Explore our local parks and museums

I recently returned from a trip to Chicago. If you haven’t had the chance to visit, Chicago is a city rich with museums and city parks. It was amazing to see so many people out and about enjoying all of these great resources! While we were there for just a short visit, my son and I had to visit some of the museums… but which ones to choose… we settled on the Field Museum (dinosaurs for my son) and the Museum of Science and Industry (the German sub U-505 for me).

While I could tell you of all the wonderful exhibits we walked through and all the great new dinosaur facts we learned, what I want to share is the story of the people we saw. What struck me most on this trip was the amount of people and families we saw visiting and enjoying the museums and parks throughout the city.

In both the Field Museum and the Museum of Science and Industry we were surrounded by school children laughing, pointing, excitedly talking to each other and asking questions of their guides. Children of all ages were “running” from exhibit space to exhibit space pulling their parents along and eagerly asking questions. Adults were walking through the exhibit halls reading guidebooks and looking intently at the objects on display. All around us people were enjoying, engaging and exploring history, science and the arts.

After visiting the museums we decided to walk to see the “Cloud Gate” (aka “the Bean” to my family), a gigantic jellybean shaped steel sculpture that reflects the city’s skyline. Now it was a cool and windy day when we visited, however the park was filled with visitors. All of them were standing around taking photographs, discussing the sculpture and surrounding park and simply playing (not just the kids but the adults too)!!! It wasn’t just in this park that people were engaging with each other and their surroundings, it was in almost every park we went to from the small neighborhood park to the large city park.

Why am I sharing my adventure in people watching and museum going with you on this early Monday morning? Because I want you to go out and enjoy our city’s great parks and museums!! Spend some time with a friend, a loved one, a family member or your children and enjoy, engage and explore the rich history, science and art that Topeka and the surrounding cities have to offer.

Here are just a few places to start:

City of Topeka Parks & Rec | Unwind

Mulvane Art Museum, Washburn University

Kansas Museum of History

Combat Air Museum

Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library

Visit Topeka