Events

Unless otherwise indicated by the icons below, events listed on this page are free and open to the public.

Admission fees apply
Registration is required
Event open only to persons with access to McConnell Air Force Base
Event not open to the public

Please note: programs, dates, times and locations are subject to change.

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Pollinator Party
Join The Great Plains Nature Center for a fun filled day featuring pollinators, including our state insect the honey bee, and enjoy fun pollinator crafts and activities.
Saturday, September 14, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., The Great Plains Nature Center, 6232 E. 29th St. N.
Little Nature Lovers – Leaves
Explore the world of nature through crafts, games and children's literature. Sensory experiences will develop understanding and enrich your child's appreciation of the great outdoors. Meet animals, read stories, create something special – maybe even go on a walk! Each week is a new adventure in learning. For ages 3-5 with a caregiver.
Thursday, September 19, 9:30 a.m.-10:30 a.m., The Great Plains Nature Center, 6232 E. 29th St. N.
Secret Garden Writing Challenge
Sixth-12th grade writers will journey through the Secret Garden to write an original short story. Various plant-inspired challenges will push the writer's story forward to a grand conclusion. Writers who complete the challenge will be entered to win a flower garden kit and have the option to post their stories on the library website or blog.
Monday, September 30 - Friday, November 1, Derby Public Library, 1600 E. Walnut Grove
The Forbidden Forest Read-A-Thon
Courageous teens and adults are invited to journey through the Forbidden Forest in this month-long read-a-thon. Participants can pick up their reading log at the front desk or youth services desk and will have the month of October to complete 12 reading challenges. Readers who make it out of the Forbidden Forest will be entered to win one of two $50 Barnes and Noble gift cards.
October 1-31, Derby Public Library, 1600 E. Walnut Grove
Storytime with Sue
Join bookseller Sue for a storytime geared toward infants through preschool age children as they read and discuss Tap the Magic Tree by Christie Matheson.
Tuesday, October 1, 10:30-11 a.m., Watermark Books & Café, 4701 E. Douglas
Labs Gone Wrong - Frankenstein (Not Rated)
Join us as we have some fun exploring labs gone wrong in the movies. Snacks are provided.
Tuesday, October 1, Noon-2 p.m., Derby Public Library, 1600 E. Walnut Grove
Critter Tales – Tap the Magic Tree
Join us inside the Great Plains Nature Center's Koch Habitat Hall for story time. Mostly for little ones (0-6 years old), but everyone is welcome. Lasts about half an hour.
Wednesday, October 2, 11-11:30 a.m., The Great Plains Nature Center, 6232 E. 29th St. N.
Kanza Kids
Youth will discuss the Big Read companion books and trees in the local area. We will use one of the discovery boxes from Great Plains Natures Center to identify different trees and then make zipper pulls from tree cookies.
Wednesday, October 2, 4:30-5:30 p.m., McConnell AFB Youth Center
Craftaholics, Anonymous
Discuss the life and science of Hope Jahren and while making mason jar terrariums.
Friday, October 4, 6-8 p.m., McConnell AFB Library, 53476 Wichita St. Bldg. 412
Farm Bureau
Learn about strawberries and how they grow.
Saturday, October 5, 10:30-11:30 a.m., Clearwater Public Library, 109 E. Ross
Film: Madame Curie (Not Rated)
Madame Curie is a film about the struggle of a talented woman, Marie Curie, to be accepted by the scientific community as she and her husband Pierre painstakingly research and experiment with radium.
Saturday, October 5, 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Advanced Learning Library, 711 W. 2nd
Storytime with Miss Becky
Join Miss Becky for a storytime geared toward children ages 4-8 as she reads and discusses Tap the Magic Tree by Christie Matheson and Seeds of Change by Jen Johnson. Fun activity included!
Saturday, October 5, 10:30-11 a.m., Watermark Books & Café, 4701 E. Douglas
Film: Hidden Figures (Rated PG)
Hidden Figures is the true, inspiring story of three African-American women mathematicians serving as the brains behind the NASA launch of John Glenn into space.
Saturday, October 5, 1-3 p.m., Advanced Learning Library, 711 W. 2nd
Finding Your Story
Everyday occurrences are the basis for memoir and journal writing in this workshop presented by Aspen Black and Kerry Grombacher — experienced authors, editors, songwriters, and storytellers. Find inspiration in the sights, sounds, objects, people, and places you experience. Aspen and Kerry will give you tools to help you focus your attention on your surroundings and your history. They'll help you find ways to express your thoughts and feelings through a combination of discussions and hands-on writing exercises. Registration is required beginning August 1.
Saturday, October 5, 1-3 p.m., Advanced Learning Library, 711 W. 2nd
Conserving the Partula Snail: A Journey to Tahiti
Join us for our Big Read Community Spotlight Talk, featuring Sedgwick County Ectotherm Zookeeper Jodi Hearlson, for an evening learning about the conservation efforts of the Sedgwick County Zoo and the zookeepers who make it possible.
Monday, October 7, 6-7 p.m., Edmund Stanley Library at Friends University Library, 2100 W. University Ave.
Come Be Afraid: Ghostbusters (Rated PG-13)
Halloween movies and trivia (part of the Brown Bag Movie Series). Tonight's fright? Ghostbusters (2016) is the story of four women and their assistant who begin a ghost-catching business in New York City.
Monday, October 7, 6:30 p.m., Newton Public Library, 720 N. Oak
Preschool Story Time
Preschoolers will read the companion books to the Big Read and talk about plant science. Then, we will "draw" a plant using vegetables and other foods and then plant seeds to take home.
Tuesday, October 8, 10-11 a.m., McConnell AFB Library, 53476 Wichita St. Bldg. 412
Big Read DIY Fairy Lights
Come make fairy lights for your garden in this Teen Tuesday activity for teens in grades 6-12.
Tuesday, October 8, 4-5 p.m., Derby Public Library, 1600 E. Walnut Grove
Labs Gone Wrong - Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (Not Rated)
Join us as we have some fun exploring labs gone wrong in the movies. Snacks are provided.
Tuesday, October 8, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Derby Public Library, 1600 E. Walnut Grove
Senior Wednesday: Scandinavian Music
In honor of the NEA Big Read: Wichita author's Norwegian heritage, we will be celebrating the music, dance, and culture of the Norwegian people. Join us for a tribute to the Land of the Midnight Sun.
Wednesday, October 9, 2-3 p.m., Advanced Learning Library, 711 W. 2nd
Little Nature Lovers – Acorns & Oaks
Explore the world of nature through crafts, games and children's literature. Sensory experiences will develop understanding and enrich your child's appreciation of the great outdoors. Meet animals, read stories, create something special – maybe even go on a walk! Each week is a new adventure in learning. For ages 3-5 with a caregiver.
Thursday, October 10, 9:30-10:30 a.m., The Great Plains Nature Center, 6232 E. 29th St. N.
Garden Story Time: Big Read Edition

Children of all ages will enjoy listening to a reading of the Big Read companion title Tap the Magic Tree by Christie Matheson, along with other stories and activities at Botanica’s Garden Story Time in the Children’s Library. After storytime, families are welcome to take a stroll through the gardens and play in the Downing Children’s Garden.

Botanica's general admission fees apply: $6 for youth ages 3-12, $9 for ages 13-61, and $8 for seniors age 62+ and military.

Thursday, October 10, 10:30-11 a.m., Botanica, 701 Amidon St.
Tap the Magic Tree
Did you know talking about trees improves early literacy? Really — find out how, at this special storytime using crafts and activities based on Tap the Magic Tree, a companion book to the adult Big Read, Lab Girl.
Thursday, October 10, 10:30-11 a.m., Evergreen Branch Library, 2601 N. Arkansas
Care for the Creation
Natural resources are not only vitally important to the economy of Kansas, they have contributed mightily to the quality of life for generations of Kansans. As these resources face unprecedented challenges, people of faith are leading efforts to advocate for what they call “creation care.” These faith communities are looking for common ground to respond to what they agree is a threat to the world that they believe God entrusted to them as stewards. This program will tell a diverse range of stories, geographically and religiously, about creation care in Kansas. Presented by Aaron Barnhart; Co-sponsored by Humanities Kansas.
Friday, October 11, 6-7 p.m., Clearwater Public Library, 109 E. Ross
Reign on the Garden Throne Murder Mystery
In the flower-inspired fantastical world of Natura, the Emperor on the Garden Throne reigns supreme while the kings and queens of the seven courts manage their realms. When the King of the Willow Court is assassinated, the land rages towards civil war. Who committed this act of betrayal and what secrets will bloom? Inspired by the worlds of George RR Martin, Terry Brooks, and Sarah J. Maas, this murder mystery will delight both fantasy and mystery fans!
Friday, October 11, 7-8:30 p.m., Derby Public Library, 1600 E. Walnut Grove
Nature Journal Club
Nature journaling isn't about making pretty art. It's about sitting down with nature, looking closely, and deepening your curiosity about the world around us. You don't have to be a naturalist or an artist, but you might become both. Each Nature Journal Club meetup will include group exercises and lessons led by a Great Plains Nature Center Naturalist, followed by on-your-own free journaling time. Bring your own sketchbook and drawing instruments. For more information, contact Rachel Roth (rachel@gpnc.org) or join our Nature Journal Club Facebook Group. For ages 14+, but anyone with a sincere interest in nature journaling is welcome to attend.
Saturday, October 12, 9-11 a.m., The Great Plains Nature Center, 6232 E. 29th St. N.
Science Fest
Engage in hands-on science activities and learn more about biology, horticulture, engineering, animal science, food science, technology and other STEM-related fields. This event for youth age 9+ and families is sponsored by K-State Research and Extension — Sedgwick County and Kansas State University. Learn more at k-state.edu/sciencefest.
Saturday, October 12, 1-5 p.m., Advanced Learning Library, 711 W. 2nd
Family Night Story Time – Dirt
Join us as we explore dirt in a before-bedtime sharing of books and music followed by a family activity. Family Night is an evening story time designed for children age 3-7, but all ages are welcome.
Monday, October 14, 7-7:45 p.m., Derby Public Library, 1600 E. Walnut Grove
Labs Gone Wrong - The Fly (Rated R)
Join us as we have some fun exploring labs gone wrong in the movies. Snacks are provided.
Tuesday, October 15, Noon-2 p.m., Derby Public Library, 1600 E. Walnut Grove
Nature Journaling with Project-Based Learning
Naturalists from The Great Plains Nature Center will guide students through the journaling process while exploring Oak Park. After the field trip students will revise and publish their work. Not a public event.
Wednesday, October 16, 8 a.m.-3:10 p.m., Marshall Middle School & Oak Park
Mason Jar Fairy Lights
Join us as we create fairy lights for our gardens as part of the 2019 Big Read. This event is part of the Tween Zone program for kids in grades 3-5.
Wednesday, October 16, 4-5 p.m., Derby Public Library, 1600 E. Walnut Grove
Refuel 22
Youth will discuss the Big Read companion books and trees in the local area. We will use one of the discovery boxes from Great Plains Natures Center to identify different trees working with or base biologist.
Wednesday, October 16, 4:30-5:30 p.m., McConnell AFB Youth Center
Harold and his Honey Bees
Children are invited to join us for this Big Read themed preschool storytime.
Thursday, October 17, 10:30-11:30 a.m., Clearwater Public Library, 109 E. Ross
Harold and his Honey Bees
Children are invited to join us for this Big Read themed preschool storytime.
Thursday, October 17, 1:30-2:30 p.m., Clearwater Public Library, 109 E. Ross
Third Thursday Book Discussion
This book club discussion of Lab Girl will feature special guest Katie Schmidt, Grounds Manager and Horticulturist from Dyck Arboretum of the Plains.
Thursday, October 17, 7-8 p.m., Newton Public Library, 720 N. Oak
Leaf Art
Delight in the beauty of nature and get creative by making art with plants. Learn about different types of blossoms and leaves.
Friday, October 18, 10:30-11:30 a.m., Alford Branch Library, 3447 S. Meridian
Big Read Book Club
Kids ages 9-12 are invited to chat and share about the Big Read companion title The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate. Explore the themes of the Big Read with the story of Calpurnia, a young girl living in Texas in 1899 with six brothers, a grandfather who gives her the gift of observing nature, and a mother who's determined to get Callie out of the mud and into a corset. Callie's misadventures in growing up will engage readers and inspire them to keep a close eye on what's growing in their own backyards! Books will be available for pickup at the Children's Pavilion desk starting September 15.
Monday, October 21, 2:30-4 p.m., Advanced Learning Library, 711 W. 2nd
Big Read Book Discussion
Join us at the Warren Riverview Park to discuss this year's Big Read Book, Lab Girl by Hope Jahren.
Monday, October 21, 7-8 p.m., The Lodge at Warren Riverview Park
Big Read Trees Story Time
A 40-minute early literacy program for children age 3-5. Join us as we explore trees through books, songs, and educational videos.
Tuesday, October 22, 10-10:45 a.m., Derby Public Library, 1600 E. Walnut Grove
Tuesday Topics: GMOs
What does it mean to be genetically modified vs. the traditional hybrid methods? What are the advantages and disadvantages of GMO and non-GMO methods? How does it affect our food? What are the effects on the environment? Join us as we hear from Dr. Harold Trick, Professor of Plant Pathology at Kansas State University and Gail Fuller, a farmer who changed from using GMO methods to non-GMO methods. Doors open at 11:30 a.m. Bring a lunch or purchase one at Reverie Roasters at the Library. Co-sponsored by the League of Women Voters Wichita-Metro.
Tuesday, October 22, Noon-1 p.m., Advanced Learning Library, 711 W. 2nd
Living Successfully with Bipolar and Other Mental Illness
Join us for a discussion about the challenge mental illness sets for those affected, how to manage it successfully and how family and friends can support those who face these issues. Co-sponsored by COMCARE.
Tuesday, October 22, 6:30-7:30 p.m., Alford Branch Library, 3447 S. Meridian
Labs Gone Wrong - Jurassic World (Rated PG-13)
Join us as we have some fun exploring labs gone wrong in the movies. Snacks are provided.
Tuesday, October 22, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Derby Public Library, 1600 E. Walnut Grove
Big Read Trees Story Time
A 40-minute early literacy program for children age 3-5. Join us as we explore trees through books, songs, and educational videos.
Wednesday, October 23, 10-10:45 a.m., Derby Public Library, 1600 E. Walnut Grove
Literary Feast
KMUW's Literary Feast is a book club for public radio listeners. Participants take part in a group discussion of books selected by KMUW's Lu Anne Stephens, Beth Golay, and Sarah Jane Crespo. The discussion is led by Lu Anne, Beth, and Sarah Jane.
Wednesday, October 23, 6-7:30 p.m., KMUW, 121 N. Mead, Suite 200
Harvest Time at the Farm
This program is part of Adventures @ the Library, a literacy based program for children in grades K-2.
Thursday, October 24, 4-5 p.m., Derby Public Library, 1600 E. Walnut Grove
Scientists in Action
Adults can attend the opening ceremonies for the Expanding Your Horizons STEM workshop and take a behind-the-scenes tour of research labs at facilities at Wichita State University. See scientists in action, ask questions and try out some of the tools of the trade. Registration required, coming soon.
Saturday, October 26, 8:30 a.m. - 3 p.m., Wichita State University
Expanding Your Horizons STEM Conference for Middle School Girls
Expanding Your Horizons (EYH) is a one-day event primarily for girls in middle school. The 7th annual event will include hands-on activities in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Attendees will get a chance to meet STEM role models and learn more about careers in those fields. The ultimate goal is to motivate girls to consider STEM careers. Find out more about the national Expanding Your Horizons at www.expandingyourhorizons.org. Registration required, coming soon.
Saturday, October 26, 8:30 a.m. - 3 p.m., Wichita State University
Family ArtVenture: The Little Read
WAM celebrates literacy and the arts with special artmaking, games, and activities. Families are invited to attend this ArtVenture that brings the joy of reading and the arts together. Complimentary copies of Big Read youth companion book, You Wouldn't Want to Live Without Trees, will be given to families completing all ArtVenture activities (while very limited supplies last; one book per family).
Saturday, October 26, 11 a.m.-3 p.m., Wichita Art Museum, 1400 W. Museum Blvd.
STEM Club
Youth will discuss the Big Read companion books and trees in the local area. We will use one of the discovery boxes from Great Plains Natures Center to identify different trees. The Library will collect seed pods and plants to explore.
Monday, October 28, 4:30-5:30 p.m., McConnell AFB Youth Center
Labs Gone Wrong - The Absent-Minded Professor (Rated G)
Join us as we have some fun exploring labs gone wrong in the movies. Snacks are provided.
Tuesday, October 29, Noon-2 p.m., Derby Public Library, 1600 E. Walnut Grove
Brown Bag Book Discussion
Bring a lunch and join us for a brown bag discussion of Lab Girl.
Wednesday, October 30, Noon-1:30 p.m., Andover Public Library, 1511 E. Central
In Our Own Voice
There are misconceptions and stigma associated with mental illness. Hear firsthand what it is like to live with a mental illness.
Saturday, November 2, 2-3 p.m., Clearwater Public Library, 109 E. Ross
Last Wild Places of Kansas
Look out, Wichita, award-winning author George Frazier will bring The Last Wild Places of Kansas to Wichita. He'll show us tenacious stretches of never-plowed prairie, ancient forests where flying squirrels glide through the darkness, and other natural jewels that have managed to cheat death and incubate the DNA of lost, wild America. The book is a winner of the Midwest Book Award and a Kansas Notable Book award.
Saturday, November 2, 2:30-3:30 p.m., Westlink Branch Library, 8515 W. Bekemeyer
Women of STEM: A Panel Discussion

Information coming soon.

The lecture is free; bring a copy of Lab Girl and receive a $2 discount on admission to the museum for up to 4 people.

Sunday, November 3, 2:30-4 p.m., Exploration Place, 300 N. McLean Blvd.
Tap the Magic Tree Preschool Storytime
After reading Tap the Magic Tree, preschoolers can exercise their imaginations and get ready for reading with fun rhymes, songs, puppets, movement activities and stories. The 25 minute program is followed by a craft time that coordinates with the tree theme.
Wednesday, November 6, 10:30-11:20 a.m., Andover Public Library, 1511 E. Central
Tap the Magic Tree Preschool Storytime
After reading Tap the Magic Tree, preschoolers can exercise their imaginations and get ready for reading with fun rhymes, songs, puppets, movement activities and stories. The 25 minute program is followed by a craft time that coordinates with the tree theme.
Thursday, November 7, 1:30-2:20 p.m., Andover Public Library, 1511 E. Central
The Nature Workshop
Exploring objects from nature and writing about them lights up our imaginations and makes us feel more alert, alive and connected. Join us for this hands-on writing workshop led by Roy Wenzl. Plan to do some reading, writing, and discussing at this 2-hour interactive session. For adults and teens ages 14 and older. Registration is required beginning October 1.
Saturday, November 9, 2-4 p.m., Park Villa Shelter (1029 N. Bitting) in Riverside Park
Big Read Book Discussion
Join us at the Warren Riverview Park to discuss this year's Big Read Book, Lab Girl by Hope Jahren.
Saturday, November 9, 3-4 p.m., The Lodge at Warren Riverview Park
Nancy and Jerry Jaax: Scientists from the Hot Zone
Jerry and Nancy Jaax, both graduates of the Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine, will visit with students at North High on Thursday, Nov. 13. Their scientific efforts helped prevent an Ebola outbreak in 1989 and was the recent topic of a National Geographic series titled The Hot Zone. Not a public event.
Wednesday, November 13, 9:30 a.m., North High School
The Hot Zone

Meet Dr. Nancy Jaax and Dr. Jerry Jaax, two Kansas State University veterinarians whose response to an Ebola-related outbreak in 1989 inspired the recently released National Geographic series, The Hot Zone. The limited series is based on the 1994 bestseller by Richard Preston.

Dr. Nancy Jaax and Dr. Jerry Jaax are from Kansas. Both graduated with veterinary medicine degrees from K-State and served in medical defense with the U.S. Army, during which time they became involved in the events depicted in The Hot Zone.

Wednesday, November 13, 1:30-2:30 p.m., Advanced Learning Library, 711 W. 2nd
Lab Humans: A Study of Nature and Human Nature
What is humanity if not one great big lab experiment? Join more than 60 English and Science students as they engage you with their interactive research projects examining the connections Jarhen makes between nature and humanity. Part philosophy, part science, part humanity, part community. Completely intriguing. Refreshments served.
Thursday, November 14, 6:30-8 p.m., Andover Central High School, 603 E. Central
The Afterlife of Trees
Wichita Symphony musicians will present introductions to themselves and their wooden stringed instruments, followed by short unaccompanied performances.
Saturday, November 16, 1-2 p.m., Advanced Learning Library, 711 W. 2nd
Tea Basics
Join us in learning the basics of tea featuring 2019 Big Read Community Spotlight Talk guest Marisa Smith of Golden Monarch Tea.
Wednesday, November 20, 2-3 p.m., Edmund Stanley Library at Friends University Library, 2100 W. University Ave.
Geeky Terrariums: A Big Read Event
Create a terrarium with artificial succulents, but give it a geeky twist: 3D printed figures from your fav pop culture fandoms! Materials will be provided. Ages 12-17; registration is required beginning November 8.
Friday, November 22, 4:30-5:30 p.m., Advanced Learning Library, 711 W. 2nd
Garden Craft
Join us as we create garden crafts for the Library garden.
Saturday, November 23, 10-11 a.m., Clearwater Public Library, 109 E. Ross
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