Are you searching for the best & fun things to do in Dodge City?, this city sure has some fun attractions and activities to give you memorable vacation.
Dodge City was named after the nearby Fort Dodge, and it is known to be the county seat of Ford County, Kansas, USA.
Things to do in Dodge City cuts across exploring some of its unique cultural attractions. This city is known to be famous in American culture, having its history as an Old West frontier town.
Like other cities of Kansas, you are sure to have an amazing time visiting this city.
For a fun time in Dodge City, you can decide to tour the city, making stops at some of its points of interest such as Carnegie Center for the Arts, the Giant Coronado Cross, Mueller-Schmidt Home of Stone, Gunfighters Wax Museum, and more. You can also decide to cool off at the Long Branch Lagoon Waterpark.
There are also some nearby attractions that are worth a visit, such as the historic Fort Dodge.
For a memorable time in Dodge City, here are the top fun things to do in Dodge City, KS.
Things to Do in Dodge City
1. See El Capitan
Most artworks are named by the creator, this was not the case of this longhorn steer statue which currently stands at Wyatt Earp Boulevard. It got its name from a naming contest made in its honor.
Boot Hill Museum in the 1970s chose to honor more than 4,000,000 cattle which took to the trail from Texas to Dodge City between 1875 to 1885.
They commissioned an Arizona sculpture artist by the name Jasper D’Ambrosi to design a longhorn steer statue which was to be placed in Dodge City.
He saw the creation of El Capitan (The Captain from Spanish translation), which tells of leadership of the animal, which led other animals to the end of the journey.
After his trip, he appears lanky and lean, yet strong as many of the steers made numerous trips in its leadership position.
The Spanish name also was fitting to this sculpture as it is known that Spanish explorers brought the first longhorns to our continent.
Do not miss to have a sight of this Dodge City attraction during your visit. It makes one of the best things to see in Dodge City.
Address: 510 N 2nd Ave, Dodge City, KS 67801
2. Boot Hill Distillery
“Born from a barrel, Forged in the dust, Crafted by artisan distillers, from soil to sip.”
Those are the driving words of Boot Hill Distillery as they aim to continue Dodge City’s legacy of a city built with ashes of campfire and the footprints of a bar.
Boot Hill Distillery uses locally grown ingredients of high quality to produce the best the in-house distillery for your consumption.
They are open every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday between 12:00 PM to 10:00 PM, and tours are offered on Fridays and Saturdays at 1:00 PM, 3:00 PM, and 5:00 PM.
You can join any of their tours for a $10 fee, and you are highly recommended to make a reservation on their website as each tour is limited to only 20 persons.
Address: 501 W Spruce St, Dodge City, KS 67801
3. United Wireless Arena
One of the top fun things to do in Dodge City is spending some quality time at United Wireless Arena.
United Wireless Arena is a 17,000+ square foot facility that hosts sporting events, concerts, family shows, trade shows, motorsports, and lots more.
Having a siting capacity of more than 3,000, this arena hosts some of the big shows and events in the area.
Visiting this arena between November and December every year, you will have the opportunity to participate in the open ice skating held here.
This is one of the best places to catch a show or a game in Dodge City, perfect for your bucket list.
Address: 4100 W Comanche St, Dodge City, KS 67801
4. Learn History at Boot Hill Museum
Would you like to dig into the history of Dodge City?, take to exploring the Boot Hill Museum.
Boot Hill Museum is a history museum in Dodge City aimed at preserving the history of the Old West area and Dodge City.
A visit here will meet you with over 20,000 artifacts that are on display in this museum. You will find within the collection armor and original guns.
A section in the museum is dedicated to fun where you can get to learn history through watching simulations of saloon shoots and gunfights.
The name Boot Hill was coined from the popular title given to cemeteries as the fact that many of the men who died had a violent death, and died with their boots on.
The museum construction dates back to 1992 after experiencing a fire outbreak. This saw a bit of make-over to the entire structure.
There are also shops built around the museum which still have their old-time look as a way of reminiscing about old times.
A visit here will open you to history, definitely one of the top things to do in Dodge City for history lovers.
Address: 500 W Wyatt Earp Blvd, Dodge City, KS 67801
5. Explore the City with Dodge City Trolley
During your visit to Dodge City, do not miss an exploration of the area with the famous Dodge City Trolley
This brings a fun time roaming the city with a little of the old-time feel.
Dodge City Trolley service runs every day of the week from 8:30 am to 6:30 pm, and they operate from June to August every year.
However, in May and September, the also operate having their operation time to be from 8:30am to 5pm.
You can also opt-in for a walking tour or a driving tour through the city, hitting some of the top Dodge City attraction spots. You can book the driving tour at the Visitor’s Center Bureau.
Would you prefer a self-guided tour of Dodge City? There is a CD available to help you achieve that, also purchase a map to aid your tour.
During any of these tours, you will have the opportunity to meet 77 points of interest in Dodge City during your exploration.
This makes what to do in Dodge City for some exploration, quite a perfect addition to your bucket list of fun things to do in Dodge City.
Address: 400 W Wyatt Earp Blvd, Dodge City, KS 67801
6. Carnegie Center for the Arts
Carnegie Center for the Arts is a dedicated art center that makes one of the top attractions in Dodge City for art lovers.
This art center was formally a library which was turned into an art center featuring huge and round galleries of art.
Carnegie Center for the Arts is located in the downtown area of Dodge City, and its building is quite a historic one in the area.
Visiting this center, you will meet a two-story building housing numerous artifacts and showpieces which are on display for you.
Also, visit its gift shop which feature art pieces and paintings from local artist, your interest might catch one of these artworks.
The gift shop is also a perfect place to pick some souvenirs to take back from your visit to the city.
Are you an art enthusiast, and would you love a fun time admiring some works of art? Carnegie Center for the Arts is a perfect place to visit during your trip.
Address: 701 N 2nd Ave, Dodge City, KS 67801
7. Giant Coronado Cross
One of the historical points of interest in the area to stop by during your visit to Dodge City is the Coronado Cross.
The Giant Coronado Cross is hailed for its historical significance because of the traditional story it tells.
This Cross tells the story of a Spanish nobleman named Francisco Vasquez de Coronado, who left his hometown with a small army in 1540 to search for the City of Gold which he heard so much about.
After a very long journey, they crossed the Arkansas River and came to the point which is today Fort Dodge.
It was known that they were accompanied by Father Juan de Padilla, who took to holding the first thanksgiving service here on a nearby hill. It was known to be the first of its kind held here after 100 years after the arrival of pilgrims to the area.
To honor this memory, a permanent memorial was built here by the Ford County Historical Society, which saw the construction of the Coronado Cross.
The Coronado Cross dates back to 1975, featuring a tower height of 38 feet. It has been standing since its construction.
Take to visiting this landmark if you are in the area, a worthy historical attraction for your bucket list.
Address: 11666 US-400, Dodge City, KS 67801
8. Buy at Dodge City Farmers Market
Would you like to shop for organic products in Dodge City?, hosted every Saturday morning in the downtown area of Dodge City is the farmers market which answers to your needs.
Here you will meet seasonally grown vegetables and fruits as well as homemade products available for purchase.
This is also an excellent place to visit in Dodge City if you seek an outdoor walk with the smell of fruits such as pineapple, cherry amongst others, wafting the air. You can also have a mini breakfast by purchasing some of the homemade baked foods.
Depending on the weather conditions between June to fall, there are some art and craft shows set up in some shops in the area during mornings and noons, you can take to shopping these items.
This is one of the best ways to spend your day, consider an addition to your bucket list.
9. Gunfighters Wax Museum
Wax museums make a fun way to spend some time exploring wax statues of some of your favorite famous individuals in the process, taking some incredible photos.
Gunfighters Wax Museum brings all the fun of a wax museum and more for a memorable exploration.
This Wax museum is home to numerous life-like wax statues of famous personalities such as Billy the Kid, Buffalo Bill, Calamity Jane, Festus, Belle Starr, Doc Holliday, and many more.
This museum is near the Kansas Teachers Hall of Fame, and tickets can be purchased together at a minimal cost.
Exploring this wax museum is one of the unique things to do in Dodge City with the family, kids under the age of five can visit the museum for free.
10. Explore Fort Dodge
One of the best things to do near Dodge City is an exploration of Fort Dodge, an unincorporated community near Dodge City.
This community provides Kansas veterans who served in the US Army a nursing facility.
Initially, it was established to protect travelers and railroad workers who used the Santa Fe Trail from the Plains Indians in the area.
It served as an outpost on the Santa Fe Trail between 1865 to 1882, and today, with its population of 165, remains unincorporated providing nursing to Kansas war veterans. It as well acts as a retirement facility.
During your visit, take to exploring its historic library and the historical buildings in the area for a fin time.
11. Dodge City Raceway ParkFor sports racing lovers, one of the fun things to do in Dodge city is watching a live match at Dodge City Raceway Park.
Dodge City Raceway Park hosts several sporting events throughout the year where racing cars compete against themselves for fun.
Some of the events hosted here include the world of outlaws and sprint car nationals. Come and get a view of this dirt track as cars zoom by.
Visiting this raceway is a fun way to spend some family time during the summer, eating snacks and having a fun time.
This makes what to do in Dodge City for race lovers, quite a recommended addition to your bucket list of things to do in Dodge City for fun.
12. Fun at Boot Hill Casino and Resort
One of the best places to visit in Dodge City for some luxurious vacation time is the Boot Hill Casino and Resort.
Boot Hill Casino and Resort is a popular tourist attraction in Dodge City and it is a highly recommended place to visit for some fun time in the city.
Here you can get to try your hands at gambling. It just might be your lucky day.
The structure housing the Boot Hill Casino and Resort still has its old look as a tribute to the Old West area.
Entertainment is one of the top priorities here, also hit some of your favorite arcades and have a fun mealtime in their top-class dining area.
You do not have to worry about a rush on Table games such as roulette as there are about 700 slots available for your game time.
For fun things to do in Dodge City, add this to your checklist of places to visit in Dodge City.
13. Explore Dodge City Trail of Fame
Amongst the top fun things to do in Dodge City is joining the Dodge City Trail of Fame.
Dodge City Trail of Fame is an established walking tour through Dodge City, meeting you with some of the best attractions in Dodge City as you walk.
On this walk, you will meet with statues and gazillion medallions on both sides of the trails, dedicated to some of the famous individuals of Dodge City.
You will also meet some dedicated to infamous citizens of this area who once walked the lands.
Some medallions were constructed in honor of famous TV stars who have brought Dodge City to the world through their TV shows and movies.
Do you have more time for exploration, take a self-guided tour with information from the Visitor Information Center. If you are visiting in groups, you can take a free guided tour through the area.
This is one of the best free things to do in Dodge City for fun, it’s a great way to spend some outdoor time in the area.
14. Honor Teachers at Kansas Teacher’s Hall of Fame
How does visiting a museum which honors teachers sound?
After spending some time exploring the Gunfighter’s Wax Museum, you can continue your fun museum time at the Kansas Teacher’s Hall of Fame.
This museum was set up in honor of teaches who are part of the significant development of our nation, training children to achieve great heights.
It is a one-of-a-kind museum dedicated to famous teaches featuring donor plaques, a Hall of Fame gallery, and information of inducted members of the Hall of Fame.
You can also participate in some of the educational activities conducted in the facility, which is a fun way to learn.
Do not miss out on exploring the Kansas Teacher’s Hall of Fame during your visit to Dodge City. It is one of Dodge City activities that will give you a fun-filled day.
Address: 603 5th Ave, Dodge City, KS 67801
15. A Reflection Time at Liberty Garden
The Liberty Garden was built to stand as a symbol of remembrance and peace to lives that were affected by the 9/11 tragedy.
Located inside Wright Park, a historic park in the area, Liberty Garden holds respect for all the souls involved.
The Garden is open to the public as a reminder of sacrifice and honor, it is known to hold the Pentagon limestone that traveled far away and back to its homeland.
During your tour, take to notice the 4-foot section of steel brought from the World Trade Center. It is placed below a US flag as a symbol of reverence.
16. Animal time at Wright Park Zoo
One of the top things to do in Dodge City with kids is a visit to Wright Park Zoo, Children love some time with the animals, and in this zoo, they get to experience some fun time.
Wright Park Zoo is quite a vast zoo waiting to give you a fun time at absolutely no cost. Hence one of the best free things to do in Dodge City.
Outside each cage, there is informational placard of the animals within. You can also take to visiting the aviary, which houses a one-of-a-kind albino peacock.
During a visit to this zoo, some of the animals you get to see include leopards, monkeys, and Emus. Would you want to see some of the feline family? You can get to see the cougars, bobcats, and Tigers.
This answers what to do for a fun time in Dodge City. Consider a visit to this zoo as one of your Dodge City activities.
17. Cool Off at Long Branch Lagoon Waterpark
Opened in May 2016, Long Branch Lagoon Waterpark is a place to cool off and have some outdoor fun in Dodge City.
This waterpark spans 27,000 square feet and features a Western theme, giving the best of fun and adventure to its visitors.
Some of its features include a Wrangler rapids Wave pool which is a perfect section for those interested in devilry, and you can also take to have some relaxation floating in a lazy river tagged The Cowboy Creek.
There is also the Dalton’s Plunge where you can take a plunge or take the kids to the foot splash (a shallow pool and a play area).
To get to the peak of the fun, you can take to playing water basketball, drop slides, or enjoy the diving towers as some of your activities here.
Are you planning a trip to Dodge City during the summer, do not fail to add a visit to Long Branch Lagoon to your bucket list of places to visit in the city.
18. Don’t Miss the Mueller-Schmidt Home of Stone
One of the things to see in Dodge City during your trip is the Mueller-Schmidt Home of Stone. It is an over the edge architectural beauty.
Mueller-Schmidt Home of Stone has its structure made entirely of stone, and it still holds its place as one of the top attractions in Dodge City.
You will find this structure on top of a hill, surrounded by lawns and gardens, bringing the feeling of being placed out of a postcard.
This structure is known to be one of the oldest still standing in Dodge City, having to stand quite some refurbishment, and its simplistic beauty still marvels architects.
Visiting this home, you can take a walking tour of the building, bringing the opportunity to admire its parlor, bedrooms, and kitchen constructed in 1881.
The house is open to visitors from June to August, so do schedule your visit to fall within the timeframe. If you are visiting out of season, you will have to schedule an appointment.
Visit this Dodge City attraction which is quite an architecture to behold for unique things to do in Dodge City.
19. Central Station Bar and Grill
After a long day of exploration comes the need to have some Bar time, enjoying some of the best cocktails and wines. Central Station Bar and Grill got you covered.
Central Station Bar and Grill is quite the place to enjoy a selection of great tasting drinks, including cocktails and wines.
You can decide to pair it up with some of the best food and starters, such as barbequed pork ribs, pork chops, and more.
After your meal, you can decide to hit the dance floor to have your body move to the beat as you enjoy a fun evening.
Central Station Bar and Grill is recommended as one of the cool things to do in Dodge City at night.
20. The Long Branch Saloon
Long Branch Saloon was known in this area as one of the best watering holes from 1874 to 1885, and they as well did provide gambling and live entertainment to its visitors.
In 1885, the original Long Branch Saloon was gut by fire. However, a new Long Branch Saloon is now open for your visit at Boot Hill Museum in the City.
This new saloon was built modeling the interior of the popular TV drama, Gunsmoke and its exteriors models the original Long Branch Saloon building as seen in its photographs.
The furnishing was made with period pieces that date back to the 1800s. This includes a pair of golden eagles owned by Chalkley Beeson, the original owner of Long Branch Saloon.
Have a fun time at Long Branch Saloon, it is worth every moment spent.
Address: The Long Branch Saloon, Boot Hill Museum, 500 W. Wyatt Earp Blvd, Dodge City, KS 67801
21. See Cowboy Statue On Boot Hill
One statue ionic to Dodge City is the Cowboy Statue On Boot Hill, and during your tour, get to have a view of this art.
This statue was made by a local dentist named O.H. Simpson. You can locate this statue in front of the Old City Hall, now referred to as Boot Hill Distillery.
Take to notice its inscription on this statue which reads “On the ashes of my campfire, this City is built.”
As you explore Dodge City, do not miss taking a photo of this statue, quite a fun way to remember your visit to Dodge City.
22. Coffee at Red Beard Coffee
Located in the Downtown Historic District, Red Beard Coffee is your favorite coffee spot in Dodge City.
Red Beard Coffee brings you an excellent atmosphere for coffee time, with the fabulous aroma of coffee wafting the air.
Here, the baristas are hailed to be very friendly and knowledgeable, getting you the perfect coffee to get your taste buds craving for more.
They offer the regular coffee drink and offer quite a range of non-caffeinated such as hot chocolate, teas, juices, and sodas.
You can request Dairy-free options, and they also serve children’s lattes.
Address: Red Beard Coffee, 319 Gunsmoke St, Dodge City, KS 67801
23. Broadway at Depot Theater Company
Looking for what to do in Dodge City?
The Depot Theater brings you a fun theater experience to keep you entertained.
Depot Theater Company is a premiere Live Theater in the Southwest area of Kansas. Since its inception, it has been giving both locals and visitors to this area the beat of theater entertainment.
This theater was initially founded in 1984 at the Boot Hill Museum Complex. In 1996 the 1889 Santa Fe Depot was donated by Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad to the City, and there was a plan to restore the building.
This restoration saw the new home for Depot Theater Company after eight years of repair and in July of 2004, the theater moved into their new home.
In their new home, the first production was “Anyone Can Whistle,” and they have since taken to give to the public Broadway-style entertainment.
A visit to this theater is a great way to have a fun theater experience, do consider to add to your bucket list of places to visit in Dodge City.
Plan to visit Dodge City
Like we have seen, Dodge City is not shy of attractions and activities to give you a fun vacation time.
Take to explore these top attractions and activities in Dodge City, and you can make things easier by joining any of the guided tours listed in this article.
Start planning your trip to Dodge City today, don’t forget to pin this article for an easy guide through Dodge City as you make the trip.