Weird and Wonderful Kansas Attractions

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From wild Wizard of Oz-themed attractions to mushroom-shaped rock formations, Kansas is home to quite a few weird, quirky and, of course, wonderful things to do and see. Check out these off-beat experiences the next time you’re passing through.

Oz Museum (Wamego)

Dedicated to all things related to “The Wizard of Oz,” the Oz Museum in Wamego features over 2,000 artifacts collected over more than a century, from original costumes to first editions of many of the L. Frank Baum books. Beyond just the 1939 movie, the museum celebrates all things Oz, with exhibits highlighting the original silent films and “The Wiz” starring Michael Jackson and Diana Ross. Check out the 3,500 Swarvoski crystals on Dorothy’s ruby slippers and other memorabilia like flying monkey miniatures and historical photos.

Dorothy’s House and Land of Oz (Liberal)

At this popular attraction in Liberal, you won’t need to fly over the rainbow to journey to Oz. Immerse yourself in the sounds and sights of the classic film as Dorothy guides you on a tour of her farmhouse. Learn about 1900s farm life while exploring vivid recreations of movie scenes. Pose for a picture with the giant Tin Man statue, and stop by the gift shop for themed souvenirs like ruby slippers and stuffed Toto dolls.

The World’s Largest Ball of Twine (Cawker City)

Visit the World’s Largest Ball of Twine in Cawker City and become part of history. Since 1953, this quirky attraction has been growing with contributions from visitors passing through. Marvel at the sheer size of the massive twine ball, which weighs a whopping 17,320 lbs, and don’t forget to add your own piece to keep the tradition alive. Every year, Cawker City holds its annual twine-a-thon, which is complete with a picnic and parade!

The Garden of Eden (Lucas)

Created by Civil War veteran and American eccentric S.P. Dinsmoor, The Garden of Eden is the oldest intact folk art environment in the USA. Explore the imaginative (and slightly bizarre) outdoor sculpture garden, featuring an array of unique works depicting everything from biblical stories to political statements. You’ll find preachers and soldiers, and there are even sculptures depicting the slaying of Cain and Abel. Schedule a seasonal guided tour and see the inside of the stone mausoleum on the property.

Big Brutus (West Mineral)

Check out a colossal piece of mining history by visiting Big Brutus in West Mineral, the world’s largest electric shovel. Big Brutus retired in 1974 after transforming the coal mining industry for over a decade. Get a closer look at the 16-story legend before making your way to the on-site museum to delve into the American mining industry and learn more about the history and engineering of Big Brutus. 

Kansas Barbed Wire Museum (La Crosse)

Uncover the prickly past of barbed wire at the Kansas Barbed Wire Museum in La Crosse. This unique museum (the only one in the world dedicated to barbed wire) showcases over 2,400 varieties of barbed wire, aka “Devil’s Rope,” along with numerous antique fencing tools. Find out how barbed wire shaped the American West in exhibits like The Evolution of Barbed Wire, Barbed Wire Liniments, Punch Press Wires, and The Fence Mender—a life-sized diorama of a cowboy fixing his broken fence. 

The Underground Salt Museum (Hutchinson)

Descend 650 feet below the Kansas plains to the Underground Salt Museum (also known as Strataca). Embark on a captivating tour of a working salt mine, home to vast underground chambers and sparkling salt formations. Dive deep into the gritty world of salt mining while exploring exhibits like the Permian Room and the Mining Gallery. Feeling bold? Hop aboard The Dark Ride, a 30-minute tram tour highlighting the unique challenges miners face daily. You’ll even take home a piece of salt as a souvenir!

The Big Well (Greensburg)

Dive into history (literally) at The Big Well, the world’s largest hand-dug well in Greensburg. Completed in 1888, what once served as the town’s water supply is now a 109-foot-deep marvel showcasing local history. Walk down the vast spiral staircase to venture deep into the well. Visit the on-site museum to catch a glimpse of the world’s largest pallasite meteorite, a stunning blend of olivine crystals and metal. You’ll also find artifacts depicting the well’s construction and the 2007 tornado that almost took out the town.

Mushroom Rock State Park (Brookville)

There’s something truly otherworldly about Mushroom Rock State Park in Brookville, one of the “8 Wonders of Kansas.” Home to giant mushroom-shaped rock formations, the park feels like Alice in Wonderland brought to life. The remnants of ancient seabeds, these rocks once served as meeting places for Indigenous Americans and pioneers. Spend the afternoon hiking through these natural sculptures, and be sure to bring your phone for some Instagram-worthy pics.

Take this guide on the go with Apple Maps on your iPhone!

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