Ultimate Kansas City Christmas Fun Guide

Christmas in Kansas City is a truly magical time of year. This year, celebrate with traditional events including the Kansas City Repertory Theatre's production of A Christmas Carol, a visit with Santa at Crown Center and the Kansas City Ballet's The Nutcracker as well as new events the entire family will love including Santa's Gingerbread Station at Crown Center, living nativities, live shows, and festivals. This is your 2015 Guide to Christmas in Kansas City.

Click here for the 2016 KC Christmas Guide.

Note: This guide may not be reproduced in print or online without permission from KC Parent Magazine. Also, please keep in mind that some events may change due to weather or reservation policies. Always verify events with venues in advance. If you have a correction or addition to this guide, please email kristina@kcparent.com.

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For Holiday Lights, read our KC Holiday Lighting Ceremony Guide or the Best Christmas Lights in Kansas City!

Holiday Shows in Kansas City

A Christmas Carol KC Repertory TheatreA Christmas Carol Nov. 20 – Dec. 24 at Spencer Theatre, 4949 Cherry Street, Kansas City. 4+. 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm. Start at $29. Kansas City’s favorite holiday tradition is back for its 35th season, and the magnificent new Spencer Theatre promises an experience that’s more magical than ever. Come share the joy, as our theatre transforms into a page right out of Dickens. Richly textured sets, ornate costumes and spectacular special effects will transport the entire family into the tale of the grumpy Ebenezer Scrooge, who requires the intervention of a few ghostly guides to find the true meaning of Christmas – and life itself. www.KCRep.org

A Christmas Carol with Gerald Dickens, A Special Engagement Nov. 23-24 at various Mid-Continent Public Library Branches. The great-great grandson of Charles Dickens is returning to MCPL for a special engagement. A professional actor in England, the energetic Gerald Dickens leaps, laughs, and sobs as he portrays the voices of "A Christmas Carol." His striking resemblance to his great-great-grandfather and his dramatic rendition of "A Christmas Carol" bring the classic to life. Refreshments will be served. No audio or visual recordings or still photographs are allowed during the performance. Reservations required. http://www.mymcpl.org/

THE BEST CHRISTMAS PAGEANT EVER! Nov. 24 – Dec. 26 at H&R Block City Stage, Union Station, 30 W. Pershing Rd, Kansas City, MO. $10 individual; $5.50 group of 15 or more. The Herdman kids are a rough and tumble bunch who create mayhem wherever they go. A mom struggling to produce the church's annual Christmas pageant is forced to cast the Herdman children, who have never even heard of the Christmas story. Their outrageous interpretations leave a lot of the church folk aghast. http://www.tya.org

Journey to Judea Nov. 22 and Dec. 3- 6 Countryside Baptist Church, 14150 W 175th Street, Olathe, KS. Free. (913) 592-3270. Journey to Judea is a dramatic, outdoor Christmas event for the entire family. Through a guided tour, experience the sights and sounds of God’s story up close and personal as groups literally walk through the story of the Bible. Over one hundred costumed actors and live animals bring the presentation to life. Admission is free, but tickets must be reserved online in advance. www.journeytojudea.com

Classic Holiday Throwback Movie Series: Elf Nov. 27 – Dec. 3 at Extreme Screen Theatre, Union Station, 30 W. Pershing Rd., Kansas City, MO. Enjoy the screening of Elf. http://www.unionstation.org/venues/regnier-extreme-screen-theatre

Bright Light Friday with Jim Cosgrove Nov. 27 from 10:30-11:15am at Kansas City Public Library Plaza Branch, 4801 Main Street, Kansas City, MO. Sing, dance, and celebrate the start of the Holiday season with Kansas City’s kid rocker and Library favorite, Jim “Mr. Stinky Feet” Cosgrove. On the day of the show, Jim will collect winter clothing items on behalf of the nonprofit Artists Helping the Homeless. http://www.kclibrary.org/

1945 Film Series: It's A Wonderful Life Nov. 29 from 2- 4:30pm at Harry S. Truman Library and Museum, 500 W. US Hwy. 24, Independence, MO. An angel helps a compassionate but despairingly frustrated businessman by showing what life would have been like if he never existed. http://www.trumanlibrary.org/

Crown Center Holiday Choirs Nov. 30 – Dec. 17 at Crown Center Shops, 2450 Grand Blvd., Kansas City. 3:45 pm. FREE. 816-274-8444. Beautiful music fills the halls of Crown Center, as more than 130 area school, church and community choirs perform throughout the holiday season. FREE admission. 816-274-8444 http://www.crowncenter.com/Event-List/holiday-choirs-2015

On the Worst Day of Christmas Dec. 3-6, 11 -13 at Blue Springs City Theatre, 2000 NW Ashton Dr., Blue Springs, MO. When Christmas time stress and distress disrupt the small, peaceful town of Marlette, it becomes a Christmas miracle when the town is reminded why the angels sang that Christmas night so long ago. http://bluespringscitytheater.com/

The Santaland Diaries Dec. 3 – 24 at Copaken Stage, 1 H&R Block Way, Kansas City, MO. Recommended for ages 16 and older. 7:00 pm. Starting at $25. 816-235-2700. Featuring an uproarious soundtrack of lively Christmas music, The Santaland Diaries skewers our sentimental love of all things Christmas—the happy children, the gifts, the spritely elves and the good cheer. http://www.kcrep.org/show/the-santaland-diaries

Handel's Messiah Dec. 3-6, Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts., Kansas City, MO. More than 250 powerful voices make this the Messiah performance of the year! The Independence Messiah Choir joins with the Symphony and Symphony Chorus to continue the 99-year tradition of performing Handel’s glorious Messiah. https://tickets.kauffmancenter.org/single/EventDetail.aspx?p=9042

Redeeming Birth: A Walk Through Bethlehem Dec. 4 from 6:30-9:30pm, Grace Christian Fellowship Church 7230 Quivira Road, Shawnee, KS. An opportunity for the whole family to experience the Christmas story. Free. http://gcfc.net/?tribe_events=walk-through-bethlehem

8th Annual Community Nativity Display Dec. 4-6 at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints 15915 West 143rd Street Olathe, KS. Free event open to the community. There is a theme this year, so the nativities displayed will fit into one of these categories. Europe, Metal, Resin/plastic, Cloth, or Porcelain. Enjoy a  scavenger hunt for kids and free cookies.On Friday and Saturday, enjoy the live nativity and musical performances going on throughout. https://www.facebook.com/olathenativity/?fref=ts

Handel's Messiah Dec. 4 at 7:30pm at Graceway 5460 Blue Ridge Cut Off, Kansas City, MO. Calvary Bible College presents the Masterworks Chorus performing Handel's Messiah at Graceway. Tickets may be purchased by clicking on this link or at the door. http://www.calvary.edu/bible-college/fine-arts/music/masterworks-chorus/

Fables in Frost Dec. 4-6, at H&R Block City Stage, Union Station, 30 W. Pershing Rd, Kansas City, MO. A winter performance by Seamless Dance Company and Aerial Performing Arts. http://boxoffice.unionstation.org/categories/city%20stage

Christmas Movie Showings throughout Dec. at Alamo Drafthouse Mainstreet, Kansas City, MO. Watch Christmas Classics on the big screen and enjoy the one-of-a-kind cinema atmosphere of the Alamo. National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation shows Dec. 6, 8, 13 and 15. Polar Express Family Party at noon on Dec. 12. Elf shows Dec. 9, 14, and 16. and It's a Wonderful Life shows Dec. 13. Some shows are adult only, others are for the entire family. Visit the site for info. https://drafthouse.com/kansas-city/calendar/mainstreet

Tuba Christmas Dec. 4 & 7 at Noon, FREE at the Kauffman Center, KC,MO. Call 816.471.0400 for reservations. Family, friends and the general public are encouraged to attend the FREE lunch hour concert for sounds of the season, tuba-style! http://tickets.kcsymphony.org/single/PSDetail.aspx?psn=9320  

The Nativity Dec. 4 -6 at Grace & Holy Trinity Cathedral, 415 W 13th St, Kansas City, MO. $16 adults $11 children. 816-756-3500. A cast of over forty puppeteers bring these larger-than-life Biblical characters to life. http://www.paulmesnerpuppets.org/

Classic Holiday Throwback Movie Series: National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation Dec. 4-10 at Union Station Extreme Screen Theatre, 30 W. Pershing Rd., Kansas City, MO. Enjoy our holiday screening of the comedy classic, National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. http://www.unionstation.org/

"The Spirit of Christmas" Dec. 4- 6 at Performing Arts Center, 5th & Delaware Streets, Leavenworth, KS. This production is for the whole family. http://www.rccplv.com

Songs of Good Cheer – KC Dec. 4 from 7-9pm at Unity Temple on the Plaza, 707 W. 47th St, Kansas City, MO. Tickets: $20 online. $25 at the door. Songs of Good Cheer – KC is a perfect opportunity for all ages to sing holiday songs on the Country Club Plaza! The holiday community sing-along benefits the local Alzheimer's Association - Heart of America Chapter and its Music and Memory Program. www.songsofgoodcheer-kc.org

Little Women Dec. 4-6 at The Culture House, 14808 W. 117th Street, Olathe, KS. Based on Louisa May Alcott’s American classic, this Civil War story of love and family stands the test of time. Produced nationally and internationally, Little Women has been praised by critics for its ambition in adapting such a well-known story for the stage. This timeless captivating story is brought to life in this glorious musical filled with personal discovery, heartache, hope, and everlasting love. TICKETS ARE: $9 IN ADVANCE ONLINE (plus taxes and fees) $14 AT THE DOOR (taxes and fees included). http://culturehouse.getmytix.net/ticketing/53_LITTLE-WOMEN

Kansas City Ballet presents The Nutcracker Dec. 5 – 24 at Muriel Kauffman Theatre | Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, 1601 Broadway Blvd, Kansas City. Join Kansas City Ballet this holiday for the classic, Victorian-era story by E.T.A. Hoffman. Witness a completely reimagined performance with exquisite costumes, grand new sets, stunning special effects and all new choreography by Artistic Director Devon Carney. See your children’s wonder ignite and feel the glimmer once more as your childhood dreams return and inspire you to IMAGINE AGAIN. Kansas City Ballet Artistic Director Devon Carney presents an all new production of this favorite holiday classic. Carney promises a traditional yet boisterous, adventurous, and reimagined production. www.kcballet.org/performances-tickets/2015-2016-season/

The Ultimate Christmas Show Dec. 5 at 8pm a Carlsen Center at JCCC, 12345 College Blvd, Overland Park, KS. The three zany characters who make up the Reduced Shakespeare Company take you on an irreverent yet heartwarming trip through the holidays. Gasp at the shocking history of our best-loved Christmas traditions as portrayed in the Annual Holiday Variety Show and Christmas Pageant at St. Everybody’s Nondenominational Universalist Church, where all faiths are welcome because they believe just about anything. http://www.jccc.edu

Very Merry Morning Dec. 5 from 10am-1pm at Westside Family Church, 8500 Woodsonia Dr, Lenexa, KS. Come experience the nativity story through the eyes of your preschooler. Families and friends are invited to come and journey at their own pace through a variety of interactive stations where preschoolers can make an ornament, test out their woodworking skills, share the good news in the post office, venture through an obstacle course on the way to Bethlehem, decorate cookies, and much more. The event is free and lunch will be available for purchase in the gallery. www.westsidefamilychurch.com/very-merry

Ibsen Ballet presents The Nutcracker Dec. 5 at Liberty Performing Arts Center, 1600 S Withers Rd, Liberty, MO. Tickets are $12 and groups of 10 or more are $10.00 each. http://www.ibsendance.net/

Nutcracker Tea Party Dec. 5 & 6 at Ritz Charles, 9000 W 137th St, Overland Park, KS. $50-75/ea. Enjoy a performance of The Nutcracker ballet by Crescendo Conservatory and a Tea Party with an elegant menu and character meet and greets.  http://www.nutcrackerteaparty.org/

Christmas at Resurrection Dec. 9-13 at Church of the Resurrection, 13720 Roe Ave, Leawood, KS. 300 actors, singers, dancers and instrumentalists perform in a celebration of Christmas and the depiction of the traditional Christmas story. http://www.cor.org/

Now Playing for Kids: The Polar Express Dec. 10 from 6-8pm at Mid-Continent Public Library Excelsior Springs, 1460 Kearney Road, Excelsior Springs, MO. Escape to the library for an adventure on the big screen. Registration is required. http://www.mymcpl.org/locations/excelsior-springs

 A Waltz Through Toyland Dec. 10 at 10:30am at Crescendo Conservatory, 6741 W. 135th St. Ste. A-69, Overland Park, KS. $5 per child/ at the door. Enjoy holiday music, dance, and delightful treats. The first 50 attendees will receive a free gift bag. http://www.facebook.com/events/1007192029343158/

Classic Holiday Throwback Movie Series: Polar Express Pajama Party Dec. 11-17 at Union Station Extreme Screen Theatre, 30 W. Pershing Rd., Kansas City, MO. Enjoy our holiday screening of Polar Express Pajama Party. http://www.unionstation.org/

A Spectacular Christmas Show Dec. 11-23 at Musical Theater Heritage at Crown Center, Crown Center Shops, Level 3. Presented by Musical Theater Heritage, this is not your typical musical celebration of the season. With one act dedicated to holiday songs taken from the musical theater, and another act featuring joyful and celebratory tunes, this show promises upbeat and uplifting music sure to put a smile on your face and the spirit of Christmas in your heart. MTH's warm and casual style ensures that this will be a super fun and unique holiday event for the whole family. http://www.crowncenter.com/Event-List/spectacular-christmas

Wonderpalooza Concert Series 2015 Dec. 12 & 31 at Wonderscope, 5700 King, Shawnee, KS. Jump, shake, and wiggle to the beat with top kid-friendly musicians at Wonderscope! This is FREE with museum admission thanks to our sponsor Arts KC. Saturday, December 12 at 11:00 a.m. - Funky Mama. Thursday, December 31 at 11:30 a.m. (WonderEve) - Jim “Mr. Stinky Feet” Cosgrove. http://www.wonderscope.org/

Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins Dec. 11-13 at White Theatre, 5801 W 115th St, Overland Park, KS. $16 adults $11 children. A Hanukkah puppet show. http://www.MesnerPuppets.org

Drive-thru Living Nativity Dec. 11-13 at Lone Jack Baptist Church, 202 S. Bynum Road, Lone Jack, MO. All. 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm. Free. 816-423-5463. Come celebrate the season with us as we engage you in an interactive journey through HIStory starting in the Garden of Eden and leading to the most humble of places for the birth of the King of Kings - all from the comfort of your own vehicle. During your 20 minute drive, you will hear and speak with the actors, see many live animals, sip a cup of hot chocolate, and enjoy freshly baked cookies. Best of all, it’s totally FREE (NO donations accepted). http://www.lonejackbaptist.org

Under a Starry Sky Dinner Theater Dec. 11 & 23 at First Baptist Church 2024 E. 151st St, Olathe, KS. The First Baptist Church of Olathe will put on a Christmas production of Under a Starry Sky, in a Dinner Theater setting for all the community to enjoy. Please sign up early online by going to www.fbcolthe.org and checking out the advent activities. $5/person. http://www.fbcolathe.org

Piccadilly Puppets presents "The Gingerbread Boy" Dec. 11 from 6:30-7:15pm at Kansas City Public Library Plaza Branch, 4801 Main Street, Kansas City, MO. This family-friendly show, full of holiday goodness as sweet as sugar, features Belinda Baker, and a boy made of gingerbread. http://www.kclibrary.org

DOC SEVERINSEN with the KANSAS CITY SYMPHONY Dec. 11 at 8pm at Helzberg Hall, Kauffman Center, 1601 Broadway Boulevard, Kansas City, MO. Tickets start at $49. Former “Tonight Show” bandleader and trumpet legend Doc Severinsen is still swingin’! http://www.kcsymphony.org/

Jim Brickman Comfort & Joy Tour Dec. 12 at 8pm at Carlsen Center at JCCC, 12345 College Blvd, Overland Park, KS. Jim celebrates this in a one-of-a-kind concert event filled with lush instrumentals and soaring vocals. http://www.jccc.edu/performing-arts-series/events/current/jim-brickman.html

Holiday Express Pajama Party Dec. 12 from 6:30-8:30pm at North Kansas City Parks and Recreation, 1041 Burlington Ave, North Kansas City, MO. $5. Wear your PJ's as we start the holidays off with a ride on the northbound train, "Polar Express." We will enjoy the movie on a big screen, cookies and hot chocolate. Preregister by December 4th by calling 816-300-0545. www.kcparks.org

Fountain City Brass Band in concert - Christmas Brass Dec. 12 at 7:30 pm at the Bell Center at Mid-America Nazarene University, Olathe, KS. The Fountain City Brass Band’s annual Christmas show is a Kansas City tradition. Hear the songs and sounds of the season with the awesome power that only brass and percussion can bring. Tickets: $20 Adults, $15 Seniors (60+), $10 MNU Faculty/Staff, $5 All Student http://www.mnu.edu/resources/events/119-default/130-bell-center/4744-fountain-city-brass-band-in-concert-christmas-brass.html

Dinosaur O'Dell: Christmas Time is Here Dec. 12 from 10:30-11:30am at North Oak Branch-Mid-Continent Public Library, 8700 N. Oak Tfwy, Kansas City, MO. This is a sing-along, dance-along, rock-along show! Registration is required. http://www.mymcpl.org

1945 Film Series: White Christmas Dec. 12 from 2-4:30pm at Harry S. Truman Library and Museum, 500 W. US Hwy. 24, Independence, MO. A successful song-and-dance team become romantically involved with a sister act and team up to save the failing Vermont inn of their former commanding general. http://www.trumanlibrary.org/

Happy Birthday Jesus: The Night Jesus was Born Dec. 12 from 9am-12:30pm at St. John's UMC, 6900 Ward Parkway, Kansas City, MO. Happy Birthday Jesus is a fun, creative and FREE community event designed to help children learn the true meaning of Christmas and to celebrate the birth of Christ! We encourage all kids to wear their comfy PJ's while we travel back to the night of Jesus' birth! Your child will experience a morning of music, stories, games and crafts. Lunch is provided. This event welcomes all children, ages 3yrs (and potty-trained) through fifth grade. SPACE IS LIMITED so please complete your on-line beginning Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2015. http://stjohnsumc.org/

A Kansas City Christmas Dec. 12 & 13 at 5pm each night at Lenexa Baptist Church 15320 W 87th St Pkwy, Lenexa, KS. An evening of Christmas music featuring the Lenexa Baptist Church choir and orchestra followed by a delectable dessert buffet.  This is a free event with child care provided for ages three and under. http://lenexabaptist.com/events/1455/a-kansas-city-christmas/

Holiday Concert Series in the Chapel  Dec. 12-13 at Powell Gardens, 1609 N.W. U.S. Highway 50, Kingsville, MO. The Marjorie Powell Allen Chapel is an extraordinary venue in which to enjoy seasonal music. Tickets are $14 ($10/members) and include Garden admission, trolley service and Gardens by Candlelight: A Luminary Walk. http://www.powellgardens.org/holidays#.VjA_UrerSCg

Old MacDonald's Holiday Hoedown Dec. 16-23 at Paul Mesner Puppets, 1006 E Linwood Blvd, Kansas City, MO. $12 adult $9 child. 816-756-3500. Sing along with America’s favorite farmer as he and his animal friends prepare for Christmas. http://www.MesnerPuppets.org

'Twas the Night Before Christmas  Dec. 17 from 6-7pm at Mid-Continent Public Library Excelsior Springs, 1460 Kearney Road, Excelsior Springs, MO. 'Twas the Night Before Christmas narrated by Mrs. Claus herself! Stone Lion Puppet Theater presents this wacky hand-and-rod puppet show that retells everyone's favorite Christmas poem.  http://www.mymcpl.org/locations/excelsior-springs

Kansas City Symphony’s CHRISTMAS FESTIVAL Dec. 17-20 at Helzberg Hall, Kauffman Center, 1601 Broadway Boulevard, Kansas City, MO. Cherished Christmas carols and songs of the season. http://www.kcsymphony.org/

The Mystery of Christmas Dec. 18-20 at Goppert Theatre Avila Uninversity, 11901 Wornall Rd, KC, MO. A Christ centered full length Nutcracker ballet that tells the true story of Christmas! http://www.dramatictruth.org

Candy Cane Hunt featuring Mr Stinky Feet Dec. 18 at 9:30am at Lenexa Community Center, 13420 Oak St, Lenexa, KS. Come spend the morning with us hunting candy canes (outside), then come inside and warm up with hot chocolate, cookies, crafts and a music performance by Mr. Stinky Feet. http://www.LenexaKS.com  

Clara's Dream Dec. 19-20 in Olathe, KS. Please join our Miller Marley family in celebrating the Holiday season with Clara’s Dream and A Holiday Musical Revue!  Act One consists of A  Holiday Musical Revue featuring the Miller Marley Performance Companies.  Act Two consists of Miller Marley’s original take on the Nutcracker.  A shortened version including all of the magical moments seen through Clara’s eyes!  Join us in celebrating  what has become Miller Marley’s favorite Winter Holiday tradition!  For additional information call 913-492-0004. http://www.millermarley.com/MM/MMMarquee-UpcomingEvents.shtml

The Nutcracker Dec. 19-20 at Liberty Community Center, 1600 S Withers Rd, Liberty, MO. $15-18. www.lybc.eventbrite.com   

Music in the Museum Dec. 20 from 1-4pm at The National Museum of Toys and Miniatures, 5235 Oak Street, Kansas City, MO. $5 for ages 5 and up. Take a break from the hectic holiday season to enjoy traditional holiday music from Simple Strings in the museum’s historic Tureman Education Center. Included with museum admission. http://toyandminiaturemuseum.org

Giant Puppet Nativity Dec. 24 at 4:30pm at St. Peter's United Church of Christ, 700 E. 110th St., Kansas City, MO. The annual retelling of the Christmas story will feature larger-than-life Wise Men as part of the Giant Puppet Nativity. http://www.kcspucc.org  

The Night Bear-Fore Christmas Dec. 12, 19, & 26 at the Puppetry Arts Institute, 11025 E. Winner Rd., Independence, MO. Kraig Kensinger (From Independence, MO) Bring on the bears! A wild revue featuring your favorite Christmas tunes.  Performances all three days at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m (all days). http://www.hazelle.org/schedule.html

Come Adore Him at Christmas In the Barn Dec. 24 at 2pm and 4:30pm at Johnson Farms (17701 Holmes Rd, Belton, MO. 816.331.1067). Come join Lord of Love Lutheran Church Pastor Meggan Prosser-Gebhardt at our 8th annual Christmas In the Barn service Thursday, December 24 at the farm. Our community of friends will share two identical, full sensory celebrations of our Savior's birth this year: one will begin at 2:00 pm followed by a second at 4:30 pm.  Our heated barn has priority seating and parking available for those who need it  And although our barn is heated, please dress warmly & check the website for updates or cancellations due to inclement weather. We will be serving homemade sweets and hot beverages and have live music to set the mood. Come adore Him this early evening with us.  A free will donation will be taken for Lord oF Love Lutheran Church's Wednesday Night Community Meal. http://www.johnsonfarms.net/

Trans-Siberian Orchestra Dec. 26 at the Sprint Center, KC, MO. This year's enchanted Yuletide tale is "The Ghosts of Christmas Eve". http://www.sprintcenter.com/events/detail/trans-siberian-orchestra

Outdoor Events for Christmas in Kansas City

Crown Center Ice Terrace 2450 Grand, Kansas City . Kansas City’s only public, outdoor ice skating rink is open for the season. http://www.crowncenter.com/Event-List/ice-terrace-2015

The Ice at Park Place, 11551 Ash Street, Leawood, KS. The Ice at Park Place, the only outdoor ice rink in south Johnson County, will be open November 20th through January 19th, including holidays. http://www.parkplaceLeawoodKS.com/events/ice

Ski Snow Creek 1 Snow Creek Dr, Weston, MO. The tentative opening day for the 30th season is Friday, December 18th, 2015. Enjoy snow boarding and skiing, lessons, and family fun on the scenic hills of Weston. http://skisnowcreek.com/

Trip the Light Fantastic! Nov. 24 at 5:30pm at Longview Lake Campground, Longview Lake Park. Enjoy a four-mile Magical Bike Ride through the hundreds of lighted, animated displays at Jackson County’s Christmas in the Park! Prizes will be awarded to the Best Holiday Decorated Bike and the Best Holiday Dressed Individual. Pre-Registration is required. www.makeyourdayhere.com/events

16th annual Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens' Holiday Luminary Walk Nov. 27-28, Dec. 4-5 from 5-9pm at the Overland Park Arboretum, 8909 W. 179th St., Overland Park, KS. This major fundraiser features a mile of candles, holiday lights, live entertainment, Santa Claus, horse-drawn 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 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. It will be held from 5 to 9 p.m., two weekends, Friday and Saturday, Nov. 27th-28th and Dec. 4th-5th. Admission is $8 per person; children 5 and younger are free. Advance tickets can be purchased at any Hen House Market, Westlake ACE Hardware stores, and online at www.opabg.org. Tickets can also be purchased the night of the event. https://www.opkansas.org/events/holiday-luminary-walk/

Festival of Lights Parade Dec. 4 at 7pm, Historic Downtown Lexington, Lexington, MO. Holiday parade through historic Downtown Lexington. VisitLexingtonMo.com

Festival of Lights Parade & Tree Lighting Dec. 5 at 6pm at Downtown Baldwin City at 8th and High St, Baldwin City, KS.Turn out for the annual Festival of Lights Parade and tree lighting ceremony, which welcomes Santa to town. The parade runs through historic downtown Baldwin City and features Santa Claus making his grand entrance on an antique fire truck. After the parade children can visit with Santa, have their photos taken, and enjoy warm hot cocoa and cider at area businesses. Come join the start of the holiday fun! Following the Festival of Lights Parade, the block of High Street between 8th and 7th Street will be blocked off to public transportation. There will be a tree lighting ceremony. www.baldwinfestivals.com

Kris Kringle 5K Dec. 12 from 9-11am at Swope Park, Kansas City, MO. The wintery cross country course will take you up and down hills, over fields, through historic Swope Park. http://kcparks.org/event/kris-kringle-5k-run-2/

Gardens by Candlelight: Luminary Walk Dec. 12 & 13 from 5-7:30pm at Powell Gardens, 1609 N.W. U.S. Highway 50, Kingsville, MO. Enjoy the yuletide spirit with a stroll through the Gardens aglow with the light of hundreds of luminaria. The path will take you across the Island Garden, where you can warm your hands over a fire, before moving on to the peaceful holiday beauty of the Marjorie Powell Allen Chapel. Take the trolley back to the Visitor Center to warm up in the cozy comfort of the Grand Hall with a glowing fire and live music. Enjoy complimentary hot chocolate and homemade cookies. http://www.powellgardens.org/LuminaryWalk

12th Annual Winter Solstice Torch Lit Hike Dec. 16 from 5:30-7pm at George Owens Nature Park, 1601 S. Speck Rd., Independence, MO. Enjoy the beginning of winter with a walk along a beautiful torch-lit path to learn about the day we receive the shortest amount of daylight. Bring your camera and have your pictures taken in an ice sleigh, watch artists create ice sculptures, learn how animals prepare for winter and much more. Warm up with a cup of hot chocolate by the roaring outdoor fire. http://www.ci.Independence.mo.us/parksandrec/owens#sthash.Be9vcwgW.dpuf

Winter Solstice Celebration Dec. 19 from 6:3-8:30pm at Ernie Miller Nature Center, 909 N. K-7 Highway, Olathe, KS. $6 per person, including adults. 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. Register today at http://www.jcprd.com


Christmas Past: Historic Sites

Victorian Winter Wedding Nov. 27 – Dec. 30 at Vaile Mansion, 1500 N. Liberty, Independence, MO. Adults $6.00, Children $3.00. With a profusion of ribbons, lace, cherubs, angels, and garland - each room is ready for Victorian Christmas Wedding. Hours: Monday-Saturday 10 AM to 4 PM, Sunday 1 PM to 4 PM, Closed December 23-25. http://www.vailemansion.org/

Christmas Candlelight Tour Nov. 27 & 28 from 6-9pm at Harris-Kearney House, 4000 Baltimore Ave, Kansas City, MO. Tour the 1855 Harris-Kearney House to see festive decorations, enjoy Christmas Eve scenarios and tasty refreshments. Tickets: Adults:$10.00 ; Seniors and Active Military: $8.00; Students: $6.00; Children 6 and under are free. Reservations are not required, but can be made by calling 816-561-1821 or 913-648-0952 FREE parking available. http://westporthistorical.com/harris-kearney-house/

1860s Living History Nov. 27 from noon-4pm at Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop, 1200 E. Kansas City Road, Olathe, KS. $7/adults, $5/children ages 5 & up, Olathe residents receive $2/off admission. Enjoy 1860s living history activities such as stagecoach rides at 12:30 p.m., 1:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m, & 3:30 p.m. (weather and ground conditions permitting), blacksmith and cookstove demonstrations, visiting the Mahaffie House and 19th century games! Visit exhibits in the Agricultural Heritage Livestock Barn and the Heritage Center. http://www.mahaffie.org//calendar/list

A Victorian Christmas Nov. 27 from 10am-4pm at The National Museum of Toys and Miniatures, 5235 Oak Street, Kansas City, MO. $5 for ages 5 and up. (816) 235-8000. Cure your turkey coma with a day of family fun! Get into the holiday swing of things with a Victorian-themed family-friendly activity. http://toyandminiaturemuseum.org

Christmas at the Bingham-Waggoner Estate Nov. 27 – Dec. 30 at Bingham-Waggoner Estate, 313 W. Pacific, Independence, MO. All adult admissions - $6.00 Youth 6 – 16 - $3.00. 816-461-3491. “Deck the Halls” is the theme. Walk in tours Monday through Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Sundays from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Twilight Tour on Sunday, December 6th from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. This annual event will give you the opportunity to stroll at your leisure, enjoying light refreshments and live music. http://www.bwestate.org

Black Friday Living History Nov. 27 from noon – 4pm at Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop & Farm, 1200 Kansas City Road, Olathe, KS. $7/adults, $5/ages 5-11. $2 off for Olathe residents. 913-971-5111. Take a break from holiday shopping to enjoy hands-on 1860's living history. Activities may include stagecoach rides, visits to the 1865 farmhouse and Heritage Livestock barn, and cookstove and blacksmith demonstrations. (Stagecoach rides dependent on weather/ground conditions.) http://www.mahaffie.org

27th Night-time Christmas Tour Nov. 27, Dec. 4 & 11 at Strawberry Hill Museum 720 N 4th St, Kansas City, KS. During these evening tours, the museum will be illuminated using Victorian oil lamps and Christmas lighting.  Each tour begin at 6:00 p.m. and is followed by drinks and dessert. Call early to make your reservation (913-371-3264).  http://www.strawberryhillmuseum.org/calendar/

Christmas at Lanesfield weekends Nov. 28 – Jan. 2 from 1-5pm at Lanesfield Historic Site, 18745 S. Dillie Rd, Edgerton, KS. Drop in and see the school decorated for an old-fashioned Christmas! Practice your penmanship, and learn how Christmas was celebrated in 1904. Make an ornament to take home. http://www.jocogov.org/dept/museum/event/2014/11/12/4550

A Very Fifties Christmas Nov. 30 – Jan. 1 at The 1950s All-Electric House, 6305 Lackman Rd., Shawnee . $5 Adults, $4 Seniors, $3 Children 5 yr - 12 yrs.. Rock around our aluminum Christmas tree on the guided tour and celebrate the holidays 1950s-style! Times: 1:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m. Monday-Friday. Extended holiday hours 10:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m. Saturdays. http://www.jocogov.org/dept/museum/event/2014/11/10/4547

Gallery Walk: Christmas in the West Dec. 3- 17 at National Frontier Trails Museum, 318 W. Pacific, Independence, MO. 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm. Regular museum admission. Learn the holiday observations of pioneers in the American West during this thirty minute guided tour. http://www.ci.Independence, MO.mo.us/parksandrec/Calendar#sthash.siGtf43g.dpuf

Christmas Open House Dec. 5 from 10am-4pm at Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop & Farm, 1200 Kansas City Road, Olathe, KS. FREE ADMISSION. 913-971-5111. Enjoy holiday decorations, music, and old-fashioned activities such as stringing popcorn and cranberries. Make a gingerbread house ($4) and visit the historic house and grounds. Santa arrives at 1pm! Stagecoach rides available for $2/ages 3 and up (weather permitting). http://www.mahaffie.org

NFTM Happy Holidays Dec. 5 from 10am-4pm at National Frontier Trails Museum, 318 W. Pacific, Independence, MO. Free wagon tours, refreshments and great deals in the Museum Store. http://www.ci.Independence.MO.mo.us/parksandrec/Calendar

Country School Christmas at Lanesfield School Dec. 5 from 1-4pm Lanesfield Historic Site, 18745 S. Dillie Rd, Edgerton, KS. Holiday caroling, storytelling, and crafts. Free refreshments and a visit from Santa completes the afternoon. http://www.jocogov.org/dept/museum/event/2014/11/10/4545

Anderson House Christmas Dec. 5 (10am-4pm) & 6 (noon-4pm) at Battle of Lexington Historic Site, 1101 Deleware, Lexington, MO. Enjoy a decorated Anderson House, desserts and music. This event is free and open to the public. www.mostateparks.com/event/62942/anderson-house-christmas

Coleman Open House Dec. 5 from 10am-4pm at The National Museum of Toys and Miniatures, 5235 Oak Street, Kansas City, MO. See the museum’s nine-foot-tall dollhouse decked out for the holiday season. Get up close as museum educators open the doors for a day of in-depth talks about the museum’s largest dollhouse and its contents. Included with museum admission. http://toyandminiaturemuseum.org

Christmas on the Farm Dec. 5 from 2-7pm at Watkins Woolen Mill, 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 apple cider 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, live traditional holiday music and a performance by the Lathrop Singing Mules grade school choir. This event is free of charge and the Watkins home is open for the duration of the event. http://mostateparks.com/event/62123/christmas-farm

A Visit with St. Nicholas at Shoal Creek Dec. 5 from 10am-4pm at Shoal Creek Living History Museum in Hodge Park, 7000 NE Barry Rd, Kansas City, MO. $5 per person (age 5 and under free). Take a break from the present and experience a 19th century Christmas. Join us for a walking tour through our holiday decorated homes and log cabins of the 1800’s while re-enactors bring the village to life. Visit St. Nicholas in the Thornton Mansion in his resplendent green velvet robes, make your Christmas purchases at the Mercantile and post your St. Nicholas letter. Experience a Civil War encampment, warm up by the “potbellied” stove in the school to hear storytelling, find peace in the serene setting of an 1884 Church, see how 1880’s Swedish immigrants celebrated Santa Lucia Day and watch how lace was made in the Arnold Home. End your visit with a brief horse drawn sleigh ride through the countryside. http://kcparks.org/event/a-visit-from-st-nicholas-2/

Candlelight Christmas Tour Dec. 11 & 12 from 6:30-8pm at John Wornall House Museum, 6115 Wornall, Kansas City, MO. Explore Christmas on the frontier by using all five of your senses. See, smell, touch, taste, and hear Christmas traditions from the Civil War-era. http://www.wornallmajors.org/experience/events/

Canes, Cocoa and a Claus! Dec. 11 from 6-8pm at Shawnee Indian Mission State Historic Site 3403 W. 53rd Street, Fairway, KS. Bring your flashlight to participate in a candy cane hunt for children ages 10 and under.  Parents must accompany their children on the candy cane hunt! Afterward, children can have a chat and photo opportunity with Santa and Mrs. Claus.   Cookies and hot cocoa will also be provided.   While you're there, check out the beautiful Christmas Trees and Holiday greenery available for purchase at the 2nd Annual Shawnee Indian Mission Foundation Christmas Tree Sale, in collaboration with Boy Scout Troop 192. Proceeds from the sale are shared between the Foundation and Troop 192. http://www.fairwaykansas.org

A Christmas Celebration Dec. 12 from 9am-5pm at Missouri Town 1855, Fleming Park. Adults $5.00; Youth 5-13 and Seniors $3.00, Under 5 free. The Christmas customs of English, German and French settlers are brought to life in this historic antebellum community. The smell of wood burning fireplaces, period music and authentic decorations and special visit and candy treat from “Belsnickle” will thrill children of all ages. http://www.jacksongov.org/missouritown/

Day in the Life: Christmas During the War Dec. 13 from 10am-5pm at National World War I Museum and Memorial, 100 W. 26th St., Kansas City, MO. The Living History volunteers will focus on how Christmas was celebrated by soldiers during the war. FREE to the public. http://theworldwar.org


Make Fun Christmas Things

Paint Pottery at Paint, Glaze & Fire: Paint Glaze & Fire Ceramics & Coffee House, 12683 Metcalf, Overland Park, KS. http://paintglazeandfire.net/

  • Santa Hand Print Ornaments offered thru Nov. 29
  • Holiday Open House Nov. 21 from 9am-6pm.  No Studio Fees to create one-of-a-kind gifts for everyone on your list! Reservations Recommended (913.661.2529). Walk Ins Welcome, Space Permitting. Other promotions and discounts not accepted on this special day.

Kids Lab: Candy Cane Oobleck Dec. 3 from 4:30-5:30 at Mid-Continent Public Library Excelsior Springs, 1460 Kearney Road, Excelsior Springs, MO. 6 and up. Oooey gooey, but it smells so good! Oobleck is made up of molecules arranged in long chains. When the chains are stretched the liquid will flow, but when you force them together they stick and become solid. Registration is required. Limit 25. http://www.mymcpl.org/locations/excelsior-springs

Natural Wreaths Class Dec. 5 from 2:30-4pm at Burr Oak Woods Nature Center, 1401 NW Park Rd, Blue Springs, MO. Registration required by calling 816-228-3766 (all ages) Celebrate the season by crafting a natural artisan wreath! Evergreens, pine cones and many other natural trimmings will be provided. Please bring a small wire or grape vine wreath as a base for your creation. http://www.mdc.mo.gov/areas/cnc/burroak/

Holiday Nature Crafts and Smokey Bear Dec. 5 from 10am-1pm at Burr Oak Woods Nature Center, 1401 NW Park Rd, Blue Springs, MO. No registration required (all ages) Come-in anytime between 10 am and 1 pm to complete two ‘on-your-own’ crafts. Pose with Smokey Bear for a holiday season photo and we will print one for you for free (limit one per household). http://www.mdc.mo.gov/areas/cnc/burroak/

Teens Create: Ugly Holiday Sweater Charms Dec. 11 from 4-6pm at Mid-Continent Public Library Excelsior Springs, 1460 Kearney Road, Excelsior Springs, MO. Taking ugly holiday sweaters to a whole new level, we'll be making charms to wear with your terrible attire! Using a rainbow loom and winter/holiday colored rubber bands, teens will make these fantastic, ugly holiday sweater charms. Registration is required. http://www.mymcpl.org/locations/excelsior-springs

Merry Science in Science City Dec. 12 from 10am-5pm at Science City, 30 W. Pershing Rd., Kansas City, MO. Come to Science city for some fun experiments and holiday fun. There will be holiday themed hands-on projects for the entire family to enjoy. http://unionstation.org/

Polar Express Family Story Time Dec 18, 6:30pm at Ceramic Cafe, 9425 Mission Road Leawood, KS. We will read "The Polar Express" and paint a Believe plaque, enjoy FREE studio time and get 4 ornaments to paint. Space is limited. Register at 913.383.0222. Cost: $30/ea. http://ceramiccafekc.com/special-events/

Kids in the Kitchen - Holiday Cookies Dec. 19 at from 10am-noon at Johnson County K-State Research and Extension, 11811 S. Sunset Drive, Olathe, KS. Hey, kids, ready to have some fun in the kitchen? Join us to learn the basics of baking and decorating holiday cookies. We’ll also cover food safety, basic cooking skills and nutrition. (Suitable for ages 7-12). Register online or call the Extension Office, 913-715-7000 http://www.johnson.ksu.edu/

Cookies and Card Making Dec. 24 from 10-11:30am at Lenexa Community Center, 13420 Oak St, Lenexa, KS. Decorate 3 cookies and unlimited cards for Santa or someone special and don’t worry we have not forgot about the reindeer! All ages. http://www.LenexaKS.com


Shopping Events


Gallery of Trees Nov. 19 at Olde Mill Emporium, 168 South Main Street, Parkville, MO. 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm. Gallery of Trees is a fundraiser for Christmas on the River, a fun festive social gathering! The evening features a silent and live auction, dinner, music, awards, holiday spirits and more. http://www.parkvillemo.org/upcoming-events/gallery-of-trees/

Family Tree Nursery Holiday Open House Nov. 20-22 at all Family Tree Nursery locations. Every November we transform our garden center into a magical winter wonderland. Forests of decorated trees, lights, decorations and holiday gifts put Family Tree Nursery at the top of Christmas rooms in Kansas City. We carry an unmatched selection of artificial garlands, wreaths and picks, Thymes Frasier Fir, Mark Roberts Fairies, Fontanini nativity pieces, high-quality trees and thousands of ornaments. http://www.familytreenursery.com/events-offers/

#LegendsHoliday Instagram Contest Nov. 21 – Dec. 16 Legends Outlets, 1843 Village W Pkwy, Kansas City, KS. Starting at the Legendary Lighting Ceremony on Nov. 21, and for the 25 days following, shoppers can show their holiday spirit by taking pictures in front of Legends Outlets’ 45-foot tree and posting to Instagram using the hashtag #LegendsHoliday. Legends Outlets will track the hashtag #LegendsHoliday and award Instagram followers with various prizes throughout the contest, including a $500 Legends Outlets gift card as the grand prize for one Instagram follower to be announced on Dec. 16. http://www.legendsshopping.com/

Small Business Saturday Downtown Lee's Summit Nov. 28 at Downtown Lee's Summit, Lee's Summit, MO. Shop more than 45 specialty stores in Downtown Lee’s Summit, a Great American Main Street Award winner. From home decor and gifts to accessories, clothing and everything in between, the friendliest merchants around will help you find just what you’re looking for this holiday season. In addition, pick up a “Passport to Downtown Lee’s Summit” at participating stores and you could win big! Customers who collect a stamp or signature from all participating stores will turn in their passports to be entered to win prizes. http://downtownls.org/event/small-business-saturday-2015/

Candlelight Homes Tour: Weston Dec. 4-6 in Weston. Start your holiday season off right with a tour through five historic homes in Weston, Missouri - voted Kansas City’s “Best Day Trip” 10 years straight by Ingram’s Magazine. The downtown street lamps will be a glow with greenery and lights, the streets leading to the tour homes will be lined with luminaries, and of course Weston’s Father Christmas, who for years has evoked feelings of a Christmas long ago, will be on hand to greet visitors. No trip to Weston would be complete without visiting the wide array of restaurants, shops, and attractions. For more information and to purchase tickets visit westonmo.com or call the Chamber of Commerce office at (816) 640-2909. http://westonmo.com

December Holiday Open House Dec. 4-6 in Downtown Lee's Summit. Check out all of the wonderful gift and decorating ideas Downtown Lee’s Summit merchants have to offer. Enjoy classes taught by participating Downtown merchants and experts while shopping for the holidays. Customers also can enter to win a Downtown Lee’s Summit shopping spree. http://downtownls.org/event/holiday-open-house-2/

Santa's Secret Workshop Dec. 5 from 9am-1pm at Pine Ridge Presbyterian Church, 7600 NW Barry Rd, Kansas City, MO. Come SHOP at Pine Ridge’s annual Santa’s Secret Workshop for Mom, Dad, Grandma, Grandpa, etc! We’ll have gifts from $1 - $10 for kids to buy in our “Small Mall.” Santa will be here and we’ll have lots of cookies and hot cocoa! The kids will get to make their own “gift tag” as a craft for each gift! The church’s Many Hands crafting group will also feature a variety of terrific items for sale in the foyer during the event. http://www.pineridge.org/

Home for the Holidays Dec. 5 from 11am-3pm at Powell Gardens, 1609 N.W. U.S. Highway 50, Kingsville. 11:00 am to 3:00 pm. Stock up on poinsettias you won’t find elsewhere (including our impressive poinsettia trees), hand-crafted wreaths, ornaments and stocking stuffers for everyone on your list. Throughout the day, our expert panel of staff and volunteers will share ideas for decorating and gift giving. http://www.powellgardens.org/HolidayHome

Strawberry Swing Indie Craft Fair's Holiday Swing Dec. 5 & 6 at The Uptown Theater Shoppes, 3600 Broadway, Kansas City, MO. Come see why Buzzfeed voted The Strawberry Swing as one of the top indie craft fairs in the world! 75+ makers, food trucks, live music, kids crafts, a photo booth and more! http://thestrawberryswing.org

Piper Winter Craft Show Dec. 5 from 9am-3pm at Piper High School, 4400 N 107th St, 4400 N 107th St, Kansas City, MO. Concessions will be available (hamburgers, hot dogs, nachos, and dessert). A sampling of what is available: jewelry, floral, crochet, sewing, rustic furniture, quilts, painted window art, and much, much more. We will have breakfast with Santa for the kids and a Pancake breakfast with Piper Optimist.

Children's Small Mall Dec. 5 & 6 at C.W. Parker Carousel Museum, 320 S. Esplanade, Leavenworth, KS. On Dec. 5, 9-5 and Dec. 6, 10 -4, children 3-13 years old are invited to do their own holiday shopping for family and friends in a secure environment. Parents pay $3, $5 or $7 for each person on the child's gift list. Our Elves guide each child with their gift selections. The selected gifts are then wrapped, labeled and ready to be placed under the tree. To complete their shopping experience each child receives a free ride on the 1913 carousel, (photo op) a bag of reindeer food and free admission to the Kid's Craft Corner. Parents: While your little shoppers are busy selecting gifts enjoy complimentary hot chocolate and browse through the crafts, gifts and baked goods available for purchase. http://www.firstcitymuseums.org

Holiday Marketplace Dec. 12 from 10am – 1pm at Roeland Park Community Center, 4850 Rosewood Drive, Roeland Park, KS. Free to attend, gifts available for purchase. Children will enjoy a visit from Santa, holiday crafts and a special shopping experience to find the perfect gift for any member of their family. http://www.jcprd.com

Farmers Market Holiday Mart Dec. 19 from 9:00 am - 2:00 pm at Lee’s Summit Elementary Gym, 110 SE Green St, Lee's Summit, MO. The Downtown Lee’s Summit Farmers Market vendors have been working hard to prepare gifts and goodies for the indoor Holiday Mart. Be sure to stop by and cross a few things off of your holiday shopping list. http://downtownls.org/event/farmers-market-holiday-mart-2/

Santa Sightings and other favorite Christmas Characters


Parkville Winter Wonderland Nov. 20  - Dec. 28 Downtown Parkville, Parkville, MO. Historic Downtown Parkville is in full swing for the holidays! Main Street and English Landing Center are decorated with lights, displays and Santa is in his house Thursday – Sunday, 6 – 9 pm to hear children’s wishes. http://www.parkvillemo.org/upcoming-events/parkville-winter-wonderland/

KRIS KRINGLE & K-9s Nov. 21 from 1-3pm at Waggin’ Trail Dog Park, NE 32nd and Swift, North Kansas City, MO.1:00 pm to 3:00 pm. $5/pooch at the gate. Pictures with Santa, carolers, vendors, hot chocolate and more! http://kcparks.org/event/kk-k9/

Santa’s Wonderland Nov. 14-Dec. 24 at Bass Pro Shops (Independence, Olathe). Free crafts, photos, games and more for kids. http://www.basspro.com

Santa’s Gingerbread Station Nov. 27 – Dec. 31 at Crown Center Shops, Level 1 Showplace, 2450 Grand Blvd., Kansas City, MO. FREE. 816-274-8444. Kids and families can explore this new interactive exhibit, meet and have their photo taken with Santa Claus, climb aboard the Crown Center Express Train Engine, and enjoy the return of Gingerbread Village. FREE admission. Photos with Santa are available for a fee, or you may take your own. Open during Crown Center Shops holiday hours. (Closed Christmas Day.) After visiting Santa, head over to The Coterie for a live production of A Charlie Brown Christmas showing thru Jan. 3. http://www.crowncenter.com/Event-List/Gingerbread-Station

Santa Dives with Penguins Weekends Nov. 27 – Dec. 20 (Fri, Nov. 27 and Sat & Sun thereafter) at Kansas City Zoo, 6800 Zoo Dr., Kansas City, MO. What’s red and swimming with the penguins at Helzberg Penguin Plaza? Santa! Get a one-of-a-kind photo of Santa as penguins torpedo around him. Santa will be diving at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. http://www.kansascityzoo.org

EBT Laughing Santa and Santa’s Countdown to Christmas Nov. 27 - Dec. 31 Crown Center Shops, Level 1 Showplace, 2450 Grand Blvd., Kansas City, MO. FREE. 816-274-8444. Don't miss one of Kansas City's favorite pieces of Christmas nostalgia, EBT Laughing Santa, who first appeared at KC's Emery, Bird, Thayer department store in the early 1900s. The mechanical marvel has chuckled his way through the holidays at Crown Center since 1979. Not far away, you'll find Santa's Countdown to Christmas display, a popular photo opp during the holidays. http://www.crowncenter.com

Holiday Luminary Walk Nov. 27-28, Dec. 4-5 from 5-9pm at Overland Park Arboretum, 8909 W. 179th St, Overland Park, KS. 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm. This major fundraiser features a mile of candles, holiday lights, live entertainment, Santa Claus, horse-drawn 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. Children will be thrilled to see Santa’s Woodland Depot in the Train Garden and chat with him nightly from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Admission is $8 per person; children 5 and younger are free. Advance tickets can be purchased at any Hen House Market, Westlake ACE Hardware stores, and online at www.opabg.org. Tickets can also be purchased the night of the event. http://www.opkansas.org/events/holiday-luminary-walk-2/

Santa’s Arrival at Crown Center Nov. 27 at 10-11am at Crown Center Shops, 2450 Grand Blvd., Kansas City. FREE. 816-274-8444. Santa Claus arrives in a horse-drawn carriage to kick off the holiday season. Perry the Penguin, Tip from Crayola and other costume characters help greet Jolly Ol’ St. Nick. Join Santa as he makes his way to Santa’s Gingerbread Station, where he resides through December 24. http://www.crowncenter.com/Event-List/santa

Belton, Grandview & KC Railroad Train Rides with Santa Dec. 5 & 12 at Belton, Grandview & KC Railroad, 502 E. Walnut St., Belton, MO. Come, take a step back in time to the first half of the last century and ride a train like your grandparents may have ridden with SANTA! Reservations required. http://www.beltonrailroad.org/

Whoville Holidays Weekends Nov. 28 – Dec. 19 at City Market, Kansas City. 10:00 am to 1:30 pm. Calling all Whos! ‘Tis the season for holiday “Whospitality” at the City Market. Whos of all ages are invited to Whoville Holidays! Dress up as a Whoville character and visit the Grinch and Cindy Lou Who in their Whoville home located on the north end of the City Market. Little Whos can make Whoville-themed holiday crafts in the children’s activity area and grab an apple and candy cane from Apple Market while supplies last. http://www.facebook.com/TheCityMarketKansasCity

Breakfast with Santa Nov. 28 & Dec. 12 at Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop, 1200 E. Kansas City Road, Olathe, KS. 8:30 am to 10:00 am. Enjoy the decorations of the Heritage Center, breakfast, a visit with Santa and make a craft. The Mahaffie Singers will sing Christmas carols from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. One picture per family is included with the registration fee (additional copies available for $5 or two for $7). Cost is $8/person ages 3 & up. Registration required and due the Friday the week before each breakfast. http://www.mahaffie.org//calendar/list

Ginormous Gingerbread House Party Dec. 1 – Jan 5 at Paradise Park, 1021 NE Colbern Road, Lee’s Summit, MO. 9:30 am to 6:00 pm. $6.49 plus tax. Our bigger-than-life creation is the coolest place to warm your holiday spirits and have a blast too! Its laser light show, awesome holiday music and indoor snow make this the best interactive gingerbread house in the world!!! It’s an enchanting, fairy-tale memory your whole family will love! http://www.paradise-park.com/

Santa’s Wonderland: Gillham Park Dec. 4 from 6-8pm at Gillham Park, Gillham Rd. and 41st St., Kansas City, MO. Gather friends and family and spend an evening celebrating the holidays with festive live music, entertainment by the Starlight STARS of Tomorrow, the Rockin’ Rob Show, light displays and, of course, a visit from Santa and his friends. Free and open to the public. http://kcparks.org/event/santas-wonderland/

Brunch with Santa Dec. 5 from 10am-1pm at Vesper Hall, 400 NW Vesper, Blue Springs, MO. Enjoy a festive brunch with family, friends, and Santa. Create a simple craft and receive a gift bag to take home. Children age 1 and under free. Registration deadline is November 30. http://www.bluespringsgov.com  

Lawrence Old-Fashioned Christmas Parade Dec. 5 from 11am-12:30pm at Downtown Lawrence, Massachusetts Street, Lawrence, KS. As one of the most unique parades in the nation, the Lawrence Old-Fashioned Christmas Parade kicks off the holiday season with exclusively authentic horse-drawn carriages parading down Massachusetts Street. http://lawrencechristmasparade.org/

Holiday Wild at the KC Zoo Dec. 5 & 6 from 10am-2pm at Kansas City Zoo, 6800 Zoo Dr., Santa will be at the zoo. This is your chance to tell him what’s on your wish list. Bring your camera and have your picture taken with Santa! Friends of the Zoo (FOTZ) members will enjoy an exclusive breakfast snack and a special meet and greet with Santa on Saturday, Decemeber 5 from 8:30 to 10 a.m. http://www.kansascityzoo.org/node/1521#sthash.giMcfeRU.umoMOASd.dpuf

Breakfast with St. Nicholas Dec. 5 from 8-11am at Strawberry Hill Museum 720 N 4th St, Kansas City, KS. A $10.00 fee will include breakfast, a visit with St. Nicholas and one picture.  An adult breakfast is available for $6.00.  If your child wishes to visit only with Santa and have a picture taken, the fee is $5.00. http://www.strawberryhillmuseum.org/calendar/

Holiday Party at KC Parks and Rec

  • Dec. 5 from 11am-3pm North KC Community Center, 3930 N.E. Antioch, Kansas City, MO.
  • Dec. 5 from 11am-3pm Hillcrest Community Center, 10401 Hillcrest Rd., Kansas City, MO.
  • Dec. 5 from 11am-3pm Gregg/ Klice Community Center, 1600 John “Buck” O’Neil Way, Kansas City, MO.
  • Dec. 6 from 10am-4pm at Westport Roanoke Community Center, 3601 Roanoke Rd., Kansas City, MO.
  • Dec. 11 from 6:30-8:30pm at Brush Creek Community Center, 3801 Emanuel Cleaver II Blvd, Kansas City, MO.
  • Dec. 12 from 11am-2pm at Tony Aguirre Community Center, 2050 W. Pennway Terr., Kansas City, MO.
  • Dec. 17 from noon – 2pm at Southeast Community Center, 4201 E. 63rd St., Kansas City, MO.
  • Dec. 19 from noon-3pm Marlborough Community Center, 8200 Paseo Blvd., Kansas City, MO.

Get in the holiday spirit and celebrate with your neighbors at your local community center. There will be entertainment, reindeer games, arts and crafts projects, prizes, and holiday goodies. Youth will visit and take pictures with Santa. Each pre-registered child ages 15 and under attending will receive a toy. http://kcparks.org

Fairy Princess at KC Museum Sat & Sun Dec. 5-20 from Noon-4pm at Kansas City Museum, 3218 Gladstone Blvd., Kansas City, MO. $10 per child and no rsvp is necessary. To past generations of Kansas City children, the holidays meant a visit with the fabulous Fairy Princess at Kline’s Department Store at 1113 Main Street. There, in Kline’s wondrous Toyland, yesterday’s youngsters told their fondest holiday hopes to the Fairy Princess. But the beautiful Fairy Princess did much more than listen. Being magical, she waved her wand to make a surprise gift appear for each child. This gift was a delightful prelude to the holidays when children received toys on their wishlist. http://kcmo.gov/kansascitymuseum/fairy-princess/

Santa’s Wonderland: Penguin Park Dec. 5 from 5:30-7:30pm at Penguin Park, N Vivion Rd. and N Norton Ave., Kansas City, MO. Gather friends and family and spend an evening celebrating the holidays with festive live music, entertainment by the Starlight STARS of Tomorrow, the Rockin’ Rob Show, light displays and, of course, a visit from Santa and his friends. Free and open to the public. http://kcparks.org/event/santas-wonderland-penguin-park/

Breakfast with Santa Dec. 5 from 8-10am at Independence Center, 18801 E 39th St S, Independence, MO. This event will be held in the food court and will include games, activities and entertainment! The event is free for members. Requires an active Kidgits membership and RSVP by November 30th. Not a member? It’s just $5 to join! Visit Guest Services for details. http://www.shopindependencecenter.com

Holidazzle Dec. 5 from noon – 4pm at Bruce R. Watkins Cultural Heritage Center, 3700 Blue Parkway , Kansas City . 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm. Holidazzle is a Holiday Children’s Festival. That will be a Christmas Movie, Arts & Crafts,Gift Bag Giveaway, Refreshments and Picture with Santa. Santa arrives at 3 p.m. http://kcparks.org/event/holidazzle-2015/

Santa Express weekends Dec. 5-13 at National Agricultural Center and Hall of Fame, 630 N 126th St., Bonner Springs, KS. Free. 913-800-0220. Santa is greeting children in the historic train depot and elves are giving train rides! The barn will have a model train display, holiday treats and reindeer games! 10 AM to 4 PM, Saturdays 12/5 and 12/12. 1 to 4 PM Sundays, 12/6 and 12/13. http://www.aghalloffame.com

Shawnee Christmas Around Town Dec. 5 from 4:30-7:30pm at Shawnee Town Museum, 11501 W. 57th Street, Shawnee, KS. Santa Claus will arrive around 5:15 p.m. to help the Mayor light the City’s Christmas tree and present a check to the recipients of the Mayor’s Christmas Tree Fund. Then Santa will ride to the museum (11600 Johnson Drive) where all sorts of exciting activities await! Visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus from 5:45 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. while Wonderscope entertains with holiday activities. Take a ride in a horse-drawn carriage, sing along with the carolers, have your face painted by Sister Act Facepainting, take home a balloon from our balloon artists, and visit live reindeer! You can also have a guided tour of our 1920s farmhouse decorated for the season with real German tinsel and 1920s ornaments on the tree. http://www.shawneetown.org

Santa & Me Saturdays Dec. 5-19 from 10am-2pm at Paradise Park, 1021 NE Colbern Road, Lee’s Summit, MO. Free Viewing. Bring your own camera and enjoy quality face time with Santa at Paradise Park for FREE! Don’t forget to visit Santa’s Studio too and make your Christmas wish list along with all the other fun you can share throughout the holiday season. http://www.paradise-park.com/

Go Green for the Holidays Festival Dec. 6 from noon -4pm at Westport Roanoke Community Center, 3601 Roanoke, Kansas City, MO. This free event features a stage full of entertainment, environmentally friendly arts and holiday crafts to make, games, music, Mayor's Toy Fund give away and of course a visit from Santa. http://www.stonelionpuppets.org

Holiday Wonderland Dec. 11 from 6:30-8:30pm at North Kansas City Parks and Recreation, 1041 Burlington Ave, North Kansas City, MO. $5.00. 816-300-0545. Join us for a holiday celebration with Jingle Bell the Elf from Happy Faces Productions. There will be interactive storytelling, and singing of carols. After the performance we will do holiday crafts with Dare to Dabble and Elsa from the movie Frozen will make and appearance. It will be a celebration that you will not want to miss. Space is limited! Call to preregister by December 4, 2015! http://www.nkc.org

Cookies with Santa and Mrs. Claus Dec. 12 from noon-3pm at The Atkins-Johnson Farm, 6607 NE Antioch Road, Gladstone, MO. $5.00. Visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus while enjoying cookies and cider. A $5 fee will include a photo with Santa and Mrs. Claus, refreshments and entry into museum. http://www.atkinsjohnsonfarm.com

Breakfast with Santa Dec. 12 from 9:30-10:45am at Irene B. French Community Center, 5701 Merriam Dr., Merriam, KS. T'was the night before breakfast and all through the center, kids kept asking does Santa really twitter. Pre-register by Thursday December 7 for $4, Registration between December 8 and 12 is $6 per person. http://www.MerriamKS.org/park   

Lions & Trees Dec. 12 & 13 at 10am and 2pm at the Kansas City Zoo, 6800 Zoo Dr., Kansas City, MO. Bring your pride to see the Zoo's pride receive holiday trees filled with only the finest feline gifts. What does a lion do with a bow and wrapping paper? http://www.kansascityzoo.org//node/1683#sthash.CuJoGB7y.dpuf

Breakfast with Santa Dec. 12 & 19 from 9am-noon at Powell Gardens, 1609 N.W. U.S. Highway 50, Kingsville, MO. Join Santa and Mrs. Claus for a morning of fun at Powell Gardens. Festivities include a pancake breakfast by Chris Cakes, storytelling near a glowing fireplace and a make-and-take craft. Admission charged, reservations required. http://www.powellgardens.org/Santa#.VjBCO7erSCg

Breakfast with Santa Dec. 12 at Ernie Miller Nature Center, 909 N. K-7 Highway, Olathe, KS. $7 per person, including adults, $8 nonresidents. 9137647759. Bring a parent and have breakfast followed by a visit with Santa. Enjoy pancakes and juice. Afterwards Santa will explain the winter habits of his animal friends. He will also help you construct a gift for wildlife. Of course, Santa will have a gift for each child and will listen to your Christmas list. This magical holiday event, for ages 3-5 with an adult, is $7 per person, including adults, $8 nonresidents. Advanced reservations required. http://www.jcprd.com

Father Christmas Comes to T/m Dec. 13 from 1-3pm at The National Museum of Toys and Miniatures, 5235 Oak Street, Kansas City, MO. $5 for ages 5 and up. Father Christmas comes to T/m to share stories of holidays past. Professional storyteller Jim “Two Crows” Wallen will engage the entire family with interactive tales of Old Saint Nick in the museum’s historic Tureman Education Center. Be sure to bring your camera so you can snap keepsake photo of your family with Father Christmas! Included with museum admission. http://toyandminiaturemuseum.org

Jim "Two Crows" Wallen Presents: A Visit with Santa Claus Dec. 12 at North Oak Branch-Mid-Continent Public Library, 8700 N. Oak Tfwy, Kansas City, MO. Come visit with Santa, and listen as he tells an exciting holiday story. Registration is required. http://www.mymcpl.org

KCS Holiday Express Dec. 16-20 at Union Station, 30 W. Pershing, Kansas City, MO. Back for its 15th annual run, the Kansas City Southern Holiday Express train brings Santa Claus and his elves back to Union Station. The KCS Holiday Express is unlike any other train in the world! The Holiday Express train is free and open to the public. At each stop, The KCS Charitable Fund will make a contribution of gift cards to the local Salvation Army to provide warm clothing and other necessities for children in need. http://www.kcsouthern.com/en-us/pdf/2015-holiday-express-schedule.pdf

Skate with Santa Dec. 19 from 2-4pm at Line Creek Community Center, 5940 N.W. Waukomis Drive, Kansas City, MO. Join the jolly big man for some fun and festivity on ice! The Line Creek Figure Skating Club will put on a free show prior to the event. Ages 5+. FREE admission and skate rental with every can of food donated! ($6 admission; $2 skate rental). http://kcparks.org/event/skate-with-santa/

  Jim "Two Crows" Wallen Presents: A Visit with Santa Claus Dec, 19 from 3-4pm at Mid-Continent Public Library Excelsior Springs, 1460 Kearney Road, Excelsior Springs, MO. Get in the Christmas spirit! Come visit with Santa, and listen as he tells an exciting holiday story. Bring Mom, Dad, Grandma and Grandpa, and a camera. We will also make a simple craft to take home. http://www.mymcpl.org/locations/excelsior-springs

Olaf’s© Splash Bash Dec. 23 from 10am-1pm at Roeland Park Aquatic Center, 4843 Rosewood Drive, Roeland Park, KS. $7 per person, including adults. Do you love summer as much as Olaf©? Combine two seasons in one during this fun, family day at the Roeland Park campus. Start with making a marshmallow Olaf©, have a wish granted by Queen Elsa’s© magic potion, and ‘fixer up’ your own troll crystal necklace. Enjoy turkey wraps and macaroni and cheese for lunch. Then it’s off to the warm waters of the Roeland Park Aquatic Center to thaw out for a one hour pool party. This epic event is just $7 per person, including adults. Children 2 and under are free. Register today at http://www.jcprd.com

AND... For Holiday Lights, read our KC Holiday Lighting Ceremony Guide or the Best Christmas Lights in Kansas City! Be sure to check out the Best of the Holidays in Kansas City for our top picks.

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