Big bands swing the night away as hundreds pack into historic Union Station, champagne glasses held aloft, awaiting the ball to drop and the clock to strike midnight. Earlier, kids young and old celebrated with animals from across the globe at the Kansas City Zoo, proving you don’t have to be of age to get wild for the New Year. It’s New Year’s Eve in Kansas City, a time to celebrate, reflect and look forward to everything that the future holds in the City of Fountains.
Here’s everything you need to know about New Year’s Eve in Kansas City:
Kansas City celebrates New Year’s Eve all throughout the metro. Whether you’re in Downtown KC, Westport, the Crossroads Arts District or Country Club Plaza—plus all the other great neighborhoods—you’ll find parties galore and special ways to count down to 2017.
Take, for example, New Year’s Swingin’ Eve at Union Station, a big-band-fueled bash complete with a midnight balloon drop, celebratory dancing and bubbly toasts all around. Other parties are less dress-up and more party-down. Check out Irish New Year’s Eve at Kelly’s Westport Inn to ring in the upcoming year on Ireland time when the ball drops on the Emerald Isle at 6 p.m. KC time. Or head to Howl at the Moon, the Power & Light District’s resident piano party bar, for live renditions of all-time favorite songs.
Big group or by yourself, Topgolf in Overland Park makes for a unique alternative to crowded bars by offering a stellar NYE experience with unlimited play, a special menu, drinks and party favors. If you’re in the mood to try out your luck, visit any of the area’s casinos, such as Hollywood Casino at Kansas Speedway and Isle of Capri Casino, for late-night fun that doesn’t stop when the ball drops.
New Year’s Performances
While pretty much every bar in town hosts a big-time throw-down, some make live performances the showcase of the evening. And what better way to welcome a new year than with some of Kansas City’s most talented performers?
If you’re out and about in Downtown KC, swing by Quality Hill Playhouse’s New Year’s Eve Cabaret Show, a celebration featuring jazz, swing, Broadway and pop tunes. And with two show times, you can fit more into your night. Over at the Power & Light District you’ll find great DJs, confetti cannons, variety performances and more at NYE Live! at the KC Live! Block.
Expect rip-roaring good times at some of Kansas City’s favorite performance venues, including Knuckleheads in the East Bottoms, The Phoenix in Downtown KC and recordBar in the Crossroads Arts District.
Family Friendly Festivities
Not everyone can be out until the wee hours of the morning to celebrate the New Year. Thankfully Kansas City is full of fun year-end festivities for kids and parents alike.
Young ones will love Zoo Year’s Eve at the Kansas City Zoo, the perfect place to get up close and personal with exotic animals—and watch Berlin the polar bear’s “ball drop ceremony” at noon.
Another great option for children is Noon Year’s Eve at Science City at Union Station. The interactive, hands-on science playground serves as a safe and fun environment for kids to play on the last day of the year.