Ready or not, the holidays are coming your way in full swing and we have 10 unexpected things to do in Kansas City,
With over seventy years in business under our belts and multiple employees who’ve worked here for at least twenty years, we have quite a few long-time Kansas Citians on our team. Most of our employees were born and raised in the Kansas City area and have been passing down Kansas City holiday traditions between family members and friends for most of their lives!
This is a unique and quite magical city to live in as the leaves, weather, and traditions change throughout November and December. After surveying our team, we came up with a curated list of the most magical and unique things to do in Kansas City this holiday. If you like the list, hold onto it to remember it next year for the best Kansas City holiday traditions.
Here’s Our Hidden Gem List Of The Best Cozy And Fun Holiday Activities In Kansas City:
Pretend You’re In A Hallmark Movie
After all, Hallmark is headquartered in KC! Walk around the Country Club Plaza on Thanksgiving or after Thanksgiving when it’s all lit up with magical holiday lights.
Tip: do this specifically when it’s quiet after a big snow and you’re all dressed up or bundled up…you can hear a pin drop!
Cozy Up At Various Park Holiday Lights Displays
Until you tire of driving around looking at beautiful light displays, you could probably find a different light display to hit every week. Stay in your car, crank up the holiday tunes on the radio, pack a hot cocoa thermos’ and enjoy some family time. This is a fun and mostly free Kansas City holiday activity for kids and families of all ages. Here are our favorites.
- Christmas In The Park at Longview Lake is FREE and runs from – at night when the lights are bright. The address is 3901 SW Longview Park Drive in Lee’s Summit.
- Powell Gardens’ Festival of Lights runs from November 11th through December 30th, Wednesday through Sunday evenings. From the Powell Gardens website, “Bundle up and wander a lighted outdoor path featuring immersive, botanically-inspired installations that celebrate the natural joy of the most festive season.” Don’t forget to check out their new holiday-themed enchanted tiki bar inside the glass-domed conservatory featuring island cocktails, live tropical plants, and music.
- KC Winter Wonderland hosted by KC Pumpkin Patch and KC Wine Co is a walking holiday lights event in Olathe, and features yummy treats like drinks, festive foods, and s’mores!
- Winter Magic is a drive-through holiday light display in Swope Park. This display runs all the way until January 2nd and will get you through even the coldest of winter holiday days since you can stay cozy in your car with hot cocoa and family!
Make Fondue With Family
- Norman, Jay, and Noah Besheer are a father/son/grandson trio who all play current roles here at Gunter. As you know, we’re a 4th generation family-owned business since 1950, and Noah Besheer is next in line to take over his dad Jay’s role as President. The Besheer has a long-standing tradition of making fondue on Christmas Eve as an annual holiday tradition in Kansas City. Want to take on this fun and yummy tradition?
- Here are a few tips for making this feast extra KC local…Pick up freshly baked bread from Ibis Bakery in the Westside and specialty cheeses from Geo’s Cheese in Waldo or Carollo’s, the Italian market in the River Market.
Visit Union Station All Lit Up
Walking around Union Station makes us giddy in December! The history of the train station is magical, the giant tree is decorated, the piano is playing, Santa is sitting in a fully-built North Pole train station and there’s even a holiday-themed pop-up bar in the Conductor’s Club above Pierpont’s. Bring the whole family to visit Santa and the miniature (but no-so-miniature) holiday train station, but expect a line as we get closer to December 25th!
Go Ice Skating And Sip Hot Cocoa
Before or after checking out Union Station, walk on over to Kansas City’s famous Crown Center. Browse the quirky locally-owned shops, the multiple toy stores, Fritz’s restaurant that delivers your meal via toy train, catch a play at the Coterie Theatre on the first floor, and don’t forget to stop in Kansas City’s famous and locally-headquartered and ONLY Halls Department Store by Hallmark.
Cruise The Home Holiday Lights Car Tour On Ward Parkway
Possibly the most famous house lights display in Kansas City is located just a few blocks away from our Waldo headquarters and offices. Drive up and down 10 blocks of parallel streets in between Ward Parkway and Wornall Rd in between Brookside and Waldo (start around 66th Street and zipper up and down the streets heading south) for the best holiday lights!
Each block sticks to a theme and commits to it every year! Rent a limo for a girl’s night or hop in the car with your family and bring hot cocoa thermoses!
We hope you enjoy our 10 unexpected things to do in Kansas City for the holidays.