A Mom’s Guide to Plaza Lights

plaza lightsPie plates hold only crumbs of the sweetness that once was, the wish bone is broken, wishes spoken, thankful words share and stomachs are stuffed fuller than the turkey once was. At the close of one holiday we welcome another. A time for remembrance, catchy tunes, twinkling lights, traditions and the people that mean the most to you. So if you’re thinking about collecting all those people and making the Plaza Lighting Ceremony a part of your family tradition, here are a few things to consider.

Are you a stroller pushing family?
Don’t be that Mom or Dad that uses your wheels as a weapon to part the sea of people. They exist – you know they do! Instead use it to hold all the necessary cold-weather extras: hats, gloves, scarves and blankets to keep those little fingers and button noses warm. Pack some bribes, too – mini-marshmallows, Cheerios, sweet treats, even leftover turkey. The cold and crowds will only be fun for you if your mini-mes are having fun, and you want this tradition to be enjoyable, not just tolerable.

Is your “on-time” 5-10 minutes late?
That’s me – always texting to say I’m on my way when I should already be there! But on this night, five minutes late and the merriment of the moment is lost. Leave the dirty dishes for later, crank up the heater and Christmas tunes, leave extra early, carpool, and secure your parking spot. The Plaza Lighting pre-Ceremony starts at 5 p.m., and an honorary guest will flip the switch at promptly 6:54 p.m. So, if you’re like me, lie to Google calendar and set your reminder for 6:25 – giving yourself a beautiful 30-minute cushion. Don’t rush around only to arrive late. Consider watching from the comfort of your own home, which is possible by tuning into KSHB-TV 41 or online starting at 6 p.m.

Do crowds make your stomach turn or set your heart racing?
A sure way to miss the magic is to be overwhelmed with the sheer number of people who want to share in the magic with you. There are more than 2 million people in the KC area and of those, more than a handful gather on the Plaza streets to watch, mouths open in awe, as the skyline lights up with thousands of LEDs. Don’t let the people-packed streets steal the joy of this fun tradition. Take a deep breath, and prepare yourself ahead of time that it will be crowded.

But if crows are a deal breaker for you, consider getting up early and taking in the fun without the crowds on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving from 2 a.m. – 6 a.m. – YAWN!

Other options that subtract crowds, include taking in the view from the comfort of one of the hotels across the street. Or if you’re OK with missing the moment where darkness becomes light, but want to take in the sight of the lighted Plaza area, plan a family limo ride with one of the many KC companies that offer a lights tour or take a carriage ride (extended holiday hours). Two carriage companies operate year round: Surrey’s Carriage Company at 816-531-2673 and Pride of Kansas City at 816-531-1999.

The Kansas City Aviation Center gives tours of the Plaza Lights by air. Packages including dinner and a limo are available as well. Reservations available at 866-359-5222.

It’s my favorite time of year – Happy Christmas! For additional questions or facts about the Plaza lighting find them here.

186About the author: Jamie is a small town Kansas girl who has called Kansas City home for the past 12 years. Wife to her perfect match times 10 years. She is a part-time nurse, working the weekend nights, and a homeschooling mom of two – Ethan (9) and Charlie Grace (7). They keep her running, questioning, learning and are the biggest blessings in the everyday.

Find Jamie on her blog at http://www.reflected.me, on Twitter @G4Jamie and Instagram @Jamieg4.

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