Museum Reviews Museum of World Treasures Wichita Ks

Education, entertainment, and a desire for lifelong learning is what the Museum of World Treasures is all about. It certainly seems to be meeting its mandate. From dinosaurs to Hollywood stars, the sweeping vision of the museum immediately captured the Wichita imagination. Within two years of its opening in 2001, the Museum of World Treasures had to move to the much larger Farm & Art Market to accommodate popular demand.

Each floor of the museum is arranged by age, with the oldest exhibits on the main floor. The first floor is devoted to fossils and artifacts from ancient cultures around the world. A highlight of this part of the museum are the two ancient Egyptian mummies. Visitors also thrill to the sight of Ivan, one of the most complete Tyrannosaurus rex skeletons ever discovered.

The second floor is dedicated to European and American civil and military history from the 12th century through Vietnam. In the Hall of Royalty, the monarchs of Europe are brought alive through pictures, jewelry, and coins. Authentic pictures and autographs from every single American president are displayed in the Hall of Presidents, including a lock of George Washington’s hair. But it is in its display of American Revolutionary and Civil War history that the Museum of World Treasures really comes alive. Not only does the museum have autographs from the famous (and infamous!) people of the American Revolution, it also has such artifacts as the tailcoat worn by Alexander Hamilton while he was serving as aide to George Washington.

The third floor is where to find musical history from Mozart to Elvis, the Old West, sports history, Hollywood celebrity culture, and a collection of historic authors. Each of its five galleries has a different theme. This is where you can find sports artifacts from such sports legends as Joe DiMaggio, Babe Ruth, Muhammad Ali, and Michael Jordan. If America has excelled in it, it is sure to be mentioned here. There is also a meeting place where the museum hosts lectures open to the public.

The third floor is also the center of the many child-related activities offered by the Museum of World Treasures. The moonwalk and a large castle complete with dungeon are always popular with the children, but the museum offers many special child-oriented special events as well, from birthday pizza parties to camp-ins among the dinosaurs, from treasure hunts to a puppet theater. Once-a-month Discovery Days are 90 minute programs aimed at a grade 1-3 level. During June and July, you can also register your child for various summer day camps.

At the gift store, enjoy shopping for unique gifts ranging from Ivan the T-rex t-shirts all the way to jewelry and reproductions of medieval weaponry. A wide variety of books, toys, science projects, and educational games is also available.

Admission to the Museum of World Treasures is $8.95 for adults, $7.95 for seniors (60+), $6.95 for children aged 4 to 12, and free for children 3 and under. These prices do not include Kansas and local sales taxes. A family day pass, valid for up to 2 adults and 2 children, costs $28.50. Memberships include the price of admission and discounts to most museum special activities. Guided tours for adult groups are available at an extra cost, with or without a pizza or deli lunch. They last about 2 hours and cost $7 per person, not including lunch or tax. Shorter, cheaper guided tours are available for students. Museum space can also be rented to host meetings, banquets, and weddings.

The Museum of World Treasures can be found in Wichita’s Old Town at 835 E 1st Street, Wichita. Hours of operation are Monday to Saturday 10-5, Sundays noon-5. Groups can be accommodated by calling the museum ahead of time at (316) 263-1311.