It’s not hard to find holiday fun in and around Wichita. You can see a holiday show or eat breakfast with Santa Claus.
“There is something for everybody, whether it’s attractions or shows or shopping,” said Susie Santo, CEO of Visit Wichita.
Derby has a unique and festive holiday attraction this year called “Holly Jolly Jurassic Holiday” at Field Station: Dinosaurs.
Visitors step back into the Mesozoic Era, where 44 life-sized dinosaurs are preparing to celebrate their first Christmas.
“What you’re going to see here are a number of poems and a number of scenes of the dinosaurs trying to celebrate Christmas for the first time,” said associate producer Garion Masterson.
It’s a walk-through park with around 18,000 feet of lights.
“Where else do you get to see some of these things that you as a child are fascinated with in life size? We’re the largest dinosaur amusement park in North America. You can’t see this anywhere else,” said Masterson.
The “Holly Jolly Jurassic Holiday” runs Thursdays through Sundays, from 5-9 p.m. The park is closed on Christmas Eve and Christmas, and reopens until December 31 from 1-9 p.m. Tickets are $10 on kansasdinos.com or at the box office.
There are other traditional holiday attractions, as well.
Illuminations is back at the Botanica, where every garden area is transformed into a different themed holiday display.
This year, there are over two million lights. Visitors can stroll through the park with hot chocolate or wine.
Illuminations is open nightly from 5:30-8:30 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at Botanica or any QuikTrip location.
If you aren’t up for walking, check out The Arc’s Lights, near Douglas Avenue and St. Paul Street. This is a drive-thru lights display.
The Arc is open Mondays-Thursdays 5:30-9 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays 5:30-10 p.m., and Sundays 5:30-9 p.m. Admission is $10 per vehicle.
Santo said the holiday season is one of the busiest for Wichita and the surrounding area, as it’s bustling with local and tourists.
“We really are that must-visit Midwest destination,” she said.
This weekend’s holiday events include:
- Dec. 6-8: Forum Theatre Wichita: “The Winter Wonderettes,” 8-9:30 p.m.
- Dec. 7-8: Victorian Christmas at Old Cowtown Museum, 6-9 p.m.
- Dec. 8: Breakfast with Santa at Old Cowtown Museum, 9-11 a.m.
- Dec. 8: Santa Arrives at Twister City, 1-4 p.m.
- Dec. 8: 3rd Annual Carriage Rides in the Park, Derby, 5-8 p.m.
- Dec. 8-9: Short & Suite Nutcracker, Wichita Center for Performing Arts