Unique summer activities

STORY BY Julie Schillings

Adventure awaits you right here in the Wichita area... so go ahead and ride, shoot, stargaze and make plans to explore activities beyond the pool this summer.

Movies under the stars

Summer nights are ideal for hosting an outdoor movie party. Kent Audio Visual rents projectors for a reasonable weekend rate that can be hooked into your home DVD or computer system. Hang a sheet, rent a screen or project the movie directly on the side of your house. Set the stage by inviting your favorite friends, serve up movie snacks and a great classic flick to begin a memorable summer tradition.

Kids bowl free

The Kids Bowl Free Summer Bowling Program is dedicated to promoting the sport of bowling. Each child in the Wichita area is eligible to receive 2 free games of bowling every day, all summer long. Simply register your children online at www.KidsBowlFree.com. Four area bowling centers are participating in the program: Northrock Lanes, The Alley Indoor Entertainment, Thunderbird Bowl and West Acres Bowl. Parents and older children can enroll in discount sessions throughout the summer to make bowling an affordable family activity.

Off the beaten path at Santa Fe Lake

Whether exploring by bike or on foot, the 1.5 miles of trails winding through Santa Fe Lake Park provide some off-trail challenges for the technical rider and plenty of easy to ride options for the recreational mountain biker too. Santa Fe's water falls are especially active in spring and early summer when the water levels reach their peak. Located in Augusta, only ten minutes east of Wichita, Santa Fe Lake has two sand beaches, plenty of coves and a river system to explore by kayak, jet ski or canoe. Overnight camping sites are available and if you are lucky you may stumble upon an impromptu bluegrass jam session after the stars come out.

Discover Klausmeyer Dairy Farm

Scoop up the neighborhood kids or the scout group and head to Klausmeyer Farms and Pumpkin Patch near Clearwater for an educational adventure this summer. Visitors will witness a milking demonstration, pig races and have the opportunity to interact with baby calfs, goats, chicks and rabbits. The Farm features enough activities to entertain the kids for several hours and owner Debbie Klausmeyer ensures they walk away with a little knowledge about Kansas farming as well. Contact Debbie at (316)706-5391 or debklaus@hotmail.com to organize a tour, minimum group attendance may apply. SET SAIL: Harness the power of the Kansas wind and learn to sail at Cheney or El Dorado Lake this summer. Youth and adult classes are offered by sailing clubs at both lakes. At Cheney Lake the Ninnescah Sailing Association specializes in lessons designed to teach all levels from beginners to advanced sailing. The Walnut Valley Sailing Club at El Dorado Lake offers similar programs for youth and adults. Discover your sea legs and a new hobby that can be shared with the entire family.

Perfect your aim

Bullseye Shooting Range is dedicated to the Be Safe, Shoot Safe  philosophy. As Wichita's premier shooting and firearms training facility, Bullseye features the only indoor 100 yard high powered rifle range located in the area. Rent a handgun or rifle at the range under the supervision of the knowledgeable and experienced staff. Contact Bullseye for information on age limits and rental rates. What a great alternative to the typical dinner and a movie date routine.

Get out and give back

The state of Kansas currently ranks 7th for volunteerism in the nation. An impressive 35.8% of Kansas residents share their time and talents contributing a total of 87.5 million volunteer hours each year. Won't you consider exploring a new adventure through volunteerism? Opportunities can be investigated at www.volunteerkansas.org. The website allows users to search by interest, location, time commitment and other variables. The United Way of the Plains also matches volunteers with local organizations. Potential volunteers can register by dialing 2-1-1 or online at www.unitedwayplains.org.

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