Why We're Unique
The Smoky Hill Museum is Kansas's oldest, nationally accredited, hands-on history museum. Each time you visit, you find 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 33,000 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 occur 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.