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Attractions

Cosmosphere | STRATACA | Dillon Nature Center | Hutchinson Zoo | Yoder Amish Community | Hedrick Exotic Animal Farm | Indian Creek Bison Ranch

Cosmosphere

1100 North Plum
620 662-2305 | 800 397-0330 
Open daily except Christmas, Disabled accessible 
www.cosmo.org

 

Take off…to a place where excitement knows no boundaries. Where outer space launches your inner child. Where a world of activity revolves around you. Featuring the largest combined collection of United States and Russian space artifacts in the world, STEM-based camp and educational programs that build leaders and motivate explorers to push boundaries, and interactive live shows and theater venues that challenge and inspire. At the Cosmosphere, we're counting down to your arrival.

Hall of Space Museum

Experience the thrill of victory, the agony of defeat as you travel through time and explore the compelling history of the Space Race. Then, discover the incredible science behind what it takes to live among the stars, and look to the future of space exploration.

Every piece in the collection is either an actual, flown space artifact, a flight-ready backup, and engineering model, or a historically accurate fabrication; priceless snapshots of incredible moments in history that shaped a nation and inspire the future.

Carey Digital Dome Theater

Take your seat and allow yourself to be transported into incredible, entertaining and educational documentaries and fantastic Hollywood feature films. The action unfolds around you and above you on a two-story Dome as you feel the pulse of crystal clear digital surround sound for a unique, amazing theater experience.

Dr. Goddard’s Lab

Feel the heat of explosive live demonstrations as you discover the amazing history of modern rocketry.

Justice Planetarium

Lay back and explore the wonder of the night sky as it unfolds around you.

naviGATOR Simulator

Soar with the Blue Angels, blast off to the International Space Station, battle hostile invaders or feel the thrill of speeding through the streets of a futuristic city. Every twist and turn, every lift and plummet makes each experience truly incredible.

Cargo Bay Gift Store, Lunar Outpost Food Court, and Concession Stand

Shop for space and science-themed gifts, souvenirs and one-of-a-kind collectibles to remember your journey. Rest and refuel with a variety of delicious meal and snack options.

Explore everything there is to see and do at cosmo.org

Camp KAOS

Start a child in your life on a path to an amazing future. Hands-on learning experiences reach new heights using authentic NASA-based training methods. Campers are challenged to use STEM-based principles to construct and launch rockets, perform underwater SCUBA training exercises, engineer robots, design space missions and more. Explorers build confidence, leadership and teamwork skills while gaining a broader understanding of how each STEM principle can be applied to real-life situations, connecting the dots and becoming motivated learners, striving for success in all their endeavors. Camp KAOS is the adventure of a lifetime, for students entering second grade through high school. Programs are available for Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and American Heritage Girls to earn Merit Badges and patches.

Camps are also available for adults and groups, and every program is fully customizable.

Start your journey at cosmospherecamps.org

 


 

STRATACA

3650 East Avenue G
620 662-1425 | 866 755-3450
Open daily except Monday

Special holiday hours on our website, including Labor Day and Memorial Day
http://underkansas.org/

 

Lurking below the earth’s surface is an adventure you won’t soon forget! Descend 650 feet underground into an active salt mine – the only opportunity of its kind in North America.

Journey through intriguing and palatial rooms that are always 68 degrees with low humidity – and no Kansas wind! Inspired by the poet Pablo Neruda in his Ode to Salt – “I know you won’t believe me but it sings salt sings” — the walls act as ancient scrolls of the earth revealing secrets of the strata formed by the Permian Sea long ago.

Visit Harry the Halophile (salt dwelling bacteria) who slept in a pocket of salt water for 245 million years – until awakened by scientists in 1999. Harry has the distinction of being the oldest living organism on earth! Discover how Harry is helping NASA search for life on Mars!

Learn about salt mining, past and present, in the Mining Gallery and then catch a ride on the Salt Mine Express train to experience the raw mine just as it was left by miners over 50 years ago. The Dark Ride awaits as your journey continues on a tram through a maze of massive salt chambers and a chance to collect a souvenir piece of salt! (All areas are handicap accessible – except for the Train Ride.)

The mine is also the home of Underground Vaults and Storage (UVS), a secured site entrusted to protect all kinds of valuable materials including the original film of many of the greatest movies. A special gallery in Strataca recreates a UVS storage bay, and actual costumes and movie memorabilia from classic Hollywood flicks are on display. You don’t want to miss this chance to see Batman, Superman, Mr. Freeze, Agent Smith from Matrix, and so much more!

If you still want more, sign up to go BEYOND STRATACA and discover your inner explorer on the SAFARI SHUTTLE!  Venture deep into the untold secrets of Strataca.  Experience a thrilling subterranean quest, unlike anything you’ve experienced before in the raw, abandoned areas of the mine.  Uncover the mysteries of the mine through its maze of abandoned passages.  Untampered with since the ‘50s, the parts of the mine you’ll discover during Safari Shuttle serve as a time capsule, allowing visitors to experience history.  Everything has been left intact from break areas crowded with vintage snack wrappers to abandoned dynamite boxes and rail systems.  As they say, everything that goes down In the mine stays In the mine.

During peak travel season, tours depart every 20 minutes.  Because access is limited by elevator capacity, advanced reservations are highly recommended to ensure a timely visit.

Due to mine safety regulations, we cannot allow children under the age of 4 years old to go underground. 

 

 

 

 


 

Dillon Nature Center

3002 East 30th | 620 663-7411
Hours for Grounds & Discovery Building:
Summer: Monday - Friday 8 am to 7 pm | Saturday 10 am to 5 pm  | Sunday 1 to 5 pm
Winter: Monday - Friday 8 am to 5 pm | Saturday 10 am to 5 pm  | Sunday 1 to 5 pm
Free Admission
www.hutchrec.com/hutch-rec-facilities/dillon-nature-center/

Surround yourself with the beauty of the great outdoors on this 100-acre wild arboretum designated as a National Urban Wildlife Sanctuary. Discover more than 300 species of woody plants, hundreds of varieties of wildflowers and native grasses, 200 species of birds, and a large variety of other wildlife along three miles of National Recreation trails.

There’s a spring-fed pond stocked for fishing as well as several shaded areas for a relaxing family picnic. The Visitor’s Center features interactive exhibits, a meeting room, and natural science classroom that can be rented out, a nature library, observation deck, and is the home of the Wild Things Gift Shop.

The Nature Center also features a children’s playscape area where young children and their families are invited to create, explore, and get hands-on with the beautiful nature surroundings.

The newest addition to Dillon Nature Center is the Taylors' Shady Lane Cabin opened in 2016.  A multi-use building made possible with a donation from volunteers James and Betty Taylor.  The new building features a main room for meetings, family reunions, receptions and other similar purposes, a catering kitchen with a serving window into the meeting room, men’s and women’s bathrooms, storage for tables and chairs and a room for plants. Outside will be a covered patio, an open patio and a “fake” chimney for chimney swifts – small birds similar to swallows – to nest in.

Guided tours are available to both school and public groups throughout the year.




 

Hutchinson Zoo

6 Emerson Loop in Carey Park | 620 694-2693
Hours -  10 am to 4:45 pm, daily
Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas & New Year's Day
Disabled Accessible  |  Free Admission
www.hutchgov.com/zoo  
 
 
 
Experience the native animals of Kansas at the Hutchinson Zoo! Meet animals with special defenses, great hunting skills, or the ability to live alongside man.
 
The zoo also features the Kansas Wildlife Aviary as well as the Lagoon Overlook, offering the chance to look through the telescope for a close-up view of pelicans.  Across the lagoon, sneak a peek at the bison on the prairie home.
 
The attractive zoo also includes prong horn, fox, ringtail, bobcat, reptiles, porcupine, and native birds in free flight. 
 
Another popular feature is the Prairie Dog Complex, where children can safely view these timid creatures in their natural environment through a specially designed tunnel.
 
Prairie Thunder Railroad takes passengers on an eight-minute ride.  Tickets for the train ride are available at the Visitors' Center where the Friends of the Zoo Gift Shop has nature-inspired toys for all ages.
 
  
 
 

 

Yoder Amish Community

Southeast of Hutchinson
620 465-3613
www.yoderkansas.com

 

When the town of Yoder was founded by Eli Yoder in 1889, it was considered to be the hub of the surrounding Amish community.  Now, 125 years later, Yoder continues to be the thriving center for nearly 100 Amish families.  Yoder attracts people from all around who are looking for handcrafted furniture, hand-stitched quilts, farm-fresh milk and eggs, or hardware products from yesteryear.  Yoder is home to a variety of shops and restaurants that cater to the local community as well as to the tourists who come to get a glimpse of a horse and buggy.  Be sure to take in the local farmer’s market every Friday, 3 pm – 7 pm, from Memorial Day through Labor Day, where you will find locally grown produce, fresh baked breads, homemade pies and canned goods.

 


 

Hedrick Exotic Animal Farm

7910 N. Roy L. Smith Rd.  Nickerson, KS 67561 
888 489-8039
www.hedricks.com

 

Take a walk on the wild side during a unique experience at Hedrick Exotic Animal Farm.

Whether it's petting a zebra, riding a camel or feeding a giraffe, this one-of-a-kind attraction offers the opportunity to come face-to-face with several unusual animals. It's an animal adventure not to be forgotten and one that is truly unlike any other in the Midwest!

The farm also features a tamer side and bed and breakfast with all the creature comforts one could want.

Tours are available year-round by reservation only.  Hedrick's is located 8 miles west of Hutchinson on Highway 96. 

 


 

Indian Creek Bison Ranch

13010 East Lake Cable Road, Haven
620 465-2468
www.indiancreekbison.com

 

SHARE THE PRAIRIE WITH BISON. This land along the Arkansas River, where Native Americans for centuries hunted the great herds of bison, is now Indian Creek Bison Ranch. Tours are available of this family farm operated by Jerry and Linda Schmidt. Tour groups are transported on trailers to the pastures for an up-close visit with these majestic creatures as they graze. Visitors hear the history of Native American bison, view a display of artifacts and bison products, and learn about the methods used to raise and care for bison.