A Historical Christmas in Kansas City

2018 Edition

Step back in time and enjoy an old-fashioned Christmas at one of these historical holiday events or exhibits in Kansas City.


Historical Christmas Exhibits & Holiday Homes Tours

These exhibits are available to enjoy throughout the holiday season:

Historic Lecompton's Annual Christmas Tree Display
Nov. 1 - Jan. 1 Territorial Capital Museum, 640 E. Woodson, Lecompton, KS. Come celebrate the holiday season with Historic Lecompton by visiting the Territorial Capital Museum to see the annual Christmas tree display.  Antique and vintage decorations adorn 160 Christmas trees inside the museum. The museum is open Wednesday through Sunday. Hours are 10 am - 4 pm Monday through Saturday and 1 pm - 5pm on Sundays. 

Olde World Christmas

Nov. 3 – Dec. 30, Strawberry Hill Museum, 720 N. 4th, Kansas City, KS. Victorian era decorations will adorn the mansion and the ethnic rooms will be filled with Christmas season “Olde World” traditions. In addition to permanent ethnic exhibitors, there will be displays representing Mexico, Ireland and African-American cultures. Additional space has also been added to display German, Italian and Belgium traditions. There are also new items in the Gift Shop. The Tea Room will also be open every weekend from 1 pm to 4pm. Stop in and enjoy a homemade dessert and a hot cup of tea either before or after your tour.

Spirit of Christmas Past

Nov. 23 - Dec. 14, 1859 Jail Museum, 271 N. Main St., Indpendence, MO. Visit the 1859 Jail Museum for the holiday season! Exhibits and displays will focus on the immigrant Christmas traditions brought to America during the 19th century. The Home will also be decorated for the holiday. Regular admission prices apply. 

Holiday Homes Tour

Nov. 10-11 from 1-5pm each day, Liberty, MO. Tour beautifully decorated homes and shop at Red Apron's exclusive tour day shopping event. Your ticket gives you access to all four homes and Red Apron sale. You may attend on either day, or over the course of both days, seeing the houses one time each. Your ticket will be marked at each home. Advanced tickets: $15. Day of tickets: $20. Pick a home to start with and then view the rest in any order you choose. Fliers will be available at each home with addresses and descriptions.

 "Tis The Reason For The Season"

Nov. 23 - Dec. 30, Bingham-Waggoner Estate, 313 W Pacific Ave, Independence, MO. Admission charged. Closed Dec 23, 24 & 25. Walk-in and reserved tours are offered Monday through Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and on Sundays from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. The house is beautifully decorated for the holiday season.

Vaile Mansion Victorian Christmas

Nov. 25 - Dec. 30, Vaile Mansion, 1500 N. Liberty St., Independence, MO. Hours: Closed Dec. 23-25, Monday-Saturday 10 AM - 4 PM, Sunday 1 PM - 4 PM. Admission charged. Vaile Mansion will be decorated for the holidays showcasing the beauty of this Victorian Mansion.

The John Wornall House Museum 1850s Christmas

After Thanksgiving thru Christmas, John Wornall House 6115 Wornall Rd., Kansas City, MO. Tour the home at the crossroads of conflict between Kansas and Missouri, free and enslaved, and Union and Confederate as it is decorated for the holidays. Guided tours begin hourly Wednesday-Saturday: 10AM, 11AM, 1PM, 2PM, 3PM. Please note the Wornall House is closed from noon-1PM. Guided tours begin hourly Sunday 1PM, 2PM, 3PM.

Historical Christmas Events

A Christmas Carol with Gerald Dickens, A Special Engagement

FREE at Mid-Continent Public Libraries. The great-great-grandson of Charles Dickens is returning to MCPL for a special engagement. Registration required.

  • Nov. 11, 2pm at Gamber Community Center in Lee's Summit
  • Nov. 11, 7pm at Woodneath Branch

Night Before Christmas Carol

FREE at Mid-Continent Public Libraries. The great-great-grandson of Charles Dickens is returning to MCPL for a special engagement. Registration required.

  • Nov. 26, 2pm at Raytown Branch
  • Nov. 26, 6:30pm at Red Bridge Branch
  • Nov. 27, 2:30pm at Parkville Branch
  • Nov. 27, 6:30pm at Woodneath Branch

Christmas 1860s Style

Nov. 13 from 7-8:30pm, Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop & Farm, 1200 E. Kansas City Road, Olathe KS. $5/ea. Make 1860s ornaments. Try a piece of Christmas pudding. Join in a game of snapdragon! Registration required.

Olde World Christmas Night Tour

Nov. 24, 6-9pm, Strawberry Hill Museum, 720 N. 4th, Kansas City, KS. The museum becomes a magical kingdom when viewed in the twilight of the day. Consider a night-time tour of the Strawberry Hill Museum to really get you into the Christmas spirit. The Mansion will be illuminated with all kinds of NEW DECORATIONS  including hundreds of special Christmas lights. Tours start promptly at 6pm. Small groups will be divided to take a tour of the chapel, house, orphanage and museum. With a brief intermission half way through to enjoy some light appetizers, desserts and adult beverages. 

Lexington Holiday Homes Tour

Dec. 1 from 5-8:30pm & Dec. 2, 1-5pm Lexington MO. Tour six homes decorated for the holidays.

Christmas on the Farm

FREE Dec. 1, Watkins Mill State Park, 26600 Park Road North, Lawson, MO. Visit with costumed interpreters as you stroll along lantern lit paths to the Watkins family home, where you will be greeted by the smell of hot cider and wassail, and the sound of Christmas carols. Enjoy free samples of traditional treats, flaming of the plum puddings, reading of the family letters and a visit with Father Christmas. Activities at the visitor center will include kid’s crafts and live traditional holiday music. This event is free of charge and the Watkins home is open for the duration of the event. For more information, contact the historic site.

Weston Candlelight Homes Tour

Dec. 1 & 2, Historic Weston, Weston, MO. Enjoy the spirit of the holiday season with yuletide decor and music when Weston homeowners open their doors for the 37th Annual Candlelight Homes Tour. The tour includes three premier Weston homes, The Murphy House Band;B, The Rumpled Nest Loft featuring the vacation home of Santa and Mrs. Claus, The Holladay Distillery Welcome Center, along with several churches, all rich with history and dressed up for the holidays. While in Weston, visit the wide array of restaurants, shops, and attractions, take a horse and carriage ride, and, of course, watch for Father Christmas during this festive weekend. Tour hours are from 2:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. December 1st and 2nd. Limited tickets are available for either Saturday or Sunday. Tickets $15 in advance. Day of event price is $20 at the Chamber office.

Christmas Open House: Mahaffie

Dec. 1, Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop & Farm, 1200 E. Kansas City Road, Olathe, KS. Enjoy the Heritage Center decorations, make an ornament and visit the historic Mahaffie House! Activities may include: Music by the Shady Grove String Band. Visit Santa in the Heritage Center. Make an ornament. 1860s living history activities such as blacksmith and cookstove demonstrations, stringing popcorn and cranberries, and stagecoach rides (weather and ground conditions permitting). FREE admission! Stagecoach rides $3/person ages 3 and; up, making a gingerbread house is $4/house.

Coleman House Opening

Dec. 1 from 10am-4pm at the National Museum of Toys and Miniatures (5235 Oak St., Kansas City, MO). The annual tradition returns! See T/m’s nine-foot-tall dollhouse decked out for the holiday season. Get up close as T/m opens the doors for a day of in-depth talks about this giant dollhouse. Talks at 10:30am, 1pm, and 2:30pm, or come anytime between 10am and 4pm to view the house. Included with museum admission.

A Dickens of A Christmas Tour

Dec. 1 from 5:30-8:30pm, Vaile Mansion 1500 N. Liberty, Independence, MO. The cost of the tour is $15.00 for one and $25.00 for two. Leisurely stroll through the glorious Victorian holiday home. Come anytime between the hours of 5:30 and 8:30. After the tour enjoy a glass of champagne and light hors d'oeuvres in the dining room. Some of your favorite Dickens characters from the Christmas Classic "A Christmas Carol" will be making an appearance from time to time throughout your tour. Make plans to join us for this truly special event that is certain to put holly in your heart.

Twilight Tour at Bingham-Waggoner Estate

Dec. 2 from 4-7pm, Bingham-Waggoner Estate, 313 W Pacific Ave, Independence, MO. All adult admissions - $6.00 Youth 6 – 16 - $3.00. This event will give you the opportunity to stroll at your leisure, enjoying light, complimentary refreshments and live music. Your visit will begin in the Carriage House Boutique. Following your tour, you may wish to relax in the 3rd floor Tea Room, enjoying music, cookies and hot spiced tea or coffee.

Candlelight Tours at John Wornall House Museum

Dec. 7 & 8, John Wornall House Museum, 6115 Wornall Rd, Kansas City, MO. Admission $15/person, $10 for Museum members. What was Christmas like during the Victorian era? Join us at the Wornall House for a fun and festive evening tour of the house featuring holiday delights such as music, food, games, and storytelling. You won’t want to miss this beloved holiday tradition in Kansas City. Tours leave every 15 minutes from 6:00-7:30 pm and last approximately one hour.

Holiday Nights

FREE Dec. 8 from 7-9pm, Atkins-Johnson Farm & Museum, 4109 NE Pleasant Valley Rd, Gladstone, MO. A free night of holiday cheer for the entire family, this evening event includes live holiday music and carolers, holiday crafts for adults and kids alike, spiced cider, vintage toy display and selfie stations, all in a traditionally decorated farmhouse. Enjoy the crisp night air as you stroll down the holiday luminary trail. Children will enjoy the writing station with letters to Santa and vintage Christmas cards and a special guest appearance from Santa himself!

Night Before Christmas at the Museum

Dec. 8 from 2-4pm, National Frontier Trails Museum, 318 W. Pacific, Independence, MO. 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm. Learn about the history of Christmas at this holiday event.

Missouri Town 1855: A Christmas Celebration

Dec. 8, Missouri Town 1855, 8010 E. Park Road, Lee's Summit, MO. The chill of winter cannot stop staff and volunteers from sharing the joys of the holiday season with the many visitors who have made this annual holiday event a must. Warm hearth fires, simple but delicious food, period music, an appearance by Belsnickle, and piping hot cider are but a few of the treats awaiting our guests.

Day in the Life: Holiday Spirit

Dec. 9, National World War I Museum and Memorial, 2 Memorial Drive, Kansas City, MO. Living history incorporates historical tools, activities and dress into an interactive presentation that seeks to give observers and participants a sense of stepping back in time. At the Museum and Memorial, the Living History Volunteer Corps members engage the public through a variety of programs and initiatives, including monthly “Day in the Life” demonstrations.


Dec. 9 from 2-3pm at the National Museum of Toys and Miniatures (5235 Oak St., Kansas City, MO). Get to know the experts at The National Museum of Toys and Miniatures through this monthly exploration of special topics. On December 9, discover the story behind the museum’s special exhibit, Going Places: The Toy Collection of Jerry Smith. Relive Christmases past while exploring the toy trains, airplanes, and automobiles collected by one Kansas City man.

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