50 eagerly awaited activities and events

By Karen Long

From the thwack of a 9-iron striking a golf ball, to the cool currents of the lazy river or the thrum of live guitars under the stars. From the powdered sugar scent of a funnel cake to the crunch of a sun-warmed apple, all the sights, sounds and smells of summer are here at last, like a three-month-long block party. School’s out!

Music Al Fresco

1) Summer Jazz concert series at Bradley Fair — Thursday evenings from June 5 - July 3
2) Blooms, Brews & Bloody Marys at Botanica — May 22
3) Art for Your Ears at the Ulrich Museum of Art — June 5, July 10, August 7
4) KEYN Summer Concert Series at WaterWalk — Friday evenings from July 11 - August 15.
5) Live bands on the patio at Mort’s — almost every night, check website for schedule.
6) Opera on the Lake by Wichita Grand Opera — Bradley Fair, June 21
7) Tree House Concert Series at Bartlett Arboretum — Happening now and through the summer into October.

Swim & Splash

8) YMCA waterparks — Kids dig the super slides while moms chill out on the lazy river.
9) Sailing on Cheney Lake with the Ninnescah Sailing Association
10) Fishing at Emory Park, Watson Park, the Arkansas River or numerous other local fishing holes.


11) Salute to Aviation at Riverfest — June 1. Static aircraft displays, Rosie the Riveter look-alike contest, B-52 simulator, paper airplane contest and more!

Sporting Events

12) National Baseball Congress World Series at Lawrence Dumont Stadium — July 25–August 9
13) Wichita Wingnuts — Games begin in May and run into September
14) Air Capital Classic — June 19-22
15) Polo on the Plains — A benefit for Kidzcope, June 14


There’s some kind of race almost every week this summer. For the complete schedule go to

16) Ballet Wichita 5k Art Run
— June 21
17) River Run — May 31
18) Dance Dash 5k — For the first time ever in ICT, June 22
19) Komen Race for the Cure — September 27

Museums on the River

20) Exploration Place — Special traveling exhibit, Tony Hawk’s Rad Science, opens May 24 and runs through Labor Day*
21) Mid-America All-Indian Center — American Indian Festival at Century II Expo Hall, July 12-13
22) Old Cowtown Museum — Steampunk Day, May 24. Empire House Live! theater series runs throughout the summer.
23) Wichita Art Museum — Hot Art for Cool Kids, hands-on workshops throughout the summer tied to museum exhibitions.

Arts & Culture

24) Final Fridays — Downtown art crawl the last Friday of every month.
25) Music Theatre — Summer season features South Pacific, West Side Story, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and more.
26) Crown Uptown Theater — Shrek the Musical and Some Enchanted Evening

Family Fun

27) Riverfest — May 30 - June 7
28) Great Plains Nature Center — Classes throughout the summer teach kids about wildlife and habitats.
29) Fourth of July — Celebrate America Concert and Fireworks at Bradley Fair,
July 3
30) Biking along the river — Plus over 60 miles of bike trails throughout the city.
31) Amusement rides and bumper cars at All Star Adventures

Galas and Fundraisers

32) SPLURGE! Tee Off party — Kickoff to the Air Capital Classic, June 13
33) Polo on the Plains — Fundraiser for Kidzcope, June 14
34) Young Entrepreneurs Biz Bang — Biennial gala and auction, August 22
35) Zen: An Alfresco Event at Botanica — Annual benefit, September 19

Retro Explosion

36) Joan Jett & The Blackhearts — Riverfest, June 1
37) Marky Ramone’s Blitzkrieg — Riverfest, June 7
38) Paula Poundstone — Orpheum, June 28
39) Pat Benatar and Rick Springfield — Kansas Star Casino, July 17

Food & Fashion

40) Celebrity & Chef Cookoff at the Orpheum — June 10
41) Food Trucks at the Fountain — Last Sunday of every month at WaterWalk Pavilion, check Facebook for truck lineup and bonus activities.
42) Downtown Chili Cookoff — September 27
43) Ginger Lily Fashion Truck — Catch it at Riverfest and other public events.
44) Bridal Show and Wedding Expo — Century II, July 26, 27


45) IMAX summer blockbusters at the 21st St. Warren — The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Godzilla, Maleficent, Guardians of the Galaxy and more.
46) Starlite Drive-In — Current-run double- and triple-features under the stars.
47) Down to the Wire, a 24-hour film race — Teams create a 6-minute movie in a single day, June 20-22.

Indian Summer

48) Kansas State Fair — September 5-14
49) Zoobilee — Annual fundraiser for the Sedgwick County Zoo, September 6
50) Pick your own apples at Entz Orchard in Newton, August through October — not to mention tart cherries, apricots and yellow peaches at various times throughout the summer.

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