When our daughters were little and we visited family in Wichita, one of our favorite stops was the Sedgwick County Zoo. The girls are now in their 20s, but I was equally impressed with the zoo during my book research trip to Kansas's largest city. Despite the cool, gray day, plenty of visitors strolled the wide, meandering and well-kept paths with me.
So many animals moved through wide open spaces or were visible through ultra-strong glass walls, creating perfect conditions for unadulterated images such as the massive tiger who relaxed less than a foot away from me, behind glass. This prairie dog was one of many who scampered across another wide enclosed area.
I also appreciated several 'villages' at the zoo, which offered glimpses of manmade surroundings in the animals' native habitats. But the zoo didn't stop with physical structures - the sounds of a lively Asian market surounded me as I walked through one village.
And education was evident everywhere, with attractive informational kiosks scattered liberally throughout the property.
The next time you visit Wichita, set aside a couple of hours to spend at the Sedgwick County Zoo. You'll thoroughly enjoy yourself.