Heritage Center Abilene Kansas


When we visit a new city, we squeeze in as much of the local culture and heritage as possible. Most of the time, we are able to get to multiple museums and venues before they close, but sometimes we have snafus. On our visit to Abilene, we missed the closing time and arrived 5 minutes too late to visit the Heritage Center of Dickinson County. But thanks to the gracious hosts at the museum, we may have missed the museum for this trip, but we still got to experience the historic wooden carousel!

This post includes affiliate links. Thanks to the city of Abilene for hosting us on our recent stay. No monetary compensation was received. All opinions are my own.

Heritage Center Abilene Kansas

Abilene is home to several historic museums and attractions. Of course, the biggest draw to the area is the Eisenhower Presidential Library & Museum but there is much more to Abilene, Kansas. Another fantastic attraction in the city is the the Heritage Center of Dickinson County.

The Dickinson County Heritage Center features both indoor and outdoor exhibits. You can explore a cabin, a grocery store as well as discover the birth of Telephony including an Acme Telephone building from which operators would work.

**On our visit, we did not arrive in time to tour the full Heritage Center, but we will definitely include this in our visit the next time we visit Abilene!

C.W. Parker Carousel

We did, however, have just enough time to see the 1901 C.W. Parker Carousel and take a quick ride on this amazing piece of history.

The C.W. Parker Carousel is the oldest operational Parker carousel known to exist. It consists of 24 horses in 12 pairs and 4 chariots on a 50-foot wide platform. This 1901 carousel is the oldest operational carousel that can be ridden and is available at the Dickinson County Heritage Center.

Things to know:

  • Check closing times online but also call the day of your visit to confirm that they are not closing early.
  • The Museum is right across the road from the Eisenhower Presidential Library making it easy to visit both the same day.

Connect with the Heritage Center:

412 S Campbell St
Abilene, KS 67410
(785) 263-2681
*The website is currently being redesigned.

Where to Stay in Abilene:

After a full day of museums and historical exploring in the city of Abilene, get a great night’s sleep at the Holiday Inn Express!

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  1. The carousel in Abilene is one of my favorites. My grandkids love it. Next time, you should head down I-70 2 more hours and hit my town of Hays, KS. We have the old Ft. Hays, the original Boot Hill, and the Sternberg Museum where you can see the fish within a fish fossil. There is also the beautiful Cathedral of the Plains – St. Fidelis Basilica, in Victoria about 10 miles east of Hays on I-70. Many famous people called Hays home for a while including General Custer, Buffalo Bill Cody, and Wild Bill Hickcok.

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