All that buzz / Features/Entertainment

All That Buzz: Plenty to do this summer

(File photo by Travis Morisse/The Hutchinson News) Holly McKenzie, 7, looks for books to check out at the Hutchinson Public Library.

(File photo by Travis Morisse/The Hutchinson News) Holly McKenzie, 7, looks for books to check out at the Hutchinson Public Library.

School’s out for summer!

So what do you do with the kids? Thankfully, Reno County has a lot to offer for kids and teens that are home for the summer. It’s a good time to put a book in a child’s hand or get them in the pool.

For the readers: The Hutchinson Public Library has made sure to keep a busy schedule for children and adults alike. It is inviting children to “Dig into reading” in its summer reading program for readers and pre-readers. Summer story times are from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays from June 11 to Aug. 1. This is for children ages 3-8.Teens can join the 2013 Teen Summer Reading Program in its “Quest for Readalot,” where they can read books and win prizes. Register until July 25 at any circulation desk at the Hutchinson Public Library, 901 N. Main. Adults can even join in the book discussion groups mystery mavens and the sci-fi group.  For more information, call (620)  663-5441.

The Kansas State Fair also has started a summer reading challenge. It is encouraging students in Kindergarten through 6th grade to read over the summer and learn more about agriculture. Books can be read aloud by an adult or students can read them on their own. Those who complete the journal, located on the state fair website, by Aug. 15 can receive a pack with a ribbon, fair coloring book and Kansas agriculture information. Children’s names will be put into a drawing for a free Kids Club ticket package.

Bluebird Books, 2 S. Main, also has storytime for children. Storytime is from 10 to 10:30 a.m. on Thursdays and 10:30 to 11 a.m. on Saturdays. A summer reading program for readers entering grades K-8 will have a six-book reading challenge. Those who complete the entire challenge can celebrate with a pizza from Jillian’s Italian Grill. The bookstore is also partnering with the Hutchinson Recreation Commission for kids book clubs. Four sessions are offered for two age groups – 10-13 year old will meet at 10 to 11 a.m. on Wednesdays. 14-16 year olds will meet at 4 to 5 p.m. on Wednesdays. Registration is $20 per session, which includes the cost of the book. For more information, visit or call (620) 663-6179.

(Travis Morisse/The Hutchinson News) Landon Neufeld, 11, dives off the high diving board Monday at the Salt City Splash Aquatic Center.

(Travis Morisse/The Hutchinson News)
Landon Neufeld, 11, dives off the high diving board Monday at the Salt City Splash Aquatic Center.

Swim time: It’s tough to mention summer without a pool. Luckily, Reno County is full of swimming pools and water splash parks to keep the kids cool. Parents will be happy to know, it also keeps kids and teens away from the television. The Salt City Splash is open daily from 12:30 to 6:30 p.m. – except on July 20-22 to host a swim meet. Season passes are available, but individual tickets are $4.75 for adults 18 and older, $3.50 for children 8-17, $1.75 for children 3-17 with a paying adult and free for children 2 and under with a paying adult. Pool Superintendent Ted Nelson focuses on safety for everyone there, making sure the lifeguards give 100 percent attention to what is going on in the water. It’s a great place to spend some time.

The Buhler Pool opening day was delayed until Friday (May 31) so the city can repair a leak. There will be free hot dogs at noon to celebrate the pool’s opening. Discount Family Swim Passes are available for purchase for $110 until Thursday from the Buhler City Offices.

There are two free splash parks in Hutchinson and one – slated to open in May – in South Hutchinson. The Fairgrounds Water Park is located on Severance Street between 17th and 23rd, next to the tennis courts. The Avenue A Water Park is located at the corner of Washington Street and Avenue A. South Hutchinson’s new splash park, slated to open this month, is located at Walnut Street and Avenue B. The 1,200-square-foot park with multiple features also comes with a pavilion with enclosed restrooms and picnic tables.

Fishing: On June 15, children from 3-14 are invited to join the Kids Fishing Derby at Wheatland Park in Buhler. The derby is from 6:30 to 8 p.m. and there are two age groups – 3 to 8 and 9-14. There are first and second prizes for the smallest fish, biggest fish and most fish caught per age group. There is also a prize for the first turtle caught in either age group. Register and pick a spot by 6:30 p.m. that day. The derby is sponsored by the Buhler Kiwanis Club.

On the big screen: Grab a bag of popcorn and let the children take in a flick. Many of the films included in the Delos V. Smith Fox Film Series at the Fox Theater, 18 E. First, are geared toward children and families. The movies are $5 each – buy one, get one free.”Oz: The Great & Powerful,” rated PG, plays from June 7-9; “The Croods,” rated PG, plays July 19-21; and “Life of Pi,” rated PG, plays July 26-28.

Family films are also available at the Hutchinson Public Library at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday from June 11 through July 30. Also at the library, family times are at 6:30 p.m. Mondays from June 17-July 29 and come and go crafts are from 10 to 11:45 a.m. Wednesdays from July 10 – 31.

Exploring: What child doesn’t like to explore? For the second year, the Reno County Park Quest is a family’s passport to exploration. A team is at least one adult and one minor ages 16 or younger. The park quest invites teams to travel to parks in Pretty Prairie, Haven, Nickerson, Sylvia, South Hutchinson and Hutchinson. Teams should document their experiences on the Reno County Park Quest Facebook page. Registration continues throughout the season online, by phone at (620) 662-2371 or by person at the Reno County Extension Office, 2 W. 10th Ave., in South Hutchinson.

 Ryan Coon is the first musician in the concert series. (Travis Morisse/The Hutchinson News)

Ryan Coon is the first musician in the concert series. (Travis Morisse/The Hutchinson News)

Music: Have a budding songwriter? Bluebird Books, 2 S. Main, is starting to host songwriting clinics. Randy Key will teach theory, structure, discipline and creativity of songwriting from 2 to 4 p.m. Tuition is $15, and it includes “The Musician’s Notebook: Manuscript paper for inspiration and composition.” Register at Bluebird Books or call (620) 259-6868.

The Hutchinson Piano Teacher League’s Zoo-B-Doo event is Saturday at the Hutchinson Zoo in Carey Park. The program is designed for elementary students in the zoo’s Discovery Center. Students draw their favorite animal and play a song on a keyboard. The zoo then does a live show and tell after each performance and the staff judges four age group’s drawings. The four winners receive a small canvas painting made by an animal. This is free and open to the public.

On June 10, musician Monty Harper will perform at the Hutchinson Public Library. He will perform “Dig into Reading” at 2 p.m. in a program designed for children ages 4-12 and their families. He uses humor in his interactive sing-along concerts. Topics for his songs include gardening, dinosaurs, pirates and more. For more information, call (620) 663-5441.

The inaugural Concerts for a Cause at Avenue A Park begin June 8 with guitarist Ryan Coon. The free concerts will be on Saturdays from June 8 through at least Aug. 31 at Avenue A Park. Concessions will be sold to benefit non-profit organizations like the Boys and Girls Club, First Call for Help, New Beginnings, the Salvation Army and more.

Let your teen have a smoothie as they listen to music at Metropolitan Coffee, 17th and Lorraine. The shop has music nearly every Friday and Saturday, along with swing dancing on Sunday nights.

Sports: Take in a Hutchinson Monarchs game. The team has regular games at Hobart Detter. It’s a great way to show children some good ball, and it’s cheap. Children 12 and under get in free. People 13 and up are only $5. Get a schedule at

Children and teens can also participate in sports this summer in programs through the Hutchinson Recreation Commission. Check out its website at to see what it has to offer.

Other: Every Saturday, the Kansas Kids More than a Museum at the Hutchinson Mall has activities for families starting at 2 p.m. The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 5 pm. Tuesday through Saturday.

The Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center also has activities for children throughout the summer. Keep up with the museum at

More things to do will come up throughout the summer. There are several ways to keep track of what is going on around Reno County and the surrounding areas. Keep up with The News online calendar, check the daily planner on page 2 of the daily newspaper and grab a copy of The Bee when it comes out every Thursday.

Kristen Roderick/All That Buzz
Read more blogs at

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