Manhattan is the county seat and largest city in Riley County, Kansas, however, it also stretches into Pottawatomie County. It is situated at the confluence of the Kansas River and the Big Blue River in northeastern Kansas. There are numerous things to do in Manhattan due to the city’s lovely historic center. During the Bleeding Kansas era, immigrants from the New England Emigrant Aid Company built the city as a Free-State town in the 1850s.
Manhattan is well known as the home of Kansas State University, and is nicknamed “The Little Apple” as a play on New York City’s “Big Apple.” Sunset Zoo is one of the greatest little zoos in the country, and Tuttle Creek State Park is spacious enough to accommodate a variety of recreational activities. Since you’re taking a holiday to Manhattan, Kansas, these are some of the greatest things to do in Manhattan.
Things to do in Manhattan
1. Sunset Zoo
Location- 2333 Oak St, Manhattan, KS 66502
Sunset Zoo also referred to as the Sunset Zoological Park, is a tiny zoo in Manhattan, Kansas, that houses over 300 creatures from over 100 distinct species. The zoo’s main goal is to motivate people to care about the environment. Now it spans 26 acres and has lots of room for development. The John Woodard Memorial Gibbons Exhibit was one of the most recent additions. One of the best things to do in Manhattan is to witness the landscape here in the zoo which is clearly influenced by the Flint Hills.
Things to do- In certain sections of the zoo, visitors can expect steep inclines. On top of its various exhibitions of beautiful creatures, it also has several distinct gardens where you may spend some time.
Do you know- It is one of the oldest existing zoos, having been founded in the 1930s by Dr. E.J. Frick, then-Head of Surgeons and Pharmacy at Kansas State University.
2. Flint Hills Discovery Center
Location- 315 S 3rd St, Manhattan, KS 66502
The Flint Hills Discovery Centre is a significant tourist destination in Manhattan, including exhibits on historical places, Flint Hills preservation, а unique park for both children and parents, a temporary exhibition gallery, and a theatre. The museum’s displays depict the many levels of the prairie. Blue Earth Plaza, which is one of the finest things to do in Manhattan, is located in front of the sustainable, eco-friendly structure that houses the center.
Things to do- Learn about the unique ecoregion that encompasses the Kansas Flint Hills and the northern Oklahoma Osage Hills as you visit the area.
Do you know- The last surviving area of prairie that formerly covered most of North America can be found in this ecoregion. There are just 3% remaining presently, with the majority of it blooming in the Flint Hills.
3. Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art
Location- 701 Beach Ln, Manhattan, KS 66506
Not bothering whether you are in Kansas with family or friends, this Museum of Art is one of the most enjoyable things to do in Manhattan. Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art, situated close to Aggieville on the Kansas State University campus, is a nonprofit art museum accessible to the public. Special exhibits are held in the museum, which also houses KSU’s regional art collection. Their art collection currently numbers over 10,000 works, which are shown in the gallery on a rotating basis.
Things to do- The museum has a wide variety of activities for people of all ages. Favorites such as works by Shirley Smith and John Steuart, as well as pieces that have been re-emerged from storage after a lengthy period of time, maybe found in the gallery.
Do you know- The Museum was founded in 1996 as a result of a significant gift from Ross and Marianna Beach of Hays, Kansas, which consist of works by well-known painters.
4. Riley County Historical Museum
Location- 2309 Claflin Rd, Manhattan, KS 66502
Riley County Historical Museum is a division of the Riley County Government. The Riley County Museum, founded in 1914, gathers, maintains and explains Riley County history, as well as encouraging awareness of local history and cultural landscapes in all forms. The museum houses a diverse collection of historical artifacts, varying in size from a tax token to the Hartford House. This is among the most interesting things to do in Manhattan for those interested in knowing about Riley County.
Things to do- Explore the museum and learn about Riley County’s history. You may arrange a tour that is simply available there if you want to understand more about it. Their informative tours are one of the best things to do in Manhattan.
Do you know- Over 70,000 artifacts, 5000 cubic feet of records and manuscripts material, 4500 scholarly research tiles, 300 periodic tiles, and 7000 pictures make up the collection.
5. Kansas State Insect Zoo
Location- 1500 Denison Ave, Manhattan, KS 66506
In Manhattan, the Kansas State Insect Zoo has numerous exhibits of fossilized, conserved, and living insects. There’s also a creative kitchen with samples of different bugs and comprehensive information about them in drawers and cabinets. Some exhibitions are interactive, like the microscopes that tourists may use to examine the stored insects. Make sure to add this place to the list of best things to do in Manhattan.
Things to do- In the zoo, visitors may see not only living insects but also conserved insects and fossils. The museum will give you a local guide who will keep you up to speed on all you need to know.
Do you know- The Kansas State Insect Zoo, which was inaugurated in 1999, is housed in the university’s former Dairy Barn on campus.
Also Check Out: Things to do in Bakewell
6. Wonder Workshop Children’s Museum
Location- 506 S 4th St, Manhattan, KS 66502
The Wonder Workshop is a company that creates wonders. The Children’s Museum is a non-profit interactive educational museum that provides outdoor and indoor learning activities in the crafts, science, and humanities for children and young people. The Wonder Workshop also organizes Underground Railroad excursions, Starship portable planetarium, and family gatherings. Bring your kids to this Museum, which is one of the most fun things to do in Manhattan.
Things to do- The museum hosts activities such as scientific research, trekking, narration, fossil hunting, ceramics, decorative arts, percussion, and management camps for you to actively participate in.
Do you know- In 1989, a researcher, an instructor, and a Manhattan principal tested a three-year program aimed at meeting the scholastic, cultural, and social needs of neighborhood kids and their families.
7. Wildwood Outdoor Adventure Park
Location- 375 Johnson Rd, Manhattan, KS 66502
Wildwood Outdoor Adventure Park, nestled in the lovely Flint Hills in the suburbs of Manhattan, Kansas, is an adventure destination with something for everyone. While walking along its paths, one may readily learn something about the land’s past. Wildwood is a wonderful place for kids’ parties, business social affairs, and any other group party, with magnificent vistas and a fun and safe zipline excursion. Moreover, the staff here is welcoming and knowledgeable so you have a good tour.
Things to do- The tour guides ensure that your visit to Wildwood Park is both educational and enjoyable. You will most of the things to do in Manhattan here in this park such as Tandem runs, zip lines, trekking, and much more.
Do you know- Wildwood Adventure Park is an 80-acre park recognized as Flint Hills’ No. 1 adventure park.
8. Liquid Art Winery and Estate
Location- 745 Wildcat Creek Rd, Manhattan, KS 66503
Guests to Liquid Art Winery’s entertaining tasting room may enjoy a beautiful view of the vineyard and valley floor, which is nestled on a hill near Manhattan, Kansas. A 20-acre vineyard, an activity facility, a packed winery, and a sampling room are all part of the estate. On Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, the vineyard and estate provide wine tastings, as well as hosting parties and weddings. After a long hectic day, these are the most relaxing things to do in Manhattan.
Things to do- Grab the bottle or glass in their sampling room, along with a selection of cheese, crackers, cured meats, candy, and other treats. Make sure to try their different wine produce.
Do you know- The Liquid Art Winery And State, founded in 2014 by two Flint Hills residents, practices winemaking on the soil of an ancient mountain in the Flint Hills.
9. Wolf House Museum
Location- 630 Fremont St, Manhattan, KS 66502
This fascinating museum is an 1868 residence that has been kept with its furniture and interior decorations as an example of housing and living in the 1800s. This two-story limestone structure originally was owned by Max and Lucule Wolf, who transferred it to the Riley County Historical Society in 1982. For history and architecture buffs, this is one of the most fascinating things to do in Manhattan. Take a proper to each part of the house to see their lifestyle.
Things to do- Because every owner made a succession of alterations influenced by each period’s style, there are also numerous exhibitions to go through that show different periods of the house’s history.
Do you know- The home was known as the German Boarding House since it was utilized as a boarding house by the founder’s family until 1938.
10. Konza Prairie Biological Station
Location- 100 Konza Prairie Ln, Manhattan, KS 66502
The Biological Station, which is situated in Flint Hills, is a tallgrass prairie preservation area. The site is co-owned by Kansas State University, which utilizes it as a research area for its Department of Biology. The Nature Conservancy also owns the land. The objective of the station is long-term ecological study, teaching, and protection of the fast vanishing tallgrass prairie. As you walk through its trail, you will realize it is one of the most peaceful things to do in Manhattan.
Things to do- Only a part of the property is open to visitors, who may access it by three loops and built-in hiking trails with a few hard climbs that lead to higher vantage spots with amazing scenery of the Kansas River Valley and Flint Hills.
Do you know- The Konza Prairie Biological Station is also a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, as well as a member of the Long Term Ecological Research Network.
11. Goodnow House
Location- 2301 Claflin Rd, Manhattan, KS 66502
Another best things to do in Manhattan include Goodnow House that is a vintage two-story brick house in Manhattan, Kansas. It is situated at 2301 Claflin Road. It was constructed in the Plains Slang style in 1861. The Goodnow House is a stone house with a one-story wing with gable roofs. Except for the holidays, the home is open all year. It also accepts sponsorships and entrance is available for free. If you’re traveling with a family, make sure to book arrangements ahead of time.
Things to do- Aside from providing you a general picture of living in the area, the location may be extremely instructive for architects and heritage buffs.
Do you know- It was constructed in1861, and Isaac Goodnow and his wife, Ellen, resided there till his death in 1894.
12. Little Apple Brewing Company
Location- 1110 Westloop, Manhattan, KS 66502
Little Apple Brewing Company, founded in 1995 in Manhattan, Kansas, has developed a name on excellent Certified Angus Beef steaks and fresh handmade brews and ales. This lively restaurant has been serving large, delicious certified Angus beef steaks that go perfectly with their own hand-crafted brews from 1995. Come here after a lengthy tour of Manhattan since sharing a brew with your friends is one of the most refreshing things to do in Manhattan.
Things to do- Lookout for the day’s beer selection and, despite the size of their steaks and burgers, save room for their bread pudding with whiskey sauce.
Do you know- They have been named a four-time Kansas Beef Backer Award winner and to have received the National Beef Backer Award for Independent Eateries in 2011.
13. Tuttle Creek State Park
Location- 5800 River Pond Rd A, Manhattan, KS 66502
Tuttle Creek State Park, situated in the Flint Hills near Manhattan in northeast Kansas, is a massive 1,200-acre lakeside conservation area with 100 miles of beautiful, rocky coastline and 12,500 acres of water. River Pond, Rocky Ford, Fancy Creek, and Randolph are the four main sections that make up the park. Tuttle Creek State Park has eleven cottages, seven of which are positioned therein River Pond Area and four in the Cedar Ridge Area.
Things to do- Shores, walking, bicycling, and horseback routes, sailboat docks, a dock, campgrounds, lodges, fisheries, kayaking, a crossbow range, and much more are available which are fun things to do in Manhattan.
Do you know- The 12,000-acre wildlife area is present next to the park is ideal for animal viewing and hunting.
14. Blue Earth Plaza
Location- Blue Earth Plaza, Manhattan, KS 66502
Blue Earth Plaza, situated close to the Flint Hills Discovery Centre, is the town’s media center. You may enjoy your next lunch here or just take a walk around the paths; anyway, you’ll have a wonderful time. A huge water sculpture synced acoustically with flowy jets may be found in the plaza. Blue Earth Plaza is a great place to have a picnic or just throw a frisbee. If you want to spend some time with family or friends, here is one of the most favorite things to do in Manhattan.
Things to do- Blue Earth Plaza has a lot of amenities for your recreational activities. You can simply have a leisure walk or enjoy playing with kids. Also, it has a spot for a picnic so you can enjoy your weekend there.
Do you know- Some of the plaza’s other distinctive features include a massive fireplace and a seasonal shade aperture with a trio of massive triangular sails.
15. Tallgrass Tap House
Location- 320 Poyntz Ave., Manhattan, KS 66502
Tallgrass Tap House is a massive, widely famous brewery, restaurant, and taproom sprawled over 11,000 square feet of rustic, industrial-chic area in historic downtown Manhattan, Kansas. It provides a vibrant and entertaining setting for customers while offering American-Brewpub-style food. The brewery, which is one of the most favorite things to do in Manhattan, has massive beer barrels, and sitting and function areas are spread out across many levels, including a terrace with spectacular views.
Things to do- Check their menu that offers a diverse selection of meals, ranging from locally produced beef to fresh seafood to Korean-inspired cuisine.
Do you know– On tap, there are always quarter rotating beers, as well as unique and seasonal brews. Their brewery is described as a laboratory for trying and developing new brews by the brewers.
16. Strecker Nelson West Gallery
Location- 406½ Poyntz Avenue, Manhattan, KS 66502
SNW Gallery, situated at Poyntz Avenue in historic downtown Manhattan, Kansas, provides established and budding buyers pieces by the best Kansas and area artists. One of the most popular things to do in Manhattan if you enjoy art is to visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The gallery is a treasure trove for art pieces for homes, businesses, and public places, with a broad and high-quality inventory of modern art, and its proprietors are fully equipped to give advice on art selection and framing.
Things to do- The gallery is a wonderful source for art pieces for residences, commercial and crowded locations, thanks to its wide and high-quality inventory of modern art.
Do you know- For the past 37 years, the gallery has been an essential component of Manhattan’s cultural character, presenting works in a variety of mediums such as engravings, illustrations, and sculptures.
17. Rocky Ford State Fishing Area
Location- Manhattan, KS 66502, United States
Rocky Ford, a river fishery on the Big Blue River, is located immediately south of the Tuttle Creek Dam. Anglers have the opportunity to catch species that are often found in flowing water. It is possible to catch Saugeye, white bass, catfish, drum, crappie, and carp. For those who want to do fishing, this is among adventurous things to do in Manhattan. So take your fishing rod and other necessary gear, capture, prepare, and relax.
Things to do- Aside from fishing, the location offers a variety of other exciting and adventurous activities, such as trekking.
Do you know- In 1967, Kansas Power and Light, a branch of Western Resources, gave Rocky Ford Fishing Area to the Department of Wildlife and Parks through Wildtrust.
18. Linear Park Trail
Location- Manhattan Parks and Recreation Office, Manhattan, KS 66502
It’s a trail system that may be accessible from a variety of locations across the city, including Richards Drive, Temple Lane, 3131 Anderson Avenue, and others. The Linear Trail, a famous cycling trail used daily by residents for fitness, is one of the greatest things to do in Manhattan, Kansas. It follows the Kansas River, Big Blue River, and Wildcat Creek all the way around the city, starting at Anneberg Park and finishing at Northeast Community Park.
Things to do- It is suitable for cyclists, joggers, and pedestrians. The paths are shaded, beautiful, and enjoyable, and you may see a variety of species during the calmer periods of the day.
Do you know- The 9-mile route is paved in some places and coated in crushed limestone in others. It starts in Anneberg Park and ends at Northeast Community Park, going all the way around the city.
The city has a college town feel to it because it is host to Kansas State University. Apart from the evidence, the city has a lot to offer its tourists. With a beautiful downtown, you will undoubtedly have a good quality time. Tuttle Creek State Park, located just north of the city, includes the Tuttle Creek Reservoir, equestrian paths, and a driving range. Trails run south across Konza Prairie, which is a habitat for bison. With so many things to do in Manhattan, you’ll have a great time and learn a lot.