Guide to a Topeka Day Trip


Ready to get out of town for the day and want to be back home again, that same night? Check out a super fun day trip to Topeka! The capital of Kansas, Topeka, offers so many fun options and has something for everyone to enjoy. Follow this easy guide to plan a fun-filled day in Topeka!

Day Trip to Topeka

Topeka Zoo and Conservation Center

The first stop on our list after an hour in the car is the Topeka Zoo & Conservation Center! This is the perfect way to spend the morning before it gets too hot outside and allows everyone to get some of their wiggles out! The zoo opens at 9:00am and takes about 1-1.5 hours to walk. There is a park in the middle which makes an ideal mid-morning stop to get a snack and let everyone take a little break from the animal viewing and do a little jungle climbing! There is concession food at the entrance of the park if you choose to stay for lunch or need to grab a snack on site or plan ahead and bring snacks in your backpack!

Plan to bring a few quarters to feed the fish and pack the sunscreen because while there are several shady spots, you will definitely get your share of the sun! Bring your Sunset Zoo membership card to receive FREE admission to the zoo! If you don’t have a Sunset Zoo membership, take a look at the Sunflower Summer App, and visit the zoo for free during the summer months!

Gage Park

The zoo sites right inside of Gage Park which is a perfect place to enjoy a picnic lunch! Check out the local food trucks or drive to one of the many restaurants, within a few minutes! A fun option is to order some easy food like sandwiches from McAllisters on their app and go pick it up and then return to the park for a non pre-packed picnic. One option we enjoy is having one of the adults on our group go pick up the food while the other adult stays with the kids at the park so they can play longer.

After lunch, enjoy Gage Park and check out the mini train and the carousel! The park is located just on the other side of the zoo parking lot and the equipment is fantastic! The mini train and the carousel do have scheduled hours, so double check the schedule for your specific day! The train typically opens at 10 a.m.and the carousel typically opens at 11 a.m. and each cost $1.50 per ride. Rides are free for babies under 12 months.

Kansas Children’s Discovery Center

Before you get too hot in the afternoon, take a quick drive or a short walk to the Kansas Children’s Discovery Center, which is also located adjacent to Gage Park. The Discovery Center is open most days at 9 a.m. until 5 p.m., but be mindful on Sundays they don’t open until noon and are closed on Mondays. The Discovery Center is the perfect spot for all of the kids and kids at heart! Take a turn playing in the various job categories like the Pizza Parlor or the Vet Clinic and then take some turns with the giant blocks, the floating balls or even painting on the walls! There are both indoor and outdoor spaces to explore as well as some tables to sit and enjoy a snack you brought along!

Bring along your Wonder Workshop Membership card to receive 50 percent off your admission for the day! Also, check out the Sunflower Summer App to receive FREE admission during the summer months!

Glory Days Pizza

After a long day of playing and exploring, grab a quick dinner at one of the many family friendly restaurants like Glory Days Pizza, which is just minutes from both the Zoo and Discovery Center! Known as one of the best pizza places in town, pizza is an easy family favorite to please almost all of your family. Check out some of our favorites, including the BBQ chicken pizza and the Baked Potato Pie.

Plan ahead for the drive home and consider bringing along pajamas for the kids to change into and skip that nighttime bath, just this once! Don’t forget to bring blankets, books and a little nighttime snack for the drive home, which is just long enough for hopefully even the mamas to get a little car rest in!


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