At the Museum of World Treasures, a team of curators and historians gather artifacts from around the world to nourish the knowledge-hungry brains of families and students. Since opening in 2001, the diverse collection has grown to encompass three floors of the museum’s renovated warehouse location. Skeletons of dinosaurs loom over visitors in the fossil gallery, and an authentic Civil War cannon stands vigilant among the museum’s military exhibits, which span from the Revolutionary War to the Vietnam War. A plethora of interactive and historical displays also allow visitors to witness original footage from the discovery of the Titanic and feel humbled in the presence of signatures from every American president, including those not yet born. The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday–Saturday and from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Museum members can capitalize on myriad benefits, including discounts on educational programs and invitations to special events.
Since 1980, Village Tours and Travel's experienced staff of tour-bus whisperers has whisked Wichitans away to sight-seeing destinations across the country. Roll around in a field of four-leaf clovers and horseshoes before boarding a coach bus and embarking on a 10-hour visit of the racecourse and casino at Remington Park Racing Casino, which is just outside Oklahoma City. Pick-up is at 9:30 a.m. on May 15 at the Wichita office of Village Tours, and drop-off is at the same location at 7:30 p.m. that night. With $10 of casino play, even the risk averse can have a cordial conversation with Lady Luck at the tables, slots, or bottomless well. Touring folk also receive reserved seats at the track for watching live horse races at their leisure anytime throughout their stay. Meals are not included with this Groupon, but Remington Park offers a variety of options, including a buffet, snack bar, and a gourmet meal at the Silk Dining Room.
At Isle of Screams, strobe lights, lasers, and shrieks pierce the dark in foggy, monster-infested woods. Huddles of six to eight thrill seekers trek across the isle, steeling their courage against live monsters and disquieting special effects. Ghoul hunters who make it through the first leg of the journey may continue on to the Monster Quest game, in which they fend off encroaching fiends with laser-tag guns as they emerge from the fog-shrouded forest. So as not to scare visitors on an empty stomach, a nearby concession stand offers eats, with all revenue going to the bone-chilling Wichita Park and Recreation Department, who recently replaced all park rangers with frankensteins.
Once the location of an unassuming furniture store, the Warehouse of Terrors now crawls with otherworldly denizens whose only interest in carpentry extends to their victims’ coffins. Over the course of 20–25 grisly minutes, interlopers navigate mazes built from derelict pallets and wend their way through vignettes populated by ghastly mannequins. Zombies, specters, and clowns lie in wait in the dark rooms, between which lie claustrophobic hallways, uneven walkways, and exit signs that point only downward.
When autumn's crisp breezes carry October into Kansas, Mr. Gourdman's Pumpkin Patch swings open its gates to help families celebrate the season with pumpkin picking, horseback rides, and an assortment of other fall-related activities. Visitors can simply soak in the scenery or take on some of the property's challenges, including a hay maze and an unofficial grass-eating contest against Mr. Gourdman's donkey, Leroy. During breaks, a picnic area lets groups gather around snacks from their own cooler, and an arts-and-crafts stand doles out keepsakes with which to remember the day.
At Kansas Learning Center for Health, kids don't learn about human anatomy from any regular skeleton. Instead, they learn from a more accurate model: Valeda. Shaped like the average woman, who is 5'7" and 145 pounds, Valeda has plastic bones and organs, wiring to represent her lymphatic and circulatory systems, and transparent skin. She even has a voice, which she uses to explain the benefits of a healthy lifestyle; her organs light up whenever she mentions them.
Valeda is just one of the engaging, interactive exhibits at the Kansas Learning Center for Health that helps kids understand their bodies. Others include huge model eyes, ears, and mouths, which kids can explore on visits with their families and schools.