WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – If you visit Wichita, it may seem tame at first glance, but there are many ways to get wild this summer. 

First stop, the Sedgwick County Zoo.

Public Relations Assistant, Joseph Pepoon said with over 400 different species, there’s a lot to see. 

“We’re the largest outdoor attraction in the state of Kansas,” said Pepoon.  “You also get to talk to a keeper and make that bond.”

Pepoon said there are a lot of new things to see as the Zoo celebrates its 50th anniversary. 

“We just unveiled the opening of our brand new entry complex,” said Pepoon. “It’s got a new gift store and a zoo entry with a ticketing window and membership offices.”

Pepoon said they are adding two new leopard exhibits and a snow leopard exhibit. He said people keep coming back because you make a connection with the animals and some animals even remember guests!

“The animals definitely remember people and regulars that come all the time, especially apes,” he said. 

Tickets are free for children under two. For children three to eleven, it costs 15 dollars. For ages 11 and up, it is 20 dollars. More details can be found here.

The next stop will take explorers outside the Wichita city limits. While interacting with animals may seem like a tall tale, you can do just that at the Tanganyika Wildlife Park.

Park Director, Matt Fouts, said you can hang right next to the animals. 

“Tanganyika is the most interactive zoo in the Midwest,” said Fouts. “One of the only places in the United States where you can actually go on the island — the lemurs come and sit on your lap, you feed them a craisin.”

Fouts said you can meet and feed animals, like giraffes, sloths, and lemurs. You can also swim with the penguins. 

Tickets and all of the details to plan your trip to Tanganyika can be found here.

Looking to get your steps in and escape the traffic?

The 282 acre Great Plains Nature Center is home to hundreds of animals, trees and plants. There are 215 species of wildflowers, 38 different trees and shrubs, 20 different mammals, 160 species of birds, and more. 

More information can be found here about the Great Plains Nature Center.

From wildlife to a wild life, you can make a splash by taking on one of the most notable rivers in Kansas. You can rent a stand up paddle board with SUP Wichita.

Board master, Brian Hickey, said their rentals can be found in several different areas. 

“We will definitely come out and bring all the paddle boards with us and create a great environment and a wild, exciting, fun time for you guys to have,” said Hickey. 

SUP Wichita can also bring them out to you. He said no matter the courage level, you can have a wild time. More information about the rentals with SUP Wichita can be found here.

If you’re looking to find a hidden gem, take a stroll to find a troll! This here is a troll in the storm drain. It’s along the Arkansas River by the Keeper of the Plains.

It also glows! It is located near 777 W Central Ave. If you walk up the sidewalk, look down the drain closely and you may be able to spot it.

Other Wichita tourist attractions

Keeper of the Plains (Courtesy Trudy Calloway)

VisitWichita.com has information on places, events, even itineraries. It also offers a visitors guide. You can have one mailed to you or view the digital version.