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Lee Richardson Zoo

312 East Finnup Drive, Garden City, KS 67846
(620) 276-1250

The Lee Richardson Zoo is often referred to as an oasis on the plains of Kansas. Home to hundreds of Kansas native and exotic animals, the Lee Richardson Zoo features over fifty beautifully landscaped acres in Garden City, spacious animal exhibits, walking paths, a playground, picnic areas, and shady avenues. Experience elephants, giraffes, lions, bears, birds, primates and many more species from around the world, up close.

Our unique zoo is open year round, free to pedestrians, and vehicles may drive through for just $10 per day. Accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, the zoo supports conservation projects and reproduction of the world's rare and endangered species. The zoo's Education Division provides a variety of programs (many free of charge) on-site, off-site, and through video conferencing technology. Summer camp, classroom presentations, and special events are just a few ways we share our love of wildlife with others.


* Admission is free to walk thru * $10 vehicle day pass to drive thru 8 am to 6 pm during summer hours or 8 am to 4 pm during winter hours. Vehicle admission free to FOLRZ members

Special event admissions

* Closed first Saturday of September for A Wild Affair. * Closed 2nd to last Saturday of October for BOO! at the Zoo. Call for more information (620)276-1250

Beef Empire Days Rodeo

1113 Pershing Avenue, Garden City, KS 67846
(620) 276-1000

We are known as the, "RODEO with an attitude." And our attitude reflects the pride and dedication that comes with producing one of the best rodeos in the country. Celebrating our 29th anniversary this year, the Beef Empire Days P.R.C.A. Rodeo has attracted top cowboys and cowgirls from around the country since its beginning in 1986. With over 75 world champions competing in last year's event the competition was extremely tough. The rodeo passes down a tradition in the truest sense of the word by bringing the Old West back to life for all to enjoy. Of the over 700 rodeos sanctioned by the PRCA (Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association), the non-profit, self-supporting Beef Empire Days P.R.C.A. Rodeo is one of the richest three-day performance events. In 2012 the Rodeo had a contestant pay out over $120,000. The rodeo is a member of the Prairie Circuit and that organization voted us the "Rodeo Of The Year" in 2005.

Our $2,600,000 covered grandstand provides over 4,100 seats in one of the best rodeo arenas in the country. As the largest community event held in Garden City, Kansas, the Beef Empire Days P.R.C.A. Rodeo's economic impact to the community is over two million dollars per year.

Ticket Prices






General Admission

General admission tickets allow you the option of sitting in any General Admission seat. There are no reserved seats for this group so you better get here early to get the best seats available.

Reserved Benchback Seat.

These seats have an aluminum back on the bench type seating. You will have a reserved seat number for your ticket and your seat is reserved for you.

Reserved Bucket Seat.

​These seats have a contoured bucket seat similar to those found in movie theaters. Your seats are reserved for you and offer the closest view of the action in the arena.

Family Night Special.

We are offering something special for our Thursday night, "Family Night," performance. This ticket option allows two adults and their children (under 9 years) to come to the rodeo for one low price. That's right, you get the whole herd into the rodeo for only $10 bucks. Just try to beat that price at any rodeo in the country.

Military Discount.

All active duty military are welcome at Beef Empire Days Rodeo with a complementary ticket for their immediate family. No need to wear your camo, although it is encouraged, just show your current military ID to our friendly ticket staff for your complementary General Admission seating.

Finney County Fairgrounds

Western Hospitality at its Finest!

Finney County

209 Lake Ave.
Garden City, Ks 67846

Local: (620) 272-3844
Ph: (888) 876-3844
Fx: (620) 272-3845

Monday - Friday
8:00 am - 4:45 pm

Quick Links

Kansas State Fair
- International Association Fairs & Expositions
- Kansas Fairs & Festivals Association
- Finney County Convention Visitors Bureau

Finney County Historical Museum

403 South 4th Street
Garden City, KS
(620) 272-3664

Preserving the Past to Enlighten the Future Contact
Finney County Museum

Winter Daily Hours
1:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Summer Daily Hours
10:00 am - 5:00 pm

1:00 pm - 5:00 pm

The Finney County Museum features permanent and revolving exhibits, community programs, educational tours, and extensive research facilities. Our museum offers a rewarding and enjoyable experience for all ages. A visit provides a look into the spirit, both past and present, of Southwest Kansas.

Permanent displays include:
  • Spirit of the Plains
  • C.J. "Buffalo" Jones: Last of the Plainsmen
  • Take Stock in Finney County
  • The Sugar Beet Factory

The museum grounds feature the Pleasant Valley One-Room Schoolhouse (c. 1890) and the Fulton House, the 1884 home of William D. and Luticia Fulton, plus charming flower and herb gardens. These buildings are available for scheduled tours.

The Museum Store is filled with Kansas memorabilia, educational gifts, old fashioned toys, Victorian greeting cards, history books, and a wide range of items representing the diversity of the region.


Admission is free. Suggested donations of $2 for adults and $1 for children is appreciated. These funds help us improve and maintain the museum and its exhibits.


Learn more about what the museum has to offer:

Dodge City and the Wild West Heritage Buffalo & Longhorn Exhibit

Dodge City, Kansas is internationally recognized as the epitome of the Wild West and continues to be a top destination for tourists seeking a Wild West experience. With destinations like Boot Hill Museum and Boot Hill Casino & Resort, guests can relive the excitement of the past and understand how Dodge City has developed through the decades.

Although tourists may envision Marshal Matt Dillon or Wyatt Earp walking the streets of old Dodge City, livestock played (and continues to play) an arguable more integral role in the development of Dodge City and the entire Wild West. Dodge City was crowned the "Queen of the Cattle Towns" in the 1870's and was THE destination for Texas longhorn and the cattle trade.

Before the longhorn and the cattle trade, vast herds of buffalo roamed the plains of Dodge City and Fort Dodge. With the economic boom of the cattle trade, the buffalo was hunted to near extinction.

The Wild West Heritage Foundation was created to preserve Dodge City's unique past and give tourists and residents alike a glimpse of our living history. The noble buffalo and herds of longhorn were once a fixture of our landscape.

Now you can see them in person and take part in our living history! For more information check out Wild West Heritage Foundation.

Southwest Riverless Festival & Balloon Classic

A weekend full of hot air balloons, obstacle course through the riverbed, car show, gun show, boxing, beer, bands and bbq. Plus a whole lot more!

Tumbleweed Festival

On the 4th weekend of August the west green of the Lee Richardson Zoo comes alive with sights and sounds of families enjoying food, music and children's activities.

We invite you to bring your family and friends, grab your lawn chairs and make yourselves comfortable to enjoy the Tumbleweed Festival in a beautiful outdoor setting. We want you to feel welcome at the Tumbleweed Festival.

This year marks the 23rd year of the Tumbleweed Festival and we hope you will make plans to attend what we hope will be the best ever Tumbleweed Festival.


Advanced tickets may be purchased after August 1st.

Adult In Advance Child In Advance Student In Advance Adult Child Student
$15 $5 $10
$20 $5 $10


Available at... Safari Shop at the Lee Richardson Zoo in Garden City Dillons East, Dillons West in Garden City, Dillons in Dodge City, Dillons in Liberal Family Bookhouse in Garden City Golden Plains Credit Union in Garden City, Liberal, and Ulysses Corner on Main in Garden City Garden City Arts Center on Main Quick Draw Oil Change in Dodge City Heartland Food in Scott City High Plains Public Radio Studios in Garden City High Plains Public Radio Studios in Amarillo KJIL Studios in Meade

For other advanced sales or information contact Kathy Friesen, 620-290-1011 or mail to Tumbleweed Festival, PO Box 296, Garden City, KS 67846.

The Sandsage Bison Range & Wildlife Area

(Formally known as the Finney Game Refuge)

785 S. Hwy 83
Garden City, KS 67846
GPS: 37.949048 -100.880998

Contact Information

Area Manager : Tom Norman

Phone : 620-276-8886

KDWP Region 3 Office phone : 620-227-8609

The Sandsage Bison Range & Wildlife Area (formally known as the Finney Game Refuge) is located approximately 0.5 miles south of Garden City on the west side of Business Highway 83. This 3, 760 acre area provides visitors a unique opportunity to view the sandsage prairie ecosystem of southwest Kansas. Not only is the area noted for its unique plant community, but it is also home to the oldest publicly owned bison herd in Kansas.


The Bison Range was established in 1916 when President Woodrow Wilson granted 3,021 acres of the Kansas National Forest holdings to the State of Kansas for use as a game preserve. Another 649 acres has been added to the original land grant bringing the property to its current size of 3,760 acres.

National Forest: Prior to state ownership the bison range was included in the federally owned and operated Kansas National Forest. The Kansas National Forest project began in 1905 as a 30,000 acre public reservation called the Garden City Forest Reserve.

The reserve was established on a five year trial basis with the purpose of providing a place for experimental tree planting to determine which species of trees were most suitable for propagation in the Great Plains. In 1908 another 272,387 acres of sandsage prairie located south of the Arkansas River and west to the Kansas-Colorado border were added to the reserve. With the additional acreage, the reserve's name was changed to the Kansas National Forest. By 1915 more than 800,000 seedlings had been planted on approximately 1,000 acres of the National Forest property. Although the project was considered a failure, a small portion of the original forest can still seen in the northwest corner of our middle pasture. At this location, a few surviving trees planted by the work crews of the early 1900's remain as a reminder of the Kansas National Forest.

Bison Herd: While the property has seen many changes in its nearly 100 yrs of existence, the bison have remained the primary attraction for visitors. Bison were first re-introduced on the range in October 1924 when one bull and two cows arrived from the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge in Oklahoma. Records indicate a bull from the Beatty Ranch near Lakin, KS was added the following year and another ten head originating from the Charles Goodnight herd were added in 1929. Herd size has fluctuated over the years and varies depending on pasture conditions. It has been as high as 80-100 head. Because of extreme drought conditions the herd size was reduced in 2012 to 10 head. As of Fall 2014, there are 19 head. If weather conditions should continue to remain favorable, staff will slowly begin expanding the herd to 50 - 60 head.


Located in the sandsage prairie, the bison range remains one of the few tracts of native sandsage prairie not converted to irrigated cropland. The presence of several tall grass species (i.e. sand bluestem, giant sandreed and sand lovegrass) and sand sagebrush makes this southern plains ecosystem truly unique. Interesting critters that call the sandsage prairie home include the lesser prairie chicken, spotted ground squirrel, kangaroo rat, scaled quail, black-tailed jack rabbit, mule deer, and western hognose snake.

Hunting: Hunting is allowed on the area by posted notice only. Although more restrictive than most public hunting areas, the range provides excellent hunting opportunities.

In particular, both bobwhite and scaled quail are present in huntable numbers, as well as dove, deer, pheasant & rabbit. Hunters have also had good success taking coyotes. Pay close attention to all posted regulations . Individual pastures may have additional restrictions (i.e. north pasture open to shotgun and archery only). Further hunting information may be obtained from the area office.

Fishing: Limited fishing opportunities exist at the sand pit, located in the north portion of the range. Channel Catfish and Rainbow Trout are stocked on a seasonal basis (when sufficient water is present). To find the sand pit, follow Sagebrush Road west for approximately 0.5 miles from Business Highway 83.

Tours: Guided tours to see the bison and other attractions are available by reservation. Visitors are urged to schedule tours in advance by contacting the Friends of Sandsage Bison Range at (620)276-9400. Self-guided tours are not available at this time. Visit the FOSBR website for more information.

Special Links:

Friends of Sandsage Bison Range :

Lee Richardson Zoo:

Bison Auction Information

Bison Auction Form

Special Regulations:
  • The bison are fenced in with a high voltage short duration electric fence. Visitors are urged not to come into contact with the fence at any time as contact may cause personal injury.
  • Access the property only through established parking areas and gates. Do not crawl over or through fences.
  • Vehicles are allowed in designated parking areas only.
  • No camping is permitted.
  • Consult area information boards or the area manager for additional information concerning rules and regulations.











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