WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — With the holidays just around the corner, it is time to start making plans with your close ones for some cocoa, cider, or whatever warm drink you prefer, and experience all there is to see and do this holiday season in Wichita.

To help plan your outings this year, the KSN team has assembled a list of events that range from November, all the way through to the New Year. Check them out below:

Illuminations – Botanica

Botanica is back this holiday season with Illuminations, which will feature the usual sights and sounds, including two new displays.

The Children’s Garden Meadow and the Koch Carousel Gardens will feature displays that are sure to bring smiles to the entire family. In the Children’s Garden Meadow, 360 poles with around 6,000 lights move to the music. The new display in Koch Carousel Gardens includes 36 moving head beam lights that dance in the sky around a 25 foot Christmas tree with over 15,000 pixels. 

  • WHEN: Opens Nov. 18 and runs through January 1
  • WHERE: 701 Amidon Street
  • COST: $13 for adult non-members, $9 for children and members
  • INFO: Reservations are required to attend, no walk-in tickets are available
Illuminations at Botanica in 2018 (KSN File)

Victorian Christmas at Cowtown

If your family is interested in stepping back in time and experiencing the holidays in the wild, wild, west, Victorian Christmas at Cowtown is for you! Experience Cowtown’s lamp-lit roads with a warm cup of cocoa and enjoy a Victorian town ready for Christmas.

For more information, visit the Old Cowtown Museum website.

  • WHEN: Dec. 3, 4, 10, 11 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
  • WHERE: 1865 W. Museum Boulevard
  • COST: $9 for adults, $7 for kids aged 12-17, $6 for kids 5-11, FREE for kids under 4
  • INFO: A few of the activities include Victorian dancers and an immersive historical experience.

Wild Lights at Sedgwick County Zoo

If a nighttime stroll through the zoo is more of your speed, be sure to check out the Wild Lights at Sedgwick County Zoo. In this after-dark event, one-of-a-kind Asian Lantern sculptures will light up the Sedgwick County Zoo during the wildest nights in tow.

  • WHEN: Wednesdays through Sundays from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., lasting unitl Dec. 5
  • WHERE: 5555 W. Zoo Boulevard
  • COST: $17 for adults, $15 for children. Family four-packs available for $60.
  • INFO: Tickets are sold by date, no refunds or rainchecks. Indoor exhibits will be closed, and resident zoo animals will not be in attendance. If the zoo cancels the event, pre-purchased tickets will be valid any other night of the event.

Bradley Fair Tree Lighting

Bradley Fair is making spirits bright this holiday season, hosting their annual Tree Lighting Ceremony in partnership with Ronald McDonald House Charities during the first Holiday Stroll of the year. There will be plenty to see and do during the all-day event, leading up to the lighting of their 30-foot Bradley Fair Tree.

Free horse-drawn carriage rides will be given starting at 1 p.m. and ending at 10 p.m., photos with Santa, hot cocoa and other treats, and much more. There is no charge to attend and take part in the activities.

  • WHEN: Nov. 21 all day, Christmas Tree lighting at 5 p.m.
  • WHERE: 2000 N. Rock Road
  • INFO: The event will be the first Holiday Stroll of the season, and they will hold a Holiday Stroll every Sunday from Nov. 21 through Dec. 19.

Winter Wonderland at Naftzger Park

Holiday cheer will be in the air at Winter Wonderland! Visit Naftzger Park and take in the lights and decorations while listening to music and entertainment at the Evergy Pavilion. This event is free to the public. Wichita Park & Recreation is looking forward to spreading some holiday cheer with you!

WHEN: Dec. 11 from 5:30-7:30 p.m.
WHERE: Naftzger Park
COST: Free


  • Roast s’more by one of the fire pits
  • Visit with Santa and Mrs. Clause and have your photo taken
  • Watch out for the Grinch, he’ll be lurking about the park
  • Drink hot cocoa and listen to holiday music
  • Play corn hole with the family
  • Stop by our festive photo booth for a selfie or have your picture taken by our team
  • Write and send a letter to the North Pole
  • Munch on candy canes walking around Naftzger Park

AbilityPoint Lights

The opening night of AbilityPoint Lights, formerly the Arc’s Lights, is coming. More than 1.5 million lights sparkle each night along a quarter-mile route from Douglas and St. Paul through AbilityPoint’s property from Thanksgiving through Dec. 28. 

  • WHEN: Nov. 25 through Dec. 28
  • WHERE: Douglas and St. Paul, Wichita, Kansas
  • COST: Mon-Thurs: Donation – Fri-Sun: $10 per Carload. Tickets can be purchased in advance at QuikTrip

Check back later for information regarding hours and admission.

AbilityPoint Lights, formerly the Arc’s Lights, at Douglas and St. Paul in 2020 (KSN File)

“Away in the Basement: a Church Basement Ladies Musical”
at Roxy’s

The musical comedy from the Church Basement Ladies franchise chronicles Christmas-time with the ladies that work in the church basement of the Lutheran Church. Make your reservations here. The show runs from Nov. 18 through Dec. 19.

Mosley Street Melodrama presents “The Hallmark Channel Christmas Melodrama”

The show runs from Nov. 12 Through Dec. 26. Click here for more information and reservations.

Crown Arts Collaborative presents “Inverno: The Great Holiday Circus”

Experience the Christmas Festival with the Circus as we produce Inverno, our holiday production with dinner and a show to celebrate this special time of year.

Dinners provided by Corporate Caterers:

  • Marinated Grilled Chicken
  • Vegetarian Lasagna
  • Bacon-Wrapped Chopped Steak
  • Vegan options will vary nightly

The musical circus tells the story of a ringleader and his troupe of performers who remind him of the importance of family, community, and love. With aerial silk performers, strongmen, fire breathers, dancers, singers, a 7-piece band, and more, this is the big holiday show that Wichita has been waiting for! The show runs from Dec. 3 – Dec. 19. For more information, click here.

The Forum Theatre presents “Cool Yule”

The Forum will present “Cool Yule” It runs from Nov. 27 to Dec. 19. You can call 316-618-0444 or click here for tickets

Orpheum Theatre

“The Lindsey Stirling Christmas Program”

Lindsey Stirling remains fearless enough to always dream big. Since the release of her 2012 self-titled debut, the electronic music impresario, violinist, dancer, and artist quietly and humbly became one of the 21st century’s most innovative stars by clinging to her groundbreaking vision of cinematic violin-driven electronic music. It runs Tuesday, Nov. 30 at 8 p.m. Click here for tickets.

Zach Williams “I Don’t Want Christmas to End”

Zach Williams will be taking to the road this December for his first-ever headlining Christmas tour. Special guest, newcomer Anne Wilson will join Zach Williams for what is sure to become an annual tradition. It runs Thursday, Dec. 9 at 7 p.m. Click here for tickets.

Murray and Peter present “A Drag Queen Christmas”

Here we come bigger and better this holiday season with your favorite queens performing live on stage. Hosted by Trinity The Tuck and Monet X Change. It’s a magical night of fun with holiday classics and naughty shenanigans – with our all new production. It runs Dec. 16 at 8 p.m. Get tickets here.

Century II

The Nutcracker ballet

Ballet Wichita will transport you to a magical world of dancing dolls, mischievous mice and sparkling snowflakes with the time-honored classic, The Nutcracker ballet with three performances.

Tickets start at $25 and are available online at wichitatix.com or at the WichitaTix Box office.  Performance dates and times: Friday, Dec. 10, 7 p.m.; Saturday, Dec. 11, 7 p.m.; Sunday, Dec. 12, 2p.m.