Beat the heat

Three ideas for keeping cool in Wichita this summer

Written by Kristin Baker

During Wichita's sultry summers, cooling down is a top priority. SPLURGE! has gathered up some of 2015's best ways to chill out during the summer heat wave.

Slide the City and the Independence Day Block Party

If sliding through the streets of downtown Wichita on a giant, inflatable water slide sounds fun, then this is your event. The Wichita Parks Foundation is bringing a 1,000-foot slip-n-slide to downtown as part of its Independence Day Block Party, July 4.

Stacey Hamm of Wichita Parks Foundation said she saw Slide the City on Facebook and spent months confirming a date for the slide's visit. Tickets are available online before the event for $40 for three slides, but same day tickets also will be available on site for 45. VIPs can pay 55 for unlimited slides. Participants should wear a swimsuit or shorts and a T-shirt and flip flops or water shoes.

The Independence Day Block Party will take place from 1 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. on July 4 downtown on the Hyatt Lawn, the Lewis Street Bridge and west to Maple and Sycamore. The event will feature music from sponsor BOB FM and Connoisseur Media. A free activity zone for kids featuring inflatables, a BMX pump track and a skateboard demo area will be available until 6 p.m. in the south Lawrence Dumont Stadium parking lot.

Visit at for more information about Slide the City wristband purchases.

Outdoor Interactive Fountains and Splash Pads

If you're tired of the pool, the City of Wichita offers a number of interactive fountains where people can play all day. Hours are 10 a.m. 10 p.m. daily, and the fountains should be open until about October.

Locations are:

Old Town Plaza, 334 N. Mead
Fairmount, 1647 N. Yale
Lincoln, 1323 S. Topeka
Osage, 2121 W. 31st St. South
Riverside Central, 720 Nims

People looking for more of a performance experience might want to check out the Fountains at Waterwalk, located at Waterman and Main streets. The Waterwalk organization calls its music, water and light show "the most elaborate water, light and music show in the world." Show times are noon, 7, 8, 9, and 10 p.m. daily through Oct. 5.

Shaved Ice

Shaved ice trucks offering the seasonal cool treat begin to appear around the city annually in May. Being able to select one's flavor from a variety of choices and the novelty of the cold, icy treat add to its appeal.

Funky Monkeys Shaved Ice, located at 3350 N. Woodlawn, is open noon to 9:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 8:30 p.m. on Sunday. Customers can choose from 75 flavors.

Owner JD Young plans to use his shaved ice food truck, a new addition to his business, to serve treats at local events, including charity fundraisers and even birthday parties. Follow Funky Monkeys on Facebook.

Flamingo Sno Shaved Ice, 600 S. Tyler, is open from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. daily, or you can find Kona Ice of Northwest Wichita in different places around Wichita by following it on Facebook to determine it's daily location.

Other ideas!

Visit an area lake for fishing, boating or swimming.Try Lake Afton west of Wichita or El Dorado Lake.

Visit Strataca, the Kansas Underground Salt Museum in Hutchinson, which is always around 68 degrees because of its location under the earth.

Visit Wichita Ice Center, 505 W. Maple, for a recreational ice skating session. Visit for public skate times.

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