Guide to Holiday Fun and Festivals in Kansas City

KCMC Noon Year's Eve at Pinstripes (December 31)

Ring in the new year with the whole family!

This annual event features:

*Bowling
*A big dance party
*Lunch buffet
*Cookie decorating
*Activities for all ages
*Milk and cookies toast/balloon drop at noon

VIP TICKET HOLDERS get early access (check in at 8:45 a.m.), early bowling time, no lines and a FAMILY SWAG BAG full of goodies for all ages! Limited quantity available!

Crown Center Ice Terrace (November 1- March 8)

Looking for something cool to do this winter? Then strap on some skates and glide around the Ice Terrace – Kansas City’s pubic outdoor ice skating rink. Admission: Adults and children over four $7.00; Children under four and adults over 60 are FREE. Skate rental $4.00. Group rates and season passes available.

Gladstone’s Linden Square Skate Rink

The end of November opening of this outdoor neighborhood rink in Gladstone coincides with the lighting of the Mayor’s Christmas Tree and provides family fun all winter long. Check the website for updated opening information.

Ice Skating at Burlington Creek 

If you live north of the river, you’ll want to check out The Village at Burlington Creek. Located on 64th Street (or Tom Watson Parkway in Parkville), the area includes a quaint little shopping district that allows you to enjoy an evening out with the family before or after skating.

The Ice at Park Place

The Ice at Park Place serves as Leawood’s only outdoor ice rink and is surrounded by seasonal festivities, warm food and drink options and unique holiday shopping. The rink is open November 15-February 17, including holidays! Find special events like Skating with Santa, Princess Skate and Valentine’s Day Skate on their site.

Olde World Christmas at Strawberry Hill Museum (beginning November 2)

In addition to our permanent ethnic exhibitors, there will be displays representing Mexico, Ireland and African-American cultures. Additional space has also been added to display German, Italian and Belgium traditions. There are also new items in the Gift Shop, so make sure you stop by after your tour and pick up those unusual gifts for your family and friends.

Liberty Holiday Homes Tour (November 9-10)

Homes will be available for viewing on Saturday and Sunday from 1-5 p.m. each day. All proceeds from this event benefit Liberty Women’s Clinic.

KC Holiday Boutique (November 14-17)

Festive fun returns to the Overland Park Convention Center November 14-17 for the Holiday Boutique! With 320+ vendors to shop you’ll find something for everyone on your list, plus a treat (or two!) for yourself.

Rock the Red Kettle (November 15, 6:30 p.m.)

The Salvation Army continues its family-friendly holiday tradition in Kansas City, “Rock the Red Kettle,” with a free community concert featuring Plain White T’sThe Mowgli’s and New Politics. The concert will be held on the KC Live! Stage in the Power & Light District in Downtown Kansas City.

Holiday Market & Open House at Eighteen Ninety (November 21)

Grab your family and friends and shop for the holidays at Eighteen Ninety, an historic venue just 20 minutes north of downtown Kansas City.

WinterFest at Worlds of Fun (November 23-December 31)

Holiday cheer rings out at Worlds of Fun during the annual WinterFest holiday celebration. Thousands of sparkling lights transform the park with an inviting glow that warms the heart and lifts the spirit. Witness festive live shows, meet iconic holiday characters, join holiday activities like ice skating and cooking decorating, ride select park attractions, and create lasting memories with family and friends. This holiday event takes place on select nights in November and December.

See it Snow Inside (November 23-January 5)

Baby, it’s cold outside, but it’s warm here at Paradise Park and you can experience some “North Pole” magic inside our Foam Factory, where it SNOWS INSIDE! You’re invited to come experience the wonder, get some energy out while keeping warm, and maybe you’ll even catch an elf or reindeer having a snowball fight! Saturdays and Sundays beginning Nov. 23. Cost: $4.99-$7.99

Christmas in the Sky (November 27)

This event serves as the kick-off for Jackson County’s Christmas in the Park and features holiday entertainment along with an amazing fireworks display synchronized to your favorite holiday music and simulcast on The Point 99.7. Bring chairs/blankets for seating!

Make a Joyful Noise at the Bingham-Waggoner Estate (November 29-December 30)

Tours of the estate are offered Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and Sundays 1-4 p.m.

Bright Light Friday (November 29)

Skip the craziness of Black Friday shopping. Make it a playful “Bright Light Friday” instead! Sing, dance and celebrate the start of the holiday season with Kansas City-based kid rocker Jim “Stinky Feet” Cosgrove. On the day of the show, Cosgrove will collect winter clothing items on behalf of the nonprofit Artists Helping the Homeless.

EBT Santa’s Countdown to Christmas (November 29-December 31)

Don’t miss one of Kansas 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.

Santa’s Gingerbread Station (November 29-December 31)

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.

The Holiday Swing (November 30-December 1)

Join The Midwest’s biggest handmade holiday shopping event in our 8th year of celebrating the handmade movement: The Holiday Swing. 100+ handmade & vintage vendors + food trucks + cash bar + whimsical photobooth + holiday cheer at one of the most beautifully decorated holiday destinations in Kansas City: Union Station Kansas City Inc. Best of all? It’s FREE to attend.

Christmas on the River (December 6, 6 p.m.)

If you’re looking for a picturesque Christmas experience, come to Parkville’s Christmas on the River. There are food vendors, activities for the kids, carolers and of course, Santa and Mrs. Claus. Don’t miss the holiday fireworks over the river at the night’s end!

Baldwin City Festival of Lights (December 7, 6 p.m.)

Turn out for the annual Festival of Lights in Baldwin City – a parade, tree lighting and MUCH more. The parade begins at 6 p.m., but the day’s events include breakfast with Santa, a holiday art show and home tour, a soup supper and fireworks display.

Shawnee Christkindlmarkt (December 7)

This annual holiday event, formerly known as Christmas Around Town, is free and has something for the entire family to enjoy. The festivities start with the Sister Cities Christkindlmarkt, live entertainment, kids’ crafts, fruit cake races and visits with Santa. The downtown Shawnee businesses will have even more fun activities including food trucks, sing-alongs with carolers, face painting, balloon artists, LIVE REINDEER and more!

Great Santa Run 5K (December 8)

This annual favorite is in its 11th year and is fun for families of all ages, paces and sizes! The event is known for its great race shirts, finishers medals and post race breakfast.

Hanukkah Glow Party (December 9 | 4-6 p.m.)

Kick things off with a community menorah lighting in the J’s Campus Main Lobby at 4:15 p.m. Then the Glow Party begins! We will also have a sensory-friendly area as well as a baby zone for our youngest guests. Activities include rockin’ out to a Kid-friendly DJ, fun games, Kosher Sufganiyot (Jelly Donuts), an amazing Hot Chocolate Bar and Special Menorah Lighting.

Grinch Candy Cane Hunt (December 12 | 6-9 p.m.)

OH NO! The Grinch is planning to steal all of the candy canes from Beverly Park. Please help us find them before it’s too late. After all of the candy canes have been found, we’ll head inside to warm up with some hot chocolate and cookies and enjoy a showing of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” at the Sylvester Powell, Jr. Community Center. Parental supervision required. Ages 5-12.

Pajama Party Breakfast Bingo (December 14, 9-11 a.m.)

Find your comfiest pajamas and let us cook breakfast. Enjoy a morning of pancakes and more. Play six games of bingo, and have a shot at some great prizes. This silly morning is just $9 per person, $11 nonresidents, $29 for a family up to four, $32 nonresidents, $38 for a family up to seven, $42 nonresidents. Register in advance at www.jcprd.com, click the “Register for Activities” button and do a barcode search for 23294.

12 Bars of Charity (December 14, 8 p.m.)

The 12 Bars of Charity aims to raise more than $40,000 for eight amazing local charities. Choose your charity team and have some fun!

Noon Year’s Eve at Pinstripes (December 31 | 9 a.m.)

Ring in the new year with the whole family! This annual sold-out event features games, entertainment, horse and carriage rides, crafts, a DJ, pizza and a milk and cookies toast during the noon balloon drop. VIP attendees are guaranteed an early bowling time, early entry, and shorter lines for activities. Mark your calendar and claim your tickets on Black Friday, November 24. Noon Year’s Eve is hosted by Kansas City Moms Blog, Pinstripes and Prairiefire. To read more about last year’s Noon Year’s Eve, click here.

NYE Live! Kansas City (December 31, 8 p.m.)

Join a crowd of thousands for the biggest New Year’s Eve celebration in Kansas City at the Kansas City Live! Block in the Power & Light District. Features exclusive access to up to 12 bars and nightclubs, premium bar packages, live DJs, NYE-themed party favors, champagne toasts, confetti canons and the city’s most anticipated countdown to midnight.

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Sarah is mama to 8-year-old, Henry, 5-year-old Clark and 3-year-old Lucy. After growing up in Manhattan, Kansas (Go Cats!), she moved to Minnesota where she met her husband, Shea. Realizing how much she hated snow in May, she convinced him to move to Kansas City in 2010. Together they have lived in Midtown, Waldo, the Plaza before migrating to Johnson County. Sarah has her master’s in urban administration and works part-time as a content strategist. In between the crazy, she likes to try new restaurants, go for walks around the neighborhood, dig in the sand at Franklin Park and experience all things KC.

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