With the sound of sleigh bells on the horizon, Jolly St. Nick and his elves are busy working away at the North Pole to ensure all the good little boys and girls get what they want for Christmas. In Wichita, the city is turning into a winter wonderland preparing for Santa’s visit, and keeping visitors and locals entertained in the meantime.
There are dozens of seasonal events welcoming winter and the holidays. From fun, family-friendly experiences to adult-only entertainment, Wichita is a great place to celebrate Christmas. Below are just a few of the opportunities available during the holiday season.
A Cirque de la Symphonie Holiday Spectacular
Dec. 2-3, 2017 @ Century II Performing Arts & Convention Center
Prepare to be amazed as the magic of the Cirque du Soleil meets the classical renderings of the Wichita Symphony Orchestra in A Cirque de la Symphonie Holiday Spectacular! This holiday show is perfect for the whole family and comes equipped with acrobats, aerial flyers, contortionists, dances, jugglers, balancers and some of the strongest men and women you will ever see. These gravity-defying stunts are professionally-choreographed and set to classical masterpieces recognizable for all ages.
Spirit of the Season: Free Holiday Concert
Dec. 5 @ Century II Performing Arts & Convention Center
The Wichita Symphony Orchestra wants to get everyone in the holiday spirit with the Spirit of the Season Free Family Holiday Concert. This one-hour event is sponsored by Spirit AeroSystems. Bring a canned food donation to support the Kansas Food Bank and enjoy some Christmas cheer for the whole family.
Mark O’Connor’s: An Appalachian Christmas
Dec. 7 @ The Orpheum Theatre
For bluegrass lovers, there’s one Christmas concert you won’t want to miss – Mark O’Connor’s: An Appalachian Christmas live at The Orpheum. O’Connor brings a little “twang” to some Christmas classics as well as a few original tunes. Mark brings his wife, son, daughter-in-law and other band members from the newly Grammy-winning O’Connor Band.
Dec. 8 @ INTRUST Bank Arena
INTRUST Bank Arena lights up for the holidays with an incredible performance by Trans-Siberian Orchestra. The band has been traveling for more than two decades bringing unforgettable holiday shows full of energy and special effects. Don’t miss this multi-generational holiday tradition.
Chris Mann: Home for Christmas
Dec. 9 @ Century II Performing Arts & Convention Center
Wichita native and opera superstar Chris Mann comes Home for Christmas in an enthusiastic performance with Wichita Grand Opera. Mann rose to fame on NBC’s “The Voice,” and is most well-known for his Broadway Tour as the Phantom in “Phantom of the Opera,” chosen by Andrew Lloyd Webber himself for the title role. Don’t miss his performance alongside Kaitlyn Costello, the Rose Hill High School Choir and the Wichita Community Children’s Choir. World-renowned maestro Steven Mercurio will conduct the performance.
Bethlehem, Kansas – Presented by Music Theatre for Young People
Dec. 9-10 @ Century II Performing Arts & Convention Center
Hotel workers struggle to meet the needs of the unexpected crowd when a blizzard strands travelers at the Bethlehem Motel in western Kansas. As the rooms fill up, a couple arrives seeking shelter, including one very pregnant woman named Mary. As chaos ensues for the motel guests and workers, Mary goes into labor. Bethlehem, Kansas – Presented by Music Theatre for Young People is a musical telling the story of people who find love and peace in a Christmas miracle.
Ballet Wichita’s “The Nutcracker”
Dec. 15-17 @ Century II Performing Arts & Convention Center
Don’t forego Christmas tradition and miss out on this classic tale brought to life by Ballet Wichita. The timeless tale, “The Nutcracker,” will take you back to a simpler time with the lovely sounds of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. With an all new spin on this timeless performance, Ballet Wichita celebrates its 44th season. The holiday family favorite based on the 1816 book by E.T. A. Hoffman is directed and choreographed by Sean McLeod. With the help of the Ballet Wichita Symphony, Wichita State University's Nick Johnson as Drosselmeyer and a cast of more than 100 local and regional dancers, this is one show you and your family won't want to miss.
Chisholm Trail 150th: Christmas on the Prairie
Nov. 25-Dec. 23 @ Prairie Rose Chuckwagon Supper
Continue the celebration of the 150th anniversary of the Chisholm Trail with a chuckwagon dinner and performance at the Prairie Rose Chuckwagon Supper for its annual Christmas on the Prairie event. Experience this winter wonderland between Thanksgiving and the end of December by taking a horse-drawn wagon ride around the property. Finish the night at two movie theaters in the Opera House where you can listen to the Prairie Rose Rangers sing cowboy Christmas songs and timeless Christmas carols.
The Kyle & Monte Christmas Musical 2!
Nov. 10-Dec. 30 @ Roxy’s Downtown
Two of Wichita’s favorite funny men are back at it again this year as we ring in the holiday season. With “The Kyle & Monte Christmas Musical 2,” Kyle & Monte bring a new full-length original musical comedy extravaganza featuring hilarious Christmas characters, sketches, parodies and the world-famous “Kyle & Monte Medleys.” Catered dinner is available ahead of the show.
Nov. 24-Dec. 31 @ Botanica Wichita
Enter a true winter wonderland and gaze at more than 1 million lights as you stroll through more than 30 gardens at Botanica Wichita. Illuminations begins Nov. 24 and lights up the gardens every night through Dec. 31. Find yourself walking down Candy Cane Lane, playing with tree monsters in the Downing Children’s Garden or watching the choreographed light show with 50,000 lights set to music. You and your family can enjoy a trip through Illuminations 5:30-8:30 p.m. nightly.