A staycation summer

50 hot things to do in Wichita

Written by Sara Garrison | Photography by Madison Ham

  • 1) Jungle Fever
    The renovated Jungle exhibit at the Sedgwick County Zoo will have a Public Grand Opening at 10:30 a.m., May 22. The newly-named Tropics exhibit will feature 1,000 plants, 12 to 15 new fish species and 130 birds including six new bird species.

  • 2) Flamin’ Hot Cheetos On June 25, the American Marketing Association will present guest speaker Richard P. Montańez—the creator of the Flaming Hot line of products including Flamin’ Hot Cheetos. Montańez started as a janitor at Frito Lay and now leads multicultural sales and community promotions across PepsiCo’s North American divisions. To purchase tickets visit wichitaama.org.

  • 3) Rockin’ Riverfest The 2015 Wichita Riverfest will take place May 29 through June 6. Riverfest will include outstanding activities, fabulous food and concerts, including a performance from disco music legends the Village People. For a complete schedule of events, visit wichitariverfest.com.

  • 4) Big Fish This summer, Music Theatre Wichita will offer five Broadway-scale musicals including Aida, My Son Pinocchio, Billy Elliot, Big Fish and Hello Dolly! For more information and to purchase tickets, visit mtwichita.org or call 316-265-3107.

  • 5) Gear Up to Give Back Heartspring is hosting its 12th Annual PedalFest bike ride on August 22 at Heartspring. Proceeds from the ride benefit children with special needs at Heartspring. To register visit heartspring.org.

  • 6) Hats On Don your Derby hat and attend the 2nd Annual Polo on the Plains from 2 to 6 p.m., June 7 at the Fairfield Polo Club. Tickets are $100, and all proceeds benefit Kidzcope. To purchase tickets, visit kidzcope.org.

  • 7) Choo Choo Take a ride on the O.J. Watson Park train this summer. For just $2 per person, ride on a real miniature train through Watson Park. The ride is for all ages, but each rider must purchase a ticket.

  • 8) “Ring of Fire” Visit the Keeper of the Plains during the lighting of the “Ring of Fire.” The Keeper of the Plains “Ring of Fire” burns nightly at 9 p.m. for 15 minutes. (Weather and river conditions permitting).

  • 9) Take a Twilight Float Gain a new perspective of Wichita while floating down the Arkansas River on an Arkansas River Coalition Twilight Float. No paddling experience is required. For more information visit ArkRiverCoalition.org.

  • 10) Opera on the Lake At 8 p.m. July 18, Bradley Fair will be transformed into an opera hall as Wichita Grand Opera performs, “A Midsummer Night in the South Pacific.” Enjoy culinary delights and fireworks. General admission seating is free with reserved seating and a VIP Dinner available. For reservations, call 262-8054.

  • 11) Cool Down Visit the Riverside Park interactive fountain at Celebration Plaza. Built in 2004, the interactive fountain is very popular with children and adults. Best of all, it is free.

  • 12) Goose Bumps! The Science of Fear Traveling Exhibit Goose Bumps! is com- ing to Exploration Place May 23. Face your fears and test your response to common fears through interactive challenges in a safe environment. For more information, visit exploration.org.

  • 13) Pony Rides Children under 90 pounds and age 12 can enjoy a pony ride for $2 per person at O.J. Watson Park.

  • 14) Stearman 8th Annual Fly-in On June 20, watch aircraft fly into Stearman Field. Festivities will include a car show and live music. Visit stearmanbarandgrill.com for more information.

  • 15) Steve Miller Band Known for fan favorites such as “The Joker” and “Gangster of Love,” the Steve Miller Band will perform in concert at 7 p.m., May 28. Tickets are available at Ticketmaster.com.

  • 16) Tanganyika Twilight Tours Twilight Tours will take place June 27 at Tanganyika Wildlife Park. The fundraiser for Tanganyika includes food, exclusive behind-the-scenes access to the park and more. For more information, visit twpark.org.

  • 17) It’s a Hit The National Baseball Congress World Series features teams from across the country and more than 60 games at Lawrence- Dumont Stadium. Baseball ‘Round the Clock will take place, July 31 through August 2.

  • 18) Go Paddleboarding Flat-water Fitness & Fun provides paddleboard rentals, instruction and fitness programs. Grab a group of friends and set up a paddleboarding experience on the Little Arkansas River, El Dorado Lake or your waterway of choice. For more information call 316-712-8795 or visit flatwaterfitness.com.

  • 19) Family Night Shindig Grab your family and friends for a Family Night Shindig at Four Points Ranch in Augusta. Enjoy time by the fire pit, dinner, hayride, petting zoo and more. For dates and to make reservations call 316-775-9242.

  • 20) Make a Splash Visit a local water park this summer. Soar down a slide at one of the Greater Wichita YMCA’s four water parks or enjoy the 600-foot long lazy river at Rock River Rapids in Derby.

  • 21) Competitive Art Event On August 14, Vs. A Live Art Battle will feature live painting competitions between 12 artists. Funds raised benefit the Wichita Center for the Arts. For more information contact polly.gentry@mac.com.

  • 22) Food Trucks at the Fountain On select Sundays through-out the summer, join Wichita food trucks, Wichita WaterWalk and Firefly Yoga Studio for a Sunday afternoon of yoga, music and food. To learn more, visit wichitawaterwalk.com.

  • 23) Creature Campouts Bring your own tent and sleeping bag for an overnight outdoor adventure at the Sedgwick County Zoo. Creature Campouts is designed for families with children ages 5 and up. Summer dates are May 22, June 27 and Sept 4. Space is limited. Call 266-8213 to register.

  • 24) Go Biking The city of Wichita has over 26 miles of bicycle paths in scenic areas around town. For more information visit kansascyclist.com.

  • 25) Crazy for Cars The 6th Annual Blacktop Nationals Classic Car and Motorcycle Event will take place August 21-23 around Century II. Black-top Nationals is free and for individuals of all ages.

  • 26) Dining Al Fresco Dozens of Wichita restaurants offer outside dining opportunities. Enjoy dinner outside at your favorite restaurant when the weather permits.

  • 27) Hero Motorcycle Ride Support local heroes who have been injured or gave the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty on June 20 at Biker's Edge. The Hero Ride is a blind run with different stops along a 150-mile route. To register, visit ride4ahero.org.

  • 28) Belly Laughs Enjoy a night out with a trip to the Mosley Street Melodrama. Mosley Street will present “Anchorman of Steel” May 28 through July 18. To learn more, visit mosleystreet.com.

  • 29) A Night at the Drive in Pack up the family and enjoy a night at the drive-in to view your favorite feature films. Visit starlitefun.com for showtimes.

  • 30) Learn to Fly Schedule a Discovery Flight with Lakepoint Aviation. To learn more, call 316-636-3715.

  • 31) Junior Zookeepers Camp Tanganyika is offering Safari Camps throughout the summer including a Junior Zoo- keeper Camp June 15 through 19. This exclusive camp is for a maximum of six kids, ages 10 to 13. To register visit twpark.org.

  • 32) Get Cooking Enjoy an Iron Chef-style cooking competition while supporting the historic Orpheum Theatre at the 2015 Celebrity and Chef Cook-off on, June 9. For more information, visit wichitaorpheum.com.

  • 33) Heart Walk The Wichita Heart Walk, a fundraiser for the American Heart Association, will take place on, June 13 at Wichita State University. To register visit wichitaheartwalk.org.

  • 34) Wine and Paint Grab your friends for an evening of painting art, while enjoying your favorite wine. For more information visit pinotspalette.com/Wichita or vinogogh.com.

  • 35) Sunsets, Sounds and Stars Free summer concerts at Bradley Fair will take place June 4, 11, 18, 25 and July 2 from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. For more information, visit bradleyfair.com.

  • 36) Walk Among the Wildlife The Great Plains Nature Center provides environmental education to visitors. And, it’s free. To learn more, visit gpnc.org.

  • 37) Summer Story Hour The Wichita Public Library offers story hour, giving children an opportunity to participate in reading, music, rhymes and other fun activities. For times, visit wichita.lib.ks.us.

  • 38) Master of Mummies Third- through fifth-graders can enjoy the Master of Mummies summer camp at the Museum of World Treasures. Kids will dive into the world of ancient Egypt. For dates and to register, visit worldtreasuresblog.org.

  • 39) Splatter Spring Play in paint while staying fit at the Color Me Rad 5k, which will take place at 9 a.m., June 13 at Sedgwick County Park. To learn more visit colormerad5k.com.

  • 40) Art We Love Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Wichita Art Museum and view the “Art We Love” exhibit through July 19. “Art We Love” is a series of three exhibitions featuring works of art chosen by a cross-section of people who call Wichita home.

  • 41) Father’s Day Fun Does your dad love cars and animals? Visit Father’s Day Car Show at the Sedgwick County Zoo from 8:30 am to 4 pm, June 21.

  • 42) A Magical Place to Play From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., June 1 through Aug. 16, Botanica is hosting drop-in activities in the Downing Children’s Garden with themed days includ- ing Minibeast Mondays, Taste it Tuesdays, Water Science Wednesdays, Theater Thursdays, Floral Fridays, Solar Saturdays and Cycled Up Sundays.

  • 43) Celebrate America The Celebrate America Concert and Fireworks on Bradley Fair Plaza will take place from 7:30 to 10 pm, July 2. The evening includes a summer concert and fireworks over Bradley Fair Lake.

  • 44) Chamber Music at the Barn The 2015 Chamber Music at the Barn concert series kicks off June 18 through 20 at Prairie Pines. For concert dates and ticket information, visit cmatb.org.

  • 45) Father’s Day Kite Fest Enjoy a day of kite flying, hot air balloons and flowers at the Father’s Day Kite Fest from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., June 21 at Botanica. Admission is $5 per person, and dads are free. For more information, visit botanica.org.

  • 46) Jurassic World The fourth installment of the popular Jurassic Park series roars into theaters June 12, 22 years after the first film’s release in 1993.

  • 47) Slide the City On July 4, soak up the sun at Slide the City. Grab your swimsuit and speed down a 1,000-foot slip and slide. Funds raised support the Wichita Parks Foundation. To learn more visit slidethecity.com.

  • 48) Picnic in the Park Pack a picnic and visit one of Wichita’s parks. For a complete listing of parks in Wichita, visit wichita.gov.

  • 49) Boston The hit music group Boston will perform at 7 p.m. August 9 at INTRUST Bank Arena. Boston, known for the hits “Amanda” and “More Than a Feeling,” prides itself on performing a totally live show without the use of prerecorded music or technical enhancements. To purchase tickets, visit selectaseat.com.

  • 50) Fly Like an Eagle Take a tour of the Eagle Valley Raptor Center that specializes in native Kansas Birds of Prey including eagles, hawks, owls, falcons and vultures. To schedule a visit, call 316-393-0710.

 
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