From a National Park to a Friday night jam session, there are plenty of ways to have fun in the Kansas Flint Hills!
One of my favorites is the Friday Night Jam in Cottonwood Falls. This fun evening was hosted for years at the Emma Chase Cafe, 317 N. Broadway before Sue Smith retired and closed her restaurant. These days you can find the fun right down the street at Prairie PastTimes, 220 1/2 Broadway in Cottonwood Falls. You are welcome to bring your instrument (any instrument) and join the jam. Also, you don’t need an instrument if you want to just enjoy the music. This is some good old-fashioned fun.
The Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve is a United States National Preserve located in the Flint Hills region of Kansas, north of Cottonwood Falls. Of the 400,000 square miles of the tallgrass prairie that once covered the North American continent, less than 4% remains, primarily in the Flint Hills. The preserve protects this significant portion of the remaining tallgrass prairie ecosystem. My favorite part about this stunning location is the 40 miles of hiking trails. Bring your camera!
The Flint Hills Scenic Byway (K-177) in central Kansas entertains for 48 miles through the beautiful hills and tallgrass prairie. Council Grove, with some two dozen historic Santa Fe Trail sites, anchors the northern end of the tour. You can find the byway map and more information about the Flint Hills Scenic Byway here. And I’ll just say it again, bring your camera!
Wamego is a small community in northeast Kansas, surrounded by the Flint Hills. For a little place, Wamego packs in a lot of fun attractions! Aside from the drive to Wamego, my favorite aspect is the Oz Winery. At Oz Winery, you can purchase wine, cheese, chocolate–pretty much all a girl needs! It’s one-stop-shopping!
And last but not least, in Manhattan, Kansas, check out the Flint Hills Discovery Center. The Flint Hills Discovery Center has exhibits that explore the culture, history, and ecology of the Flint Hills in Kansas and Oklahoma. The permanent exhibits are arranged in nine topical zones including an interesting theater experience. For a lady who would rather be on a gravel road than in the city, I must say I love the architecture of this beautiful building! And once inside, one of my favorite exhibits is The Winds of the Past. Don’t worry, I hate the wind too, but that’s not what this is about. This one is about the culture and society of the natives who lived on the tallgrass prairie over 10,000 years ago.