Southeast Kansas is a perfect blend of natural beauty, historical intrigue, and fun for kiddos of all ages.
Through the Sunflower Summer Program, each Kansas student and their parents/guardians are allowed one free visit to each of the participating attractions per year. Please visit each attraction’s website for more information regarding pricing and admission.
Lehigh Portland State ParkBack to Top of List
Located just outside Iola is the newest state park in Kansas. Inside the park, there are 100 acres of diverse environments ranging from Kansas prairie to deep woodland. At the center of the park is Lake Lehigh, a crystal-clear quarry lake with giant 30 ft cliffs overlooking it. Criss-crossing the park are 14 miles of gravel and dirt trails, presenting plenty of opportunities for adventure across the park. This park is perfect for everything from a day picnic or an outdoor adventure to John Brown’s Cave.
Big BrutusBack to Top of List
Located in the historic coal-mining region of southeastern Kanas, Big Brutus towers over the surrounding landscape. It is the second largest electric shovel in the world, and it stands at an immense 16 stories tall and weighs an incredible 11 million pounds. Travel here and learn about the important role mining has played in the development of Kansas and across the wider United States. Visitors can also enjoy the wonderful natural sites in the area and camp overnight! Various fishing opportunities in fish pits are also available to visitors.
Elk City State ParkBack to Top of List
Nestled in various hills along Elk City Reservoir, this park is in one of the most beautiful and diverse environments in Southeastern Kansas. Visitors to the park have access to a massive amount of area to explore, with the park expanding across nearly 857 acres of land. Throughout the park are dozens of miles of biking and hiking trails, allowing visitors to traverse across deep woodland and limestone canyons!
Crawford State ParkBack to Top of List
Right on the edge of the Ozarks sits the natural wonder of Crawford State Park. This park has its origins in the Civilian Conservation Corps, who constructed the 150-acre lake the park is now located by. Throughout the park are various biking and hiking trails that allow visitors to explore the heavily forested area. Visitors also can spend a relaxing day boating or fishing at the lake! There are six different campgrounds to choose from with 28 primitive sites and 38 electric online sites.
Curious Minds Discovery CenterBack to Top of List
Kids need a couple hours of fun? The Curious Minds Discovery Center provides a fun-filled environment that is especially exciting for kids aged 2-12. Different exhibits for kids to explore include fossils, farm life, and musical instruments. In addition to this, there is a play area for smaller children to have fun as well!
Miners Hall MuseumBack to Top of List
Miners Hall Museum puts on display the important role mining has played in the development of Kansas! At the site of the museum was an important labor strike, where daughters, mothers, sisters, and wives joined forces to battle for stronger labor laws to protect men toiling in the region’s mines. Today the museum is home to a variety of mining artifacts along with exhibits that detail this important battle for labor rights and equality.