Walkin' in a Winter Wonderland
Stroll through holiday winterlands with the magic of candlelit trails, beautiful music, and unforgettable holiday traditions at Kansas City's local gardens and parks.
Tip: You may also enjoy our Guide to Living Nativities, another walk-through (or drive-through) holiday experience.
WinterFest at Worlds of Fun
Weekends Nov. 23- Dec. 30 at Worlds of Fun. Holiday cheer rings out at Worlds of Fun during the first annual WinterFest celebration. Thousands of sparkling lights transform the park with an inviting glow that warms the heart and lifts the spirit. Witness 10 live shows, meet over 16 iconic holiday characters, join 9 holiday activities like ice skating and cooking decorating, ride select park attractions, and create lasting memories with family and friends. We're especially excited to celebrate with Charlie Brown and Snoopy! Charlie, the gang, and a cast of 18 singers and dancers will present a Christmas Holiday Spectacular! This stunning display of holiday cheer includes high-kicking and a hefty amount of sequins to dazzle the audience. Charlie Brown even takes the stage to impress the audience with his extra special dance moves, but you can be assured the Snoopy and Lucy won’t let him steal the spotlight. All of the PEANUTS gang will be represented in this fast-paced spectacle, brought together with the talented performers who will delight with their harmonious vocals and fancy footwork in this Broadway-caliber show!
The first night of the season is Nov. 23. Enjoy this event Thurs-Sun through Jan. 6. Admission charged. The Powell Gardens Festival of Lights offers a unique holiday experience in the Kansas City area. A lighting exhibition, artfully curated by the Powell Gardens Horticulture staff, the Festival of Lights includes botanically-themed lighting displays that begin at the garden entrance and stretch along a mile-long walking path through six of the seven themed gardens. enjoy free children’s activities each day from 4-8 p.m. including an ornament station to take the magic home with you!
The Luminary Walk will be held from 5 to 9 p.m., three weekends, Friday and Saturday, Nov. 23-24, Nov. 30-Dec.1, and Dec. 7-8. Admission charged. This Arboretum fundraiser features a mile of candles, holiday lights, live musical entertainment, Santa Claus in the Depot, horse-dawn wagon rides, hot cider around a campfire and mystical Gnome and Fairy Villages. Volunteers and staff members are transforming the Arboretum into a wonderland of candles and lights, music and holiday fun. Thousands of candles line the walkways and trails. Holiday lights will be on display from trees, buildings and bridges. Children will be thrilled to see Santa's Woodland Depot in the Train Garden and chat with him nightly from 5:30 - 8:30 p.m.
Jowler Creek is hosting Hayrides on Friday & Saturday evenings Nov. 23 - Dec. 22. Experience a holiday tradition from yesteryear as you hop on a hay wagon decorated with Christmas lights and ride around Jowler Creek’s decorated vineyard while listening to Christmas Carols and sipping on a warm festive beverage. Holiday Hayrides start at 5:00 p.m. and leave approximately every 30-minutes thru 7:30 p.m. Tickets for the Holiday Hayride are $15/person and include a souvenir Jowler Creek mug and a delicious serving of our warm spiced wine or wine hot chocolate. These hayrides do sell out, so make advance reservations.
FREE Nov. 30, Kick off your holiday festivities from 6-8pm this year by watching the lighting of Sar-Ko-Par Trails Park, where the lights will stay lit through early January. There will also be carolers, a visit from Santa, and hot chocolate!
Dec. 1 - Jan. 5, INDOOR event at Paradise Park, 1021 NE Colbern Rd., Lee's Summit, MO. For the month of December, Paradise Park's giant, two-story Foam Factory transforms into a Ginormous Gingerbread House where snow falls magically indoors amidst a colorful world of flying foam balls with everyone working together to fire the balls through air-powered cannons, blasters and geyser.
FREE Dec. 8 from 10am-5pm, Downtown Kansas City, MO. Downtown’s trendiest residential properties—from the Crossroads Arts District to the River Market—will open for public tours during the most popular event of Downtown Dazzle. Participants are invited to explore at their leisure from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. while traveling from one property to the next by using the KC Streetcar, walking or driving. Pick up your Downtown Dazzle Urban Homes Tour Guidebook at Visit KC’s office located at 1321 Baltimore Ave., Kansas City, MO 64105.
FREE Dec. 12, George Owens Nature Park, 1601 S. Speck Rd., Independence, MO. Enjoy this family favorite seasonal program as you walk the trails of George Owens Nature Park and enjoy holiday decorations, ice sculptures, and more.
FREE Dec. 15 from 1-4pm at Burr Oak Woods Conservation Nature Center, Blue Springs, MO. Registration required on-line for each participant attending (ages 10+; ages 10–16 must be accompanied by a participating adult) Put away the smartphones, tablets and GPS receivers to learn to navigate through the woods the old school way…and have some real fun! This program will present the basics of topographic maps, a baseplate compass and how to use both tools to travel from point to point. Bring a water bottle and dress for trekking off trail.
Dec. 22 from 4:30-7:30pm, Ernie Miller Nature Center, 909 N. K-7 Highway, Olathe, KS. Admission: $6 per person, $7 nonresidents for pre-registration, $8/on site day of event. Take a break from the busy holiday festivities as we walk through the woods, along little Cedar Creek to witness the natural display of winter’s quiet time. The trails will be lit by luminaries. Warm up by the fireside and listen to star stories about the longest night of the year. Visit live owls and discover animal mysteries of survival during the long winter. Gather round for campfire treats of toasted marshmallows and hot chocolate. Drop in for ongoing activities. Please note: Portions of this program will be outdoors, please dress for the weather.
For more holiday events, see our guide to Christmas in Kansas City.