Best of January in Kansas City

January in Kansas City is the time for sledding, snow skiing, ice skating, and wonderful indoor family outings.This year, Union Station introduces the new exhibit, The Art of the Brick. Celebrate Chinese New Year at The Nelson-Atkins, catch new shows at The Coterie and JCCC. And, watch Monster Jam at the Sprint Center. These are our Top Picks for January in Kansas City!

Ring in the New Year... with Kids!

Bid farewell to 2017 and Ring in 2018! Celebrate the New Year with fun for the entire family... you'll find family-friendly parties across the metro as our favorite venues roll out the red carpet for YOU! Read KC's New Year's Eve Guide for Families.

Monster Jam®: Triple Threat Series

Monster Jam® is coming to the Sprint Center (Jan. 12-14, 2018). Monster Jam® is the most action-packed live event on four wheels where world class drivers compete in front of capacity crowds around the globe. Monster Jam® features high octane spontaneous entertainment and intense competition, featuring the most recognizable trucks in the world.

KU Women's Basketball

KU Women's Basketball (Allen Fieldhouse 1651 Naismith Drive, Lawrence, KS). Catch a game supporting KU Women's Basketball and making family memories... these upcoming games are especially fun for families:  

January with KU Women's Basketball:

  • January 6th at 2pm: WBB vs. Baylor - Superhero Day / Childhood Cancer Awareness Night. $5 admission to all youth in Superhero costumes. Color me Pennant Giveaway. Face painter & balloon artist on the concourse. Halftime Show. Jay Days ($2 Hot dog, $2 Popcorn, $1 Fudge Bar).
  • January 28th at 4pm: WBB vs. Kansas State - Sunflower Showdown. Adrian Mitchell Jersey retirement. 50-year celebration. School district promotion. Face painter & balloon artist on the concourse. Team Photo card giveaway. Jay Days ($2 Hot dog, $2 Popcorn, $1 Fudge Bar).

The Art of the Brick at Union Station

Art of the Brick at Union Station

The Art of the Brick: Opening Jan. 26 at Union Station (30 W. Pershing, Kansas City, MO). "The Art of the Brick has inspired and thrilled audiences from Brazil to Australia, France to Russia and Taiwan to Spain. Now, experience this “Must See” exhibition at Union Station Kansas City. This first-ever art exhibition focused exclusively on the use of LEGO bricks as an art medium is one of those rare experiences nearly impossible to describe, but so easy to love. Massive and intimate. Brilliantly simple and complex all at once. Unlike anything you’ve ever seen. Over 100 arresting creations from the mind of a contemporary art genius."

Folly Kids Series

In January, catch Four Score and Seven Years Ago showing Jan. 29 as part of the Folly Kids Series (300 West 12th Street, Kansas City, MO). To young Lemuel, who has escaped slavery in Georgia, life in Gettysburg is everything he had dreamed it would be. His ideas about the North and the South, as well as what it means to be a free man are challenged, however, when he unexpectedly befriends Jacob, a young Confederate soldier. The Folly Kids Series offers fabulous educational shows throughout the school year for just $6/ticket. 

​Visit Polar Pals at the Kansas City Zoo

KC Zoo Penguins

The Kansas City Zoo is open year-round (except Jan. 1). (6800 Zoo Dr., KCMO. 816.513.5800 Pack a picnic and bring it to the zoo! The Polar Bear Passage and the indoor Helzberg Penguin Plaza are our favorite attractions at the zoo, and both are indoor making a great winter outing. Winter  at the zoo is great... you don't have to worry about bugs, heat, or crowds and it isn't crowded.Weather permitting enjoy a ride on the carousel or train for more fun. 

Bonus: Visit the Zoo's Calendar to learn about Polar Bear and Penguin Overnights when visitors are invited to spend the night at the zoo and other special events year round!​

January's Special Events at the Kansas City Zoo: 

  • Jan. 6 & 7: Cheetah Enrichment  and King and Gentoo Penguin March
  • Jan. 13 & 14: Zootastik Learning Fest-Camels, Goats, Llamas & Donkeys & King and Gentoo Penguin March
  • Jan. 20 & 21: Tropical Weekend, Cheetah Enrichment, & King and Gentoo Penguin March
  • Jan . 27 & 28: Species Spotlight & King and Gentoo Penguin March

Fun at Paradise Park

Paradise Park

Paradise Park in Lee's Summit. Paradise Park is a favorite family fun center where there truly is something for everyone. From the Children's EduTainment Center with indoor play for little ones, to the arcades, gokarts, and rock wall and more for teens and adults - this is the place for families to play. 

January Special Events at Paradise Park:

  • Teen Night – Unlimited Fun: Friday, January 12 from 7-10 PM. $15 plus tax (a 33% discount). Kick off the “New Year” right with unlimited indoor fun! The special deal this month includes an Unlimited MAX PAK, a $5 FUN CARD and a Personal PIZZA! 

  • Superhero Party – Free!: Saturday, January 13 from 11AM-2PM. Boom!” “Pop!” “Bam!” Calling all superheroes: today Paradise Park is your not-so-secret  headquarters. Dress up in your favorite superhero costume and join us for an incredible day of giveaways, photos and marvelous fun. Free. No reservations needed

  • Superhero VIP Breakfast : Members - $7 plus tax. Nonmembers - $16 plus tax. Saturday, January 13 from 9-10AM. Seating and space is limited so register now!  Must be booked 5 days in advance. Includes: Seating for fabulous kid-friendly breakfast, exclusive meet and mingle with superheroes, photos and autographs, costume contest, giveaways, all-day Discovery Play & Foam Factory admission. Reservations required.

  • Prince & Princess Party – Free!: Saturday, January 20 from 11AM-2PM. Let the fairytales begin! With a wave of our magic wand, you can feel like a real prince or princess. Join the make-believe fun as the enchanted magic unfolds at Paradise Park. Dress up for a royal day of giveaways, photos and whimsical fun all day at the meet and greet event. Free. No reservations needed.

  • VIP Prince & Princess Breakfast: Members - $7 plus tax. Nonmembers - $16 plus tax. Saturday, January 20 from 9-10AM. Seating and space is limited so register now! Must be booked 5 days in advance. Includes: Seating for fabulous kid-friendly breakfast, exclusive meet and mingle with princes and princesses, photos and autographs, costume contest, giveaways, all-day Discovery Play & Foam Factory admission. Reservations required.

The Secret of Courage

The Secret of Courage Jan. 23 - Feb. 11 at The Coterie (Level I at Crown Center). A world premiere production with magic and wonderment, the play begins with 13 year old Jack McCall learning some very bad news about his health. His best friend Waddy is not as concerned as he is, since you hear stories of people getting over this illness all the time. From there, reality blends with fantasy as Jack becomes convinced that he needs to find his way back to the magical park and the imaginary friends from his childhood. An elf named Pick along with an owl, a troll, and a ghost challenge Jack to an adventure to save the park from an evil imprisoned in a massive tree. But this adventure may not even be real, so what does facing this adversary in the park have to do with Jack’s sickness anyway?

Chinese New Year at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

Chinese New Year FREE Jan. 28 at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. This is one of the best multi-cultural events of the year and admission is FREE. Delight in the Year of the Dog! Experience the culture of China and enjoy our world-renowned collection of Chinese Art. Enjoy paper cutting, shadow puppetry, and trumpet demonstrations followed by a Q&A. Learn to say Happy New Year in Chinese with help from students from the Institute of Chinese Language and Culture.

Family Events at the National World War I Museum and Memorial

The National WWI Museum and Memorial (2 Memorial Drive, Kansas City, MO). Within the museum walls below, however, lies one of the best historic sites in the Midwest, the National World War I Museum. With tremendous state-of-the-art exhibits telling the story of World War I and, more importantly, the soldiers and civilians of the era—their sacrifices, their journeys—this is one of Kansas City’s most important attractions.

January Special Events at The National WWI Museum and Memorial:

  • Hands-On History: Every Saturday at 11am. History is brought to life in this family‑friendly program in which kids of all ages are invited to handle Great War artifacts.
    Complimentary with paid admission.
  • Complimentary Museum Tour: Every Thursday 2:30pm. Explore the Main Gallery with one of our knowledgeable Museum Guides on a tour. Space is limited on a first come, first serve basis. Sign-up on Thursdays at the Museum ticketing window. Complimentary with paid admission | Museum Main Gallery
  • Day in the Life: A Soldier's Burden: The Living History Volunteer Corps will be on site to share stories of the Great War era and make history come to life! The Living History volunteers will focus on the burden on soldiers during the war. FREE to the public | J.C. Nichols Auditorium Lobby
  • Story Time: Winnie the Pooh DaySATURDAY, JAN. 20, 10:30 A.M. Did you know that Jan. 18 is National Winnie-the-Pooh Day? Or that Winnie-the-Pooh was a real-life bear that cheered a regiment during the Great War? Come celebrate this bear who was much more than a “tubby little cubby all stuffed with fluff” with a movie screening of the film A Bear Named Winnie, cake, and a family-friendly craft. Sponsored by the Capitol Federal Foundation. FREE with RSVP | J.C. Nichols Auditorium and Lobby.
  • Bricks and Mavericks: LEGO & WWI Planes: SATURDAY, JAN. 27, 11 A.M. LEGO Master Builder Joe Nunnink takes flight at the Museum with a series of interactive demonstrations on building WWI-era airplanes. Learn from the best and then create your own planes! Demonstrations begin at 11 a.m., 11:45 a.m., and 12:15 p.m. FREE to the public | J.C. Nichols Auditorium Lobby.

JCCC Performing Arts Center Shows

Enjoy live shows all season at JCCC Performing Arts Center (12345 College Blvd., Overland Park, KS). January's shows offer great shows for parents and educational shows for families. In January, Freedom Riders is produced for grade school children.

January Shows at JCCC:

  • "Cabaret" The Musical (2 shows) 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday, January 13, 2018 | Yardley Hall. Cabaret sets a complicated love story between struggling novelist Cliff Bradshaw and nightclub singer Sally Bowles against the rise of the Nazi Party in 1930s Berlin. 
  • Todd Mosby and New Horizons Ensemble 8 p.m. Saturday, January 20, 2018 | Polsky Theatre. A seasoned jazz guitarist, arranger and orchestrator, composer and sole performer of the Imrat guitar, Todd Mosby brings all his influences to light with this concert. 
  • Freedom Riders 10 a.m. Thursday, January 25, 2018 | Yardley Hall. Set in 1961, 15 years after the United States Supreme Court had outlawed segregation, bus lines and cities throughout the South still enforced a rigid system of separating black and white citizens. The Freedom Riders, both black and white Americans, from the North and the South, decided to travel together on buses that crossed state lines despite the hateful segregation and racism that had a strong hold in so many parts of the United States. The unforgettable heroes, and the facts behind the events portrayed in Freedom Riders, are essential to a full understanding of the Civil Rights era and American history. 
  • Deborah Brown Quintet: Winterlude Series 7 p.m. Sunday, January 28, 2018 | Polsky Theatre. Born in Kansas City, Deborah’s musical talents propelled her from coast to coast in the U.S., eventually leading her to Europe via Japan and Indonesia and culminating in a 12-year residency in Europe. Performing in nightclubs, concerts and jazz festivals and on television and radio soundstages, Brown has 16 recordings as a leader and is featured on many others as a special guest artist.

KC Restaurant Week

Enjoy KC Restaurant Week from Jan. 12 thru Jan. 21 at various restaurants. $15 Lunch and $33 Dinner menus. Every January we look forward to Restaurant Week. The event is the perfect opportunity to check out new and familiar restaurants while sampling food you may not have enjoyed before. During Restaurant Week over 180 local restaurants offer special price fixed menus at participating restaurants. Multi-course lunch and dinner menus are $15 or $33. You may still order from the traditional menu, but the Restaurant Week menu is the best bargain and opportunity to try new things. Chefs will prepare their favorites and may experiment with new dishes as well.

​Winter Sports: Skating, Skiing, and Sledding


  • Crown Center Ice Terrace 2425 Grand Blvd, Kansas City, MO. 816.274.8411. Kansas City's original ice skating rink is open for its 45th season of great skating fun! Regular admission is $6, or free for adults over age 60 and children age 4 and under. Skate rental is $3, or skaters may bring their own. Hours: Sunday - Thursday, 10 a.m. - 9 p.m. Friday - Saturday, 10 a.m. - 11 p.m. Two-for-One Tuesdays! After 5 p.m., pay one full price admission and receive a second for FREE. (Skate rental not included, but it's just $3 per person.) Read our review and tips for Ice Skating at Crown Center.
  • The Ice at Park Place 11565 Ash St, Leawood, KS. 913.663.2070 
  • Linden Square Ice Rink 602 NE 70th St., Gladstone, MO. 816.423.4092 

Kansas City's Indoor Ice Skating Rinks:



  • You can ski at the Snow Creek Ski Area in Weston or take the family to Colorado to enjoy Granby Ranch - with your KC Parent Coupon! They offer ski slopes, snowboarding, and lessons for beginners.


  • Kansas City boasts many terrific sled hills all across the metro! Over the years, our loyal readers have shared their favorites providing this fabulous list of the Best Sled Hills in KC!

And so...

  • Why We LOVE Winter Sports: In just one hour, you can burn 250 calories skating, skiing, or sledding and make countless memories, not to mention a few great photo ops, with the whole family!
  • Tip: Check the KC Parent Coupon page before you go for our current deals!

Horse Drawn Sleigh Rides

Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop Sleigh Ride

When, Where, What: Snowy Weekends at the Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop (1200 Kansas City Rd, Olathe, KS). Rides are offered on weekends if there is snow. Be certain to call ahead at 913.971.5111 to verify or visit Mahaffie's website for details.

Why We LOVE Sleigh Rides at Mahaffie: Mahaffie is one of our favorite historic sites in the metro with wonderful interpretive programs throughout the year (read our review of Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop here), but we hold an extra special fondness for the beloved century's old winter tradition of horse-drawn sleigh rides. 

Brought to you by! Follow 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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