On Friday, the calendar flipped to Nov. 1, and things got real.
In Wichita, November and December are positively filled with holiday activities. Nearly every day of the week, those seeking out holiday cheer can easily find concerts, plays, shopping events and light displays.
Many of the events are traditions. Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas in Wichita without Botanica’s glowing gardens at Illuminations, the competing performances of “The Nutcracker,” edible house making at Gingerbread Village, and a Christmas show at the Crown Uptown Dinner Theatre.
It’s early, but we’ve gathered a list of many of the big events going on around Wichita over the past few months. Use this guide to plan your holiday activity strategy. If your event is listed below but you haven’t entered it at kansas.com/events, you still need to do that. Otherwise, it won’t make it into online listings.
Holiday Tables, a collection of table settings presented by area hosts. Holiday and home shopping, baked goods, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday through Nov. 9., Wichita Center for the Arts, 9112 E. Central. $10, lunch 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., $12. Information, 316-634-2787 or wcfta.com.
Santa’s Arrival at Towne West Square, parade inside the mall featuring Towne West Express, Santa and marching band starting at Dick’s Sporting Goods, 1 p.m. Nov. 16. Admission free.
Santa’s Arrival at Towne East Square, “Santa Saturday” Kidgit Club event with crafts, activities for kids from 8:30 to 11 a.m., meet-and-greet with Santa from 9:15 to 9:45 a.m. at The Children’s Place, and a parade with marching band starting at 11 a.m. near JC Penney, Nov. 16. Admission free.
Gingerbread Village, decorate a gingerbread house. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 16 and noon to 5 p.m. Nov. 17, Exploration Place, 300 N. McLean Blvd. $9.50 for ages 12 and up, $8 for seniors, $6 for children ages 3 to 11, children 2 and under free; includes admission to Exploration Place and materials for the Gingerbread Village. Buy tickets at the door or at www.exploration.org. A portion of the proceeds go to the Assistance League of Wichita.
Wreath Festival, exhibits of miniature Christmas trees and vintage Santas, baked-goods sale, holiday gifts and wreaths for sale. 10 a.m to 2 p.m. Nov. 21 and 22, Wichita-Sedgwick County Historical Museum, 204 S. Main. Admission $5. Lunch served 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and additional $14. Reservations, 316-265-9314. Information, wichitahistory.org.
Bradley Fair Christmas Tree Lighting, lighting of 35-foot Christmas tree, Santa photos, horse-drawn carriage rides, 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Nov. 23, Bradley Fair Plaza, 21st and Rock Road, free. Information, 316-630-9990.
All Things Gingerbread, gazebo at Cambridge Market at 21st and Webb Road turned into life-size gingerbread house, photos with Santa and gingerbread boy ($5), big gingerbread cookies for sale for kids to take home and decorate, children’s aprons for sale, mailbox for letters to Santa (in partnership with city of Wichita; if return address is provided, a letter from Santa is sent); proceeds benefit Assistance League of Wichita. 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Nov. 23 and Dec. 7. Free admission.
Affair in the Square, shopping, free carriage rides, holiday skit performances, live music, prize drawings, noon to 6 p.m. Nov. 23, Old Town Square, Second and Mead. Event continues Saturdays through Dec. 21 with free carriage rides from noon to 4 p.m. and free holiday movies at the Old Town Warren Theatre at 10 a.m. Dec. 7 and 14. Information, www.facebook.com/OldTownSquare.
Kansas in Miniature Holiday Show, Exploration Place’s Kansas in Miniature display transformed for the holidays, Nov. 23 to Dec. 29, Exploration Place, 300 N. McLean Blvd., regular Exploration Place hours and admission.
Holiday Dome Show: “Let it Snow,” family-friendly show with holiday images and scenes set to favorite holiday songs from Frank Sinatra, the Muppets and more, Nov. 23-Dec. 29, Exploration Place Boeing Dome Theater and Planetarium, 300 N. McLean Blvd., $5, $4 seniors, $3 ages 3-11, free for ages 2 and under. Show times posted soon at exploration.org/let_it_snow.html.
Deck the Halls, fundraiser for Heart of America Men’s Chorus featuring food, beer and wine, silent auction of decorated wreaths and trees, displays of holiday decor, 7 to 10 p.m., Nov. 23, Innes Station Lobby, 701 E. First St. Tickets $25 at the door or by calling 316-708-4837.
Holiday Horse-Drawn Carriage Rides, originating at Bradley Fair Plaza, Fridays and Saturdays from 6 to 10 p.m. from Nov. 23 through Dec. 21. Free. Information, 316-630-9990.
Christmas on the Prairie, Christmas chuckwagon supper, Prairie Rose Rangers show, horse-drawn-wagon rides, classic cowboy movies and Silver Screen Cowboy Museum. 5 p.m. Nov. 29 and 30 and Fridays and Saturdays of December through Dec. 21, plus Sunday matinees at 1 p.m. Dec. 8 and Dec. 22. Prairie Rose Chuckwagon Supper, 15231 SW Parallel St., Benton. $30 for adults; $10 ages 6 to 12; $5 ages 3 to 5; younger children free. Information, 316-778-2121, www.prairierosechuckwagon.com.
CityArts Holiday Workshops, for kids and adults, learn to do a variety of holiday arts and crafts, ranging from ornaments to winter landscape painting, Dec. 2-3. Visit http://wichitaarts.com/cityarts/ or call 316-462-2787 ext. 742 for a list of classes, prices and registration information.
Mayor’s Tree Lighting, A Night with Santa, lighting of downtown Christmas tree, games, fireworks. Starts at 6 p.m. Dec. 3 on Kennedy Plaza, continues 6:30-8:30 p.m. inside Century II Exhibition and Convention halls.
Wichita Eagle Holiday Open House, family portraits with Santa by Eagle photographers, tours of the newsroom and running press with Eagle staffers, children’s activities, refreshments, caroling. 5-7 p.m. Dec. 5, The Wichita Eagle, 825 E. Douglas. Free. Information, 316-268-6406 or www.kansas.com.
A Patsy Cline Christmas, Christmas chuckwagon supper, Kim Coslett and the Patsy Cline Tribute Band show, horse-drawn-wagon rides, classic cowboy movies and Silver Screen Cowboy Museum. 5 p.m. Dec. 5, 12 and 19. Prairie Rose Chuckwagon Supper, 15231 SW Parallel St., Benton. $30 for adults; $10 ages 6 to 12; $5 ages 3 to 5; younger children free. Information, 316-778-2121, www.prairierosechuckwagon.com.
Victorian Christmas at Cowtown, music and dance performances, wagon rides (weather permitting), Santa Claus, baked goods and cider for purchase, historical Christmas displays and cooking demonstrations, re-enactors, hands-on crafts for children. 6-9 p.m. Dec. 6-7 and Dec. 13-14, Old Cowtown Museum, 1865 W. Museum Blvd. $7.75 adults, $6.50 ages 62 and older, $6 ages 12-17, $5.50 ages 4-11, free for children under 4 and members. Information, 316-350-3323 or www.oldcowtown.org.
Spaghetti With Santa, spaghetti pie and cookies for dinner, Christmas stockings, cookie decorating, stories, songs, visit by Santa; includes Illuminations in the gardens of Botanica. 5:30 p.m. Dec. 9 and 10. $12 ($10 member) for ages 13 and up and $7 ($5 member) for ages 3 to 12. Make reservations by calling 316-264-0448, ext. 115. Information, www.botanica.org.
Holiday Hop Square Dance featuring fun caller, Vic Perry, 7 p.m. Dec. 15, Clare Hall, 861 N. Socora, $5. Information, 316-670-0098.
A Night in Bethlehem, outdoor event that re-creates the streets of Bethlehem, with shops, displays and re-enactments, 6 p.m. Dec. 13 to 14, First Christian Church, 1600 State St., Augusta. Admission is $1 or a non-perishable food item. Information, 316-775-6317.
Breakfast With Santa, Christmas crafts including a telegram to Santa, Santa’s arrival by stagecoach and photos with him, breakfast. 9 a.m. Dec. 21, Old Cowtown Museum, 1865 W. Museum Blvd. $12.95 ages 16 and older, $7.95 ages 4 to 15. Information, 316-350-3323 or www.oldcowtown.org.
Wing Kidz Club: Santa’s Arrival, event that includes visit from Santa and kid activities, 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Dec. 21, Kansas Aviation Museum, 3350 George Washington Blvd. Admission free for members, regular admission for nonmembers. Information, 316-683-9242.
Lights on St. Paul, drive-through light display with more than 1 million lights synchronized to music, 5:30 p.m. Nov. 28 to Dec. 29, Arc of Sedgwick County, 2919 W. Second St. Free; donations accepted, $5 suggested. Santa photos available Fridays-Sundays for donation. Information, www.arc-sedgwickcounty.org.
Illuminations, elaborate walk-though light display with more than 200 trees, music performances, nightly Santa appearances, hot drinks and snacks available. 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Nov. 29. to Dec. 31, Botanica, 701 N. Amidon. $7 adults, $6 members, $5 ages 3-12, under 3 free. Information, 316-264-0448.
Heartspring’s Lights on the Lake, drive-through light display, photos with Santa available. Nov. 29 to Dec. 25, hours 5:30 to 9 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays, 5:30 to 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and Dec. 24 to 25, Heartspring, 8700 E. 29th St. North. Free; donations accepted. Information, 316-634-8761 or www.lightsonthelake.org.
Alternative Gift Market, Buy charity-minded gifts such as school supplies for kids in Haiti and present your gift in a greeting card, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Grace Presbyterian Church, 5002 E. Douglas Ave. Information, 316-269-0635.
Fifth Craftapalooza & Fabulous Vintage Market, holiday shopping event with handmade arts and crafts, jewelry, vintage items and more, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Century II Exhibition Hall. Admission $3.
Fourth Annual Holiday Shopping Event, put on by Down Syndrome Society of Wichita, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Sedgwick County Extension Center, 7001 W. 21st St. Information, email@example.com.
Holy Spirit Annual Spirit Bazaar, homemade crafts, baked goods, music, raffle every hour, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Explorer Elementary School, 454 S. 167th St. Admission $2. Information, 316-794-4181.
Shop the Fab Five, Discount shopping event at gift stores at Exploration Place, Botanica, Mid-America All-Indian Center, Old Cowtown Museum and Wichita Art Museum. Members get 20 percent off purchases, non-Members get 10 percent off. Special demos, music. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 23. Information, 316-660-0600.
Christmas Arts and Crafts Show, 140 exhibitors. 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 14, Cessna Activity Center, 2744 George Washington Blvd. $2, under 12 free. Information, 316-684-3971.
Turkey Trot, 10-mile race and 2-mile run/walk to benefit the Kansas Food Bank, 9:30 a.m. Nov. 24, Museums on the River. Information: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Third Annual ‘Say Grace’ Thanksgiving Day 5K Race, 9:30 a.m. Nov. 28, GraceMed Health Clinic, 1122 N. Topeka. Registration, $15-$30 at gracemed.org.
Wichita Jingle Bell Run/Walk for Arthritis, benefit for the Arthritis Foundation. One- and four-mile routes. Prizes, holiday-themed costumes encouraged. 8:30 a.m. Dec. 7, Exploration Place, 300 N. McLean Blvd. Registration $30 until Sunday, $35 until Dec. 4 and $40 on race day. Information, 316-448-6843 or www.jbrwichita.org.
Santa Shuffle, 5K race where all participants will receive a Santa hat, beard and commemorative Santa shirt, 9:30 a.m. Dec. 14, Sedgwick County Park, Registration $30 until Dec. 12, $35 after. Register at www.santashufflewichita.com.
Canta Carol Run, 5K run with carolers along the course and Christmas goodies and Santa time after, 9:30 a.m. Dec. 14, Wichita State University campus. Registration $15 for WSU students, $20 for faculty, $25 for general public through Dec. 7, $30 for everyone after Dec. 7, $40 race day registration. For more information, visit www.facebook.com/CantaCarolRun.
The Dennis Family 30th Annual Christmas Concert, annual traditional Christmas concert featuring nine Dennis siblings, 6 p.m. Dec 1, Tabernacle Bible Church, 1817 N. Volutsia. Admission free, donations accepted. Information, 316-734-1495.
Wichita State University 51st annual Candlelight Concert, WSU A Cappella Choir, Women’s Choir, Concert Chorale and Madrigal Singers with organ music by professor Lynne Davis, 4 p.m. Dec. 1 and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 2, Wiedemann Concert Hall, WSU. Tickets $7 adults, $3 students, free for WSU students with ID. Available Nov. 10 at www.wichita.edu/fineartsboxoffice or by calling 316-978-3233.
Fourth Annual Christmas Organ Concert, featuring professor Lynne Davis on the Great Marcussen Organ, 5:15 p.m. Dec. 4, Wiedemann Concert Hall, WSU. Free.
Wichita Community Children’s Choir Winter Concerts, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 6 at First Baptist Church, 216 E. Second St., and 4 p.m. Dec. 8 at College Hill United Methodist Church, 2930 E. First St. Admission $5 at the door. Information, visit http://www.wcccks.com/
Singing Quakers Christmas Candlelight Concert, 7:30 p.m. Dec 6 and 7, 2 p.m. Dec. 8, Friends University Sebits Auditorium, 2100 W. University. $16 adults, $13 seniors/students at friends.edu/finearts or at 316-295-5677.
Heart of America Men’s Chorus: Santa’s On His Way, annual Christmas concert, 7 p.m. Dec. 7 and 4:30 p.m. Dec. 8, DeMattias Hall, Newman University. Tickets $15 at the door or by calling 316-708-4837.
Christmas Express Concert, Shriners Hospitals for Children benefit concert, 7 p.m. Dec. 7, Orpheum Theater, 200 N. Broadway. $20. Information, 316-263-0884 or www.wichitaorpheum.com.
Handel’s Messiah, Wichita Choral Society’s 68th annual performance, 2 p.m. Dec 8, First United Methodist Church, 330 N. Broadway, $10. Information, 316-524-0995, 316-267-6244
Spirit of the Season Free Family Holiday Concert, Wichita Symphony performing Christmas carols, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 10, Century II Convention Hall, free with ticket available at www.wichitasymphony.org.
Celtic Woman: Home For Christmas – The Symphony Tour, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 13, Kansas Star Arena, $49, $79 and $99, www.ticketmaster.comv
Wichita Chamber Chorale “Sounding Joy: Trumpets Sound and Angels Sing!” festival holiday music for choir, brass and organ featuring the Wichita Brass Quintet, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 14, 3 p.m. Dec. 15, Plymouth Congregational Church, 202 N. Clifton. $15, $12 seniors, $5 students, high school students free. Information, 316-204-2315 or www.wichitachorale.com.
Advent Concert - Church of the Magdalen, choir performing two masterworks for voices and string orchestra: “St. Nicholas Mass” by Joseph Haydn and “The Nativity” by Elizabeth Poston, 5 p.m. Dec 15, Church of the Magdalen, 12626 E. 21st St. Free, donations accepted for the Lords Diner, Guadalupe Clinic and Catholic Charities. Information, 316-634-2315.
Trans-Siberian Orchestra: The Lost Christmas Eve, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 18, Intrust Bank Arena, 500 E. Waterman. Tickets $32.50, $42.50, $52.50, $62.50, $72.50, www.selectaseat.com.
Beach Boys, holiday concert with songs from their classic “Christmas Album” plus the hits, 7 p.m. Dec. 19, Hartman Arena, 8151 N. Hartman Arena Dr., Park City. Tickets $29.50, $49.50, $69.50, $89.50. On sale 10 a.m. Friday at Stage1tickets.com, select CD Tradepost outlets, the Hartman Arena Box Office or by calling 316-927-3999.
Brett Valliant Advent Concert, Christmas carols played on a 5,000-pipe organ by Brett Valliant, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 23, First United Methodist Church, 330 N. Broadway. Admission is a donation for the maintenance of the organ.
“Irving Berlin’s White Christmas: The Musical,” Thursday to Dec. 22 at Crown Uptown Theatre, 3207 E. Douglas. Visit www.crownuptown.com or call 316-612-7696 for show times and ticket prices.
“Derbysville: The Town of Misfit Toys,” Nov. 14 to Dec. 30, Mosley Street Melodrama, 234 N. Mosley. Visit www.mosleystreet.com or call 316-263-0222 for show times and ticket prices.
Christmas revue, Nov. 15 to Dec. 22, Cabaret Oldtown, 412½ E. Douglas. Visit www.cabaretoldtown.com/ or call 316-265-2558 for show times and ticket prices.
“Santa’s Toyland,” Nov. 15 to 16, 22 to 23, 29 to 30 and Dec. 6 to 7, 13 to 14, at Crown Uptown Children’s Theatre, 3207 E. Douglas. Visit www.crownuptown.com/childrens-theatre/ or call 316-612-7696 for show times and ticket prices.
“It’s a Wonderful Life (Radio Version),” Nov. 29 to Dec. 22, at Wichita Community Theatre, 258 N. Fountain. Visit http://wichitact.org/ or call 316-686-1282 for show times and ticket prices
“A 1940s Radio Christmas Carol,” Nov. 30 to Dec. 23, at Prairie Pines Dinner Theatre, 4055 N. Tyler Road. Visit www.prairiepines.com/ or call 316-722-1145.
Moscow Ballet’s “Great Russian Nutcracker”, 5 p.m. Dec 1, Orpheum Theatre, 200 N. Broadway. Tickets $27.50-$175, www.selectaseat.com. Information, 316-263-0884
“Junie B. in ‘Jingle Bells, Batman Smells!’ ” Dec. 4 to 6, 13-14 at Wichita Children’s Theatre and Dance Center, 201 Lulu. Visit www.wctdc.com/ or call 316-262-2282 for show times and ticket prices.
“A Christmas Carol: A Spirited Musical,” Dec. 5 to 22 at Forum Theatre, 147 S. Hillside. Visit forumwichita.com or call 316-618-0444 for show times and ticket prices.
“The Best Christmas Pageant Ever,” Dec. 9 to 15 at Wichita Children’s Theatre and Dance Center, 201 Lulu. Visit www.wctdc.com/ or call 316-262-2282 for show times and ticket prices.
“The Nutcracker,” annual performance by the Friends University Ballet department with guest artists from New York City, 7:30 p.m. Dec 13 to 14 and Dec. 20 to 21, 2 p.m. Dec. 15 and 21, Friends University Sebits Auditorium, 2100 W. University. Tickets $20 adults, $15 seniors/students, online at friends.edu/finearts or at 316-295-5677.
“The Nutcracker,” annual performance by Ballet Wichita, 8 p.m. Dec. 14, 2 p.m. Dec. 15, Century II Concert Hall, tickets $40, $32, $20, $16, $12.50 at www.wichitatix.com
Air Capital Chorus Christmas Radio Hour, old-time-style radio comedy aired live on KFH radio and featuring local barbershop quartets, 7 p.m. Dec. 17, Wichita Scottish Rite, 332 E. First St. Admission is at least one non-perishable food item per person. Information, 316-683-9242.
Submit your events
If you have a holiday event you would like listed in the Wichita Eagle, enter it at events.kansas.com/listings. If your event is listed here, but you haven’t entered it at kansas.com, you still need to do that so it is included in the online calendar.