5 Liberal must dos

Don't spend break binging Netflix. Get out, be active, see Liberal's attractions

December 7, 2021

Liberal is a small town and often seems like there is nothing to do. Well, fear not! These five attractions for the fall and winter months can help you stay busy and learn more about the community.

Many may have visited these attractions in grade school but I’m here to tell you, it’s a lot more fun as a college student. All have something to offer for everyone, from history to activities to holiday fun.

Mid-America Air Museum

Brianna Rich

The Liberal Air Museum is home to 100s of aircraft. The collection is housed inside and out on the tarmac.

Mid-America Air Museum

The Mid-America Air Museum has a lot to offer. They have more than 100 aircraft on display. More than 50 of these planes were donated by the late Colonel Tom Thomas, Jr. from his personal collection. There are interactive exhibits that make this place fun, no matter your age. You can crawl in a hot air balloon basket, sit in the cockpits of planes and helicopters. There’s even a place to build paper planes to sail through the air.

Displays are both inside and outside. A lot of people do not know this but Liberal used to be a Liberator (B-12) base in World War 2. But unfortunately, there are no Liberators in the Mid-America Air Museum.

The hours are Tuesday-Saturday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sunday 1 to 5 p.m. The Mid-America Air Museum does cost to get in: Adults $7, ages 6-18 $3 and 6 and under, veterans and military are free. The museum is located at 2000 W 2nd St., Liberal.

Dorothy’s house

Character statues from the “Wizard of Oz” are on display at Dorothy’s House in Liberal. Dorothy was from Kansas in the movie, so Liberal created a tourist attraction complete with movie relics. (Brianna Rich )

Dorothy’s House and Land of Oz is just like the movie “The Wizard of Oz.” Here you get to see what it was like for Dorothy to go from Kansas to Oz and then back to Kansas.

When you go, get a tour guide that is dressed like Dorothy. She takes you along Dorothy’s journey, narrates and answers questions. The tour starts at Dorothy’s house, which is an old farmhouse from the same era as the film. Then you head into the Land of Oz. Here is where you see Dorothy’s interactions with Glinda the Good Witch, the Munchkins, the Scarecrow with no brain, the Cowardly Lion who has no courage, the Tin Man with no heart and the Wicked Witch of the West.

Dorothy’s house is located at 567 Cedar St., Liberal. The winter hours are: Monday closed. Tuesday-Saturday 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 to 5 p.m.; Sunday 1 to 5 p.m.

International Pancake Day

Crusader Files

Races for Pancake Day include the entire family. Kids race before the main event – the women’s race. The main event is the event where Liberal competes against Olney, England for the fastest time each year.

International Pancake Day

The International Pancake Day Hall of Fame is a place that is dedicated to the International Pancake Day Race. The Pancake Day races take place once a year on Shrove Tuesday. Liberal takes on their sister city, Olney, England, with a friendly competition of who can flip a pancake and run 400 meters the fastest. This year’s celebration is on March 1.

At the International Pancake Day Hall of Fame there is a lot of information about Pancake Day and the history behind it. You can see that it is a much bigger deal in this area than just a day off from school. You can also get your Pancake Day merch and wear them proudly!

Whether it is your first Pancake Day or your tenth, there are always fun activities for the annual Pancake Day. The Hall of Fame is only open on Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Baker Arts Center

Brianna Rich

Karina Rodriguez and Denisse Delgado, both freshmen from Hugoton, add their own stickers to the colorful room at Baker Arts Center. This room features just normal round stickers that patrons add to the white surfaces to create an art exhibit.

Baker Arts Center

The Baker Arts Center offers a lot of opportunities for kids and adults to get involved in various activities they have going on. To be honest, this is probably the unsung hero of “things to do” in the area. They offer many activities like beginner pottery classes, craft of the month, piano lessons, art exhibits and much more. There’s always something going on here and they like having students participate and volunteer.

Some of the upcoming December events include:

Dec. 11 – White Christmas Ball from 7 to 8 p.m. It is a formal dinner party, dancing, and an Art auction.

Dec. 18 – Cookie and recipe exchange from 7 to 8 p.m.

You don’t have to wait for a special event to go to the Baker Arts Center. They have daily activities with the Main gallery, the baker studio, pottery and fun zone. Each of these hold special things in each room. The main gallery features a permanent collection of art, contemporary and 3-D art and featured artists. The baker studio is the studio workspace to create and design. The pottery room is where you can learn about pottery, firing, ceramics and all things pottery. Adult classes are Friday and Saturday evenings.

Even though the Fun Zone is mainly for kids, it doesn’t stop anyone—especially college students— from going there. It has close to 500,000 Legos, building blocks and musical instruments. They even have a life-size LED wall.

Their hours are Wednesday – Saturday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. It does cost $5 to get in each time you go. 

Christmas Lights

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Photo Courtesy of Jessica Martinez

This sign welcomes you to the light displays North Jordan street is known for.

Christmas lights are always a fun way to bring in the holiday spirit. It can be hard to find in Liberal unless you know the right spot. North Jordan Street between 11th and 15th streets is the place to go for the best lights and displays. Each year the entire neighborhood puts up white and yellow Christmas lights on their houses and around yards. It looks festive.

On 2430 N. Lilac Dr. there is a house that always looks so nice around Christmas time. They put a lot of work into decorating and it’s definitely worth driving by with a cup of hot chocolate or coffee with Christmas music playing in your car.

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