Guide to Holiday Lights in Kansas City

Briarcliff Holiday Lighting Celebration (November 10 | 4 p.m.)

A Northland holiday tradition, join your friends and family at The Village at Briarcliff for their annual holiday lighting ceremony. Family activities include inflatables, music, caricaturists, hayrides, a photo booth, face painting, photos with Santa and more. The night culminates with the lighting, fireworks and a free concert.

Overland Park Mayor’s Holiday Tree Lighting (November 15 | 4 p.m.)

Join your neighbors in Downtown Overland Park and enjoy carolers, hayrides and visits with Santa as well as the lighting of the Mayor’s Tree.

Mayor’s Tree Lighting: Lee’s Summit (November 22)

Join the Mayor of Lee’s Summit as he lights the Downtown. Free cookies, choir performances, a visit from Santa, and much more will get you in the holiday spirit. Many local shops and restaurants are open late for any of that last-minute holiday shopping that still needs to get done.

Mayor’s Tree Lighting: North Kansas City (November 22 | 6 p.m.)

Take a trip into Santa’s Wonderland, snack on treats while you enjoy festive entertainment and get your picture taken with Santa before he returns to the North Pole.

Legendary Tree Lighting Ceremony (November 16 | 5 p.m.)

Legends Outlets is kicking off the holiday season with its annual holiday tree lighting ceremony, one of the region’s first and largest displays of animated lights synchronized to music. Centered around its 45-foot holiday tree, the Legendary Lighting Ceremony will feature live entertainment, family-friendly activities, prize giveaways and more.

Union Station’s Kick Off Holiday Ceremony (November 23 | 10 a.m.)

Union Station is always a magical place, but we especially love it at the holidays! The tree in the main hall is the largest in Kansas City and serves as the perfect centerpiece for holiday celebrations across the metro area. After the lighting ceremony which will include another unique performance from Quixotic, the Holiday Spirit Train will offer free train rides for children between 7 and 9 p.m. (Fair warning, the line can be pretty long so be sure to enjoy the many beautiful holiday sights and sounds while you wait!) For a full list of events taking place throughout the holiday season at Union Station, click here.

Zona Rosa/Northern Lights Holiday Lighting Ceremony (November 23 | 6 p.m.)

Zona Rosa will kick off the 2017 holiday season with a special lighting ceremony to spotlight the large crowns hung above the streets, as well as the featured 50 ft. Christmas tree in Town Square. The community is invited to this FREE program including the official arrival of the holiday Fairy Princess and Santa Claus! Entertainment begins at 4 p.m.

Leawood Holiday Lighting Ceremony (November 18 | 6 p.m.)

Join Leawood Mayor Peggy Dunn and the members of the community for holiday caroling, refreshments and entertainment as the City celebrates the start of the 2019 holiday season by illuminating City Hall at the 22nd Annual Holiday Lighting Ceremony.

Gladstone Mayor’s Christmas Tree Lighting

Join the Gladstone City Council for the lighting of the Mayor’s Christmas Tree at Linden Square. This event is marked by holiday music, a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus and more. This event coincides with the opening of the Linden Square Skate Rink which provides lots of family fun throughout the winter months.

Christmas in the Park at Longview Lake (November 27-December 31)

With more than 500,000 lights, 175 animated figures and splashes of Christmas color, the entire family will delight in the magic of this enchanting drive-thru winter wonderland… a gift to you from Jackson County!

Holiday Lights on Farmstead Lane (November 28-January 7)

If you love festive holiday light displays, then head to Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead and watch sparkling lights synchronized to music with animation, lighting effects, patterns and messages. This year’s display is 38 minutes long and is free to the public! Just bring some cocoa, cookies and blankets as you view the lights and hear the music from the warmth of your car.

Lee’s Summit Magic Tree (November 26-January 5)

The Lee’s Summit Magic Tree is a celebratory landmark at I-470 and View High Drive for residents and neighbors to enjoy during the holiday season.

Paulie’s Penguin Playground

The Craig family Christmas display started off in 2004 with 15 penguins and a few Christmas lights; now, this regional favorite for those in Olathe and surrounding areas has grown to 150 lighted figures which fill most of Paul’s yard. Many of the figures move, some play music and there are even penguin videos playing on the roof.

The Annual Plaza Lighting Ceremony (Thanksgiving Day | 5 p.m.)

“In 1925, Charles Pitrat, head of the Nichols Company maintenance operation, placed a single six-foot strand of sixteen colored light bulbs across the doorway of the Suydam building, the Plaza’s first building … The tradition grew just the way the Plaza did. As buildings were added, so were lights. When the Plaza Theatre was completed in 1928, Pitrat strung lights across 47th Street to reach the theater building. The next year he outlined the buildings and towers with lights. And so it went, adding more lights to frame more buildings. Putting up those first lights took one man and a ladder. The chore is definitely more difficult today.” The switch gets flipped at this 90th annual KCP&L Plaza Lighting Ceremony at 6:54 p.m.

Holiday Luminary Walk (November 29-30, December 6-7, December 13-14)

Stroll along candlelit trails through the gardens and woods of the Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens during this 19th annual holiday event. This event (taking place over three weekends) serves as a major fundraiser for the Friends of the Arboretum and features a mile of candles, holiday lights, live entertainment, Santa Claus, horse-drawn wagon rides, hot cider around a campfire, mystical Gnome and Fairy Villages and more.

Mayor’s Christmas Tree Lighting (November 29 | 5:30 p.m.)

The 100-foot-tall Mayor’s Christmas Tree, one of the nation’s tallest, is the centerpiece for an illuminating holiday celebration. Kansas City’s Mayor Quinton Lucas and a special guest will flip the switch to light the tree. The program begins at 5:30 p.m. No admission fees. After the holidays, the wood from the Mayor’s Christmas Tree is made into commemorative ornaments, which are sold the following year to benefit the Mayor’s Christmas Tree Fund.

Liberty’s Hometown Holidays and Tree Lighting Event (December 7 | 5 p.m.)

Free family activities, begin at 2 p.m., such as crafts, live music, refreshments and s’mores as well as a Downtown Merchant Passport Exchange will lead up to the community Christmas tree lighting ceremony at 5 p.m.

Powell Gardens’ Festival of Lights (November 29 – January 5

A lighting exhibition like you’ve never seen before! The Festival of Lights includes botanically-themed lighting displays that begin at the garden entrance and stretch along a winding pathway through six of the seven themed gardens. Enjoy free children’s activities each day from 4 p.m.-8 p.m. including an ornament station to take the magic home with you!

Sar-Ko Aglow (December 6 | 6 p.m.)

Continue your holiday festivities by meeting up with friends and neighbors for a community celebration at Sar-Ko-Par Trails Park in Lenexa. Enjoy a stroll through the park while taking in the spectacular lights, sipping hot cocoa and listening to carolers. Look for Santa on the circle driveway! The Legler Barn Museum will also be open during the event.

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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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