Must-Have Christmas Gifts that Celebrate Kansas City

I’m a Kansas City native. I remember ice skating at Crown Center as a kid and celebrating the Royals big win way back in 1985…AND in 2015! I love finding good, personal Kansas City gifts to share with my family and friends to show how amazing this “flyover city” really is.

Here are some must-have gifts that celebrate Kansas City:

Retired Plaza Light Bulbs

night view of Plaza Lights in Kansas CityIf these aren’t already sold out, try to snag one! Each year the dead light bulbs get removed, and they have made them into beautiful ornaments and/or gifts. Retired Plaza Light Bulbs are sold exclusively at the Hallmark Gold Crown Store in the Country Club Plaza for $12 each. I ordered them over the phone and am having them shipped right to my house (only $5)…how easy is that? And if they are sold out this year, keep them on your list for the future.

Adopt a Hippo from the KC Zoo

If you want a hippopotamus for Christmas (now that song will be stuck in your head all day—sorry, not sorry), just go to the Kansas City Zoo’s website, and for a limited time, you can adopt their hippopotamus Cairo for $75! This special adoption package includes a lovable hippopotamus plush, animal fact sheet, personalized adoption certificate, framed animal photo, and a subscription to Expeditions, the Friends of the Zoo quarterly newsletter.

The Scents of KC

The Corner Candleshop in Brookside has tons of wonderful smells to choose from (votives, room spray, oils), but some Kansas City specifics include Brookside Farmers Market, which is described as “A bright fruit scent that captures the welcoming aroma of a Brookside Farmers Market with notes of peach nectar, juicy pineapple, and olive leaves softened with vanilla musk.” Or if you need a gift for a football fan, try KC Showtime, “A blend of mahogany, teakwood, tobacco leaf and leather…in honor of our very own Patrick Mahomes.”

KC Monarchs Scarf 

Available in royal blue/red or red/white for $24.99, celebrate the longest-running franchise in the history of baseball‘s Negro leagues, the Kansas City Monarchs. The scarves and many other gift options are available on the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum’s website. 

Hotel Stay with a View of the Plaza Lights

Whether it’s a staycation for someone around KC, or for visitors from out of town, book a room at one of the hotels that offer a great view of the Plaza lights. The Kansas City Marriott Country Club Plaza is one where you can not only enjoy the holiday view, but also be within walking distance to over 150 Country Club Plaza and Westport shops and restaurants! 

Worlds of Fun/Oceans of Fun Passes

Growing up in KCK, I remember waking up on Christmas morning and opening a season pass to Worlds of Fun. I yelled, ”you mean we can go EVERY DAY?!” Perhaps 2021 will bring more chances to get out and have fun. They have a few options—you can get a Gold Pass which includes unlimited visits to WOF and OOF, free parking and more for $89, or check out the Holiday Bundle, which gives you admission, parking and a single meal deal one day during the 2021 season for $45. And, in case you didn’t know, the Worlds of Fun Pre-K Pass gives free admission to children ages 3 to 5 years old for the entire 2021 season with purchase of an adult Gold Pass for a parent/guardian.

Boulevard Brewing Co. Nutcracker Ale

According to, Nutcracker Ale is Boulevard’s holiday gift for real beer lovers. This hearty, warming brew is a classic winter ale, deep amber in color, with hints of molasses balanced by the spiciness of Chinook hops. If you’re not able to visit this KCMO brewery in person, you can order everything from pubware to shirts online.

Whether it’s Christmas, a birthday, or an anniversary that you’re celebrating, Kansas City has tons of great ways to that show why “the center of the country is quickly becoming the center of attention.”


Jennifer Johnson
I was born and raised in KCK before living in Lawrence and Chicago for several years. I've since settled in to Overland Park with my husband, two daughters (about to enter the middle school years!), and cat. I wake up at 4 a.m. to host the morning show on KC 102.1, so I drink coffee, lots of coffee. Random facts about me: I was an extra in the movie Derailed (with Jennifer Aniston), I lived in Alaska for a summer, I was a traffic reporter for NBC in Chicago, and I tore my ACL playing basketball in college.


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