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About Cowtown

​Old Cowtown Museum is owned and operated by the City of Wichita and is supported by the Historic Wichita Cowtown, Inc. (HWCI), a 501(c)(3) advisory board. The Museum is home to over 25,000 historical artifacts and 54 ​buildings which span 23 acres nestled in Wichita's Museums on the River District.

Many cities have museums - only Wichita has the one-and-only, never-to-be-duplicated-again Cowtown. Wichita's storied past is vividly brought to life through daily activities, special events and education programs.​​

Step onto Cowtown's dirt roads and enter a world just off the Chisholm Trail that is frozen in an 1865-1880 loop. Connect with history through artifacts in Cowtown's permanent collection, including textiles, furnishings, furniture, tools and art. Cowtown's unique programming tells the story of the city of Wichita's evolution, from a frontier settlement to a cattle town to an agricultural and manufacturing area.​

Our Mission

Old Cowtown Museum is an educational institution operated as an open-air living history museum dedicated to preserving and presenting the history of Wichita, Kansas through immersive experiences of life in the late 1800s.

Museum Hours

  • Wednesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. - Please note, last museum admission is sold at 4 p.m.
  • From April-October, Old Cowtown is also open on Sundays from 12 noon to 5 p.m. - Please note, last museum admission is sold at 4 p.m.

General Admission 

  • Adults: $10.00 
  • Seniors (62+), Teachers, and Veterans: $9.00 
  • Youth Ages 5-17: $8.00 
  • Kids 4 and under: Free 
Taxes are included in admission price.  
Contact us about group rate discounts: OldCowtownMuseum@wichita.gov​ 
 
*General Admission on Sundays at Old Cowtown Museum is free for all thanks to a generous donation from Colby Sandlian. 

 

Old Cowtown Museum is committed to ensuring everyone has access to history!  

 
Museums for All: Families with an EBT/SNAP card may enter the museum at a reduced rate of $3 per person through Cowtown's participation in the ​Institute of Museum and Library Services' Museums for All initiative​.
 
Free Sundays: Thanks to the generous support and donation from Colby Sandlian, general admission to the museum on Sundays from April through October is free! Special events are not included in Free Sunday Admissions.   ​​
 
School Bus Sponsorship: The Historic Wichita Cowtown, Inc. Board of Trustees is able to reimburse schools for busing expenses. Contact our Director of Education and Interpretation for more information​.  

Accessibility:  
Old Cowtown Museum is does not discriminate based on disability in admission to, access to, or operations of our programs. The Museum is an ADA compliant facility; however, we do have several historic buildings which may be challenging to maneuver for some. The Visitor Center has a guidebook for those with mobility challenges who may not be able to access all exhibits. Additionally, mobility scooters are available for use at no charge, however reservations are recommended to ensure availability. Please contact the Visitor Center directly for any accommodations you may need during your visit. ​​

Firearms Safety:
Safety and security is of the utmost importance at Old Cowtown Museum and we take the inclusion of firearms in our storytelling very seriously. We are excited to offer performances featuring gun slingers and good ole cowboy gun fights, but we make sure we do so with plenty of safety measures in place. Firearms are routinely inspected, staff and volunteers undergo training, along with several other safeguards.​

The City Manager’s office formally requested an audit of firearm safety protocols on June 11, 2023. It began on June 20, 2023. This was done to ensure that safety policies enacted at Old Cowtown were being implemented and followed. ​ ​ 

Following the audit results, Old Cowtown's firearms policy was updated, staff received additional training, and new protocols were implemented. We look forward to having regularly scheduled gun fights at Old Cowtown during the 2024 season.

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What people are saying about Cowtown:

"(Cowtown) truly is unique, genuinely historic, and educational, and just a lot of fun."  

Allen L., Wichita

"Great place for family trip. Really for any age. We happened to go in a Sunday with free entry. Lots of historical information. Highly recommend!" 

Rebecca Z., July 2023 Yelp review

"This is an ACCREDITED historical museum. That's a big deal, and not something that is easy to receive. Being here, you'll understand why. This is a living history museum that has 44 structures on site (many of them air conditioned) that show visitors what life was like as Wichita moved to an official city. All of the structures are either original donations to the museum, or are structures that existed and needed renovation. They are full of period pieces and artifacts. Depending on when you go, you can see people wearing clothing of the period, blacksmithing and giving oral histories. At less than $10 per person, this is a MUST-DO attraction!" 

​VanEsq12, July 2023 TripAdvisor review​


 

Historic Wichita Cowtown, Inc. works with the City of Wichita to further the Museum and its mission. Cowtown has the distinction of being accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, the highest national recognition achievable by a museum. Accreditation recognizes high standards in individual museums and ensures they continue to uphold public trust. Only 3 percent of the nation's estimated 34,144 museums are accredited. ​

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