2024 Grandparents Guide

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‘Walk with me, Grandma’

Overseas trip to see grandson leaves her heart full

I’ve heard the phrase “trip of a life” many times. I even consider myself to have taken a few trips that were especially memorable. However, nothing compares to the one I took in the fall of 2022 to see my grandson, Dexter, in Germany.

I’m blessed to be the grandmother of 10 grandchildren, or “my littles,” as I call them. Dexter is an IVF baby and the first-born of my daughter, Erica, and her husband, Mark, a weatherman in the U.S. Air Force. They moved to Germany when Dexter was almost two.

He’s now four, and it’s taken a lot of Facetime and trips to the post office to build our relationship. I’m happy to say it’s paid off. Dexter was excited to see his grandma and even shared his room with me.

As for me, I was anxious to the point of getting no sleep the night before departing and none on the flight over. Dexter came to the Frankfurt airport with his parents, and the wait for luggage was awful, knowing his smiling little face was on the other side of the wall.

My first meal in Germany was at Chipotle. Not my choice, but Dexter didn’t mind, eating and watching me at the same time. He kept saying, “I’ve been so ready for you, grandma.” We made up for it with a traditional German dinner that night, at the historic Burgschanke Hotel & Restaurant near the airbase.

After some sleep that night, the adventure really took off. We took a cruise on the Rhine River, and even though it was a rainy, chilly day, Dexter and I were quite taken with the castles we saw. Grandma had some hot chocolate, and then we went to the deck of the boat and took some photos in the rain.

My daughter and I had some time to ourselves during a quick train trip to Paris, taking in the Eiffel tower — magical when lit up at night — and the Palace of Versailles, another item on my bucket list.

Then it was back to my daughter’s home in Machenbach for a couple days of rest and fun with Dexter before our next excursion. During this time, we made cupcakes. Dexter is quite the little chef and even has his own chef’s cap. We played with Legos, visited a castle and listened to a lot of music. Dexter loves music and dancing. Next, we visited Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland. Whatever image of a small chalet in the Swiss Alps you can visualize in your mind, the reality is 100 percent better. Fresh mountain air, babbling brooks and the sound of cow bells. It was one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been to.

Dexter and I shared a room in our Chalet and on the first morning we woke up to rain. Parking is somewhat different in the Alps than we are used to here. My son-in-law had left our car parked almost a mile down the mountain. If you’ve ever had the experience of having a knee replaced, you will understand when I say you plan your steps accordingly. The thought of walking down that slope in the rain was more than I could envision. So, I was thrilled to hear that my son-in-law was going to retrieve the car and pick us up.

However, Dexter is not really a wait-around type of child. He’s on the move from the minute his eyes open until he goes to sleep. Our umbrellas were open, and we had been standing outside about 10 seconds when I heard, “Grandma, walk with me.” Without missing a beat, I took off with him.

This was as quiet as I’ve seen Dexter. We walked and discussed the sights and sounds, and my heart was full. My daughter was able to grab a quick photo of us walking in front of her. That image and moment will forever be treasured by this grandma.

I hope the memories planted on that trip will last Dexter a lifetime, as I know they will me. He is now six and finally a big brother to 1 year-old Grant, the youngest of my littles. I can’t wait to create memories with him some day.

Teresa Schmied is advertising director of The Active Age. The trip to Germany was her first overseas. She can be reached at teresa@theactiveage.

What bad knees? Teresa Schmied and her grandson, Dexter, enjoyed a rainy walk in the Swiss Alps.


Visit any of the museums featured in this adventure to score points. Complete the challenges to earn extra points.

High scores earn you an entry into a drawing for one of three prizes.

The Museum Passport will remain active all year long! With the prize drawing held in January of 2025.

1. Download TurfHunt

2. Click “Redeem Invitation” & Scan the QR or Enter Code

Museum Passport
Dalton Gang Hideout - Meade
Learn more at www.wildwestcountry.com

Are you 55 or older?

Are you living on Social Security or disability income?

Join us in the AmeriCorps Seniors Foster Grandparents program and make a positive impact while earning a modest stipend! You'll have the chance to connect with kids in meaningful ways, whether it's reading, talking, or lending a listening ear. Your support is invaluable in building stronger communities, and as a Foster Grandparent, you'll receive a modest stipend for your time and dedication. Become a Foster Grandparent today and experience the joy of making a difference while earning a little something extra.

For more information contact: Torrin Folck or Keri Tucker at (316) 775-0500

Classroom Grandparents volunteer in their community.

Support children in classrooms.

Share experiences and wisdom.

Offer love and support to help children succeed in school and life. Serving Butler, Cowley, Harvey, Marion , and Reno Counties.


Foster Grandparents to help in area schools

The Active Age

ANDOVER — The AmeriCorps Seniors Foster Grandparent program needs a lot more people like Rita Grimes.

Grimes spends several hours each day at Sunflower Elementary School helping kindergarteners with their letters, science projects and just generally being an encouraging older figure. A grandparent, in other words.

“I try to show the kids, even in kindergarten, about being kind and thoughtful and courteous to people,” Grimes, a retired interior remodeler, said. “I teach the kids ‘yes, ma’am’ and ‘no, ma’am.’ A lot of kids don’t get that anymore.”

They call her “Grandma Rita.”

The program has operated in Butler, Harvey, Cowley, Reno and Marion counties since 1965. (There’s a similar program in Sedgwick County run by Catholic Charities). It places participants, who must be at least 55 years old, in schools for at least 15 hours a week to help elementary school teachers and their young pupils. In return, participants receive mileage, meal reimbursement and an hourly stipend. It is designed not to interfere with existing low-income benefits, so that the program is accessible and inclusive.

The COVID-19 pandemic depleted the ranks of Foster Grandparents, said Elizabeth Pfieifer of the Butler County Department on Aging, who manages the program. Currently, she has 21 participants serving in nine schools. She could use 60.

Grimes, who had no prior experience teaching, said she instead relies on her background as an “old-fashioned grandma.”

Grimes said she helps teachers with about 55 kindergarteners in the school.

“I mainly work with writing — teaching kids how to write their letters, make the letters into words and words into sentences. I want to them to write the letters right.”

She’ll also pitch with science projects such as chick-hatching experiment underway in April. Then there’s the subtle molding of behavior and socialization so necessary at the beginning of a child’s school career.

“It’s cute to see them get there,” Grimes said.

Grimes said the Foster Grandparent program was reportedly the brainchild of President Lyndon Johnson, who “thought these two groups” — senior citizens and young children — “ought to get together. “

“It gets a person up and going so you’re not staying at home all day long,” she said. “It helps the kids. It helps the teachers. It’s been a good experience for me.”

For more information about the Foster Grandparent Program, call (316) 775-0500 or (800) 279-3655.

Grandma Rita
Grandma Priscilla


Wichita and Surrounding Area Attractions

701 Amidon St, Wichita, KS 67203

Sedgwick County Zoo

5555 West Zoo Boulevard, Wichita, KS 67212,

Tanganyika Wildlife Park

1000 S Hawkins Ln, Goddard, KS 67052

Wichita Art Museum

1400 Museum Blvd, Wichita, KS 67203

Museum of World Treasures

835 E 1st St N, Wichita, KS 67202

Great Plains Nature Center

6232 East 29th St N #2200, Wichita, KS 67220

Wichita-Sedgwick County Historical Museum

204 S Main St, Wichita, KS 67202

Old Cowtown Museum

1865 Museum Blvd, Wichita, KS 67203

Great Plains Transportation Museum

6232 East 29th St N #2200, Wichita, KS 67220

Wichita Ice Center

505 W Maple St, Wichita, KS 67213

Kansas Sports Hall of Fame

515 S. Wichita, Wichita, KS 67202

Mark Arts

1307 N Rock Rd, Wichita, KS 67206

Ulrich Museum of Art

1845 Fairmount, Wichita, KS 67260

Exploration Place

300 N McLean Blvd, Wichita, KS 67203

The Kansas African-American Museum

601 N Water St, Wichita, KS 67203

McCormick School Museum

855 S Martinson St, Wichita, KS 67213

Wichita Toy Train Museum

130 S Laura Ave, Wichita, KS 67211

Coutts Memorial Museum of Art

110 N Main St, El Dorado, KS 67042

WWII History Center

119 W. Central in downtown El Dorado, Kansas

Ks Sports Museum -Newton Chisholm Trail Center

601 Southeast 36th Street, Newton, Kansas 67114

Andover Historical Museum

937 N Andover Rd, Andover, KS 67002

Augusta Historical Museum

303 State St, Augusta, KS 67010

Butler County History Center &Kansas Oil Museum

383 E Central Ave, El Dorado, KS 67042

Douglass Historical Museum

318 S Forrest St, Douglass, KS 67039

Rose Hill Historical Museum

106 S Main St, Rose Hill, KS 67133

Towanda Area Historical Museum

401 Main St, Towanda, KS 67144

Dyck Arboretum of the Plains, Hesston

177 W Hickory St, Hesston, KS 67062

Halstead Historical Museum

116 E 1st St, Halstead, KS 67056

Harvey County Historical Society

203 N Main St, Newton, KS 67114

Kauffman Museum, North Newton

2801 N Main St, North Newton, KS 67117

Warkentin House, Newton

211 E 1st St, Newton, KS 67114

Rolling Hills Zoo

625 N Hedville Rd, Salina, KS 67401

The Garage-Educational Automotive Museum of America City Arts

134 S 4th St, Salina, KS 67401

Derby Historical Museum

710 E Market St, Derby, KS 67037

Kansas Firefighters Museum

1300 S Broadway St, Wichita, KS 67211

Mid-America All-Indian Museum

650 N Seneca St, Wichita, KS 67203

Mulvane Historical Museum

300 W Main St, Mulvane, KS 67110

Source: wichitaonthecheap.com/local-attractions-on-the-cheap/ and The Active Age 2023-2024 Resource Guide

Free & Discounted Days at Museums

Botanica has $5 admission on Thursday from 5 pm – 8 pm from April – October. Botanica also typically has $5 admission in January and February.

Old Cowtown Museum is free on Sundays, April through September.

Wichita Art Museum’s permanent collection is always free.

The Sedgwick County Zoo $5 admission Tuesdays during the month of July and Winter Wednesdays.

Wichita-Sedgwick County Historical Museum is free on Sundays.

First Friday- Most of Wichita’s art galleries and many museums are free during First Fridays, a monthly event.

The Kansas Aviation Museum, Little Aviators is free for all children 12 and under and one adult per family. This weekly program is from 10 am – noon on Fridays.

Wichita Art Museum’s permanent collection is now always free to visit, and so is PLAY an indoor Kids’ Area.

Ulrich Museum of Art on the WSU campus is always free.

CityArts galleries are always free.

The Kansas Sports Hall of Fame inside the Wichita Boathouse is always free but its only open by appointment. Contact info@kshof.org to book your tour.

The McCormick School Museum in Wichita is always free.

Great Plains Nature Center in northeast Wichita is always free.

The Kansas Wildlife Exhibit in Riverside Central Park is always free. Includes over 25 species of animals

Source: wichitaonthecheap.com/museums/


s tor ies here



Bring your grandkids for enriching, and educational fun at the Wichita Art Museum, where creativity knows no bounds.







Grandparents raising grandkids: Look closely before leaping in

As a psychologist, I’ve worked with many families made up of grandparents raising their grandchildren. Often the homes are filled with love and hope. However, I get concerned when I see grandparents not taking the time to consider the huge challenge of parenting a second time around.

Here are some questions to ask before taking this step:

Is there a true need for you to take over parenting? A difference in opinion about parenting style is not enough; your grandkids need to be truly in need of someone to step in. You may respectfully express your disapproval of what your children feed your grandkids, how they approach their schooling, the religion they practice and other choices. But your grandkids’ safety and well-being are the only valid reasons for stepping in.

Are you stepping in due to a resentment you carry towards your own children? Don’t use your grandkids as pawns to settle a score with your own kids. They need love and support, not adults playing games with their lives.

What are your resources? Let’s break this down into:

Finances — I have seen grandparents take in grandkids when they are living solely on Social Security, in a home that is falling apart. In other words, they can barely take care of themselves, let alone a growing, active grandchild with extensive needs (including outgrowing clothes and shoes faster than you thought humanly possible). Some financial help may be available, but it’s unlikely to be sufficient. You need to know if you have the resources to do the job.

Your physical abilities — Honestly assess your ability to chase after active kids. Even if the grandkids are older, they will need transportation, someone with the energy to supervise curfews, school schedules, sports practices and more. If there is a chance you might not live much longer, think about a child facing the loss of another parental figure.

Space in your home — Maybe as you’ve aged you downsized your home. Where is a child going to sleep, play and store their belongings? Little girls and boys with their little toys grow into teens that may make your home seem claustrophobic.

Your true interest in parenting — If you feel ‘meh’ about a second round of parenting, and are taking on grandkids for any reason other than you have a true desire to step up and help, don’t do it. Non-relative foster care is not a bad thing if there is truly no one in the family who can step into the role of parent.

Support of everyone who lives in your home — If there are others living in your home, take honest stock of their feelings regarding the taking in of grandkids. You do not need a passive aggressive or sullen fellow occupant. Your grandchild will notice. In a worst-case scenario, you might even be exposing them to someone who will try to harm them.

To sum up, don’t let a social worker or family member guilt you into taking in a grandchild you are not prepared to raise. You will resent the child if you truly don’t want to parent again, and no child deserves that.

Commit to staying in their lives, even if you are disappointed in your own inability to step up and parent them. Focus on working out a grandparent role while another caring adult raises those kids. Grandkids notice who stays in their life, and who does not.

On the other hand, you may find incomparable joy from raising your grandkids. You will have resolved your disappointment that your own kids were unable to parent their offspring. You will have prepared with social workers, lawyers, counselors and the court. You will have made some tough choices to organize your finances, space and time, and you will look after your own health.

Your choices will hopefully help your grandkids progress towards happy, productive lives. Plenty of kids have been raised successfully by grandparents, and if you are honest and prepared, you can do it, too.

Molly Allen is a licensed psychologist with over 30 years of experience. “Forgetful, Depressed or Anxious, Distracted?”Neurofeedback is an alternative to medication. Contact us today to find out if Neurofeedback is an option for you. 316-260-4587 or by email

assessment. www.ICTPsychology.com www.thearkvalleynews.com The news voice for Valley Center and North Sedgwick County
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Wichita Area Water Parks

The Greater Wichita YMCA Waterparks

The Wichita YMCA has four locations with waterparks, free with membership. Day passes are only $10 for an individual.

•Andover YMCA, 1115 E US Highway 54, Andover, Kansas 67002, 733-9622

•North Wichita YMCA, 3330 N Woodlawn, Wichita, Kansas 67220, 858-9622

•Northwest Wichita YMCA, 13838 W 21st St N, Wichita, Kansas 67235, 260-9622

•South Wichita YMCA, 3405 S Meridian Ave, Wichita, Kansas 67217, 942-5511

Rock River Rapids

The Derby water park is a huge swimming complex south of Wichita in the community of Derby. It is open daily from 12:30 to 7 p.m. during the summer. Rock River Rapids has a zero depth pool, lap pool, water slides and a lazy river, plus concessions for sale.

Admission prices vary depending on age, and season passes are available to purchase. They have a daily special called Five after Five that discounts admission to just $5 per person after 5 p.m.

1900 E. James Street, Derby, Kansas 67037

McPherson Water Park

North of Wichita, dive into 600,000 gallons of fun at the McPherson Water Park. They’ve got a huge slide, lazy river, lap pool, diving area, and a children’s’ spray park. Regular admission is $5 for ages 8-61, $4 for kids 3-7 and seniors. Free for kids 0-2. 511 Lakeside Dr., McPherson, KS

Salt City Splash

This is Hutch’s hub for summer fun. Besides the Olympic size swimming pool, the Splash has a large play structure, water slides for big and littles, diving boards, a tot play area, and more. Admission is $5.25 for 18+, $4 for seniors and youth ages 8-17, $2 for kids 3-7 (with paying adult) and free for ages 2 and younger.

1601 S. Plum in Carey Park, Hutchinson, KS 67501

Before swimming in area lakes, be sure to check the KDHE website for blue green algae advisories. When levels are high, it isn’t safe to swim.

Source: wichitaonthecheap.com/wichita-area-swimming-pools/

Swimming Lakes in the Wichita area

Lake Afton is a Sedgwick County lake. It has three swimming areas. A day permit (per vehicle) is $5.

Cheney Lake (aka Cheney Reservoir) has swimming beaches in the West Shore area, as well as other areas of the lake. $5 vehicle fee per day unless you have the Kansas State Parks Passport. Cheney has several sandy areas where you can swim.

El Dorado Lake has two swim beaches, one in Walnut Creek area and one in Bluestem Point across from the cabins. $5 vehicle permit required unless you have the Kansas State Parks Passport.

Santa Fe Lake has two sand beaches. Daily vehicle permit required, $6. Harvey County Lake has swimming areas in both East and West Parks. There is no fee if you just want to swim or picnic at the lake.

Source: wichitaonthecheap.com/wichita-area-swimming-pools/

Playgrounds and Parks for kids in and around Wichita

O.J. Watson Park

Location: 3022 S. Mclean Boulevard, Wichita, KS 67217

Sedgwick County Park

Location: 6501 W. 21st St., North Wichita, KS 67212

Riverside Park

Location: 720 Nims N, Wichita, KS 67203

College Hill Park

Location: 304 Circle Drive, Wichita KS 67218

Eastborough Park

Location: 33 Willowbrook Rd, Eastborough, KS

Edgemore Park

Dalton Palmer Park

Location: 5815 E. 9th, 67208

Oak Park

Location: 1100 W 11th St N, Wichita KS 67203

Pawnee Prairie Park

Location: 2625 S. Tyler Wichita, KS 7209

Dr. Glen Dey Park (Grove Park)

Location: 2801 N. Grove, Wichita KS 67219

Exploration Place Park

Location: 300 North McLean Boulvrd Wichita, KS 67203

Source: wichitaonthecheap.com/wichita-parks-playgrounds/

Parks outside of Wichita

Locaton: Frisco Plaza, Augusta, KS

Island Park Playground

Location: 200 North Main Winfield, KS 67156

Madison Avenue Central Park

Location: 512 East Madison Avenue Derby, KS

High Park

Location: 2801 E. James Derby, KS 67037

Andover Central Park

Location: 1607 E Central Ave Andover, KS 67002

Maize City Park

Location: 10100 W Grady Ave. Maize, KS 67101

North Main Park

Location: 1000 N. Main El Dorado KS

Summit Park- El Dorado

Location: 200 N. Summit El Dorado KS

Source: wichitaonthecheap.com/wichita-parks-playgrounds/


Wichita Public Swimming Pool Admission Price and Discounts

General Daily Wichita Public Swimming Admission: $3 per child or adult

These swimming pools offer two daily sessions: afternoon (1-5pm) and evening (6:30-8:30pm). If you leave during the afternoon and return for the evening, re-entry requires payment for the evening session.

Admission Tickets:

One ticket admits one child or adult. Tickets can be purchased at any City Pool during the season or online starting April 1.

Get discounts when you buy a package of tickets.

$110 for 50 tickets

$60 for 25 tickets

Season passes:

Season passes will give you access to any city pool.

Season Swimming Passes: $200 Family Pass (4 family members) and $30 for each additional person up to 8.

Individual Pass: $70

Swimming Lessons at Wichita Pools

Swimming lessons are offered through the Wichita Department of Park and Recreation.

Source: wichitaonthecheap.com/wichita-area-swimming-pools/

Wichita Public Swimming Pools

Aley Park Swimming Pool

Location: 1800 S. Seneca, Wichita, KS 67213

Phone: (316) 838-9685


Mondays 1 – 4 pm

Tuesday – Thursdays 1-5 pm & 6:30 – 8:30 pm

Friday – Sunday 1 – 6 pm

College Hill Pool

Location: 304 S. Circle Dr., Wichita, KS 67218

Phone: (316) 838-9687


Monday – Thursday 1 pm – 5 pm & 6:30-8:30 pm

Friday – Sunday 1 – 6 pm

Harvest Park Swimming Pool

Location: 9500 W. Provincial, Wichita, KS

Phone: (316) 838-9688


Monday – Thursday 1 pm – 5 pm & 6:30-8:30 pm

Friday – Sunday 1 – 6 pm

Minisa Swimming Pool

Location: 1350 N. Jeanette, Wichita, KS

Phone: (316) 838-9694


Monday – Thursday 1 pm – 5 pm & 6:30-8:30 pm

Friday – Sunday 1 – 6 pm

Orchard Park Pool

Location: 1062 N. Clara, Wichita, KS

Phone: (316) 838-9695


Monday – Thursday 1 pm – 5 pm & 6:30-8:30 pm

Friday – Sunday 1 – 6 pm

McAfee Public Pool

Location: 8300 E. 15th St., Wichita, KS

Phone: (316) 838-9693


Monday – Thursday 1 pm – 5 pm & 6:30-8:30 pm

Friday – Sunday 1 – 6 pm

Source: wichitaonthecheap.com/wichita-area-swimming-pools/

Bread Club of Wichita is a partnership between Children 1st & Woodlawn UMC. Bakers of all ages learn to bake, share recipes and make bread to donate to families experiencing food insecurity in Wichita.

We invite guest bakers who want to teach young bakers the bread recipes passed down from their parents and grandparents, preserving family baking traditions through generations and across cultures

For more information contact Michael at (316) 619-4051 or email Michael.wwebb@yahoo.com

Join Us
Wichita Bread Club or click
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Public Swimming Pools Near Wichita

Cheney Municipal Swimming Pool

300 W. 5th Ave, Cheney, KS 67025 (316) 540-6113

Hours: Daily 1-6 p.m.

Price: $3 (punch cards and family passes available to purchase)

El Dorado Municipal Pool

900 N. Taylor St., El Dorado KS 67042 (316) 321-6911

Hours: Tu-Su 1-6 p.m.

Price: $2, free swim every Wednesday

Haysville Community Swimming Pool

525 Sarah Lane, Haysville KS (316) 529-5922

Hours: 1-6:30 p.m.

Price: $3 ages 6-54; $2 ages 2-5; $1 age 55+ and free for age 0-1 (ticket books and passes also available to purchase)

Augusta KS Municipal Pool

1501 Dearborn St., Augusta, KS 67010 (316) 775-4550

Hours: Daily 1-6 p.m.; Family Swim 6-8 p.m. Sunday; Adult Only Swim noon-1 p.m. daily

Price: $5 adult; $3 child (punch cards available for purchase)

Goddard Community Pool

200 S. Main, Goddard KS (316) 794-2644

Hours: 1-6 p.m. daily

Price: $2 (passes and punch passes available for purchase)

More info: goddardks.gov/208/Pool Valley Center Pool (Lions Park)

255 East Allen, Valley Center KS (316) 755-7345

Hours: M-Sa noon-6 p.m.; Su 1-6 p.m.

Price: $3

Mulvane Swimming Pool

990 E. 111th St. South, Mulvane KS (316) 777-0041

Hours: 1-7 p.m.

Price: $4 non-resident; $3 resident (season passes and punch passes available to purchase)

Bel Aire Swimming Pool

7350 East Central Park Ave., Bel Aire KS 67226

Hours: Weekdays 1-7 p.m.; Weekends 1-6 p.m. (pool hours subject to change)

Price: $4 (resident and non-resident memberships available to purchase)

Source: wichitaonthecheap.com/wichita-area-swimming-pools/

Buffalo Park Water Playground

Location: 10201 Hardtner Road, Wichita KS

Osage Splash Park

Location: 2121 W. 31st Street

South, Wichita KS

Riverside Central Park Water Playground

Location: 720 Nims, Wichita KS

Evergreen Park Splash Pad

Location: 2700 Woodland N, Wichita, KS

Old Town Plaza Spray Park

Location: 301 N. Mead, Wichita KS

Lincoln Park Water Playground

Location:1323 S. Topeka

Tanganyika Falls Splash Park

Location: 1000 S Hawkins Ln, Goddard, KS 67052

Splash Pads

Fairmount Splash Park

Location: 1647 N. Yale St.

Wichita, KS 67218

New Market Square Fountains

Location: 21st Street North & Maize Road

Edgemoor Splash Park

Location: 5815 E 9th St N, Wichita, KS

Boston Park Splash Pad

Location: 6655 E. Zimmerly St., Wichita KS

Maize Splash Pad

Location:401 Khedive, Maize KS

Andover 13th Street Sports Park

Location: 1008 E 13th St, Andover, KS 67002

Madison Avenue Central Park

Location: 512 E. Madison Ave., Derby KS

Haysville Splash Pad

Location: 525 Sarah Ln, Haysville, KS

Valley Center Splash Pad

Location: 716 McLaughlin, Valley Center KS

Augusta KS Splash Pad

Location: 2923 Ohio St. #2829, Augusta KS

Hutchison Water Parks

• Avenue A Water Park

Location: corner of Washington Street and Avenue A in downtown Hutchinson

• Fairgrounds

Location: Severance Street between 17th and 23rd.Hutchinson KS.

• Rice Park Splash Pad

Location:  2112 N. Hendricks

Source: wichitaonthecheap.com/interactive-fountains-in-wichita/

Walking & Bike Trails

For more information like hours, distance around the trail and facilities/activities you can visit the website below. Sedgwick County Park: Redbud Trail

Swanson Park Loop

Pawnee Prairie Nature Park

Meadows Park

Great Plains Nature Center

Chisholm Creek Park

Indoor Great Plains Nature Center

Oak Park Trail

South Lake Loop W B Harrison Park

Source: wichitaonthecheap.com/outdoor-parks-for-walking-biking-and-hiking-trails-wichita-kansas/.

16 Whether you are looking for a great place to stay or stop along the way, we have something for everyone. www.wakeeney.org GetWaKeeney@gmail.com The Christmas City of the High Plains & Gateway to Cedar Bluff State Park Web Kansasoilmuseum.org Special thank you to Valley Print Logistics for their support on printing our newest guide. https://valleypl.com

Oh no, not another QR code! Relax, get out your phone

You’re at a restaurant with your grandchild and have just been seated. But there are no menus in sight. Instead, there’s a square graphic somewhere on the table with black and white dots.

It’s a QR code, short for Quick Response code. Invented in the 1990s, these codes proliferated during COVID when we decided to minimize touching physical objects like menus.

But don’t let them rattle you. Instead, follow these steps: 1. Open the camera app on your phone and point it at the code; 2. Wait until the phone recognizes the code (give it a few seconds); 3. Tap on the URL, or web address, that pops up on your screen. This will take you to a web page linked to the code — such as a menu, in the case of a restaurant.

Restaurants and other businesses like QR codes because they now have one less item to print and can easily update digital pages so they’re always current. For example, a restaurant’s daily special can always be current.

While QR codes may seem like a hassle, using them is much easier than the alternative — typing in those long web addresses.

Check your software

If you have a recent Apple or Android (Samsung, Google, LG, Motorola, Nokia) phone, your phone can read QR codes with the camera app. Snap away!

QR Code reading is turned on by default on the iPhone. If you’re having issues, check to see if has been turned off at Settings > Camera > Scan QR Codes.

If you have an older Apple phone (before iOS 11, released in 2017) you’ll need to install an app and use that instead of the camera. A simple app is “QR Reader for iPhone,” available in the Apple store.

Some other apps have QR scanning built in, including Snapchat, Shazam, Pinterest, WhatsApp, Linkedin and Facebook Messenger. But most people find a dedicated QR app more convenient to use.

If you have an earlier Android phone, it’s more complicated to get the right software. For Samsung phones (the most popular Android option) look for “Bixby Vision” inside the Camera app and enable it. Alternately, you can turn on QR reading as an option in the Samsung Internet app. If you have a different Android phone, hold down the Home button, and see if Google Lens appears. If it does, you can use that to read the code. If none of these options work, you’ll have to do some research to find the best solution.

Make your own QR codes

It’s easy to make your own QR codes. Why would you want to? Let’s say you are hosting a group sing. You could find the appropriate songbook online and create a code for it. Then everyone could simply scan the code to read from the same songbook. No printing, no wasted paper.

One popular option for creating QR codes is https://www.qrcode-monkey.com. Another, with more options, is https://www.flowcode.com. For both, simply copy and then paste the destination web address into the form and answer a few questions. The site then creates your custom code (be sure to test it). From there, just save, download and print.

Happy scanning!

Wichita Library offers free passes to area attractions

The Wichita Library is now offering Experience Passes that allow families to explore area museums and other attractions for free.For more information, call 261-8500 or visit: wichitalibrary.org/experience-passes

Botanica (701 N. Amidon)

Cosmosphere (110 N. Plum St., Hutchinson)

Exploration Place (300 N. McLean Blvd.)

Great Plains Transportation Museum (700 E. Douglas)

Mid-America All-Indian Museum (650 N. Seneca)

Museum of World Treasures (835 E. 1st St.

Old Cowtown Museum (1865 W. Museum Blvd.)

Sedgwick County Zoo (5555 W. Zoo Blvd.)

Tanganyika Wildlife Park (1000 S. Hawkins Ln., Goddard)

Wichita Art Museum (1400 W. Museum Blvd.)

Wichita-Sedgwick County Historical Museum (204 S. Main St.)


Weekly Story Times in and Around Wichita

Monday Free Story Times

Alford Library – Family Story Time 10:30 am – 11:00 am. Share a love of stories and learning with children in these storytime sessions aimed at engaging the broad range of developmental stages between ages 0-6.

Andover Public Library – Two’s Time-10:30 am – 10:50 am. Two’s Time: This early literacy program is specially designed for two-year-olds. Fun activities include rhymes, songs, puppets, action activities, and stories.

Goddard Public Library -9:30 am – 10:00 am. Children listen to stories, sing, dance, and make a craft

Derby Public Library – Family Night (First Monday Each Month). 6:30 pm – 7:00 pm. Family Night is an evening storytime designed for children age 3-7 and their families, but all ages are welcome.

Tuesday Free Story Times

Advanced Learning Library: Preschool Story Time-10:30 am – 11:00 am. Children ages 3-6 will develop literacy skills through active listening, singing, movement, and sharing a love of stories in a group setting.

Walters Library – Family Storytime 11:30 am – Noon. Share a love of stories and learning with children in these storytime sessions aimed at engaging the broad range of developmental stages between ages 0-6.

Derby Public Library – Preschool Storytime 10:00 am – 10:50 am. Ages 3 -5.Read, sing songs, finger play, and enjoy a puppet show.

Naftzger Park Story Time – 2nd and 4th Tuesday of the Month (May-October) 10:00 am. Read along with stories on the big screen and enjoy music, snacks, free books, and an activity for the kids.

Andover Public Library – Two’s Time 9:30 am – 9:50 am. Two’s Time: Two’s Time: This early literacy program is specially designed for two-year-olds. Fun activities include rhymes, songs, puppets, action activities, and stories.

Andover Public Library – Preschool Story Time 10:30 am – 10:55 am. Preschoolers can exercise their imaginations and get ready for reading with fun rhymes, songs, puppets, movement activities, and stories. The 25-minute program is followed by a craft time that coordinates with the weekly theme.

Rockwell Library: Nursery Rhyme Time-10:30 am – 10:50 am. Children ages 2 and under will develop a love of learning as they sing, dance, and enjoy simple stories. Caregivers will also learn tips to encourage their child’s early learning development.

Valley Center Library -10:30 am – 11:00 am.Infants through age 2

Wednesday Free Story Times

Great Plains Nature Center-10:00 am -10:30 am. Critter Tails 6232 E. 29th Street North Tanganyika Wildlife Park- 9:00 am – 9:30 am. Cub Club: Read a book, sing a song, and meet an animal (Accompanying adult is free but children ages 1-11 are $5. This one isn’t totally free but getting to meet an animal from the story might be worth it on this one!) *Gold and Silver Pass Holders are free*

Andover Public Library – Preschool Story Time 10:30 am – 10:55 am. Preschoolers can exercise their imaginations and get ready for reading with fun rhymes, songs, puppets, movement activities, and stories. The 25-minute program is followed by a craft time that coordinates with the weekly theme.

Rockwell Library -Preschool Storytime- 10:30 am – 11:00 am. Children ages 3-6 will develop literacy skills through active listening, singing, movement, and sharing a love of stories in a group setting.

Park City Public Library: Lap sit Newborns – 23mo. 9:30 am – 9:50 am. Introduce your baby to books during this 20 min program including songs, rhymes, playtime and fun!

Park City Public Library: Preschoolers 10:30 am – 11:00 am . Ages 2-5.This 30 minute program includes books, songs, fingerplays, a fun craft, and free play at the end.

Derby Public Library: Preschool 10:00 am – 10:40 am. 30-minute early literacy program for children age 3-5. Read books, sing songs, learn finger plays, and enjoy puppet shows!

Mulvane Public Library: Preschool 10:30 am – 11:00 am. Come read stories, sing songs, and pick up a craft to take home and make!

Valley Center Public Library: Preschool 10:30 am – 11:00 am.Ages 5 and under.

Botanica-4th Wednesday of the month. 10 am and 11am. You must pay general admission but story time is free with admission or if you are a member.

Thursday Free Story Times

Derby Public Library – Baby Story Time 10:00 am – 10:20 am. Birth – 12 months. Each week parents and caregivers and their babies will share board books, rhymes, bounces, and action songs that are consistent with infant development. Evergreen -Cuentos Bilingües/Preschool Storytime10:30 am – 11:00 am. Whether you want to expose your children to another language or they already hear it in the home, enjoy a unique storytime presented in both English & Spanish for children ages 3-5.

Source: wichitaonthecheap.com/ultimate-list-free-story-times-wichita/


Aroma Coffeehouse-10:30 am

Derby Public Library – Building Blocks Read and Play.11:oo am – noon.Toddlers will follow the Montessori method of education.

Derby Public Library – Adventures @ the Library.4:00 pm – 5:00 pm. Grades k-2 Explore and discover new things after school at the library with this literacy-based program for grades K-2. Program typically includes books read aloud, a craft, a short video, and snack time.

Andover Public Library – Preschool Story Time 1:30 pm.Preschoolers can exercise their imaginations and get ready for reading with fun rhymes, songs, puppets, movement activities, and stories. The 25-minute program is followed by a craft time that coordinates with the weekly theme.

Rockwell Library: Family Storytime 10:30 am – 11:00 am.Share a love of stories and learning with children between the ages of 0-6

Park City Public Library: Lap sit. Newborn – 23 months 9:30 am – 9:50 am. Introduce your baby to books during this 20 min program including songs, rhymes, playtime and fun!

Park City Public Library: Preschoolers 10:30 am – 11:00 am .Ages 2-5. This 30 minute program includes books, songs, fingerplays, a fun craft, and free play at the end. Story Time usually begins the week of Martin Luther King day. There is no Story Time in May, August, or December.

Haysville Public Library – Sing & Rhyme Storytime 10:30 am. Ages 0-5. Read stories, sing songs and have fun!

Valley Center Public Library – Preschoolers. 10:30 am – 11:00 am. Ages 5 and under

Friday Free Story Times

Advanced Learning Library: Nursery Rhyme. 10:30 – 10:50 am.Children ages 2 and under will develop a love of learning as they sing, dance, and enjoy simple stories. Caregivers will learn tips to encourage their child’s early learning development. Derby Public Library – Toddler Time. 10:oo am & 11:00 am (Spring & Fall). Ages 1 -3. Books, musical instruments and flannel board stories.

Mulvane Public Library – Wee Reads. 10:30 am – 11:00 am. Ages 0-3. Storytime is filled with songs, rhymes,lap bounces, scarves, and bubbles. Stay after for “Chat and Play Cafe” where the kids can play with toys provided by the library while you get some socialization in with a cup of coffee from Jane’s Landing.

Wichita Art Museum- First Friday of each month 10:30 am – 11:00 am. Enjoy engaging stories and related activities to make works of art come to life for your young learner. Admission is free and you can also explore PLAY, WAM’s interactive space for families afterwards.

Saturday Free Story Times

Goddard Public Library-Monthly on the 3rd Saturday from 9:30 am – 10:00 am

Mulvane Public Library – Family Story Time. Monthly on the 4th Saturday at 10:30 am. A chance for families with children of all ages to enjoy storytime together.

Source: wichitaonthecheap.com/ultimate-list-free-story-times-wichita/

Save $2 on admission to a dozen attractions such as Botanica, Old Cowtown, Exploration Place and Field Station: Dinosaurs with an Explore Card from Visit Wichita. The discount is good for parties of up to 10 people but cannot be used with any other special offers. The free card can be picked up at Visit Wichita offices, 515 S. Main, Suite 115. Or you can call (316) 2652800 to request one by mail. For a full list of participating attractions, go to visitwichita. com and click on “Plan Your Event.” Save on attractions

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The PBS Kansas Cochener-Garvey Children’s Education & Discovery Center is a free STEAM (science, technology, engineering, the arts and mathematics) learning center for kids 2-10 years old and their families. Kids of all ages benefit from visiting the center as well. The Education Center is open 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Friday and is located inside PBS Kansas, 8710 E. 32nd St. N., Wichita. Children can explore interactive Discovery Stations, including a Construction Zone, Makerspace, Video Creation Station, Farmers Market & Café, Weather Station and more! Go to kpts.org for more information or call 316-838-3090.


Easy ideas to stretch your retirement budget

Family Features

Retirement may mean you have unlimited time to enjoy each day, but it doesn’t mean you have a budget to match.

You probably already know staying active is essential for aging with grace, so instead of letting limited funds keep you at home, explore some ways you can enjoy your leisure time without breaking the bank.

Hit the Gym

Many fitness centers offer special rates and programs for older adults. Hitting the track or joining a group fitness class are easy ways to socialize while getting some exercise. The discounted membership is also an investment since staying fit is important for physical and mental health.


Early Dinner Deals

You can still enjoy dining out occasionally, especially if you take advantage of lower-cost meals designed with older adults in mind. Many specials are for meals earlier in the day, which is consistent with a growing trend toward earlier dining. According to Yelp, the number of people eating from 4-6 p.m. has grown 9% (up to 26% from 17% in 2019). Eating earlier promotes better digestion, and earlier meals are often lighter portions for smaller appetites. For example, Cracker Barrel’s Early Dinner Deals feature smaller portions served from 4-6 p.m. on weekdays. Menu items include a variety of homestyle favorites like chicken n’ dumplins, meatloaf, catfish and more.

Check Out the Library

Your local library is filled with hours of free entertainment, but it’s not just the kind you’ll find from getting a library card. You can undoubtedly find a book that covers any genre or interest you can name, but most local libraries also offer programming tailored to special interests and the sessions are typically offered for free or at a low cost. It’s an easy, affordable way to pick up a new skill, meet a favorite author, learn about a topic that intrigues you and more. Other resources to explore include your library’s DVD collection and internet access if you don’t have a computer at home. Nurture a Garden

Tending a garden may seem like a seasonal activity, but you can make it a year-round hobby. Researching and planning is a good way to carry your gardening enthusiasm into the cooler months and you can start seedlings indoors to extend your growing season. While you’re digging into this low-cost pastime, remember the results of your efforts, such as fresh fruits and veggies, can help cut your grocery costs, too.

Mind Your Money with DIY

Saving money at the grocery store is just one way you can make DIY projects work for you. There are dozens of other examples of ways you can put your skills and interests to use by passing time doing something you enjoy while benefiting your bank account. If you like to tinker with cars, figure out what repairs you can handle yourself and avoid hefty service fees. Crafting and sewing might mean you have ready-made gifts for special occasions and a way to repair or repurpose damaged clothing instead of discarding it.

Ask About Discounts

You may be surprised by how many places offer discounts for older adults that they don’t readily advertise. In some cases, you’ll find the information on their website or signage, but other times, you may find it easier to just ask. When you’re booking an appointment or checking out, inquire about discounts for older adults, including any restrictions, age requirements, the amount of the discount and other pertinent details. Sometimes the discounts are offered on certain days or for specific services, or they may require you to join a loyalty club to access the discounts. When dining out, many restaurants offer a variety of loyalty perks. At Cracker Barrel, for instance, rewards members at Cracker Barrel can earn points, or “Pegs,” on qualifying restaurant and retail purchases. Members can also take advantage of bonus birthday, anniversary and surprise rewards throughout the year.

Photos courtesy of Shutterstock

Volunteer to keep connected and healthy

Family Features

People often volunteer to find a sense of purpose, learn new skills, improve their communities or establish new routines after retiring or becoming empty nesters. For many, making friends through volunteer work is a welcome bonus. The act of volunteering provides proven benefits for older adults.

Forming connections can make all the difference in a person’s volunteer experience and sense of well-being. People who meet through volunteer work inherently share a common interest and something to bond over. These friendships can carry over outside of volunteer work and lead to bonding over other hobbies and interests.

Connection-Focused Volunteer Opportunities

In addition to making friends with fellow volunteers, many older adults also form relationships with the people they’re serving, especially if those recipients are their peers.

For example, AmeriCorps Seniors is the national service and volunteerism program in the federal agency of AmeriCorps that connects adults aged 55 and up to local service opportunities that match their interests. Its Senior Companion Program pairs volunteers with other older adults or those with disabilities who need companionship or assistance. Volunteers may help with tasks such as paying bills, shopping or getting companions to appointments. In some cases, volunteers may also provide support and respite for family members caring for loved ones with chronic illnesses.

“We often think of volunteering as ‘giving back,’ but we’ve seen firsthand that it often becomes so much more than that,” said Atalaya Sergi, director of AmeriCorps Seniors. “By spending a few hours each week with another older adult in need of support, our volunteers are not only giving back to others, but they’re adding meaning to their own lives and establishing new connections. They’re helping to fight the loneliness epidemic one visit at a time.”

Growing older can come with challenges, but some of those can be minimized with a positive mindset and commitment to remaining connected and engaged – whether with friends, relatives or fellow community members. Fostering relationships is a key ingredient to a healthier and more fulfilling life.

For more information and to find volunteer opportunities near you, visit AmeriCorps.gov/YourMoment.



Relive the wild west with live reenactments of the shootouts that earned the city the nickname “Wickedest Little City in the West”, sip a sarsaparilla in the world famous Long Branch Saloon, and catch the Variety Show with Miss Kitty.

Cool o at the Long Branch Lagoon, our 27,000-plus square foot western-themed water park, explore the art and history of Historic Downtown, catch a concert or show, or enjoy a delicious meal at any of our fabulous local restaurants.


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