Holiday planner: Festive Wichita events will get you in the spirit
It happens every Christmas.
You have all that decorating and shopping and cooking and partying to do, then Wichita has to go and throw a month-full of must-visit holiday events — lightings, gingerbread decorating, Santa visits, plays and Christmas concerts by well-known musicians.
To help you prioritize how to spend your precious holiday minutes, we’ve again composed a list of some of Wichita’s most-loved holiday events.
Here are some of the highlights. Then, inside this section, you’ll find an even longer list of holiday happenings.
Bradley Fair Christmas Tree Lighting, 5 p.m.-10 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 17, Bradley Fair, Rock Rd. at 21st St. Annual lighting of Christmas tree on Bradley Fair Plaza to benefit Ronald McDonald House Charities Wichita. Christmas carol sing-a-long, photos with Santa and his reindeer photos, horse-drawn carriage rides. 6-10 pm. 316630-9990 https://bradleyfair .com/special-events/bradleyfair-christmas-tree-lighting/
The Arc’s Lights, formerly Lights on St. Paul, drive-through light display with more than a million lights starting at Douglas and St. Paul, 5:30-9 p.m. Nov. 22-Dec. 28 (to 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and Dec. 19, 20 and 23, and until 11:30 p.m. Christmas Eve); $10 per-carload admission required Fridays through Sundays, free-will donations accepted Mondays through Thursdays; www.thearcslights.org, 316-9431191.
Illuminations, light displays throughout the gardens of Botanica, music, nightly Santa appearances, hot drinks and snacks for sale. 5:30-8:30 p.m. Nov. 23-Dec. 31 (excluding Dec. 24-25), Botanica, 701 N. Amidon. $10, $7 members, $7 ages 3-12, under 3 get in free. www.botanica.org, 316-2640448.
Lights on the River and Mayor’s Tree Lighting, 4 p.m.-7 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 2 Wichita Boathouse, 515 S. Wichita. A free family event on the Arkansas River with activities. Purchase floating lights for the Lights on the River Launch, enjoy wagon rides, visit with Santa, buy food from local food trucks, watch fireworks. Orbs can be purchased in advance or at event. At 6 p.m., Mayor Jeff Longwell will light the official city tree in Old Town Square. Trolleys will be available. 316-262-2038
Holidays in Delano, 11-4 p.m. Nov. 17, Historic Delano District. Christmas shopping at Delano businesses, Santa appearances, live reindeer, carolers, Santa and kids’ activities. Bring canned goods to receive a discount at area shops.
Polar Express at OJ Watson Park, family activity geared to children 2 and up, reading of “Polar Express,” crafts, miniature train ride to North Pole to see Santa and have s’mores and hot chocolate. $16. 37 sessions between Nov. 23 and Dec. 23. Register online at www.wichita .gov/parkandrec or by calling the park at 316-529-9940.
A Night With Santa, 6:308:30 p.m. Dec. 6, Century II Exhibition & Convention Halls, 225 W. Douglas. Visit with Santa, carnival games and prizes, cake walk, bingo, drawings for Christmas trees, bicycles and more. Sponsored by Wichita Park & Recreation. Free.
Victorian Christmas, 6-9 p.m. Dec. 7-8, Dec. 14-15, Old Cowtown Museum, 1865 W. Museum Blvd. Traditional holiday event featuring period decorations, wagon rides, carolers, crafts and activities, cookies, cocoa, and Christmas gifts for sale. Tickets $9 for adults 18-61, $8 for seniors 62 and older, $7 for youth 12-17, $6 for children 5-11, free for those 4 and under and Cowtown members.
Home for Christmas featuring Chris Mann, 7 p.m. Dec. 1, Century II, 225 W. Douglas. Sponsored by Wichita Grand Opera. Tickets: $81-$90. at selectaseat.com. 316-262-8054
Jewel’s Handmade Holiday Tour, 7 p.m. Mon., Nov. 26, Wichita Orpheum Theatre, 200 N. Broadway. Jewel performs holiday classics as well as her hits. $45.50-$126.50. www.wichitaorpheum.com, 316-263-0884
Lindsey Stirling’s The Wanderland Tour, 8 p.m. Thurs., Nov. 29, Intrust Bank Arena, 500 E. Waterman. Popular violinist brings her holiday tour to Wichita. $35-$75. www.selectaseat.com, 855-7557328.
Jim Brickman: A Joyful Christmas, 8 p.m. Sat., Dec. 8, Wichita Orpheum Theatre, 200 N. Broadway. Grammy-nominated pianist performs holiday classics. $47-$65. www.wichitaorpheum.com, 316-263-0884
The Arc’s Lights is a drive-through display with more than a million lights.