15 Things To Do In Topeka, KS - Updated 2023

things to do in topeka, kansas
| 6 min read

Topeka, Kansas, United States, is the capital of Kansas. In 2010, the city was named one of the Top 10 Best Cities for the Next Decade by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Magazine. Topeka is a Kansas Native-American tribe name that means “place where we dug potatoes” or “a good place to dig potatoes.” Topeka is best known for the popular United States Supreme Court case known as Brown versus the Board of Education. This case was a history changer since it proclaimed racial segregation in public schools unconstitutional. Book the top Vrbos and other places to stay the city, and have a look at these fun things to do in Topeka, KS.

1. Charles Curtis House Museum

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Posted by Charles Curtis House Museum on Friday, August 8, 2014

Go on a cultural trip first in case you don’t know what to do in Topeka, KS. This museum is the former residence of Charles Curtis, who was the first Vice President of the United States of Native American descent. Curtis was born in North Topeka, Kansas Territory, in 1860, a year before Kansas became a state. The home museum is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, as well as the Topeka Landmarks Register, and details the life of the former VP. Schedule a tour soon and get to know a piece of American history!

Charles Curtis House Museum

Address: 1101 SW Topeka Blvd, Topeka, KS 66612, United States

Website: Charles Curtis House Museum

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2. Burnett's Mound

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Overlooking all of beautiful Topeka, Burnett’s Mound is the highest elevation in the city. If you prefer a nature trip with an unbelievable payoff, hike the trails of this natural landmark and the view that awaits really is one you shouldn’t miss. It is named after former owner Potawatomi Chief Abram Burnett.

There have been constructions around the site since a tornado disaster in 1966 but its topmost part remains a natural view deck for Shawnee County. Located in Skyline Park, this Topeka attraction is best visited at dawn, so you can settle and find the best spot to watch the magnificent sunrise!

Burnett's Mound

Address: 3511 SW Skyline Pkwy, Topeka, KS 66614, United States

Opening hours: 3:30am - 10pm (daily)

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3. Topeka Zoo & Conservation Center

Source: Photo by Flickr user David DeHetre used under CC BY 2.0

Are you visiting with your little ones and looking for the best Topeka activities? We have just the place for you! Located inside Gage Park, Topeka Zoo & Conservation Center is home to more than 250 animals. The site contains one of the first indoor tropical rainforests in the country. The exhibits here include Kansas Carnivores which has river otters and cougars, Camp Cowabunga which features several lions, and Lianas Forest, a space for orangutans in a treetops setting. Various educational programs and classes are held at the zoo as well.

Topeka Zoo & Conservation Center

Address: 635 SW Gage Blvd, Topeka, KS 66606, United States

Website: Topeka Zoo & Conservation Center

Opening hours: Mon: 7:30am - 5pm; Tue - Sun: 9am - 5pm

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4. Norsemen Brewing Company

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

New Beer Release Pub Ale When Kansas Malt Company told us they had an English-style malt, we just had to make Pub...

Posted by Norsemen Brewing Company on Friday, August 6, 2021

Just bring good company and leave the rest to Norsemen Brewing Company. They’ll make your night out more fun with good food and even better beer. This brewery is one of the most beloved hangout spots in Topeka and serves Norse-inspired eats.

Their bestsellers and year-round beers on tap are Odin’s One EyePA (American IPA), Raiding the Highlands Scottish Ale, and Shield Maiden Wheat with Rye. If you want to try their seasonals, we highly recommend Irish Stout, Salted Lime Lager, and Pink Guava Sour!

Norsemen Brewing Company

Address: 830 N Kansas Ave, Topeka, KS 66608, United States

Website: Norsemen Brewing Company

Opening hours: Mon - Thu: 11am - 9pm; Fri - Sat: 11am - 11pm; Sun: 11am - 3pm

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5. Topeka Graffiti Wall

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Posted by Topeka's Graffiti Wall on Thursday, January 11, 2018

One of Topeka’s famous spots, especially among the youngsters, is the Graffiti Wall on Southeast 6th Avenue. The wall is sanctioned for the use of local and traveling spray artists. It is a community project of Two Wolves Studio and Artist Collective that aims to collaborate with street artists in beautifying the city by providing a legal space for graffiti. This spot is a must-visit if you’re not only into art but also interested in getting to know more about the vibrant community of Topeka.

Topeka Graffiti Wall

Address: 1001 SE 6th Ave, Topeka, KS 66607, United States

Website: Topeka Graffiti Wall

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

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6. Rip-On Skate Park

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Are you a skater? Find like-minded people in the community and pay a visit to Rip-On Skate Park. This park offers a space for cyclers, in-line skaters, and skateboarders to practice and enjoy their passion. The park is open 24 hours and features grind rails, quarter pipes, bank-to-bank ramps, pyramids, and a bowl. Bring your friends by and spend the afternoon sliding, gliding, and of course, having endless fun! Do take note that this skate park does not provide supervision.

Rip-On Skate Park

Address: Shunga Glen Park, 23rd and Washburn Ave, Topeka, KS 66611

Website: Rip On Skate Park

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

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7. Lake Shawnee

things to do in topeka, kansas | lake shawnee
Source: Photo by Flickr user Brooke Raymond used under CC BY-SA 2.0

This is a pretty lake with scenic views that you can enjoy with family. Here you will find something for everyone like the Garden House, Reynolds Lodge, a marina, tennis courts, sand volleyball courts, open spaces, a campground, a golf course, shelter houses, water activities, a playground and best of all, a swimming beach complete with a water slide. Just be aware that if you want to trout fish or just fish here, you will need a Kansas state license to do so. Lastly, most festivals and special events are held here, so this place is a favorite of the local community.  

Lake Shawnee

Address: 3137 SE 29th Street, Topeka, KS

Website: Lake Shawnee

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8. Evel Knievel Museum

Evel Knievel museum Fun Fun Fun Fest 2013-6599.jpg
Source: Photo by Flickr user Anna Hanks used under CC BY 2.0

This is a museum that is dedicated to Evel Knievel. There is a lot of memorabilia here of the famous American stunt performer, painter, entertainer, and international icon that wowed the world. He attempted more than 75 ramp-to-ramp motorcycle jumps during his courageous and daring career. This is a place that fans and non-fans alike will enjoy. When you are here, don’t forget to check out the 4-D Virtual Reality Jump.

Evel Knievel Museum

Address: 2047 SW Topeka Boulevard, Topeka, KS

Website: Evel Knievel Museum

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9. Gage Park

Reinisch Rose Garden, Gage Park, Topeka, Kansas01
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Marion Doss used under CC BY-SA 2.0

This is a serene park that is one of the largest parks in Topeka. The Topeka Zoo, the Kansas Children’s Discovery Center, a miniature train of gauge, an outdoor theatre as well as the 70-year old Reinisch Rose Garden can all be found here. Last, but not least, there is a cute train here for kids to ride.

Gage Park

Address: Between 6th and 10th Streets caca, Topeka, KS

Website: Gage Park

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10. Brown vs Board of Education National Historic Site

BRVB school ext
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user NPS-Photo used under PUBLIC DOMAIN

As mentioned before, the Brown vs Board of Education case is one of the things Topeka is famous for. The United States Supreme Court’s decision in the Brown vs Board of Education is one of the most important opinions ever made. What people remember about this case is a little girl, whose parents sued the Board of Education so that she could attend an all-white school in her neighborhood. This historic site pays tribute to the case that changed history forever.

Brown vs Board of Education National Historic Site

Address: 1515 SE Monroe Street, Topeka, KS

Website: Brown vs Board of Education National Historic Site

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11. Combat Air Museum

F-86H - Combat Air Museum - Williamsport, KS, USA - panoramio (98)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Eric Friedebach used under CC BY 3.0

At this historic museum you will see a collection of 39 aircrafts in two hangars. You will also get to see various military aviation engines, exhibits, artifacts and aviation art, from WWI to present day. The museum is one of the major aviation museums in the United States that is located on an active air field.

Combat Air Museum

Address: 7016 SE Forbes Avenue Forbes Field, Topeka, KS

Website: Combat Air Museum

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12. Kansas State Capitol

Kansas State Capitol in Topeka
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Tony Webster used under CC BY-SA 2.0

One thing I love to do when I visit United States capital cities is to visit the specific state’s capitol building. I grew up in a capital city and that is what fueled my passion for state capitol buildings. The Kansas State Capitol building is regarded as the state’s greatest architectural treasure. It has 5 floors, which house murals, statues, and artwork. Best of all, you can enter the dome by climbing 296 steps that go from the fifth floor to the top. Be sure to take a tour and see the exciting building for yourself.

Kansas State Capitol

Address: 300 SW 10th Ave Ste 525, Topeka, KS

Website: Kansas State Capitol

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13. Old Prairie Town at Ward-Meade Historic Site and Botanical Garden

OPTmansion copy
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user OldPrairieTown1 used under CC BY-SA 4.0

This historic site has a botanical garden. It is neat to see the 1854 replica of the log cabin which includes a blacksmith shop. Also, here you will find an 1870s Victorian Prairie Mansion that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Old Prairie Town at Ward-Meade Historic Site and Botanical Garden

Address: 124 NW Fillmore Street, Topeka, KS

Website: Old Prairie Town at Ward-Meade Historic Site and Botanical Garden

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14. Ted Ensley Gardens

Ted Ensley Gardens 003
Source: Photo by Flickr user Marion Doss used under CC BY-SA 2.0

As soon as you enter the park you will get an opportunity to walk through a beautiful covered bridge, which goes over a serene rocky stream. Equally as relaxing is the meditation garden, the rock gardens, the many annual and perennial beds, the rose gardens as well as water gardens. There is also a gazebo, pergola, waterfalls, streams, and several ponds to enjoy.

Ted Ensley Gardens

Address: 3650 SE West Edge Road, Topeka, KS

Website: Ted Ensley Gardens

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15. Cedar Crest

Cedar Crest, Topeka, KS
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user 25or6to4 used under CC BY-SA 4.0

This landmark and historical place is the Kansas Governor’s mansion. It was built in the year 1928 and given to the state in 1955, but it did not become the governor’s residence until 1962. Today it is the main attraction of a French architectural estate that oversees the Kansas River. The estate has several ponds, gardens as well as hiking trails.

Cedar Crest

Address: One SW Cedar Crest Road, Topeka, KS

Website: Cedar Crest

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Topeka, a gem in Kansas

Topeka Kansas
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user America's Power used under CC BY 2.0

Topeka is a capital city that is rich in history and culture. Be sure to pay this exciting city a visit on your next vacation to Kansas.

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Frequently asked questions about best things to do in Topeka, Kansas

1. What are the top attractions to visit in Topeka?

There are a lot of attractions to choose from, depending on your interest, when you visit Topeka. But if you’re only after the top attractions in the city, then you shouldn’t forget visiting the Evel Knievel Museum, Lake Shawnee, and Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site.

2. What are the best outdoor activities in Topeka?

Topeka boasts many natural attractions and green spaces that’s why one of the best outdoor activities you can do here is to explore Gage Park. It is an expansive park that houses many interesting attractions like Topeka Zoo and the Kansas Children’s Discovery Center.

3. What are the most popular things to do in Topeka with kids?

In case you’re coming to Topeka with your mini-me, then you should bring her/him to Gage Park and let him/her explore the park, where you’ll find a museum, a zoo, and a miniature train. Another top attraction for kids here is Lake Shawnee, where the family can have a picnic, play sports, or just bask at the beautiful surrounding.

Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.


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Tabassum Rahmani, a technical writer born and raised in the United States to Indian parents, boasts over a decade of writing experience. She has a passion for sharing her life's adventures and...Read more

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