Whether it’s the world-famous Topeka Zoo, the 109-year-old carousel or the mini-train that chugs along its track, Gage Park is a hive of activity that attracts all ages.
The 160-acre park at 635 S.W. Gage Blvd. has been open since 1899.
“It’s kind of like Topeka’s little Disney World, there’s just so much to do,” said Bill Riphahn, project manager for Shawnee County Parks and Recreation. “I think it’s successful for a number of reasons. First, it’s a large park, and, second, it’s an old park with a lot of amenities.”
Some of the park’s older attractions include the zoo, Reinisch Rose Garden and the mini-train, which have been at Gage Park for a combined 220 years. Helen Hocker Theatre also calls the park home.
Some newer attractions include Blaisdell Aquatic Center, Kansas Children’s Discovery Center, a war memorial paying tribute to local veterans, and Hill’s Bark Park, where Topekans can bring their dogs to play in the sun.
The park also has multiple shelter houses and sand volleyball and tennis courts.
First runner-up: Lake Shawnee
Second runner-up: Old Prairie Town at Ward-Meade Historic Site