FINNEY COUNTY, Kan. — When thinking of exciting things to do across the state, many may not turn to southwest Kansas.
But Destination Kansas has found a few hidden treasures that are sure to keep you and your family entertained.
What do you think of when you drive through southwest Kansas? Do you think of a giraffe, a waterslide, or how about a nursery full of unique plants and trees? No? Well, southwest Kansas is far from boring, and Finney County wants to prove it.
Lee Richardson Zoo
Lee Richardson Zoo has been showing visitors the exotic world of animals for nearly 93 years. It has many exciting twists and turns.
Pounce through wild Asia to spot the snow leopard, go on a safari through the African plains to see lions, rhinos and giraffes, or take a walk down the nature trail to enjoy the native wonders of southwest Kansas
“It’s just the best place to come,” said Max Lakes, the zoo’s deputy director. “It’s a little oasis in southwest Kansas. So you have the nice, beautiful areas to walk, you can have benches to sit with the family, you can watch the amazing animals.”
Parrot Cove Water Park
After sightseeing at the zoo, stop in at Parrot Cove Indoor Water Park to cool off.
Make a splash in the pool, take a lap around the lazy river, or catch a thrill down one of the slides.
When you’re done, grab a bite at the snack shack.
“It’s just something new and unique that you can’t find anywhere else here in this part of Kansas,” said manager Jim Barnard.
Ward’s Garden Center and Cafe
Lastly, after a long day, wind down by taking a walk through Ward’s Garden Center and Cafe, a family-run business since 1976.
If you’re a plant lover, stop by the nursery to see all the beautiful flowers and trees. Needing a new pet? There’s a pet shop with an animal just for you, but if you’re simply just wanting a cup of coffee with friends, take a seat at the cafe and relax.
“It’s a place of entertainment. We tell all our employees that we’re in the entertainment business, and people come out here for a good time,” said Ken Ward, owner.
Worried about cost? Don’t be. Lee Richardson Zoo is free, Parrot Cove Indoor Water Park ranges from $5-8, and at Ward’s you can spend as little or as much as you want, just make sure you grab an ice cream cone before you leave.