17 Things to Do in 2017
Whether you are looking for something indoors or outdoors, more active or slightly relaxed, Topeka has something for you. Get out and see what wonderful events and activities are happening around the capital city this year!
1. DOME TOUR AT THE CAPITOL.
Experience a breathtaking view of the city by climbing 296 steps to the top of the dome. We promise it's worth the effort! The Kansas Statehouse is the only U.S. capitol building where the public can go to the top of the dome and walk along the outside balcony for a birds-eye view of the city.
2. DON'T MISS A MINUTE OF THE NHRA HEARTLAND NATIONALS.
The 29th annual Menards NHRA Heartland Nationals presented by Minties is taking over Heartland Park Topeka May 19-21, 2017. Catch all the action at the country's fastest track!
3. TOUR THE BROWN V. BOARD OF EDUCATION NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE.
The famous site explores the Civil Rights Movement and the role of the 1954 Supreme Court decision that brought desegregation to public schools across America. The museum is located inside the Monroe School, once one of four all-black elementary schools in Topeka.
4. STOP AND SMELL THE TULIPS DURING TULIP TIME.
Celebrate the return of spring with more than 100,000 tulips and daffodils blooming at locations around Topeka in April. Locations with picturesque displays include the Ted Ensley Gardens at Lake Shawnee, Gage Park's Doran Rock Garden and Reinisch Rose Garden, downtown Topeka and Old Prairie Town at Ward-Meade Historic Site. Visit Topeka's Tulip Time Festival Day at the Lake is April 9.
5. HAVE DINNER AND SEE A SHOW AT THE TOPEKA CIVIC THEATRE.
Founded in 1936, the theatre is the oldest continuously running community dinner theatre in the country. The theatre has three stages which are in use every month of the year.
6. ATTEND THE MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR.
This year's fair will make a stop in Topeka on October 21 and 22 and will bring with it hundreds of regional and national vendors that specialize in sustainable lifestyle products and services. The two-day event also features more than 150 practical, hands-on demonstrations and workshops.
7. VISIT THE KANSAS MUSEUM OF HISTORY.
Learn about Kansas' past while walking through award-winning exhibits in a museum deemed one of the 8 Wonders of Kansas. Learn more about Bleeding Kansas and the state's involvement in the Civil War, take a look inside a full-sized Cheyenne tipi and covered wagon, and walk through the Santa Fe's oldest surviving locomotive from 1880. Other treasures include the Queen windmill, a 1914 Longren biplane and a printing press used by William Allen White.
8. JOIN IN A FIRST FRIDAY ART WALK.
The Topeka art scene unites on the first Friday of every month (rain or shine) for this growing event. Shops and galleries across the city stay open late to feature local artists and sell their work. The Art Walk isn't confined to just one location; stop by downtown Topeka, the North Topeka Arts District and the Westboro neighborhood to get a peek at the artwork.
9. TAKE PART IN THE BIKE SHARE PROGRAM.
The wheels are turning at the state's first bike share program added 100 more bikes in celebration of its first birthday. Topeka for residents and visitors to use for leisure trips, as well as errands and commutes to and from work or school. Sign up through TopekaMetroBikes.org.
10. BROWSE THROUGH THE BOOKS AND GET CREATIVE AT THE PUBLIC LIBRARY.
Check out the best library in North America! Nearly 3,000 people walk through the Topeka Shawnee County Public Library daily to browse through the books, check out of the latest art exhibit at the Alice C. Sabatini Gallery, take advantage of the free meeting rooms or pick up a couple books from the Chandler Boutique (a used bookstore and gift shop.) The Make-It Lab - the library's personal makerspace -- lets you create what you want: edit videos or photographs, record a hit song and even print something out on the 3-D printer.
11. EAT YOUR HEART OUT AT THE CAPITAL CITY FAMILY AND FOOD TRUCK FESTIVAL.
Join your friends and 40 food trucks with a variety of dining options on Sunday, June 4. They'll be lined up at Gage Park for an afternoon of fun. Plus bounce houses, lazer tag, live music and more!
12. TAKE A HIKE AT CEDAR CREST, THE GOVERNOR'S MANSION.
The trails of MacLennan Park, surrounding Cedar Crest, provide a relaxing escape. Lightly wooded areas and multiple short trails are perfect for a quick hike at dawn or dusk. Bring your fishing pole along and while there, get your fix for the great outdoors by throwing a line into the ponds in front of the mansion. Cedar Crest is the smallest occupied governor's residence that sits on the largest piece of property - 244 acres.
13. VISIT THE EQUALITY HOUSE.
Serving as a symbol of peace and positive change for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning community, the Equality House is project of Planting Peace and is painted the colors of he pride flag to bring the struggle for equality to the forefront.
14. LEARN TO SAIL AT LAKE SHAWNEE.
Take to the water for a bit of exercise! The Shawnee Yacht Club offers introductory sailing classes at least once a year in which half the time is spent on dry land learning about sailboats while the other half is spent on the water trying your hand at the sport. If a class isn't the option for you, go out to the lake for a Sunday afternoon or Wednesday evening race to learn from a skipper before giving it a shot yourself before or after the races.
15. LOCATE VISIT TOPEKA'S 15 GEOCACHES HIDDEN THROUGHOUT THE CITY.
Geocaching is an outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS-enabled devices where participants navigate to a specific set of coordinates in an attempt to find the geocache (container) hidden at that location. Once all 15 geocaches are located, participants can stop by our office to collect a prize.
16. ENJOY THE KANSAS CHOCOLATE FESTIVAL
In collaboration with Mars Chocolate, which operates a plant in Topeka, Visit Topeka presents the inaugural Kansas Chocolate Festival on Saturday, Sept. 30.
17. HEAR WORLD-RENOWNED MUSICIANS FREE AT SUNFLOWER MUSIC FESTIVAL.
Enjoy nine nights of free orchestra and chamber ensemble music at Washburn's White Concert Hall. Your donation is the only admission as musicians from around the country and the world present classical works for the 31st year, June 9-17.
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