Is there a more exciting pre-Christmas tradition than getting the Christmas tree up? Turning on the lights for the first time still gives me goosebumps and puts me in the best spirit ever.
If you’re like me and want to experience that over and over, then you’ll enjoy this list of Christmas Tree Lighting events and ceremonies taking place in the Wichita area.
Christmas Tree Lighting Events
Events listed in chronological order:
November, 16 | 5:30pm to 7:30pm
Where: 702 E. Douglas Ave.
2nd Annual holiday lighting event at the historic Union Station in downtown Wichita! Join us for this FREE, family-friendly event hosted by Occidental Management to benefit the Wichita Children’s Home.
Festivities will include:
* Toy drive (Please bring a new, unwrapped toy; drop boxes will be on site)
* Lighting of the Douglas bridge train
* Photos with Santa
* Carriage rides
* Interactive kids’ station
* Hot cocoa and cookies
* Live holiday music and performances
November, 16 | 6pm to 8pm
Where: 512 E. Madison Ave., Derby
This kickoff to the holiday season will have the Mayor lighting the tree as well as the following:
- Hot cocoa with toppings provided by Lange Real Estate
- Free cookies provided by PEC
- Free kettle corn by Blacksheep
- Food trucks: Shawarma UR’s Mediterranean Fusion Food, ENJ’s Eatery, Face Stuffers, Busy B’s Food Truck
- Holiday music as you walk around the park and enjoy the lights.
- Photos with Santa in the Pavilion
- Kid’s crafts in the Venue with entertainment by the Derby High School jazz ensemble playing Christmas tunes. They will be accepting donations.
- New this year: Military Christmas Card signing table. Guests will have an opportunity to sign a greeting card and provide well wishes for our troops at a table in the Venue lobby.
- Derby Operation Holiday will be accepting non-perishable food items and new toys in The Venue for families who live in the Derby Public School District.
November, 17 | 6pm to 9pm
Where: 701 Amidon St.
Be the first to experience the magic of Illuminations at Botanica’s First Annual Tree Lighting!
Each guest will receive 4 activity tickets that can be redeemed for carousel rides, popcorn, hot cocoa, decorated cookies, a printed picture with Santa and more! This magical event will also feature special holiday entertainment (more details to come later).
There are a limited number of tickets for the special evening in order to provide an enjoyable and less-crowded experience. The “one-way walking path” will be suspended for this night only, so guests can enjoy a leisurely stroll through the garden in any direction. Tickets must be purchased online in advance, so get them before they’re gone!
November 18 | 5pm to 7pm
Where: 2000 N. Rock Road
Join us for our annual Tree Lighting Ceremony in partnership with Ronald McDonald House Charities on Saturday, November 18.
We’ll be hosting festive events all evening as we lead up to the lighting of the famous Bradley Fair Tree at 6 PM. Meet us on the Plaza from 5 – 7 PM for Tree Lighting festivities including:
– Take a ride on the Bradley Fair Express – an electric train that will take your entire family on a journey through Bradley Fair from 4- 8 PM. $3/person ages 5+. Children under 5 ride free. A percentage of ticket proceeds benefit the Ronald McDonald House Charities. Tickets can also be purchased on-site the day-of, but note no cash will be accepted. Digital card payment only.
– Photos with Santa
– Meet and greet with The Grinch
– Live entertainment on the Plaza by the Studio Singers starting at 5 PM
– The tree will be lit at 6 PM
– Food and beverage samples from Trader Joe’s
– Grab a tasty treat from Bakesale Treat Parlor
– Hot cocoa from Newport Grill
– Pet a goat, try some goat cocoa, and enter to win a specialty cheese collection from Everyday by Elderslie
– Glow stick fun
November 19 | 6pm
Where: 2100 W. University Ave.
Join us on Nov. 19, 2023 at 6 p.m. as Friends University illuminates the historic Davis clock tower! This time-honored tradition, now in its 25th year, on the Friends University campus at Rose Window Plaza is a symbol of the start of the holiday season for the campus and the Wichita community. Enjoy an evening of carols and festive music from the Friends University Singing Quakers and the Friends University Band, Christmas trees, cookies and cocoa, and much more as we celebrate the Ceremony of Lights. Santa will also be making a special appearance and available for photos!
November 19 | 6pm
Where: 313 S. Market
Join us as we celebrate in honor of loved one who has received care from Harry Hynes Memorial Hospice.
December 3 | 4pm
Where: 311 W. Academy, Maize
Special Edition Christmas Market Opens: 4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Christmas Tree Lighting at 5:45 p.m.
Selfies with Santa & The Grouch 6:00 -7:00 p.m
December 9 | 5pm to 7 pm
Where: 601 E. Douglas Ave.
Experience the magic of the holiday season at Naftzger Park on Saturday, December 9 from 5-7pm. Get ready for a festive celebration like no other! Winter Wonderland is a free event brought to you by Wichita Park & Recreation, designed to bring holiday cheer to the entire community.
Roast s’mores by our cozy fire pits, visit Santa and Mrs. Claus, and be on the lookout for that mischievous Grinch who might be up to some tricks! Sip on hot cocoa as you listen to timeless holiday melodies, capturing the essence of this joyous season.
Create lasting memories at our festive photo booth. Strike a pose with your loved ones or let our team capture your picture-perfect moment against a backdrop of holiday cheer.
Don’t forget to write and send a letter to the North Pole! Share your wishes and dreams with Santa, who eagerly awaits your messages.
No Winter Wonderland experience is complete without indulging in delicious candy canes, and cookies. Let their sugary sweetness add an extra touch of delight to your festive adventure!
Mayor Whipple will flip the switch to light the Mayor’s Tree at 5pm sharp. We can’t wait to see you there!
December 14 | 5:30pm to 8pm
Where: 1607 E. Central Ave., Andover
On Thursday, December 14, 2023, bring the whole family out to enjoy the festivities as Central Park is transformed into a winter wonderland with luminaries lining the sidewalks, illuminated trees, and activities for everyone.
The evening begins at 5:30 p.m. with the arrival of Santa Claus and tree lighting. Afterward, you can choose from a variety of activities in the Andover Public Library, City Hall and outside including crafts for kids, photos with Santa, live music, hot beverages and more.
If you are looking for something to do outdoors, you can make S’mores around a fire pit with Andover first responders, and everyone can enjoy a horse-drawn wagon ride around Central Park.
While you are at the park, you must also take a minute to enjoy the amazing light show coordinated to music at the Capitol Federal Amphitheater® and other areas of the park.
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For a complete schedule of what’s going on around Wichita, visit our Event Calendar