Kid-friendly Activities Near Fort Riley

child jumping into body of water

Got kids and want to do something fun you and your kids will enjoy? Then you’ve come to the right place. In addition to the zoos, parks, and bike trails, in Manhattan, you’ll find activities packed with history and learning opportunities. There are several Kid-Friendly activities near Fort Riley in the Flint Hills of Kansas that will entertain, engage, and energize the kid in both of you.

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Kid-friendly Activities near Fort Riley
For Big and Little Kids 

The Manhattan area offers a lot of family activities, including: zoos, parks, and an adventure park. I am the big kid in the room. And I still love to run, jump and, touch everything that has texture or dimension. And I get bored easily. I tend to wander off in my imagination and can be bribed with something sweet. My favorites are cotton candy, peanut butter cups, and gummy bears. So trust me when I say I know kid-friendly in the Flint Hills.

Greyhound Hall Of Fame

All kids love dogs, right? Learn more about the world’s fastest dog at the world-famous Greyhound Hall of Fame. Abilene is the Greyhound Capital of the World. Enjoy fascinating displays of the beautiful breed, a 12-minute film, and a self-guided tour of the facility. Admission is free. But make to leave a donation to keep the doghouse open.

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Santa Fe Trail
Self-Guided Tour In Council Grove

You start the historic self-guided tour in Council Grove. It has more than 24 historic sites highlighting the significance of the Santa Fe Trail. Take a drive along the Flint Hills National Scenic Byway which includes the Kaw Mission Historic Site & Museum.

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Staycation Ideas
Flint Hills Discovery Center

The Flint Hills Discovery Center offers fun for all ages. Children will enjoy exploring the entire facility which has many hands-on activities, videos, and rotating special exhibitions. The current exhibit is about the American Bison. Membership is available and many young families meet on the 2nd-floor play area for playdates.

You and your kids will enjoy an evening of fun, outdoor activities inside the Flint Hills Discovery Center. The night includes a DJ with dance music, camping-inspired games, nature-based crafts, a photo booth, and the world-famous balloon drop at “kids’ midnight”. That’s 8:30 for you and me. A delicious lineup of camp-inspired foods and drinks will power you through your evening. Monday, December 31, 2018, from 6:30 to 9:30 pm.

Fun Things to do in Junction City
Spin City

I had a blast at Spin City. It’s a very nice rollerskating rink that plays great music. There were kids of all ages twirling and falling all around me. The facility also has a game room, pool table, basketball courts, big-screen TVs, and a concession stand.

Fun Things to do in Manhattan
City Park Pool 

The City Park Pool is great for kids of all ages. You can go swimming in a large pool with a separate area for younger children. The pool has inflatable pool toys, such as a large ball that visitors can climb on in the center.

Wildwood Adventure Park

The adventure park includes 7 ziplines and a 40 foot Freefall through the Flint Hills of Kansas. In 2 hours you’ll soar over and under trees and hike between each line. This tour includes their longest zip line at 1,400 feet and two racing lines. All participants must weigh between 50-275 pounds to enjoy the fun.

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Summer Fun at KSU
Butterfly Garden

The Butterfly Garden is located on the southeast side of the Historic Conservatory. It is home to hundreds of native butterflies that gather during the hot, calm days of summer. Many assorted plants in the garden provide the needed food for larval and adult butterflies. Open Dawn to Dusk, March through November.

K-State Insect Zoo

What’s a more kid-friendly activity than bugs? The K-State Insect Zoo opened in 1999 and is housed in the old Dairy Barn on campus just outside of Aggieville. It’s open Tuesday-Friday 1 pm to 6 pm and Saturday from 12 pm to 6 pm and by appointment. The entrance fee is $3/person, $2/ active duty military. Guided tours are available for $4/person and must be scheduled one week in advance.

Nichols Hall 

I don’t know about you, but I love checking out castles. And you don’t even have to leave town to do it. Because there are two castles on the campus of Kansas State University. You won’t see any knights at Nichols Hall, just a few communications and theater students. But the battlements, towers, and power to inspire are still there from the original build in 1911.

The Blue Sky Sculpture  

The Blue Sky Sculpture was intended to be contemplative. However, there is plenty of wide-open space to run, jump, and play too. The cloud motif, passageway, stoneware figures, and arch are all beautiful natural elements. Consequently designed to blend in with a blue sky full of clouds. Afterward, take a few minutes to locate the reflective files on the mural.

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Strong City
The Flint Hills PRCA Rodeo— 
Oldest Rodeo in Kansas 

The rodeo is held on the first weekend of June in the Flint Hills. It is the oldest consecutive rodeo in the state of Kansas. Top professional rodeo contestants come to compete in seven traditional rodeo events. Events include Bareback Riding, Tie-down Roping, Barrel Racing, Steer Wrestling, Saddle Bronc Riding, Team Roping, and Bull Riding. In addition, there are events for local competitors and kids. Three performances are held Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at 8:00 p.m. Other events include a parade, dances, and an art show for 3 days.

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The Oz Museum

Whether you follow the yellow brick or ease on down it— big kids will love the Oz Museum. The Oz Museum features a collection of more than 2,000 artifacts, dating back to 1900 making it a great kid-friendly activity near Fort Riley. The museum is only an hour from both Manhattan. The museum houses a collection of Wizard of Oz artifacts from 1900-present. At the same time, visitors enjoy posters, videos, and other memorabilia. Afterward, visit Auntie Em’s gift shop and take home a souvenir from Emerald City and your visit to the Flint Hills.

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  1. Anne R.

    I know your kids are grown, but I was wondering about life for kids in the area. Are there kids activities on Fort Riley too? What are the schools like in the area?

    1. duffelbagspouse

      You’re right my kids are grown so I don’t have a lot of experience with the schools. Check out three little ferns a family blogger who actually lives on Fort Riley.

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