Top places to visit in Topeka

Baylee Wolf

In pursuit of a quality education at Washburn University, students have been traveling from near and far to arrive at the place they will call home for the next nine months. Both new and returning students are attending Welcome Week events, but, soon, many will crave to leave campus in order to enrich themselves in new, interest-fulfilling experiences. On a college campus, it is expected that students will have various interests and passions. While many hobbies can be discussed here on campus through classes, clubs and certain events, the surrounding city of Topeka, Kansas, has a whole lot to offer as well.

This city of almost 130,000 has recreational activities for all. From the Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site to coffee shops like PT’s Coffee Roasting Co—a highly recommended place to hang out by Washburn students—Topeka has something for everyone to enjoy. One is very likely to find at least one Washburn student at PT’s at almost any time of the day because of its popularity among our students and its location near campus. Therefore, not only is it a great place to grab an energy booster, but also a place to form new relationships.

Just like coffee, movies are another entertaining pastime for students to bond over. There are a few Regal Cinemas in the area to spend some time at with friends. There are also plenty of ways to get active in Topeka.

“Lake Shawnee is always a fun place to go. You can go kayaking, hammocking, go on picnics, walks, runs, swimming . . . . Another good place is the roller skating rink. Sometimes, there are a lot of kids there, but it is still a lot of fun to just go with friends . . . and have a night of skating and getting ice cream at The Pennant after,” said Washburn senior Madi McGinness.

More enjoyable and entertaining activities are swing dancing at Jayhawks Theatre, visiting and learning about animals at the Topeka Zoological Park and working on your mini golf game at Safari Golf.

“When school gets stressful, like during midterms or finals week, I like to go to Petland with my roommate,” said Alyson Hurt, a Washburn student. “We like to play with the dogs. It really helps us de-stress and get our minds off of school for a little bit.”

Petland is located in the West Ridge Mall off of Wanamaker, a popular place of shopping in Topeka.

The Kansas state capital has both familiar and brand new activities to offer to its long-term and short-term citizens. Topeka is many students’ “home away from home,” and places such as movie theaters, museums and coffee shops not only give them joy, but also may make them feel more at home.