Keeper of the Plans

10 fun things to do in Wichita this weekend (Sept. 22-24)

The Lantern Festival at El Dorado Lake is expected to be a highlight of the weekend.
The Lantern Festival at El Dorado Lake is expected to be a highlight of the weekend. File

Happy Autumn Equinox, everyone.

You know what that means?

It’s officially fall in Wichita – now no one can judge you for ordering those pumpkin spice lattes or perusing the fall sweaters section at Target.

Use this list below to plan your weekend fun (and it’s a packed one in Wichita):

2017 Komen Wichita Race For The Cure

7 a.m. Sat., WaterWalk Plaza, 515 S. Main

The Susan G. Komen Race For The Cure event is considered the most successful educational fundraising event for breast cancer. No matter your skill level, you’re invited to register either on your own or with a team and run or walk to show your support of the foundation and to raise funds for cancer research and treatment. All ages are welcome. Registration opens at 7 a.m., and at 8 a.m., the 5K run begins, followed by a survivor celebration at 10 a.m. There will also be a 1-mile fun walk at 10:30 a.m.

Register online at

The Lantern Fest at El Dorado Lake

3 p.m.-sundown Sat., El Dorado Lake

If you’ve got “Tangled” fans in your household, you could do worse things with your Saturday night than attend the Lantern Fest out in El Dorado. This family event will feature food, live music, a stage show, familiar princesses, face painters, s'mores, balloon artists and more during the day – at night, there will be a lighted paper lantern launch, just like in “Tangled.”

$7 for children 4-12, $50 for adults.

FREE: Avenue Art Days

Sat.-Sun., Douglas Design District (Douglas between Oliver and Washington)

If you drive down Douglas on Monday and see a series of colorful new murals adorning walls on the street, don’t be alarmed. It’s simply the result of Avenue Art Days, which returns this weekend. There will be 21 new murals added. Two of the murals are “community installations,” which means that anyone can stroll up and help paint the mural. You’ll find those murals beneath the I-135 underpass off Douglas and at The Workroom, 150 N. Cleveland.


FREE: Smithsonian Magazine Museum Day Wichita

Sat., various Wichita museums

Museum Day is a nationwide event where museums around the nation offer free admission for the day. Download your free ticket to a participating museum by visiting the National Smithsonian Magazine Museum Day website. Participating museums in the area include the Museum of World Treasures, Old Cowtown Museum and the Wichita-Sedgwick County Historical Museum, all in Wichita and the Cosmosphere in Hutchinson.

Free. Visit for additional information and to download a free ticket.

Great Plains Renaissance and Scottish Festival

10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sat.-Sun., Sedgwick County Park, 6501 W. 21st St.

Hear ye, hear ye! The 18th annual Great Plains Renaissance and Scottish Festival returns to the Sedgwick County Park this weekend, and there’s no better place to go to see interesting cosplay and swordfights, all while chewing on a nice turkey leg. For a full schedule of events, visit the festival’s website.

$12 for adults, $5 for children.

FREE: Food Trucks at the Fountain

11 a.m.-2 p.m. Sun., WaterWalk Plaza, 515 S. Main

Another month, another Food Trucks at the Fountain. At 10 a.m., there will be the standard all-skill-levels free yoga session at Waterman and Main, so come early and then fill up on some good food truck grub this Sunday. At least 14 local food trucks are signed on so far.

Free to attend. Food costs.

FREE: Open Streets ICT

noon-4 p.m. Sun., Douglas between Roosevelt Street and Glenn Street

Have you ever dreamed of what Wichita’s streets would be like without, well, cars? This Sunday will give you the opportunity to find out firsthand. This first-time event/block party is shutting off Douglas to car traffic from College Hill to Delano, in an effort to promote bicycling and general wellness. Along the way, there will be various “activity hubs” along the street, and businesses along the route will be participating.


3rd Annual Fiesta Hispana at Exploration Place

1-7 p.m. Sun., Exploration Place, 300 N. McLean

Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with the 3rd Annual Fiesta Hispana. This celebration will include authentic foods, Salsa dance lessons, live mariachi band music, dance performances and vendor booths.

$9.50 for adults, $8 for seniors, $6 for youth. Kids ages 2 and younger and members will be admitted free. 316-660-0600,

Jim Mason of the Great Plains Nature Center talks about the high numbers of butterflies in the Wichita area. (Sept. 12, 2017)

Festival of The Monarch

1-4 p.m. Sun., Botanica, 701 N. Amidon

At this festival, children and families are invited to travel the migration path of the Monarch by participating in interactive games and activities, art and music. Participants will get to observe as a wild Monarch is tagged. Following the tagging, children will be provided information on how to track their Monarch as it travels from Kansas to Mexico. Wear your wings.

General admission $7, $3 for members. 316-264-0448,

2017 Fall Blues Crawl

5-8 p.m. Sun., various venues

The Wichita Blues Society’s Fall Blues Crawl features seven bands including the Kingtones, Mr. Lee and Just Us and Keefer Madness. For just $10, you’ll be admitted to all of the listed venues and the after party at the Brickyard. Venues include Joe’s Oldtown Bar and Grill, The Brickyard, Loft 150, Barleycorn’s, Morts and Industry Old Town. After party will be from 8-10 p.m. at The Brickyard, 129 N. Rock Island.

$10. Event is all ages, after party is open to ages 21 and older only.

Contributing: Hannah Tobias of The Eagle