Ultimate Summer Guide to Wichita 2021 - Sedgwick County Moms Network

Summer is here! Hallelujah!

And I just spent the past few days finalizing our summer schedule. It is jammed pack full of fun events and activities for us to do. We aren’t traveling this summer, but that doesn’t mean we will be bored.

And neither should you. There is so much to do in Wichita this summer – pools, splash pads, summer camps, playgrounds, reading programs, events, celebrations, dining and shopping, day trips, camping, and much, much more.

Make the most of your summer regardless of the ages of your kids, regardless of your budget. Have a blast this summer. 

CityArts

Chill out this summer at CityArts! Our art camps will keep you cool and always trying something new like exploring clay, photography, copper bracelet making, painting on canvases, glass fusing and more! Create cool works of art, make new friends, and enjoy Friday afternoons in the plaza with chalk-art and games!

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Wichita Parks & Recreation Aquatics

Wichita Parks and Recreation offers numerous pools and splash pads that open Memorial Day weekend. You can also sign up for a multitude of swim lessons, classes, and teams. Don’t forget about Dog Days of Summer. Check our site and the Evolve Summer Guide for more information.

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Riverside Music Together

The Harmonica Song Collection for our Babies and Mixed-Age classes has a wonderful assortment of Music Together® favorites, such as the foot stompin’ “Old Brass Wagon,” and the playful “Two Little Kitty Cats.” Your family will delight in “cloc-ing” and “oinc-ing” along to the traditional Argentinian folk song, “Vengan a Ver,” as well as taking time for a snuggle as you sing along to the soft and soothing lullaby, “Raisins and Almonds.” In addition to your weekly classes, your tuition includes materials for you to use at home, access to the online Family Music Zone, and a family newsletter full of resources and music-making ideas. Join us for this session and fill your family’s summer with music, fun, and friendship!

Rhythm Kids summer camps for kids ages 4-8 will explore the Tiger Song Collection with drumming patterns from Mali and India. Children will discover the enchantment of Indian music through the song “Chandamaame Raave” and even learn to sing a verse in Telugu! We’ll explore body percussion, scatting, and part-singing with “Singing in Harmony.” “Tiger, Tigress in the Night” will delight children with imaginative play, drumming, and dancing. And with “Tiger Tracks,” we’ll get to prowl and growl as we follow a tiger through his day!

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Sign up for a summer class and get $15 off tuition with the code “SummerMusic”.

Sign up now

Exploration Place

Save the day with Marshall, Chase, Skye, Rubble, Rocky, Zuma, and Tracker now through Sunday, Aug. 29. Grab your Pup Pack and join the team helping the citizens of Adventure Bay, just like the characters in the hit TV show, Nickelodeon’s PAW Patrol. Keep a watchful eye on the town from Lookout Tower, race to the rescue in the PAW Patroller, work together to complete missions on land, sea and air, plus much more.

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Tanganyika Wildlife Park

See what fun summer events Tanganyika Wildlife Park in Goddard has to offer – animal meet and greets and behind-the-scenes, story time, activities and crafts for kids, and much, much more.

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Fuzzy's Taco Shop

Fuzzy’s Taco Shop is a fast-casual restaurant serving Baja-style Mexican food in a fun, energetic atmosphere at a great value price.

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Glow Gals ICT

Glow Gals is Wichita’s premier luxury spray tanning experience. We use an organic-based brown sugar solution that leaves every skin tone with a gorgeous bronzed glow that looks and feels natural. We started out exclusively mobile, and in 2021 we launched our flagship studio space inside The Hive (Orpheum building) in Downtown Wichita. We still offer Mobile services, as well.

Our solutions are vegan, 99% organic, and paraben, gluten, and fragrance free — meaning it’s safe for all skin types!

Book now

Lovie Co

LovieCoICT creates and sells artisan salts, extracts and award winning spice blends in small batches, of the finest quality, with the freshest ingredients. Also make sure you try our handmade, gourmet chocolates.

Buy some now

Wichita Sports Forum

Wichita’s Premiere Multi-Sport and Extreme Air Sports Trampoline Park has over 148,000 square feet of premier multi-sport, convention and private party space, as well as a trampoline park.

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Ultimate Summer Giveaway!

Summer is here! It’s time to had fun with your kids and explore what Wichita has to offer. So, put on the sunscreen, and we’ll provide one lucky family with the rest!

What’s inside?
♥ 4 tickets to Exploration Place
♥ 4 tickets to Tanganyika Wildlife Park
♥ 4 tickets to Wichita Sports Forum
♥ $50 gift certificate for Wichita Parks & Rec programs and pools
♥ One free spray tan for mom with Glow Gals ICT
♥ $50 gift card to Fuzzy’s Taco Shop
♥ 2 chocolate bars and tea set from Lovie Co ICT
♥ Summer scavenger hunt set
♥ Independence day activities
♥ 2 Bubble wands
♥ Sidewalk Chalk

Valued at $420!

Click the picture link to enter the giveaway!

Giveaway ends Friday, June 4 at 11:59pm!

We will deliver to you in Wichita.

Aquatics & Water Play

1) Whether you have a boat or not, make sure you spend some time at one of our local lakes.

2) Go fishing with your kids. Some of our local neighborhood parks even allow for fishing from residents (make sure to check the signs posted with rules and with your HOA).

3) Rent a canoe, kayak, stand up paddle board, or paddle boat and enjoy the Arkansas River. Also, don’t forget about the Floatin’ On the River tours with Wichita Parks and Recreation.

4) Set up the sprinklers in your backyard or a mini wading pool. Or, grab one of these fun rainbow water pad/slides – my kids love it!

5) Buy some water guns and water balloons and have an all-out family war in your backyard.

6) Don’t forget about the swim lessons – my kids will be using Wichita Swim Club.

7) Visit one of Wichita and surrounding area’s numerous water parks, whether its at a YMCA branch, the Rock River Rapids Aquatic Center, Splash Aqua Park ICT, or the new Tanganyika Falls Splash Park.

8) Spend some time in a pool – Wichita has 6, plus all the YMCA branches, plus numerous surrounding towns have public pools as well.

9) Have a playdate at a local splash pad. Wichita has 11, plus surrounding towns have some, too.

10) Wait for a rainy day, grab the rain boots, and jump in puddles!

11) Have a glow stick bath – turn off the lights and dump some glowsticks in. 

12) Participate in the world’s largest swim lesson at Rock River Rapids on June 17th.

13) Let your dogs enjoy the water with you are the Rock River Rapids Shallow Pool on August 14th.

14) Check out Wichita Parks and Recreation’s page on local swimming pools to see when *free* swim day is for each individual pool!

15) Make sure to check out our Aquatics page for more information about water fun in the summer!

Aquatics in the Local Wichita Area

Summer Camps

1) Check out this list of local VBS camps for this summer. Make sure to check with your local church congregations as this list is not a comprehensive list.

2) Don’t let the summer slump get the better of your kids. Make sure to keep up with Kumon, Fundamental Learning Center, Mathnasium, and more. Check out our list of local tutoring companies and STEM classes.

3) If you have littles, check out this list of Mommy and Me classes.

4) Keep up with your kids’ music classes.

5) Continue sports, dance, gymnastics, and martial arts classes. My daughter will be doing gymnastics with Acrobatic Academy and my son will be doing taekwondo with Empower Martial Arts.

6) Check out some fun virtual summer camps through Outschool.com. Classes and camps range from math and reading to dance and yoga to Pokemon and Disney princess fan clubs for kids ages 3-18. I actually teach Geography classes using the Kahoot trivia game app for kids ages 9-14. Check out my profile page here.

7) Check out all the fun classes and events for kids, teens, and adults that Wichita Parks and Rec, City Arts, and the Wichita Library have to offer in their summer edition of Evolve.

8) Check out Derby Recreation Commission’s Summer Program Guide for fun events, classes, and camps during the summer.

9) Learn Spanish through Verbose Language Learning Center.

10) Check out our huge guide of local Wichita and surrounding area summer camps!

Summer Events

1) Enjoy Riverfest from June 4-6. And, if you are running the 5k, make sure to wave – I’ll be running with my daughter in a jogging stroller!

2) Listen to some live music at Bradley Fair’s Summer Concert Series. The concert on July 1st will have fireworks!!!!

3) Watch Little Rascals for free at the Capitol Federal Amphitheater on Saturday, July 24 at 7pm.

4) Grab a blanket and a picnic or some ice cream and enjoy the family-friendly concert series at Naftzger Park hosted by Wichita Public Library.

5) Watch Ballet Wichita present Carnival of Animals at local parks.

6) The Metropolitan Ballet will be giving performances of Alice in Wonderland for free at local parks.

7) Enjoy some Shakespeare (I am obsessed with the Bard!) by watching Richard III as performed by the Wichita Shakespeare Company in June for free.

8) Disney on Ice is coming to Wichita this summer for Mickey’s Search Party!

9) Enjoy Tanganyika’s Twilight Tour on June 12 for date night. Wine and beer samplings, hor deuvres, animal feedings and encounters, an Art Walk, and much more.

10) The Air Capital Bacon, Bourbon, and Brews Festival is returning for a 5th year on July 10!

11) Enjoy some fun family-friendly days hosted by Derby’s Recreation Commission, such as Water Battle and BBQ, Family Camp Out, and Ice Cream Day.

12) Follow your city’s Facebook pages for updates on Memorial Day and Independence Day events.

13) Make sure you follow our Instagram page for our Weekend Roundup series every Thursday, highlighting family-friendly events in Wichita and surrounding towns each weekend.

14) We also have a monthly series of Free Ways to Play, listing out all the free family-friendly events in Wichita and surrounding areas each month.

15) And don’t forget to check our our calendar page for a full to bursting with local events.

Reading Programs

1) Wichita Public Library Summer Reading Program: Books, prizes, concerts, crafts, chalk, STEAM kits, animals, and much, much more happening this summer at Wichita Public Library! Click here for more information. Enjoy virtual story times every Tuesday and Wednesday and virtual bilingual story time every other Thursday.

2) These following surrounding town libraries of Wichita are also hosting summer reading programs: Andover, Bradford Memorial Library (El Dorado), Derby, Goddard, Haysville, Mulvane, Newtown, Park City, and Rose Hill.

3) Barnes and Noble’s program is easy – complete the challenge, write your favorite part of the book, then choose a free book (from a pre-determined list). Half-Priced Books also has a reading program this summer.

4) Pizza Hut has a year long reading program, but during the summer turns it into “Camp Book It!”. Earn free pizza!

5) Do your kids like popcorn? Did you know that The PopCorner has created their own summer reading program? Stop buy and grab a reading log, fill it out, then get a free bag of gourmet buttered popcorn! Unlimited times!

6) Find a reading class or book club for your kids ages 3-18 on Outschool.com.

7) The Watermark Book Store is hosting a summer reading challenge. Get your bingo card (in-store or online), fill it out, then turn it in to participate in the drawing of one of three grand prizes.

8) Join the Read to Your Own Rex program – read 5 books to your pet and return your reading log to the Animal Hospital at Auburn Hills to win some prizes. 

9) Check out our series of seasonal and holiday-based reading list for all ages: board books, picture books, early chapter books, tween leveled books, YA books, even books for you!

10) Join The Wichita Moms Network Book Club for moms!

Outdoor Fun

1) Go berry picking at some of our local farms. Make sure you check their individual Facebook pages or call ahead for weather conditions and harvest quality.

2) On the second Monday of each month, join Applejack Pumpkin Patch for one of their creative classes involving gourd painting, paper craft, and culinary creations. It’s $30 per person and preteens are welcome.

3) Visit Elderslie Farm and purchase some freshly aged cheese, pick up a snack on Saturdays, or reserve your table at Elderslie Restaurant for a deliciously cook farm-to-table meal.

4) Take summer photos in 5 acres of canola fields at Klausmeyer Farm.

5) Visit Meadowlark Farm for a farm tour, try some of their freshly made hard apple cider, get summer photos taken, and listen to live music every Saturday from 5-7pm.

6) Visit Morning Grit Farm for horseback riding lessons, summer camps, mommy & me dates, and unicorn photo shoots.

7) Come to Walter’s Pumpkin Patch on June 26 for their American As Apple Pie 1st Annual Car Show and Wheat Festival. Or stop by during their annual Sunflower Festival from August 14-22.

8) Enjoy lively music and foot-tapping fun at our free children’s concert series this summer at Naftzger Park and Clapp Park, hosted by Wichita Public Library’s Summer Reading Program.

9) Chalk the Walk and complete a chalk-drawn obstacle course at the Rockwell Branch Library.

10) Check out the amazing #wallcrawl guides that Visit Wichita and 360 Wichita have – there are so many local art murals and colorful photo-ops. Make sure to have your camera ready!

11) Visit Sedgwick County Park and take a walk along the Nature Walk or the Art Walk. Go fishing at the little lakes, let the kids splash around, and play at one of the four playgrounds in the area. Take a picnic. Grab your sand toys and let your littles enjoy time in the sand volleyball courts – my four year old loves to do this.

12) Go geo-caching. It is so much fun – my dad has been geo-caching since the inception, back when you had to actually buy a handheld Garmin GPS and use printed out clues to find the cache.

13) Hike a trail as a family – this is one of our favorite things to do as a family after church on Sundays. We love Swanson Park, Chisholm Trail, and Pawnee Prairie Trail.

14) Visit OJ Watson Park and enjoy train rides, mini golf, pony rides, pedal boats, playgrounds, and more.

15) Visit Botanica and explore their Big Bugs exhibit through July. Or, take family photos. Or enjoy some of their yoga and wellness classes. Plus, every Thursday evening, they have $3 admission.

16) Spend the day at Great Plains Nature Center.

17) Time travel to prehistory at Field Station: Dinosaurs in Derby.

18) Watch some animals at some of our local zoos, like Tanganyika Wildlife Park, Sedgwick County Zoo, and the Kansas Wildlife Exhibit (in Riverside Park).

19) Pack your favorite picnic sandwiches and treats, grab your biggest quilt or blanket, and head to a local park for a nice picnic.

20) It’s always super windy (“If it weren’t for that darned wind,” said every Midwesterner), so take some kites to a local park or open field and have fun!

21) Rent out some bikes or scooters through the Bike Share ICT program – this also makes a great date night.

22) Attend a Wichita WindSurge baseball game.

23) Get your kids up early and drive out of Wichita about 30 minutes (with some coffee and donuts) and watch the sunrise. Or, pack them in pajamas, grab some ice cream, and watch the sun set.

24) Make sure that you and the kids watch one of the nightly lighting of the Keeper of the Plains statue at 9:00pm.

25) On Thursday evenings, enjoy some time at Exploration Place’s parking lot for their Food Truck Thursdays!

26) Visit Starlite Drive-In movie theater.

27) Enjoy yard games, live music, pickleball, and dinner at Chicken and Pickle. Plus, they have weekly trivia nights for adults.

28) Put on your roller blades and visit Carousel Skate Center, or a local outdoor skate park.

29) Whether you are on the East side or the West side, make sure you get a day pass for All-Star Sports.

30) Explore what Wichita was like back in cowboy times at Old Cowtown Museum. Sundays are free entry and every third Sunday, venders and live music will also be there.

31) Go camping in your backyard. If you have a little fire pit, make sure to make s’mores!

32) Go on a neighborhood walk or bike ride. If you have a pond in your neighborhood (we have quite a few and two are literally around the corner from our house), take some birdseed or crackers to feed the ducks, swans, geese, and other water fowl.

33) Make a chalk obstacle course – this was a favorite of ours last spring and summer when we dealt with COVID quarantine.

34) Head to the Beachner Grain Elevator Mural and take some photos.

35) Check out these big sporting events coming to Wichita this summer.

36) Until December 31st, kids get to play for free at any Golf Wichita Course!

37) Grab a bubble machine and some bubble wands and have fun in the sun with bubbles. Your littles will enjoy it!

38) Go on a scavenger hunt for different animals, plants, and sites (like trying to find the different colorful miniature Keeper of the Plains statues throughout Wichita.

39) Meet up with us for our weekly playground playdates throughout Wichita and surrounding towns. *Coming the first week of June*

40) Get out of your normal playground rut and explore different playgrounds around Wichita and surrounding towns. Check out playground reviews.

Ice Cream & Cool Treats

1) Stop by one of Wichita’s numerous coffee shops and get yourself a nice hot cup and your kids a sweet treat or pastry. Don’t forget Milkfloat has a lego wall and delicious homemade poptarts.

2) Don’t forget to stop by Andy’s this weekend for a sweet end-of-school year treat. We live across the street from the West side Andy’s and even in the middle of winter, my husband would sneak over after the kids were in bed to get both of us a concrete.

3) Make sure you try some ice cream from Braums, Coldstone, Freddy’s, Churn and Burn, Little Lion Cafe, or Papa’s General Store.

4) Or, you can get a snow cone from Candy Cones in Haysville.

5) Get some absolutely divine chocolate from one of Cocoa Dolce’s. Some of their truffles are only for adults – *wink wink*.

6) Hop up on some candy at Nifty Nut House, Rocket Fizz, Sweet ‘n Saucy, or The Farris Wheel.

7) Get some safe-to-eat cookie dough at The No Bake Cafe – their no-bake cookies are also absolutely delicious!

8) Stop by The Popcorner on either the East side or the West side for some delicious gourmet popcorn, chocolate-covered pretzels, rice-krispie treats, or fudge.

9) Make your own homemade treats. We bought an icecream maker and have loved making our own recipes.

10) Check out our recipe page and try this Pina Colada Chia Seed Pop recipe, this easy chocolate chunk banana bread recipe or this gluten-free paleo-friendly banana muffin recipe.

 

Indoor Play

1) Enjoy kitchen-based STEAM activities hosted by the Wichita Public Library.

2) Let your teens have some social time online every Wednesday for discussions on a variety of topics, as well as some crafting time over Zoom hosted by the Wichita Public Library.

3) On a rainy day – we will have a lot this summer – enjoy this DIY Rainbow Art craft.

4) Spend a day at the mall, either at East Towne Square or West Towne Square. If you go east, bring $20-50 extra bucks to spend at Round 1. We love playing at this arcade and bowling alley.

5) Visit an arcade like the retro game place The Arcade.

6) If you have older kids and teens, try one of Wichita’s local escape rooms.

7) Midwesterners certainly love their bowling. Make sure you go to a local bowling alley. And make sure you register at Kids Bowl Free for 2 free games of bowling each day this summer at these participating bowling alleys: Derby Bowl, Grizzly Bowl (El Dorado), The Alley (Hutchinson), Seneca Bowl, The Alley Indoor, Entertainment, and West Acres Bowl.

8) Go rock climbing at Bliss Climbing Fitness.

9) If you have toddlers or preschoolers, make sure you check out The Barnyard Indoor Playground in West Wichita.

10) Get some air at a trampoline park like Urban Air or Wichita Sports Forum.

11) Movie theatres are open again! Hallelujah! If you aren’t using your Premier Access on Disney +. take a trip to a local theatre again – and don’t skimp out on the popcorn.

12) Visit High Rollers Fun Zone to go roller skating indoors!

13) Try a new recipe for dinner – check out our recipe page.

14) Let your kids help in the kitchen and make personal pizzas, or cookies, or some other fun family-friendly recipe.

15) Either pull out the Play-doh or make your own.

16) Gather together all your Amazon delivery boxes and let your kids go wild. In the past month, we’ve had a playhouse, doll houses, and even a knights castle.

17) Just have a day of screens – Youtube, Netflix, videogames, the iPad. Whatever. It’s summer. Relax.

18) Have a sibling sleepover. My kids are 6 and 4 – and have their own bedrooms. They love having a sleepover either in each others’ rooms, or downstairs.

19) Make a blanket fort.

20) Buy a few new boardgames that you loved as a child and introduce them to your kids. With my young kids, we love playing Sorry, Pretty Pretty Princess, Candyland, and Guess Who.

21) Discover space at the Cosmosphere in Hutchinson.

22) Get out the art supplies and have a painting day and craft day. I’m not really a Pinterest-mom. So, I just pull out whatever I have and let my kids’ imaginations go wild.

23) Enjoy $2 Summer movies at Derby Plaza Theater every Wednesday at 10:30.

24) Every Tuesday, enjoy discounted tickets at $6.50 at AMC Theaters.

25) Find a service opportunity with your teens on JustServe.org.

26) Visit the Wichita Art Museum for free on Saturdays.

27) Head down to Derby for some arts and crafts, as well as cooking classes through the Derby Recreation Commission.

28) Visit the Kansas Aviation Museum on Friday mornings from 10-12 and get in for free.

29) Explore the Museum of World Treasures.

30) Visit Exploration Place – we literally spend hours there every single time we go.

31) It’s never too late to start a chore chart.

32) Discover some family history using ancestry.com.

33) View some old and vintage toys at the Wichita Toy Train Museum.

34) Enjoy the history of Pizza Hut at the The Original Pizza Hut Museum.

35) Go to Cabela’s and walk around. We love watching the fish and spying all the (stuffed) animals.

Outdoor Shopping & Eating

1) Make sure you enjoy the nice, sunny weather by eating out at one of our amazing local restaurants with patio seating. My personal favorites are Meddy’s, HomeGrown Wichita, and Chicken N Pickle.

2) Enjoy the Applejack Pumpkin Patch Outdoor Market on August 28 with fun activities for kids, food, and live entertainment.

3) Support local businesses downtown on the Second Saturday of every month. If you purchase a re-useable 2nd Saturday shopping bag or keycard for $5, you can receive discounts at participating merchants and stores.

4) Check out some of our local Farmer’s Markets in Goddard, Haysville, Harvey County, and Kechi, as well as numerous locations throughout Wichita. Make sure you read our Summer Farmer’s Market Guide for more information on all these.

5) Explore Bradley Fair and enjoy their yoga series, summer concert series, shop-to-table sidewalk sales, and more fun family-friendly summer events.

Day Trips and Vacations

1) I know this really isn’t a “day trip” or a “vacation”, but sometimes, when you have your kids 24/7, dates can seem like a vacation. And, there are plenty of ways to have date night for under $50 here in Wichita!

2) If you decide to have a stay-cation here in Wichita all summer (like us this year), then make sure you plan a weekend to be a tourist in your own city.

3) Book a local hotel for a night or two and talk to the concierge for their recommendations (pretend you aren’t from Wichita).

4) Go on a drive – put down your GPS and your phone, and just drive. Let your kids choose which directions to go and avoid the interstate!

5) Go camping at a Kansas State Park. We will be camping at Cheney Lake this summer.

6) If you don’t have the time off to go camping, you can also visit some of Kansas’s State Parks for a day trip. We will be taking a daytrip up to Salina and stopping by at Mushroom Rock State Park early in June.

7) Siege the castle at Coronado Heights. Your kids will have the time of their life playing at this mini-castle only 90 minutes away. Go one step further and dress up in princess and knight costumes and bring play swords.

8) Visit one of Kansas’s numerous ghost towns. We really got into ghost town sight-seeing last summer during the height of COVID-19 restrictions and social distancing.

9) Stay in Wichita and visit one of our over 20 museums. Many of them have family-friendly events throughout the summer.

10) Go to Hutchinson to explore Stratica, the underground salt mine museum.

Know of another fun summer event or activity in the Greater Wichita Area we should add?

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