From cooking chemistry to stinky science and from virtual reality to deep space, children can explore and discover along Kansas Avenue on Saturday, Oct. 15 at the inaugural Topeka Science & Tech Fest.

Visit Topeka and a growing group of committed partners will fill the 700-block of South Kansas Avenue with free, hands-on activities and demonstrations for toddlers to interested high schoolers. Food trucks and select educational vendors join the fun from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The experience continues with a special focus on space with Ad Astra Kansas Space Day, beginning at 5 p.m. on the campus of Washburn University in the Stoffer Science Hall planetarium. 

“We know how much parents value unique and educational experiences for their children – especially at no cost,” said Rosa Cavazos, director of tourism development for Visit Topeka. “This is our first festival developed just for children and we are thrilled at the level of interest it has generated.”

Among the planned stage demonstrations are presentations by Cosmosphere science educators and Liz Lee Heinecke, “The Kitchen Pantry Scientist,” who has written multiple books on kid-friendly at-home and outdoor science experiments.

The list of partners continues to grow, but those involved from the beginning are: 712 Innovations, Ad Astra Kansas, Futamura Cellulose, the Kansas Children’s Discovery Center, Shenomenon, the Washburn University Department of Physics and Astronomy, Westar Energy and Youth Entrepreneurs.  

Following the festival, at 5 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 16, Topeka Performing Arts Center hosts Octonauts Live! Families can extend their science weekend at this performance as Operation Reef Shield Captain Barnacles and his crew work to save Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.

Cavazos said the pairing is perfect: “Having Octonauts Live! in town immediately following the Topeka Science & Tech Fest allows visitors to make a wonderful weekend adventure out of their trip to Topeka.”

Calling all STEM professionals:

If you, your company or organization wants to participate by providing a demonstration booth, contact Rosa Cavazos at 785.234.1030.

Connect with Topeka Science & Tech Fest

Upcoming Visit Topeka events include:

Kansas Mariachi Festival, Sept. 16, in Downtown Topeka
Kansas Chocolate Festival, Sept. 24, in Downtown Topeka
Topeka Science & Tech Fest, Oct. 15, in Downtown Topeka
More in December and 2017, details coming soon. Learn more at

As Topeka's official destination marketing organization, Visit Topeka is dedicated to marketing the region as an exceptional destination for meetings, events, sports and leisure tourism, thereby enhancing the local economy. Visit Topeka is a 501(c)6 not-for-profit organization. Find more information at