Christmas at Crown Center
For generations of Kansas Citians, it wouldn't be Christmas without an annual visit to Crown Center. From family photos with the 100-ft Mayor's Christmas tree, to outdoor ice skating, to a visit with Santa himself at the Gingerbread Village - Crown Center is the perfect destination to make memories with your family this holiday season. Enjoy live theater with charming Christmas shows, holiday performances, dining and shopping.
Tip: This year, share your family photos on social media using #CrownCenterFamily!
2018 Holiday Events at Crown Center:
Crown Center Ice Terrace: 2425 Grand Blvd, Kansas City, MO. 816.274.8411.
Kansas City's original ice skating rink is open for its 45th season of great skating fun! Regular admission is $6, or free for adults over age 60 and children age 4 and under. Skate rental is $3, or skaters may bring their own. Hours: Sunday - Thursday, 10 a.m. - 9 p.m. Friday - Saturday, 10 a.m. - 11 p.m.
- Nov. 23: Santa's Arrival at Crown Center Shops, Grand Boulevard Entrance. Watch Santa Claus' arriveal aboard a horse-drawn carriage! He will greet children and make his way to the Gingerbread Station where you may visit him through December 24.
- Santa's Gingerbread Station Nov. 23- Dec. 31. Explore a charming Christmas exhibit where kids can play and explore the indoor playground, and delight in the beautiful Gingerbread Village. Admission is free. Photos with Santa are available for a fee, or you may take your own. Open during Crown Center Shops holiday hours. Open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Christmas Eve and noon to 5 p.m. on New Year's Eve. Closed Christmas Day.
Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer: The Musical: The Coterie Theatre, Level 1
This holiday season, The Coterie brings beloved holiday television classic, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical, to stage where they bring the nostalgia of Christmas to life in a fabulous family-friendly musical showing through Dec. 31, 2018. Read our review of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical.
The centerpiece of the city's Christmas is the 100-foot-tall Mayor's Christmas Tree,in Crown Center Square. The tree is one of the nation's tallest. The tree is a symbol of the Mayor's Christmas Tree Fund, which is dedicated to assisting the city's less fortunate. After the holidays, the wood from the Mayor's Christmas Tree is made into commemorative ornaments, which are sold the following year to benefit the Mayor's Christmas Tree Fund. On Nov. 23, you're invited to celebrate with the annual lighting ceremony as Mayor Sly James and a celebrity guest will flip the switch to light the tree. The tree is lit throughout the holiday season. During the day, enjoy the wooden playground beneath the tree's base where you'll find beautiful giant wooden toys where children play and family's take photos.
This nostalgic laughing Santa has been celebrating Christmas with Kansas City for over a century. The Santa made his first appearance at Emery, Bird, Thayer, one of the city's first downtown department stores, in the early 1900s. He made his home at Crown Center in 1979 and has been there ever since. This classic Santa displays a Christmas countdown and is on display Nov. 23 - Dec. 31.
Nov. 26 - Dec. 21. Beautiful music fills the halls of Crown Center, as more than 130 area school, church and community choirs perform everyday through December 21.
Nov. 28 from Noon -2pm: Hallmark Keepsake Artist Matt Johnson will be signing All Aboard, the 2018 Mayor's Christmas Tree Ornament he designed in the Crown Center Atrium. Ornaments will be available for purchase at the event or at Crown Center Customer Service beginning Friday, November 23, 2018. Matt will only be signing the 2018 Mayor's Christmas Tree Ornament at this event. Limit of 5 2018 Mayor's Christmas Tree ornaments per person to be signed during this special event.
Dec. 6-23 at MTH. MTH's annual Christmas Show features holiday music, singing, dancing, show tunes and Christmas classics!
Family-Friendly Dining at Crown Center
- Fritz’s Railroad Restaurant Level 1 Crown Center Shops. This casual restaurant is one your children will not forget! Model Trains travel around the perimeter of the restaurant delivering burgers and fries to your table. Little Engineers love the train decor and delight in the novelty! Fritz's Restaurants
- d'Bronx Level 1 Crown Center Shops. This New York style delicatessen serves delicious pizzas and deli-style sandwiches.
- Unforked Level 1 Crown Center Shops. Known for their use of locally grown fresh food, Unforked is a favorite for tacos and burgers. The eatery also serves summer favorites, including delicious fresh-squeezed lemonade and frozen custard concretes and sundaes.
- Crayola Cafe Level 2 Crown Center Shops. This sit-down restaurant is decorated with a rainbow of colors straight out of a box of Crayola crayons.
- And more!!! There are many more delicious dining options at Crown Center in addition to those listed. For fans of sweet treats and snacks, you can grab some popcorn at Topsy's, frozen custard at Sheridan's, fudge at Chip's Chocolate Factory, a cupcake at Smallcakes or unique sweet treats at Chip's Candy Factory.
Crown Center Shops
Find the perfect gift for everyone on your list at Crown Center Shops!
- Toy Time
- Crayola Store
- Kid Oh!
- Club 22
For All Ages
- Amy's Hallmark
- Halls Kansas City
- Best of Kansas City
- Function Junction
- Mobile Solution
- Wilderness Reflections
- And more!
More Crown Center District Attractions to enjoy:
Kaleidoscope (2500 Grand Blvd, Kansas City, MO. 816.274.8300) is a FREE hands-on art center for children where imagination knows no limits! They offer FREE Walk-In Sessions for ALL Ages (perfect if you have multiple children with a span of ages as we do), and they tend to have the smallest crowds at the earliest sessions. Children love Kaleidoscope where creativity and imagination play in Kaleidoscope's magical hands-on world where children create masterpieces with super cool, super fun supplies, in a super amazing atmosphere all thanks to Hallmark. This is truly one of Kansas City's BEST family-friendly attractions! Check their calendar for a schedule of events.
Hallmark Visitor's Center (2450 Grand Blvd, Kansas City, MO. 816.274.3613). Visit the Hallmark Visitor's Center next door to Kaleidoscope, another FREE attraction and one of our favorite "Watch it Made in KC" attractions. Children are given a scavenger hunt to follow as they learn the history of Hallmark, artists demonstrate their craft (we recently watched as an engraver prepared designs for greeting cards and watched the machines that assemble the cards), kids make their own bows with the press of a button, and the self-guided walk through tour almost always ends with a gift. The Visitor's Center is especially nice if you are visiting with multiple generations (it is a favorite when grandparents are in town visiting) and you're able to enjoy it at your own pace. Tip: Meet the creators of some of Hallmark’s most popular products. On most days (Monday-Friday) 1-2 p.m. a writer, illustrator, designer, photographer or sculptor will be at the Hallmark Live exhibit to talk with visitors.
LEGOLAND® Discovery Center in Crown Center (2475 Grand Boulevard, KCMO. 816.471.4386) is a larger-than-life attraction! Begin your journey on a ride into the unknown on laser chariots. Play with the world’s biggest box of LEGOS®. Watch a film in the LEGO® Studios 4D cinema and explore a miniature Kansas City that highlights 10 of our most popular local attractions in LEGO® MINILAND®. Your imagination will run wild in this new family favorite! Get the inside scoop on this attraction with our Review of LEGOLAND! Admission charged.
Sea Life Kansas City (2475 Grand Blvd, KCMO. 816.471.4386) transports you into an amazing underwater world with up-close views of more than 5,000 sea creatures! Come nose to nose with sharks in the walk-through underwater tunnel, experience the touch pool where you can hold a crab or touch a starfish, participate in educational demonstrations, watch animal feedings and explore this state-of-the-art home for many of the ocean’s most majestic creatures! Admission charged.
For more holiday events, see our guide to Christmas in Kansas City.