Finding the perfect spring break location can be tricky for families with elementary-aged children. Long car rides, expensive hotels, and packed tourist attractions are not ideal for parents of young children on a budget. Don’t let the kids spend their few precious days out of school indoors playing video games and watching Netflix. Get outside and make memories as a family!

El Dorado is the perfect family-friendly (and budget-friendly) destination not too far from home! Whether you’re looking to enjoy the great outdoors or relax for an afternoon in a museum, we’ve planned the perfect overnight trip your family will love! 


Stop 1

Arrive in El Dorado around noon and enjoy lunch from one of our local favorites, the Black Gold Grill. This unpretentious, quaint burger shop on the edge of town has kids’ meals for only $5.99 (including the drink). For you parents, we suggest ordering an El Dorado classic - the Stapleton. This fried pork veal sandwich is served open faced and stacked with chili, cheese and relish. The sandwich’s name honors El Dorado’s history and is named after the Stapleton Oil Well No. 1 - the site of the El Dorado Oil Field Discovery in 1915. 


Curious where the Stapleton No. 1 well once stood? You can still visit the original location, which is commemorated with a marker and modern oil derrick. The location is just north of El Dorado, less than one mile outside of city limits. You can find more info here:

Stop 2

No trip to El Dorado is complete without visiting the Kansas Oil Museum! The museum highlights early Kansas oil history and has interactive exhibits educating visitors on the rich oil history of Butler County and the world-wide impact our region had during World War 1. Another exhibit, “Boomtown”, is an outdoor replica of a 1920s oil town. Walk along the boardwalk and browse the General Store, take a look inside the Doctor’s Office and learn about early printing in the Print Shop! 


The Kansas Oil Museum is located next to El Dorado’s oldest public park - East Park! Let the kiddos burn their energy at the playground or exploring the duck pond.

Stop 3

 Head to Downtown El Dorado and check out El Dorado’s Coutts Museum of Art. This historic building once housed the Butler County State Bank, but is now home to three floors of art from artists like Makk, Walton and Remington! Admission is free for all. 


Walk less than a block to the corner of Central & Main to snap a selfie in front of the Greetings from El Dorado Mural

Stop 4

Finish the day practicing your bowling skills at the El Dorado Fun Center. Recently remodeled, this bowling alley is also home to Van’s Bar & Grill. I recommend enjoying dinner at the restaurant (the Philly Cheesesteak is a must-try). Parents, take some time for yourself and enjoy a drink and dessert on the patio while watching the kids play a round of mini-golf. 

Swanson Park

Swanson Park is 93 acres and has been designated a Wichita Wild Habitat area. It was developed using Land and Water Conservation Funds that were provided by the Kansas Department of Wildlife & Parks and the National…


Stop 1

Start your Sunday morning at BrewCo. & Dilly Deli in Downtown El Dorado. Wake up with a fresh espresso drink and one of their famous Yoder Cinnamon Rolls. I recommend ordering sandwiches to go and enjoying a picnic lunch at El Dorado State Park. You can’t go wrong with your sandwich selection (but our personal favorites are the Kettle Chicken Sandwich and the Adult Grilled Cheese). Make sure to order the pasta salad as your side - trust me - you won’t regret it.


Stop 2

Take a drive down Main Street on your way to El Dorado State Park - Kansas’s largest and most visited outdoor attraction. Our state park has it all - boating, fishing, hiking, swimming, playgrounds, and archery. For younger children, I suggest exploring one of the easier hiking trails such as the Teter Nature Trail. This path winds along the base of the dam in a heavily wooded area with creeks and is filled with wildlife. You’ll often see deer, rabbits, and a wide variety of birds along the trail. 


 If you’re up for more adventure, head over to the Walnut River Camping Area at the base of the dam. This campground is open to non-campers (with a State Park day pass) and has two additional trails (one trail being a paved pathway), a swimming beach, and two playground areas. Let the kids explore the shore and enjoy your lunch in the great outdoors at one of the many picnic areas!

Not sure where to stay? 

Days Inn | $$

Amenities: Indoor Pool, Complimentary Breakfast, Indoor Gym, Business Center, Laundry 

Baymont Inn | $$

Amenities: Indoor Pool, Complimentary Breakfast, Pet Friendly, Wifi, Indoor Gym, Restaurant 

Holiday Inn | $$

Amenities: Indoor Pool, Complimentary Breakfast, Indoor Gym, Laundry, Business Center 


Want to learn more about the adventures you can have in South Central Kansas? Click here.

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