Family Getaways in Kansas | Midwest Living
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Family Getaways in Kansas

Play cowboy at a working ranch, discover six-shooter duels, and walk in the tracks of Wyatt Earp on a family vacation in Kansas.

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Ranch Rodeo.
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Circle S Ranch.
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Eastern Kansas

TOPEKA: Capital Fun

Kansas’ past is ever present in its vibrant capital city. See a full-size 1880 locomotive at the Kansas Museum of History, and experience moving exhibits at the Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site. Tour the 1903 Capitol and see giant murals depicting state history. In Gage Park, your crew can mount a menagerie of colorful animals on the vintage carousel or walk on the wild side at the Topeka Zoo. Top off a visit to Old Prairie Town at Ward-Meade Historic Site with an old-fashioned Green River at the Potwin Drug Store. Then cruise over to BoBo’s Drive-In, a classic since 1948, for a burger with the works, onion rings and, of course, homemade apple pie. Visit Topeka

FORT SCOTT: History Buffs

Imagine the boom of muskets or the spectacle of elite dragoon troops assembling on the parade grounds as you explore Fort Scott National Historic Site, a restored 1842 frontier post. Downtown, browse antiques and specialty stores or hop aboard Dolly the Trolley for a narrated tour through the historic business district and past grand mansions dating from the late 1800s. Learn about the life of native son Gordon Parks, famed photographer, novelist and poet, at the Gordon Parks Center for Culture and Diversity. Fort Scott National Historic Site

INDEPENDENCE: Play Time

For proof that good things come in small packages, head to Independence, playwright William Inge’s hometown, a classic charmer with tree-lined brick streets,  welcoming downtown and old- fashioned festivals. At Riverside Park and Zoo, fun is a bargain: A round of miniature golf and train rides costs little more than a dollar, a nickel buys a carousel ride. Ready smiles, friendly service and from-scratch food set the standard at local favorites Brother’s Railroad Inn and Uncle Jack’s Bar & Grill. City of Independence

SOLDIER: Ranch Stays

Guests bunk in comfort after helping with chores or hiking on trails at working cattle ranches like Red Rock Guest Ranch in Soldier and Circle S Ranch & Country Inn in Lawrence. Guests can watch buffalo roam through tall grass at Circle S, or cast a line for bass or catfish in Red Rock’s stocked ponds. Red Rock Guest RanchCircle S Ranch

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