The Texas plains were formerly known for being prime cattle ranching and agriculture territory, and you can still see that influence today in Wichita Falls.
There’s also plenty of modern-day entertainment here, from theaters and ballets to water parks and wineries. Hit up the farmers’ market, check out one of the museums, or peruse the various antique shops around town.
Whether you’re a local looking for something new to do on a weekend or you’re just passing through, Wichita Falls is a big city with a small-town charm that’s sure to please.
Check out our picks for the best things to do in Wichita Falls.
Table of Contents
- 1. Riverbend Nature Center
- 2. Kell House Museum
- 3. Lucy Park
- 4. Backdoor Theatre
- 5. Museum of North Texas History
- 6. Kemp Center for Arts
- 7. The World’s Littlest Skyscraper
- 8. Castaway Cove Waterpark
- 9. Horseshoe Bend Cellars
- 10. The Warehouses on Lamar Street
- 11. Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame and Museum
- 12. Depot Square Historic District
- 13. Lake Arrowhead State Park
- 14. Wildcats Hockey Stadium
- 15. The Wichita Theatre
- 16. Lake Kickapoo
- 17. Wichita Falls Symphony Orchestra
- 18. Wee Chi Tah Mountain Bike Trail
- 19. Wichita Falls Brewing Company
- 20. Kiwanis Park
- 21. P’s Crazy Car Museum
- 22. Holiday Creek Trails
- 23. Wichita Falls Farmers Market
- 24. Riverside Cemetery
- 25. Wichita Falls Ballet Theatre
- 26. Wichita Falls Museum of Art
- 27. Memorial Auditorium
- 28. Wichita Falls Regional Airport
- 29. Maniac’s Mansion
- 30. 8th Street Coffee House
1. Riverbend Nature Center
Some of the best things to do in Wichita Falls revolve around nature, and the Riverbend Nature Center is the cream of the crop. This environmental education center is home to 18-acres of verdant terrain that is full of flora and fauna native to Wichita Falls.
This place is chock full of interesting animals and exhibits, making it the equivalent of a small zoo. You’ll find a children’s garden, a butterfly conservatory, and over 100 live exhibits showcasing everything from turtles to prairie dogs, and everything in between.
There are also weekly activities and events for kids, so if you live in the area you can come back again and again for new experiences.
You could also spend your day walking along the various nature trails that cross the landscape or hunker down for a relaxing picnic on the lush lawn outside the center.
2. Kell House Museum
Take a step back in time and visit one of the oldest homes in town; The Kell House is one of the best things to do in Wichita Falls for history lovers. Even if you don’t consider yourself a history buff, this museum is definitelyworth a visit.
The house was built in 1896 and was home to one of Wichita Falls’ founding fathers, Frank Kell. It was inhabited until 1980 when the last Kell daughter died, and was immediately transformed into a museum that opened just a year later.
The house has been immaculately preserved, and you’ll find period furniture, costumes, and other artifacts inside that’ll help you imagine what life was like back in the day.
For a more in-depth look into how Wichita Falls was developed, consider going on the guided heritage tour available Thursday – Sunday (every day the museum is open).
3. Lucy Park
As we mentioned, spending time outside is one of the best things to do in Wichita Falls – and a trip to Lucy Park offers endless entertainment. Head to Lucy Park to see Wichita Falls’ namesake!
At 54-feet in height, the Wichita Falls are a lovely sight to see, especially if you’re in the park around sunset. The waterfall is what the town was named for, and although the original falls no longer remain, the man-made waterfall that has replaced it is just as spectacular.
This area is one of the most popular outdoor expanses in all of Wichita Falls, so you’ll likely find lots of people here grilling out, picnicking, or enjoying a game of disc golf.
The park is also home to lots of hiking and biking trails, duck pond, a playground, a beautiful river walk, and various sport courts.
4. Backdoor Theatre
One of Wichita Falls’ main claims to fame can be found inside the walls of the Backdoor Theatre. This little local theater has a well-earned reputation for putting on some of the best shows in the state, so it might be wise to plan your trip around one of these famed events.
The theater opened its doors in 1971 in the basement of the Weeks Mansion. Patrons could only enter through the door around the back, hence the name “Backdoor Theatre”. Although the theater has changed locations a few times since then, the name has stuck through all the upgrades.
The theater hosts shows on the Main Stage or the Dinner Stage every weekend, and you can catch a variety of comedies, dramas, musicals, and concerts. One of their most popular shows is the Evening of Improv, held once a month. If you’ve ever been a fan of the iconic show “Whose Line is it, Anyway?”, this event is not to be missed.
5. Museum of North Texas History
If you’re looking for a more well rounded history of the area that stretches further than Wichita Falls city lines, then a trip to the Museum of North Texas History is in order.
The museum is located in the downtown area and is a great jumping-off point for the rest of your time in Wichita Falls. You’ll learn about some of the historical buildings in town and get a sweeping overview of North Texas as a whole.
The museum is spread across 14 different rooms, and you’ll find everything from World War II memorabilia to ancient Native American artifacts. There’s even a collection of cowboy boots and hats that have been worn by some of the state’s most revered icons.
One of the best things about this museum is that the staff is completely made up of enthusiastic volunteers who make the experience even more interesting.
6. Kemp Center for Arts
One of the best things to do in Wichita Falls for art lovers is without a doubt the Kemp Center for Arts. The center is one of the most well developed cultural spaces in the whole region, and people from around the state flock here to enjoy an eclectic array of programs and events.
There are 5 indoor galleries that host a variety of rotating exhibitions, and you’ll find the Art on the Green exhibition outside – a permanent installment with eight different sculptures spread across the center’s lush lawn.
Throughout the year, the center hosts a variety of fun events for people of all ages. Some of the most popular include storytelling performances, free art activities, children’s exhibits, and an abundance of diverse musical performances.
Check out their website for a full calendar of events and see which events are taking place while you’re in town.
7. The World’s Littlest Skyscraper
Formally known as the Newby-McMahon Building, the World’s Littlest Skyscraper is a must-see while you’re in Wichita Falls.
The 4-story building was commissioned in 1919 by a man named McMahon, and unbeknownst to investors, he was a bit of a trickster. Hoping for a massive skyscraper, the investors signed a contract for a 480-foot skyscraper – but they didn’t read very carefully, because the measurements were actually in inches rather than feet.
The 40-foot building was completed, much to the chagrin of the investors, and has since been a bit of a running joke (after the initial embarrassment wore off, that is). Ripley’s Believe it or Not dubbed it as the world’s littlest skyscraper in the 1920s, and the name has stuck ever since.
The building has even made its way onto the National Register of Historic Places – so don’t miss your chance to see this legendary place while you’re in Wichita Falls.
8. Castaway Cove Waterpark
Even northern Texas can get hot, with summer temperatures often soaring north of 90 degrees Fahrenheit. The Castaway Cove Waterpark offers a welcome reprieve from the heat and is one of the best family friendly things to do in Wichita Falls.
The park features a series of water slides, a lazy river, a wave pool, and a shallow kids’ swimming area. There is also a sand volleyball court and a few playgrounds for those who are looking to stay dry.
Parents can hang out at the tropical bar while the youngsters splash around. There’s also lots of green space for picnics once you’ve worked up an appetite.
You can even rent a poolside cabana to take your trip to the next level and ensure a decent amount of shade. Just be sure to book in advance, as these fill up quickly in the summer months!
9. Horseshoe Bend Cellars
Wine lovers will find one of the best activities in Wichita Falls at the local vineyard located on the outskirts of town. The winery is nestled between the scenic shores of Wichita River and Horseshoe Lake, and offers a wide range of locally made wines.
The winery features a tasting room and a balcony overlooking the estate, and hosts a series of fun events throughout the year including stargazing nights, murder mystery games, and wine pairing events.
Sit back and relax with a glass of wine and a charcuterie board as you soak in the lovely views of the estate. Don’t hesitate to ask for a complimentary tour of the grounds!
Horseshoe Bend Cellars is located along the North Texas Tasting Trail, so you’ll find a variety of other wineries within a few hours’ drive.
10. The Warehouses on Lamar Street
The historic Lamar Street in downtown Wichita Falls is one of the most fun areas in the city. The street is home to a collection of old warehouses that house some great vintage and antique shops today.
One of the largest is the Heritage Antiques and Collectibles, which is home to 3 whole floors of goodies from over 70 different vendors. Alley Cat Vintage is one of the most popular warehouse stores and features an eclectic collection of second-hand vinyl, jewelry, antique Pyrex, and other cool vintage finds.
If you’re not into antiques, this area is still worth a drive through, even if it’s just to look to take a peek at the old warehouses.
11. Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame and Museum
Those looking for something a little out of the ordinary during their time in Wichita Falls should head straight for the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame and Museum. This fun spot is home to a quirky collection of all things professional wrestling. Even if you’re not a big fan of the sport, you’re still guaranteed an entertaining experience.
The walls are decked out in memorabilia from some of Texas’s top wrestling legends, along with other artifacts from all over the country. The museum is also a great place to learn more about the history of the sport, and you might even leave a bigger fan than when you entered.
If you’re lucky, you might even catch a special appearance from a famous wrestler, an induction into the hall of fame, or a live wrestling match while you’re in town!
12. Depot Square Historic District
Just a few blocks down from Lamar Street you’ll find Wichita Falls’ Depot Square Historic District. Stretching 6 blocks from 8th Street to Ohio Street, this area is home to some of the city’s most important cultural sites (one of which includes the aforementioned “skyscraper”).
This area is best seen on foot, with a camera in hand. Other than just admiring the old-school architecture that this area is famous for, you can spend your time popping into (more) antique shops, hunting for souvenirs, or perusing an outdoor market, depending on the time of year.
Once you work up an appetite from all the walking, you’ll find plenty of options for sustenance and refreshments in the nearby area, including cafes, wine bars, breweries, and steak houses.
13. Lake Arrowhead State Park
Located just outside city limits, you’ll find Lake Arrowhead State Park. This lakeside park is located about 20 minutes south of the city and boasts an array of activities that the whole family will love.
The lake is a prime fishing spot for anglers looking to reel in some dinner. You can try for catfish, crappie, and bass from the park’s fishing pier. You could also cast out from your boat, which can be launched on the south end of the park.
There are also over 2 miles of scenic walking trails traversing the park that are perfect for bird watching, a disk golf course, a swimming beach, and a large picnicking area.
If you’d like a more hefty dose of nature while you’re in Wichita Falls, you can rent a campsite at the park for a night or two.
14. Wildcats Hockey Stadium
Home of the minor-league Wichita Falls Wildcats, the Wildcats Hockey Stadium is a must-see attraction when you’re in town. Even if you’re not a huge hockey fan, catching a game here is one of the best things to do in Wichita Falls.
If you’re lucky enough to catch a game against one of the team’s regional rivals, the competitive atmosphere in the stadium will have you cheering along with the rest of the fans.
Try planning your trip around one of the fun theme nights that are hosted here throughout the year. Whatever you do, don’t leave right after the game is over. Once the players have left the arena, you can go down and skate on the ice yourself! It doesn’t get much better than that.
15. The Wichita Theatre
If you’ve ever wanted to see a Broadway show, you’ll have your chance at the Wichita Theatre. The theater got its start as an opera house back in 1918, and after a brief stint of transforming into a movie theater in the ’30s, the building once again hosts live musical performances.
These “Broadway shows” star local kids and teenagers, and there are a handful of productions put on each year. Theater is a big part of the culture of Wichita Falls, and the performances here are truly astounding.
You can also catch various music groups performing concerts on the dinner stage. What’s better than dinner and a show?
Be sure to check out which productions and concerts are happening during your time in Wichita Falls, and buy your tickets in advance before they sell out.
16. Lake Kickapoo
Get out of the city altogether and head 30 miles southwest where you’ll find the lovely Lake Kickapoo, named after the indigenous people who once populated this area.
This man-made lake is extremely popular with anglers, and thanks to restocking throughout the year, you won’t have to wait too long before you reel in a catch. You can hope to reel in a variety of species out of Lake Kickapoo, including white crappie, largemouth bass, and 3 different kinds of catfish.
You’ll find a heated and covered fishing dock, cleaning stations, restrooms, and even a campground by the Kickapoo Fishing Camp. All these great features are included for a small fee, of course, but you can always fish for free from your own boat – just make sure to have a fishing license.
Even if you’re not looking to drop a line, Lake Kickapoo is a great place for a scenic hike or picnic.
17. Wichita Falls Symphony Orchestra
More musical entertainment can be found with the Wichita Falls Symphony Orchestra, housed in the aforementioned Kemp Center for Arts. If you’ve never seen a professional orchestra before, or even if you’ve seen many, the Wichita Falls Symphony Orchestra should be at the top of the list for all music lovers visiting this city.
The symphony welcomes guests to enjoy exclusive performances that are sure to both impress and delight from the months October-April. You could also check out some of the other arts and entertainment installations in the Kemp Center for Arts and get a full day (or week!) out of this beautiful venue.
You can purchase a single ticket, a season pass, or a flex membership, but whatever you do, be sure to get your ticket in advance or this incredible orchestra will sell out!
18. Wee Chi Tah Mountain Bike Trail
Those looking for a more intense activity while in the Wichita Falls area should spend some time on the Wee Chi Tah Mountain Bike Trail. This 12-mile loop will lead you along the Wichita River and through a variety of terrain that is suited for all levels of mountain bikers.
You’ll encounter switch-backs, bridges, technical areas, and jumps – all designed to give you the most fun experience possible. Sections of the trail are marked for their difficulty, so be sure to select a section that matches your skill set.
The Wee Chi Tah Trail is one of the best mountain biking trails in all of northern Texas, so don’t hesitate to mount some bikes when coming to Wichita Falls.
Of course, you could always just hike sections of this beautiful pathway – and you’ll find plenty of great photo opportunities along the way.
19. Wichita Falls Brewing Company
For a more relaxed experience, a trip to Wichita Falls Brewing should be at the top of your list. There’s no better place in town (or in the whole region, for that matter) to get a pint of great beer – and Wichita Falls Brewing Company has been serving up some great brews since 2017.
You’ll find a diverse tap list year-round, with everything from IPAs and coffee stouts to wheat ales and sours. Once you need a little food to soak up all that beer, you can order a Detroit-style pizza from the kitchens or check out one of the local food trucks that are often parked just outside.
Although beer is the main name of the game, the Wichita Falls Brewing Company is a family-friendly establishment that offers board games and a fun, relaxed environment for patrons of all ages.
20. Kiwanis Park
A unique experience awaits at Kiwanis Park. Although at first glance it seems like any other park, if you look a little closer you’ll see that this green space has so much more to offer.
It has all the regular amenities you’d expect from a park, like a playground, plenty of space for picnicking, and a disk golf course – but what makes it special is that it’s home to a colony of prairie dogs.
This makes for an incredibly fascinating experience for both kids and adults alike, as you could easily spend hours watching these funny creatures.
Come for the prairie dogs but stay for the other fun areas of the park, including a designated kite flying area, various hiking trails, a dog park, and a variety of sports fields.
21. P’s Crazy Car Museum
Car lovers will find one of the best things to do in Wichita Falls at P’s Crazy Car Museum. The museum boasts a collection of over 40 vintage vehicles including cars, trucks, tractors, and others.
Some of the most popular vehicles on display include a 1930s race car and a 1915 white firetruck. The collection does rotate from time to time, so if you’ve been here before, you’ll likely have a new experience the next time you visit.
The museum is free to visit, but donations to the group’s favorite charities are always welcome. Of course, you could save your cash and purchase one of these vintage vehicles, as all of them are for sale – but it’ll likely cost you more than you have in your wallet at any given time.
22. Holiday Creek Trails
If you prefer to explore Wichita Falls with your own two feet, then a trek on the Holiday Creek Trails is one of the best ways to discover this city.
This trail is part of a larger trail system, the Circle Trail, and extends for just over 10 miles. The Holiday Creek Tail begins at Lake Wichita Park and continues north up the lake shoreline.
You can choose to do the whole trail or just parts of it, and it’s also common to see people biking and rollerblading along the paved path.
As you walk, you’ll see lots of native flora and fauna – and hike is worth it for the lake views alone. Consider ending your walk in the evening and catch one of the beautiful sunsets over the lake.
23. Wichita Falls Farmers Market
Another way to sample the best of what Wichita Falls has to offer is by perusing one of the farmer’s markets that are held three times a week and showcase a variety of fresh produce, flowers, and other local goods.
You’d be hard-pressed to find a fresher array of food anywhere else in town. While you’re there, you can ask the experts (the locals) about their favorite things to do around town. There are often upwards of 20 vendors at the market, and you may just find something you didn’t know you needed as you walk from stall to stall.
If you’re visiting in the summer, be sure to check out the town’s Watermelon Fest or come back in the autumn for the annual Fall Wine Fest. No matter what time of year you visit, you certainly won’t leave with an empty stomach.
24. Riverside Cemetery
It might seem odd to include a cemetery on a list of the best things to do in Wichita Falls (or any city for that matter) but the Riverside Cemetery is more than just a graveyard.
Historic cemeteries like this one can often tell the story of a town, and you’ll find graves here dating all the way back to the early 1800s. You’ll also find the graves of Joseph Kemp, Frank Kell, and their families (the town’s founding fathers), along with various historical markers that lend some insight into Wichita Falls’ past.
The cemetery is located just above Lucy Park, so if the thought of it makes you a bit skittish, you can just pop in for a quick look while you’re in the area.
25. Wichita Falls Ballet Theatre
Well known in the world of dance since the 1960s, the Wichita Falls Ballet Theatre is one of the best places to visit while in town.
Instructors work tirelessly to turn amateur dancers into professionals – and a few times a year you can see the fruits of their labors. These performances are free to the public, and showcase both amateur and professional dancers. The theater also offers training workshops throughout the year if you’re interested in honing your skill.
The biggest event, however, is the annual production of The Nutcracker. This is a local favorite, and if you’re in town during the holiday season, you don’t want to miss the chance to see this iconic show.
26. Wichita Falls Museum of Art
Those who are fans of non-moving art will love the Wichita Falls Museum of Art. This gallery features paintings and drawings from artists in northern Texas and southern Oklahoma that incorporate history and culture into their programming.
You’ll also find some 3D art, including period items and antiques, a collection of famous watercolor art, oil paintings, etchings, and more from American artists, all created over the last 50 years.
The museum is located on the Midwestern State University campus, and once you’ve taken a few laps around the galleries you can head outside for a quick tour of the scenic campus.
One of the best parts about the museum is that it’s completely free!
27. Memorial Auditorium
As if two theaters, a symphony, a ballet, and multiple art galleries weren’t enough to satisfy your creative side, the Memorial Auditorium is another venue that should be on every music lover’s bucket list while in Wichita Falls.
The auditorium regularly hosts a variety of musical events and performances, but to the real draw of this building is its past. The most famous artist to grace these halls was none other than Elvis himself, and you can even listen to an interview he gave after his performance.
The hall has played host to a long list of celebrities during its heyday, including Jerry Seinfeld and Bob Hope. Today, the Memorial is less of a celebrity magnet, but you can still catch a variety of shows held throughout the year.
Check their website to see if anything is going on while you’re in town. Who knows – you could catch the next up-and-coming star!
28. Wichita Falls Regional Airport
One of the best things to do in Wichita Falls is to visit the city’s regional airport, located about 6 miles to the north. The airport shares a landing strip with the nearby Sheppard Air Force Base, so you’ll often see jet training and military flyovers from here.
The airport is also home to the “Jenny to Jet Exhibit”, half of which commemorates Call Field – one of the first military training facilities in the area. Check out some rare vintage military planes and vehicles, and some memorabilia from the World War I era.
The other half of the exhibit is dedicated to more modern air force relics, including a restored T-38 Jet Trainer. You’ll also find information about the history of the Sheppard Air Force Base in this part of the airport.
29. Maniac’s Mansion
If you’re looking for a nostalgic activity during your time in Wichita Falls, make a beeline for Maniac’s Mansion. The name may sound a bit daunting, but it’s truly nothing but fun inside this part arcade, part cereal bar.
Go back to your childhood and play one of the vintage, coin-operated arcade games – or chill out with a bowl of cereal and a bottle of old-school soda. This eclectic arcade also has a large collection of board games and some collectible items for sale.
Maniac’s Mansion hosts a series of tournaments and other gaming events throughout the year, so check their calendar if you’re hoping to partake in one while in Wichita Falls.
30. 8th Street Coffee House
After a full day of sightseeing in Wichita Falls, you’ll likely need some sustenance or a pick-me-up before heading to your next destination. The local’s favorite joint for food and coffee is without a doubt the 8th Street Coffee House, and it’s easy to see why.
This cozy café has a vibrant atmosphere and a kitschy interior design, but the real draw is their tasty menu. They are open 7 days a week and their menu changes with the season – but you can always count on finding some homemade comfort food and a delicious cup of Joe.