Things to do in Topeka this summer

Abbie Barth , Copy Editor and Freelance Reporter

For those of you staying in Topeka this summer, you may be wondering what to do in your free time. Here are some ideas of things you can do to take up that time.

The Topeka Zoo has many events throughout the summer that you can find on their website. Their admission rate for adults is $7.75. If you don’t wish to spend money, hop over to the other side of Gage Park for a picnic, a walk through the Reinisch Rose Garden or take your dog to the Bark Park. Gage Park also has a carousel and mini-train that you can ride with the purchase of a ticket.

Lake Shawnee also offers outdoor entertainment. It has a tulip garden that you can stroll through. It also has plenty of fishing docks, a golf course, playgrounds and sand volleyball courts. The lake has the recently opened Adventure Cove. However, it is currently under construction for water quality improvements. According to the Shawnee County Parks and Recreation website, the Adventure Cove will be open from June 15 to June 30 for paddle boat, canoe and kayak rentals. For more information visit the Shawnee website at

There are plenty of walking trails in Topeka. Some of these include Iliff Commons, Shawnee North Community Center, the Governor’s mansion walking trail, Dornwood park and MacLennan park trail, as well as many others.

More walking trails can be found on the Shawnee County Parks and Recreation website It also lists the prices and locations of all six pools in the greater Topeka area and the three splash parks. Other outdoor activities can be found on their website.

On a hot day, instead of doing something outside, there are indoor places you can visit. For an educational outing, consider going to the Brown vs. the Board of Education national historic site, the Kansas Museum of History or the Combat Air Museum. The Kansas State Capitol Building is another option for indoor historical adventure. You can also go to the top of the dome for a good view of the city.

If you are in a shopping mood, take a trip to the West Ridge mall, Fairlawn Plaza or NOTO Arts District. There are shops for a variety of tastes and ages.

The Shawnee County Public Library also has plenty of events happening this summer, including art exhibits, story times for children, book clubs and documentary showings. The library summer calendar is packed full of events for all ages. To find the list of events visit their website at

For a list of all the events going on this summer visit the website for all of the times and dates. 

Edited by Joelle Conway and Adam White