Riverside Park & Ralph Mitchell Zoo
Independence’s Riverside Park, a 124-acre showcase located at Penn Avenue and Oak Street, features playgrounds, shelter houses, a miniature golf course, carousel, a miniature train, swimming pool, fairgrounds and Shulthis Stadium. Riverside Park is open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to Midnight. Admission is free. The Mid-Continent Band plays every Tuesday night at 8:00 p.m. at the band shell through the summer.
Located in Riverside Park, Ralph Mitchell Zoo provides a natural habitat for more than 300 species of animals including bears, monkeys and all kinds of birds. Admission is free. The zoo is open seven days a week, hours are 9am – 8pm in the summer and 9am – 5:30pm in the winter.
Riverside Beach Family Aquatic Center
The outdoor Riverside Beach Family Aquatic Center is a new 12,775 square foot facility,home to 3 separate pools, a lazy river, 4 water slides, featuring a bowl slide and 120 foot flume slide, various play structures, rentable shelters, full concessions, 388,979 gallons of water and lots of family fun all summer long!
Little House on the Prairie Museum
Located 13 miles southwest of Independence, 2507 CR 3000,The Little House on the Prairie Museum has an authentic log cabin located near the original site where Laura Ingalls Wilder lived as a child. It also includes an 1872 schoolhouse, post office and gift shop. Little House on the Prairie Museum is open April 1 through October 31. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and Sunday 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Call 620-289-4238 for more information.
Neewollah is Kansas’ largest annual festival. Held the last week of October, Neewollah’s musical stage shows, carnival, concessions, entertainment and grand parade attract more than 80,000 visitors each year. Call 620-331-1890 for more information, or visit their website at www.neewollah.com.
William Inge Theater Festival
William Inge, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, was born and raised in Independence. Each spring Independence Community College hosts an annual festival in his honor. The William Inge Collection at Independence Community College is the most extensive exhibit of his works in existence. The boyhood home of William Inge is located at 514 N. 4th Street. Call 620-331-4100 ext. 4275 for more information, or visit their website at www.ingefestival.org
Independence Historical Museum
One of the city’s prime cultural attractions, the Independence Historical Museum, located at 8th & Myrtle Streets, has more than 20 rooms filled with valuable antiques and unique artwork.
Open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., closed Sunday and Monday. Admission is $5.00 for adults, $3.00 for youth 15-18, children 14 and under and veterans are free. Gallergy exhibits are free.
Elk City Reservoir
The reservoir, located 5 miles northwest of Independence, offers a wide variety of outdoor recreation such as hunting, fishing, camping, boating, swimming, bird watching and hiking. The Elk City Reservoir, State Park and Wildlife area boasts some of the best hiking trails in Kansas! Spend a weekend on over 4 miles of trails at the state park. Water and electric hook-ups are available. Open year round. Kansas Wildlife and Parks fees apply. Call 620-331-6295 for more information, or visit their website at www.kdwp.state.ks.us for more information.
Historic Home Tour
Independence’s newest feature is one of its oldest. A brochure for a self-guided tour of some of Independence’s oldest and most beautiful historic homes is now available at the Chamber of Commerce office. Guided tours are available, please call in advance to schedule for your group.