Activities & Attractions

Arts & Sightseeing

DOWNTOWN BRONZE SCULPTURES

Great Bend's downtown is decorated with beautiful pieces of bronze work that are sure to make your time in the area even more enjoyable. For more information on bronzes sculptures located outside of downtown, check out the 

"Great Bend Mural Project" in the next section below.

DOWNTOWN BRONZE SCULPTURES
GREAT BEND MURAL PROJECT

You don't have to visit a museum to find art in Great Bend. Large murals decorate the walls of many building in the downtown area. Painted by high school students, community members, senior citizens, professional artists and children, the murals are tied together by themes relating to Great Bend's past and present.

GREAT BEND MURAL PROJECT
KANSAS QUILT WALK

Embedded in the sidewalks surrounding the courthouse, you will find the Kansas Quilt Walk. Quilts kept our ancestors warm and allowed our great-grandmothers to express themselves with beautiful fabrics and find needlework. The Quilt Walk is a tribute to those women and their creations,

KANSAS QUILT WALK
THE
RIFLEMAN

The Rifleman stands guard over the north side of the Barton County Courthouse. He serves as a tribute to the men and women who dedicated their lives to the fight for our country. Located north of the Barton County Courthouse,

1400 Main St., in Jack Kilby Square

THE
RIFLEMAN
SANTAS AROUND THE WORLD

24 life-sized Santas are handcrafted by local artist, Loretta Miller.  Each Santa has their own unique story and elaborate costume. Specially decorated trees, flowers and accessories compliment each Santa. Just a few of the countries included are France's Pere Noel, Brazil's Vovo Indo, and China's Christmas Old Man. Santa World is open seasonally Thanksgiving to Christmas and year round by appointment.

SANTAS AROUND THE WORLD
SHAFER ART GALLERY

This gallery in the Fine Arts building of Barton Community College features bronze sculptures created by it's namesake, the late Hoisington artist Gus Shafer, and boasts an outstanding permanent collection. The collection also contains masterpieces by artists such as Cagall, Matisse, Picasso, Sandzen, and Audubon. The gallery demonstrates the perseverance of a dream and a strong commitment to culture and the arts.

SHAFER ART GALLERY
TRAIL OF LIGHTS DISPLAYS

Great Bend is well known for it's holiday Trail of Lights and it's really something to see! Starting from the Saturday after Thanksgiving until New Years Days, enjoy the different light displays in Great Bend parks and designated areas. Don't forget to enjoy the decorated houses in neighborhoods, too!

TRAIL OF LIGHTS DISPLAYS

Entertainment

BARTON PLANETARIUM

Barton Community College offers a unique opportunity to explore the stars. It hosts regular events for visitors to learn more about our place in the universe.

BARTON PLANETARIUM
CREST
THEATRE

The historic Crest has been renovated and is home to performances of all types, from children's choirs to professional entertainment. An active and talented resident theater group plans and performs a full season of theatrical renditions each year.

CREST
THEATRE
GOLDEN BELT CINEMA 6

The 17,000 square foot theater greets you with a regal lobby smelling of freshly popped popcorn. Comfortable stadium seating gives movie-goers a perfect view of the digital projection on larger-than-life screens.

GOLDEN BELT CINEMA 6
GREAT BEND
BRIT SPAUGH ZOO

Opened in 1953 as a result of the direction of the first public lands director Bit Spaugh, the Great Bend Brit Spaugh Zoo has offered generations of people the excitement and education that can only come from this kind of attraction. Open 363 days a year,
9 AM to 4 PM, let the helpful staff teach you new things about the animals that call the zoo "home".

GREAT BEND
BRIT SPAUGH ZOO
GREAT BEND
PUBLIC LIBRARY

 

Opening on August 14, 1908 as the "Free Library and Reading Room", the Great Bend Public Library offers more than book rentals! In the same location since February 1, 1971, check out their great programs for people of all ages and interested offered year round, displays & exhibits, meeting rooms, and much more!

GREAT BEND
PUBLIC LIBRARY
ROSEWOOD RANCH & WINERY

Rosewood Winery is nestled in the heart of Rosewood Ranch. The only winery in the nation to offer employment opportunities to developmentally disabled adults, Rosewood offers 13 types of quality wine made from the finest grapes. Bring a picnic lunch or simply relax and enjoy the atmosphere with friends and family. 

ROSEWOOD RANCH & WINERY
HISTORIC
SRCA DRAGSTRIP

Acquired by the City of Great Bend after the B-29 Air Force Base was considered surplus by the military in 1946, the SRCA Dragstrip held it's first race on May 12, 1953. The Sunflower Rod and Custom Association (SRCA) was created on January 19, 1954. After joining the NHRA in April of 1955, Great Bend would be the host of the first NHRA National Event that same year. Races have been taking place at this location seasonally ever since.

HISTORIC
SRCA DRAGSTRIP
WETLANDS WATERPARK

The Wetlands Waterpark is the perfect place to spend a hot summer day! The water park features zero depth entry, a 300 gallon tipping bucket, multiple spray features and floatables, and plenty of shady spots. It's easy to spend the day floating and soaking at the Wetlands.

WETLANDS WATERPARK

History

ADDITIONAL
POINTS OF
INTEREST

Below are just a handful of our amazing historical points of interest, but there are so many more! We want to make sure that we keep updating visitors on all of the sites that we learn about and continue to offer a comprehensive page to share this info! Click below to see and learn more.

ADDITIONAL
POINTS OF INTEREST
B-29 MEMORIAL PLAZA

Great Bend was a B-29 bomber training base during World War II, where crews from all over the United States trained to fly the huge super fortress bombers. The airfield is the site of a memorial dedicated to the men and women who manufactured, flew, and provided support for the Boeing
B-29 super fortress.

B-29 MEMORIAL PLAZA
BARTON COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY MUSEUM & VILLAGE

Step into Central Kansas history at the Barton County Historical Museum and Village. The museum preserves the history of Barton County, from it's Native American roots to World War II and beyond. The village brings the region's settlement era to life through historic building. Group tours are available and admissions is charged.

BARTON COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY MUSEUM & VILLAGE
KANSAS OIL &
GAS MUSEUM

Oil rigs formed the industrial heartbeat of Great Bend. Oil exploration began here in 1886, financed by a group of Great Bend speculators. By 1930, it was estimated that the county received more than $20 million annually from the oil and gas industry. Oil pumps dot the landscape throughout the region and remain an important contributor to the regional economy. This museum is a terrific opportunity to explore this history!

KANSAS OIL &
GAS MUSEUM
KANSAS WETLANDS EDUCATION CENTER

Explore the history, nature, science and importance of Cheyenne Bottoms Wildlife Refuge at the Kansas Wetlands Education Center. Let the staff teach you about the environment an animals, check out additional information, participate in events, and enjoy one-of-a-kind interactive exhibits.

KANSAS WETLANDS EDUCATION CENTER
HISTORIC
A.S. ALLEN BUILDING

Located at 1401 Main St., you'll find the oldest building in Great Bend. Currently nominated for the National Register of Historic Places. Originally built in 1875, then completely redesigned to the blond brick Classic Revival around 1921, this was the home of Allen's Drugs, owned and operated by Albert S. Allen. Throughout the years, the building has also been a telephone office, bank, newspaper office, first lending library, art studio, game shop, and as of 2018, a photography studio.

HISTORIC A.S. ALLEN BUILDING
SANTA FE TRAIL & DAR MARKER

Great Bend was once part of the historic Santa Fe Trail, and is honored to have that be in our history.  The Santa Fe Trail Park offers visitors a place to rest, stretch, and remember the history of the area. Located on the southwest corner at the intersection of Frey Street and 10th Street.

SANTA FE TRAIL
& DAR MARKER
VETERAN'S MEMORIAL PARK

The avenue of flags is dedicated to the honor of the United States Armed Forces for their immeasurable service and supreme sacrifice, Generally on display for Memorial Day, Flag Day, Fourth of July, and Veteran's Day. There is also military machinery on display, as well as great park amenities.

VETERAN'S MEMORIAL PARK
DIGITAL & PRINT INFORMATION
DIGITAL & PRINTED INFORMATION

Check out the digital version of our Visitor Guide to see all of the activities, attractions and more that Great Bend has to offer. For printed materials or more information on a specific topic, contact us and we'll do what we can to assist you! You can also get digital copy of our printed material by clicking below.