Fans of modern art admire modern outdoor sculpture like this.

Family Vacations in Kansas Overview

Kansas holds a place in folklore for is tales of the Old West as well as the adventure of its most beloved fictional character, Dorothy Gale, who petitioned the wizard for a chance to leave Oz to return to her beloved state. Find out more about her adventures as well of the exploits of some of the most adventuresome cowboys of the Old West.

Dodge City

Boot Hill Museum in Dodge City replicates Front Street circa 1876, a rough-and-tumble tour of the Old West. Find out more about Dodge City.

The Oz Museum

A visit to the Oz Museum is like stepping into the story, with witches, flying monkeys, and munchkin memorabilia. Read more about the Oz Museum.

Continue reading to find out more about Dodge City.

To learn more about family vacation destinations, see:

  • Family Vacations: Learn about hundreds of family vacations in destinations all over North America.
  • Kansas State Guide: Learn about Mobil Travel Guide-rated hotels and restaurants in Kansas, as well as other recreational activities.
  • Scenic Drives: For those who think that getting there is half the fun, we have compiled more than 100 of the most scenic drives throughout the country.

Historic buildings are painstakingly recreated in Dodge City to form Front Street, bringing to life the town's Wild West heritage.

Family Vacations: Dodge City

Back in Dodge City's heyday, rough-and-tumble gunslingers fought and died with their boots on. They took up permanent residence in Boot Hill Cemetery alongside paupers who couldn't afford a burial. The actual graves have been moved, but the tombstones have been re-created. They now display colorful epitaphs such as "Here lies Lester Moore. Four slugs from a 44. No Les. No more."

The cemetery is now part of Boot Hill Museum, a reconstruction of notorious Front Street in 1876, the business district of Old Dodge City, Kansas. Carefully researched through photographs and diaries, the historic buildings include an 1879 cattle driver's home, the jail from Fort Dodge, and a one-room schoolhouse.

Care to rub elbows with some of the Wild West's most colorful characters? Stop by the Gunfighter Wax Museum and say howdy to Jesse James, Buffalo Bill, Calamity Jane, and a host of others. You can wet your whistle at the re-created Long Branch Saloon, a popular watering hole during Dodge City's lawless years. For a more sedate evening during the summer months, enjoy the open air concerts of the Dodge City Cowboy Band.

Dodge City Information

Address: Downtown Dodge City

First and Gunsmoke St

Dodge City, KS

Phone: 620/225-8186, 800/653-9378

From Dodge City to Oz, Kansas delivers classic stories. Read the next page to find out how another famous Kansan got home. 

To learn more about family vacation destinations, see:

  • Family Vacations: Learn about hundreds of family vacations in destinations all over North America.
  • Kansas State Guide: Learn about Mobil Travel Guide-rated hotels and restaurants in Kansas, as well as other recreational activities.
  • Scenic Drives: For those who think that getting there is half the fun, we have compiled more than 100 of the most scenic drives throughout the country.

Photo courtesy of The Oz Museum / Beth Howell Day The Wicked Witch's final moments, just one of the attractions at the Oz Museum.

Family Vacations: The Oz Museum

You won't need a broomstick, a tornado, or even ruby slippers to visit this museum in Wamego. Just step through the screen door of the old wooden farmhouse, where you'll be greeted by life-size figures of Dorothy and Toto. Other favorite Oz characters, such as the Scarecrow and Tin Man, are also in the museum, where thousands of Oz items from the classic children's book series by L. Frank Baum and the famous 1939 MGM production of The Wizard of Oz are on display.

A Munchkin vest, an original movie script, and a rare flying monkey fashioned from rubber with a chenille-stem tail are among the memorabilia from the movie that you'll find at the museum. Original costume sketches and first-edition books are on display, as well as Diana Ross's dress from The Wiz and merchandise tie-ins that coincided with the publication of each new Oz book. A well-stocked gift shop seems to have every item ever created in honor of the worldwide phenomenon that is Oz.

Oz Museum Information

Address: 511 Lincoln

Wamego, KS

Phone: 866/458-TOTO

Hours of Operation: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m., Mon. - Sat. and 12 p.m. - 5 p.m., Sun.

Admission: $7 adults; $4 kids

To learn more about family vacation destinations, see:

  • Family Vacations: Learn about hundreds of family vacations in destinations all over North America.
  • Kansas State Guide: Learn about Mobil Travel Guide-rated hotels and restaurants in Kansas, as well as other recreational activities.
  • Scenic Drives: For those who think that getting there is half the fun, we have compiled more than 100 of the most scenic drives throughout the country.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Laura Sutherland is a widely acknowledged authority on family travel and has published several books on the topic, including Best Family Ski Vacations In North America and Tropical Family Vacations.