Kansas – Exploration Place

Kansas – Exploration Place

If you’ve been reading my site this week, you might be thinking that we have a goal to visit a science museum in all 50 states. While that would be a fun goal, we haven’t set our sights on that one. We just like science museums. And we especially love that we get into most of them for free because of the reciprocal agreement that most science museums have. We always get a membership to our local museum which is part of the ASTC (Association of Science-Technology Centers) Passport Program. No, I don’t get paid to promote museum memberships (but I wish I did). I just think it’s a great value, especially when you travel as much as we do.

Our trip to the Exploration Place in Wichita, Kansas, wasn’t really planned. We had just been to Science Museum Oklahoma the day before, so we weren’t necessarily looking for something science-y. But while my husband was driving and I was checking out things to do in Wichita, I read that the Exploration Place had a tornado simulator. That sounded like the perfect thing to do in Kansas. I checked to make sure that the Exploration Place was part of the ASTC Program (it is) and we were on our way. We didn’t have a lot of time to spend there, which is the beautiful thing about getting in free. You can spend as much or as little time as you like without being concerned about getting your money’s worth.

So the plan was to go to the museum, experience the tornado simulator, maybe check out one or two other exhibits, and then get back on the road. And how well do you think we executed that plan? Not well at all, my friends. You see, before we could get to the tornado simulator, we came across brain teaser puzzles.

Have you read my article about OMSI yet? It is REALLY hard to remove my family from museums that have exhibits like this.


They’re addictive, plain and simple. Can you figure out how to balance all those nails on a single nail head? Spoiler alert: I will post the solution at the very end of this article. Don’t scroll down until you’re ready.

I couldn’t get my kids to leave the puzzles at first. “Come on, kids, don’t you want to go in the tornado simulator?” Eventually, we pulled them away. It took two of us. We’d physically remove one of the kids to a different area of the museum, then go back for another. It took a while. We had a couple successful escape attempts. Finally, we succeeded and made it to the tornado simulator.

Once I saw the simulator, I remembered having gone in one in another museum. But, still, it was fun to experience tornado-force winds without actually being in any danger. Just don’t do it if you have to look presentable later in the day. It isn’t kind to your hair!

So after the tornado simulator, you can guess what happened. Yep. Back to the Brain Storm puzzles. I managed to explore a little bit more of the museum while the rest of the family worked on puzzles. Kansas in Miniature was very interesting to look at.

There is also a darling medieval-themed area called Where Kids Rule.

Once again, I wish we’d had more time to see the rest of the museum, but we did like what we saw. Especially the puzzles!

Ready to visit?

Exploration Place
300 N. McLean Blvd.
Wichita, KS 67203
(316) 660-0600

We received complimentary admission to the museum with the ASTC Passport Program because we are members of our local museum. 

This attraction appears in my e-book, How to Visit All 50 States in 12 Trips.

OK, are you ready for the answer to the nail puzzle now?

Here it is:

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