Pratt has many options for affordable family fun

Jeanette Siemens
Pratt Tribune
Pratt Education Center Director Diedre Kramer and her dog welcome all ages and visitors to the wildlife museum to see and interact with aquatic exhibits, Kansas mammals and amphibians of all types just a few miles east of Pratt near the KDWPT headquarters.

Last Monday evening, Circles of Hope, Pratt County hosted a Big View Conversation. Big Views are hosted four times a year for the purpose of engaging our Circle Leaders as well as the rest of the community in conversations that are of interest to most everyone. Last evening's topic was Affordable Family Fun Things to Do. With school being out in the near future and the weather becoming warmer everyone is looking to get out and do something together.

Presenters for the evening included Sandy Evans for Rolla Rena. The Rink is a great place to have a birthday party, special event or just going out for a great time and a bit of exercise. The Rolla Rena also has "skate mates" that can be used for those just learning to skate or those a bit unsure of themselves on wheels. They are open on Fridays from 2-9 p.m., Saturdays from noon to 1:30 p.m. and again from 2 to 9 p.m. or of course, can be rented at other times. Rolla Rena also rents skates, has a full service snack bar and as mentioned seating and table available to sit and watch someone skate or just take a break.

George Stevens shared information about the B-29 Museum and the history behind it all. It is located at the Pratt Airport located in what was the old parachute building used when the Pratt Air Base was located there during WWII. George said that there were as many people stationed at the base as there were people in Pratt, so that was quite a change for the community. The Museum is filled with ALL KINDS of information as well as pictures, artifacts and plenty to keep you occupied and interested for some time. The address is 82 Curran Road and there is a sign posted at the road by Morgan Diesel which is where you turn to get there. You can recognize it by the tall building connected to it that was the parachute building. Pratt was the location of several airbases in Kansas during the war. The famous Enola Gay flew in here. The base was here for only a few years prior to the end of the war.

Bruce Pinkall talked about the MANY, MANY things here in Pratt. Of course there are our ball diamonds and sports complex, but there are so very many trails and walking paths for people to take advantage of. We have numerous parks throughout the city making one pretty available no matter where you live. Many have a summer wading pool and lots of playground equipment. There are picnic areas, the Nature Trail in Lemon Park, a Disc Golf Course located in May Dennis Park to name a very few. Bruce pointed out some things that may or may not be visible to everyone such as the trail that begins next to the Wastewater Treatment Plant. He also talked about the numerous children's activities and programs available during the summer. Information is available at the Recreation Department. I am sure I have forgotten something as the list went on and on.

Lisa Miller from Pratt Community College also visited about many of the area things as well as in Pratt. The Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks is located in Pratt County and located at the headquarters is a fishing pond for kids along with the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks Education Center also at that location. The Museum houses numerous displays and exhibits of Kansas -native birds, fish, mammals and reptiles. There is also an aquarium and is a great place to spend some time. The Education Center is open from 8 am to 5 pm Monday through Friday and 9a.m. to 4 on Saturdays. 

Lisa touched on many other things including the Quivera Wildlife Refuge and soooooo many other things; it kind of blows your mind. A drive through the Gyp Hills and trips to our surrounding communities such as Greensburg and the Big Well is just a start. 

Well I only have so much space but I hope this conversation trips a trigger for you to take the opportunity and enjoy some of places in upcoming months.