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Things to Do in Kansas City Over the Holidays

Did you know that Kansas City becomes a twinkling wonderland with over 100,000 lights during the holiday season?

That’s right, you’ll find the city adorned with spectacular displays that transform it into a festive paradise.

Whether you’re a local or planning a winter visit, there’s an array of activities that cater to all tastes. From the magical Plaza Lights to the enchanting performances of holiday classics, there’s no shortage of things to experience.

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Let’s navigate through the myriad of options that make Kansas City a prime holiday destination.

Key Takeaways

  • The Kansas City Plaza Lights Experience is a beloved tradition in its 94th year and is considered one of the top holiday events in Kansas.
  • Kansas City has several festive districts, including Crown Center, where captivating holiday displays can be found.
  • Kansas City’s vibrant shopping scene offers unique gifts, with holiday markets and outlets offering a variety of options.
  • There are essential holiday experiences in Kansas City, such as the Festival of Lights at Powell Gardens and the Nutcracker performance at the Kauffman Center, that promise to make the festive season unforgettable.

Kansas City Plaza Lights Experience

dazzling holiday lights display

If you’re hunting for a top-tier holiday display, you can’t miss the Kansas City Plaza Lights Experience, a beloved tradition now in its 94th year that enchants visitors all season long.

Set in the heart of the Country Club Plaza, this event is considered one of the top holiday events in Kansas, offering an unparalleled festive spectacle.

The magic unfolds with the lighting ceremony, an eagerly awaited annual event that sets the holiday spirit ablaze across the city.

As the Plaza Lights twinkle against the night sky, you’ll feel the true essence of Christmas.

Soak in the sights, capture unforgettable memories, and let the brilliance of this Kansas tradition light up your holiday season.

Exploring KC’s Festive Districts

discovering kansas city s neighborhoods

After basking in the glow of the Plaza Lights, you’re ready to venture further into the heart of Kansas City’s festive districts, where more holiday magic awaits. One of Kansas City’s favorite holiday districts is certainly the Plaza, but don’t miss out on exploring KC’s other festive districts too.

Crown Center, for instance, is a must-visit with its captivating holiday displays. Events in Kansas City’s festive districts, from shopping extravaganzas to live performances, are numerous and varied.

To help you plan, here’s a table with some highlights:

District Event
Crown Center Ice Terrace
39th Street Holiday Swing
Union Station ‘A Christmas Carol’
Longview Lake Park Christmas In The Park

Unique Holiday Shopping in KC

local boutiques and markets

Looking for unique gifts this holiday season? Dive into Kansas City’s vibrant shopping scene where festive markets offer an array of handmade crafts, exclusive souvenirs, and much more.

The city’s favorite event, Holiday Swing at the Center for the Performing, is a must-visit for unique holiday shopping in KC.

Venture to Overland Park for the Merry Market, an event held in partnership with Art Garden KC. You’ll find an array of handmade goods and crafts.

Legends Outlets in KCK offers seasonal celebrations and one-of-a-kind souvenirs.

Immerse yourself in the shopping extravaganza at the Westport Christmas Market, located in Kansas City’s oldest district.

Each of these events offers a unique take on holiday shopping, making them essential things to do in Kansas City over the holidays.

Essential Kansas City Holiday Experiences

must do holiday activities in kansas city

Beyond snagging unique holiday finds at local markets, there’s a whole host of essential Kansas City holiday experiences waiting for you to explore and enjoy.

Don’t miss the mesmerizing Festival of Lights at Powell Gardens, where you can walk amongst illuminated plants, a truly enchanting sight.

Feel the holiday spirit at Union Station, surrounded by decorations and vibrant activities.

Longview Lake takes holiday lights to the next level with a stunning display reflecting on the water.

Also, the Nutcracker at the Kauffman Center, performed by the City Ballet, is an absolute must-see.

These are just a few of the essential Kansas City holiday experiences that promise to make your festive season in the city unforgettable.

Winter Sports Activities in KC

cold weather fun in kc

When it comes to winter sports activities in Kansas City, you’ll find no shortage of excitement.

From ice skating and snow tubing at Snow Creek in Weston to horse-drawn carriage rides around the glittering Country Club Plaza.

Don’t miss the Holiday Reflections walk-thru, where you’ll marvel at the lights illuminating a winter wonderland.

Make sure to catch a Christmas Carol performance, a KC tradition that adds to the seasonal celebrations.

You should also explore the Kansas side for impressive Christmas light displays.

Be captivated by the towering Christmas tree at the Plaza, a sight that will leave you in awe.

And remember, ice skating at the outdoor rink in the heart of the city is a must-do, and the event is free!


So, don’t let the winter chill freeze your holiday spirit. Warm up your festive soul by exploring the shimmering lights of Kansas City Plaza or diving into the unique shopping opportunities.

Whether it’s indulging in classic holiday performances or discovering the city’s hidden festive gems, Kansas City is your winter wonderland. A visit here is like unwrapping the perfect present – it’s full of joy, surprises, and unforgettable memories.

Let the holiday magic begin!

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