Keeper of the Plans

10 fun things to do in Wichita this weekend (Dec. 1-3)

And just like that, we’re into December, the final month of 2017.

The holiday season is in full swing – even if it doesn’t quite feel that way outside yet.

As such, this is a busy weekend for holiday events, which somewhat dominate the list this week (though I’ve tried to include a few non-holiday events as well).

Use this list to help plan your weekend in Wichita:

Victorian Christmas at Cowtown

6-9 p.m. Fri.-Sat., Old Cowtown Museum, 1865 W. Museum Blvd.

One of Wichita’s signature Christmas events, Victorian Christmas at Cowtown is now in its 42nd year. Even in the cold, there is plenty of magic to be found at Cowtown as costumed characters interpret Christmas in the Victorian era. The museum streets will be lamp-lit and carolers will perform holiday classics. In the one-room schoolhouse, storytellers will regale listeners with “The Night Before Christmas.” Bundle up for the cold weather, buy some hot cocoa, and take a trip to Santa’s workshop, set up to look like the North Pole.

$7.75 adults, $6.50 seniors age 62 and older, $6 youth ages 12-17 and $5.50 for kids ages 5-11. Children 4 and younger are admitted free., 316-350-3323

Kansas Dance Festival

7:30 p.m. Fri., Sat., Wilner Auditorium – Wichita State University, 1845 Fairmount

Love contemporary dance? If so, this event – which features some of the best dancers from Wichita State, Butler Community College, University of Missouri-Kansas City, and the University of Central Oklahoma – is for you. Featuring contemporary choreography in ballet, modern and jazz.

$10-$15. WSU students get one free ticket with ID., 316-978-3233

WSU Candlelight Concert

7:30 p.m. Fri.-Sat., 4 p.m. Sun., Wiedemann Hall – Wichita State University, 1845 Fairmount

This traditional Christmas concert – the 55th annual – features Wichita State’s four choirs plus strings, brass, woodwinds, organ and percussion.

$12 adults, $10 seniors, faculty, staff, military, $6 students or children,, 316-978-3233

Friends University Christmas Candlelight Concert

7:30 p.m. Fri.-Sat., 2 p.m. Sun., Sebits Auditorium – Friends University, 2100 W. University

Friends’ Christmas concert features its Singing Quakers, Concert Choir, Jazz Vocal Ensemble and Choral Union.

$15, $12 seniors/students., 316-295-5677

Grand opening of ‘Design Build Fly’

10 a.m. Sat., Exploration Place, 300 N. McLean Blvd.

Exploration Place’s new, permanent aviation-themed exhibit, “Design Build Fly” opens Saturday, a project years – and millions of dollars – in the making. It features about 50 interactives that let kids virtually paint an airplane, pilot a drone, test the landing gear and spot defects on airplane wings. The 5,100-square-foot exhibit resembles a factory floor with unfinished airplane parts hanging around and was built as a tribute to the city’s aviation industry and its workers. It’s included in the regular museum admission.

$9.50 for adults, $8 for seniors age 65 and older, $6 for youth ages 3-11., 316-660-0600


Holiday Enrichment at the zoo

10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sat., Sedgwick County Zoo, 5555 W. Zoo Blvd.

If you remember the old Season’s Treating event at the Sedgwick County Zoo, this is fairly similar – albeit with a more cumbersome name. Zoo animals will be fed holiday-themed snacks in the morning on Saturday. Included in regular admission.

$15.95 adults 12-61, $11.95 children 3-11 and seniors 62+., 316-660-9453

FREE: Tuba Christmas

noon-1 p.m. Sat., Old Town Square, Second and Mead

If you love Christmas carols – and tubas – this is the event for you. This Saturday afternoon, Vibrant ICT is hosting an event featuring Christmas carols played exclusively on the tuba. It’s part of a project that features free concerts and events in the Wichita area. After the music, shop, dine, and explore what downtown Wichita has to offer.

Details: Noon-1 p.m. Sat., Dec. 2, Old Town Square, 2nd and Mead. Free and family-friendly.

FREE: Carriage Rides in the Park

5-8 p.m. Sat., Derby High Park, 2801 E. James, Derby.

If you’re in search of free Saturday-night entertainment, this is the event for you. Derby is hosting Carriage Rides in the Park, featuring – you guessed it – Clydesdale-drawn carriage rides, as well as live reindeer, a petting zoo, hot chocolate and sugar cookies.


Cirque de la Symphonie

8 p.m. Sat., 3 p.m. Sun., Century II, 225 W. Douglas

How about this for a unique symphony show? The Wichita Symphony Orchestra and seven aerialists, contortionists, acrobats, strongmen and jugglers are teaming up for a holiday-themed concert, Cirque de la Symphonie, this weekend.

$25-$73., 316-267-7658

FREE: City of Wichita Tree Lighting

6 p.m. Sun., Old Town Square, Second and Mead

Mayor Jeff Longwell will light the Christmas tree in Old Town Square on Sunday evening, after a performance by the Newman Troubadours. Afterward, shuttles will bus people to the area around the Boathouse, where fireworks will be launched.



Contributing: Hannah Tobias of The Eagle