Holiday Fun and Festivals in Kansas City

Crown Center Ice Terrace
November 5 – March 13

Kansas City’;s only public outdoor ice-skating rink celebrates its 49th season of great skating fun. Enjoy public skating daily, closed on Christmas. Two“Learn to Skate” sessions will be held on Sunday mornings, advance registration required. Group rates and private parties are available. Admission is $8 plus $4 skate rental. Or purchase a Season Pass for $90.

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. Check the website for up to date information.

The Ice at Park Place

The Ice at Park Place, Leawood’s only outdoor ice rink, is open every day (weather permitting) mid-Nov. through Feb. 27, including holidays. The Ice is surrounded by seasonal festivities, amazing restaurants, and local, specialty shopping. Enjoy special events like Skating with Santa, Royalty Skate, and Valentine’s Day Skate. The Ice is available for groups, birthday parties, field trips, and special events, and offers group discounts and charitable fundraising opportunities.

Santa’s Bake Shop
Opens November 10

Welcome to the second year of a one of a kind holiday experience coming back to south Kansas City. Santa’s Bakeshop by Martin City Brewing Company is coming back in full force with cookies, cocoa, and more! Be sure to catch the man in red at the Grand Opening November 10th at 6 p.m. Santa will be retuning to Martin City 12/1, 12/8, and 12/15 from 4pm until 8 pm. Come snap a photo and have some cocoa with the jolliest man this side of State Line.

Red Door Home Store

Luminary Night at The Nelson-Atkins
November 12, 5-9 p.m.

Bring your friends and family to light the night! Join us for a FREE magical luminary walk through the North side of the Donald J. Hall Sculpture Park. Warm up around a fire pit to roast marshmallows and enjoy performances by the Nelson-Atkins Teen Council before you depart for your celestial viewing organized by the Astronomical Society of Kansas City Stargazing Society. S’mores kits, hot cocoa, wine, beer, and soda will be available for purchase.

Holiday Reflections at Union Station
November 26 – December 27

Enjoy Union Station’s festive and magical Holiday Reflections walk-thru village. With eight key photo backdrops for your selfie-moment, or family-picture. It will be an eye-popping, holiday-themed wonderland. Featuring sky-reaching lights, trees, forest friends and giant, floating mirrored ornaments. Immerse yourself in the holiday spirit with brilliant sights and sounds.Open Monday thru Sunday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., with last ticket sold at 7 p.m. Closed Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. Buy tickets here.

The Arboretum by Candlelight
November 26 – December 18

During the three weekends following Thanksgiving, take a stroll along the lit pathways to see intricate Gnome and Fairy Villages, serene winter woods by candlelight, and the colorful Children’s Garden. Enjoy musical performances in four different locations and a horse-drawn wagon ride through the forest, while the quiet woods are lit with candles lining the walkways. The gardens are bright with color. Trees, buildings, and bridges are all part of the show, with thousands of lights aglow.

For a quieter date night experience, a Candlelight Stroll will be held December 2.

EBT Santa’s Countdown to Christmas
November 26 – January 3

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.

The Strawberry Swing’s Holiday Swing
November 26-December 19

he Strawberry Swing and The City Market are excited to announce a partnership that is sure to become The Midwest’s premier, open-air European-style holiday experience. Featuring The Swing’s juried makers, street food vendors, holiday drinks, strolling entertainers and other festivities, including holiday lights and decor, Merry Market is sure to delight Kansas Citians and beyond! Makers will be in the Farmers Market pavilions facing outward so guests can shop outdoors with lots of space and fresh air. It will be the perfect place to find unique gifts for everyone on your list while supporting small, local businesses, keeping our community strong.

Luminary Walk
December 4, 5:30 p.m.

Mission Parks and Recreation is kicking off the holiday season with our Mayor’s Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony and Luminary Walk on Friday, December 4th. Enjoy photo booths and S’more stations as we stroll down the illuminated Rock Creek Trail. Mayor’s Tree Lighting Ceremony – 5:30 p.m.

Christkindlmarkt
December 4, 3 p.m.

The festivities start at 3 p.m. at City Hall (11110 Johnson Drive) with live entertainment, kids’ crafts and activities, a carnival ride and Santa to hear your child’s holiday wishes.
Join us at 5:30 p.m. when the Mayor will be joined by Santa and Mrs. Claus to present the Mayor’s Christmas Tree Fund checks to the Shawnee Storm and Shawnee Community Services.We’ll cap off the night by lighting the Mayor’s Christmas Tree!

Lawrence Christmas Parade
December 4, 11 a.m.

Marking the 28th year of tradition, you and your family won’t want to miss the 2021 Christmas Parade. The Lawrence Christmas Parade is one of the most unique parades in the nation. Authentic horse-drawn carriages parading down Massachusetts Street is the perfect way to kick off the holiday season. Cozy up with hot cocoa and blankets. Feel the true holiday spirit while watching dozens of beautiful horses and wagons adorned in garland and bells. Join us to celebrate American heritage and keep our tradition alive this holiday season.

Christmas Open House at Mahaffie
December 5, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Enjoy the Heritage Center decorations, make an ornament, and visit the historic Mahaffie House! Visit Santa in the Heritage Center. FREE admission! Stagecoach rides $3/person ages 3 and up, making a gingerbread house is $4/house.

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. More details coming soon.

Great Santa Run 5K
December 12

The 13th annual Great Santa Run 5K is a great way to celebrate the holiday season while supporting Operation Breakthrough, one of Kansas City’s favorite charities. We are excited to return to the original home for the event, Johnson County Community College!.  We will once again provide a post-race breakfast for race participants at no extra charge! All participants in the Great Santa Run 5K will receive a custom event stocking cap, IPICO chip timing, finisher’s medal, top overall, masters and 5 year band age group awards, and aid station on the course. All Santa’s Little Elves Kids Run participants will receive a medal! 

Winter Solstice Celebration
December 18

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 stories about the longest night of the year. Visit live owls and discover animal mysteries of survival during the long winter. Gather round for a campfire treat of toasted marshmallows.

Sarah grew 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, and now Overland Park. Sarah is mom to 10-year-old, Henry, 7-year-old Clark and 5-year-old Lucy. She has her master’s in urban administration and is passionate about making Kansas City a more equitable and supportive community. In between the crazy, she likes to drink coffee, run, hike, travel as much as possible, and experience all things Kansas City!

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