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Virtual Happenings: The Next Best Thing To Being There

Jordan Kirtley

This page was last updated on May 27, 2020 at 10:26 a.m.

You can rely on KMUW and NPR for news and information around the clock, but when you're ready for a break—and I suggest you take them—here are some options that let you connect with others, and our Wichita community, without having to leave the house.

For a list of virtual events hosted by KMUW, please click here.

Local Events & Activities

Andover Public Library: Live on Facebook
10:30 a.m. every Tuesday

Join Ms. Jennifer live on the Andover Public Library Facebookpage every Tuesday morning for story time and more.

The Art Park: Artists On The Go Activity Packs

Kate Pepper, artist and co-owner of The Art Park, designed a series of fun activities and projects for creative children ages 2-10. Each pack contains directions and photos to complete four projects, with all materials and embellishments, and a simple step-by-step drawing activity, coloring pages and/or worksheets. There are several different activity packets to choose from. Each pack costs $40. Shipping is an additional $10, or you can do curb side pick-up. Learn more.

The Art Park: Draw With Us

Subscribe to The Art Park's online guided drawing lessons to receive a new lesson each day. The $50/month subscription fee includes access to lessons geared toward 4-10 year olds, plus lessons for tweens-adults. Learn more.

Botanica: Virtual Tours, Story Time & Gardening Tips

Botanica is closed, but you can still see the flowers bloom. There are virtual garden tours and a live stream from the Margie Button Memorial Fountain and Garden at botanica.org, and even more videos, including story times and gardening tips, on Botanica's YouTube channel and Facebook page.

Here's gardener Molly with tips on designing a container garden:

Derby Arts Council: Community Positivity Art Project
May 4 - May 31

Individuals, businesses, churches and organizations in Derby are invited to participate by creating a work of art with chalk on your driveway or sidewalk. Learn more.

Derby Public Library: Family Fun Challenges
Weekly, May 26 - July 18

The Derby Public Library is encouraging families to take part in Family Fun Challenges every week beginning May 26. Take a picture with your family based on themes created by DPL and post your photo to be entered into a weekly drawing for a Family Fun Party Pack. Learn more.

Derby Public Library: Preschool Storytime
10:00 a.m. every Tuesday and Wednesday in May

The Derby Public Library is offering storytime from the comfort of your home. Tune in to Facebook for a live storytime with Miss Trisha. Learn more.

Exploration Place: Stay At Home STEM

During their temporary closure, Exploration Place presents daily digital programs on their Facebook page and YouTube channel. Check out the science demos and lessons, hands-on activities, live science shows, quizzes and STEM challenges. Learn more.

Finishing School for Modern Women: Online Classes
Various dates and times in May

All classes offered by the Finishing School for Modern Women will be online until they can be held in person again. Classes are two and a half hours long, include a PDF workbook, and cost $35 each. Upcoming class topics include "Now What?: Working Through the Pandemic" and "Everyday Intuition."  Learn more.

Funky Fresh Farmers Market

WAVE has partnered with local farmers and producers to create an online farmers market. Orders are placed online at waveict.com/funkyfreshmarket. Choose doorstep delivery if within a 15-mile radius of downtown Wichita, or parking lot pickup at Wave (beer is available for parking lot pick up only. Must be 21+ with valid ID). Learn more.  

Ganesh Yoga Studio: Interactive Zoom Classes 

Ganesh Yoga Studio is offering Ashtanga and Vinyasa yoga content via video and livestream. Drop in to a single class for $10 or subscribe on Patreon for monthly unlimited access to live-streamed classes. Learn more.

Great Plains Nature Center: Distance Learning

The Great Plains Nature Center has several fun and educational videos on their Facebook page, including nature journaling with a special opossum guest and a planting native and xeriscaping presentation. There's also an aquarium fish feeding live at 3 p.m. every other Tuesday. Learn more.

Here's a fun classroom tour:

Harvey County Historical Museum: On-Line Exhibitions

A series of slideshows with short stories provide historical insight about Harvey County and its cities. Click the "Exhibits" tab on the Harvey County Historical Museum's website for several online exhibitions.

Harvey County Historical Museum: Voices of Harvey County

Kristine Schmucker, HCHM curator, has written an extensive blog post about the Flu Pandemic of 1918, also known as the Spanish Flu, and it's comparison to the current COVID-19 pandemic with a focus on what it was like in Harvey County. Learn more.

Hopping Gnome: Gnome at Home Virtual Taproom
7:00 p.m. CST every Friday

The Hopping Gnome will be live from the taproom every Friday at 7 p.m. Check in and chat via Facebook Live. Learn more.

Hot Asana Yoga Studio: Online Classes

Hot Asana Yoga Studio is offering donation based online classes that can be streamed anywhere, any time. Their website has a wide selection of yoga videos, from a 30-minute fast, challenging flow to a 45-minute gentle flow for all ages. Learn more.

Here's a 40-minute yoga flow for all levels:

Kansas Leadership Center: Virtual Experiences

In place of in-person training, the Kansas Leadership Center is offering online, virtual and text-based services over the coming weeks so you can continue learn wherever you are. Learn more.

K-State Research and Extension, Sedgwick County: 2020 Virtual Garden Tour
3:00 to 5:00 p.m. CST on Friday, June 5 

There are two ways to enjoy a video tour of four local gardens featured in this year's Garden Tour. Watch the tour live on Facebook or register to receive a link to video once it has been posted. Learn more.

Mark Arts: Isolation Challenge
Mark Arts will issue art challenges each Monday. Artists will have until Thursday to submit their results to the program director for curating. An online exhibition of selected entries will be posted on Fridays. Learn more.

Music Theatre Wichita: Curtain Up! Annual Fundraiser
6:00 to 9:00 p.m. on May 29

There's NO PLACE LIKE HOME, which is where you'll be for Curtain Up! this year! MTWichita has the COURAGE to forge ahead with our signature fundraiser, but the BRAINS to do so safely. So we hope you'll have the HEART to "join" us as we raise funds for our 2020 season. You'll receive dinner from Larkspur Bistro & Bar delivered to your front porch, along with entertainment (via DVD or internet) curated by Producing Artistic Director Wayne Bryan, and plenty of opportunities to support the young talents we foster each year. Grab your RUBY RED SLIPPERS (they can be actual slippers!) and join us as we celebrate 49 years of musical theatre in Wichita. Individual tickets are $150 ($100 is tax-deductible). Learn more.

Music Together Wichita: Online Spring Semester
April 7 - June 6, 2020

Tuition is $170 per family and includes two 25-minute weekly classes through June 6, a CD, songbook, instruments and digital access to code for the Hello Everybody app. Learn more.

Salina Art Center: 2020 Salina Biennial | Contemporary Art from the Mountain Plains Region

The 2020 Salina Biennial was due to open at the Salina Art Center on April 1, 2020. A new piece from the exhibition will be displayed online each day over the coming weeks, along with artist interviews, educational highlights and interviews with the exhibition juror. Learn more.

Here's the introductory video:

Sedgwick County Zoo: Virtual Visits
11 a.m. and 2 p.m. CST every weekday

Sedgwick County Zoo presents live virtual visits on their Facebook page every weekday at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Chat with the zoo keepers, get up close animal encounters and take exclusive behind-the-scenes tours. Learn more.

Here's Stephanie the elephant having her teeth cleaned:

Ulrich Museum of Art: Meet Me in the Vault

The Ulrich Museum of Art is encouraging people to browse their new online collection portal, choose a favorite piece, and email it to ulrich@wichita.edu. Include the artist, title, your name and a brief statement about why you chose the piece you did. Favorites will be presented every week virtually. Learn more.

Valley Center Chalk Walk

Use sidewalk chalk to share works of art and inspiring messages throughout the community, then take a walk or drive to enjoy the beauty and positivity. Post your photos with the hashtag #vcchalkwalk.Learn more.

Watermark Books and Cafe: The Book Broadcast

Watermark has launched a series of videos of their YouTube channel, where staff members share their recommendations. Learn more.

Here's episode one with Watermark owner Sarah Bagby:

Watermark Books and Cafe: Anne Griffin
4:00 p.m. CST on May 26

Join Watermark Books and Cafe for a virtual event with the bestselling author of When All Is Said, Anne Griffin. Learn more.

Wichita Art Museum: WAM for Kids

The Wichita Art Museum has provided a list of activities, downloads and links to keep kids busy. Learn more.

Wichita Public Library: E-Books & E-Audiobooks

Wichita Public Library offers e-books and e-audiobooks from OverDrive that can be checked out on your mobile device. Learn more.


Wichita Public Library: Wichita History Walks

The Wichita Public Library has created three historic virtual tours with the PocketSights app: Wild West Delano, Historic Downtown, and East Douglas Heritage. Learn more.

Wichita River Festival: 2020 Virtual Riverfest
Friday, May 29 through Sunday, June 6

The 49th annual Riverfest is going virtual. Visit the Wichita River Festival Facebook page for virtual events, like the Sundown Parade Shoebox Challenge, Virtual Car Show and Quarantine Style Contest. The daily schedule of events is available at wichitariverfest.com.

Wichita Symphony Orchestra: Moments with the Maestro

Every week, Wichita Symphony Orchestra presents "Moments with the Maestro" featuring Maestro Daniel Hege. Learn about what he loves to conduct, how he prepares for concerts, and enjoy mini piano performances. Learn more.

In this video, Hege explains the work "development" in musical terms:

Wichita Symphony Orchestra: Zoom Recital with Concertmaster Holly Mulcahy
2:00 to 3:00 p.m. every Monday

WSO presents a live interactive Zoom recital with concertmaster Holly Mulcahy every week. Attendance is free but space is limited to the first 100 registered guests. Learn more.

Yoga Central: Live Stream Classes

Yoga Central is offering a variety of live streaming classes, including beginner classes, curvy yoga, and mindfulness movement.Learn more.

More Virtual Fun

Kennedy Center: Lunch Doodles with Mo Willems

Mo Willems, children's book creator and Kennedy Center Education Artist-in-Residence, invites viewers into his studio every weekday at 12:00 p.m. CST for a lunch doodle. Grab some crayons and paper, or download the activity sheet for each episode.Learn more.

Here's episode one:

NPR Music: 5 Tiny Desk Concerts To Calm Your Mind

NPR Music presents five Tiny Desk concerts from artists who prefer to start low on the volume and ramp up, initiating a much welcomed tranquility. Learn more.

Here's Raveena performing "Honey," "Bloom" and "Still Dreaming" at the Tiny Desk:

NPR Music: A List Of Live Virtual Concerts

NPR Music is compiling a list of live audio and video streams from around the world, categorized by date and genre, with links to streaming platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. Some will require registration or a subscription, but most will be free, often with digital tip jars and opportunities to directly support artists by buying music and merchandise. Learn more.

YMCA 360: Your Virtual YMCA

On this youtube channel, the YMCA offers a special preview of YMCA 360, their "on demand" healthy living network. Learn more.

Here's a yoga flow to relieve stress and tension:


If you have a suggestion for this list, please send it to info@kmuw.org.

Jordan Kirtley is KMUW's Marketing Manager and the host of Next Up, a local events commentary. More casually she is known as KMUW’s “in-house artist,” having designed the many facets of KMUW’s visual identity.