Keeper of the Plans

10 fun things to do in the Wichita area this weekend (Nov. 4-6)

Vintage Market Days returns to the Kansas Pavilions this weekend.
Vintage Market Days returns to the Kansas Pavilions this weekend. File photo

I can never quite tell if these early days of November are the calm before the holiday storms, or whether everyone’s just too busy to do much with their weekends.

Either way, early November is a slower time for events in the Wichita area.

But that doesn’t mean there aren’t fun events going on.

Here’s your guide to the top events in Wichita this weekend:

Listen to jazz at Friends University

7:30 p.m. Fri., Riney Fine Arts Center, 2100 W. University

Friends University’s Jazz Vocal and Jazz Ensemble II will perform a joint concert Friday night in the Riney Fine Arts Center’s Sebits Auditorium. Both groups are expected to perform a wide variety of jazz styles. Make it a classy evening by pairing the jazz concert with an early dinner at Bradley Fair, or perhaps at one of the downtown hotel restaurants.

$9 adults, $6 students and seniors., 316-295-5677

Unite with other steampunk enthusiasts

Starting at 5 p.m. Fri., 10 a.m. Sat. and Sun., Drury Plaza Hotel Broadview, 400 W. Douglas

There’s something about steampunk that’s inherently cool. If you’re curious about it, this weekend offers three whole days of all things steampunk in downtown Wichita (or, in this case, Emerald City). The Emerald City Steampunk Expo includes activities such as a mustache contest, fashion show, murder mystery theater, burlesque and oddities show, “Doctor Who” viewing room and much more.

$5-$100, varying by age and day.

FREE: Learn about Ray Bradbury, ‘Fahrenheit 451’ author

7 p.m. Sat., WSU Hughes Metropolitan Complex, 5015 E. 29th St. North

As part of the Big Read Wichita’s “Fahrenheit 451” programs, official Ray Bradbury biographer Sam Weller will give a presentation Saturday evening at Wichita State University’s Hughes Metropolitan Complex. Weller wrote the 2005 biography “The Bradbury Chronicles: The Life of Ray Bradbury,” which won the 2005 Society of Midland Authors Award for Best Biography and was a Bram Stoker Award finalist. As a creative writing professor at Columbia College Chicago, he teaches the only college class in the country exclusively dedicated to Bradbury.


Shop for unique gifts at Vintage Market Days

10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fri. and Sat., 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sun., Kansas Pavilions, 1229 E. 85th St. North, Park City

What better way to celebrate (finally) the arrival of cooler weather than with a fun indoor/outdoor market packed with unique gifts? Vintage Market Days, which was featured in Country Living as one of the top seven barn sales in the country, features original art, antiques, clothing, jewelry, handmade treasures, home decor, outdoor furnishings, food, seasonal plantings and more.

$10 for three-day pass, $5 for Sat./Sun. Children 12 and under free. Your ticket is good for re-entry throughout the weekend.

Learn all about trees

Noon to 6 p.m. Sat., Bartlett Arboretum, 301 N. Line, Belle Plaine

According to the Bartlett Arboretum, at its annual TreeFest event, you can find “a forest of information … about the economic and environmental benefits trees provide.” Various arborists and forestry experts will present at the event, at which you can also buy these hardy Kansas trees: bald cypress, loblolly pine, willow oak, Oklahoma redbud, river birch and sycamore. A performance by Truckstop Honeymoon caps the day with a “Tree Tunes” concert at 4 p.m.

$10., 620-488-3451

Make your own Pokemon plushie

3 to 5 p.m. Sat., TISSU Sewing Studio, 3700 E. Douglas

If you or someone you know is a Pokemon fan, Clifton Square’s TISSU Sewing Studio is offering a fun craft opportunity this Saturday. The class, which the studio also offered last month, will allow participants to create stuffed plushies of one of four Pokemon options: Pikachu, Charmander, Bulbasaur or Squirtle. Limited space is available in the class, so call ahead and make reservations. If you don’t get in on the Pokemon plushie-making, the studio is also offering a Batman plushie-making session from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday. No previous sewing experience is required.

$20 per student. All material provided. Ages 6-plus., 316-201-7897

FREE: Check out the latest in tech, startups and gaming

10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sat., Rhatigan Student Center, Wichita State University, 1845 Fairmount

Wichita eSports’ Unconference Tech/Gaming Expo offers a chance for people in the tech startup scene, or those simply curious about it, to network and talk about new developments. Gamers can also look forward to an “NHL 17” tournament co-sponsored by the Wichita Thunder and “League of Legends” matchups between various colleges in the state. There will also be a five-minute pitch contest, the winner of which receives a free year of data storage from Ribbit Computers.

Free., 316-200-4859

Watch local country bands for a good cause

7 p.m. Sat., the Cotillion, 11120 W. Kellogg

If you like country music and want to help out veterans (and who doesn’t?), this is the place for you. The Cotillion is hosting a Veterans Appreciation Concert on Saturday, and 100 percent of the proceeds will go to nonprofit veterans organizations. Performing bands include the Jason Callahan Band, Mountain Deer Revival, Timmy Jonas & the Whiskey Militia, Bucky Fowler and Mike Leichner. The show is for all ages.

$5., 316-722-4201

FREE: All-ages group concert at the Donut Whole

6 to 11 p.m. Sun., The Donut Whole, 1720 E. Douglas

A bevy of local bands recently collaborated to produce a civic-pride mixtape encouraging people to get out and vote on Tuesday. The bands who worked on that mixtape will perform the songs Sunday at a free show at the Donut Whole. Performing bands include False Flag, Bara, Old Man Creaky Bones, Filius Sol, Living Ghost, Lewelheds and Kill It With Fire. The mixtape is available for free download at


FREE: Get out and vote early

9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sat., polling places throughout the city

If you want to avoid long lines at the polls on Tuesday, this Saturday affords you a chance to cast your vote early. If you’re concerned about making it to the polls on Tuesday, it’s highly recommended to get out on Saturday (or Monday, when early voting is also offered) and get it taken care of. Be sure to bring your ID. You can go to any of the following locations to cast your vote:

Sedgwick County Historic Courthouse, 510 N. Main, Wichita

Bel Air City Building, 7651 E. Central Park, Bel Aire

Goddard Pathway Church, 18800 W. Kellogg Drive, Goddard

Grace Presbyterian Church, 5002 E. Douglas, Wichita

Greenwich Road Church of Christ, 1746 S. Greenwich Road, Wichita

Haysville Community Library, 210 Hays Ave., Haysville

Independent Living Center, 3033 W. Second St., Wichita

Machinists Building, 3830 S. Meridian,Wichita

Progressive Missionary Baptist Church, 2727 E. 25th St. North, Wichita

Reformation Lutheran, 7601 E. 13th St., Wichita

Sedgwick County Zoo Cargill Center, 5555 Zoo Blvd., Wichita

Sharon Baptist Church, 2221 S. Oliver, Wichita

St. Andrew’s Lutheran, 2555 Hyacinth, Wichita

Valley Center Christian Church, 1801 E. Fifth St., Valley Center

Westlink Church of Christ, 10025 W. Central, Wichita

Woodlawn Methodist Church, 431 S. Woodlawn, Derby

Matt Riedl: 316-268-6660, @RiedlMatt