Visitors will need to bundle up, but Topeka’s attractions and events are well worth the extra layers.
The prairie town of Topeka is a gem in the heart of Kansas – full of history, natural beauty, diverse culture, and a warm and welcoming Midwestern vibe, KS Capital City is an exciting and promising tourist destination.
While this is a great place to visit all year round, Topeka comes alive in winter with a myriad of cold weather events and attractions that make it the perfect place to visit, be it either to celebrate the winter holidays with events and shopping, or simply to relax and admire the sights, sounds and tastes of charming downtown Topeka. And don’t be afraid to bundle up and go out, as there are plenty of outdoor activities in the capital too, even when it’s snowing outside. Below are some of the best reasons to make Topeka your next winter getaway.
Winters in Topeka
For visitors who plan to visit Topeka during the winter months, don’t forget to pack a warm coat; and maybe even a scarf, gloves and a hat. Although winters are relatively short, they tend to be quite cold. Snowfall is generally below the national average, but the city’s location on the Kansas prairie leaves it exposed to biting winds that can make winters cold. Although November temperatures are cool, with average highs in the 1950s; From December through February, visitors can expect temperatures to average from lows in the 1920s to highs in the upper 1930s. So be sure to pack your bags accordingly, especially if you plan to spend time outdoors.
Baby it’s cold outside
Outdoor fun doesn’t stop in the capital, even when the temperature starts to drop. While Kansas may not be world famous for its winter sports, there are still plenty of opportunities to get out there and enjoy the crisp winter air. From skiing and snowboarding to ice skating and cross country skiing, snow bunnies around the world will find something fun to do in and around Topeka.
- Winter travelers to Topeka who want to hit the slopes can head to the Snow Creek Ski Resort in Weston, Missouri. Just over an hour from town, Snow Creek is a great spot for skiing, tubing, and snowboarding. Epic Day Passes start at $ 70 with access to all resort areas
- Put on those skates and head to the ice at the Landon Arena ice rink, located in the Kansas Expocentre. During the hockey season (October-March), visitors can skate at their leisure on Topeka’s own ice rink. One-time pass at $ 7; $ 30 five-session skate card
- After a day on the ice, catch an ice hockey game – the Expocentre is home to the North American Hockey League Topeka pilots. Tickets can be purchased through Ticketmaster
- Strap on those cross-country skis and hit the trail – many parks near Topeka that are hot-weather hiking destinations turn into cross-country ski spots in the winter. Both Flint Hills Trail State Park and the Gary L. Haller Trail are nearby and ideal locations for CC ski adventures
Walk in a winter wonderland
Topeka is pulling out all the stops as the holiday season approaches, and there is plenty to see and do as the city gears up for winter.
- Every year after Thanksgiving, downtown Topeka holds its Miracle on Kansas Avenue Parade, followed by the lighting of the Christmas tree, an annual tradition not to be missed. December 4, 2021
- Topeka Zoo Zoo Lights are another popular holiday tradition, as the zoo transforms into a magically illuminated winter wonderland after dark. Zoo Lights runs from November 19 to December 22, 2021 and is closed on November 22, 2021. Tickets must be purchased in advance.
- Each year, TARC, a Shawnee County non-profit organization that supports people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, Winter wonderland event with Christmas lights, displays and more. The two-mile ride winds around scenic Shawnee Lake and all the profits go to TARC. From November 24 to December 31, 2021, 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. every evening.
- Another Topeka holiday tradition, SLI Trees Festival is now in its 44th year. With decorated trees in the festival forest; a silent auction; live entertainment and a candy store filled with homemade goodies, the festival is a must-see holiday event. November 22 to December 4, 2021, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., closed on Thanksgiving Day
Other winter events in Topeka
There are plenty of other reasons to visit Topeka in winter, even if you can’t do so during the holiday season.
- A great way to commemorate Kansas State Status, Kansas Day takes place on January 29 each year. Celebrate by visiting the state’s historic sites; as the Kansas History Museum and the State capitol
- Celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, the Kansas Silent Film Festival is a fun event for everyone: 25 films in three days, all in Topeka. February 25-27, 2022 at White Concert Hall, Washburn University and Jayhawk Theater
- Wing flight is an annual event involving, you guessed it, a feast of delicious chicken wings. Hosted by Stormont Vail Event Center, the event includes a wing contest between local restaurants, tastings and more. December 18, 2021, 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., Tickets can be purchased online
While Top City Topeka is a fun place to visit year round, the charming capital really comes to life in winter with a myriad of fun events, festivals, outdoor activities, and holiday celebrations. So pack your warmest winter coat and snow boots and head to this Kansas gem this winter and be warmed by its welcoming downtown area and quaint Midwestern charm.
NEXT: Wondering Where To Stay To Ski Utah This Winter? Consider the Deer Valley Resort
11 major cultural differences between America and Canada (11 things weirdly similar)
About the Author