Dodge City

23 Best & Fun Things To Do In Dodge City (KS)

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Are you a Tourist who loves to travel? Or you’re simply looking for a place to go on a vacation? Or overall, you are seeking a fun-filled city where you can just rewind and have a great time? 

Then I’ll recommend Dodge City, Kansas for you.

Dodge City has a whole lot of fun activities that are suitable for you and the entire family. 

No doubt if you explore all the attractions this city has to offer, it’ll turn out to be the most memorable vacation for you. 

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Dodge City was named after the nearby Fort Dodge, and it is known to be the county seat of Ford County, Kansas, USA.

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There is a lot to do in Dodge City, which encompasses witnessing some of Dodge city’s extraordinary cultural heritage. 

Like other cities in Kansas, you are assured of having an amazing holiday or vacation while visiting Dodge City. 

There are a lot of activities to do in Dodge City, you can tour the city, and there are several  interesting tourist sights such as 

Carnegie Center for the Arts, the Giant Coronado Cross, Mueller-Schmidt Home of Stone, and so much more. 

Now, to help you find these interesting places more easily and also assist you to know where best to go, a list of about 23 fun things you could engage in while in Dodge City will be highlighted.

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23 Fun and interesting things for you in Dodge City. 

1. See El Capitan

Unlike most artworks, this longhorn steer statue, which now stands on Wyatt Earp Boulevard, was not named by the artist. It got its name as a result of a naming contest held in its honor.

In the 1970s, the Boot Hill Museum chose to honor the over 4,000,000 cattle that traveled the trail from Texas to Dodge City between 1875 and 1885.

They commissioned Jasper D’Ambrosi, an Arizona sculpture artist, to create a longhorn steer statue to be placed in Dodge City.

The Spanish name was also appropriate for this sculpture because it is well known that Spanish explorers introduced the first longhorns to our continent.

Do not miss seeing this Dodge City attraction during your visit.

2. Boot Hill Distillery

“Born in a barrel, forged in the sand, crafted by artisan distillers, from soil to sip.”

Those are the motivating words of Boot Hill Distillery, which aims to carry on Dodge City’s legacy of a city built on the ashes of a campfire and the footprints of a bar.

Boot Hill Distillery uses high-quality locally grown ingredients to produce the best in-house distillery for your consumption.

They are open from 12:00 PM to 10:00 PM on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, and tours are available at 1:00 PM, 3:00 PM, and 5:00 PM on Fridays and Saturdays.

You can join any of their tours for a $10 fee, and it is strongly advised that you make a reservation on their website because each tour is limited to just 20 persons. 

3. United Wireless Arena

Spending time at United Wireless Arena is one of the most enjoyable things to do in Dodge City.

United Wireless Arena is a 17,000-square-foot facility that hosts sporting events, concerts, family shows, trade shows, motorsports, and other activities.

With a seating capacity of over 3,000, this arena hosts some of the area’s biggest shows and events.

When you visit this arena between November and December each year, you will have the opportunity to participate in open ice skating.

This is one of the best places in Dodge City to see a show or a game, and it should be on your bucket list.

4. Learn History at Boot Hill Museum

Do you want to learn more about Dodge City’s history? go exploring at the Boot Hill Museum.

The Boot Hill Museum is a Dodge City history museum dedicated to preserving the history of the Old West and Dodge City.

Located at  500 W Wyatt Earp Blvd, Dodge City, KS 67801.

A visit here will introduce you to over 20,000 artifacts on display in this museum.

 Armour and original guns can be found in the collection. A visit here will introduce you to history.

A section of the museum is dedicated to entertainment, where you can learn about history by watching simulations of saloon shoots and gunfights.

The name Boot Hill was derived from a popular title given to cemeteries as a result of the fact that many of the men who died violently, died while putting on their booths. 

5. Explore the City with Dodge City Trolley

Do not miss out on an exploration of the area with the famous Dodge City Trolley during your visit to Dodge City.

This provides a fun time roaming the city with an old-fashioned feel.

Dodge City Trolley service is available every day of the week from 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. from June to August.

However, between May and September, they are open from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

You can also take a walking tour or a driving tour through the city, stopping at some of the most popular Dodge City attractions. The driving tour can be reserved at the Visitor’s Center Bureau.

6. Carnegie Center for the Arts

Carnegie Center for the Arts is a reliable art center that is one of Dodge City’s top attractions for art lovers.

Located at 701 N 2nd Ave,67801 this art center was formerly a library that was converted into an art center with large and round art galleries.

The Carnegie Center for the Arts is located in Dodge City’s downtown area, and its building is quite historic in the area.

When you visit this center, you will come across a two-story building that houses numerous artifacts and showpieces that are on display for you.

Also, visit its gift shop, which features art pieces and paintings by local artists; perhaps one of these artworks will pique your interest.

The gift shop is also a great place to pick up some souvenirs to take home with you.

7. Giant Coronado Cross. 

One of the ancient points of interest in Dodge City you should note during your visit to Dodge City is the Coronado Cross.

The Giant Coronado Cross is applauded for its historical importance because of the popular story it tells.

This Cross narrates the story of a Spanish nobleman named Francisco Vasquez de Coronado, who vacated his hometown with a small army in 1540 to search for the City of Gold, a city that he had heard frequently about. 

After a lengthy and tiring journey, they crossed the Arkansas River and came to the point which is today Fort Dodge.

It is commonly said that they were escorted by Father Juan de Padilla, who took to holding the first thanksgiving service here on a nearby hill. 

This Thanksgiving is known to be the first of its kind held here after 100 years after the coming of pilgrims to the area.

In his remembrance, a permanent memorial was built here by the Ford County Historical Society, which saw the edifice of the Coronado Cross.

The Coronado Cross goes as far back as 1975, featuring a tower height of 38 feet. It has been standing since its construction.

8. Go Food Shopping at Dodge City Farmers Market

If you’re seeking a place to shop organic and healthy produce in Dodge city, then you would want to check out its farmers market. 

Hosted every Saturday morning in the downtown area of Dodge City is the farmers market where you’ll find all the food products you’ll need.

Here you will find properly grown veggies and homemade products for sale and available for purchase. 

Banking on the climate conditions between June to fall, you may find some art and craft exhibits set up in some shops in the area during morning hours and also at noon.

Visiting the farmer’s market is a great way to spend your day!

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9. Gunfighters Wax Museum

Wax museums are a fun way to spend some time exploring wax statues of some of your favorite famous people while taking some amazing photos.

Gunfighters Wax Museum combines all of the fun of a wax museum with a memorable exploration.

This Wax Museum houses numerous life-like wax statues of famous people like Billy the Kid, Buffalo Bill, Calamity Jane, Festus, Belle Starr, Doc Holliday, and many more.

This museum is close to the Kansas Teachers Hall of Fame, and tickets for both can be purchased at a discounted rate if purchased together.

10. Explore Fort Dodge

Exploring Fort Dodge, an unincorporated community near Dodge City, is one of the best things to do near Dodge City.

This community offers a nursing facility to Kansas veterans who served in the United States Army.

It was initially established to protect travelers and railroad workers on the Santa Fe Trail from Plains Indians in the area.

Between 1865 and 1882, it served as an outpost on the Santa Fe Trail, and today, with a population of 165, it remains unincorporated and provides nursing to Kansas war veterans. It also serves as a retirement home.

11. Dodge City Raceway Park

Watching a live match at Dodge City Raceway Park is one of the fun things to do in Dodge City for sports racing fans.

Throughout the year, Dodge City Raceway Park hosts several sporting events in which racing cars compete against one another for entertainment.

The world of outlaws and sprint car nationals are two of the events held here. Come watch the cars zoom by on this dirt track.

Visiting this raceway during the summer is a fun way to spend time with your family while eating snacks and having a good time.

12. Be Entertained at Boot Hill Casino and Resort

The Boot Hill Casino and Resort is one of the best places to visit in Dodge City for a luxurious vacation.

Boot Hill Casino and Resort is a popular tourist attraction in Dodge City and is a must-see for anyone looking to have a good time in the city.

You can try your luck at gambling here. It could be your lucky day.

As a nod to the Old West, the structure that houses the Boot Hill Casino and Resort retains its original appearance.

One of the top priorities here is entertainment; visit some of your favorite arcades and have a fun mealtime in their first-rate dining area.

13. Visit the  Dodge City Trail of Fame

Joining the Dodge City Trail of Fame is one of the most enjoyable things to do in Dodge City.

Dodge City Trail of Fame is a well-established walking tour through Dodge City that connects you with some of the city’s best attractions as you walk.

On this walk, you will come across statues and medallions dedicated to some of Dodge City’s most famous residents on both sides of the trails.

You will also come across some memorials to infamous residents of this area who once roamed the lands.

14.  Visit, and Appreciate Teachers at Kansas Teachers Hall of Fame

Ever heard of a Museum that honors the works of teachers? Well, there’s one in Dodge City. 

This museum was established to honor teachers who have contributed significantly to the development of our country by preparing children to reach great heights.

It is a one-of-a-kind museum dedicated to famous teachers, complete with donor plaques, a Hall of Fame gallery, and information on Hall of Fame inductees.

You can also take part in some of the educational activities held at the facility, which is a fun way to learn.

During your visit to Dodge City, don’t forget to check out the Kansas Teachers Hall of Fame. It is one of the Dodge City activities that will ensure you have a good time.

15. Take time to reflect at Liberty Garden

The Liberty Garden was created to serve as a symbol of remembrance and peace for those impacted by the 9/11 tragedy.

Liberty Garden, located within Wright Park, a historic park in the area, respects all souls involved.

The Garden is open to the public as a reminder of sacrifice and honor, and it is known to house the Pentagon limestone, which traveled far and back to its homeland.

Take note of the 4-foot section of steel brought from the World Trade Center during your tour. As a symbol of respect, it is placed beneath a US flag.

16. See the Animals at Wright Park Zoo

A visit to Wright Park Zoo is one of the best things to do in Dodge City with kids. Children enjoy spending time with animals, and at this zoo, they can do so.

Wright Park Zoo is a large zoo that will provide you with hours of entertainment for free. As a result, it’s one of the best free things to do in Dodge City.

Each cage has an informational placard about the animals inside. You can also go to the aviary, which is home to a one-of-a-kind albino peacock.

Leopards, monkeys, and Emus are among the animals that can be seen during a visit to this zoo. Cougars, bobcats, and Tigers can all be seen.

17. Go Swimming at Long Branch Lagoon Waterpark

Long Branch Lagoon Waterpark, which opened in May 2016, is a great place to cool off and have some outdoor fun in Dodge City.

This 27,000-square-foot waterpark has a Western theme and offers visitors the best in fun and adventure.

Some of its features include a Wrangler rapids Wave pool, which is ideal for those interested in devilry, and you can also relax by floating down a lazy river called The Cowboy Creek.

There’s also Dalton’s Plunge, where you can jump in or take the kids to the foot splash, where there is a shallow pool and a play area.

18. Endeavour to visit  Mueller-Schmidt Home of Stone.

The Mueller-Schmidt Home of Stone is a cutting-square-foot mural marvel.

Mueller-Schmidt Home of Stone’s structure is entirely made of stone, and it remains one of Dodge City’s top attractions.

This structure is located on top of a hill, surrounded by lawns and gardens, and gives the impression of being placed in a postcard.

This structure is one of the oldest still standing in Dodge City, despite undergoing extensive renovations, and its simple beauty continues to awe architects.

The house allows tourists from June to August, so you want to schedule your time to a period that enables you to meet up with an appointment.

19. Central Station Bar and Grill.

Probably after a long day of touring places, and hiking or walking, you may want to just relax and chill in the evening enjoying some bar time, accompanied by some of the best cocktails and wines.

For this, Central Station Bar and Grill is where you need to be.

Central Station Bar and Grill is the place to sit back, relax and enjoy a selection of the best drinks, which includes cocktails and wines.

You can even pair the drink up with some delicious food and starters, such as barbequed pork ribs, pork chops, etc.

20. The Long Branch Saloon

From 1874 to 1885, Long Branch Saloon was known in this area as one of the best watering holes, and it also offered gambling and live entertainment to its visitors.

The original Long Branch Saloon was destroyed by fire in 1885.

 However, a new Long Branch Saloon is now open for your visit at the City’s Boot Hill Museum.

This new saloon was built to look like the interior of the popular TV show Gunsmoke, and its exterior was designed to look like the original Long Branch Saloon building seen in photographs.

The furniture was created using antique pieces from the 1800s. 

21. See Cowboy Statue On Boot Hill

The Cowboy Statue On Boot Hill is a Dodge City landmark, and you’ll be able to see it during your tour.

O.H. Simpson, a local dentist, created this statue. This statue can be found in front of the Old City Hall, which is now known as the Boot Hill Distillery.

Take note of the inscription on this statue, which reads, “This City is built on the ashes of my campfire.”

As you explore Dodge City, don’t forget to take a photo of this statue, which is a fun way to remember your visit.

22. Coffee at Red Beard Coffee

Red Beard Coffee, located in Dodge City’s Downtown Historic District, is your go-to coffee shop.

Red Beard Coffee provides an excellent environment for coffee time, with the wonderful aroma of coffee wafting through the air.

The servers here are praised for being extremely friendly and knowledgeable, ensuring that you get the perfect cup of coffee to leave your taste buds begging for more.

They serve regular coffee as well as a variety of non-caffeinated beverages such as hot chocolate, teas, juices, and sodas.

Dairy-free options are available upon request, and children’s lattes are available.

23. Pay a visit to the Depot Theater Company

Depot Theater Company is a premier Live Theater in Kansas’s Southwest region.

It has provided theatre entertainment to both locals and visitors to the area since its inception.

This theatre first opened its doors in 1984 at the Boot Hill Museum Complex.

The 1889 Santa Fe Depot was donated to the city by the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad in 1996, with plans to restore it.

This restoration saw the new home for Depot Theater Company after eight years of repair, and the theatre moved into its new home in July of 2004.

Since they moved to their new site,  they have since taken to giving to the public Broadway-style entertainment.

Conclusion 

Like it was mentioned in the beginning, Dodge City is a small, but a great and special town full of explorations. 

Some of the most special places like the Booth hill museum and also the Teacher’s Museum that applaud teachers are places you should try to visit.  

With all these, Dodge City is not boring or too contemporary as is often said, its many historical sights and also museums give it its unique touch. 

Therefore, Visiting this town will be a real adventure for you. As long as you’re ready to explore as much as possible, you’ll have an adventure of a lifetime! 

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