Plaza Lights

Kansas City is one festive place to visit during the holidays! There are light displays, numerous shopping options and attractions dressed up for this special time of year. Here are some ideas to consider for your group.

Country Club Plaza

4750 Broadway Kansas City, Missouri 64112


Allow 2 hours

The Country Club Plaza’s Season of Lights is a Kansas City winter trademark. More than 80 miles of glimmering Christmas lights accentuate every dome, tower and window of the Plaza’s Spanish-influenced entertainment district, featuring more than 150 shops and restaurants. A tour of the Plaza at night is best to capture the beauty of the lights. Horse-drawn carriage rides are available daily. Stores have extended hours from Thanksgiving through Christmas. The lights are on through mid-January.

The Mayor's Christmas Tree at Crown Center

Crown Center

2450 Grand Boulevard Kansas City, Missouri 64108


Allow 2 hours

Located in the heart of downtown Kansas City, Crown Center is often called a city within a city. Three levels of great shopping and dining complement two of the city’s most luxurious hotels, exquisite office buildings, a residential community and several entertainment attractions. It all surrounds the worldwide headquarters of Hallmark Cards, Inc. Take your group on a tour of the Hallmark Visitors Center where there's often a special holiday exhibition, see a holiday show at MTH Theater at Crown Center or take a spin around the outdoor skating rink. Walk beneath the 100-foot tall Mayor’s Christmas Tree illuminated with 6,000 white lights and 1,200 red, gold and silver balls.

Union Station

30 W. Pershing Road Kansas City, Missouri, 64108


Allow 2 to 3 hours

Kansas City's beautifully renovated 1914 train station features dozens of decorated holiday trees from mid-November through early December. The building also features a science center, a giant-screen movie theater and a permanent exhibit on the history of the American railroad which includes an extensive model train display. Group activities include a walking tour of the historic building or a guided tour of the railroad exhibit. The station also hosts one-of-a-kind traveling exhibits several times throughout the year.

Historic Homes

Vaile Victorian Mansion

1500 N. Liberty Independence, Missouri 64050


Allow 1 hour

This home was built in 1881 by local entrepreneur and U.S. mail contractor Harvey Merrick Vaile, and according to Architect magazine, the ornate 30-room mansion is one of the finest examples of Second-Empire Victorian architecture in the country. Colorful ceiling murals, lavish furnishings, hand-painted murals and whimsical detailing make this home a “must-see. “ Holiday tours with special decorations run from Thanksgiving to December 30.


The Bingham-Waggoner Estate

313 West Pacific Independence, Missouri 64051


Allow 1 hour

Built in 1855, along the 1846 alignment of the Santa Fe Trail, the home was once owned by George C. Bingham, famed Civil War artist. It was also home to the Waggoner family from 1879-1978, founders of Waggoner Gates Mill. Group meals may be reserved in advance in the cozy carriage house. The home is beautifully decorated during the holidays and special holiday tours are available from Thanksgiving to December 30.

The Nutcracker Ballet

Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts

16th and Broadway Kansas City, Missouri 64108


Allow 2 ½ to 3 hours

Holiday magic sparkles as the curtain goes up for Kansas City Ballet’s enchanting presentation of The Nutcracker with live orchestral accompaniment of Tchaikovsky's famous music. The production is the largest of its kind in an eight state region. Featuring elaborate scenery, stunning choreography and vibrant costumes, Clara’s magical adventure captures the imaginations of all ages. The Nutcracker will make its debut in Kansas City's new Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts in 2011.

Kansas City Symphony

The Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts

16th and Broadway Kansas City, Missouri 64108


Allow 2 ½ to 3 hours

Founded in 1982 and recognized as "The Sound of Kansas City," the Kansas City Symphony's 80-person orchestra performs more than 50 concerts in three series (classical, family and pop). The Symphony's 42-week season runs September through June. Each holiday season, the Symphony offers at least one holiday-themed show. Visit their web site or call for specifics about holiday concerts. The Symphony will also perform in Kansas City's new Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts in the fall of 2011.

A Christmas Carol

Kansas City Repertory Theatre

4949 Cherry Street Kansas City, Missouri 64110


Allow 2 ½ to 3 hours

A Kansas City holiday tradition for more than 30 years, this live production of the Charles Dickens classic is a wonderful holiday treat. Presented by the tremendously talented actors of the Kansas City Repertory Theatre, this show is a local and regional favorite. The characters, costumes and sets bring this book to life with great holiday spirit. The theatre is located on the University of Missouri Kansas City campus.

Uniquely Designed and Flavored Chocolates

Christopher Elbow Artisanal Chocolates

1819 McGee Street Kansas City, Missouri 64108


Allow 30 to 45 minutes

Before your group heads out of town or for a pick me up treat in the afternoon, stop by the store owned by of one of Kansas City's most famous chocolate chefs! Christopher Elbow chocolates are each a piece of art. But while some artists dabble in bronze, or oils, or clay, Christopher Elbow chooses things like 100% Venezuelan bean chocolate, French lavender and Grand Marnier. Working in small batches, he meticulously sculpts tiny pieces of chocolate perfection into miniature works of art that look as exquisite as they taste. Visitors can also warm up with a cup of drinking chocolate at the store's hot chocolate bar.