Wichita-Area Christmas and Holiday Events

christmas bellsNovember and December are filled with holiday events in Wichita, including Christmas concerts, holiday shopping bazaars, visits with Santa, and even horse-drawn carriage rides. Many of these events make for an affordable day out with the family, a date-night with your spouse, or an evening with friends.

This page will be updated continually throughout the holidays as new information comes in.

Looking for even more things to do?

Ongoing

  • Botanica Illuminations 701 Amidon Street in Wichita. Open every evening November 28 through December 31, excluding December 24-25, from 5:30-8:30 p.m. Kansas’ largest holiday light display. Family-friendly. Live music, hot cocoa and cider. $8 adults ($7 Botanica members); $6 youth ages 3-12. Group and member ticket discounts available. Advance tickets available at area Quik Trips and at Botanica. http://www.botanica.org/illuminations-2014-adult-ticket Activity, Live Entertainment
  • Lights of Kindness at Fulton Valley Farms 5079 SW Fulton Rd?., Towanda, KS 67144. Open Thursdays through Sundays, November 28 to January 4, from 6-10 p.m. A wooded area lit with over a million lights, a live nativity vignette, live reindeer, and concessions. Dress warmly and wear comfortable shoes. Proceeds benefit One Spark Foundation. $12 adults, $10 military/students/seniors, $8 children ages 4-11. Group and family discounts: $36 family 4-pack, $50 family 6-pack, $8 per person for groups of 15 or more. http://www.fultonvalleyfarms.com/node/16
  • Affair in the Square – Old Town Square Holiday Open House 2nd and Mead, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Every Saturday from November 22 to December 20. Old Town Square retail shops and restaurants will be hosting an open house from 10am – 6pm. Free carriage rides from noon – 4pm. Rides start out in front of the Warren Theatre Old Town, 353 N. Mead. Thanks to Janna for pointing out that the information I had here before was old. Seriously sorry for my mistake!
  • Horse-Drawn Carriage Rides at Bradley Fair Rock Road and 21st Street. Every Friday and Saturday, November 22 through December 20, from 6-10 p.m. Catch the carriage by the fountain in the shopping center plaza and ride through miles of crystal lights. Free. http://bradleyfair.com/events.php Activity.
  • Let it Snow at the Dome at Exploration Place, Tuesdays through Sundays through December 28 at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. and an additional 4 p.m. show on Sundays only. This fun family show will put you in the seasonal mood with holiday images and scenes set to favorite songs from Frank Sinatra to the Muppets. No museum admission needed to do the dome. $3 kids ages 3-11, $5 adults, $4 seniors 65 and over.

November 15


  • Gingerbread Village at Exploration Place, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Price includes admission to Exploration Place exhibits. Make your own gingerbread house and enjoy viewing gingerbread houses constructed by professional bakers. $9.50 for adults, $8 for seniors, $6 for children ages 3-11. Activity.
  • Santa’s Arrival Parade at Towne East and Towne West Malls 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Be there as the big guy and his friends arrive at the mall for the first time this season. Activities, music, and fun. Kidgit Club members can participate in special activities at Towne East Mall. (Kidgit Club membership is $5 per year.
  • Delta Market Holiday Inn East at Rock Road and Kellogg, Noon – 4 p.m. Local crafters and vendors will sell handmade gift items and other products. A portion of the proceeds benefit Victory in the Valley and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. https://www.facebook.com/events/1460367827577361/

November 16

  • Gingerbread Village at Exploration Place, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Price includes admission to Exploration Place exhibits. Make your own gingerbread house and enjoy viewing gingerbread houses constructed by professional bakers. $9.50 for adults, $8 for seniors, $6 for children ages 3-11. Activity.

November 20

  • Holiday Wreath Festival and Luncheon at Wichita-Sedgwick County Historical Museum 204 S. Main, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Annual wreath festival features holiday gifts of all kinds in the museum store, special Christmas exhibits, and a luncheon served from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Luncheon is $14; walk-ins welcome and reservations may be made for groups of 6 or more by calling the museum at 265-9314. (10 a.m. – 2 p.m.) Shopping, Dining, Activity
  • City of Derby Tree Lighting Madison Avenue Central Park, 512 E. Madison in Derby, 6 p.m. Enjoy the tree-lighting by the Derby mayor, photos with Santa (bring your own camera), holiday-themed crafts for the kids, cookies, kettle korn, hot cocoa, and coffee. The event is free, but you are encouraged to bring a non-perishable food item to donate to Derby Operation Holiday, which benefits families in Derby Public Schools.

November 21

  • Holiday Wreath Festival and Luncheon at Wichita-Sedgwick County Historical Museum 204 S. Main, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Annual wreath festival features holiday gifts of all kinds in the museum store, special Christmas exhibits, and a luncheon served from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Luncheon is $14; walk-ins welcome and reservations may be made for groups of 6 or more by calling the museum at 265-9314. (10 a.m. – 2 p.m.) Shopping, Dining, Activity

November 22

  • Wichita All Business Shopping Event at Northwest High School, Tyler and 13th Street, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Many family activities, vendors, and food trucks. Fundraiser for Future Educators of America.
  • All Things Gingerbread Village at Cambridge Market 21st and Webb, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Life-size gingerbread house, photos with Santa and the Gingerbread Boy. Gingerbread cookies and child-size aprons will be for sale. Benefits the Assistance League of Wichita. You can also drop off your Letters to Santa.
  • DSSW Holiday Shopping Event and Craft Fair at Sedgwick County Extension, 21st and Ridge Road, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Many vendors under one roof. FREE admission.
  • Tree Lighting at Bradley Fair 21st and Rock Road, 5:30-6 p.m. Annual lighting of 35-foot Christmas tree, photos with Santa, horse-drawn carriage rides.

November 28

  • Explore Store Discounts

November 29

  • Meet Santa at Exploration Place Saturday, Nov. 29, Sunday, Nov. 30 and Saturday Dec. 6, Noon – 2 p.m. Make your list and Santa will check it twice! Take a picture with Santa to add an adorable addition to your holiday cards. Free admission. Located in the Exploration Place Main Lobby.

November 30

  • Meet Santa at Exploration Place Saturday, Nov. 29, Sunday, Nov. 30 and Saturday Dec. 6, Noon – 2 p.m. Make your list and Santa will check it twice! Take a picture with Santa to add an adorable addition to your holiday cards. Free admission. Located in the Exploration Place Main Lobby.

December 2

  • Wu’s Holiday Bazaar 3rd floor ballroom of Rhatigan Student Center at WSU, 1845 Fairmount St. 9 a.m. – 8 p.m. Shop at Wichita State Crafts Fair. Just in time for the holidays, handmade gifts and presents for loved ones. Free admission. Bring money for shopping.
  • A Night with Santa at Century II, 6-8:30 p.m. Join Mayor Carl Brewer, Wichita City Council and Santa for the official lighting of the City Christmas tree at Century II from 6-6:30pm. The fun continues inside for youth ages 12 and under with carnival games, face painting, inflatables, and a visit with Santa. Free!

December 3

  • Wu’s Holiday Bazaar 3rd floor ballroom of Rhatigan Student Center at WSU, 1845 Fairmount St. 9 a.m. – 8 p.m. Shop at Wichita State Crafts Fair. Just in time for the holidays, handmade gifts and presents for loved ones. Free admission. Bring money for shopping.

December 4

  • Newton Lions Club Parade of Lights 6:30 p.m. in downtown Newton, Kansas. Parade, pictures with Santa, more activities, and donation drives for glasses and food items. Free.

December 5

  • Bringing in the Greens at Great Plains Nature Center
  • Kansas Oil Museum in El Dorado, 6:30-9 p.m. Enjoy an Old Fashioned Christmas at the museum. Get your picture taken with Santa, stroll through the 1920’s Boom Town with kids’ activities, caroling, refreshments and see the outdoor grounds lit up with lights. Free. The museum is at 383 East Central Avenue in El Dorado, Kansas.
  • Shop Derby Dec. 5, 6 and 7 This event features local merchants, two craft fairs, an antique market, unique businesses and a chance to win a portion of $850 in prizes. When you’re out shopping the first weekend of December, have your Shop Derby card punched by eight of the 18 participating merchants and turn it in at the Derby Welcome Center at 611 Mulberry Rd. to win prizes. To see a list of participating merchants, visit www.Derbyks.com/ShopDerby. If you have questions, contact Janaé Springer at 788-1519 ext. 232 or via email at janaespringer@derbyweb.com.
  • Victorian Christmas at Cowtown 6-9 p.m. Cowtown will come alive with live music and performances. Traditional Christmas crafts and activities take place throughout the grounds. You’ll have the opportunity to purchase cookies, cocoa, and unique Christmas gifts.  Photos with Santa Claus will be taken at “Santa’s Workshop” (Heller Cabin). Rumor has it that Santa’s elves may have even set up shop. Regular museum admission applies; members get in free. $7.75 – Adults (18 to 61); $6.50 – Senior Citizens (62 and older); $6.00 – Youth (12 to 17); $5.50 – Children (4 to 11) 1865 Museum Blvd. in Wichita.
  • Wichita Community Children’s Choir Winter Prelude Concert 7 p.m. First United Methodist Church, 330 N. Broadway. Tickets are $5 at the door.

December 6

  • Mistletoe Market Craft Fair Swaney Elementary School, 501 E. English St. in Derby, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. More than 50 vendors will be selling their wares at this festive market.
  • Winterfest Annual Bazaar & Craft Show Woodlawn United Methodist Church, 431 S. Woodlawn Blvd. in Derby, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • No Room at the Inn Nativities & Cookie Walk St. Mary Church & School, 2300 E. Meadowlark Blvd., 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
  • Random Gift Card Giveaways Towne West and Towne East malls in Wichita. 20 randomly selected shoppers will receive two gift cards – one to keep and one to give away to another shopper.
  • All Things Gingerbread Village at Cambridge Market 21st and Webb, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Life-size gingerbread house, photos with Santa and the Gingerbread Boy. Gingerbread cookies and child-size aprons will be for sale. Benefits the Assistance League of Wichita. You can also drop off your Letters to Santa.
  • Walmart Holiday Event Click link for details. Free photos with Santa, toy and gadget demos, and tasting event at three Wichita-area Walmart stores
  • Meet Santa at Exploration Place Saturday, Nov. 29, Sunday, Nov. 30 and Saturday Dec. 6, Noon – 2 p.m. Make your list and Santa will check it twice! Take a picture with Santa to add an adorable addition to your holiday cards. Free admission. Located in the Exploration Place Main Lobby.
  • Heartspring & KWCH Christmas Parade Downtown Wichita at Waterwalk. Food trucks at noon, parade begins at 1 p.m., activities following the parade, including hay wagaon rides, face-painting, s’mores, and a meet-n-greet with Santa!
  • Shop Derby (See info given under December 5)
  • Goddard Tree Lighting 200 N. Main in Goddard, KS. 6-8 p.m. Enjoy live music, free cocoa, and cookies when Goddard lights its tree. Santa will be there!
  • Derby Christmas Parade 6 p.m. Bring your family and friends to the Sights and Sounds of Christmas lighted parade on Saturday, Dec. 6 at 6 p.m. The parade will begin at Panther Stadium go west on Madison to Georgie, south on Georgie to Market, east on Market and end at the south stadium entrance. To enter a float, contact Cliff Helms at 788-4422 or download an entry form at www.derbyks.com/holidayevents. Sponsored by the Derby Optimist Club.
  • W. W. Hays Historic Village Christmas Pride Park in Haysville at 6 p.m. Lots of fun events including horse-drawn carriage rides, kids crafts, and Haysville’s official lighting ceremony.
  • Victorian Christmas at Cowtown 6-9 p.m. Cowtown will come alive with live music and performances. Traditional Christmas crafts and activities take place throughout the grounds. You’ll have the opportunity to purchase cookies, cocoa, and unique Christmas gifts.  Photos with Santa Claus will be taken at “Santa’s Workshop” (Heller Cabin). Rumor has it that Santa’s elves may have even set up shop. Regular museum admission applies; members get in free. $7.75 – Adults (18 to 61); $6.50 – Senior Citizens (62 and older); $6.00 – Youth (12 to 17); $5.50 – Children (4 to 11) 1865 Museum Blvd. in Wichita.

December 7

  • No Room at the Inn Nativities & Cookie Walk St. Mary Church & School, 2300 E. Meadowlark Blvd., 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Friends of the Wichita Art Museum Holiday Open House 1400 W. Museum Blvd., 2-4 p.m. Free. Warm up with holiday refreshments, live music, and artmaking activities for kids in the museum’s Farha Hall. Free museum admission too.
  • Shop Derby (See info given under December 6)

December 9

  • Wichita Symphony Orchestra Spirit of the Season Concert Century II Convention Hall, doors open at 6:30 for ticket-holders. FREE, but tickets are required and they go quickly. See link for details. Donation of a non-perishable food item is requested, and benefits the Kansas Food Bank.

December 11

  • Make a Gingerbread House at the WPL
  • Hometown Christmas in Andover At Andover Central Park, 5:30-8 p.m. Santa arrives on the fire truck to light the 22-foot Christmas tree and will pose for pictures inside City Hall afterwards. Just bring a non-perishable food item to donate and participate in all the fun family-friendly activities.

December 12

  • Living Nativity & College Hill Trolley Tour
  • Living Nativity Madison Avenue United Methodist Church, 900 E. Madison Ave. in Derby, 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Donations accepted.
  • Victorian Christmas at Cowtown 6-9 p.m. Cowtown will come alive with live music and performances. Traditional Christmas crafts and activities take place throughout the grounds. You’ll have the opportunity to purchase cookies, cocoa, and unique Christmas gifts.  Photos with Santa Claus will be taken at “Santa’s Workshop” (Heller Cabin). Rumor has it that Santa’s elves may have even set up shop. Regular museum admission applies; members get in free. $7.75 – Adults (18 to 61); $6.50 – Senior Citizens (62 and older); $6.00 – Youth (12 to 17); $5.50 – Children (4 to 11) 1865 Museum Blvd. in Wichita.
  • City of Rose Hill Tree Lighting City Hall, 6 p.m. Kicking off the Rose Hill Hometown Christmas, the mayor and guests will light the tree. Following the ceremony, get pictures with Santa (bring your own camera) and enjoy cookies, hot cocoa, and coffee while listening to the Rose Hill High School choir.

December 13

  • Breakfast with Santa at Chick-fil-A in west Wichita
  • Rose Hill Hometown Christmas 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Activities throughout the day at various locations, including the Rose Hill rec center, library, museum, and school. Ride the trolley and horse-drawn carriage for free. The Parade of Lights begins at 6:30 p.m. The full schedule is posted on the mayor’s Facebook page.
  • Breakfast with Santa at Goddard High School 2500 S. 199th Street West in Goddard. 9-11 a.m. Santa will arrive at the East door of the high school at 8:55 a.m. (he likes to get an early start on the day). Enjoy free cinnamon rolls and drinks, games, movies, and craft activities all morning. Free, but I think donations will be accepted on behalf of a charity.
  • Wichita-Sedgwick County Historical Museum Open House 1-5 p.m. Celebrate the museum’s 75th anniversary with free admission to all four flours and handmade holiday toys up for auction.
  •  The Nutcracker by Ballet Wichita Century II 225 W. Douglas, 8 p.m. Featuring dancers from Ballet Idaho and Ballet Wichita, and the Ballet Wichita Symphony Orchestra, directed by WSU’s Professor Emeritus Dr. Jay Decker. Tickets to this classic Christmas ballet range in price from $12.50 to $40 each.
  • Living Nativity Madison Avenue United Methodist Church, 900 E. Madison Ave. in Derby, 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Donations accepted.
  • Victorian Christmas at Cowtown 6-9 p.m. Cowtown will come alive with live music and performances. Traditional Christmas crafts and activities take place throughout the grounds. You’ll have the opportunity to purchase cookies, cocoa, and unique Christmas gifts.  Photos with Santa Claus will be taken at “Santa’s Workshop” (Heller Cabin). Rumor has it that Santa’s elves may have even set up shop. Regular museum admission applies; members get in free. $7.75 – Adults (18 to 61); $6.50 – Senior Citizens (62 and older); $6.00 – Youth (12 to 17); $5.50 – Children (4 to 11) 1865 Museum Blvd. in Wichita.

December 14

  •  The Nutcracker by Ballet Wichita Century II 225 W. Douglas, 2 p.m. Featuring dancers from Ballet Idaho and Ballet Wichita, and the Ballet Wichita Symphony Orchestra, directed by WSU’s Professor Emeritus Dr. Jay Decker. Tickets to this classic Christmas ballet range in price from $12.50 to $40 each.
  • Live Nativity at Asbury Church 2801 W. 15th Street North, 5-7 p.m. Drive by as the kids from the Children’s Ministry tend to their live animals, present baby Jesus, sing carols and tell the Christmas story to the world. Free. http://asburychurch.org/ministries/children/childrens-events/

December 18

  • White Christmas at the Wichita Orpheum Theater, 200 N. Broadway. Doors open at 6 p.m., film starts at 7 p.m. This classic film starring Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Vera-Ellen, and Rosemary Clooney will be shown on the big screen at the historic Wichita Orpheum. Tickets are just $5 for adults and $4 for seniors, military and students.

December 19

  • Family Board Game Night Sedgwick County Extension, 7001 W 21 St., 7-9 p.m. FREE! Besides just being good clean family fun, this would be a great way to try games before buying them as gifts.

December 21

  • Live Nativity at Asbury Church 11910 W. Pawnee Street, 5-7 p.m. Drive by as the kids from the Children’s Ministry tend to their live animals, present baby Jesus, sing carols and tell the Christmas story to the world. Free. http://asburychurch.org/ministries/children/childrens-events/

Originally published Nov. 12; updated Nov. 26.

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Comments

  1. says

    The Collegiate Association of Parents (CAP) of Wichita Collegiate School is hosting its annual holiday market and poinsettia sale on Thursday, December 6 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. The event will be held in the school’s multi-purpose room, which is located on the southwest corner of Wichita Collegiate School’s campus. Admission is free.

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