Tips to Enjoy the Plaza Lighting Ceremony with Kids

If you’re from Kansas City you already know what a staple the Plaza Lighting Ceremony is to the start of the holiday season. Christmas in Kansas City isn’t even fathomable without the Plaza Lights. Our family makes this a tradition to start our holidays off right each year, and we are never disappointed! My husband and I started going when we were dating and have continued the tradition with each passing year, even with little babes in tow.

If you’re planning to attend the Plaza Lighting Ceremony, it’s important to be prepared (especially if you’ve got small kids). We’ve put together a list of tips to help make your experience less stressful and more magical!

The Plaza Lights Schedule

5–6 p.m. Pre-lighting performances and giveaways from the main stage. The stage will be located at the intersection of Nichols Road and Pennsylvania, with the best views along Nichols Road between Pennsylvania and Broadway.

6–7 p.m. 93rd Annual Evergy Plaza Lighting Ceremony

6:52 p.m. Ceremonial ‘Flip of the switch’ featuring Negro Leagues Baseball Museum President, Bob Kendrick

7–8 p.m. Post-ceremony concert

Mom Tips for the Plaza Lighting Ceremony

Plan Ahead for Restrooms

Most stores are closed and restaurants restrooms are reserved for customers dining in. While I’m sure you could find a restroom somewhere… plan ahead and make sure everyone has used the potty before you get to the event.

Be Flexible with Strollers

Strollers are great and make it so much easier to navigate the crowds and walking, just be sure to be flexible! There are lots of people and patience is the key! I would also highly recommend baby wearing. It would save space and keep your little one warm and snuggly.

Bring Warm Drinks

Make a pit-stop for coffee and hot cocoa on the way to the Plaza. You don’t want to get stuck waiting in line at a coffee shop and miss the lighting!

Be Patient with Parking

Parking can be tricky with so many people coming for the festivities, so my first piece of advice is to be patient. Free parking will also be offered at several nearby garages, including:

  • Valencia Garage (by H&M) on the north side of 47th Street and Pennsylvania
  • Balcony Garage on Wornall near 46th Street
  • Seville Garage, entrance on 47th Street between Jefferson and Summit
  • Time Building Garage north of True Food Kitchen on Pennsylvania

If you’re willing to walk a little bit, it will save you some sanity.

Plaza Lighting Ceremony
Photo via

Be Prepared for Extra Purchases

There are lots of street vendors selling light up toys and glow sticks. The kids are all instantly sold and last year we ended up bringing home a couple different ones. If you’re not wanting to go all out, my advice is to get some fun glow sticks and light up toys from the dollar store beforehand.

If you’re looking for a new easy family tradition, we highly recommend it! It’s so much more magical than just watching it on TV.

This post was originally written by Anna H. 


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