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No NCAA games? No problem — the party rolls on Friday

A crowd waits to get into the Kansas/Penn first-round NCAA Tournament game at Intrust Bank Arena. (March 15, 2018)
A crowd waits to get into the Kansas/Penn first-round NCAA Tournament game at Intrust Bank Arena. (March 15, 2018) The Wichita Eagle

On Friday, there are no NCAA tournament games being played here.

What do you do with yourself on this day off?

Fan parties around the arena will continue on Friday, and there are a host of watch parties organized to watch Wichita State University's first-round matchup against Marshall at 12:30 p.m.

The Wichita Orpheum Theatre, 200 N. Broadway, is also hosting a screening of "Hoosiers" at 7 p.m. Friday. Tickets are $8 at the door.

Here's some ideas for how to spend your Friday in Wichita:

Wichita State watch parties

Looking to watch the Shockers?

Here are various venues that will be screening the game:

  • The Hudson, 508 S. Commerce (part of Courtside on Commerce party)
  • Brick + Mortar, 229 S. Emporia (part of Battle of the Brackets ICT party)
  • Third Place Brewing, 630 E. Douglas (part of Brews and Basketball party)
  • Emerson Biggins Old Town, 808 E. Douglas (part of Biggins Alley and Patio party)
  • Mort's Martini & Cigar Bar, 923 E. 1st
  • Hotel at Old Town Conference Center, 210 N. Mosley
  • Opti-Life, 9758 E. 21st Street North

NCAA fan parties

The official Fan Fest event on St. Francis Street was a one-day occurrence, but there are plenty more NCAA parties in downtown Wichita that will go on Friday.

Battle of the Brackets ICT, 229 S. Emporia, is hosting a country concert from 5 p.m.-2 a.m. Friday. It's a benefit for the Children’s Miracle Network Hospital and the Miss Kansas Organization. As a result, it's $25 at the door ($20 in advance at www.eventsict.com) to get in. Brandon Lay, Adam Capps Band and Jason Callahan Band will perform.

Here's a listing of other parties:

VW Downtown NCAA map online 030718-01.jpg
A map of NCAA events downtown this week. Visit Wichita Courtesy

2) Cox FanZone at Lou's Place, 220 S. Commerce, 9 a.m.-1 a.m. Fri.-Sat.

What you'll find: Virtual reality slam dunk game, DJ, giant Jenga, corn hole, food and drinks on Lou's Place patio

3) Courtside on Commerce Street — The Alley to Excitement, Commerce Street between Waterman and Kellogg. 4-10 p.m. Fri., 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Sat.

What you'll find: Pop-up cocktail bars, craft beers, yard games, live DJs, food trucks, vendor market. Open to all ages and dog-friendly. Sponsored by Xclusive Events.

4) Bracket Bash, Waterman and St. Francis across the street from Intrust Bank Arena, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Fri.-Sat.

What you’ll find: Large-screen televisions showing the games, Skee-Ball and Pop-a-Shot, beer, cocktails, coffee bar, hot dogs and hamburgers grilled by the Wichita Wagonmasters, large T. rex replica. Family-friendly. Sponsored by Wichita Festivals.

5) Wichita Brewing Company Tailgate Party, Emporia Street between Waterman and English. 9 a.m.-midnight Fri.-Sat.

What you’ll find: Pop-up location for popular local brewery/pizzeria, televisions showing the games, yard games, DJs, live musicians. Family-friendly.

6) Battle of the Brackets ICT, 229 S. Emporia. 10 a.m.-1 a.m. Fri., 8 a.m.-1 a.m. Sat.

What you’ll find: Sports bar in a large glass tent, six fire pits, LED video wall, live music and dueling pianos. Also the site of official KU festivities.

8) Brews and Basketball, 630 E. Douglas. 9:30 a.m.-1 a.m. Fri.-Sat.

What you'll find: Specialty craft beers, food trucks, TVs to watch the games. Festivities will be inside the brewery and outside on the newly expanded patio.

9) Biggins Alley & Patio Party, 808 E. Douglas. 11 a.m.-midnight Fri.-Sat.

What you’ll find: Live DJ, slam dunk contest, bag tournament and bagpipes. Open to anyone until 10 p.m., then 21+.

10) Brickyard Bash, 129 N. Rock Island. 1 p.m.-2 a.m. Fri., 11 a.m.-2 a.m. Sat.

What you’ll find: Live music at popular outdoor Wichita bar, food, St. Patrick’s Day festivities, Sunday brunch. 21+

12) Mort’s Cigar & Martini Bar Watch Party, 923 E. 1st. 9 a.m.-2 a.m. Fri.-Sat.

What you’ll find: Martinis, cigars, breakfast, lunch and dinner served up by the Wichita Wagonmasters, live music and a heated/cooled patio.

More than 13,000 people attended Wednesday's open practice for the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Intrust Bank Arena in Wichita, Kan. (March 14, 2018)

Fun things to do in Wichita

If you're looking to experience more of the city, here are a few attractions that will be open for visitors Friday:

  • Old Cowtown Museum, 1865 Museum Blvd.

Open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Fri.

Old Cowtown Museum is a re-creation of Wichita from 1865 to 1880. Volunteer reenactors are on hand to give the experience some authenticity. There are typically gunfights at noon. I'd recommend buying a sarsaparilla from the "saloon," Cowtown's root beer-esque beverage of choice.

$9 adults, $8 seniors 62+, $7 youth 12-17, $6 youth 5-11. www.oldcowtown.org, 316-350-3323

  • Botanica, The Wichita Gardens, 701 N. Amidon

Open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Fri.

Looking for a little relaxation here in town? Try our botanical gardens. If you have kids, don’t miss the Downing Children’s Garden. It’s got an elaborate playground, rainbow arches to run under, a “musical maze” and other fun and educational areas. The garden’s most recent addition is its Chinese Garden of Friendship, painstakingly recreating a Ming Dynasty-era garden – complete with a pond and mini-waterfall and pagoda.

$7 adults 13-61, $6 seniors 62+ and military, $5 youth 3-12. www.botanica.org, 316-264-0448

  • Wichita Art Museum, 1400 W. Museum Blvd.

Open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Fri.

The Wichita Art Museum is home to one of the premiere collections of American art in the country — but this is a good time to visit the museum. Right now, “Monet to Matisse: French Moderns, 1850-1950,” an exhibition featuring work by Claude Monet, Henri Matisse and other French modernists, is on display. It's on loan from the Brooklyn Museum in New York. Tickets to this exhibit are an additional $10.

$7 adults 18-59, $5 seniors 60+, $3 students with ID and youth 5-17, free for children under 5. $10 extra to see "Monet to Matisse." www.wichitaartmuseum.org, 316-268-4921

  • Sedgwick County Zoo, 5555 W. Zoo Blvd.

Open 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Fri.

The zoo has a national reputation as one of the country’s top zoos and features a variety of animals – from penguins to lions to giraffes and elephants. Wear comfortable shoes, though, as you’ll be walking a lot. In 2016, the zoo finished the $10.6 million Elephants of the Zambezi River Valley exhibit. Check out the elephants as well as the Koch Orangutan and Chimpanzee Habitat, another popular exhibition.

$15.95 adults 12-61, $11.95 seniors 62+ and youth 3-11, free for children 2 and under. www.scz.org, 316-660-9453

Bill Self and the KU basketball team dined at Chester's on Tuesday while in town for the NCAA Tournament.



Looking for the best nightlife in town?

How about shopping?

Dining suggestions?

Get all of your questions answered by the locals here:

What to do between games: Wichita has more must-sees than you'd think

Here's where to find the NCAA parties in Wichita this week

Wichita's dining critic tells you where to eat while in town for the NCAA tournament

Basketball fans: You don't need a car to get around downtown Wichita this week

A guide to Wichita shopping for NCAA tourney visitors

That flag you're seeing everywhere? It's a sign of Wichita pride

NCAA haters back off: Wichita is an interesting and fun place, and this list proves it

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