- Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol
Time: Thurs. through Sat. at 8 PM, Sun. at 2 PM
Date: Thursday, December 5 – Sunday, December 22
Where: The Forum Theatre Performing Arts & Events Center
Cost: Thurs. - Sun. show only for $23, dinner and show for $38.
Fri. - Sat. show only for $25, dinner and show for $40
Why you should go: Visit your Christmas Past, Present, and Future at the Forum Theatre’s retelling of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. The Broadway show officially opens on Thursday, December 5 and runs through Sunday, December 22.
The play follows the classic Christmas story of Ebenezer Scrooge, featuring musical performances, detailed costumes, and hand-crafted stage sets. The play is suitable for all ages.
Enjoy a delicious dinner before the show starts for $40 on the weekend ($38 for Thurs. & Sun. nights). The dinner includes a chicken and beef dish, baked potato, vegetables, dinner roll and your choice of tea, coffee, or water. The meal is catered by Jodee B’s and will be served in the Forum’s newly renovated banquet hall, which will be decorated for the Christmas season.
Tickets can be purchased online at http://forumwichita.com/tickets.html or by calling 316-618-0444.
2. It's A Wonderful Life
Time: Thurs-Sat at 8:00 PM, Sundays at 7:00 PM
Date: November 29 – December 22 (No Show on Thanksgiving)
Where: Wichita Community Theatre, 258 N. Fountain, Wichita
Cost: $12 (Students/Seniors/Military), $14 Adults
Why you should go: Fans of Frank Capra’s 1946 American Christmas classic film, It’s a Wonderful Life, are in luck this holiday season.
The Wichita Community Theatre will be presenting ‘It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play’ from November 29 through December 22, 2013. It includes all of the cast favorites, including George Bailey, Clarence the Angel, Evil Mr. Potter, and the rest of the gang.
The play is inspired by the classic movie and is performed as a traditional 1940s live radio broadcast. The skilled theatre actors perform the voices of all the film’s characters, as well as produce the sound effects.
Performances are at 8 PM (Thursdays – Saturdays), and at 7 PM (Sundays). There will be no performance on Thanksgiving (Thurs, Nov. 28) and a matinee at 2 PM on Sunday, December 22.
Ticket prices are $14 or $12 for military/senior/students and can be purchased by calling (316) 686-1282. The Wichita Community Theatre is located at 258 N. Fountain.
3. White Christmas
Date: Thursday, November 7 – Sunday, December 22
Time: Matinee & evening performances
Where: Crown Uptown, 3207 E. Douglas, Wichita
Cost: $60 Dinner & Show, $45 Show Only
Why you should go: Make sure to catch the classic musical “White Christmas” playing at the Crown Uptown Theatre throughout this holiday season. The show is a timeless classic based off the 1954 holiday film of the same name, featuring Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye.
Audiences young and old will enjoy this American Christmas tale about two WWII soldiers who fall in love with two beautiful singing sisters that are set to perform a Christmas duo in snowy Vermont. The soldiers follow the sisters to Vermont, where they discover that the lodge the sisters are set to perform in is owned by one of their old WWII commanders.
You can expect to see plenty of toe-tapping dance numbers and an amazing score of timeless classics like “White Christmas” and “Blues Skies.” The musical numbers will all be performed by a live orchestra.
Make sure to get your tickets for this one while you can! This show is a yearly favorite which has sold out quickly over the past 2 years.
4. Heartspring’s Light on the Lake
Time: 5:30 PM – 9:00 PM Sun. – Thurs., 5:30 PM – 10:00 PM Fri. – Sat.
Date: November 29 – December 25
Where: Heartspring, 8700 E. 29th St. North, Wichita
Cost: Donations Appreciated
Why you should go: Tune your radio into Heartspring’s Holiday Program as you drive through the Lights on the Lake show this weekend. The event will be open nightly from 5:30 PM to 10:00 PM, starting Friday, November 29 through Wednesday, December 25.
Lights on the Lake has expanded its yearly show by adding thousands of new lights, with light displays of zoo animals, reindeer, Christmas soldiers, snowflakes, elves, candy canes and more. The annual event will also include its traditional 40-foot Christmas tree overlooking the lake.
After driving through the light show, make sure to stop and get your picture taken with Santa Claus inside the Conference Center, located mid-way through the light show. Santa will only be available on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings (Closed Dec. 24 & Dec. 25). Complimentary cookies, hot chocolate and coffee will also be available inside.
The drive-thru light show is free, but donations are greatly appreciated. Donations raised will go towards supporting children with special needs and receive life-changing therapies through Heartspring Pediatric Services.
5. Let It Snow
Time: Check website for show times
Date: November 23 – December 29
Where: Exploration Place, 300 N McLean Blvd., Wichita
Cost: Dome Prices Apply
Why you should go: Get into the holiday spirit with this fun family show playing at Exploration Place. Let It Snow is a new seasonal show that will play under the museum’s Boeing Dome Theater and Planetarium.
The show will include exciting seasonal visuals that will be set to classic holiday songs from the Muppets, Frank Sinatra, and more. The show is 32 minutes and is suitable for all ages. Dome admission prices apply, ranging from $3 - $5. Children 2 and under are FREE.
Show Preview HERE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8p5-DKQhmaM#t=24
6. Light on St. Paul
Time: Opens Nightly @ 5:30 PM, Sun – Thurs until 9 PM, Fri – Sat until 10 PM
Date: November 28 – December 29
Where: Arc of Sedgwick County, 2919 W. Second St. Free
Cost: $5 Donations Appreciated
Info: 316-943-1191, Website: http://www.arc-sedgwickcounty.org/?page_id=129
Why you should go: Continuing to grow each year, Lights on St. Paul now includes over 1.3 million twinkling lights, animated light shows and displays, dozens of new LED displays, and many traditional attractions from year’s past. Tune your car radio to watch the light displays perform to synchronized holiday music.
The half-mile extravaganza starts at the corner of Douglas and St. Paul (4 blocks West of Meridian). And is Kansas’ largest neighborhood drive thru light display. Santa will be returning to this yearly tradition and will be available for photos from Thanksgiving night and every Friday - Sunday evenings until Christmas. Photos with Santa are a $5 donation and will be taken inside the ILRC building.
A $5 donation (or more) is appreciated when exiting the light display. Donations raised will go towards The Arc of Sedgwick County’s programs and services for individuals and families living with developmental and intellectual disabilities.
Time: 5:30 PM – 8:30 PM
Date: November 29 – December 31
Where: Botanica, 701 N. Amidon, Wichita
Cost: $7 Adults, $6 Members, $5 Children 3 – 12, FREE Children 3 & Under
Why you should go: This family-friendly event is one of Wichita’s premier holiday events, and it’s easy to see why. With over hundreds of thousands of lights spread throughout eleven acres of beautiful gardens, Botanica will once again be transformed into one of the largest holiday light displays in Kansas.
New features to this year’s event includes expanded light shows, over 200+ illuminated trees and structures, and a brand new synchronized light show (with new music) in the Downing Children’s Garden. Returning this year will be hot drinks, cookies and candy for sale, and photos with Santa!
8. A Country Christmas – Presented by Fulton Valley Farms
Time: 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Date: Every Thurs. through Sun. until December 29
Where: Fulton Valley Farms, 5079 SW Fulton Road, Towanda
Cost: $12.00 Adults, $10.00 Military, Students, and Seniors, $8.00 Children 4-12, FREE Children 3 & under. $36.00 Family 4-Pack, $58.00 Family 6-Pack
Why you should go: The event, “A Country Christmas,” is debuting this year, offering visitors a unique place to celebrate the holidays with their families. Fulton Valley Farms, a family owned barn, will be providing the space for this outdoor holiday event in Towanda.
“A Country Christmas” combines the rustic scenery of the outdoors with beautiful twinkling lights. Enjoy a choreographed light show - featuring millions of twinkling lights set to flicker simultaneously with classic Christmas songs.
The children’s corner, located inside the barn, includes fun activities for children of all ages. Children can make their own ornament, create a small gift or decorate a cookie. Santa will also be present inside the barn for photos.
9. Winter Break STEM-tacular Edventures
Time: 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Date: Friday, December 20 - Friday, January 3
Where: Exploration Place, 300 N. McLean Blvd., Wichita
Cost: $30 - $210 – Register 316-660-0620
Why you should go: It’s winter break, so that means the kiddos are out of school. If you’re looking for something to keep them busy during the day, check-out Exploration Place’s full-day winter break workshops.
Each workshop features hands-on activities for children grades K through 8. From 9 AM to 4 PM, kids will keep busy with fun activities that teach that about science, math, engineering and technology.
Zany Zoology - Friday, Dec. 20
- Learn the backgrounds and differences between of doves, dung beetles, dogs and dolphins
Cool Botany - Monday, Dec. 23
- Plants are more than just pretty to look at and making tasty food. Investigate which plants save lives and which ones keep bees guessing.
Awesome Aerospace - Thursday, Dec. 26
- Discover gravitational pull, how to land a raw egg safely from three floors high, and how air can hold things
SpaceFlight Explorers - Friday, Dec. 27
- Become a future space explorer. During this Nasa-based camp, kids will duplicate science experiments being conducted on Mars. Also, explore human spaceflight.
Creative Chemistry - Monday, Dec. 30
- Become little chemists by uncovering how small changes can create big reactions through color-changing experiments, explosions and edible treats
Phenomenal Physics - Thursday, Jan. 2, 2014
- Learn all about physics: What is gravity? Why is the sky blue? Children will learn some interesting facts and answers to common physic questions. They’ll even get to create their own amusement park ride.
Fun Forensics - Friday, Jan. 3, 2014
- Jump into the world of a Crime Scene Investigator! Learn how evidence like footprints, bugs and hair at a crime scene can be used to solve the case.
Package A (all 7 workshops) $175 Members, $210 Non-Members
Package B (any 4 workshops) $105 Members, $125 Non-Members
Package C (any 1 workshop) $30 Members, $35 Non-Members
10. Helicopter Holiday Lights Tours
Time: 6:00 PM – 10:00 PM
Date: Sunday, December 15 – Tuesday, December 31
Where: Mid Continent Airport, Wichita
Cost: 2 Tour Options $250/$395 pricing is for up to three
Why you should go: Experience the breathtaking holiday sites of downtown Wichita, the Arkansas River and spectacular scenic views of neighborhood holiday displays while listening to the sounds of the season from your own private helicopter! Enjoy Holiday punch and cookies during your pre-flight briefing and don't forget your camera!
Want to do a little holiday sight-seeing in Wichita? DWTA Premier Helicopter Service, Wichita’s leading provider of helicopter services, is once again offering a different perspective of holiday lights this year in Downtown Wichita, the Arkansas River and scenic neighborhood displays.
From December 1 through December 31, DWTA will be providing special helicopter rides for those looking to have a beautiful evening above the holiday lights in Wichita. Choose whether you'd like to take a 15 or 30 minute airborne “sleigh”-ride in one of DWTA's helicopters. The 15 minute option costs $250 and takes you on a tour of Wichita’s Downtown West Side. The 30 minute option costs $395 and includes a FULL Region Ride.
Each flight can hold up to 3 passengers and will depart and arrive at Wichita’s Mid-Continent Airport. The helicopter rides also include special holiday cookies and punch during your pre-flight briefing and holiday Christmas music while in flight.