January 4, 2003
Central Riverside Park is a large park along the river and features the Kansas Wildlife exhibit, a duck pond, and a large playground most notably remembered by children for its three-story "rocket ship." The park makes an excellent stop for families with pre-school- or elementary-school-age children who need to work off some of their extra energy.
The Kansas Wildlife Exhibit is a small zoo that features a block of half a dozen large cages with native Kansas animals in their natural environment. There are several large birds, including hawks, a vulture, and many colorful ducks. The highlights are definitely the large bobcat and the beaver, who is usually building a small dam in his little pond. The duck pond is next to the exhibit; however, the ducks and geese are absent during the winter period.
The playground consists of the large metal rocket ship with three floors and a slide exit on the second floor, a dome jungle gym, swings, smaller metal "space craft," a merry-go-round, a tire swing, toddler swings, several colorful concrete structures to climb on, and a newer metal/plastic playground with slides, monkey bars, etc. Children will enjoy this area immensely, and there are benches for adults to rest on while watching over the kids.
There is plenty of parking. If you enter the park on Bitting, you can park right next to the wildlife exhibit and about 30 meters from the playground. The park is open year-round.
From journal What to Do Around Wichita