An Army station located in northern central Kansas, Fort Riley might not seem like the most interesting place at first glance — but if you’re willing to dig a little and open yourself up to new experiences, then you can find a lot of interesting things to do near Fort Riley, Kansas.
Whether you’re new to the area, getting ready for your first tour there, or you’re a well-accustomed local prepping to host some out-of-town guests, then here are our top 10 things to do to give you some inspiration.
1. Relax at Milford Lake
You can spend some time at the largest man-made lake in Kansas with over 15,700 acres of water by visiting Milford Lake. Spend some time lounging on the beaches or visit Fort Riley’s MWR — they offer marine and watercraft rentals for some fun out on the water.
2. Walk Through the U.S. Cavalry Museum
Learning about the history of the United States Military Cavalry is a great way to spend quality time as a family. At the U.S. Cavalry Museum, you can trace through the history of the uniforms, tools, weapons, and equipment used by our armed forces throughout different time periods — there are even tanks outside! Visitors without a Department of Defense ID card must stop by the Henry Gate visitor’s center to get a temporary pass to the installation.
3. Go to the First Territorial Capitol of Kansas
This legendary place is the last remaining building of the ghost town of Pawnee, Kansas, where the first territorial legislature convened back in 1855.
The city once served as the capital of the Kansas Territory before it was moved to present day Fairway, Kansas. Check the First Territorial Capitol of Kansas website for admissions details.
4. Enjoy the Kansas Auto Racing Museum
If you or your family enjoy anything about racing, then the Kansas Auto Racing Museum will make for a fun afternoon!
Open Monday through Sunday from 8am to 5pm, this museum offers a fascinating glimpse into the world of automobile competition and the Kansas pride that surrounds it.
5. Have Fun at the Wildwood Adventure Park
Ranked the number one Adventure Park in Flint Hills, Wildwood Adventure Park is a beautiful 80-acre park offering unlimited amounts of fun for everyone. Offering tours, private reservations, national events, and more, you can have a fully immersive experience along the trails and even ziplining through the trees during your visit.
6. Check out the Custer House
The Custer House is a landmark that most closely resembles the architecture and style of a home that General Custer and his wife, Libby, would have lived in during their stay at Fort Riley. General Custer’s actual home burned down after a kitchen fire, but this restoration offers an accurate insight into that time period with appropriate historical furnishings and decor.
The life and legacy of General Custer is the reason AAFMAA stands today. In 1879, AAFMAA was founded by a group of Army Officers in response to the 1876 Battle of the Little Bighorn, also known as “Custer’s Last Stand.” When an officer died during frontier times, the remaining soldiers would literally “pass the hat” to raise money for the surviving family. Today, AAFMAA works to provide military families with essential financial support services, from life insurance to mortgages to wealth management.
7. Visit the 1st Infantry Division Museum
Fort Riley is actually home to the 1st Infantry Division, making the 1st Infantry Division Museum a must-see for any military family. This museum highlights the creation of the 1st Infantry Division during WWI back in 1917 and tells the story of how they’ve supported our nation’s military efforts overseas over the last century.
8. Go to the Country Stampede in June
Get ready for some killer country music and a whole weekend of fun if you’re in Fort Riley, Kansas, during the last weekend of June.
The Country Stampede is a three-day country music and camping festival hosted at Tuttle Creek State Park in Manhattan, Kansas. Even if country music isn’t your jam, it’s a great way to make some memories and meet new friends.
9. Stop by Aggieville
Aggieville is located about 30 minutes from Fort Riley, Kansas, and is advertised as the oldest shopping district in Kansas. It offers well over 100 shopping and dining options, making it a perfect place for a relaxing afternoon of retail therapy or a night out with friends.
10. See the Flint Hills Discovery Center
Located in downtown Manhattan, the Flint Hills Discovery Center is a family-friendly museum offering an excellent mix of culture and science. Featuring an immersive theater experience, this museum brings the history of the prairie of Flint Hills to life, offering dynamic exhibits and hosting special events. Bring your military ID with you for admissions discounts!
Enjoy everything the beautiful prairie surrounding Fort Riley, Kansas, has to offer. Stay curious and you’ll never run out of interesting things to do and explore near your new home!
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