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Kansas Meeting Guide: Topeka is packed with surprises

Courtesy Visit Topeka

“Our newest reception site is the Kansas Children’s Discovery Center, which is an interactive children’s museum popular with groups that bring their families,” she said. “It has a room for 100-person events, or the whole facility can host groups of 500. There are also plans to open outdoor gardens.”

Other fun activities for meeting groups are the chance to peek at nocturnal animals during flashlight tours of the Topeka Zoo or a spin around the nationally known drag-racing track at Heartland Park Topeka. Groups of 200 can also hold receptions in Heartland Park’s Tech Building.

At the Capitol, groups of 125 can gather for an alcohol-free reception when the legislature is not in session. This celebrated building is undergoing a renovation, including work on its dome, that is scheduled for completion in 2013.

Groups can also hold events at the Brown vs. Board of Education National Historic Site at the former Monroe Elementary School.

“This facility, which commemorates the 1954 Supreme Court decision that ended segregation in public schools, can accommodate groups of 75,” said Briden. “We can also set up special tours that focus on Topeka’s civil rights history at 22 Underground Railroad sites.”

The Prairie Band Casino and Resort, Kansas’ only destination casino resort, is 15 minutes north of Topeka.

Owned by the Potawatomi Nation, the 297-room resort is a conference destination. Its 11,280-square-foot Great Lakes Ballroom can be divided into as many as seven meeting rooms.

The resort is home to the Firekeeper Golf Course, an 18-hole golf course built in 2010. It is the first Notah Begay III Signature golf course, designed by the only full-blooded Native American on the PGA Tour and a four-time PGA Tour winner. Firekeepers was one of Golfweek’s best new courses in 2011.