Dining With Denise Neil

EP21: A way for adults to enjoy Exploration Place (and a cocktail) without the kids

It’ll be grownups only at Exploration Place for a new monthly cocktail party called EP21.
It’ll be grownups only at Exploration Place for a new monthly cocktail party called EP21.

Exploration Place with the kids is fun.

But Exploration Place without the kids — and with adult beverages, food trucks and live music thrown in — would be extra fun.

That was the thinking of the staff of the children’s museum at 300 N. McLean when it decided to launch a new monthly cocktail party and 21 + get-together they’re calling EP21.

The first EP21 is scheduled for 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. on Thursday, Aug 16, and a new installment will happen on the third Thursday of each month.

“The way I see this event is adults get to come to the children’s museum without the kids and see all the exhibits,” said Nate Jones, the museum’s digital marketing coordinator.

The first event will have live music from Aaron Lee Martin, food for sale from Little Lion Ice Cream and U-Hungry Food Truck and adult beverages from XClusive Events. It’ll also include a scuba diving presentation from Adventure Sports Kansas, and attendees will be able to see “Planet Shark: Predator or Prey, The Experience!.”

All the exhibits will be open for adult exploration, too. Non-members who get tickets in advance will pay $5, and day-of admission is $7. Members will be admitted free.

Although the museum is made fort children, Exploration Place has long looked for ways to get adults in to enjoy the space as well. They’ve experimented with adult-themed events tied to exhibits or holidays, like Capes and Cocktails or Museum of the Undead.

EP21 will serve as a way to keep the party going on a monthly basis., Jones said. (The only month EP21 won’t happen is February, when the museum will be putting all its resources into the annual adult event Death by Chocolate.)

“This is just a demographic that we wanted to reach,” he said. “We wanted to reach out to the younger crowd and get them interested in all the fun things have going on in Wichita, give them a way to go out and have a good time.”

For tickets, visit exploration.org and look for EP21 under the “special events” tab.

"Great White Shark" will be shown in the Dome Theater at Exploration Place this summer.