Kansas City's Holiday Lighting Ceremonies

2017 Edition

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas! From mid-November to mid-December all across the Kansas City metro, switches are flipped, and the city is decked out in holiday splendor!


Note: We make every effort to ensure the accuracy of this information. However, you should always verify dates, times, location and other information, especially with the possibility of weather impacts. Please submit corrections and additions to this guide to kristina@kcparent.com.

You might also like our guide to the Best Christmas Lights in Kansas City.

Nov. 11

Holiday Lighting: The Village at Briarcliff Nov. 11 at Briarcliff Village. Enjoy family fun beginning at 3 pm. There will be bouncy houses, the wonderful 5 Star Band, caricaturists, hayrides, FREE photos with Santa, face painting, a photo booth, characters, and so much more! 

Nov. 16

Holiday Lighting: Martin City Nov. 16 from 6-7:46pm in the Martin City Shopping District. Celebrate the start of the Holiday season at the Experience Martin City Holiday Lighting event! Come as they turn on the holiday lights while shopping and dining at local businesses, listening to holiday music, and seeing the first appearance of Santa Claus! 

Nov. 17

Mayor's Christmas Tree Lighting: Lee's Summit Nov. 17 from 6-9pm. 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.  

Mayor's Christmas Tree Lighting: Overland Park - Nov. 17 from 4:30-7:00pm at the Clock Tower in Downtown Overland Park, KS. Enjoy a free, fun, family-friendly night full of hayrides, carolers, visits with Santa and more at the Mayor's Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony! Stick around after the tree lighting to check out November's Local Life 3rd Friday - #DowntownOP businesses will be open late with live music, holiday shopping specials and much more.

Jackson County Lighting Ceremony in Independence Nov. 17 from 6-7:30pm at Truman Courthouse, 13903 E. Noland Court, Independence, MO. Kansas City Live's very own Michelle Davidson will ring in the holiday at the annual Square Christmas Lighting. Visit Santa in the 1849 Christmas Village in the Exchange Event Space. Catch a FREE holiday movie at The Pharaoh theater wtih a toy donation. Enjoy shopping and food specials. After the lighting of the Mayor's Christmas Tree in the Holiday Forest, enjoy Living Windows on the Square. Windows will come to life with holiday scenes, musicians and more. Explore the historic downtown where many merchants will be open late and other businesses may invite you in for a warm drink. Grab a late dinner or dessert. 

Mayors Tree Lighting: North Kansas City Nov. 17 from 6-8pm at City Hall, 1151 Howell St., North Kansas City, MO. Take a trip into Santa's Wonderland, snack on treats while you enjoy festive entertainment and get your picture taken with Santa before he returns to the North Pole. Northgate Middle School and Briarcliff Elementary will be performing Holiday Carols!

Ward Parkway Center Tree Lighting Nov. 17 from 6-8pm at Ward Parkway Center 8600 Ward Pkwy, Kansas City, MO.. This is the first ever Holiday tree lighting ceremony in the new Restaurant Pavilion. Enjoy family-friendly activities, live music by Big Rick Soul Band and more than $500 in giveaways thorughout the evening. Santa and Mrs. Claus will also be making an appearance and handing out light-up reindeer noses to children in attendance (while supplies last). Music starts at 6 pm, with tree lighting at 7:30 by Santa and South Kansas City civic leaders. 

Nov. 18

13th Annual Legendary Tree Lighting Ceremony Nov. 18 from 5-9:15pm at Legends Outlets, Kansas City, KS.  Centered around its 45-foot holiday tree, the ceremony will feature family-friendly entertainment including live holiday music, prize giveaways, kids activities, complimentary refreshments and selfies with Santa, who will lead the tree lighting countdown and ignite a center-wide light display.​ The tree is decorated with festive LED-lighted snowflakes and a three-foot-six-inch snowfall topper featuring a mix of static LED light bars and double-sided LED animated show tubes. During the ceremony, festive decorations will light up throughout the shopping center and continue through January 2018.​ This year’s official tree lighting ceremony emcees are 41 Action News evening co-anchors, the husband-and-wife team of Rhiannon Ally and Mike Marusarz. They will take center stage at 6 p.m. to kick off the ceremony, introduce the musicians, give away prizes and assist Santa Claus in leading the countdown to the tree lighting.​​ Guests and their friends and families can create special memories from the evening as they enjoy free family friendly activities including face painting, balloon artists, holiday make-and-take crafts while supplies last, an elf on stilts, a magician and visiting with Claire’s Clairebear and Olaf from Frozen. Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory will be sweetening up your family’s night with complimentary hot cocoa and s’mores on a stick, available from 5 – 8 p.m., while supplies last in the Center Courtyard on the east side. One serving per family. Leading up to the tree lighting countdown, local musicians from various bands will perform classic holiday music. Guests can visit Legends Outlets’ VIP tent in the center courtyard to enter to win one of multiple prizes, including a YETI Roadie Cooler, a $300 H&M gift card and a Stay & Play Prize Package featuring Great Wolf Lodge. Prize winners will be randomly selected and notified throughout the ceremony. Winners must be present to claim their prize. Legends Outlets will also be giving away reusable hand warmers and Santa stress balls to guests on a first come, first serve basis and while supplies last. Legends Outlets is partnering with the KCKPD to collect donations for its COPPS Unit holiday food and gift drive. Guests can drop off donations to the Legends Outlets’ VIP tent during the tree lighting ceremony from 6 – 9 p.m. For more information about the donation collection, and for a full list of needed items, please visit:  http://bit.ly/COPPSdrive

Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony at Union Station Nov. 18 at Union Station, 30 W. Pershing Rd., Kansas City. There’s nothing like the magic of the holidays at Union Station! Holiday Lighting Ceremony Featuring Quixotic will begin at 6:30pm. The Grand Hall of Union Station is beautifully lit for the holidays. Enjoy free live entertainment as part of this tradition. Performances include School of Rock at 10am, Starlight Stars at 11am, Mrs. Claus at 11:20am, Dan Riggs Big Band at 2pm, Steam Team at 3pm, Miller Marley Youth Ballet at 4pm, Gabby Lucus House of Dance at 5pm, and The Snow Globes at 7pm. Also from November 18th through December 31st, guests will experience a bold, new sculpture garden that’s going to catch the eye of nature lovers, art enthusiasts and will capture the hearts of the playful with Astro Botanicals. 

Zona Rosa Northern Lights Ceremony Nov. 18 from 4-8pm at Zona Rosa, 8640 N Dixson Ave, Kansas City, MO. Festivities begin at 4 p.m. and the lights and historical crowns blaze to life at approximately 6 p.m. 

Mayor's Tree Lighting: Tonganoxie Nov. 18 from 4-7pm at 4th and Delaware, Tonganoxie, KS. Kickoff the Holiday Season in downtown Tonganoxie with musical performances, food and activities for all ages.

Nov. 20

Mayor's Christmas Lighting Ceremony: Leawood Nov. 20 from 6-7:30pm at Leawood City Hall 4800 Town Center Dr, Leawood, KS. Join Leawood Mayor Peggy Dunn and members of the community for holiday caroling, refreshments and entertainment as the City celebrates the start of the 2017 holiday season by illuminating City Hall at the 20th Annual Holiday Lighting Ceremony. 

Nov. 21

Mayor's Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony: Gladstone Nov 21 from 6-8:46pm. Linden Sqaure, 602 NE 70th St., Gladstone, MO. Join Gladstone City Council and host Joe Lauria, of Fox 4 News, for the lighting of the Mayor's Christmas Tree at Linden Square. The festivities start at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 21 and include: Music from Antioch Middle School and Chapel Hill Elementary School choirs, a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus, and Ice Skating for $5 until 9 p.m.

Nov. 22

Christmas In The Sky  - Nov. 22 from 5:30-8:30pm at Longview Lake Beach, Longview Lake Park. Enjoy a holiday stage show with a cast of 100 talented singers and dancers from Monica's School of Dance, the arrival of Santa and the First Gift of Christmas, and a Holiday Fireworks Spectacular at 7:30pm choreographed to your favorite Christmas tunes and simulcast on 99.7 The Point. 

Thanksgiving - Nov. 23

Holiday Lights on Farmstead Lane – Nov. 24 at 5:00pm the lights are turned on (no ceremony) at Deanna Rose Children's Farmstead, 13800 Switzer Road, Overland Park, KS. 5-10pm nightly thru early January. The 38-minute show is synchronized with music. Tune in to 90.5 Rose FM to hear holiday music as you watch this year's spectacular show. Bring some cocoa, cookies and blankets as you view the lights and hear the music from the warmth of your car. The display is at the main entrance of the Farmstead. 

Lee's Summit Magic TreeNov. 23 (no ceremony) The Lee's Summit Magic Tree I-470 And View High Dr, Lees Summit, MO will be open to the public starting Thanksgiving Thursday, November 23rd. Enjoy the Magic Tree thru Jan. 6 and remember to bring canned food donations to support Lee's Summit Social Services and the families they assist. 

Country Club Plaza Lightin Ceremony Nov. 23 from 5-8pm at Country Club Plaza, Main Stage at Nichols Road & Pennsylvania, by Brio Tuscan Grille, Kansas City, MO. Thanksgiving Day Timeline: 5:00 – 6:00 pm: Pre-show with giveaways and performances. 6:00 – 7:00 pm: 88th Annual KCP&L Plaza Lighting Ceremony. 6:54 pm: Flip of the Switch, followed by fireworks. 7:00 – 8:00 pm: Post-ceremony concert by The Elders. The Plaza Lights shine daily from 5pm to 3am, Thanksgiving through mid January.

Nov 24

AdvertisementChristmas Begins at Crown Center Nov. 24 at Crown Center Shops, 2450 Grand Blvd., Kansas City. Santa’s Arrival 10:00 am to 11:00 am. Santa Claus arrives in a horse-drawn carriage to kick off the holiday season. Join Santa as he makes his way to Santa's Gingerbread Station, where he resides through December 24. Mayor’s Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony from 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm. The 100-foot-tall Mayor's Christmas Tree, one of the nation's tallest, is the centerpiece for an illuminating holiday celebration. 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. 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.

Holiday Luminary Walk from 5 to 9 p.m., three weekends, Friday and Saturday, Nov. 24-25, Dec. 1-2, and Dec. 8-9 at Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens 8909 W. 179th St., OPKS. 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. 2017 eTicket is $9 per person; children 5 and younger are free. Purchase tickets online. Tickets can also be purchased the night of the event for $10 per person

Nov. 27

Mayor's Christmas Tree Lighting and Christmas in the Park: Gardner Nov. 27 from 7:00-9:00pm at Cornerstone Park, Gardner, KS. Seasonal music will be performed by area school children. The event will include a Christmastime message from Mayor Chris Morrow and the arrival of Santa. A lucky individual will be selected to flip the switch that turns on thousands of beautiful lights throughout the park.

Mayor's Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony: Belton Nov. 27 from 5:30-7:30pm at Belton Parks and Recreation 16400 N. Mullen Road, Belton, MO. Join Mayor Jeff Davis and Miss Belton Sadie Messmer for the official Tree Lighting and Kick Off for Operation Santa. There will be entertainment, prizes, FREE hot dogs and hot chocolate. Bring 2 unexpired canned goods or a new unwrapped toy and receive a FREE TICKET to enter for prizes! Live drawings throughout the event inside Memorial Station. Must be present to win. (add’l tickets available for purchase)

Nov. 30

Mayor's Lighting Ceremony: Riverside, MO Nov. 30. Come to the Riverside Branch MCPL for a special visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus. Then begin the holiday season by joining in the annual City of Riverside tree-lighting ceremony. All ages. Registration required.

Dec. 1

Festival of Lights Dec. 1 - Jan. 7 at Powell Gardens 1609 N.W. U.S. Highway 50, Kingsville, MO. 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 winding pathway through six of the seven themed gardens.

Parkville Christmas on the River Dec. 1 from 6-10pm, Downtown Parkville, MO. The 24th annual Holiday “Christmas on the River” celebration is sure to create lasting memories for everyone in the family. Enjoy live entertainment including the Park Hill School District 1000-voice children’s choir, Santa Claus, fun things to see and do, delicious dining and treats, plus our famous holiday fireworks. 

Mayor's Lighting: Raytown Dec. 1 from 6-9pm, Raytown, MO. Gather in the Pocket Park at 63rd and Raytown Road, in the heart of downtown. Enjoy music and entertainment from local schools while we await Santa’s arrival to turn on the lights. Following the ceremony head to our Winter Wonderland to visit with Santa and enjoy cookies and hot cider. Take a hayride around downtown, too. (The Winter Wonderland is located at Brian’s Car Care at 6331 Raytown Road.) Bring donations of canned goods for REAP (Raytown Emergency Assistance Program).

Mayor's Lighting: Grandview Dec. 7 from 6-8pm at The View 13500 Byars Rd., Grandview, MO. Enjoy hot chocolate, cookies, carol performances from Grandview Schools, and the annual tradition of Mayor Leonard Jones reading "The Night Before Christmas." Then we'll officially light up the Mayor's Christmas tree, decorated by one of our local schools! Please bring donations of canned food to help support Grandview families through theGrandview Assistance Program!

​Sar-Ko Aglow - Dec. 1 from 6-9pm at Sar-Ko-Par Park, 87th Street Parkway & Lackman Road, Lenexa, KS. The event will begin at 6 p.m. with the lighting of Sar-Ko-Par Trails Park. Bundle up and enjoy a stroll through the park while taking in the spectacular lights, sipping hot cocoa and listening to carolers. Santa will also be on hand to hear children's holiday wishes (look for Santa on the circle driveway). Also, plan to stop by the Legler Barn Museum while enjoying the festivities. The museum will be open during the event.

Soup's On with Santa & Mayor's Tree Lighting Dec. 1 from 6:30-8:30pm at Merriam Marketplace, 5701 Merriam Dr., Merriam, KS. Event includes soup, holiday games and crafts, photos with Santa, tree lighting, music, door prizes, and a public art dedication. After the ceremony, head across the street to the Irene B. French Community Center to warm up with soup and play games and crafts with your family.  Parents: You can bring a wrapped and tagged gift for Santa to give to your child ($10 or less)! Admission is a canned food item or new toy for the Johnson County Christmas Bureau.  Please register by Wednesday, Nov. 29 at 913-322-5550.

Dec. 2

Candy Cane Christmas and Mayor's Tree Lighting Dec. 2 from 9am-8pm at Centennial Park, 206 E Cedar Street, Bonner Springs, KS. Visit Bonner Springs for the annual Candy Cane Christmas & Mayor's Tree Lighting Celebration! Events throughout the day including Breakfast with Santa (pre-registration required), Santa Express 5K and 1 Mile Reindeer Route, talk with Santa, parade, tree lighting, and performances by the Bonner Springs Elementary Rise Choir, and The Premiere Dance Studio.

Dec. 5

Mayor's Christmas Tree Lighting: Blue Springs Dec. 6 from 5:30-8pm at City Hall, 903 West Main Street, Blue Springs, MO. The Mayor throws the switch that lights this very special Christmas Tree just outside City Hall. Enjoy entertainment by local schools and community groups as well as free refreshments. Santa and other special guests join the festivities. 

Dec. 9

Christmas on the Harrisonville Square and Lighting Dec 9 from 5-7pm at Harrisonville Square, Harrisonville, MO. Enjoy a lighting of Harrisonville Square, Christmas Pageant, tree auction and chili supper.

You might also like our guide to the Best Christmas Lights in Kansas City.

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