Saturday in the fall. Attending a game with 50,000+ fans that are cheering for their KSU Wildcats is a must! KSU Football and cheering on the CATS is truly a family affair and when you are at BSFS, we are ALL family! Known as the best fans in the Big 12, we are all about it being a great experience for EVERYONE attending!
18. Head to the Movies and enjoy the IMAX! The AMC IMAX offers movies year-round and is fun for families and friends! You can even rent out theaters for a unique experience! The AMC Manhattan 13 Theater has theaters that range from signature recliners with delivery to seats of meals and snacks, assigned seating in smaller theaters, and the IMAX!
19. Wildwood Adventure Park allows visitors to soar on a high-flying ride through part of the Flint Hills! Located right outside of Manhattan, KS, Wildwood Adventure Park is 80 acres of outdoor fun! The zipline course is spread out over seven ziplines and has a 40 ft freefall with lines ranging from 100 ft in length to 1400 ft.! This is fun for friends and family alike!
20. Wonder Workshop Children's Museum is such a special place to the Manhattan community. Ran by a beloved community member, the Wonder Workshop allows children a space for indoor and outdoor play with the goal of fostering children, their families, and the community. This interactive space offers various events throughout the year such as afterschool, summer camps, STEM, Wonder Teens, Discovery Days, and more!