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Next Best Thing
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Next Best Thing
Next Best Thing is a new, limited-run commentary from KMUW. Every other Wednesday, KMUW's Jordan Kirtley will take a look at ways we can stay connected from a far via virtual events and outdoor activities.

Next Best Thing: An All-Ages Start To Summer

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Courtesy Wichita Festivals
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For parents wondering how to keep their kids occupied this summer, the Wichita Public Library has a few options:

The Summer Reading Program starts June 1 and continues through July 27. Kids and teens are encouraged to complete reading logs to win prizes. Sign up at wichitalibrary.org.

There’s also a Live At The Park! children’s concert series that gets underway June 7 with two performances: 10:30 a.m. at Naftzger Park and 3 p.m. at Clapp Park. The series continues through July 26. The full schedule is at wichitalibrary.org.

There you’ll also see the new STEAM to GO! Kits. Designed for grades 4 and up, these kits come with activities and books in the fields of science, technology, engineering, art and math. They can be checked out for 14 days each, one kit at a time.

The concert venue WAVE has their grand re-opening, dubbed Local’s Local Fest, on June 4 and 5. It’s an all-ages outdoor celebration with an extensive lineup of local music acts. Details are at waveict.com.

And Riverfest is back with two celebrations: June 4-6, and September 30-October 3. The summer event won’t look like the Riverfest of years past. Don’t expect the gated area in downtown Wichita with concerts and food courts. Instead, there’s a variety of programming — like an outdoor painting competition, porch parade, and walking and biking tours — that allow for greater social distancing. The full event schedule is at wichitariverfest.com.

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Music: "Buddy Guy" by Podington Bear. From the Free Music Archive. CC BY NC