Keeper of the Plans

10 fun things to do in Wichita this weekend (Nov. 16-18)

Lindi Ortega will perform an early show Friday evening at Wave.
Lindi Ortega will perform an early show Friday evening at Wave. Courtesy

I know we haven’t even celebrated Thanksgiving yet, but the holiday events are already hitting fast.

By the end of the weekend, Wichita’s first large, public Christmas tree will be lit — and some replicas of prehistoric dinosaurs will be all decked out for the season.

Looking for what to do in Wichita this weekend? Use this list to help inform your plans:

Holly Jolly Jurassic Holiday

5-9 p.m. Thurs.-Sun. until Dec. 23, Field Station: Dinosaurs, 2999 N. Rock Road, Derby

Derby’s dinosaur park is getting a bit of a makeover for the holiday season. During the “Holly Jolly Jurassic Holiday,” the life-size animatronic dinosaurs in the park will be decked out in Christmas theme. The park’s 44 dinosaurs will be posed wrapping gifts and decorating trees. The trails will be lit with Christmas lights, and holiday snacks and refreshments will be served.

$10., 855-833-3466

Lindi Ortega at Wave

6 p.m. Fri., Wave, 650 E. 2nd Street

Lindi Ortega, a country/blues singer, will perform an “after-work” show early Friday evening at Wave. Ortega, who previously played at the Wichita Vortex Music Festival in 2017, brings the Dustbowl Revival with her. Ortega has opened for acts like Chris Stapleton, Dwight Yoakam and Kenny Rogers.


‘The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber’

7 p.m. Fri., Sat., Crown Uptown Theatre, 3207 E. Douglas

Twenty classic songs by composer Andrew Lloyd Webber will be performed by Wichita Grand Opera singers this weekend, in this concert production. A 12-piece orchestra will perform, as will dancers from Ballet Wichita and the Wichita Grand Opera’s Young Artists. Songs include “Memory,” “Music of the Night,” “Don’t Cry for Me, Argentina,” and more.

$50 general admission, $70 VIP tickets., 316-612-7696

Kansas Dance Festival

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

This annual event showcases the best and newest in choreography and modern dance. During the festival performances, audience members will see original dance faculty choreography, guest artist works and choreography by other regional dance programs. Dancers from Kansas State University and the University of Missouri – Kansas City will perform on Friday night only. Dancers from Barton County Community College, Friends University, Regina Klenjoski Dance Company and Wichita State University will perform both nights. Wichita State students can request free tickets at

$15 adults, $12 seniors, military, faculty and staff, $10 children or non-WSU students. Free for WSU students., 316-978-3233

‘Mamma Mia!’ at Newman

8 p.m. Fri., Sat., 2 p.m. Sun., Newman University — De Mattias Hall, 3100 W. McCormick Ave.

Catch the musical that re-injected ABBA into the popular consciousness this weekend at Newman University. The show, which has been adapted into a popular film — the sequel to which came out earlier this year — was nominated for multiple Tony Awards when it came out in 2002. It features the music of ABBA, including “Super Trouper,” “Dancing Queen,” “Lay Your Love on Me,” and of course, “Mamma Mia.”

$12 general admission, $10 seniors/military, $5 faculty/staff/non-Newman students.

FREE: Holidays in Delano

11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sat., Historic Delano District

Looking to get an early start on your holiday shopping? Locally owned stores in the Historic Delano District open this weekend for the third-annual Holidays in Delano, a fundraiser for the Kansas Food Bank. If attendees bring non-perishable goods for the Food Bank, they receive discounts at all participating shops and restaurants in the district. There will also be live reindeer, a photo booth, carolers from the Northfield School of the Liberal Arts, a fruit-cake eating competition, make-your-own-ornament section and Santa visits.

Free to attend, stores open for sales.

FREE: Christmas Tree Lighting at Bradley Fair

5:45 p.m. Sat., Bradley Fair, 21st and Rock

Bradley Fair will kick off the holiday season with its annual Christmas Tree lighting ceremony this Saturday evening. This free event will feature photos with Santa and his reindeer starting at 5 p.m., followed by the official lighting of the tree at 6 p.m. From 6 to 10 p.m., there will be free horse-drawn carriage rides throughout the outdoor shopping center.

Free., 316-630-9990

FREE: Iconic Ladies Dance Party at Wave

9 p.m. Sat., Wave, 650 E. 2nd Street

Wave is hoting an “iconic ladies dance party” on Saturday to celebrate the iconic ladies of history. Costumes are encouraged as DJ Dottie Green and DJ Cop Out will perform. There will be drink specials as well. There’s no cover to get in.


FREE: ARISE spirituals concert

7 p.m. Sun., St. Mark United Methodist Church, 1525 N. Lorraine

Members of Wichita’s ARISE choral group will reunite for a free concert this Sunday evening. The group, an acronym for African-Americans Renewing Interest in Spirituals Ensemble, specializes in singing traditional spirituals. Dr. Brandon Boyd, professor of music at the University of Missouri, is conductor.


Jeremy Camp at Hartman Arena

7 p.m. Sun., Hartman Arena, 8151 N. Hartman Arena Drive, Park City

Hartman Arena hosts a Christian concert this weekend, as singers Jeremy Camp and Matthew West are performing on their The Answer/All In Tour. Both artists have been nominated for Grammy Awards and have won Dove Awards. So far on their tour, the artists have performed at arenas, universities and churches.

$25.50-$40.50., 1-800-745-3000

Contributing: Sydney Riedl of the Eagle