County #14: Ellis

Hays, in Ellis County, had lots to offer. We started our day at the Sternberg Museum of Natural History, home of the world’s most-photographed fossil: Fish-Within-A-Fish.

Did you know your membership to certain museums allows you access to others?   We’re members of Exploration Place in Wichita, so we were able to visit the Sternberg Museum for FREE!!  Here’s a list of other places in Kansas we can go for FREE:

  • Cosmosphere:  1100 North Plum, Hutchinson, KS 67501 – (620) 662-2305 –
  • Flint Hills Discovery Center:  315 South 3rd Street, Manhattan, KS 66502 – (785) 587-2726 –
  • University of Kansas Natural History Museum: 1345 Jayhawk Boulevard, Dyche Hall, Lawrence, KS 66045 – (785) 864-4450 –

Traveling outside of Kansas?  Go here for the full list: 

The Sternberg Museum, named after George F. Sternberg, was a hit with Weston and Sully.  Mr. Sternberg became famous after finding a plesiosaur when he was only nine years old!  For the rest of the trip, Weston was convinced he was going to become a fossil hunter and a scientist, too!

The museum was not only had fantastic fossil specimens, it also had animatronic animals!

Most of the fossils on site were found in western Kansas.

There was also a rattlesnake exhibit, where they had live snakes of almost every type of rattler.  The cages had rankings on them, showing which species produced the most venom, and which ones were the most potent.

After our exciting trip to the Sternberg, we hit Frontier Park.  There was a classic playset on the west side of the river, a more modern one on the east side, and a disc golf course running over both.

That looks like a difficult shot to me!

We had to hit Defiance Brewing Company’s Taproom before we left town.  Defiance has a bunch of beers… I counted more than 15 on tap, and there were so many more available in cans.  With names like ‘Origami Spaceship’ and ‘Fuzzy Knuckles,’ how can you go wrong?!

Pickle soup!?!  Gella’s Dinner and Lb. Brewing was a great place for lunch. Their pickle soup was probably the best soup I’ve ever had.  BONUS – We just so happened to go on a Tuesday, and the kids ate for free!


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