#41. Riverside Park – Central

I was blessed as a child to have a dad who was (and still is) a kid at heart. He took me and my little sisters to parks almost every weekend during the summer. One of my favorite parks we visited was Riverside Park. We picnicked there, played and had a lot of great family time.

It’s changed quite a bit since my childhood. The rocket is still there but now a piece of metal has been welded over the access point. And they’ve added an interactive fountain, gazebo and new playgrounds.

The old zoo is still there. My mom remembers when this was the only zoo in Wichita. It’s now an exhibit of Kansas wildlife, and the boys took great delight in finding animals and pointing them out to us. 


  • Playground Base: One Sand & One Rubber
  • Swings
  • Slides
  • Picnic Tables
  • Park Benches
  • Restrooms 
  • Wildlife Exhibit (zoo)
  • Interactive Fountain/Splash Pad
  • Pond

We went to Finlay Ross Park a few weeks ago, so it was fun to see the historical marker at Riverside Park explaining that Mr. Ross was responsible for creating this park.

We did not hit the interactive fountains/splash pad this time since it was so busy (a hot summer Saturday, who’d have thought?!). On our previous visits, it was a big hit with the boys.  And we didn’t go over to the gazebo since it was being used for a wedding.  We’ll visit this park again soon to look at the splash pad, gazebo, and solar calendar (limestone stone henge).

There was a group of guys battling near the restroom facility. They said they are there every Saturday, from 2-5. They craft weapons and armor and then practice their fighting skills. Kind of like LARP, but without the role-play part. You can join in, you’ll just have to sign a waiver. And they’re kid friendly.  I bet there are a number of other clubs and groups that convene at this park!

Mom Tips: This park has a lot to keep your kiddos entertained. It’s very busy on the weekends with birthday parties and family reunions. We noticed an ice cream truck parked in the lot, and one of the regulars said it’s there frequently. Bring cash if you want a treat and swimsuits/towels if you want to let the kiddos run through the fountains.

Kid Tips: Weston loved climbing on the rope tower and the wildlife exhibit. Sully enjoyed watching the guys battling and wants to come back and hit the splash park.  And they were both super-bummed that they couldn’t climb into the rocket.

For more information on this park and amenities, go to the park website: http://www.wichita.gov/ParkandRec/CityParks/Pages/RiversideCentral.aspx

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