Whether for shopping, seeing or just celebrating, these 7 festive districts help make KC your holiday headquarters.
Country Club Plaza
SHOP • KC’s famed Spanish-inspired shopping district touts more than 120 stores inside a 15-block area. Famous names include Kate Spade, Michael Kors and Moosejaw, but be sure to explore the local stock, too. KC originals such as Baldwin KC and Standard Style provide local flavor to this already fashionable district.
SEE & DO • If it’s museums you crave, peruse the nearby Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, showcasing a virtual who’s who of today’s hottest contemporary artists. Go early or stay late for Café Sebastienne, one of the city’s hottest addresses for weekend brunch.
CELEBRATE • You’re in for a treat. Beginning Thanksgiving night, miles and miles of holiday lights adorn the Plaza for seven weeks each winter. Outlining every shop, dome and tower of the entertainment district, the Evergy Plaza Lights are one of KC’s most treasured traditions.
Downtown/Power & Light District
SHOP • In the Power & Light District, look to Polished Edge for fine jewelry or shop eight stores in one at The Garment District—a hip fashion collective with a bar nestled inside. Head to the Crossroads Arts District for unique stocking stuffers like handmade stationery from Hammerpress or artisanal chocolates from Christopher Elbow.
SEE & DO • Warm up with a hot concert at Sprint Center. Before the show, venture off-the-beaten path to the Westside area. Popular picks range from sweet or savory crepes at Chez Elle, vegan-friendly selections at Blue Bird Bistro and farm-to-table fare at Novel.
Crown Center District
SEE & DO • Dive into SEA LIFE, KC’s only aquarium, and LEGOLAND Discovery Center side-by-side at Crown Center. Honor our nation’s heroes at the National World War I Museum, an American treasure lying just around the corner, or get hands-on with new exhibits at Science City inside Union Station.
CELEBRATE • Marvel at the 100-foot Mayor’s Christmas Tree, one of the nation’s tallest. Or visit the Holiday Train Village at Union Station, an elaborate display of miniature trains that zig and zag through a wintry scene good enough to eat.
SHOP • At Briarcliff Village, shop to your heart’s content inside a Tuscan-inspired setting. Nell Hill’s has earned a reputation for its cottage-style home furnishings, while Land of Paws is a dog’s best friend.
SEE & DO • If it’s time for pampering, escape to The Spa at Briarcliff, where 60 minutes in the “floating” pool is as restorative as four hours of rest.
Westport & 39th Street
SHOP • Set your sleigh’s GPS to 39th Street West for unique gifts. At 39th’s Rock Candy and Prospero’s, you’ll find vintage looks and books, respectively, while further east in Westport, Bunker and newbie Normal Human are your sources for vintage KC T’s.
SEE & DO • A great deal of KC’s international and specialty eateries dot these ’hoods, ranging from Asian dumplings and bubble tea at Blue Koi to vegan baked goods at Mud Pie. Down the block, Jazz: A Louisiana Kitchen fuses delicious Creole food with that toe-tapping KC sound.
CELEBRATE • Plan a holiday toast with friends and family at one of Westport’s several hot new watering holes like whisky haven Julep or champagne-centric Ça Va. These cozy yet lively bars are the perfect remedy for the winter doldrums.
Brookside & Waldo
SHOP • Check in to Brookside Toy & Science, a mom-and-pop toy store lined with games, microscopes and the like.
CELEBRATE • Open year-round, the Kansas City Zoo is a short distance away. Celebrate winter break with Berlin and Nikita (two larger-than-life polar bears) or their many feathered friends at the Helzberg Penguin Plaza.
On the Kansas Side
SHOP • The Sunflower State is dotted with quaint shopping districts, such as Corinth Square, plus larger, well-known developments like Town Center Plaza. Stretch your Christmas dollar even further at Legends Outlets, with a long list of factory stores and big-name outlets—including Nike, Saks Off 5th and Brooks Brothers.
SEE & DO • If the family is along, make a splash at Great Wolf Lodge, an indoor waterpark where the temperature is always 84 degrees. Or relax and catch a show at New Theatre Restaurant, recognized as one of the top dinner theatres in the USA.
CELEBRATE • Watch thousands of twinkling lights dance in tune with concert-quality holiday music during the Legendary Light Show. Also cool: lacing up your skates for a spin on The Ice at Park Place, one of only two outdoor skating rinks in the area.