Guide to Holiday Fun and Festivals in Kansas City

Crown Center Ice Terrace (November 6 – March 7)

Looking for something cool to do this winter? Then strap on some skates and glide around the Ice Terrace – Kansas City’s public outdoor ice skating rink. Admission is $7, skate rental is $4. Private parties are 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 16-February 28, including holidays! Find special events like Skating with Santa, Princess Skate and Valentine’s Day Skate on their site.

Holiday Reflections at Union Station | November 21 – January 1

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 27 – December 12

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 Thursday, December 3rd.

The Luminary Walk is the major fundraiser for the Friends of the Arboretum (FOTA). All proceeds benefit the Arboretum.

EBT Santa’s Countdown to Christmas (November 27-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 Market (November 28-December 20)

Join us as we create a European-inspired, open air market featuring Kansas City’s best makers & artisans, food trucks, holiday drinks, and more at historic Union Station! We’ll kick-off the markets on Small Business Saturday and pop-up each weekend until December 20th. So grab your winter hats & gloves and join us for a socially distant holiday shopping extravaganza and support our local, small, creative businesses. Reservations are required and capacity is limited.

Christmas on the River (December 4, 6 p.m.)

If you’re looking for a picturesque Christmas experience, come to Parkville’s Christmas on the River. Enjoy after hours shopping, live music, strolling carolers, safe Santa visits and more.

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.

Christmas Open House at Mahaffie (December 5 | 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.)

Enjoy the Heritage Center decorations, make an ornament or a gingerbread house, and visit the Mahaffie House! Masks must be worn.

Great Santa Run 5K (December 6)

The 12th 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. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, we have moved the race to South Creek Office Park at 132nd and Metcalf in Overland Park. We will once again provide a post-race breakfast for race participants at no extra charge!

Sarah is mama to 9-year-old, Henry, 6-year-old Clark and 4-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 is currently in the Kansas City Centurions program. In between the crazy, she likes to drink coffee, run, travel (but never to the same place twice), and experience all things Kansas City!