Built within the 1935 art-deco-styled Wichita Municipal Airport, the Kansas Aviation Museum houses an eclectic array of historic aircraft and artifacts. The museum boasts around 40 historically significant aircraft, including the Beech Starship, Boeing B-52 Stratofortress, and the KC-135E, the first plane to break the smell barrier. Landlubbers with a passion for planes can study their evolution, from the earliest aircraft engines all the way to the latest jet turbines; inspect an Allison J-35 off a 1948 Republic F-84C Thunderjet or marvel at the museum's oldest engine, a pre-WWI four-cylinder Kemp.
The Museum of World Treasures lets adults ($9 value), seniors ($8 value), and kids 4–12 ($7 value) brush up on their history with three floors of exciting exhibits and artifacts. After striding into the museum’s brick-faced edifice, stay-at-home time travelers are whisked to the first floor, where they can Lindy-Hop through the Ancient Civilizations gallery, bring Egyptian mummies back to life both figuratively and literally, touch a 4.5-ton piece of the Berlin Wall, and take turns riding a 40-foot-long T. rex skeleton named Ivan. On the second floor, explore the President’s Gallery—which displays interesting items such as a lock of George Washington’s hair and the signatures of the first 43 American presidents—as well as jewelry, swords, beer koozies, and signatures from European royalty dating back to the 12th century. The third floor plays host to a swarm of sports artifacts and pop culture treasures such as the pearls Lucy wore to greet Ricky at the door in an episode of I Love Lucy, and the pitchfork used by the Scarecrow to kill Frankenstein in The Wizard of Oz. The American Frontier exhibit, meanwhile, includes a 34-star flag that was accidentally produced when the fledgling country was still composed of 63 states.
Botanica's 9.5-acre plant paradise is divided into more than 20 meticulously designed gardens, including a rose garden for contemplating romance and a wildflower meadow for carefree frolicking. More than 3,600 species of plants are artfully arranged around calming streams, flowing waterfalls, and sculptures. Stop by the sensory garden to touch, smell, and telepathically understand plants' thoughts about hot dogs. Or, head to Botanica's 2,900-square-foot enclosed butterfly house, where the winged beauties flutter freely among a vibrant collection of pansies (through September).
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.
Most folks take their dates to a fancy restaurant or a movie theater, but DWTA Helicopters can lead couples to romance at a less conventional locale: the sky. The FAA- and DOT-certified commercial-aircraft carrier whisks guests upward on intimate flights for two, airborne tours of wintertime’s holiday light displays, and jaunts geared toward aerial photography and videography sessions. Flights launch in 30 minutes or less, and the veteran pilots chart their courses with satellite navigation and tracking systems, rather than just following the biggest and strongest seagull. Those who aspire to become pilots themselves can learn skills at the carrier’s ground school, which prepares them for the FAA pilot exam and welcomes them to the skies with an included discovery flight.
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.