Some people consider Topeka and Shawnee County the “best place ever” for raising kids!  There are tons of things to do with lots of kid-friendly attractions, activities and retail places.

The Kansas Children’s Discovery Center opened June 1, 2011, and is already becoming a destination place for kids, families and grandparents.  Located in Gage Park near SW Tenth Avenue and Westchester Road, the Discovery Center is just one cool place for kids in the park.  You’ll also find a carousel, swimming pool, sand volleyball, the zoo, a mini-train, picnic areas, ball diamonds and more.  Make it a day-trip right here in Topeka!

So kids want to play ball?  Soccer, tennis, baseball, football, volleyball, bowling–whatever your choice–it’s all here with teams ranging from introductory level to competition and championship leagues.  Check out Lake Shawnee, Ken Berry Baseball Fields, Felker Park, Sunflower Soccer fields, and many more.  There are even adult leagues that the kids can come watch!

For the creative kids, there’s the Mulvane Art Lab on the campus of Washburn University, children’s theatre productions at Helen Hocker and Topeka Civic Theatre and Academy and  Performing Arts for Children brings productions to Topeka every year geared for the little ones.  The Topeka Symphony has a Youth Symphony that compliments the music programs in the schools.  And, don’t miss the high school drum corps that perform in the downtown parades.  They’re great!

There’s activities and lessons year-around for kids of all ages with all kinds of interests.  You’ll find programming galore through the scouts, Boys and Girls Club of Topeka, the Shawnee County Parks and Recreation Department, Shawnee County Extension Office, the horse arena at the Kansas Expocentre, and don’t forget the bowling alleys and the trails and bikeways throughout the city. There are a number of dance studios that offer classes for beginners up through national competition.  Many local dancers end up on the fields of area colleges and universities cheering on their teams.

It’s a fun community because people of all ages can get involved as a participant, volunteer or spectator!