2017 Guide to Holiday Lights in Kansas City

Briarcliff Holiday Lighting Celebration (November 11 | 3 p.m.)
A Northland holiday tradition, join your friends and family at The Village at Briarcliff for their annual holiday lighting ceremony. Family activities include inflatables, music, caricaturists, hayrides, a photo booth, face painting, FREE photos with Santa and more.

Overland Park Mayor’s Holiday Tree Lighting (November 17 | 5 p.m.)
Join your neighbors in Downtown Overland Park and enjoy carolers, hayrides and visits with Santa as well as the lighting of the Mayor’s Tree. Charitable donations will be received on behalf of the Johnson County Christmas Bureau which provides warmth and support during the winter holiday season, as well as increases awareness and understanding of poverty in Johnson County.

Legendary Tree Lighting Ceremony (November 18 | 5 p.m.)
Legends Outlets is kicking off the holiday season with its 13th annual holiday tree lighting ceremony, one of the region’s first and largest displays of animated lights synchronized to music. Centered around its 45-foot holiday tree, the Legendary Lighting Ceremony will feature live entertainment, family-friendly activities, prize giveaways and more.

Union Station’s Holiday Lighting Ceremony (November 18 | 6 p.m.)
Union Station is always a magical place, but we especially love it at the holidays! The tree in the main hall is the largest in Kansas City and serves as the perfect centerpiece for holiday celebrations across the metro area. After the lighting ceremony which will include another unique performance from Quixotic, the Holiday Spirit Train will offer free train rides for children between 7 and 9 p.m. (Fair warning, the line can be pretty long so be sure to enjoy the many beautiful holiday sights and sounds while you wait!) For a full list of events taking place throughout the holiday season at Union Station, click here.

Zona Rosa/Northern Lights Holiday Lighting Ceremony (November 18 | 6 p.m.)
Zona Rosa will kick off the 2017 holiday season with a special lighting ceremony to spotlight the large crowns hung above the streets, as well as the featured 50 ft. Christmas tree in Town Square. The community is invited to this FREE program including the official arrival of the holiday Fairy Princess and Santa Claus! Entertainment begins at 4 p.m.

Leawood Holiday Lighting Ceremony (November 20 | 6 p.m.)
Join Leawood Mayor Peggy Dunn and your fellow neighbors for holiday caroling, refreshments and more at this 20th annual event.

Gladstone Mayor’s Christmas Tree Lighting (November 21 | 6 p.m.)
Join the Gladstone City Council for the lighting of the Mayor’s Christmas Tree at Linden Square. This event is marked by holiday music, a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus and more. This event coincides with the opening of the Linden Square Skate Rink which provides lots of family fun throughout the winter months.

Christmas in the Park at Longview Lake (November 22-December 31)
Often referred to as one of Kansas City’s best lighting displays, Jackson County’s free drive-through display at Longview Lake features more than 300,000 lights and 175 animated holiday scenes. While there is no charge to view the display, donations for 39 local charities will be accepted on-site.

Holiday Lights on Farmstead Lane (November 23-January 7)
If you love festive holiday light displays, then head to Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead and watch sparkling lights synchronized to music with animation, lighting effects, patterns and messages. This year’s display is 38 minutes long and is free to the public! Just bring some cocoa, cookies and blankets as you view the lights and hear the music from the warmth of your car.

Paulie’s Penguin Playground (November 23-December 25)
The Craig family Christmas display started off in 2004 with 15 penguins and a few Christmas lights; now, this regional favorite for those in Olathe and surrounding areas has grown to 150 lighted figures which fill most of Paul’s yard. Many of the figures move, some play music and there are even penguin videos playing on the roof.

The Annual Plaza Lighting Ceremony (Thanksgiving Day | 6 p.m.)
“In 1925, Charles Pitrat, head of the Nichols Company maintenance operation, placed a single six-foot strand of sixteen colored light bulbs across the doorway of the Suydam building, the Plaza’s first building … The tradition grew just the way the Plaza did. As buildings were added, so were lights. When the Plaza Theatre was completed in 1928, Pitrat strung lights across 47th Street to reach the theater building. The next year he outlined the buildings and towers with lights. And so it went, adding more lights to frame more buildings. Putting up those first lights took one man and a ladder. The chore is definitely more difficult today.” The switch gets flipped at this 88th annual KCP&L Plaza Lighting Ceremony at 6:54 p.m.

Downtown Dazzle (November 24-January 1)
There’s nothing more dazzling during the holidays than downtown Kansas City! In its fourth year, Downtown Dazzle will offer more than a full month of holiday fun for Kansas City visitors of all ages. This year’s event proves to be the best celebration yet with even more unique experiences including new lighting installations that connect your favorite downtown neighborhoods. Also new: the Be-Dazzled Booklet which offers 40+ deals and discounts to various downtown businesses. Get yours today!

Holiday Luminary Walk (November 24-25, December 1-2 & 8-9)
Stroll along candlelit trails through the gardens and woods of the Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens during this 19th annual holiday event. This event (taking place over three weekends) serves as a major fundraiser for the Friends of the Arboretum and features a mile of candles, holiday lights, live entertainment, Santa Claus, horse-drawn wagon rides, hot cider around a campfire, mystical Gnome and Fairy Villages and more.

Mayor’s Christmas Tree Lighting (November 24 | 5:30 p.m.)
The 100-foot-tall Mayor’s Christmas Tree, one of the nation’s tallest, is the centerpiece for an illuminating holiday celebration. Mayor Sly James and a celebrity guest will flip the switch to light the tree. The tree is a symbol of the Mayor’s Christmas Tree Fund which is dedicated to assisting the city’s less fortunate.

After the holidays, the wood from the Mayor’s Christmas Tree is made into commemorative ornaments, which are sold the following year to benefit the Mayor’s Christmas Tree Fund.

Liberty’s Hometown Holidays and Tree Lighting Event (November 25 | 2 p.m.)
Free family activities such as crafts, live music, refreshments and s’mores as well as a Downtown Merchant Passport Exchange will lead up to the community Christmas tree lighting ceremony at 5 p.m.

Sar-Ko Aglow (December 1 | 6 p.m.)
Continue your holiday festivities by meeting up with friends and neighbors for a community celebration at Sar-Ko-Par Trails Park in Lenexa. Enjoy a stroll through the park while taking in the spectacular lights, sipping hot cocoa and listening to carolers. Look for Santa on the circle driveway! The Legler Barn Museum will also be open during the event.

KCMB's Guide to the Holidays in Kansas City

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