Now more than ever, we understand that a lot of learning happens outside of the classroom. Having fun, educational places to go in Garden City is a great resource for hands on learning. A child that is learning while having fun is almost as good as sneaking vegetables into their mac and cheese. You’ll find that this community has a wealth of historic information and present-day activities. Here are some of our favorite stops to incorporate fun educational places into your day in Garden City!
The Lee Richardson Zoo
This premiere attraction is at the top of the list. The Lee Richardson Zoo has over 300 native and exotic animals in meticulously landscaped habitats. The habitats are arranged by region. You can quiz your children on where each region is on the map and what the climate is. From bull horns to ostrich beaks, the family can learn the names of unique animal body parts. If you are ready to take your knowledge to the next level, The Lee Richardson Zoo offers educational programs like guided walking tours led by trained staff and volunteers. The Finnup Center for Conservation Education has pre-designed programs to educate children on a variety of biofacts and conversation knowledge.
The Finney Library
We all know that there is plenty of knowledge hidden on the shelves of libraries. The Finney Library is a hotspot for fun and engaging activities for all ages. Imagine taking your toddler to an interactive storytelling and being able to drop off your teenager for craft time at the same place. The event calendar at Finney Library is always full of educational activities. If you want to have a family trip to the library, then try out a scavenger hunt. This printable scavenger hunt is a great way to get everyone involved in opening books and reading. Yes, it’s almost like tricking your children into having fun while reading. Seriously, the Finney Library makes education look fun!
The Windsor Hotel
This downtown hotel is a Garden City icon. After being constructed in 1889, The Windsor Hotel had its glory days as a luxury hotel and has transformed into a symbol of history in Garden City. Now, the current owners, Finney County Preservation Alliance, have set their eyes on a bright future of renovation. They are conveniently located across the street from Stevens Park; and they offer tours on Food Truck Fridays. Take your whole family for a glimpse of the past and to see the inside of an 1800’s luxury hotel. The educational tours are a compelling way to raise funds for the preservation of this relic.
The Finney County History Museum
This community museum is a hallmark feature of Garden City’s history. The Finney County History Museum has worked hard to preserve and display the historical events that shaped this community. Permanent exhibits include ‘C.J. Buffalo Jones,’ ‘Spirit of the Plains,’ and ‘Take Stock in Finney County.’ Buffalo Jones was a founding member of Garden City and the first game warden of Yellowstone National Park. The whole family can learn more about his legacy and what life on the plains used to look like. Additionally, the Finney County History Museum has traveling exhibits that change twice a year. They host everything from period-costumes to 1900’s gun collections. If your family is interested in tracking down your Garden City roots, they have a research library full of family genealogies and photographs. It is worth it to add the Finney County History Museum to your educational itinerary.
The Garden City Arts Museum
There are some people in the family that need a real hands-on activity to get the educational juices flowing. The Garden City Arts Museum is the perfect place for kinesthetic, or hands-on, learners. Take your children to the art gallery to learn the art of critiquing a beautiful painting. We know we could use some tips on that one! Not only do they have a gallery that regularly showcases artistic masterpieces, but they want to teach you how to make them.
The Arts Museum has an amazing schedule jam-packed with opportunities to create your own work of art. Children up to age 14 can participate in an in-studio art camp. These camps teach skills with a variety of mediums from paint to polymer clay. The whole family can get involved in an art kit that can be taken home and constructed in your own home.
For the older kids, sometimes referred to as adults, there is an inspiring range of art projects to take on. The Garden City Arts Museum is willing to teach you how to pour acrylics, craft with resin, design jewelry, and paint with watercolors. They are an awesome resource of artistic knowledge for Garden City.
The Sandsage Bison Range
Last, but certainly not least, the largest bison range in Kansas. The Sandsage Bison Range is an incredibly unique experience that is a short drive from the center of town. The Bison Range has a history of preservation and growth. The thoughtful care that has gone into managing the Sandsage Bison Range is shown in dedicated and knowledgeable volunteers. Everyone can learn something from the graceful and majestic presence of these beasts. These bison have prehistoric ancestors and have evolved over millennials to be the hearty animals we know today. Thankfully, the Sandsage Bison Range offers tours during the warmer months. They can answer all of your nature preservation questions with a reservation for one of their walking tours.