OPINION: Valentine’s Day Date Guide: Best places in Wichita to celebrate Valentine’s Day

With Valentine’s Day coming and gone, many may think they’re in the clear when it comes to planning dates and activities for the next month. Let me be the first to tell you that they’re wrong — in fact, I believe the dates following Valentine’s Day are some of the most important. Valentine’s Day sparks that honeymoon, lovey dovey energy that inspires singles, and couples, to give love their very best shot.

Wichita isn’t exactly known as the ‘city of love,’ but there are plenty of options if you want to treat yourself, your partner(s) or your friends next Valentine’s Day (or for any date night leading up to it).


GROW Giesen Plant Shop

For those gifted with (or working toward achieving) a green thumb, GROW is a fantastic place to get your hands a little dirty, especially leading up to Valentine’s Day. The plant shop is coupled with a DIY Plant Bar where you (and a loved one) can assemble your very own terrariums and decorate them with a selection of statues, crystals, stones and more.

A liquor bar with a variety of sweet drinks is also available. While a little pricey (roughly $30 if you make a terrarium and enjoy a drink), the experience is a must for singles, couples, and groups looking to unwind and find joy through gardening and plant care.


The Room – Escape Room

Have you ever dreamed of exploring Area 51 or paying a late-night visit to Morocco? With Wichita’s “The Room,” a similar experience is available just in time for Valentine’s.

This month’s escape rooms, Midnight in Morocco, Area 51 S-4 and The Temple of Tinar, are not Valentine’s Day themed, but they offer an immersive challenge that tests the critical thinking skills of you and your team. What better way to test the compatibility between you and a new date with timed puzzles with mysterious solutions? Costing an average of $25 per person, an escape room is an awesome way to challenge yourself and get to know someone in a new, previously unexplored way.


Blade and Timber Axe Throwing

For a more rugged, adrenaline-inducing experience, axe throwing might be the perfect Valentine’s Day pastime for you (especially if you still have some buried rage from a bad breakup). Available for singles, pairs and groups, it tests your survival skills, strength and aim.

With assistance from the trained employees, you’ll be guided step by step on how to handle and throw your axe. Food and drink is also available, so you won’t even need to go far to recharge once your throwing arm needs a rest.


Wichita Art Museum

Now featuring the “Love for All My Life” exhibition, the Wichita Art Museum is not only home to beautiful art and sculptures, but also plenty of scenic spots for relaxing and getting to know someone better in a new environment.

The museum now offers free admission, so you don’t have to break the bank for a memorable experience. And, with Botanica and several small parks and restaurants nearby, an afternoon stroll or picnic is the perfect way to spend the remainder of your Valentine’s Day.


Sedgwick County Zoo

The Sedgwick County Zoo, even in early February, offers a welcome reprieve from the hustle and bustle of the city. Spend the day with a special someone and see some of the world’s most fascinating animals in the largest zoo in Kansas.

General admission is only $3 on Wednesdays (the day after Valentine’s). While many of the bird exhibits are still closed after the bird flu outbreak, the penguins, meerkats, grizzly bears and gorillas are out and about even during the cold.


Chicken and Pickle

If you haven’t been to Chicken and Pickle yet, you can’t possibly be a real Wichitian, and it’s certainly not an experience to skip. With game options like Jenga, Battleship, Cornhole and, of course, Pickleball, there are plenty of options to choose from. With hot food and an ice skating rink, you’re sure to find something for everyone.

This year, Chicken and Pickle is hosting a free ‘Little Valentine’ event where you can bring your kids (or childish friends) to make a take-home craft.

Regardless of your relationship status this Valentine’s Day (or the remainder of the year), there’s no harm in taking the day to appreciate yourself and those you love. Whether you choose to do so from home with your favorite Netflix show or you decide to hit the town and try some trendy date activities, there’s always something for everyone — don’t be afraid to go looking for it. It may be closer than you think.