In Strong City, Kansas, USA, an elderly local farmer drives his 1939 Farmall model H tractor, leading a group of cowboys and cowgirls in the annual Flint Hills Rodeo parade. Editorial credit: mark reinstein /

These Towns in Kansas Come Alive in Spring

Explore the hidden springtime gems of Kansas, where the absence of typical tourist trappings gives way to a mosaic of cultural festivals, serene nature preserves, and towns bursting with blooms. Kansas, with its underrated spring allure, invites you to discover a side of spring less traveled but equally enchanting. Journey with us through seven towns that epitomize the season's spirit through their unique celebrations, historical landmarks, and natural beauty.


The original Farmers State Bank building in Lindsborg, Kansas, USA, now home to City Hall, adorned with a bright red coat of paint.

The original Farmers State Bank building in Lindsborg, Kansas, USA. Editorial credit: Stephanie L Bishop /

As "Little Sweden, Kansas," Lindsborg is a smörgåsbord of Nordic-style attractions. Embracing its Swedish cultural and demographic roots, the 3,800ish-person community has Öl Stuga tavern, Trollslända Toy Store, Lindsborg Old Mill & Swedish Heritage Museum, and the Rosberg House Bed & Breakfast and Vacation Rental, which looks straight out of a Scandinavian storybook. Like in the old country, spring is revered in Lindsborg. Each March, the community celebrates Våffeldagen, or Waffle Day, with waffle-inspired samples, crafts, games, and gifts. On the first weekend of May, the aforementioned mill museum hosts Millfest, which features historical tours, an art fair, a quilt show, live music, and delicious food. This time of year in Lindsborg concludes with the Midsummer's Festival, a celebration of seasonal change held on the third Saturday of June.

Strong City

Cowboys and cowgirls ride in the annual Flint Hills Rodeo parade in Strong City, Kansas, USA.
Horse riders in the annual Flint Hills Rodeo parade in Strong City, Kansas, USA. Editorial credit: mark reinstein /

Strong City may not have a substantial population, but spring makes up for that. Over 350 people reside in this east-central Kansas "city," while over 350 species of wildflowers, shrubs, and other flowering plants bloom throughout Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve in the surrounding Flint Hills. From April to June, visitors can see and smell spider antelope horn, prairie ragwort, and New Jersey tea blossoming in the hills. They can also see and hear musicians at Symphony in the Flint Hills, a celebration of music, art, and nature held on scenic Flint Hills ranchland in early June. Beyond wildflowers, Strong City hosts the Chase County Spring Craft and Vendor Fair in March at Chase County Elementary School.


Dyck Arboretum of the Plains in Hesston, Kansas.

Dyck Arboretum of the Plains in Hesston, Kansas.

Incorporated communities in Kansas are called cities, no matter their size. Thus, Hesston is a city despite having only 3,505 residents as of the 2020 census. It is more vibrant than similarly-sized KS communities, however, especially during spring. Hesston is home to the Dyck Arboretum of the Plains, a 13-acre hidden gem of a garden located at tiny Hesston College. Although concealed from most Americans, the Dyck Arboretum is beloved by Hesstonites and intrepid tourists, who come not just to see 1,000 varieties of native and adaptable plants but to attend the Go Green Leprechaun Run in mid-March, FloraKansas Spring Native Plant Days in late April, and the Prairie Window Concert Series from fall to spring. The series is set to conclude with The Arcadian Wild on March 17 and The Brother Brothers on April 21.


Morton County Courthouse in Elkhart, Kansas.

Morton County Courthouse in Elkhart, Kansas. By Spacini, CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikimedia Commons

In Kansas' extreme southwestern corner is Elkhart, a community with fewer than 2,000 residents and such sites as the Morton County Historical Society Museum, Big C's Cafe, and Doric Theatre. However, its greatest attraction is arguably Cimarron National Grassland, which encompasses 108,000 acres of public prairie habitat. From April to June, Cimarron comes alive with animals and plants, including myriad wildflowers. Cimarron is not the only prairie hotspot in the region. Right across the border in Colorado is Comanche National Grassland, a 443,000-acre preserve of grassland and canyons.


"The Oz Museum" in Wamego, Kansas, United States.
"The Oz Museum" in Wamego, Kansas, United States. Editorial credit: Sabrina Janelle Gordon /

While Kansas towns tend to have flowers, only Wamego dedicates an entire festival to them. The 5,000ish-person community has hosted the Wamego Tulip Festival since 1987. This year, the festival is set to run from April 13 to 14 and, along with local-grown and Holland-grown tulips, is expected to feature face painting, homemade ice cream, a petting zoo, a model train, bouncy houses, food trucks, and over 165 craft vendors. After smelling the tulips and eating the ice cream, spring breakers can visit the Columbian Theatre, a historic music hall founded in 1893 and still putting on productions, and OZ Museum, a depository of Wizard of Oz artifacts from first editions of the book to Dorothy's dress from the movie. You gotta go to Wamego.

Spring Hill

Scenic pond at Veterans Park in Spring Hill, Kansas.

Scenic pond at Veterans Park in Spring Hill, Kansas.

Spring Hill is a bit of a misnomer. It was inspired by a suburb of Mobile, Alabama, with the same name. In saying this, Spring Hill lived up to its name as an oasis with two supreme seasonal events. The first is Daffodil Days, a free Arbor Day celebration scheduled for Saturday, April 20, featuring nature activities, bouncy houses, face painting, music, games, food, and even a chainsaw wood carver. The second is the Spring Hill Fishing Derby, which is to be held on Saturday, June 1, at Veterans Park on Spring Hill City Lake. The lake spans roughly 40 acres and contains species like largemouth bass, channel catfish, bluegill, and crappie. Other things to see in this town include Sycamore Ridge Golf Course, Spring Hill Aquatic Center, K & M Bar-B-Q, and The Bean Coffee & Cafe.


The Romanesque-style Thomas County Courthouse stands near large grain elevators in Colby, Kansas.
The Romanesque-style Thomas County Courthouse stands near large grain elevators in Colby, Kansas.

Colby is billed as a "progressive agricultural community with many interesting and fun attractions." The community was founded in the late 19th century, and some of its earliest buildings, including a courthouse and giant barn built in 1906 and 1936, respectively, remain. Visitors can check out modern marvels and historical gems like Colby City Aquatic Park, Fike Park, and the Prairie Museum of Art & History. But Colby's best spring-specific attraction is Pickin' on the Plains. This bluegrass festival is scheduled to run from May 31 to June 2 with acts such as Pitney & Meyer, Appalachian Road Show, Hot Club of Cowtown, and Authentic Unlimited. Music will be mixed with games, food trucks, kids' events, and other outstanding activities.

Embrace Spring in the Heart of Kansas

Kansas redefines spring not as a mere transition between seasons but as a vibrant celebration of life, culture, and nature. From the historical streets of Lindsborg to the sweeping prairies of Elkhart, each town offers a distinct slice of spring’s splendor. These seven towns, with their festivals, natural wonders, and community spirit, stand as testaments to the season's enduring appeal. Experience the essence of spring in Kansas, where every town tells a story, and every visit leaves a lasting impression.

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