Best of November in Kansas City

2017 Edition

The Great Pumpkin Smash at the Kansas City Zoo, Winterfest at Worlds of Fun, A Christmas Carol at the KC Rep, PJ Masks, Peppa Pig and more live shows, holiday traditions, and events featuring fine arts, attractions, and family. This November, give thanks, give back, and create family memories with celebrations and events for the entire family. These are our top picks for November in Kansas City:

Nature's Neighborhoods: Be My Neighbor Day

When, Where, What: Nov. 4 from 9am-3pm at the Anita B. Gorman Conservation Discovery Center

Why We LOVE It: "Be My Neighbor Day" is a day-long celebration for families featuring tigertastic events with a focus on being a caring citizen of the world and neighbor to people and wildlife! Join Daniel Tiger of Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood for hands-on learning activities, performances by Stone Lion Puppet Theatre and more. Bring a canned good or a sweater to share with someone in need. KCPT's Be My Neighbor Day is supported by PNC Grow Up Great. More details and opportunities to pre-register to meet Daniel Tiger at


Day of the Dead Festival

When, Where, What: FREE Nov. 5 from 10am-4pm at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.

Why We LOVE It: Celebrate Mexican culture at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art's “Día de los Muertos” festival with live music, art activities, food, and an innovative altar display featuring a 3-D Tree of Life with projected images of artwork by local artists. This year’s display offers an innovative presentation of the Tree of Life, a well-known Day of the Dead tradition. A 3-D tree sculpture is the focal point, with projected images of artwork created by local artists from Mattie Rhodes Center and children from area schools. You are invited to add your own special remembrance.


Kids' Shows at The Midland

When, Where, What: The Midland. Upcoming Shows:

PJ Masks LIVE!: Nov. 9. PJ Masks, the hit series, follows the thrilling nighttime adventures of three young friends who transform into their dynamic alter egos, Catboy, Owlette and Gekko, when they put on their pajamas at night and activate their animal amulets. Together, they embark on action-packed capers, solving mysteries and learning valuable lessons along the way.

Peppa Pig LIVE!: Nov. 17. Peppa Pig, the #1 Family show of 2016, is back with an action-packed live show featuring your favorite characters as life size puppets and costume characters in Peppa Pig’s Surprise! Come join Peppa, George, Mummy Pig, Daddy Pig and more in an all singing, all-dancing adventure full of songs, games and surprises! 

Shopkins LIVE!: Nov. 25. Your beloved Shoppies make their theatrical debut in an original new live show featuring musical performances by Jessicake, Bubbleisha, Peppa-Mint, Rainbow Kate, Cocolette, Polli Polish and more! The fun and fashionista Shoppies are joined by the Shopkins – the grocery store - themed mini collectable toys - Apple Blossom, Strawberry Kiss, Lippy Lips, Kooky Cookie, Poppy Corn, Slick Breadstick and Shady Diva. An ensemble cast of multi-talented performers brings the show to life on stage through urban style music, song and dance.

JCCC Performing Arts Series

When, Where, What: Johnson County Community College Performing Arts Series. Upcoming Shows:

My Father's Dragon: Nov. 1. When nine-year-old Elmer Elevator hears about a baby dragon who is held captive by the ferocious animals of Wild Island, he sets off on an adventure to rescue the dragon and return him home. This fabulous adventure is brought to the stage with talking animals, a daring rescue, a flying dragon, buried treasure and lots of humor throughout. Using puppets, masks, inventive scenic effects and original music, Enchantment Theatre Company brings you the story of a compassionate and courageous young boy and his unlikely friendship with a splendid yellow-and-blue-striped dragon.

Festival of South African Dance: Nov. 4. Experience this showcase of two distinct South African dance traditions, born from the perseverance of the human spirit. The two deeply rhythmic ensembles, Real Actions Pantsula and Stimela “The Gumboot” Musical, uplift, unite and tell a story as they entertain and follow in their historical tradition of spreading awareness of socioeconomic and political challenges. These communicative dances have become important parts of restoring, revitalizing and preserving South African culture. 

Harlem Quartet With Aldo López-Gavilán: Nov. 10. For their third appearance at the Carlsen Center, the Harlem Quartet is joined by Cuban piano prodigy Aldo López-Gavilán.

Mariachi Sol de México® Featuring José Hernández: Nov. 11. Sol de México embraces the romanticism of Mexico’s land, people and beauty of the heart. José Hernández invites you to enrich your affection for mariachi by experiencing Sol de México’s dynamic energy and rich cultural expression.

Illusionist Rick Thomas: Nov. 12. Few entertainers have succeeded like Rick Thomas. His show has run for 15 years in Las Vegas, with a staggering 600 shows a year. He now tours, producing the most intriguing and innovative grand illusions with a style unlike any other magical entertainer.

Youth Symphony of Kansas City Fall Concerts: Nov. 19. The Youth Symphony of Kansas City will be performing three free concerts, including the Debut and Philharmonic Orchestras.

Why We LOVE It: The Johnson County Community College Performing Arts Series consistently brings top notch entertainment to the metro. Featuring a wide range of shows, there is something for everyone.

Special Events at National Museum of Toys and Miniatures

Details: National Museum of Toys and Miniatures (5235 Oak Street, KC, MO.  816.235.8000)

November Events: 

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 11, 2017 — SUNDAY, JANUARY 06, 2019: Marble playing ruled playgrounds for much of the twentieth century. Requiring only a handful of marbles and a patch of dirt, the game crossed all economic and social barriers. In 1947, the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) created a national marble tournament to positively influence young boys and re-engage WWII and Korean War veterans in civilian life. The tournament, an annual event for 14 years, was a life-changing experience for the thousands of kids who participated. Playing for Keeps tells the firsthand stories of the players alongside their souvenirs, trophies, and marble memorabilia. Learn their stories and then knuckle down to experience the thrill of the game in a regulation-size marble ring. Playing for Keeps is presented in partnership with the Missouri Humanities Council with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

MEET THE EXPERTS: THE VFW MARBLE TOURNAMENTS SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 12, 2017 | 2-3PM: Get to know the experts at The National Museum of Toys and Miniatures through this monthly exploration of special topics. On November 12, author Scott McBride will discuss the game of marbles and the stories of tournament participants featured in T/m’s new temporary exhibit, Playing for Keeps: The VFW Marble Tournaments, 1947-1962. The program includes a lecture and gallery visit. Included with museum admission.

DAY AFTER THANKSGIVING PROGRAM: MAGIC MARBLES FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 24, 2017 | 10AM-4PM: It’s a day of marble magic with fun for the entire family. Explore the museum’s special exhibit Playing for Keeps: The VFW Marble Tournaments, 1947-1962, and try your hand at “knuckling down” during a marble lesson. Then, pick out your own marble and turn it into a piece of wearable art to take home with you. Included with museum admission.

Why We LOVE It: Explore the museum collection through gallery talks and guided tours, then visit the hands-on workshop to make your own toy or miniature. This museum offers a educational, interactive, and whimsical exhibits where the story of play comes to life!

Friends of Johnson County Library Big Fall Kids Book Sale

When, Where, What: Big Fall Kids Book Sale Nov. 15-18 at Central Resource Library

Why We LOVE It: It's the BIG Fall Kids Book Sale, and it's SO BIG that we can't wrap our minds around just how huge this thing is! It's really big! REALLY BIG! Ginormous! Gargantuan! Jumbo! Grab your cash, check, MasterCard, Visa, American Express or Discover, then stock up on tons and tons of children's books for sale at bargain prices. Board books, picture books, chapter books, teen books and more. All proceeds go to Friends of the Johnson County Library and feed back into purchasing new materials and sponsoring events.


November at the Kansas City Zoo

When, Where, What: The zoo is open year-round and November is loaded with fun at the Kansas City Zoo. A few highlights: November 4 & 5 Great Pumpkin Smash,  November 11 & 12  Zootastik Learning Fest— Red Panda, November 18 & 19  Feline Frenzy,  November 24–26 Santa Dives and Penguin March,  November 25 & 26  Species Spotlight— Tigers and Cheetahs,  December 2 & 3  Meet Santa at the Zoo.

Why We LOVE It: The Kansas City Zoo is a blast year-round, but many of our favorite and most unique events happen in November - Penguin March, The Great Pumpkin Smash, and Santa Dives with Penguins - all one-of-a-kind events you don't want to miss. 


Mid-Continent Public Library's Marty's Second Birthday

When, Where, What: All through November at Mid-Continent Public Library Branches.

Why We LOVE It: We LOVE the library and KC Parent is proud to sponsor this event! Marty the Martian, the Library’s mascot and star of its signature book Grow A Reader: An Interplanetary Tale, will be celebrating his second Earth birthday throughout the month of November in celebration of MCPL’s Grow A Reader early literacy program. Come to the party, meet Marty, and enjoy stories, songs, refreshments, and fun!


NEW! Winterfest at Worlds of Fun

Details: Nov. 24-Dec.30 at Worlds of Fun.

Why We LOVE It: We're looking forward to this NEW KC holiday tradition! 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!


Holidays at Crown Center

When, Where, What: Crown Center is one of Kansas City's best-loved holiday landmarks with many great events all season long.

Why We LOVE It: Christmas at Crown Center is a Kansas City Tradition! With a whimsical playground, model trains traveling through a gingerbread village, visits with Santa, ice skating, and more... there is something for everyone!  

Upcoming Events in November:

Arrival of Mayor's Tree: The first sign of the holiday season arrives at Crown Center, the culmination of a journey from Oregon. The 100-foot-tall tree arrives at 9 a.m. on November 2 and is put into its stand at approximately 10 a.m. on Friday, November 3.

Crown Center Ice Terrace: Kansas City's only public outdoor ice skating rink opens for its 45th season of great skating fun. Enjoy complimentary skating, coffee and hot chocolate from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. on opening day, Friday, November 3!

Into the Woods at MTH: Nov. 2-19. Celebrating its 30th anniversary, Into the Woods is widely considered one of the greatest musicals ever written. This Stephen Sondheim masterpiece takes everyone's favorite storybook characters to "happily ever after" and beyond.

A Charlie Brown Christmas at Coterie: Nov. 7-Dec. 31. Experience the power of this wonderful story live onstage as Charlie Brown turns to his best friend Linus to learn the season's real meaning. Read our review of A Charlie Brown Christmas.

Mayor's Tree Lighting: The 100-foot-tall Mayor's Christmas Tree, one of the nation's tallest, is the centerpiece for an illuminating holiday celebration on November 24. Mayor Sly James and a celebrity guest will flip the switch to light the tree. The tree is a symbol of the Mayor's Christmas Tree Fund, which is dedicated to assisting the city's less fortunate. Program begins at 5:30 p.m. 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.

Santa at Crown Center: Santa Claus arrives in a horse-drawn carriage on November 24 to kick off the holiday season. Join Santa as he makes his way to Santa's Gingerbread Station, where he resides through 
December 24.


18th Annual Storytelling Celebration

When, Where, What: 18th Annual Storytelling Celebration, Nov. 8-11 sponsored by MCC-Maple Woods.

Why We LOVE It: The Kansas City Storytelling Celebration, hosted by MCC-Maple Woods, will be celebrated with lively stories, anecdotes, myths, legends and lessons. The 18th Annual Celebration will celebrate the time honored tradition of storytelling and will be held in more than 100 sites across the Kansas City metro area.  For a schedule of public events visit




Holiday Shopping in Downtown Lee's Summit

When, Where, What: Downtown Lee's Summit shopping district hosts special events all month as shoppers prepare for the holidays.

Holiday Open House: Nov. 3 & 4. Let our elves stock your shelves this holiday season! Find one-of-a-kind holiday decor and gifts at dozens of locally-owned shops in Downtown Lee’s Summit. Get a head start on those holiday wish lists, and enjoy lunch at one of our many restaurants. See the schedule below for special attractions all weekend long!

Christmas Lighting Ceremony: Nov. 17 from 6:00-8:00pm. Join the Mayor of Lee’s Summit as he lights the Downtown! Free hot drinks and cookies, choir performances, a visit from Santa, and much more will get you in the holiday spirit. Dr. David Zak will “flip the switch” to light Downtown in over 100,000 sparkling lights. Many local shops and restaurants will stay open late for you to check off items on your holiday wish list.

Small Business Saturday: Nov. 25. Grab all those last-minute items that you still need for the holidays, and grab some lunch or dinner while you are Downtown! Enjoy classes taught by local experts and business owners while shopping for the holidays. Customers can also enter to win a Downtown Lee’s Summit shopping spree.

Santa Visits Downtown Lee's Summit: Saturdays Nov. 25 - Dec. 16. As you shop Downtown Lee’s Summit this holiday season, be sure to stop in to get your photos with Santa. He will be available for pictures with children of all ages. Visit Downtown Lee's Summit's site for details.

Why We LOVE It: Historic Downtown Lee’s Summit is a nationally award-wining Main Street. With more than 45 eclectic specialty stores, dozens of dining and entrainment options, and the most welcoming business owners around, Downtown Lee’s Summit is worth the trip. Plan a ladies day out, a weekend of fun, or visit during a special event.

Journey to Judea

When, Where, What: Journey to Judea Nov. 17-19and Dec. 1- 3 Countryside Baptist Church, 14150 W 175th Street, Olathe, KS. Free. (913) 592-3270. Admission is free, but tickets must be reserved online in advance. 

Why We LOVE It: This is one of our favorite annual traditions! Journey to Judea is an interactive Christmas experience that allows you to walk through the narrative of the Bible, learning the twists and turns that lead us to the birth of Christ and reveal the true significance of His coming. The birth of Christ is more than a historical event: it has crucial relevance for every man, woman and child. This event includes a cast of nearly 100 people, live animals, narration, live action, and music. Groups of 40-50 people will be guided through an hour-long outdoor tour of different scenes spread across twenty acres of land, literally walking through the story of the Bible. Our goal is to make this a yearly event that families can enjoy together as a part of their Christmas celebration.


ALL-NEW Adaptation of A Christmas Carol at The KC Repertory Theatre

Christmas Carol at KC Rep

  • When, Where, What: Christmas Carol at The KC Rep Nov. 17 - Dec. 24.
  • Why We LOVE It: Kansas City’s favorite holiday tradition is back for its 37th season, with an all-NEW adaptation by KCRep Artistic Director, Eric Rosen! A ripping good telling of the classic story of Ebenezer Scrooge, the curmudgeonly businessman who requires the intervention of a few spectral guides to understand the true meaning of Christmas and life. Complete with lively musical numbers, ornate costumes, and dashing stagecraft, Dickens’ classic tale of hope and redemption continues to remind us what’s really worth celebrating – at the holidays, or any time! A Kansas City Holiday Tradition!







19th annual Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens' Holiday Luminary Walk

Luminary Walk Overland Park Arboretum

When, Where, What: at Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens held from 5 to 9 p.m., three weekends, Friday and Saturday, Nov. 24-25, Dec. 1-2, and Dec. 8-9. Purchase tickets online at Tickets may also be purchased the night of the event. 

Why We LOVE It: This is one of our favorite ways to kick off the holidays. Stroll down candlelit trails through the gardens and woods at the 19th annual Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens' Holiday Luminary Walk. 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.


Summit Fair's Black Friday Bash

When, Where, What: Nov. 24 from 6-9pm at Summit Fair Shopping Center in Lee's Summit, MO.

Why We LOVE It: Summit Fair is one of our favorite local shopping center. Gather your family, adorn your Santa hats, and head to Summit Fair for the 1st annual Black Friday Bash! Shop unbeatable store sales, register to win prizes all evening long, and enjoy family entertainment - including visits with Santa, a live DJ, balloon artist, kid’s crafts and more! Plus, follow Summit Fair on Facebook/Twitter to find out how you can become a Black Friday Bash V.I.P! @summitfair #ShopSummitFair





Holidays at Legends Outlets

Legends Outlet Christmas Tree

When, Where, What: Legends Outlets Kansas City (1843 Village W Pkwy, Kansas City, KS. 913.788.3700), Kansas City’s only designer outlet shopping center, announces its holiday calendar filled with multiple events and prize giveaways throughout the season.

13th Annual Legendary Tree Lighting Ceremony Saturday, Nov. 18, 5 – 8 p.m. (center courtyard). The ceremony will include live holiday music and a special appearance from Santa Claus, who will lead the tree lighting countdown and ignite a center-wide light display – one of the region’s first and largest displays of animated lights synchronized to music. The holiday lights will remain on display through early January 2018.


KCKPD COPPS UNIT HOLIDAY DRIVE: Nov. 1- Dec. 11: Join Legends Outlets to help support the community this holiday season by making a donation to the KCKPD COPPS Unit holiday gift drive. Legends Outlets will accept donations in the management office during operating hours, and in the security office after-hours.


Black Friday Shopping ‚ÄčNov. 24, 6am-9pm. Legends Outlets will be closed on Thanksgiving Day (Nov. 23) and open at 6 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 24, for Black Friday shopping. Some store and restaurant hours on Thanksgiving and Black Friday may vary. 

Why We LOVE It: Legends Outlets is the perfect place to complete your holiday shopping!

Operation Christmas Child

Operation Christmas Child

  • When, Where, What: Operation Christmas Child delivers shoeboxes of goodies to children around the world. For locations and hours of collection in Kansas City, visit There you can find the nearest place to take your shoe box by entering your ZIP code, or you can call 1.800.353.5949. Collection week is Nov. 13-20.
  • Why We LOVE It: Samaritan's Purse staff and partners will collect and hand-deliver some 8.5 million shoe box gifts to hurting children in more than 100 countries on six continents. Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child has hand-delivered more than 86 million shoe box gifts to needy children around the world.


Holidays at Union Station

Union Station (30 W. Pershing Rd., Kansas City, MO. is one of our city's most beautiful landmarks and a favorite family destination. We love the Classic Holiday Throwback Movie Series: Watch your holiday favorites on the Extreme Screen for just $3/ticket. Nov 17-22 - National Lampoons Christmas Vacation. Nov 24-30 - Elf. Dec 1-7 - Home Alone. Dec 8-14 - Polar Express in Your PJs. This holiday season, you'll also enjoy these events at Union Station:

  • Nov 18 "Holidays Come Alive" Kickoff Ceremony with Quixotic
  • Nov 18 - Jan 1 Mini Holiday Express Train
  • Nov 23 All Union Station Attractions including Science City Closed for Thanksgiving
  • Nov 24 - Dec 30  Downtown Dazzle
  • Nov 28 - Dec 30 Raggedy Ann & Andy's Christmas Adventure presented by Theatre for Young America


Holiday Swing Dec. 10 The Strawberry Swing Indie Craft Fair, along with Union Station, present The 7th Annual Holiday Swing! Come celebrate the handmade movement with 100+ handmade & vintage vendors, kids crafts, a photobooth & the most beautiful holiday decor you can imagine at glorious Union Station. 

KCS Holiday Express Dec. 15-19 The KCS Holiday Express is a festive, six-car train that brings Santa Claus and his elves to communities throughout the company’s U.S. rail network at scheduled stops. Guests to the train can visit with Santa Claus and walk through three cars filled with holiday displays. Each event is free, open to the public and no tickets are required. In addition, at each scheduled stop, a charitable contribution is made to the local Salvation Army to provide warm clothes and other necessities for children in need. The Holiday Express was created in 2001 as volunteers dedicated more than 8,000 hours to transform retired rail cars. Today, these cars feature a smiling tank car named Rudy; a flatcar carrying Santa’s sleigh, reindeer and a miniature village; a gingerbread boxcar; the elves’ workshop; a reindeer stable; and a little red caboose.

Christmas Lights

When, Where, What: Kansas City is decorating for the holidays and we have your Guide to KC Lighting Ceremonies and The Best Christmas Lights in KC!

Why We LOVE It: It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas and KC knows how to throw an amazing holiday party! You don't want to miss these festive displays.




Christmas Events in Kansas City

When, Where, What: We have your Ultimate Guide to Christmas in KC!

Why We LOVE It: hristmas in Kansas City is a truly magical time of year. We're excited about the all-new WinterFest at Worlds of Fun, Astro Botanicals at Union Station, the Festival of Lights at Powell Gardens, and more. And, it wouldn't be Christmas without enjoying our favorite annual traditions like Kansas City Repertory Theatre's production of A Christmas Carol this year with a new spin, a visit with Santa at Crown Center and Gingerbread Village and the Kansas City Ballet's The Nutcracker. Top it off with a visit to see the Fairy Princess, Santa, and other holiday friends, experience a living nativity, and celebrate with a holiday festival. This is your ultimate guide to a Kansas City Christmas!KC Parent Magazine on Facebook for more family fun inspiration all month long! 

Still looking for more great family fun ideas in Kansas City? Check out our Kansas City Calendar of Events and Going Places in Kansas City on

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