At first glance the Plains do not seem like much. Heck after a second and much longer glance it can still seem devoid of eye catching beauty. However, a visit to the Flint Hills Discover Center will quickly cause you to reconsider. As we learned at the history center the Plains are a robust ecosystem with exciting discoveries that can be found in the soil to in the sky.
The Flint Hills Discovery Center is a state of the art museum that allows its visitors reasons to truly appreciate the land around it. Dedicated to the Flint Hills an area that stretches from eastern Kansas to north-central Oklahoma. However, there is overarching theme that can be applied to the rest of the Great Plains. A newer museum having just opened its doors in 2012. The Flint Hills Discovery Center is interactive and immersive.
We really enjoyed our trip to this Kansas museum. The Flint Hills Discovery Center is very informative starting with the grass roots up. The center atrium leads its visitors through the Flint Hills ecosystem and to keep the young ones interested they have a scavenger hunt set up. My 4-year-old who loves all things science and loves to be read to, we got lucky with her. She really enjoyed looking for the scavenger hunt panels and answering the clues. My two-year-old on the other hand enjoyed the underground room and trying to sneak back there every chance she gots.
The Flint Hills Discovery Center also has several areas devoted to the cultural history of the Flint Hills. From first Americans who inhabited the tallgrass prairie 13,000 years ago, to modern ranchers and farmers that call it home today. It is a rich history. Filled with inspirational stories of hard work, perseverance, and making due with what the land provides. Once again, the people of the Flint Hills Discovery Center did a good job with making the areas interactive as well as informative. This museum is truly an all ages place.
While learning all about the Flint Hills was more interesting than it might sound. What really made it a great outing for my young family was their Stepping into the Prairie kids interactive area. There was a ton of things for my two little girls to do there. A tunnel and slide area, puzzles, games, lots of toys to play pretend, and a soft cushion toddler area. A great place to let their imagination run wild. It really made it seem like the Flint Hills Discovery Center had two attractions for the price of one. An interactive nature museum and a kid’s discovery museum. Making a visit much more attractive to families like mine.
There is also a nice gift shop, a short movie played in their immersive theater, and nice views from their observation deck. The Flint Hills Discovery Center also has a temporary exhibit area that changes out on a pretty regular basis. A good idea would be to check their website before planning a visit. Especially if you will be visiting without children. Since a large portion of the museum is designed to entertain children. Directly across the street from the museum is a nice outdoor space with a large fireplace and water features. We enjoyed our time in this part of Kansas’ Little Apple.
Flint Hills Discovery Center
Located at 315 S 3rd St, Manhattan, KS
Hours of Operation: Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with extended hours on Thursday and Sunday 12 to 5 p.m. Closed Thanksgiving and Christmas Day
Cost as of this Posting: Adults 18 to 64 $9 Seniors 65 and up $7 and Youth 2 to 17 $4
For more information visit their website at http://flinthillsdiscovery.org/