WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) - Exploration Place in downtown Wichita has some pretty big projects in the works, slated to open to the public in the next couple of years.

"I feel that this project will make a true tourism destination for Exploration Place," said the science museum's CEO Adam Smith.

Right now when you go to the science museum you'll see a large area fenced off. This patch of dirt doesn't look like much but it's the future site of a brand new amphitheater that will be opening at the park later this year.

"We believe every night 365 days it will be the ultimate place to watch the flames at the Keeper," said Smith.

The amphitheater will look right across the Arkansas River giving visitors a clear view of the show.

This will also be the site for movie nights, concerts, performances, and more. The first special event that will be held there will be the museum's annual drone show in September.

On the other side of the park, there will be a large playground called the destination playscape. This will feature 10 playgrounds in one and it will be for all ages.

'I have been working on this for quite awhile and even myself, I'm like it's gonna be cool," said Smith.

The ten playgrounds will each have a different theme as a kind of love letter to Kansas. There will be a water park, an aviation inspired area, a sunflower meadow, and more.

Smith says this expansion is big because it gives exploration place some outside facilities.

"What this is gonna do for us means on a beautiful day, Exploration Place is gonna be filled with life and activity also," said Smith.

He says he is looking forward to seeing visitors running around and playing outside when the playground opens. The museum is expecting the playground to open in the fall of 2025 and is breaking ground on the area later this month.

Every year 400,000 people visit the science museum and with this expansion, officials are expecting to exceed one million visitors a year.

The Junior League of Wichita has donated $2 million that has been raised for the water park area of a the playground which is a key piece of Exploration Place's planned outdoor expansion.

The Water Play Cascades will offer a multi-sensory learning experience that promotes teamwork and collaboration. Many of the pumps and water wheels must be activated by children and adults working together to achieve their full effect, providing an engaging and educational environment for visitors of all ages.

The feature, designed by Hoerr Schaudt Landscape Architects and Fluidity Design Consultants, is part of Exploration Place's “destination playscape,” a $25 million project that consists of 10 beautifully landscaped individual playgrounds. An amphitheater that's part of the project broke ground in March.

“We are thrilled to celebrate our centennial by giving this extraordinary gift to the community,” said Ami Schlader, president of the league. “The Water Play Cascades exemplify our commitment to advancing women's leadership and fostering meaningful community impact through collaborative action.”

Longtime Junior League of Wichita members Cindy Carnahan and Lynn Ward led the fundraising campaign. The $2 million gift is comprised of donations from more than 200 individuals and other entities to date, and is timed as the organization celebrates its 100th anniversary.

“We deeply appreciate this exceptional investment by Junior League of Wichita,” said Adam Smith, Exploration Place's president and CEO. "We know how popular water play is from our indoor exhibits, and we can't wait for our families to work together in such a fun and creative environment.”