Deck the halls in Wichita this holiday season with incredible events sure to get even the biggest of Scrooges into the Christmas spirit. From cultural experiences to family traditions, let Wichita feel like home for the holidays.
Catch a classical showing of “The Nutcracker” with Ballet Wichita’s annual performance. Afterward, take a stroll through Botanica Wichita for an impressive light show, Illuminations. With 1 million lights guiding you through more than 30 gardens, Illuminations makes for a beautiful Christmas backdrop. For other holiday music options, check out Wichita Symphony Orchestra to see the latest schedule of Christmas performances.
Whether you’re looking for a romantic evening with your sweetheart or a cool experience for the kids, make sure you head to Bradley Fair for free weekend horse-drawn carriage rides from November through December. Catch the annual Bradley Fair Christmas Tree Lighting as a gorgeous 35-foot tree is illuminated in the center of the parkway. While you’re there, stop by one of the more than 50 stores and restaurants to mark off items on your Christmas shopping list. Don’t miss out on grabbing some Christmas candy at Cocoa Dolce, an artisan chocolate shop that uses one of the most rare chocolates in the world as its main ingredient.
If the family is looking for some fun, the Wichita Ice Center offers more than simple ice-skating. With personal lessons, hockey, speed skating, figure skating and public packages, hone your skating skills or learn a new sport, all under one roof. For the adventurer, head to Bliss Climbing and Fitness to test your rock climbing skills one of the many walls, ranging in level of difficulty.
Set aside a night for a delicious holiday meal and live performance at the Prairie Rose Chuckwagon Supper. Between Thanksgiving and Christmas, enjoy a horse-drawn wagon ride around the property before a performance by the Prairie Rose Rangers. The band will serenade you with cowboy Christmas songs and classic Christmas carols everyone will recognize.
One of the most popular holiday traditions happens right here in Wichita as Santa Claus pops up around the city. Keep your eye out for Jolly Saint Nick and you might even get the chance to catch him with one of his reindeer. Head to Old Cowtown Museum and warm up with a cup of hot chocolate as Santa finishes up working on toys for all the little girls and boys. He will let you know if you’re on the naughty or nice list, so make sure to be on your best behavior. The Old Cowtown Victorian Christmas event is sure to bring cheer to the whole family.
Old Town Wichita will be a Christmas destination this holiday season! On Dec. 2, 9 and 16, celebrate with your family in downtown Wichita with a variety of activities. From live music, decorated businesses and a Holiday Passport Program, Old Town will be family-friendly and full of fun. Complete your passport and win prizes. While you're downtown, catch the Q-Line to get to each location for free!
Don’t miss the Prairie Pines Old-Fashioned Christmas beginning Nov. 24. With horse-drawn carriage rides, visits from Santa and a giant Christmas shop in the Old Barn, there is fun and excitement for the whole family. Use this time to choose that perfect Christmas tree whether you cut it yourself or purchase a pre-cut one, and pick up some cookies and hot cocoa from the Maize High School Choir. Plus, five nights a week, be sure stop by the Prairie Pines Playhouse for a hilarious holiday mystery and dinner theatre performance.
Exploration Place celebrates the holidays in a miniature way through a beautifully-crafted gingerbread village. For a hands-on experience, decorate your own gingerbread house as creators work to build the much-larger village. While you’re there, check out the Kansas in Miniature Holiday Show, as a popular exhibit is decked out in 1950s holidays flare, equipped with holiday music and pure nostalgia. While you’re at Exploration Place, take a moment to explore the Design. Build. Fly. exhibit that provides a behind-the-scenes look at Wichita’s aircraft industry.
For a look at other events happening year-round, click here.