Family Fun

The quality time of your life

Raising a family is never a walk in the park, but the place you live should support you and make it easier. The Topeka community hosts a lineup of activities and amenities that make family life memorable and fun. There’s always a new way to spend time with your kids, or let them wear themselves out. 

Topeka Zoo

Topeka Zoo and Conservation Center is home to more than 300 animals and the first tropical rainforest habitat in the country. With giraffes, lions, hippopotamus, bears, African painted dogs, orangutans, and much more, the zoo is a conservation partner for global research and species protection. An annual pass gets you access into Topeka Zoo and other zoos and aquariums around the county. Make plans to visit!

Lake Shawnee

Twice cited by the tourism industry as a top travel destination in Kansas, Lake Shawnee is visited by more than 1 million people each year for festivals, ball tournaments, golf, boating, fishing and camping or just to hike the Lake Shawnee trail and visit Ted Ensley Gardens. A newly renovated Adventure Cove is a key feature of Lake Shawnee where you can enjoy the beach, paddle boards, paddle boats, canoes, kayaks and more.

Gage Park

Gage Park is the crown jewel of Topeka. The 160 acre space has an array of activities and things to do, including a mini-train, historic carousel, Helen Hocker Theater, Reinisch Rose Garden, Blaisdell Family Aquatic Center, Hill’s Bark Park, amphitheater, sports fields, playgrounds, Animal Land, a two mile fitness trail, and much more.

Capitol Building Tours

Kansas has one of the most beautiful capitol buildings in the nation. During a multimillion dollar renovation completed in 2014, all five floors were restored to original historic beauty, and updated with modern amenities. Tours start in the visitor center on the north side of the building. Don’t miss the dome tour, which takes you to the highest spot in Topeka up 296 steps.

Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library

The Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library is a beloved community resource that was named 2016 Library of the Year. With an extensive catalogue of books, DVDs, magazines, music, and more, the library is a central hub in the community, offering classes, meeting space, cafe, children’s activities, and reading programs.

Aquatic Centers

The hardest part about going swimming in Topeka is deciding which destination aquatic center to visit. There are pool facilities all over Shawnee County boasting high dives, water slides, zero entries, kiddie pools, obstacle courses, lazy rivers, spray parks, and summer fun of all kinds. Find out more on the Shawnee County Parks and Recreation website.

Parks and Recreation Facilities

Shawnee County Parks and Recreation maintains more than 147 facilities offering almost every kind of activity imaginable. Many take place in seven community centers spread around Topeka, but others are outdoors, including golf courses, BMX tracks, tennis courts, skate parks, frisbee golf courses, campgrounds, and more. Visit Shawnee County Parks and Recreation Website for all the details.

Kansas History Museum

The Kansas Museum of History is a 30,000 square foot exhibit that outlines Kansas history from prehistoric times to the modern era. Notable galleries include a train with a steam locomotive and cars, a 1950s replica diner, a South Cheyenne native american teepee, and more. Study the history of Kansas, including westward expansion, native american tribal history, political populism, Bleeding Kansas, and more.

Sports Center

Sports Center is a beloved family fun destination with mini golf, go-kart track, driving ranges, and batting cages. Top off the day with a trip to the arcade and the snack shop. Round up the family for a day of fun and memories.

Evel Knievel Museum

Experience the legendary daredevil Evel Knievel at Topeka Evel Knievel Museum. Packed with memorabilia and exhibits, the collection will bring you through the blood, sweat, and broken bones that made him the most famous motorcycle stuntman in the world. Try the virtual reality experience for a jaw-dropping taste of a real jump. The museum is located at the historic Topeka Harley Davidson dealership.

Movie Theaters

Topeka has three movie theater destinations offering varied experiences. Wheatfield B&B Theaters feature reclining, heated seats. It also offers reservations, a full menu, and 3D screens. Regal Hollywood Theaters and Regal West Ridge Theaters offer both new showings and dollar showings with summer movie specials.

Kansas Children’s Discovery Center

Kansas Children’s Discovery Center is the premier children’s museum destination in Kansas. Located on the south edge of Gage Park, the museum lets children explore art, careers, engineering, science, nature, and more. It’s the perfect place to learn and discover for kids of all ages.

Sky Zone Trampoline Park

Sky Zone is an indoor trampoline park located at West Ridge Mall. It’s the perfect place to practice those flips and dunks in ways you never dreamed. Soar to new heights with the ninja warrior course, freestyle zone, parkour blox, ultimate dodgeball, and free climb. Memberships, birthday parties, toddler time, homeschool PE groups, and more are available.


Bonkers has fun for the whole family with an arcade, floor-to-ceiling play maze, super slider, and toddler town. Host a birthday party or just go for a fun afternoon.

Combat Air Museum

The Combat Air Museum is located on Forbes Field, making it one of only a few major aviation museums in the United States located on an active air field. The exhibit features 42 aircraft ranging from the earliest aviation period to the present day. It boasts the largest collection of WWI replica aircraft in the Midwest. It has an extensive display of artifacts and dioramas and a growing gallery of military aviation art.

Westridge Lanes

Westridge Lanes and Family Fun Center has a bowling alley, arcade, mini-golf course, and go-kart track. It’s designed for fun for all ages with bumper bowling and children’s sized bowling shoes. There is cosmic bowling every Friday and Saturday.

Dick and Dotty Hanger Family Preserve

Fishing with your kids has never been this easy. Gather up all your anglers and their tackle and spend the day fishing on this stocked pond adjacent to top-rated destination Lake Shawnee. Formerly known as Lake Shawnee Junior, it is completely encompassed by a 10 foot wide sidewalk, making it ADA accessible. There’s no fishing license needed for ages under 16 and over 75. Go out and make that first catch!


Topeka has more than 60 miles of trails with a variety of terrain, scenery, and difficulty. Make plans to explore them all! Bike, run, skate, or more on 30 miles of paved trails. Explore nature and wildlife with 28 miles of natural surface trails. Under the Shawnee County Parks and Recreation master plan, more trails are being created and connected all the time. The fun and memories are waiting for you!