12 Free Things To Do In Topeka Ks

free things to do in topeka ks

Welcome to Topeka, a city with a wealth of activities for visitors and locals alike! While some adventures come at a cost, you can still get the most out of your time in Topeka without breaking the bank. In fact, with our list of 12 free things to do in Topeka, you can experience this vibrant and historic city without spending a dime. From beautiful parks to fascinating museums and exciting events, you’re in for a treat. So, let’s get started on an adventure that won’t cost you a cent!


Visit the Kansas State Capitol Building

Source: commons.wikimedia.org

Kansas is a beautiful state with many free activities for visitors to enjoy. One of the most popular free attractions in Topeka – the capital city of Kansas – is the Kansas State Capitol Building.

The Kansas State Capitol Building is a stunning example of early 20th-century architecture. The building houses the offices of the Governor, the Kansas Legislature, the Secretary of State, and the Attorney General. It is also home to many historical artifacts and exhibits.

Visitors to the Capitol Building can take a free guided tour. The tours are led by knowledgeable volunteers who share information about the history and architecture of the building. Visitors can also explore the building on their own and take in the beautiful artwork, including murals and stained glass windows.

One of the highlights of the Capitol Building is the dome. The dome is one of the largest in the world and was inspired by the dome of St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. Visitors can climb to the top of the dome for a breathtaking view of Topeka.

In addition to the free tours and exhibits, the Capitol Building also hosts many events throughout the year. These events include concerts, art exhibits, and historical reenactments.

Visiting the Kansas State Capitol Building is a must-do for anyone visiting Topeka. It is a beautiful and historic building that showcases the rich history and culture of Kansas. And, best of all, it is completely free to visit. So why not add a visit to the Kansas State Capitol Building to your itinerary? You won't be disappointed.


Explore Gage Park

Source: www.tripadvisor.com

Topeka, KS, is a city with a lot to offer visitors, and one of the best places to start exploring is Gage Park. This 160-acre park is one of the largest in the area, and it offers a wide variety of activities and attractions to enjoy. Best of all, admission is free, making it a great way to get out and explore Topeka without breaking the bank.

One of the most popular attractions in Gage Park is the Topeka Zoo. Home to over 200 animals from around the world, this zoo is a great place to get up close and personal with creatures big and small. From lions and tigers to snakes and lizards, there's something for everyone. There's even a petting zoo where you can feed and interact with some of the friendlier animals.

For those looking for more active pursuits, Gage Park has plenty of options. There are walking trails and jogging paths that wind through the park's scenic landscape, offering great views of the surrounding city. There are also tennis courts, basketball courts, and a swimming pool, perfect for staying cool during the hot summer months.

Another popular attraction in Gage Park is the Kansas Children's Discovery Center. This hands-on museum is designed to spark the imagination and curiosity of children of all ages. With exhibits on science, art, and culture, there's something for everyone here. Kids can explore a pretend farm, design and build their own creations, or even climb a giant treehouse.

In the summer, Gage Park also hosts outdoor concerts and events. From free movie nights to live music performances, there's always something going on. Check the park's website or social media pages for a calendar of upcoming events.

Whether you're a lifelong Topeka resident or just passing through, a visit to Gage Park is a must. With its wide range of attractions and activities, there's something for everyone here - and best of all, it's all free. So pack a picnic, grab your friends or family, and spend a day exploring one of the best parks in the area.


View the public art at the Topeka Mural Project

Source: www.daveloewenstein.com

If you're searching for free things to do in Topeka, KS, then look no further than the Topeka Mural Project. This beautiful outdoor art exhibit is a must-see for anyone interested in contemporary artwork and culture.

Located near the Topeka Downtown Historic District, the Topeka Mural Project is a collaborative effort between local artists and community volunteers. Their goal is to beautify the city while also promoting creativity and unity among Topeka's residents.

The Topeka Mural Project features a variety of murals throughout the city, all of which are available for public viewing. Each mural showcases a unique theme or design that reflects the personality and character of Topeka. Some of the most popular murals include "The Spirit of Kansas," "The Jayhawkers," and "The Monarch Butterfly."

In addition to viewing the murals, visitors can also participate in the Topeka Mural Project's ongoing events and activities. These events include artist meet-and-greets, mural tours, and even community art projects. They are a great way to get involved with the community, meet new people, and learn more about the Topeka Mural Project.

Overall, if you find yourself in Topeka with nothing to do, be sure to check out the Topeka Mural Project. This unique and inspiring art exhibit is a testament to Topeka's creative spirit and serves as a great reminder of the importance of public art in today's society. Best of all, it's completely free to visit!


Walk along Lake Shawnee

Source: parks.snco.us

If you're looking for a cheap and enjoyable way to spend a relaxing day in Topeka, KS, then why not take a stroll along Lake Shawnee? This beautiful lake, surrounded by over 1,000 acres of outdoor recreational space, offers a number of fun activities that are completely free of charge.

First and foremost, you can't go wrong with a simple walk around the lake. With over 6 miles of paved pathways, this outdoor space offers plenty of room for people to explore and take in the natural beauty of the area. Whether you prefer a brisk morning stroll or an afternoon walk, this route is perfect for walkers and runners of all skill levels.

If you're looking for a little more excitement, you can also take advantage of Lake Shawnee's free Frisbee golf course. This 9-hole course, located adjacent to Reynolds Lodge, provides a fun and challenging game for all ages. Just bring your own Frisbee and be sure to follow the rules of the game!

Another great activity to enjoy at the lake is fishing. The lake is stocked with a variety of fish, including bass, crappie, and bluegill. Anglers can fish from the shore or rent a boat from the marina (for a small fee). Just be sure to obtain the necessary fishing license before casting your line.

In addition, there are a number of picnic areas and playgrounds throughout the park. These areas are perfect for family gatherings, birthday parties, or just a casual lunch with friends. With plenty of open space and scenic views, it's hard to beat the free amenities offered at Lake Shawnee.

Overall, a walk along Lake Shawnee is one of the best ways to experience the great outdoors in Topeka without breaking the bank. Get up early, bring a camera, and enjoy all the natural beauty that this stunning lake has to offer!


Admire the historic architecture at the Great Overland Station

Source: www.cjonline.com
Characteristic Description
NameGreat Overland Station
TypeMuseum in Topeka, Kansas
WebsiteGo to website
Rating / Review count4.4 / 189
Address200 NW Railroad St, Topeka, KS 66608
Phone(785) 251-6945
HoursWednesday - Closed
Thursday - 10 AM–7 PM
Friday - 10 AM–4 PM
Saturday - 10 AM–4 PM
Sunday - 12–4 PM
Monday(Memorial Day) - Closed
Tuesday - Closed

Kansas is a state filled with history, and Topeka is no exception. If you're looking for a free attraction in Topeka that will feed your curiosity about the city's past, a visit to the Great Overland Station is a must.

Located on 8th Street, the Great Overland Station was once a bustling railway station that served as a major hub for transportation. Today, it has been restored to its original grandeur and operates as a museum that tells the story of Topeka through the eyes of the railway industry.

One of the most fascinating things about the Great Overland Station is its architecture. It was designed by architect Gilbert Stanley Underwood, who is also known for designing some of the most impressive railway stations in America, including Denver Union Station, Los Angeles Union Station, and the Grand Canyon Lodge. The station's architecture features a blend of Gothic, Renaissance, and Romanesque styles, which combine to create a spectacular visual experience.

When you visit the Great Overland Station, you can admire the stunning architecture and explore the many exhibits that tell the story of the city's past. You'll learn about the importance of the railway industry in Topeka, as well as the impact it had on the growth and development of the United States.

One of the most impressive exhibits at the Great Overland Station is the Railroaders Memorial Museum, which pays tribute to the men and women who worked on the railway. You'll see artifacts and memorabilia from the railway industry, including tools, uniforms, and other equipment. There are also exhibits that explore the role of the railway in shaping Kansas, as well as displays that tell the story of the Santa Fe Trail.

Overall, if you're looking for a free attraction in Topeka, the Great Overland Station is a must-visit. With its impressive architecture and fascinating exhibits, it's a wonderful way to learn about the city's past and discover the role that the railway industry played in shaping the United States.

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Learn about local history at the Kansas Museum of History

Source: www.kshs.org

If you're looking for a free and informative activity in Topeka, Kansas, look no further than the Kansas Museum of History. Located in the heart of Topeka, the museum offers visitors of all ages a chance to learn about the history of Kansas and the forces that have shaped this unique state.

The Kansas Museum of History boasts a collection of over 100,000 artifacts and exhibits that cover everything from the prehistoric inhabitants of Kansas to modern-day politics and culture. One of the most popular exhibits is the "Bleeding Kansas" display, which explores the violent struggle over slavery that took place in Kansas in the years leading up to the Civil War.

Other highlights of the museum include exhibits on the state's early settlers and pioneers, the Native American tribes who called Kansas home, and the role of Kansas in the Civil War. There's also a special exhibit on the history of the state's agriculture, which has played a major role in its development and economic success.

One of the great things about the Kansas Museum of History is that it's completely free to visit. So whether you're a history buff looking for an in-depth look at Kansas' fascinating past, or just someone looking for a fun and educational way to spend an afternoon, the museum is a great destination.

In addition to its exhibits, the museum also offers a number of educational programs and events throughout the year, including lectures, workshops, and family-friendly activities. So if you're interested in learning more about Kansas history, be sure to check out the Kansas Museum of History the next time you're in Topeka.

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Check out exhibitions at the Mulvane Art Museum

Source: mulvaneartmuseum.org
Characteristic Description
NameMulvane Art Museum
TypeArt museum in Topeka, Kansas
WebsiteGo to website
Rating / Review count4.7 / 117
Address1700 SW Jewell Ave, Topeka, KS 66621
Phone(785) 670-1124
HoursWednesday - 12–5 PM
Thursday - 12–5 PM
Friday - 12–5 PM
Saturday - 12–4 PM
Sunday - Closed
Monday(Memorial Day) - Closed
Tuesday - 12–7 PM

If you're looking for free things to do in Topeka, Kansas, the Mulvane Art Museum should be on your list. Located on the Washburn University campus, the museum is open to the public and offers a variety of exhibitions to explore.

One of the museum's primary focuses is art from Kansas and the Midwest, but it also features traveling exhibits. Current exhibitions include "The People's Choice: Celebrating Michener Art Museum's Top 25," which features works voted as the most popular from the museum's collection in Pennsylvania. There's also "American Legacy: The Photographs of John J. Cornelius, II," which showcases the work of a Topeka-based artist who documented African American life in the state during the 20th century.

In addition to the exhibitions, the Mulvane Art Museum also hosts a variety of events, such as artist talks, workshops, and family-friendly activities. Be sure to check the museum's website for upcoming events and plan your visit accordingly.

Whether you're an art enthusiast or simply looking for something free to do in Topeka, the Mulvane Art Museum is definitely worth a visit. With its impressive exhibitions and unique events, you're sure to have an enjoyable and enriching experience at this cultural hub of the city.


Attend a free concert or event at the Topeka Performing Arts Center

Source: topekasymphony.org

If you're looking for free things to do in Topeka, KS, attending a concert or event at the Topeka Performing Arts Center is a great option. The venue frequently hosts free events throughout the year that offer entertainment for people of all ages.

One of the most popular events at the Topeka Performing Arts Center is the Summertime Blues concert series. This free concert series occurs every summer and features a variety of local and regional blues musicians. The concerts are held outdoors, so bring a lawn chair or blanket and enjoy the music under the stars.

Another popular free event at the venue is the Holiday Gift Mart. Held every November, this event features over 100 vendors selling unique holiday gifts and crafts. There are also free activities for kids, holiday food, and live entertainment.

If you're a fan of theater, the Topeka Performing Arts Center also hosts free performances throughout the year. These performances are typically put on by local theater groups and feature a range of genres from drama to comedy.

In addition to these annual events, the Topeka Performing Arts Center also hosts free movie screenings, dance performances, and art exhibitions. Check their website or social media pages for a full list of upcoming events.

Attending a free event at the Topeka Performing Arts Center is not only a great way to save money, but it's also a great way to support your local arts community. So gather your friends and family and head to the TPAC for an evening of free entertainment.


Take a stroll around Washburn University's campus

Source: www.washburn.edu

As you walk around the campus, which covers over 200 acres, you'll notice the stunning architecture that dates back to the late 1800s. From the historic administration building built in 1903 to the Morgan Hall dormitory, considered the oldest standing building on campus, there's no shortage of impressive sights.

Aside from the beautiful buildings, Washburn University also boasts several picturesque locations that are perfect for a leisurely stroll. Make your way over to the Memorial Union and bask in the warm sunlight while sitting on the grass. The beautiful rose garden, located next to the union, is a must-see for anyone visiting the campus.

History buffs can take a trip down memory lane by visiting Mulvane Art Museum, located on the university grounds. The museum houses a collection of over 4,500 works of art along with rotating exhibitions. Visitors can spend countless hours browsing the collection and admiring the works of famous artists.

For those who have a passion for nature, make sure you check out the Capper Foundation Pedestrian Walkway, situated towards the northern end of the campus. The walkway is ideal for a peaceful stroll, thanks to its lovely landscaping and scenic views.

Washburn University's campus also offers a selection of free events, including music concerts, lectures, and art exhibitions. It's a great way to explore the institution more and learn about the unique history and culture.

In conclusion, a trip to Topeka, Kansas can be enriched by exploring the beautiful campus of Washburn University. Whether you're interested in history, culture, or nature, the university has something to offer. All of these attractions can be enjoyed without spending a dime, making it a perfect activity for anyone searching for a free Topeka experience.

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Play disc golf at Crestview Park

Source: parks.snco.us
Characteristic Description
NameCrestview Park Disc Golf Course
TypeDisc golf course in Topeka, Kansas
Rating / Review count4.5 / 28
AddressShunga Trail, Topeka, KS 66614
HoursWednesday - 7 AM–10 PM
Thursday - 7 AM–10 PM
Friday - 7 AM–10 PM
Saturday - 7 AM–10 PM
Sunday - 7 AM–10 PM
Monday(Memorial Day) - 7 AM–10 PM
Tuesday - 7 AM–10 PM

If you're looking for a free outdoor activity in Topeka, Kansas, why not give disc golf a try? One great place to play is at Crestview Park, a beautiful green space located in the heart of Topeka.

Disc golf is a fun and challenging game that combines elements of traditional golf with the throwing of Frisbees. The object of the game is to throw your disc (or "driver") from a starting point toward a basket located a distance away. The fewer throws it takes to get your disc in the basket, the better your score.

At Crestview Park, you'll find a well-maintained disc golf course with 18 holes of varying lengths and difficulties. The course winds through scenic wooded areas and open fields, providing players with a fun and interesting challenge.

Best of all, playing disc golf at Crestview Park is completely free. You don't need any special equipment or experience to get started—just bring a few discs and a sense of adventure.

If you're new to disc golf, you might want to start with a basic set of discs that includes a driver, a mid-range, and a putter. These types of discs are designed for different distances and accuracy levels, and can help you improve your game as you play.

As you make your way through the course at Crestview Park, be sure to take your time and enjoy the beautiful scenery around you. With its rolling hills, picturesque trees, and tranquil lake, Crestview Park is a wonderful place to spend a leisurely afternoon.

So if you're looking for a fun and affordable outdoor activity in Topeka, give disc golf at Crestview Park a try—and see if you can beat your personal best score!

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Browse the art and artisan crafts at the NOTO Arts District galleries

Source: artstopeka.org
Characteristic Description
NameNOTO Arts Center
TypeArt center in Topeka, Kansas
WebsiteGo to website
Rating / Review count4.5 / 1,105
Address935 N Kansas Ave, Topeka, KS 66608
Phone(785) 408-8996
HoursWednesday - 11 AM–5 PM
Thursday - 11 AM–7 PM
Friday - 11 AM–7 PM
Saturday - 10 AM–3 PM
Sunday - Closed
Monday(Memorial Day) - Closed
Tuesday - Closed

If you're looking for a fun and unique way to spend a day in Topeka, KS, you can't go wrong with a visit to the NOTO Arts District. After all, "NOTO" stands for "North Topeka" in honor of the area's long history as a hub for artists and artisans alike.

One of the best things about the NOTO Arts District is the abundance of galleries and shops that showcase the work of local creatives. Whether you're a seasoned art collector or simply enjoy browsing beautiful things, you're sure to find something that catches your eye here.

Among the galleries you shouldn't miss in NOTO are The Iron Rail, Seabrook Apple Gallery, and Studio 831. The Iron Rail specializes in contemporary and modern art, with a focus on works by Midwestern artists. Seabrook Apple Gallery is known for its gorgeous pottery and woodworking, including pieces made from locally-sourced materials. And Studio 831 is home to a collective of artists who create everything from jewelry to painting to sculpture.

In addition to the galleries, you'll find plenty of other interesting shops and boutiques in the NOTO Arts District. The Merchant Co. is a must-visit for fans of vintage and antique treasures, while Tad's Tropical Sno offers a refreshing break from the summer heat with its shaved ice and other frozen delights. And if you're in the market for a unique piece of jewelry or need a custom framing job, look no further than Onyx Exchange and Custom Picture Framing.

Of course, the NOTO Arts District isn't just about shopping and browsing. There are also plenty of events and activities to keep you entertained. First Friday Art Walks are a popular way to experience the district, with galleries and shops staying open late and welcoming visitors with special exhibits and events. And if you're in the mood to create something of your own, you'll find workshops and classes offered throughout the year, covering everything from painting to pottery to jewelry-making.

The best part of all? A visit to the NOTO Arts District won't cost you a dime. Admission to all the galleries and shops is free, giving you the chance to explore and experience the area without breaking the bank.

So whether you're a lifelong resident of Topeka or just passing through, be sure to add a trip to the NOTO Arts District to your list of must-see destinations. Who knows what treasures you'll discover?


Attend a free program or workshop at the Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library

Source: kansasdiscovery.org

Looking for fun and free things to do in Topeka, Kansas? Look no further than the Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library! Not only does this community hub offer an extensive collection of books, movies, and music, but it also offers a wide variety of free programs and workshops for people of all ages.

First up is the library's lineup of free workshops for adults. These workshops cover a range of topics, from financial literacy to art and craft classes. Interested in learning how to knit or crochet? The library has you covered with regular group classes. Want to improve your computer skills? Sign up for one of their technology-focused workshops. Looking to be more mindful? Check out the library's meditation classes.

For children, the library offers a variety of storytimes and other events designed to promote early literacy and fun. Kids can attend weekly storytimes, arts and crafts activities, and even Lego building sessions. There are also special programs throughout the year, such as summer reading challenges and Halloween parties.

But that's not all – the library also offers programs and events that cater to teens and tweens. Teens can participate in writing and acting classes, attend leadership workshops, and even learn how to write code. There are also teen-focused book clubs and discussion groups, as well as fun events like gaming nights and talent shows.

And, of course, let's not forget about the library's extensive collection of books, movies, and music. With items available in both physical and digital formats, there is sure to be something for everyone. And if you can't find what you're looking for, the library's friendly staff is always happy to help.

In short, the Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library is a treasure trove of free activities and resources for people of all ages. Whether you're looking to learn a new skill, attend a fun event, or simply read a great book, the library has you covered. So the next time you're looking for something to do in Topeka, head over to the library and explore all it has to offer.

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Frequently asked questions

Some free things to do in Topeka, KS include visiting the Kansas State Capitol, exploring Gage Park and the Reinisch Rose Garden, and learning about history at the Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site.

Yes, there is free admission to the Kansas Museum of History and the Kansas Children's Discovery Center on certain days throughout the year.

Some outdoor activities that are free in Topeka include hiking or biking the Shunga Trail, visiting the Governor's Mansion grounds, and picnicking at Lake Shawnee.

Yes, Topeka hosts several free events throughout the year, such as the First Friday Art Walk, the Sunflower Music Festival, and the Mulvane Art Fair.

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Ty Murphy

As a local resident of Topeka, KS, I can attest to the abundance of free activities in the city. The Topeka Zoo is a must-visit, as they offer free admission on certain days throughout the year. The NOTO Arts District is another great spot to explore, with its unique galleries, boutiques, and events. I also love taking a stroll through Gage Park, which has beautiful gardens, a train ride, and even a free mini zoo! Whether you're a visitor or a local like me, there's no shortage of free things to enjoy in Topeka.

Riya Pacheco

I recently visited Topeka, KS and was pleasantly surprised by how many free things there were to do in the city! One of my favorite activities was visiting the Kansas State Capitol Building, where I was able to take a guided tour and learn about the state's history. The Mulvane Art Museum was also a highlight, as admission is free and there were some incredible exhibits on display. I highly recommend checking out Lake Shawnee, where you can enjoy a peaceful walk or even rent a kayak. Overall, Topeka is a great destination for budget-conscious travelers.

Lloyd Alvarado

I recently visited Topeka, KS on a tight budget and was thrilled to discover all the free things to do in the city. The Combat Air Museum was a hidden gem, where I could explore fascinating aircraft and learn about the history of aviation. The Kansas Museum of History was also a fantastic experience, with its interactive exhibits and free admission on certain days. For nature lovers, the Ted Ensley Gardens were a tranquil escape, with beautiful flowers and walking trails. I would definitely recommend Topeka as a budget-friendly destination for anyone looking for free and fun activities.

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