Kansas City's Ultimate Christmas Fun Guide

2017 Edition



Christmas 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!

For additional KC Christmas Guides check out our:

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.

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Holiday Shows

A Charlie Brown Christmas
Nov. 7 - Dec. 31 at The Coterie 2450 Grand Ave, Kansas City, MO. Tickets: $12-$17. 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. Special encore: Snoopy’s Christmas eve encounter with the Red Baron! Read our review of A Charlie Brown Christmas.

KC Rep presents A Christmas Carol
Nov. 17 - Dec. 24 at Spencer Theatre, 4949 Cherry Street, Kansas City, MO. 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!

Holiday Classic Movies
Union Station, 30 W. Pershing, Kansas City, MO. Watch your favorite holiday films on the Extreme Screen for just $3! Nov 17-22 - National Lampoons Christmas Vacation. Nov 24-30 - Elf. Dec 1-7 - Home Alone. Dec 8-14 - Polar Express in Your PJs. 

A Christmas Carol with Gerald Dickens, A Special Engagement
Nov. 19-21 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. Registration is required.​ FREE!

​WinterFest at Worlds of Fun
Nov. 24- Dec. 30 at Worlds of Fun. Holiday cheer rings out at Worlds of Fun during the first annual WinterFest celebration. Thousands of sparkling lights transform the park with an inviting glow that warms the heart and lifts the spirit. Witness 10 live shows, meet over 16 iconic holiday characters, join 9 holiday activities like ice skating and cooking decorating, ride select park attractions, and create lasting memories with family and friends. We're especially excited to celebrate with Charlie Brown and Snoopy! Charlie, the gang, and a cast of 18 singers and dancers will present a Christmas Holiday Spectacular! This stunning display of holiday cheer includes high-kicking and a hefty amount of sequins to dazzle the audience. Charlie Brown even takes the stage to impress the audience with his extra special dance moves, but you can be assured the Snoopy and Lucy won’t let him steal the spotlight. All of the PEANUTS gang will be represented in this fast-paced spectacle, brought together with the talented performers who will delight with their harmonious vocals and fancy footwork in this Broadway-caliber show!

Holiday Choirs
Nov. 24 - Dec. 23 at Crown Center Shops, Level 1 Atrium, 2500 Grand, Kansas City, MO. Beautiful music fills the halls of Crown Center, as more than 130 area school, church and community choirs perform Monday-Friday and Sunday. FREE!

Night Before Christmas Carol
Nov. 27-28 at various Mid-Continent Public Library Branches. Join Charles Dickens in his study for a very special night. On this evening in 1843, he creates his holiday classic, "A Christmas Carol." Renowned Dickens scholar, author, playwright, and lecturer, Elliot Engel, has crafted a work that allows David zum Brunnen to portray the 17 "Christmas Carol" characters and Charles Dickens himself. Registration is required. FREE!

Raggedy Ann and Andy’s Christmas Adventure
Nov. 28 - Dec. 30 at Union Station, 30 W. Pershing Rd, Ste 800, Level B, City Stage, Kansas City, MO. Those lovable cotton-stuffed dolls with their bright red yarn hair go on a fearless adventure in the Deep Woods to rescue light, warmth and the spirit of Christmas for the diverse population that lives inside Marcella’s toy chest.

Simple Strings Dulcimers Christmas Concert
Nov. 29 - Dec. 21 at various Mid-Continent Public Library branches. Enjoy Christmas classics played by members of the Simple Strings Dulcimers, and learn the history of the songs and instruments they play. Registration is required. FREE!

Legends Outlet Christmas Tree

Legendary Tree at Legends Outlets Kansas City
Nov 18 - early Jan 2018 at Legends Outlet 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. Also mark your calendar for: 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 -  ​Nov. 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. 

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever
Nov. 30 - Dec. 10 at Blue Springs Civic Center, 2000 NW Ashton Dr., Blue Springs, MO. In this hilarious Christmas classic, a couple struggling to put on a church Christmas pageant is faced with casting the Herdman kids–probably the most inventively awful kids in history. You won’t believe the mayhem – and the fun – when the Herdmans collide with the Christmas story head on!

Liberty Light Show Dec. 1 -3 from 6-9:30pm at Pleasant Valley Baptist Church 1600 North 291 Highway, Liberty, MO. This FREE drive-in Christmas light display will be synchronized with live musicians in the PV parking lot. It’s a family-friendly show that will capture the hearts of many. Audiences will tune their radios to hear live performances of Christmas favorites from the comfort of their own cars. Through a simple narrative the Gospel story will be weaved throughout the show - inviting guests to discover the true reason for the season. Guests can view the 15-minute show from the warmth of their vehicles on a first-come, first-serve basis. Shows are 15 minutes long, and begin every 45 minutes at 6:00pm, 6:45pm, 7:30pm, 8:15pm, 9:00pm.

Friday Night Family Fun: StoneLion Puppets present "Gingerbread Revue"
Dec. 1 at 6:30pm at Kansas City Public Library Plaza Branch, 4801 Main Street, Kansas City, MO. Free event. Kansas City’s StoneLion Puppet Theatre delivers a festive start to the holiday season with a delightful marionette show about what all the toys and goodies do when no one is watching. FREE!

The Canadian Brass: Christmastime is Here!
Dec. 1 at Helzberg Hall, Kauffman Center. The herald trumpets sing — along with French horn, tuba and trombone in this most wonderful holiday concert together with your Kansas City Symphony. These five brass masters always amaze audiences with their exquisite playing, wide-ranging repertoire and the sheer joy of their music-makinghear classic carols and sacred music along with fun Christmas tunes, such as the treasured A Charlie Brown Christmas.

Nutcracker Tea Party
Dec 2 & 3 at Ritz Charles, 9000 W. 137th Street, Overland Park, KS. Friends of Overland Park Arts presents the 12th Annual Nutcracker Tea Party, a family-friendly event perfect for the child in everyone. It's a festive tea, a magical ballet, an amazing time. The one-hour version of the classic Nutcracker ballet - perfect for young attention spans - is performed by Crescendo Conservatory and follows each tea party which features food and beverages and strolling costumed dancers. There are four parties from which to choose - 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. on Saturday and 12:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. on Sunday. 

Lanesfield School Country Christmas Concert
Dec. 2 at Lanesfield Historic Site, 18745 S Dillie Road, Edgerton, KS. Enjoy a special Christmas concert in the schoolhouse, featuring the Edgerton Rainbow Connection Children’s Choir. The performance will begin at 1:30 pm, followed by a visit from Santa, crafts, and free refreshments. 

Liberty Symphony Presents Ring in the Holidays
Dec. 2 at 7:30pm at Liberty Performing Arts Theatre, 1600 S Withers Road, Liberty, MO. Enjoy thepopular Holiday concert, featuring ​the William Jewell College Handbell Choir.

Powell Gardens' Holiday Concert
Dec. 3 from 5-6pm at Powell Gardens, 1609 NW US HWY 50`, Kingsville, MO. Arcana Quartet is comprised of students attending the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory, under the direction of Professor Zachary Shemon.

Kansas City Symphony Presents TubaChristmas
Dec. 4 & 8 at Helzberg Hall, Kauffman Center. TubaChristmas in Kansas City has happened annually since 1979, often bringing together over 500 tuba and euphonium players from all walks of life, and sometimes multiple generations of the same family who have made TubaChristmas an annual tradition. FREE!

Cirque Musica Holiday Presents BELIEVE
Dec. 5 at 7pm at Silverstein Eye Centers Arena, 19100 E Valley View Pkwy, Independence, MO. 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm. The Cirque Musica Holiday Presents BELIEVE is a fun filled holiday entertainment event for the entire family. The perfect celebration for the holidays as the cast of Cirque Musica performs incredible feats of strength, skill, and grace to great Holiday music favorites performed by a live symphony.

Dickens Carolers
Dec. 6-16 at various Mid-Continent Public Library branches. Get into the Christmas spirit with a performance by these festive singers dressed in beautiful Victorian attire. FREE!

The Nutcracker
Dec. 7-24 at Muriel Kauffman Theatre at Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, 1601 Broadway, Kansas City, MO. Following its Kennedy Center premiere in Washington, D.C., the acclaimed holiday production returns to its Kansas City home. See your children’s wonder ignite and feel the glimmer once more as your childhood dreams return and inspire you to IMAGINE AGAIN.

Children's Christmas Opera: Amahl and the Night Visitors
Dec. 8 at 7:00pm at St. John's UMC, 6900 Ward Parkway, Kansas City, MO. One evening three kings, following the Star of the East to Bethlehem, seek shelter for the night. They stop at the home of Amahl, a poor crippled boy who lives with his widowed mother. Inspired by the tale of a ‘kingdom built on love,’ Amahl offers his own simple gift to the Christ Child. FREE!

Puppets for Paws
Dec. 8 from 6-8:30pm at Summit Fair, 860 NW Blue Pkwy, Lee's Summit, MO. Come out for a FREE, holiday themed version of the Mesner Puppet Theater’s, Comical Adventures of Old Mother Hubbard and help support Furry Kids’ Refuge in the process! Kiddos get to sit with Santa Claus during the show and will have the opportunity to take photos with Santa. FREE!

Best Christmas Pageant Ever presented by Culture House
Dec. 8-10 at Oak Park Mall, 11149 W 95th St, Overland Park, KS. Don't miss this darling Christmas favorites where the zany Herdman family topples all the normal plans, but reveals the heart of Christmas at the same time.  

Kansas City Symphony Presents Handel’s Messiah
Dec. 8-10 at Helzberg Hall, Kauffman Center. The power of more than 250 voices combined with the impeccable acoustics of Helzberg Hall provides a triumphant experience of Handel’s majestic choral masterpiece. 

Christmas with Michael W. Smith and Amy Grant
Dec. 8 at Sprint Center, 1407 Grand Boulevard, Kansas City, MO.  Multi-platinum, Grammy winners Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith co-bill their popular Christmas tour this holiday season. They will be joined for the second consecutive year by Republic recording artist Jordan Smith, Season 9 winner of NBC’s “The Voice.” Each performance will incorporating a full symphony orchestra under the direction of Musical Director and Conductor David Hamilton.

A Christmas Gathering: Danú and the Kansas City Chorale
Dec. 9 at Performing Arts Series at JCCC, 12345 College Blvd, Yardley Hall, Overland Park, KS. Local community choirs singing traditional songs for Christmas and Wren's Day (Dec. 26) are a common sight throughout Ireland each December. For generations, music and dance gatherings, in communities both urban and rural, have combined to offer a great variety of songs, music and stories for the holidays. In honor of this tradition, the Kansas City Chorale will join Danú onstage for a few songs.

TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA
Dec. 9 at Sprint Center, 1407 Grand Boulevard, Kansas City, MO. Over the past 20-plus years, Trans-Siberian Orchestra has become a critically-acclaimed, multi-platinum, musical powerhouse, and its annual winter tours a beloved, multi-generational holiday tradition. 2017’s tour, a completely updated presentation of TSO’s unforgettable “The Ghosts of Christmas Eve."

Reflections Across the Pond:  An English Christmas 
Dec. 9 at 4 & 7pm at Lee’s Summit High School, 400 SE Blue Pkwy, Lee's Summit, MO. Annual Holiday Concert performed by Lee's Summit Symphony.

A Very Cello Christmas
Dec. 9 at County Club United Methodist Church, 400 W 57th Street, Kansas City, MO. A day filled with the merry sounds and songs of Christmas! Remember: The best way to spread Christmas cheer is [playing the cello] for all to hear! 

Holly Jolly Christmas
Dec. 9 & 16 at 11am and 2pm at Puppetry Arts Institute, 11025 E. Winner Rd, Independence, MO. $6/ea. Enjoy a festive holiday puppet show presented by Kraig Kensinger puppeteer. 

Ms. Dennise's Christmas Puppet Theater
Dec. 9-18 at various Mid-Continent Public Library branches. Santa visiting the library! Join the LS Puppeteers for two charming and lively tales that star the "jolly old elf" himself! Then stick around for two more delightful stories about Little Blue Riding Hood and a hilariously forgetful dog! Registration is required. FREE!

Mr. Stinky Feet's Christmas
Dec. 9-22 at various Mid-Continent Public Library branches. Jim Cosgrove presents Mr. Stinky Feet's Christmas! Celebrate the holidays with singing, dancing, and stinky feet! Fun for the whole family! Registration is required. FREE!

Christmas with the Cool Cats
Dec. 9-21 at various Mid-Continent Public Library branches. Terry Bell and his band, the Cool Cats, squeeze the most out of all those holiday favorites in this fun-loving holiday accordion concert. FREE!

Line Creek Figure Skating Club Winter Holiday Show
Dec. 10 at 11am at Line Creek Community Center, 5940 NW Waukomis Dr., Kansas City, MO. Come see the Line Creek Figure Skating Club perform in their big holiday show! This is a free figure-skating and synchronized skating show, so don't miss out! FREE!

Contemporary Christmas Concert
Dec. 10 at 4:30pm at Woods Chapel UMC Blue Springs, 3609 SW State Route 7, Blue Springs, MO. Join the Woods Chapel Praise Band as we celebrate the Christmas season with some modern flair! FREE!

Carols & Cookies
Dec. 10 from 6-8pm at First Baptist Church of Shawnee, 11400 Johnson Dr., Shawnee, KS. The Christmas concert Carols & Cookies will feature the FBC choir, handbells, and the Kansas City Homeschool Choir. A cookie reception to follow. FREE!

A Christmas Carol-LIVE!
Dec. 12 at various Mid-Continent Public Library branches. Join Hampstead Stage for this classic holiday tale of miserly Ebenezer Scrooge and the four ghosts who teach him the true meaning of Christmas. Registration required. FREE!

The Holly & The Ivy presented by Culture House
Dec. 15-17 at Oak Park Mall, 11149 W 95th St, Overland Park, KS. Great musicians come together to inspire with holiday classics and the soul of Christmas.  Join players like Kelsie Clark, Brandon Graves, Eddie Smith, Christina Graves, Joey Panella and Kenny Carter while they weave Folk, American and Jazz sensibilities with the spirit of Christmas for a night you'll never forget.  

Kansas City Symphony’s Christmas Festival
Dec. 15-19 at Helzberg Hall, Kauffman Center. We’re sending a musical Christmas card to you! Join the Kansas City Symphony and Chorus for this spectacular holiday celebration filled with lush symphonic arrangements of Christmas classics, fresh versions of your favorite carols, and many melodic surprises. Share the spirit of the season with your entire family as you enjoy enchanting performances by the Symphony, Symphony Chorus, Allegro Children’s Choir, the Rezound! Handbell Ensemble and a special early visit from Santa Claus! 

The Mystery of Christmas
Dec. 15-17 at Avila University's Goppert Theater, Kansas City, MO. A Christian re-write of Tchaikovsky’s original Nutcracker.  With breathtaking sets and beautiful costumes, the Holy Spirit (Sugar Plum Fairy) takes Clara back to Bethlehem to witness the birth of Christ, the heavenly host rejoicing, and the Nations of the world presenting their dances before the King of Kings. The plan of salvation thru the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus is dramatically portrayed through the closing grand pas de deux.

American Youth Ballet "The Nutcracker"
Dec. 16 & 17 at Performing Arts Series at JCCC, 12345 College Blvd, Yardley Hall, Overland Park, KS. Tchaikovsky's holiday classic, The Nutcracker, performed by the American Youth Ballet. Don't miss the magic and tradition. A 40ft growing tree, snow falling on stage, and a live orchestra highlight an Overland Park tradition.

The Nutcracker Ballet: Staley Performing Arts Theatre
Dec. 16 & 17 at Staley Performing Arts Theatre, 2800 NE Shoal Creek Pkwy, Kansas City, MO. $14 GA. Ibsen Dance Theatre ballet students and members of Ibsen Ballet Theatre Youth Company proudly present the holiday classic “The Nutcracker Ballet” benefiting The Northland Christmas Store. Completely volunteer and not-for-profit, this full-length ballet is beautifully performed, with professional costumes and scenery. 

A Charlie Brown Christmas at Lied Center
Dec. 16 at Lied Center, 1600 Stewart Drive, Lawrence, KS. A Charlie Brown Christmas, the Emmy and Peabody Award-winning story by Charles M. Schulz, has warmed the hearts of millions of fans since it first aired on television over fifty years ago. Now, the classic animated television special comes to life in this faithful stage adaptation, featuring all of your favorite characters and the classic Vince Guaraldi score. Join Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Lucy, Linus and the rest of the Peanuts gang as they mount a play, save a tree and uncover the true meaning of Christmas.

Clara's Dream and Holiday Showcase
Dec. 16 & 17 at Olathe South High School Performing Arts Center, 1640 E 151st St, Olathe, KS. This beautiful adaption of the classical Nutcracker Ballet follows Clara on a magical journey through the land of Snow and Sweets. Performances feature the artistic talents of the Miller Marley Youth Ballet and Youth Ballet 2 companies, along with over 60 guest performers, all adorned in beautiful costumes. Miller Marley's performance companies kick off with Act 1 with a lively variety of holiday songs and dances by performers ranging in age from 5 to 18. This inspiring holiday tradition is a wonderful way to introduce families to the Nutcracker Ballet, while enjoying the talents of so many young performers.

Holiday Magic Laser Show
Dec. 16 - Jan. 7 at Union Station, 30 W. Pershing, Kansas City, MO. Celebrate the holidays with your favorite songs set to a choreographed laser show.

Trombone Christmas
Dec. 16 at Union Station, 30 West Pershing Road, Kansas City, MO. The Trombone Christmas Kansas City Concert was founded by Dr. Frank Perez and Mr. William Biggs in 2017 and is presented to promote and encourage the fellowship and musicianship of trombone players through the performance of Christmas Music. Participation in the concert is open to trombone players of all ages and experience levels. FREE!

Clara and the Land of Sweets: A Nutcracker Story
Dec. 16 at Eudora High School Performing Arts Center, 2203 Church St, Eudora, KS. Tickets are $6-$10. Clara and the Land of Sweets: A Nutcracker Story features Act II of the Nutcracker, where Clara dreams of a magical land called "the Land of Sweets." There candies, angels, peppermints, chocolate, the sugar plum fairy, and more welcome their guest with dances. 

Jingle Jam
Dec. 20 at 5 & 7pm at Westside Family Church, 8500 Woodsonia Dr, Lenexa, KS. Jingle Jam is a Christmas party big enough for the whole family!  Come and experience a live band singing your favorite Christmas songs. FREE!

The Magic of the Holidays with Eric Vaughn
Dec. 20 at 2pm at Mid-Continent Public Libary, Lee's Summit Branch. Eric Vaughn and his furry sidekick, Mr. Tinkles, perform amazing, lighthearted magic to bring wonder, mystery, and merriment to the holiday season. Registration required. FREE!

Moscow Ballet's Great Russian Nutcracker
Dec. 22 at Arvest Bank Theater at The MIdland. Celebrate this Christmas with the experience taking North America by storm! Marking the 25th Anniversary Tour, Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker features over-the-top production and world class Russian artists. Larger than life Puppets, Nesting Dolls and gloriously hand-crafted costumes bring the Christmas spirit to life. Gather the family and see why the press is raving “Knock Out!” – New York Times “Christmas Cheer!” – LA Times. Get the best seats today and memories for a lifetime at Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker! 

Kansas City Symphony presents Disney in Concert: Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas​
Dec. 22 & 23 Helzberg Hall, Kauffman Center. It’s the wildly inventive world of Tim Burton’s macabre classic shown in its entirety on a huge screen in Helzberg Hall. Danny Elfman’s rambunctious, colorful score will roar to life in the hands of the Kansas City Symphony as you follow Jack the Pumpkin King’s quest to seize Christmas. 

Music in the Museum
Dec. 30 at The National Museum of Toys and Miniatures, 5235 Oak St., Kansas City, MO. Free with admission. Take a break from the hectic season to enjoy traditional holiday music on stringed instruments in the museum’s Tureman Education Center. 
 

 

Nativities

Journey to Judea
Nov. 17-19, Dec. 1-3 at Countryside Baptist Church, 14150 W. 175th Street , Overland Park, KS. 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. Admission is free, but tickets should be reserved online in advance. There are a limited number of walk-in spaces. For more information, go to www.journeytojudea.com FREE!

Journey to Bethlehem
Dec. 1 & 2 at Second Presbyterian Church, 318 East 55 Street, Kansas City, MO. Second’s Journey to Bethlehem is one of the area’s largest celebrations of faith, celebrating the 40th anniversary of this beloved tradition. Experience a live walk-through drama of the first Christmas. FREE!

The Nativity
Dec. 1- 3 at Grace & Holy Trinity Cathedral, 415 W 13th St, Kansas City, MO. Admission charged. This celebrated annual spectacle comes alive again this December! Come see beautiful, seven-foot puppets gracefully move through the aisles of the historic cathedral with live musical and choral accompaniment. A cast of over forty puppeteers bring these larger-than-life Biblical characters to life.
 
Child of Hope
Dec. 1-3 at Oak Park Mall, 11149 W 95th St, Overland Park, KS. Child of Hope is a professional production and collaboration between Storling Dance Theater and The Culture House. Enjoy a brand new production by Storling Dance Theater, also called Child of Hope, that presents the Nativity story as only Storling can tell it. Biblically accurate and sensitive to the historic nature of the coming of Jesus Christ, Storling and included dancers will tell the dramatic and moving true story of the anticipation and arrival of Jesus. Not a fairy tale, Child of Hope brings us closer to appreciation what was really going on in that manger so long ago.

Road to Bethlehem
Dec. 2 & 3 from 6-8pm at South Summit Christian Church (1121 SW Hook Road, Lee’s Summit, MO). From the warmth of your car, drive down the road to Bethlehem and enjoy live scenes that tell the Christmas story. On the road, you will encounter shepherds and sheep, angels, Wise Men, Mary, Joseph and the baby Jesus - all telling the story of Jesus' birth. All are welcome and the event is free. We just ask that you bring your friends and family and enjoy! FREE!

Drive-thru Living Nativity
Dec. 9 from 5:30-7:30pm at First Baptist Church of Kansas City, 100 W. Red Bridge Rd., KC, MO. Drive through nativity with Mary, Joseph, and Baby Jesus represented. Live animals are part of the tour. FREE!

Meet the Experts: Christmas Crèches at T/m
Dec. 10 from 2-3pm at The National Museum of Toys and Miniatures, 5235 Oak St, Kansas City, MO. Free with admission. Enjoy special displays of Christmas crèches from the Bud and Jan Koupal Collectionhear a talk about the history and tradition of holiday crèches, and stay afterward for cider and cookies. The program includes a lecture and museum visit. Included with museum admission.

Christmas In the Barn
Dec 24 at Johnson Farms (17701 Holmes Rd., Belton, MO). Come join Lord of Love Lutheran Church for the 10th annual Christmas In the Barn service on Christmas Eve at the farm. The Johnson Farm community of friends will share full sensory celebrations of our Savior's birth. Although the barn is heated, please dress warmly & check the website for updates or cancellations due to inclement weather. Homemade sweets and hot beverages served and live music to set the mood. A free will donation will be taken for Lord of Love Lutheran Church's Wednesday Night Community Meal. FREE!

 

Create Holiday Arts & Crafts

FREE Holiday Projects at Home Depot
Nov. 25 from 9am-Noon: Christmas Tree Ornament, Dec. 2 from 9am-Noon: Gingerbread House at Home Depot Locations across the Metro. Take a shopping break and join our hands-on workshop where you and your child can build a keepsake for your holiday memories! All kids get to keep their craft, receive a FREE certificate of achievement, a Workshop Apron, and a commemorative pin while supplies last. Children must be present at the store to participate in the workshop and receive the kit, apron and pin. FREE!

Creative Storytime
Ceramic Cafe, 9510 Nall, Overland Park, KS. Ceramic Cafe offers a fun story and paint time every Tuesday and Friday. We read a book, then the kids get to paint a ceramic item that goes along with the story and finish with a snack. What a deal and a fun way to share a creative activity with a little one.  We start at 10:30 on Tuesdays and Fridays. No reservations needed unless you want to come with a large group.  $12 per child + tax.

Themes:

  • Dec. 5 & 8:  The Mitten by Jan Brett. Paint a mitten ornament.
  • Dec. 12 & 15: There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bell by Lucille Colandro. Paint a Bell Ornament.
  • Dec. 19 & 22: Olive, The Other Reindeer by J.Otto Seibold and Vivian Walsh. Paint a Plate with Reindeer footprint or handprint.
  • Dec. 16 & 29: Snowmen at Night by Caralyn Buehner. Paint a Snowman Dish.

Wonderland Workshop: Drop-in Gift Making for Families
Dec. 2 from 3-6pm at Powell Gardens, 1609 NW US HWY 50, Kingsville, MO. Bring your little elves to Powell Gardens for a fun-filled afternoon of ornament making, Christmas card designing, bird feeder constructing, and storytelling in front of a fire! Get a family photo made for the holiday season, ask Santa for that pony you’ve always wanted, and enjoy seasonal treats to kick off Powell Gardens first-ever holiday lighting display. Festival Admission applies and includes most hands-on activities (additional fee for photographs and $2 fee per person for the ornament activity). 

Paint-Me-A-Story
Paint Glaze & Fire, 12683 Metcalf Avenue, Overland Park, KS. Every other Friday and a few Tuesday Evenings to paint a special pottery project that goes along with a favorite children's book.  The perfect time for parents (grandparents or nanny) and children to listen to a story and paint together! 10:30 - 11:30 am every other Friday and 6:00 - 7:00 pm on Special Tuesdays. $15.00 includes ceramic piece & snack, $13.00 for additional siblings. Ages 2 - 6. Space limited

Themes:

  • November 24, Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear?
  • Tuesday, November 28, Hanukkah Theme
  • Tuesday, December 5, Christmas Theme
  • December 8, Christmas Theme (last PMAS for the year)

Christmas Crafts at the Library
throughout the holiday season at various Mid-Continent Public Library Branches. MCPL is hosting a variety of classes for all ages throughout the holiday season. Make gifts for loved ones, tasty treats, and holiday decor. Registration is required.​ FREE!

Merry Science Day Dec. 9 at Science City at Union Station, 30 W. Pershing, Kansas City, MO. A day jam-packed full of holiday-themed science and Maker fun in Science City! Visit and create at the Toy Workshop in the Maker Studio, decorate cookies with Mrs. Claus in the Test Kitchen and enjoy holiday science demos as we celebrate Merry Science.

Holiday Greenings
Dec. 16 from 10am-2:30pm at Anita B. Gorman Conservation Discovery Center, 4750 Troost Ave, Kansas City, MO. Learn to decorate using native plants and trees. Fashion a festive holiday swag to hang using red cedar, prairie grasses, wild nuts, berries, seeds and your imagination.

Kids Create: It's a DIY Christmas
Dec. 12 at 6:30pm at Mid-Continent Public Library Kearney, MO. Spark your imagination and express yourself through art and craft activities. Children will have the opportunity to create simple holiday crafts to share or keep. Registration required. FREE!

Winter Holiday Party
Dec. 15 at 6pm at Gymboree Play & Music Zona Rosa, 7360 NW 87th Terr, Kansas City, MO. Children mobile up to 5yrs old join us with your grown up for our Winter Holiday party at Gymboree Play & Music Zona Rosa. We will have activities, craft, snack, parachute and of course bubbles. For more details or to reserve your spot, call 816.505.3344. $20 per child, advance reservations only.

ELVES' WORKSHOP
Dec. 16 & 17 at Martha Lafite Thompson Nature Sanctuary, 407 N. LaFrenz Rd, Liberty, MO. Celebrate the holidays with a visit to the Elves’ Workshop! Children are invited to visit the Nature Center for face painting, treats, crafts, Santa and more! The Elves’ Holiday Store will be open for children only. Parents, please provide a list of gift recipients and shopping money. The Elves will help your child choose the perfect gift for friends or family members. Gifts are priced from less than $1.00 up to $10.00, and are wrapped and labeled compliments of the Elves. While the children are shopping, adults can browse in our gift shop, relax in the exhibit area, and snack on holiday treats. 

Santa Sightings in Kansas City

Strolling Santa at Summit Fair
Weekends Nov. 25 - Dec. 17 from 3-5pm at Summit Fair, 860 NW Blue Pkwy, Lee's Summit, MO. Visit with Santa & Mrs. Claus as they stroll about Summit Fair enjoying the cheer of the holiday season. Snap a photo with Santa. #SelfieWithSanta FREE!

Santa & Me
Nov. 18 from 9-11am at Paint Glaze & Fire, 12683 Metcalf Avenue, Overland Park, KS. Watch the magic unfold as your child meets Santa and makes a Santa & Me plate.  We'll capture Santa's handprint along with your child's handprint on a plate.  PGF staff will add the finishing touches.  Kids will paint two (2) Christmas ornaments (pre-selected) and enjoy cookies and hot chocolate. Plates and ornaments will be ready in 10 - 14 days.  PGF will call when pottery is ready to be picked up. Cost per child is $30.00 with a $3.00 discount for additional siblings. Reservations required.

Holiday Photos at Independence Center with Caring Santa Nov. 19 at Independence Center, 18801 East 39th St S,, Independence, MO. Independence Center provides children with special needs and their families with an opportunity to enjoy this time-honored holiday tradition through a sensory-friendly Caring Santa event in partnership with Autism Speaks. Caring Santa will occur on Sunday, November 19 from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. prior to the mall opening. Caring Santa provides the opportunity for families of children with special needs, to safely experience the time-honored tradition and magic of Santa. Caring Santa events have expanded from seven Simon malls in 2011 to 108 Simon malls today, reflecting the positive impact of this unique program. 

Santa's Gingerbread Station Nov. 24-Dec. 31 at Crown Center Shops, Level 1 Showplace., 2500 Grand, Kansas City, MO. All aboard for a favorite holiday tradition at Crown Center! Kids and families can explore this interactive exhibit, meet and have their photo taken with Santa Claus (through December 24), climb aboard the Crown Center Express Train Engine, and enjoy Gingerbread Village. No admission fee. Photos with Santa are available for a fee, or you may take your own. Open during Crown Center Shops holiday hours. Open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Christmas Eve and noon to 5 p.m. on New Year's Eve. Closed Christmas Day. FREE!

Santa's Arrival at Crown Center Nov. 24 at 10am at Crown Center Shops, Grand Boulevard entrance., 2500 Grand, Kansas City, MO. 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 Dec. 24. FREE!

EBT Laughing Santa and Santa's Countdown to Christmas Nov. 24-Dec. 31 at Crown Center Shops, 2500 Grand, Kansas City, MO. Don't miss one of Kanas 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, has been providing memories for new generations at Crown Center since 1979. Children of all ages will marvel at this Jolly Ol' Soul as he chuckles his way through the holiday season while counting down the days until Christmas. FREE!

Santa Visits Downtown Lee's Summit Saturdays Nov. 25 - Dec. 16 at Downtown Lee's Summit, MO. Get photos with Santa before he makes his journey back up to the North Pole! Free public parking is available in the City Hall Parking Garage at 2nd and Green streets.

Holiday Wild at the Zoo Dec 2 & 3 at the Kansas City Zoo, 6800 Zoo Dr., Kansas City, MO. Santa, his elves and Mrs. Claus will be at the Zoo for Holiday Wild on Saturday, December 2  and Sunday, December 3. This is your chance to tell him what’s on your wish list. Join us from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. for polar-riffic activities.  Bring your camera and have your picture taken with Santa! You can also catch Santa diving inside the cold weather penguin exhibit at 2 p.m. Our gentoo and king penguins will be taking a walk in the chilly outdoor air during our Penguin March at 11 a.m. Friends of the Zoo (FOTZ) members will enjoy an exclusive breakfast snack and a special meet and greet with Santa on Saturday, December 2 from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m.

Candy Cane Hunt Dec. 2 from 4-6pm at Holcom Park Recreation Center, 2700 W. 27th St., Lawrence, KS. Tickets $6/ea. Rumor has it that Santa is going to be at the Holcom Park Recreation Center hiding candy canes for children. After the hunt, we will warm up inside the center with some hot chocolate, cookies and listen to great holiday music. Registration required.

Westport Santa Dash Dec. 2 at 10am in Westport Kansas City, 500 Westport Rd, Kansas City, MO. 5K $34 Elf Dash $12. The best way to spread Christmas Cheer is singing loud for all to hear. The next best way is to join over a thousand Santas along a 5K course in Westport! Take advantage of this opportunity to become every child’s favorite man as each participant receives a Santa Suit. All participants in the Santa Dash receive their own Santa Suit or race shirt, bib chip timing, a finisher’s ornament, and lots of holiday treats! 

Breakfast with Santa and Craft Fair at Grinter Place Dec. 2 at Grinter Place, 1420 South 78th Street, Kansas City, KS. Enjoy a Grinter Place Breakfast with Santa and Craft Fair from 8 a.m. until noon. Cost of breakfast, including pancakes, ranges from $5 to $9. Get a free photo with Santa Claus. Shop for holiday gifts at the crafts fair. 

Winter Wonderland at the Zoo Dec. 16 & 17 at the Kansas City Zoo, 6800 Zoo Dr., Kansas City, MO. The Zoo will be transformed into a magical winter wonderland. Polar Bear Passage will become the North Pole while Helzberg Penguin Plaza turns into the South Pole. Enjoy delicious treats, letters to Santa and much more! Our gentoo and king penguins will venture outside in the frosty air for a Penguin March at 11 a.m. See Santa dive underwater with our penguins at 2 p.m. What would a lion do with a Christmas tree decked in ornaments and presents underneath? Find out at 10 a.m. See our lion pride explore fully decorated trees trimmed with meatball ornaments and garland. Underneath the trees will be gift wrapped boxes, each filled with a special enrichment item.

Santa Dives with Penguins Nov. 24 - 26 and each Sat & Sun in December thru Dec. 17 at 2pm at Kansas City Zoo, 6800 Zoo Dr., Kansas City, MO. What’s red and white and swimming with the penguins at Helzberg Penguin Plaza? Santa! Get a one-of-a-kind photo of Santa as penguins torpedo around him. Watch the penguin bubbles trail the man in the red suit and hear the children giggle. 

Holiday Luminary Walk Nov. 25 & 26; Dec. 2 & 3; Dec. 9 & 10 from 5-9pm at Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens 8909 W. 179th St., OPKS. The annual Holiday Luminary Walk at the Arboretum includes over 2 miles of candlelit paths, light displays, special music, wagon rides and Santa at the Train Depot.

Santa Train Weekends Dec. 2 & 9 at Belton, Grandview and Kansas City Railroad., 502 E. Walnut St., Belton, MO. This magical holiday tradition is popular for children and the young at heart! 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 Claus! Christmas carols play, cocoa is served, and photos are taken with Santa himself. Board our 1920’s era passenger coach, or our open-air excursion car and take a ride behind our 1950’s diesel locomotive through Old Towne Belton, Missouri and the surrounding area. You could even ride in the cab of the locomotive with the engineer.

S'mores with Santa Dec. 2 & 9 at Alamo Drafthouse Mainstreet Cinema, 1400 Main St., Kansas City, MO. $12/ea. Enjoy S’mores with Santa and watch the Polar Express on the Silver Screen. 

Red Stocking Breakfast Dec. 2 from 7:30-10:30am at Jack Stack BBQ, 9520 Metcalf Ave, OPKS. No one knows kids better than the Kansas Children’s Service League. For over 120 years, we’ve provided a continuum of programs and services, advocated for children and collaborated with public and private agencies to impact the lives of more than 40,000 children and families each year. 

The Great Candy Cane Hunt Dec. 2 from 5:30-6:30pm at Stagecoach Park, 1205 E Kansas City Road, Olathe, KS. Bring your flashlights and help us find Candy Canes Santa dropped on Stagecoach Park. Special Candy Canes can be redeemed for great prizes. The night will kick off with crafts and activities. After all the Candy Canes are found warm up with some hot chocolate! Participants must bring their own Flashlights, and preregistration is required.

Breakfast with St. Nick Dec. 2 from 8-11am at Strawberry Hill Museum, 720 North 4th Street, Kansas City, KS. A $10 fee will include breakfast, a visit with St. Nicholas and one picture. If your child wishes to only visit St. Nicholas for the picture, the fee is only $5.00. An adult breakfast will be available for $6.00. Breakfast will consist of pancakes, sausage, biscuits and gravy, fruit, and coffee, tea or milk.

Santa's Wonderland at KC Parks Various KC Parks locations throughout December. Experience the wonder of the season at Kansas City’s holiday tradition, Santa’s Wonderland! Gather friends and family and spend an evening celebrating the holidays with festive entertainment by the Starlight STARS of Tomorrow, light displays and, of course, a visit from Santa and his friends. Free and open to the public.Free and open to the public. FREE!

Breakfast with Santa Dec. 2 from 10-11:15am at Irene B. French Community Center, 5701 Merriam Dr., Merriam, KS. FREE for children // $5 for adults. Breakfast with Santa has become a popular community event here in Merriam. No long lines or crowds at the mall. The morning is full of holiday fun... storytime, face painting, elf craft, elf centerpieces and maybe even elf food. And best of all, one-on-one time with Santa. Registration required.

Lawrence Christmas Parade Dec. 2 at 11am in Downtown Lawrence, 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. Santa will wave to passersby. Cozy up with hot cocoa and blankets, and feel the true holiday spirit while watching dozens of beautiful horses and wagons adorned in garland and bells.

Visit from St. Nicholas Dec. 2 from 10am-4pm at Shoal Creek Living History Museum, 7000 Northeast Barry Road, Kansas City, MO. Take a break from the present and experience a19th 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, 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. 

Christmas on the Farm Dec. 2 from 10am-4pm at Watkin's Woolen Mill Historic Site, 26600 Park Road North, Lawson, MO. Activities at the home will include holiday caroling, reading of family letters, free samples of traditional holiday treats, plum pudding flaming demonstrations, and an opportunity for children to visit with Father Christmas. Activities at the visitor center will include kids crafts, live traditional holiday music, and a performance by the Lathrop Singing Mules grade school choir. FREE!

Breakfast with Santa at Ceramic Cafe Dec. 3 at Ceramic Cafe, 9510 Nall, Overland Park, KS. $35/first child, $15 additional children. 913-383-0222. Continental breakfast. Clay impression Santa handprint. Special ornament to paint. Sit on Santa’s lap while parent snap a photo. 

Jim "Two Crows" Wallen Presents: A Visit with Santa Claus Dec. 4-16 at various Mid-Continent Public Library branches. Get in the Christmas spirit with a story from Santa, and make a simple craft to take home. Registration required. FREE!

Storytime with Santa Dec. 4-18 at various Mid-Continent Public Library branches. Santa is making a special trip to the Library to read a holiday story. After the story, sit on Santa's knee to tell him what you want for Christmas. Registration is required. FREE!

An Old-Fashioned Christmas with Mrs. Claus Dec. 4-20 at various Mid-Continent Public Library branches. Sit down with Mrs. Claus, and catch the holiday spirit as she shares traditional stories and songs from the last 200 years. Registration is required. FREE!

Storytime with Santa and Mrs. Claus Dec. 6-20 at various Mid-Continent Public Library branches. Santa and Mrs. Claus are making a special trip from the North Pole to read a holiday story at the Library. After the story, sit on Santa's lap to tell him what you want for Christmas. Registration is required. FREE!

Canes, Cocoa and Claus Dec. 8 from 6-8pm at Shawnee Indian Mission, 3403 W 53rd St., Fairway, KS. Bring your flashlight to participate in the candy cane hunt in the Christmas Tree Forest for children ages 10 and under. Parents must accompany their children on the candy cane hunt. After, head indoors the Mission where children will be provided a tree ornament to decorate and take home while enjoying some hot cocoa. Finish off your evening with a chat and photo opportunity with Santa!

Christmas on Candy Cane Lane Dec. 8 from 6-8pm at the View Community Center, 13500 Byars Road, Parks & Rec Dept, Grandview, MO. Take a trip to Candy Cane Lane to visit Santa! Create crafts and decorate delicious cookies to enjoy! Get your photo with Santa after you tell him what you'd like for Christmas. FREE!

Holiday Bricktacular Dec. 9-10 and 16-17 at Legoland Discovery Center, 2500 Grand Blvd, Kansas City, MO. ​It’s the most Bricktacular time of the year! Build holiday memories this December in our mind-bopping, winter wonderland filled with LEGO® bricks! Your little LEGO lovers will have festive FUN FUN FUN all season with holiday activities like helping to build a LEGO Winter Wonderland, holiday build challenges, holiday scavenger hunt in MINILAND, write letters to the Master Model Builder and more!

'Tis the SEAson Dec. 9-10 and 16-17 at Sea Life, 2500 Grand Blvd, Kansas City, MO. ​Celebrate the holidays under the waves! Listen to the live storytelling of “‘Twas the Night Before Fishmas” read aloud by the SEA LIFE team, bringing the beloved story to life under the sea! During your visit, write a letter to Santa that will travel from SEA LIFE all the way to the North Pole.

Santa Breakfast Dec. 9 at The Heritage Center at Mahaffie, 1200 E. Kansas City Rd, Olathe, KS. Enjoy the decorations of the Heritage Center, breakfast, a visit with Santa and make a craft. Registration required. 

Breakfast with Santa at Ernie Miller Nature Center Dec. 9 from 9-10:30am at Ernie Miller Nature Center, 9, Olathe, KS. Kids! Bring an adult and have a yummy breakfast of pancakes and juice followed by a visit with Santa! Santa will explain the winter habits of his animal friends and 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. 

Cookies and Photos with Santa & Mrs. Claus Dec. 9 at Atkins-Johnson Farm and Museum, 6607 NE Antioch Rd, Gladstone, MO. Families can enjoy cider, cookies and the opportunity to take a photo with both Santa and Mrs. Claus in the historic home traditionally decorated for the Christmas season. Each family photo is $5. Admission is free. 

Kris Kringle 5K Dec. 9 at 9am in Swope Park, Southeast Community Center, Kansas City, MO. $30 Pre-Registration through Dec. 7; $40 Dec. 8-Race Day Registration. Celebrate the holiday season in Swope Park with a 5K, pancakes, ugly sweaters, hot chocolate and more! Register today and make memories that will last a lifetime. The Course The Kris Kringle 5K Run is a challenging course that will provide enjoyment for all levels as an invigorating fitness activity. Runners will run across fields, up and down hills, and through historic Swope Park. 

Breakfast with Santa Dec. 9 at 9:30am at Central United Methodist Church, 5144 Oak St., Kansas City, MO.  Enjoy this favorite holiday tradition. 

Breakfast at the North Pole: Gardner Dec. 9 in Gardner, KS. Parents and children will enjoy all-you-can-eat pancakes, sausage links and juice from Chris Cakes. Kids can make a craft and professional pictures with Santa and Mrs. Claus will be available for purchase. Registration required. 

Breakfast with Santa: Lawrence Dec. 9 at Community Building basement, 115W. 11th St., Lawrence, KS. $3-5/ea. Have Breakfast with Santa and do arts and crafts. Breakfast includes pancakes, sausage, orange juice, coffee and water. 

Selfies with Santa and Seaman the Dog Dec. 9 from 2-4pm at National Frontier Trails Museum, 318 W. Pacific Ave., Independence, MO. Take a photo with Santa and Seaman, the Newfoundland dog who accompanied Lewis and Clark on their historic journey. While you are here, take a free wagon ride and participate in hands on-activities! 

Holiday Nights Dec. 9 from 7-9pm at Atkins-Johnson Farm & Museum, 6607 NE Antioch Rd, Gladstone. A free night of holiday cheer for the entire family, this evening event includes live holiday music and carolers, holiday crafts for adults and kids alike, spiced cider, vintage toy display and selfie stations, all in a traditionally decorated farmhouse. Enjoy the crisp night air as you stroll down the holiday luminary trail. Children will enjoy the writing station with letters to Santa and vintage Christmas cards and a special guest appearance from Santa himself! FREE! 

Civil War Santa Dec. 14 at Mid-Continent Public Library - Midwest Genealogy, 3440 S. Lee's Summit Road, Independence, MO. Illustrator Thomas Nast forever changed Christmas with his 1863 depiction of Santa visiting the federal troops at Fredericksburg. Join storyteller Jim "Two Crows" Wallen dressed as Nast's Santa as he shares the history of Santa, holiday tales from North and South, and how the Civil War reshaped Christmas in America.  Registration required. FREE!

The KCS Holiday Express Dec. 15-19 at Union Station, 30 W. Pershing, Kansas City. 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. FREE!

Skate with Santa Dec. 16 from 2-4pm at Line Creek Community Center, 5940 N.W. Waukomis Drive, Kansas City, MO. Bring the kids to Line Creek to enjoy an afternoon on ice with Santa. The Line Creek Figure Skating Club will put on a free show before the event. Donate a non-perishable food item to Harvesters and pay only $4 (skate rental included). Donate more items to Harvesters and receive more chances to win great raffle prizes.

Visit Santa at Burlington Creek Dec. 16 at The Village at Burlington Creek, NW 63rd Terrace, Kansas City, MO. Activities include Face Painting, Balloon Twisting, Cookie Decorating, Pictures with Santa, Holiday DIY Ornament Station, Pictures with Santa. While supplies last. FREE!

A Royal Breakfast Event Dec. 16 from 8-11am at Spring Hill Middle School South, 301 E South St, Spring Hill, KS. This year the Spring Hill Recreation Commission is putting a special spin on things, we will have two special royal guests: Santa and Sluggerrr! Come take your picture with both, listen to some local choirs, watch a dance performance, and eat your fill of Chris Cakes! Tickets are $5.00 in advance, $8.00 at the door. 

Meet Santa & His Reindeer Dec. 16 from 3-6pm at Chartwell Realty, 751 NE Anderson Lane, Lee's Summit, MO. Come get your photo with Santa and help Lee’s Summit Social Services. LIVE reindeer! 94.9 KCMO will be live with Christmas music. There is no charge but we are hoping you will bring a gift or donation for Lee’s Summit Social Services’ Christmas Store. Each year Social Services hosts a store where families in need can choose Christmas gifts for their children. Unfortunately-there are are never enough gifts for the teenagers. Chartwell will be collecting NEW unwrapped teen-appropriate gifts, gift cards and monetary donations for the store. FREE! 

Father Christmas Comes to T/m Dec. 17 from 1-3pm at The National Museum of Toys and Miniatures, 5235 Oak St., Kansas City, MO. Free with admission. Father Christmas is stopping by T/m to share stories of holiday traditions. Professional storyteller Jim “Two Crows” Wallen will engage the entire family with interactive tales of Old Saint Nick in the museum’s Tureman Education Center. 

Brunch with Santa Dec. 17 from 11am-2pm at Arvest Bank at the Midland 1228 Main St., Kansas City, MO. Santa Claus comes to Kansas City for a fun-filled afternoon at the Arvest Bank Theatre at The Midland, one of downtown’s most beautiful historic buildings located in the Kansas City Power & Light District, featuring a multi-course brunch, hot chocolate bar, games, crafts, a puppet show byStoneLion Puppet Theatre and cookie decorating with MeMa's Old-Fashioned Bakery! Each family takes home a one-of-a-kind professional photo with Santa, courtesy of Arvest Bank, and each child receives a special gift from the North Pole. Proceeds go to benefit the Phoenix Family HIKE Program! Presented by Arvest Bank.

Meet Other Holiday Characters

Whoville Holidays Dec. 9-10 and 16-17 at City Market Square, 5th & Walnut, Kansas City. Dress up as a Whoville character and visit the Grinch and Cindy Lou Who in their Whoville home located in the center of City Market Square. Bring your camera for a holiday photo. Whoville Holidays is open to the public and FREE with the suggested donation to the Help a Who campaign: three canned goods for Harvesters - The Community Food Network or a new toy in original packaging for The Salvation Army USA.Whoville Holidays is a Downtown Dazzle holiday event. FREE!

The Fairy Princess Dec 13 - 17 at Kansas City Museum at the Historic Garment District, 800 Broadway Blvd, Kansas City, MO. $10 per Child, purchasing tickets in advance is required. Register at 816.513.0726. This year, the Kansas City Museum is delighted and honored to continue The Fairy Princess that has been a part of Kansas City’s history and holiday traditions since 1935 when The Fairy Princess began at Kline’s Department Store. While the Kansas City Museum at Corinthian Hall is closed temporarily for Stage I Construction, The Fairy Princess will come back to downtown Kansas City and take place at the Kansas City Museum at the Historic Garment District, the Museum’s new exhibition and programming space. Purchasing tickets in advance is Required. Walk-ins will not be available.

Walking in a Winter Wonderland

Holiday Luminary Walk Nov. 25 & 26; Dec. 2 & 3; Dec. 9 & 10 from 5-9pm at Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens 8909 W. 179th St., OPKS. The annual Holiday Luminary Walk at the Arboretum includes over 2 miles of candlelit paths, light displays, special music, wagon rides and Santa at the Train Depot.

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.

Downtown Dazzle: Holiday Trolleys Saturdays from 5-9pm Nov. 25 - Dec.23, Hop on the FREE Downtown Dazzle Holiday Trolleys for a scenic ride up and down Kansas City’s Grand Boulevard. Between the KC Streetcar and our Holiday Trolleys, getting around during Downtown Dazzle is easy and free. Stop at the new Downtown Dazzle Holiday Lighting installations in Washington Square Park and KC Power & Light District. The dazzling light installations in Washington Square Park will turn on at the same time as the Mayor’s Christmas Tree Lighting in Crown Center on Friday, November 24 and run through Jan. 1. Wander through Crown Center’s magnificent holiday lights and then make your way across Pershing Road, immediately north of Crown Center, to stroll through the Downtown Dazzle holiday lights. FREE!

Astro Botanicals Nov. 18 - Dec. 31 at Union Station 30 W. Pershing, Kansas City, MO. 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. Just outside Science City in the new Haverty Family Yards, eight inflatable sculptures between eight and 15 feet tall will “grow” in a unique and fantastical exhibition. The inflatable designs are purposefully massive in scale, so their multi-colored light displays give off a magical aura. “In the daytime they appear to be bigger-than-life ice sculptures, and at night, Astro Botanicals are illuminated in holiday colors for a dreamy winter wonderland feel,” says Tammy Ruder, Special Events Manager at Union Station. This newest addition to “Holidays Come Alive” will be visible from the West Yards Garage pedestrian bridge, but to truly be immersed with them, guest should plan to walk among them. During regular daytime hours, Science City guests are invited into the “garden” via Science City outdoor gates. For evening hours, Haverty Family Yards gates will be your access point. Either way, you won’t want to miss interacting and taking pictures with the sculptures titled, Magnolia Starship, Asparagus and Dragon Lotus. Astro Botanicals visits Kansas City for the first time and ONLY at Union Station. Union Station Members will experience it for FREE and non-members can expect a nominal charge. 

Sar-Ko Aglow Dec. 1 from 6-9pm at Sar-Ko-Par Park, 87th Street Parkway & Lackman Road, Lenexa, KS. Kick off your holiday festivities this year by meeting up with friends and neighbors for a community celebration at Sar-Ko-Par Trails Park for Sar-Ko Aglow. 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. 

​14th Annual Winter Solstice Torch-lit Hike and Snowman Trail Dec. 13 from 5-6:30pm at George Owens Nature Park, 1601 S. Speck Rd., Independence, MO. Walk down a woodland path lit by torches to an ice sleigh, telescopes and a bonfire. Bring your camera for photos in the ice sleigh; view the night sky; see live owls; and drink free hot chocolate. Snowmen will be displayed beginning on Dec 13, The Winter Solstice Torch Lit Hike through Jan 31.

Winter Solstice Celebration Dec. 16 from 6:30-8pm at Ernie Miller Nature Center, 909 N. K-7 Highway, Olathe, KS. 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 ancient stories about the longest night of the year. Please note: Portions of this program will be outdoors. Advance reservations recommended. For more information call (913) 764-7759.

 

Christmas Exhibits and Tours

KC Copters Plaza Lights Tours All season long, you may book a special helicopter tour over Kansas City's holiday lights! The Plaza Lights Tour is a one-of-a-kind celebration of the Christmas Season, complete with a champagne reception, Christmas cookies and candy canes before your flight! Our modern day sleigh is decked out with Christmas Lights and mistletoe, and you'll hear festive Christmas Carols in your headset as you dash away for a Reindeer's view of Kansas City's world famous Plaza Lights!

Olde World Christmas Nighttime Tour Nov. 17, Dec. 9 & 15 from 6-8pm at Strawberry Hill Museum, 720 North 4th Street, Kansas City, KS. During these evening tours, the museum will be illuminated using Victorian oil lamps and special Christmas lighting. Refreshments will also be served.

Christmas Tours: Bingham-Waggoner Estate Nov. 24 - Dec. 30 at Bingham-Waggoner Estate, 313 West Pacific, Independence, MO. Mon-Sat 10am-4pm, Sun 1-6pm. Enjoy a Holiday Tour through the decorated Bingham-Waggoner Estate. This well preserved estate provides insights into the lifestyles of the 19th century wealthy residents.

Victorian Holiday Elegance Nov. 24- Dec. 30 at Vaile Mansion, 1500 N. Liberty St., Independence, MO. Christmas trees adorn many of the thirty-one rooms, while lush greenery is placed over the fireplace mantles. Creative holiday vignettes in each room bring a sense of wonder to the mansion. Each year, volunteer designers showcase a new theme bringing back visitors to experience the beauty and allure of this historic home.

Christmas Candlelight Tour Nov 24 & 25 at 1855 Harris Kearney House Museum, 4000 Baltimore, Kansas City, MO. Tickets are $10.00 for adults, $8.00 for seniors. You will experience "A Prairie Christmas" with the Harris and Kearney families and their guests as they celebrate Christmas 1850s style. 

Christmas at Lanesfield Nov. 26 - Dec. 31 Fri & Sat at Lanesfield Historic Site, 18745 S. Dillie Rd, Edgerton, KS. Experience a traditional 1904 old-fashioned Christmas! Celebrate a traditional community Christmas with letter writing to Santa with pen and ink and create your very own ornament. Find old-fashioned stocking stuffers in our gift shop. All ages welcome. Drop in anytime between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. for this free program. FREE!

An Olde World Christmas Nov. 4 - Jan. 7 at Strawberry Hill Ethnic Museum and Cultural Center, 720 N. 4th St., Kansas City, KS. Admission: $10.00 for adults, $5.00 for children ages 6-12, and children age 5 and under. Explore colorful displays of ethnic traditions and customs from Croatia, Poland, Slovakia, Lithuania, Ukraine, Slovenia, Netherlands, Russia, Germany, Ireland, Italy, African-American, Belgium, Denmark and Mexico.

Ginormous Gingerbread House Party Dec. 1- 31 at Paradise Park, 1021 NE Colbern Road, Lee's Summit, MO. The magical indoor snow, laser light show, and awesome holiday music make this the best interactive gingerbread house in the world! It’s a gingerbread dream come true! Our bigger-than-life creation is the coolest place to warm your holiday spirits and have a blast, too! It’s an enchanting, fairy-tale memory your whole family will love.

Anderson House Christmas Dec. 2 & 3 at BATTLE OF LEXINGTON STATE HISTORIC SITE, 1101 Delaware, Lexington, MO. Come tour the Anderson House while it is decorated for the holidays. Join us on Saturday for candlelight tours and enjoy piano music provided by Dave Bohling and Pat Berry. An open house will be held on Sunday. This event is free and open to the public.
 

Coleman House Opening Dec. 2 at The National Museum of Toys and Miniatures, 5235 Oak St., Kansas City, MO. The annual tradition returns! See T/m’s nine-foot-tall dollhouse decked out for the holiday season. Get up close as T/m opens the doors for a day of in-depth talks about this giant dollhouse. Talks at 10:30am, 1pm, and 2:30pm, or come anytime between 10am and 4pm to view the house.

Holiday Candlelight Tours Dec. 8 & 9 John Wornall House Museum, 6115 Wornall Rd., Kansas City, MO. Engage all five senses as you tour the Wornall House in its holiday finery. This beloved holiday tradition is a special evening tour of the house that shows you how Victorians celebrated the season through decorations, activities, games, and food. You’ll feel like a member of the Wornall family by the time you leave! Tickets $15 and include a hot beverage and seasonal treat.

A Christmas Celebration Dec. 9 from 9am-5pm at Missouri Town 1855, Fleming Park, 8010 E. Park Road, Lee's Summit, MO. Admission charged. The chill of winter cannot stop staff and volunteers from sharing the joys of the holiday season with the many visitors who have made this annual holiday event a must. Warm hearth fires, simple but delicious food, period appropriate music and piping hot cider are but a few of the many treats awaiting our guests. Drop by the Blacksmith’s shop as he handcrafts some last minute items. A special appearance by Belsnickel will thrill the children as they are rewarded with either candy or a lump of coal. The simple beauty of candlelit rooms and a roaring fire transport us back to a simpler time. Join us and usher in your holiday in a most unique way!

Christmas Stories at T/m Dec. 16 & 23 at 1pm at The National Museum of Toys and Miniatures, 5235 Oak St, Kansas City, MO.  Free with admission. Hear stories about holidays past in T/m’s Tureman Education Center, formerly a 1911 residential mansion. Enjoy festive decorations and admire special displays of antique Christmas crèches from the Bud and Jan Koupal Collection.

 

 

For additional KC Christmas Guides check out our:

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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 KCParent.com.

 

 
 
 
 
 

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