Wichita is a must-visit Midwest destination year-round, and wintertime is especially loaded with holiday activities and unique experiences. You’ll find plenty to do, whether you’re planning on indoor family fun or a romantic getaway.

There are Wichita hotels at every price point, and you’ll find affordable indoor attractions and diverse events for every interest. Read along to see how to spend a vacation in the Heart of the Country this November, December and January!

A Santa Clause tends to reindeer at Fulton Valley Farms

Holiday Experiences

Wichita is where you’ll want to be for unlimited holiday fun, from pop-up bars to annual lighting events considered the best in the region. 

You can count on annual traditions such as 2 million lights strung throughout 30+ themed gardens at Illuminations at Botanica Wichita, scheduled for Nov. 24 to Dec. 30; lights, activities, Santa and live registered North American reindeer Itsy-Bitsy and Sparkle at Fulton Valley Farm’s Country Christmas Nov. 24 through Dec. 23; and tours while the Frank Lloyd Wright's Allen House Museum and Study Center is decorated for the holidays.

There’s also Wild Lights at the Sedgwick County ZooHolly Jolly Jurassic Holiday at Field Station: Dinosaurs and Arctic Adventure at Exploration Place. Also at Exploration Place, the kids will love dressing in costume for the interactive Frozen Sing-Along shown in Kemper Theater Thursdays and Sundays (excluding Thanksgiving week) beginning Nov. 16-Jan. 7. New this year is the inaugural Kansas Global Holiday Market. Inspired by the winter holiday markets in Europe, the market will be a family-friendly place to shop for artisan gifts from around the globe, taste international holiday foods such as Mexican chocolate-covered churros and German sausages and enjoy performances inspired by cultures from around the world.

Winter garden igloos are also popular in Wichita. Find them at Nortons Brewing Co., Chicken N Pickle and Ziggy's Pizza (Auburn HillsClifton SquareNortheast and West). Over the top holiday décor can be found around the city as well at places like Public, Headshots Bar & GrillRiver City Brewing Co. and The Belmont.

The Wichita State Shockers mascot WuShock walks in front of the school's marching band during a college basketball game.

Spectator Sports

Wichita is a sports city, and we’ve got just the ticket for you this winter:

Wichita Thunder Hockey – Cheer on the home team at INTRUST Bank Arena where the Wichita Thunder Hockey take to the ice in all their ECHL glory. The regular season runs October to April.

Wichita State Basketball – Head to Charles Koch Arena for a home game for Wichita State Shocker athletics. The men’s basketball games draw a loud crowd, making the roundhouse one of the arenas with the best home-court advantage according to ESPN.

Bays at Topgolf sit ready for play at Topgolf Wichita

Active Experiences

Ready to burn off some energy? Try these options:

  • Aviate – Jump into the fun at this 32,000-square-foot indoor trampoline park inside the Wichita Sports Forum.
  • Blast Off Bay – This newly opened indoor water park just west of Wichita in Goddard has a dual surf machine, lazy river, a hot tub, swim-up bar, 11 slides, an arcade and more.
  • Bliss Climbing & Fitness Complex – With auto-belay, the whole family can enjoy this safe, fun, challenging activity together. There is a 38-foot climbing wall and a 15-foot bouldering wall at this state-of-the-art indoor facility.
  • Golf-In – With two state of the art golf simulator bays, visitors can play a round of golf, hit balls on the driving range, take a lesson or host a party.
  • Topgolf Wichita - The newly opened complex offers climate-controlled hitting bays for you and your family to take aim and swing at outfield targets. Plus, the entertainment venue has TVs throughout for a sports bar atmosphere.
  • Wichita Ice Center – Skate indoors with family and friends on Olympic and NHL-regulation ice.
  • Wichita Sports Forum – Get active at this indoor playground for a variety of sports plus a trampoline park.
  • Bowl at Bowlero Wichita, Bowlero Northrock or Bowlero Northridge.

About a dozen people enjoying a nighttime skating session at an outdoor rink in Wichita, KS

Game Time

Head to an arcade or have a friendly competition at one of these attractions:

  • Axe to Grind and Blade & Timber – Swing an ax at targets in a friendly competition with your family or friends. Check each facility’s age restrictions.
  • Chicken N Pickle – Play pickleball, bocce ball, shuffleboard or table tennis while enjoying delicious chicken fare. Enjoy ice skating on the Ice Pond at Chicken N Pickle beginning Thanksgiving weekend (as weather permits). 
  • Find arcades and other indoor games at: All Star AdventuresAll Star Sports, Bowlero (Wichita, Northridge and Northrock) and Dave & Buster’s.

Asian lanterns in the shapes of the Queen of Hearts and Alice from Alice In Wonderland are lit during Wild lights

Amazing Exhibitions

Wichita is home to many exciting cultural and historical attractions and museums that have amazing traveling exhibitions alongside their worthwhile permanent exhibits.

Sedgwick County Zoo is running Wild Lights, a display of larger-than-life Asian lantern sculptures, on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings through Dec. 17. This year, the exhibit has a literary twist, featuring an “Alice in Wonderland” theme.

Our science center, Exploration Place, has a variety of films showing in its Digital Dome Theater and “Arctic Adventure” Nov. 10-Jan. 7, along with its interactive, permanent exhibitions such as  “Health Inside Out.”

Explore the “Being Modern” exhibit through Dec. 31 at Wichita-Sedgwick County Historical Museum. The Mid-America All-Indian Museum is featuring “Voices from the Drum” through Dec. 2 and “Ivory Miniatures” and “What We Collect” through Dec. 31.

A National Watercolor Exhibition, showcasing 83 exquisite paintings created in the watercolor medium by leading artists around the country, will be on display at Mark Arts through Dec. 16.

The Wichita Art Museum will have a variety of exhibits including “Upside Down, Topsy-Turvy and In-Between: Images of the Carnival and Circus from the Wichita Art Museum” and “Barbara Earl Thomas: The Illuminated Body."

Learn about baseball in Wichita at the city’s newest museum, the Wichita Baseball Museum. See new permanent exhibits, Women of Aviation and the Rip Gooch Black Aviators, on the third floor of the Kansas Aviation Museum, in the historic Wichita Municipal Airport Terminal Building.

Find even more to enjoy at Wichita's museums and galleries in this blog post of Wichita's Newest Exhibits.

Colorful slip-on shoes arranged in a circle around the outside of a circular glass table


Wichita is a year-round regional shopping destination, and we’ve also got special shopping experiences during the holidays. Find out more about shopping local for the holidays and year-round online here. Special shopping events:

Upcoming Wichita Events

Wichita has something happening every night. When booking your winter getaway to Wichita, be sure to visit our event calendar for the latest options.

Deals & Discounts

Take advantage of the deals and discounts offered by Visit Wichita through our Explore Card program. Wichita is an affordable destination, but you can stretch your vacation dollars even further by picking up an Explore Card at our offices or one of our participating partners. Download our visitor guide for more inspiration and ideas.