So you found yourself in good ole’ Kansas City for the holidays, huh? Well, never fear, Crazybananas is here, with my top things to do (with or without kids) in KC during the holidays. Get ready to get festive, people!
1. Ice Skating at Crown Center – You can’t be in Kansas City in December and not head down to Crown Center. It’s Christmas central, and it’s highlight is the outdoor skating pavilion. If you can get there during the day, that’s the best, because at night (while it’s totally magical) it gets crazy crowded. Stop by the Crown Center Shops after for some snacks or to see Santa himself!
2. Christmas in the Park – This incredible light display is put on for free by the Jackson County government with the help of a bunch of local sponsors. Get in your car and drive through Longview Lake Park while everyone oooohh’s and aaaahh’s over the elaborate displays. The best time to go is on a weekday right around opening time (5:30 p.m.). We made the mistake of trying to go one year on a Saturday night at around 7 o’clock and we sat in a line of cars for over two hours just to get to the park. It was crazytown. But this year we went on a Thursday at 5:30 and had no wait at all!
3. Horse Drawn Sleigh Ride on the Plaza – It’s not Christmas unless you go see the amazing lights on the Country Club Plaza. This beautiful outdoor shopping district was one of the first in the nation, and it’s lights are a Kansas City staple. Find a booth selling tickets for horse-drawn carriage rides, and ask about taking the large sleigh instead of the $50 private carriage. We went early on a Wednesday and didn’t have to wait to ride, plus instead of the expensive price tag, we rode in the huge sleigh for only $15 (for Tate, Lu and I). No one else rode with us and we had the entire thing to ourselves. So fun! Afterward head to one of the cafes for hot cocoa and cookies. (Pro Tip: Go to the horse booth right outside of Victoria’s Secret/California Pizza Kitchen…it’s the best one!)
4. Free Holiday Movies at the Legends – The Legends Shopping Center in Kansas City, Kansas is great for outlet shopping, but it also boats an incredible light show set to music every night with a huge Christmas tree in the center of the district. My favorite thing to do is head to the Legends movie theater every Sunday in December at 1 p.m., when they show holiday movies for free. Lu and I went and saw the Polar Express with a theater full of kids and it was magic.
5. See the Kansas City Ballet’s rendition of The Nutcracker at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts – Last year Lucy, myself, my sister in law and mother in law went to the inaugural season of the KC Ballet’s Nutcracker at the new Kauffman Center and we were floored. During the intermission, I looked over at Lu and she had tears in her eyes. She was so happy, she started crying! The beautiful facility and amazing choreography and dancers make this a wonderful holiday tradition.
Merry Christmas, Kansas City!
(Photos via KC Ballet, Crown Center, and the Country Club Plaza)