Kansas City's Holiday Light Displays
Just like its iconic jazz and mouthwatering barbecue, Kansas City has earned a reputation for its impressive holiday light displays. Before you go, take note of these luminous KC traditions that are sure to brighten your holiday.
Here’s how to usher in the season with these breathtaking displays:
A Tradition Unlike Any Other
A local tradition for more than 90 years, the Plaza Lights span 15 blocks on the famed Country Club Plaza, featuring thousands of glimmering, jewel-colored bulbs that accentuate every dome, tower and window of the Spanish-inspired shopping district.
Read more on ways to experience the dazzling display this year.
Festive Holiday Must-Sees
Historic Union Station is undoubtedly one of the most festive addresses in KC. Along with the return of the beloved Kansas City Southern Holiday Express train and mini holiday train rides to accompany, the brilliant Holiday Reflections walk-through village is back in the Grand Hall beginning Nov. 20.
Thanksgiving week marks the return of Christmas in the Park, a festive drive-through display in Longview Lake Park. A tradition for more than 35 years, the park is transformed into a delightful winter wonderland with more than a million lights and 200 animated figures. The event is free, but donations are accepted to benefit local charities.
Make your way to another mesmerizing drive-through display at Winter Magic, opening Nov. 2 and featuring a mile of lights guiding you through Cliff Drive. Plus, Holiday Light & Magic in Bonner Springs offers its own fantastic light experience on the Kansas side of the state line.
For more sparkling sights, visit the KC Winter Wonderland at KC Pumpkin Patch. Located in Olathe and featuring a walk-through path across the farm with plenty of photo-friendly stops along the way, the experience is available select nights beginning Nov. 24.
To experience a brand new display, head to Legends Field in Kansas City, KS. Enchant Christmas brings a mystical (and mischievous) encounter to the area, featuring a light maze, an ice skating trail and a holiday village where vendors will be on display for you to find the perfect gift.
Don't miss the Soul of Santa Christmas Tree Lighting, taking place in the iconic 18th & Vine Historic Jazz District and at the Shops on Blue Parkway on consecutive weekends. And check out Parkville's Christmas on the River event as the annual holiday celebration lights the city up with live entertainment, delicious treats and the famous fireworks show at the end of the night.
The Center of Attention
Checking in at a lofty 100 feet, the Mayor’s Christmas Tree at Crown Center stretches higher than those on display at the White House and Rockefeller Center. The massive holiday icon sparkles with 10,600 white bulbs and represents the Mayor’s Christmas Tree Fund, which aids Kansas City’s less fortunate. Mayor Quinton Lucas and a special guest always flip the switch the night after Thanksgiving.
Celebrate another mayor's Christmas tree at Thompson Park in Downtown Overland Park, plus a sprawling display of lights adorning the Clock Tower Plaza in the heart of the neighborhood.
A few blocks up the road, several downtown buildings light up the winter sky for City Lights. The notable centerpiece is the front façade of the 22-story Marriott Kansas City Downtown, featuring a synchronized display of 30,000 bulbs and 16.7 million colors. This annual celebration of lights marks the return of The Salvation Army's Annual Christmas Campaign.
Seasonal Shopping Centers
Zona Rosa, a shopping district known for reviving several local traditions, spruces up its streets each holiday season for Northern Lights. Massive and ornate, several lighted crowns are suspended above the district’s busy streets, harkening back to a 1950s Downtown Kansas City tradition. Also in store for visitors: photos with Santa, ice skating and more seasonal festivities.
Legends Outlets Kansas City keeps shoppers in tune with its Legendary Light Show, as every 15 minutes, the sprawling shopping center will spring to life with thousands of dazzling lights synchronized to classic holiday songs. Other festive activities include a decadent 45-foot tree and larger-than-life Christmas ornaments sprinkled throughout the district.
Access more holiday resources to find all the ways you can celebrate the season in Kansas City, from stunning displays to shopping hotspots.