Wichita on the Cheap

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Winter Break fun in Wichita: free and cheap things to do with the kids

The holidays sure can put a dent in your wallet, but don’t let that ruin your Christmas break fun! There are lots of free and cheap things to do during winter break in Wichita that will keep the kids from getting bored!

These are a few of our favorites, but feel free to add your own in the comments.


When is Winter Break for Wichita schools?

Wichita Public Schools will be out for winter recess from December 15 through January 2, 2023 according to the district calendar online.

Winter Break Activities in the Wichita Area

We’ve gathered up some great winter break activities to help you keep the kids busy and having fun!

Besides the fun places listed below, be sure to keep scrolling until you come across the day-by-day list of events and things to do during Christmas break! There are some really fun ones.

Sedgwick County Zoo Discounts During Winter Break

The Sedgwick County Zoo offers $3 admission on Winter Wednesdays, so that’s a great day to go during winter break. 

Chicken N Pickle Ice Pond

The Chicken N Pickle outdoor ice pond has opened for the season. Skate prices are $11, and skate rental is $4. If you think you’ll make use of the Chicken N Pickle skating rink often (and if you don’t have your own skates), buy a 10-visit pass for $120. 

Wichita-Sedgwick County Historical Museum

The Wichita-Sedgwick County Historical Museum is open December 15 – 17 from 1- 3 pm and admission is FREE. 

  • Friday, December 15 – Discover Being Modern
  • Saturday, December 16 – A Peek Behind the Museum
  • Sunday, December 17 – Vicroian Winter 

Kansas Aviation Museum

Wingman Tuesday – Two for the Price of One

Golden Wednesdays – Seniors 50% off

Squadron Thursday – Family Admission $25

 Little Aviators Friday (10 – Noon) – All kids FREE = 1 adult 

Check Kansas Aviation Museum hours to plan your visit!

Winter Break Activities at Exploration Place

A budget-friendly option at Wichita’s favorite science museum is the Exploration Place Dome Theater You don’t need to pay for admission to Exploration Place to see a movie in the theater. Tickets are usually $5 for ages 12-64, $3 kids ages 3-11, FREE for kids 2 & under, $4 seniors 65+, although we see right now there’s a movie that’s $8 instead of $5. 

Check out Design, Build, Fly! which is a permanent EP exhibit. Emily got to take a look when it opened – read about it here.

Great Plains Nature Center Winter Break Kids Programs

The Great Plains Nature Center is open during winter break from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. but they will be closed for several days around New Year’s. Admission is always free. 

Carousel Skate Center Winter Break Schedule

Carousel will be open during winter break, so you’ll definitely be able to keep the kids busy and having fun. Carousel also has a great big new indoor play area (for an additional charge) that the kids will probably love, especially when they need a break from skating.

Hours will vary depending on the day of the week, but generally Carousel Skate Center  is open daily except for holidays. Check Carousel’s holiday schedule and price options before you go.

$10 Paint Days at Paint the Towne

Paint the Towne’s east location will have two weeks of fun $10 paint sessions between December 22 and the new year.  These are family-friendly, for adults and kids ages 5 and up. Go to the link for more details about the classes and for a schedule of times. 

Day by Day list of Winter Break fun for Wichita kids

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Look at Holiday Lights

Nothing is more thrilling than driving around and seeing the Best Christmas Light Displays in Wichita. The best part is that you don’t even have to change out of your pajamas for most of these! Grab some hot cocoa and go make memories that last a lifetime.

Field Station: Dinosaurs Winter Break Fun

Field Station: Dinosaurs will continue its Holly Jolly Jurassic Holiday through the end of the year, and right now there’s a Groupon that gives you a discount on tickets. (Tip: Keep an eye out for Groupon promo codes that make this deal even cheaper.)

Wichita Art Museum Winter Break Fun

Winter Art Mania at the Wichita Art Museum is a full day of FREE art exploration and activity for the family from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on December 26. 

Wichita Public Library Activities

The library usually hosts plenty of events for kids and teenagers and they’ve had to suspend most of those. But you can still check out some great books and movies for your winter break, or take advantage of other free library resources. One of my favorites (as an adult) is the free ebooks and audiobooks I can check out as a Wichita Public Library cardholder.

Watson Christmas Express

All aboard the Watson Christmas Express for an adventure to the North Pole. Kids are encouraged to wear pajamas just like the boy in the book. For ages 2 and up. Tickets are $16/person. 

Wichita Ice Center Winter Break Skating

To see the skate center schedule, check out their Facebook page.

Tip: use a Groupon to save money on Winter Break activities. Here are some we found:

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Day by Day list of Winter Break fun for Wichita kids

[lotc-categories category=”kid-friendly” date=”12/17/2021″ span=”19+ days”]

On Saturdays:

Great Plains Transportation Museum $7 (plus tax) adults, $4 (plus tax) kids ages 4-12, FREE for kids 3 and younger. Open 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. on Saturdays.


Winter break activities for kids in Wichita, Kansas. Free, cheap, and fun activities for kids when school is out for Christmas break.

Related Events:

Wichita Attractions on the Cheap
Wichita Christmas Lights
Visit Santa
Free and inexpensive things kids can do in Wichita, KS
Spreading Kindness with Painted Rocks

Past Events

Kansas Humane Society Winter Break Critter Camps

The Kansas Humane Society will be offering its popular Critter Camps during winter again this year.  Kids will play games, do crafts and activities, and learn about pet- and animal-related topics. They’ll even tour the vet clinic while they’re there.

The day-long camps are open to kids in grades K-5 and cost $35 per date. See the full schedule of winter break camps at the Humane Society website.

All Star Sports and All Star Adventures Winter Break Specials

All Star Wichita has daily specials during winter break with a different deal or bonus each day; some are better than others, and offers may vary depending on location. Be sure to check the specials/promos on their website before you decide which day you’ll go.

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