Whether you’re in Wichita for a few days or the whole summer, the Air Capital has more than enough to keep you and your family busy. From access to hands-on learning at Exploration Place to the weeklong summertime celebration of Riverfest, Wichita is home to new events rooted in tradition. With nine new Wichita Experiences, you can get up-close-and-personal with rare animals at Tanganyika Wildlife Park or try your hand at making fry bread as you dive into the culture and traditions of the American Indians of the Great Plains.
Boogie over to Downtown Wichita for the Riverfest celebration. The nine-day festival has something for everyone, offering the best Wichita has to offer when it comes to food, concerts, family activities and fantastic fireworks displays. Don’t miss out on the “foodie favorites,” including the return of chicken on a stick, funnel cakes and deep-fried everything. After dinner, find what moves you with the alternative tones of Ok Go!, The Flaming Lips or Common. That’s not all: check out a look at the full concert line-up here. Riverfest happens June 2-10.
Don’t miss The Vanishing Cowboy exhibit at Exploration Place this summer as you learn about the daily lives of the enduring ranchers here in Kansas. Home on the range comes to life through iconic images of the past capture by Kansas photographers.
Over at the Sedgwick County Zoo, the animals are always up for a day in the sun. Ranked as one of the top zoos in the country, it is home to nearly 400 different species. Here you will find a state-of-the-art elephant exhibit: Elephants of the Zambezi River Valley. The exhibit is the third largest in the U.S., encompassing more than 5 acres with the world’s largest elephant pool, holding 550,000 gallons of water.
Get up-close-and-personal with the animals at Tanganyika Wildlife Park. From hand-feeding ring-tail Lemurs to tossing treats into the mouth of an Indian rhino, Tanganyika offers unique interaction for a one-of-a-kind adventure.
Head out to the ballgame for all-star treatment at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium and watch the Wichita Wingnuts take the field. Everyone hits a home run after innings when kids head down to the infield to run the bases. Bring your glove and play catch or sit in the outfield during the game with a Field Pass. If you’re going to go, go Nuts!
If dancing is more your style, don’t miss Julianne & Derek Hough’s MOVE – BEYOND Live on Tour. The sibling pair is most well known for their appearances on ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars.” With new choreography and twice the energy, they pull their inspiration from the elements: earth, wind, fire and water. The Houghs will be at Hartman Arena on June 2.
The Path to the PGA Tour stops right here in Wichita with the 28th Annual Air Capital Classic. Some of the biggest names in golf make up the nearly 160 players competing in this 10-day event. It happens at Crestview Country Club June 8-18. The event supports the Children’s Miracle Network.
For those wanting to take a spooky yet education ride around Wichita, join us for the History and Mysteries of Highland and Maple Grove Cemeteries Tour. Hop on this trolley tour of the two earliest cemeteries in Wichita. We will be visiting the graves of historic figures who walked the Chisholm Trail and learning about their rather mysterious deaths. Schedule your tour for June 24.
Ring in America’s birthday with the Red, White & Boom 4th of July celebration in Downtown Wichita. With an impressive fireworks show following a concert and block party, enjoy it all for free as the community comes together for this explosive event. Fireworks start at 9:45 p.m.
Fans of America’s pastime can enjoy a week of college baseball play at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium from July 22-August 6 at the NBC World Series. Catch more than 60 teams over the 16-day tournament, mounting hundreds of hours of baseball as some of the best amateur players hit the field.
If you are a fan of the classics, there are several big names are coming to the Air Capital. On July 14, Neil Diamond graces the crowd at INTRUST Bank Arena with his 50 Year Anniversary Tour. Music legend Paul McCartney will also make his first appearance in the Sunflower State at INTRUST Bank Arena on July 19 with his “One On One” Tour. Classic rocker Steve Miller Band will be headlining Hartman Arena on July 25 with Peter Frampton.
Down the road, Music Theatre Wichita is putting on five different musical productions over the course of the summer. Catch “Thoroughly Modern Millie,” telling the story of Kansan Millie Dilmount who takes New York City by storm. A lively stage version of “Seven Brides For Seven Brothers” comes to Wichita equipped with athletic dances and plenty of romance. Taking us back to the 1960s, “Hairspray” follows the irrepressible Tracy Turnblad from an outsider to a teen celebrity. From Disney to the live stage, “Hunchback of Notre Dame” brings songs from the original movie to take audience members on a beautiful journey as the bell tolls. Music Theatre Wichita is also offering its own version of the megahit show “Newsies,” featuring spectacular dances, catchy songs and the compelling true story of resilient newsboys at the turn of the 20th Century. Click here for a complete list of dates and times.
No matter where you are in your walk of life, Wichita has something for you this summer. So pack your bags, load up the car and plan your summer vacation in the heart of the Great Plains where here, we go bravely onward.