Welcome to the Smoky Hill Museum

Each time you visit the Smoky Hill Museum, a new story inspires you. From animal paths to Indian trails to interstate highways, Salina is the Crossroads of the Heartland. The Smoky Hill Museum's galleries and educational displays put you at the heart of how Salina came to be, what it is becoming today, and how you play a part in that story.

Family and kid-friendly interactives, changing exhibits, and fun family activities are among the Museum's highlights - all free of charge. The Museum Store offers Kansas cards, wheat weaving, specialty-food items, toys and more.

Our Wonderful Sponsors

Special thanks go to our exhibit and case sponsors. The Museum is able to continue its strong exhibits and educational programming through their generosity. Interested in sponsoring an exhibit? Contact Kay Quinn at kay.quinn@salina.org.

News & Announcements

  • “An attitude of gratitude creates blessings. Help yourself by helping others.”

  • The Vietnam War in Perspective

    Join Dr. Adrian Lewis, as he looks at Vietnam in the context of the Cold War, to learn why the Vietnam War was fought the way it was. Dr. Lewis is a professor at the University of Kansas, teaches at the Naval War College, is an author, a retired soldier and has taught at the United States Military Academy at West Point.

    This free presentation is offered at the Smoky Hill Museum as part of our 1960s Flashback Series, on Thursday, December 3, from 5:30-6:30 pm.

    The Smoky Hill Museum is a nationally accredited history museum, in the heart of downtown Salina, Kansas. This FREE museum is open Tuesday-Friday 12-6 and Saturday 10-5. Also, be sure to stop by the Museum Store for a wide variety of regional and Kansas products, local artwork and gifts for all ages.

  • Poinsettia & Wreath Sale To Benefit Museum

    As the holiday season approaches, it’s time to think about the holiday cheer that the 24th Annual Friends of the Smoky Hill Museum’s Poinsettia & Wreath Sale brings to many. The most beautiful, nursery-quality poinsettias available in the area, the Museum’s Poinsettias are guaranteed to brighten any décor, cheer up loved ones and reduce holiday decorating stress. Also available for pre-order are fresh, long-lasting greenery wreaths handmade by BEL Tree Farm, starting at $20 for a 22-inch wreath.

    Score big holiday points with family and friends by giving one or more gorgeous, locally grown poinsettias as a holiday, housewarming or “just thanks” gift. The lush, 15 to 18-inch small plants are $14 each. The luxurious, 24-inch medium plants are $29. Both options are multi-stem florals with bright blooms available in red, pink, white or burgundy. Also available is the stunning 36-inch large poinsettia, available only in traditional Christmas red, for $40.

    Order 30 or more plants for home, office, church or civic use and take $2 off per plant. Friends of the Smoky Hill Museum members receive an additional $1 per plant or wreath discount. Pick up your plants and wreaths at the Museum on Saturday, December 5 from 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m., to kick-off the holiday season. Delivery to your home, office, church or charitable recipient is just $15 per order in the Salina metro area.
    Your support of the Smoky Hill Museum through the holiday Poinsettia & Wreath program directly supports many educational programs and events for thousands of area children and families. Since the holiday season is almost here, it’s best to order your poinsettias or wreaths today. The last day to order is Saturday, November 14, but some sizes or shades may sell out early. To order, please call 785-309-5776 or visit www.smokyhillmuseum.org to order online.

    When picking up your poinsettias in early December, be sure to browse through the Museum Store for creative holiday gift ideas. From gourmet Kansas food products to local artwork to stunning wheat weaving, the Museum Store has something for everyone. You can even create a custom gift basket for loved ones far and near who may treasure a Kansas reminder.

    Proceeds from Friends fundraising and from the Museum Store support the services, programs and events of the Smoky Hill Museum, a nationally accredited history museum, in the heart of downtown Salina, Kansas. The free-admission museum is open Tuesday-Friday 12-6 and Saturday 10-5.

  • Chili Cook-Off Cancelled, Street Fair to Continue

    Chili Cook-Off Cancelled, Street Fair to Continue

    Smoky Hill Museum Street Fair organizers have made the difficult decision to cancel the Chili Cook-Off scheduled for September 26 citing a lack of entries. “It is a real shame more teams did not enter,” says Susan Hawksworth, museum director. “Those few teams that did enter are very disappointed, as we are sure the general public wishing to taste the chili will be.”
    The main Street Fair itself will still be happening. An action filled day is scheduled starting with the parade down Santa Fe Avenue, two entertainment stages, historic and artistic demonstrators, participatory crafts and activities, food vendors, and the special exhibit The 1960s Part I: Political Power inside the museum. Admission is free to the Street Fair.
    Entertainment is planned on two stages. “The Dock” (east of the museum), a youth/community stage, will feature street magician and escape artist August Gilbreath, the Vodvill Klown, Richard Renner, and Salina’s very own The Lyric Academy of Music.
    The Main Stage (north side of the museum) presents regional musical entertainment featuring Cowgirl’s Train Set, a high-speed, high-octane, all-inclusive folksy, jazzy, boogie, seven-member band from Lawrence and Truck Stop Honeymoon whose music has been billed as “Bluegrass, punk-rock and a palpable dose of soul.” Displaced by hurricane Katrina, Truck Stop Honeymoon now calls Lawrence home.
    Finishing out the day on the Main Stage is a new feature – a spaghetti eating contest sponsored by Martinelli’s Little Italy. Eight contestants will each battle their way through a full order of scrumptious spaghetti to see who can finish first. Several lucky folks will be picked from Martinelli’s facebook page.
    Historic and artistic demonstrators will be on hand from 10:30 am – 4:00 pm as well, featuring weavers, woodworking, soap making, a potter, a mountain man and caricaturists.
    Favorite activities for kids of most ages include free make-and-take crafts, the corn box, and with the purchase of a $5 wristband, they can jump on the inflatables the whole day. And, of course, there will be food.
    Thanks to sponsorships from many dedicated Salina residents and businesses, there is no cost to attend this day of celebration. Watch the museum web site, www.smokyhillmuseum.org, for the most up-to-date information and come celebrate autumn on September 26 at the Smoky Hill Museum Street Fair.
    The museum especially wishes to thank the following generous businesses and organizations for their sponsorship: Salina Downtown Inc., Cox Communications, Mowery Clinic, Rocking M Radio, Sunflower Taxi, Alpha Media Salina/Manhattan, Salina Journal, Mid-Kansas Cooperative and the City of Salina.
    The Smoky Hill Museum is a nationally accredited history museum, in the heart of downtown Salina, Kansas. This FREE museum is open Tuesday-Friday 12-6 and Saturday 10-5. Also, be sure to stop by the Museum Store for a wide variety of regional and Kansas products, local artwork and gifts for all ages.

  • From aviation to Z-Bar Ranch, large alphabet blocks build a story about the Sunflower State. Come, learn and play with us!

  • Give a gift to the Friends of the Smoky Hill Museum and let the Greater Salina Community Foundation make it greater – at Match Madness!