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The Smoky Hill Museum connects people to universally shared stories, unleashing the power of local history to engage, inspire and surprise.

About Us

father and son learning

The Smoky Hill Museum explores history in unexpected ways with interactive fun around every corner. It’s a big-city museum in a small package intentionally designed to make kids eager to stay longer and adults want to come back for more.

Nationally accredited since 1997, the Smoky Hill Museum is a hands-on, minds-on museum. Exhibits and programs are drawn from the countless stories of the Salina area and over 30,000 artifacts in the Museum’s collections. Town founders began collecting artifacts in 1879 and that tradition continues today, with donations from everyday citizens coming in regularly.

Special exhibits are custom-built every six months by the Museum’s trained professionals. Even the so called “permanent” galleries have artifacts rotating in and out, to keep things fresh.

Programming happens year round starting with Kansas’ birthday celebration in January. The ever popular First Thursday lecture programs are often standing room only and happen throughout the year. The biggest event of the year is the Street Fair on the fourth Saturday in September, featuring historic demonstrators, live music and more. Of course groups can also book tours and special programs Monday through Saturday of almost any week.

City / Private Partnership

The City of Salina, who owns and operates the Smoky Hill Museum, works alongside the Friends of the Smoky Hill Museum. The Friends of the Smoky Hill Museum is a private 501c3 organization who helps promote and support the activities carried on by the Museum. It is this partnership that allows the Museum to remain an excellent, free admission educational institution.

OUR SPONSORS