Feeling festive? From holiday-specific occasions and philanthropic causes to trips around the globe, Kansas City offers no shortage of exciting, family-friendly and unforgettable events that aren’t just an addition to your travel itinerary—they’re the main focus of your trip. 

Every Month

First Fridays in the Crossroads Arts District

No First Friday is the same thanks to an eclectic mix of art galleries, boutiques, food trucks and more. This free, late-night event offers something for everyone in one of Downtown’s most vibrant neighborhoods.

First Weekends in the West Bottoms

Once home to Kansas City’s thriving stockyards, the West Bottoms now offers to a wide assortment of antique and vintage stores that invite visitors to search for kitschy-cool artifacts the first weekend of every month. 

JANUARY

Kansas City Restaurant Week

Dine out and do good during this 10-day, two-weekend event that highlights more than 170 of the hottest restaurants in the city, each featuring special multi-course menus with portions of the proceeds benefitting area charities.

February

Mardi Gras Kansas City

Grab your beads and masks and join fellow revelers in the Power & Light District for a Mardi Gras you won’t soon forget. Count on street performers, contests, libations and plenty more.

March

Big 12 Men’s Basketball Championships

The road to the NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Championship goes through Kansas City as Big 12 teams battle for conference supremacy. Between games, celebrate the history of hoops—and indulge your inner athlete—at the adjacent College Basketball Experience.

Snake Saturday Parade & Family Fun Festival

This Northland tradition is a popular part of the St. Patrick’s Day season in Kansas City. Entertainment for all ages abounds throughout North Kansas City, starting with a parade and ending in a carnival.

Kansas City St. Patrick’s Day Parade

One of the country’s largest St. Patrick’s Day Parades features hundreds of floats proceeding through Midtown, ending in Westport, where the Celtic-themed revelry continues into the wee hours.

April

Fountain Day

Long-known as the City of Fountains, Kansas City kicks off waterworks season with an opening day celebration befitting its proud fountain heritage. 

Kansas City FilmFest

Grab your popcorn and enjoy more than 100 local, regional, national and international films during this annual juried film festival.

Kansas City Easter Parade

Break out your Easter finest and prepare to participate in this fun-filled parade at Zona Rosa, which includes a best-dressed contest, visits with the Easter Bunny, games, entertainment and more. 

May

Gatsby Days

Held in Excelsior Springs, this event explores the culture, glamour and history of the Roaring ‘20s with street artists, live demonstrations, music, vintage cars, fashion and more.

Brookside Art Annual

The Kansas City art festival season kicks off with the Brookside Art Annual, when the tree-lined streets of charming Brookside transform into al fresco gallery spaces, plus tasty treats and live music.

Truman Heritage Festival

The City of Grandview celebrates its Harry S. Truman legacy each year with the Truman Heritage Festival, complete with a carnival, parade, food, drinks, live music, a barbecue contest and a beer garden.

NASCAR at Kansas Speedway

Head to Kansas Speedway for fast-paced NASCAR action—plus, with two weekends each year, fans get a double dose of high-octane fun.

Polski Day

From polka to pierogis, Polski Day is your source for all things Poland. Enjoy ethnic foods, beer, dancing, games and a Polka mass, all while celebrating the rich heritage and history of KCK’s Polish community.

Rock Fest

Gather with 50,000 headbangers at Rock Fest, an all-day music festival featuring multiple stages and rock’s biggest names.

Turkey Creek Festival

This all-day event in Merriam, Kan., includes everything from a pancake breakfast and a 5K to live music and a Kid Zone at the picturesque Antioch Park.

Celebration at the Station

Start your summer with the largest free Memorial Day weekend event in the Midwest. Against the majestic backdrop of Union Station, the Kansas City Symphony performs patriotic favorites with appearances from special guests, followed by fireworks to end the evening.

June

Old Shawnee Days

Past meets present during this four-day event that celebrates the history of Shawnee, Kan., with attractions including rides, music, games, historical reenactments and crafts. 

KC PrideFest

See why The Advocate named KC PrideFest one of the top 10 LGBT festivals in the nation. Throughout the weekend event, celebrate inclusion, diversity and pride with live music and performances from local and national headliners. 

Festa Italiana

Eat and drink your way through Italy—no passport required! Italian culture takes center stage in this event at Zona Rosa, which includes food, a beer garden, a car show and novelty booths.

Crown Center Antique Festival

Dealers and visitors alike agree that this festival is one of the top antique shows in the Midwest, thanks in part to a dizzying array of wares ranging from furniture and jewelry to pottery and linens.

Scottish Highland Games

Transport yourself to the Scottish Highlands without leaving KC in this festival that invites all to celebrate the wonderful heritage, hence the show’s motto: “Come be a Scot, even if you’re not!”

Heart of America Shakespeare Festival (June-July)

To festival, or not to festival? At the Heart of America Shakespeare Festival, that’s not even a question. Each year, the free festival features performances of a different Shakespearean masterpiece.

Middle of the Map Fest

Immerse yourself in music, films and forums during Middle of the Map Fest, quickly becoming one of Kansas City’s favorite local events.

Jazzoo

Creative black-tie attire makes for an unlimited number of fashionable photo ops in this annual fundraiser at the Kansas City Zoo. Funds raised support the Zoo Learning Fund and help buy food for animals.

Maker Faire Kansas City

Cutting-edge technology combines with more traditional creative pursuits like art and jewelry-making to culminate in a festival that celebrates creators and makers, all at Union Station.

Vaile Strawberry Festival

The beautiful, historic Vaile Mansion hosts this annual event, which welcomes craft and antique dealers who set up their wares throughout the mansion—and, of course, strawberry treats as you shop.

Boulevardia

KC’s Stockyards District in the West Bottoms transforms into an all-senses destination during this favorite festival, complete with food trucks, concerts, maker booths, a family carnival and, of course, beer stations that offer local, regional and national craft brews.

Tumbleweed

One of the most renowned and popular traditional country music festivals in the nation, count on camping and country music at this two-day, three-night event in La Cygne, Kan.

July

KC RiverFest

Celebrate July Fourth in this festival at Berkley Riverfront Park, which begins with live music, activities and food and concludes with one of the largest fireworks shows in the Midwest.

WeekEnder

Cap off your work week with this free event featuring top local bands and favorite food trucks. Then, finish the evening with a famous flick under the stars at Crown Center Square.

KC Fringe Festival

There’s no better time to celebrate Kansas City’s vibrant creativity than during this 11-day showcase of local performing and visual arts.

Amelia Earhart Festival

Head to Atchison, Kan., Amelia Earhart’s birthplace, for an annual celebration of the aviation icon packed with events, including live music, carnival rides, a food and crafts fair, aerobatic performances and the grand finale: a Concert in the Sky fireworks show.

AUGUST

Heart of America Hot Dog Festival

The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum welcomes hot dog aficionados to sample delicious ballpark franks, including the signature Kansas City Monarch Dog, plus live music and admission to the museum. 

Ethnic Enrichment Festival

KC’s diverse cultures unite at this weekend extravaganza that includes food, dancing and music representing dozens of countries, as well as several ethnic groups recognized by Ethnic Enrichment Committee.

Bacon Fest

Celebrate bacon during this summer event that’s home beer, bands and, of course, bacon. Local restaurants showcase their culinary skills by creating dishes that feature bacon or pork.

Dine Downtown

Eat your way through Downtown KC during Dine Downtown, where restaurants throughout the Power & Light District offer exclusive, multi-course menus for lunch and dinner.

SEPTEMBER

Kansas City Irish Fest

Celebrate KC’s Celtic heritage with three days of live music, special performances, locally provided libations, activities for young ones, tastings and plenty more in this beloved Crown Center bash. 

Santa-Cali-Gon Days

This Independence festival commemorates the origin of the Santa Fe, California and Oregon trails during westward expansion. Browse more than 500 artisan, craft, food and commercial vendor booths, as well as a carnival, a 5K and more.

Kansas City Renaissance Festival (September-October)

Step back in time at the Kansas City Renaissance Festival, a medieval-themed village home to jousting knights, thrill-seeking acrobats and beautiful maidens.

Dancefestopia

Nestled in rolling hills, surrounded by thousands of acres of forest and pristine lake water, Dancefestopia has become one of the largest camping and music festivals in the nation, featuring some of the most prominent DJs in the world.

Art Westport

Local artists gather in KC’s oldest neighborhood for Art Westport, a weekend fair that showcases original art, jewelry, fine crafts and more.

Paris of the Plains Cocktail Festival

Craft is the focus of the Paris of the Plains Cocktail Festival, which combines seminars, live music, competitions and cocktails, all to promote the craft of bartending.

Plaza Art Fair

This nationally recognized, nine-block art event typically draws crowds of more than 250,000 who gather for art, live music and food and drinks from a variety of Kansas City restaurants.

Halloween Haunt

Ghosts, ghouls and other creatures of the night roam freely through Worlds of Fun during Halloween Haunt, which showcases the scarier side of the amusement park.

Wild West Days

Experience the excitement of the Wild West during this event at Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop and Farm Historic Site, a working 19th-century farm complete with oxen, horses and other livestock.

American Royal Livestock, Horse Show and Rodeo

With roots dating back to 1899, this iconic event celebrates the region’s agricultural heritage through competition, education and entertainment, including rodeos and livestock shows.

American Royal World Series of Barbecue

The world’s largest barbecue competition includes live performances, a festival full of entertainment and plenty other activities, making it one of fall’s signature events.

Louisburg Ciderfest

Head to Louisburg Cider Mill for the annual Ciderfest, where guests are invited to watch how apples are pressed into cider, sample cider donuts and other treats, plus live music and activities for young ones.

OCTOBER

Weston Applefest

Explore historic Weston, Mo., as arts and crafts booths line Main Street, touting a tempting range of apple delicacies, from dumplings and pies to cookies, all made by members of local churches. 

Boo at the Zoo

Break out your best costume and spend the day trick or treating at the Kansas City Zoo. Kids will also love the Halloween-themed activities that offer plenty of treats—no tricks here!

WaterFire Kansas City

One of the most beautiful nights of the year is WaterFire, when the internationally renowned art installation floats serenely down KC’s Brush Creek in a fiery, lighted show not to be missed.

Missouri Town 1855 Festival of Arts, Crafts and Music

Enjoy wagon rides, reenactments, crafts and more in this annual festival that takes place at Missouri Town 1855, where guests can travel back in time to experience life in the 1850s.

NOVEMBER & DECEMBER

Crown Center Ice Terrace Opening

The Ice Terrace is a favorite family destination during the winter months thanks to the outdoor skating rink that offers fantastic, festive views.

Northern Lights at Zona Rosa

The spirit of a 1950s Downtown Kansas City tradition lives on as several lighted crowns are suspended over the streets of Zona Rosa, plus the official arrival of the holiday Fairy Princess and Santa Claus.

CBE Hall of Fame Classic

Hosted by The College Basketball Hall of Fame and The College Basketball Experience, this tournament at Sprint Center kicks off a new season of collegiate basketball competition.

A Legendary Light Show at Legends Outlets (through early Jan.)

Fans of holiday lights and music will love this show at Legends Outlets, where the outdoor outlet mall dazzles with dancing lights synchronized to holiday music every 15 minutes.

Christmas in the Park at Longview Lake

Gather the whole family and head to Longview Lake Park for this drive-through holiday pastime that touts colorful displays conjured up by more than 300,000 lights.

Plaza Lights (through mid-January)

Timeless in every way imaginable, the Plaza Lights are a quintessential KC holiday tradition—and a delightful reminder of the Spanish-inspired Plaza’s undeniable beauty.

Mayor’s Christmas Tree (through early January)

Crown Center’s magnificent centerpiece towers more than 100 feet high and is illuminated by more than 7,200 white bulbs, proving it a proud showcase of Kansas City’s seasonal spirit.

Downtown Dazzle

A city as great as KC deserves a season-long celebration of the holidays. Downtown Dazzle does just that—and so much more—thanks to customized shopping trips, exclusive experiences and an uber-popular urban homes tour.

WinterFest

KC’s newest holiday tradition whisks guests away as Worlds of Fun is transformed into a magical winter village filled with ice skating, family rides, seasonal décor, live entertainment, a nightly tree lighting and more.

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