Wichita Falls, Texas is often a city that people drive through on their way to Dallas, Fort Worth, or Oklahoma City. Sitting right on the Texas-Oklahoma border near the Red River, my hometown deserves more than just a drive through. Even though I haven’t lived here in twenty years (hard to believe!), the kids and I visit family often, and there are so many things to do in Wichita Falls. It seems there is always a new destination or restaurant to discover in Wichita Falls!
For a smaller city of only 100,000 residents, it is busy with music, art, restaurants, and family-friendly activities. The art scene is alive in Wichita Falls, Texas with multiple art museums, historic homes, and lots of the live events including the symphony, theater, and ballet – not to mention the downtown area. There are so many new places to see, live, and eat!
I’m proud to say that this Texoma town has so much more to offer than when I was growing up. Whether you’ve lived here in Texoma, are new to “the Falls”, or are just passing through, take time to stop at one of these unique places. If you’re looking for fun family things to do in Wichita Falls today, here’s your must-see list!
If you’re traveling through and want to stay in downtown Wichita Falls, make sure you check out these top four downtown attractions that your kids will love!
- Maniac’s Mansion
- The Wichita Falls Waterfall
- Crashworks – Your Kid’s Favorite Creative Place
- Museum of North Texas History
TAG’s Maniac’s Mansion in Wichita Falls
Let your inner child – or actual child – come out at Maniac’s Mansion arcade in downtown Wichita Falls where you can play non-stop video games for only $8 per person. This is a place we would have hung out in high school if it had been around! My favorite surprise to find at Maniac Mansion? Getting to show off my Mario Brothers’ skills from decades ago! If you’re not cool enough for Mario, go camp out at Pac-Man, Galaga, and Tetris while others compete at Dance Dance Revolution or Guitar Hero.
Need a special snack? Let me introduce you to the cereal bar where you can purchase a bowl of cereal from the enthusiastic staff. You can go even bigger with toppings like cerup (cereal syrup), whipped cream, and sprinkles. If you’re not into cereal, there are extra snacks, candy, and drinks for sale.
Block off the whole afternoon, Mom. You just found one of your kids’ favorite things to do in Wichita Falls.
Visit the Sound Garden at Lucy Park
People of all ages love to bang and make music. The Sound Garden at Lucy Park is a great place for a seniors’ group, school trip, or just a break from walking around the park. Bring the kids to drum along and discover that making music out in nature is even more fun than being noisy at home. This would be a great place to stop on your north Texas road trip and let the kids get out their wiggles and energy!
Close to the Lucy Park pavilion, the Sound Garden is a great location for resting in the shade or enjoying a picnic. With one of the playgrounds located right there, let the other kids go climb all over the play equipment while your little musician keeps experimenting with the instruments.
HINT: The larger the group, the more fun the experience! With more than a dozen drums, chimes, and xylophones to choose from, there’s something for all your friends.
Disc Golf and Playgrounds at Lucy Park
When you’re done making music at the Sound Garden, follow the concrete paths to play a round of 18-hole disc golf at Lucy Park. Spread out among the pecan and cottonwood trees in a grassy area, this easily marked course is the best place to play in Wichita Falls.
Forgot your discs at home when you visit Lucy Park? Pull out the scooter for the 1.7 mile concrete trail or head to one of the three playgrounds to let the kids move. With several pavilions available, there are plenty of options for a picnic or an hour for the parents to sit in the shade. Make sure you don’t leave Lucy Park without stopping to let the kids see the ducks and geese at the small pond.
Visit the Falls in Wichita Falls
Are there falls in Wichita Falls? Although not the original, four-foot historic waterfall, today’s man-made waterfall is easily seen when driving through town. But when was the last time you took the time to get up close? The paved path is a further continuation of the Wichita River Trail that will take you back toward the Wee-Chi-Tah statue.
After you’ve explored Lucy Park, head back to the entrance (past all the ducks!) to park for a ten minute walk. This easy, paved trail follows along the Wichita River until arriving at the manmade falls. Stand at the bottom for a quick picture, or hike around and up to experience truly how much water is pouring over the top. This is also a great way to see out across downtown and toward the highway.
Bike and Hike the Wichita Falls Trails
As the home of the annual Hotter’n Hell Hundred bike race, Wichita Falls has its share of biking enthusiasts. During the last decade, more than 20 miles of paved trails in Wichita Falls have been completed to make a circle of the whole city. Check out this Wichita Falls trail map to plan your next trip.
Head to one of my favorite views out over the city on the Wichita Bluff Nature Area trail. Park either on Loop 11 or Seymour Highway, and head out for a great view over the city. This paved trail has a slight elevation change, but it’s easily walked, biked, or scootered on your next Wichita Falls family activity.
Wichita Falls Museum of Art
Located on the campus of Midwestern State University, the Wichita Falls Museum of Art at MSU Texas is a great little art museum whose exhibits rotate several times a year. With only a small suggested entrance fee of $5, this museum is a great way to introduce the kids to art without a bit time or financial commitment
Check out the MSU art museum schedule online to see about adding a workshop or sponsored concert to your Wichita Falls trip.
Located on Sikes Lake, park at the museum and plan to take a couple of laps on the paved walking path while looking for birds and geese. You could even cross the road to explore the beauty of the Midwestern State campus. It’s another great place to get those scooters out for the kids.
World’s Littlest Skyscraper
If you have a world-record obsessed kid as I do, you’ll enjoy seeing this Ripley’s Believe It or Not‘s “World Littlest Skyscraper.” The name still sticks today. This five minute stop to see Wichita Falls’ Littlest Skyscraper is a lesson to us all. Still standing, currently with some shops, plan to drive by and laugh as you read the kids the story of the misunderstanding and deception that lead to its size. However, this fact has recently been debunked as sneaky marketing from the developer…. so you decide!
PS: I’m intentionally not showing you a photo. It will be more fun this way!
Wee-Chi-Ta Statue and Historic Bridge
Wee-Chi-Tah tells the story of Wichita Falls’ origins. This life-sized bronze sculpture shows a Comanche family crossing the Wichita River. According to legend, she declared the water “waist deep” which translates to the name of the statue. Although it’s located in a less-traveled part of town, take ten minutes to stop and read the story.
The historic Ohio Street Bridge makes for some unique photographs as the Wichita River passes below. If you’re biking through Wichita Falls, this trail meets up with the Wichita River trail.
Ramble and Shop in Downtown WF
Looking for a fun souvenir to remember your walk around downtown Wichita Falls? Head to Ramble and Company to check out what this local lady is creating. This local store started as a business for the owner’s small-batch, self-printed T-shirts and has grown into a fun destination of unique, vintage-inspired gifts.
Grab a special Texas-themed super-soft T-shirt or sticker for your water bottle. This is a fun little store in downtown Wichita Falls that is beautifully displayed with something for everyone.
Visit the Wichita Theatre
Whether you’re looking for children’s theater shows, an adult play, or dinner theater, the Wichita Theatre in Wichita Falls always has a show waiting for you and your family to enjoy in downtown. This historic theatre, which has been around for more than a hundred years, provides family-friendly shows and gives Wichita Falls’ smallest performers a place to perform.
Located in downtown Wichita Falls, the Wichita Theatre is located close to some great restaurants. If you’re wanting to find something a bit more fancy, plan to head across the street to the associated Stage 2 Dinner Theater in an intimate setting, up-close with the local actors.
River Bend Nature Center in WF
You don’t have to drive to big cities for an amazing nature experience for kids. River Bend Nature Center in Wichita Falls is your family’s new favorite educational experience. Although there is not an official zoo in Wichita Falls, the Learning Center and Nature Conservatory at RBNC are places your kids will want to dawdle.
- Touch live animals with staff guidance.
- Examine hundreds of rocks, insects, and specimens.
- Look closely with digital microscopes.
- Play with tables of STEM toys.
- See the free-roaming quail and watch the prairie dogs.
- Look for hatching chrysalis in the butterfly garden.
- Go find the giant toad, rabbits, and turtles.
Make sure you leave time to hike the nature trail outside or dig for fossils in the Children’s Garden or buy a special treasure in the Gift Shop. Check the RBNC online schedule, so you don’t miss their special events and kid programming. Love the animals? Make sure you check out the Wild Bird Rescue also in Wichita Falls.
Mom Tip: Don’t forget to share this with grandma so she can get you a membership for Christmas! It’s a great investment that will give Mom and Dad a break all year round.
Looking for more animals? Make sure you check out the Wild Bird Rescue as well.
Explore Alley Cat Vintage in WF
Alley Cat Vintage is not just another antique store. This vintage store in downtown Wichita Falls is three stories and more than 50,000 square feet of treasures waiting to be found.
Wondering how to make an antique store fun for kids? Here’s my tip. While sitting in the car, come up with a random list of ten things for the kids to find. Make it a scavenger hunt and they’ll be busy while you look for that must-have vinyl record. Make sure you take the time to check out several murals on the property before heading to your next activity…
CrashWorks: STEAM Studio and Makerspace
“I would never get bored here,” my girl said. “This is my kind of place.” And two hours later, I had to make my kids leave CrashWorks with their creations in hand. Located in downtown, CrashWorks WF is the place your kids don’t know they want to go to… but they’ll beg to return! Better yet, bring some friends or a school group and let them create together.
Your kids want to make a mess, and you don’t want to deal with it. One small entrance fee brings you hours of…
- Endless recycled items and crafting supplies
- Paint and glue gun stations
- A play area for littles
- Electronics to take apart
- A carpentry room complete with tools
- And hours of creativity.
CrashWorks is another favorite kid activity in Wichita Falls that we would have a membership for unlimited crafting and exploring. Help them out! CrashWorks accepts all your old electronics, cleaned out craft closets, and random pieces.
Wichita Falls Mural Hunt
Over the last decade, the alley ways and buildings in downtown Wichita Falls have been painted with murals in all their color. From life-size creatures to graffiti to a three story mural, this downtown area is now bursting with color.
Don’t just drive past the paintings. Stop and admire them! Just because it isn’t framed on a dark gallery wall, that doesn’t mean they aren’t art and worth your time. Our favorite area to explore was the graffitied alley on the way to Maniac’s Mansion. Check out this list of Wichita Falls murals to learn more about their location and artists.
Love towns full of murals? Make sure you
Rent a Scooter in Wichita Falls
Ready to explore downtown Wichita Falls, TX? Grab a WF Goat Scooter! As the downtown area is revitalized, some of the destinations are a little spread out. Make your life easier (and faster). If riding electric scooters isn’t your thing, bring your own scooters. Downtown Wichita Falls sidewalks are great for exploring by wheel. And don’t forget to look out for riders as you drive around.
How do the electric scooters work?
- Download the GOAT app and find the nearest available electric scooter.
- Push off and stay within the geofenced area.
- Return your scooters to the designated areas by 11 PM nightly.
Note: You must be 18 or older to ride a scooter! (Let the grown ups have the rental scooters while the kids bring their scooters from home.)
Downtown Wichita Falls Farmers Market
Located downtown on Ohio Street, the farmers market in Wichita Falls comes to life every Saturday morning from 9 AM to 1 PM bringing local farmers, artists, and bakers together. There are so many vendors, that it even spills out into the surrounding streets.
Skip breakfast Saturday and come ready to grab a fresh pastry or treat before loading up your bags with fresh produce and meat for the week.
Gourmet Chocolate in Wichita Falls
Looking for a unique treat? Grab some artisanal chocolate delicacies at B Cocoa Artisan Chocolate right around the corner from TAG’s Maniac’s Mansion. Created in house, time your visit just right to even watch them make it. Not a fan of chocolate (are you crazy? 🙂 ), grab some for a gift to take home – they’ll love the beautifully painted bonbons or truffles. You can even opt for a fancy popsicle that they’ll freshly dip in your choice of chocolate!
If you’re feeling fancy, you can even book a tasting or workshop in the evenings to take it to the next level.
Hot and sweaty after riding your scooters around the downtown Wichita Falls murals? Take a quick drive to one of the only snow cone places in Wichita Falls, Summer Snow. It may be small, but it’s worth it! This is an inside stop so you can cool off before heading out on the rest of your day.
If you’re looking for something a little more exciting, add some spice with a chamoyada – a Mexican specialty of spicy chamoy sauce and fruit.
Museum of North Texas History
The downtown history museum in Wichita Falls is a great reminder of why you shouldn’t overlook the local museums. Although it doesn’t have the fanciness (or high-cost!) of Dallas or Houston, the Museum of North Texas History brings history to life, much of it from local families who have donated to the exhibits.
Give yourself two hours, and see how this north Texas town has developed since it began in 1880 as a railroad and oil boom town. See how people lived decades ago. Polio will no longer be a distant disease when you look at the iron lung and read the stories of the people who lived then. Your little history buff will love examining the model battleships and reading about the different wars.
The Best Hibachi at Samurai
Although not located downtown, I can’t tell you what to do in my hometown of Wichita Falls, without telling you our favorite place to eat. And a good thing about WF is that it’s small enough that it will only take you about ten minutes to get here.
Samurai of Tokyo is the hibachi to which my family compares all other hibachi experiences. No matter the price or fancy chain name, no other Japanese restaurant has met our standards. Ask a local. They move away and make sure to come back to Samurai when they come back to visit.
Don’t plan to show up right at lunch time or you’ll have a wait! But that’s for good reason. You’ll see!
Wild Bird Rescue
Looking for a fabulous place for kids who love animals? Take them to the Wild Bird Rescue and let them visit with the rescued wild animals of Wichita Falls. It’s free, but make a donation and support their cause. With multiple cages of outdoor birds, wander onto the property and head to the beautiful birds. If you’re lucky, the staff will come out and answer all your questions.
With a goal to return the birds to the wild, this Wichita Falls animal rescue serves to educate the public about their work, letting them interact with birds of prey. This is a great place to show the kids some adults who truly have a passion for what they do.
Don’t forget. This is a bird rescue – call them if you have a bird that needs rescue. Take them supplies to support their mission, and tell your friends. They need your help.
Wichita Falls Skate Park
Did you know the only skateboard park in this Red River area is located right off Interstate 44 in Wichita Falls? That makes the City of Wichita Falls Skate Park easily accessed and great for people just driving through Wichita Falls on their way to Oklahoma.
With bowls up to ten feet deep and ramps throughout, this colorfully decorated (aka graffiti-ed) skate park will keep you busy! Don’t have a skateboard? My kids love riding their scooters or just sliding and running around. Skateboard parks are a great way to get out some energy, but stay safe and bring your helmet. Given the summer heat, make this is an early morning activity.
A note of caution: the city of Wichita Falls just can’t keep up with the art that keeps decorating these concrete walls. While they are colorful designs, some are colorful in subject matter and language. Consider it an education.
Looking to get into skateboarding, make sure you stop by the Deviance Skate Supply in downtown Wichita Falls.
I hope you have a great time visiting these best activities for family fun in Wichita Falls. Let me know what you go see!
Thanks for stopping by my little corner! Here’s to your next adventure.
I’m Bobbie. As transplants from Texas, my family of six is on a mission to discover all of Georgia’s amazing places, experience amazing road trips across the United States, and create a homeschool life along the way.
Want to work with me? I’d love to work with your destination and tourism board to help other family travelers see all you have to offer.