Looking for entertainment? Look elsewhere

Having lived in Wichita for 20 years, I’ve probably done everything there is to do in town.

When people come to visit, and they ask me what to do in the city, I usually snort with laughter, because it often seems like there’s nothing to do in this city.

Sure, we have Final Friday, the Sedgwick County Zoo, the Exploration Place and other entertainment venues, but you can only go so many times before visiting them becomes repetitive.

I hate to say it, but Wichita is a dying city when it comes to entertainment.

When I was younger, we had a fantastic arcade in Towne East Square.

Around 2005, it closed for good.

Until 2004, Joyland was the place to spend a Friday or Saturday night. I went the year before they closed the amusement park, and I wish I would have gone more now that I reflect on it. Driving past the park and seeing the deteriorating roller coaster and other rides standing, abandoned, is just depressing.

Then of course, there was Skate East. My elementary school used to host skate nights there once a month for students, and I always loved going to each of those to skate with friends while Grandma sat and watched. I even had my 12th birthday party there.

I’m not sure when Skate East closed, but I was driving down Woodlawn one day over the summer and decided to drive by the skating rink. I was saddened to find that it had been closed.

Three of Wichita’s finest places to hang out are all closed. It seems that every year, more and more things from childhood are closing or moving out of the city.

The entertainment venues the city offers nowadays can only be enjoyed to a certain extent. If you’re looking for good entertainment that isn’t just same old, same old, you might have to travel out of Wichita.

I’d suggest heading to Kansas City or Oklahoma City. Both places have plenty to offer for people of all ages.

Heck, you even have to travel out of the city if you want to gamble.

Granted, you only have to travel to Mulvane to find a casino, but wouldn’t it be nice if you didn’t have to drive out of the city to find some entertainment?

Hopefully Wichita adds more entertainment venues in the next few years and doesn’t keep closing places down. If places keep closing, we may have nothing left for entertainment in just a couple of years.