Kansas City Holiday Light Displays
Usher in the season with these 8 breathtaking displays
Just like its iconic jazz and mouthwatering barbecue, Kansas City has earned a bold reputation for its impressive holiday light displays. Before you go, take note of these eight luminous, Kansas City traditions that are sure to brighten your holiday.
A local tradition for 83 years, Plaza Lights is a 15-block holiday spectacle on the famed Country Club Plaza, featuring 280,000 glimmering, jewel-colored lights that accentuate every dome, tower and window of the Spanish-inspired shopping district (Nov. 22-Jan. 13). Sporting Kansas City players (and U.S. Open Cup champions) Matt Besler, Kei Kamara and Jimmy Nielsen will flip the switch on Thanksgiving night.
Checking in at a lofty 100 feet, the Mayor’s Christmas Tree stretches higher than those on display at the White House and Rockefeller Center (Nov. 23-Jan.1). The massive holiday icon sparkles with 7,200 white bulbs and represents the Mayor’s Christmas Tree Fund, which aids Kansas City’s less fortunate. Mayor Sly James and a celebrity guest will flip the switch on Nov. 23.
Back for a third year, the Kansas City Power & Light District will shine with a bright new tradition—Holiday Windows on Main. Blending art, light and motion, several talented local artists will partner with downtown businesses to create unique window displays inspired by those in Times Square. The festive storefronts on Main Street will be on display beginning Nov. 16.
A few blocks up the road, several downtown buildings will light up the winter sky for City Lights (Nov. 16-Jan. 1). 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.
Zona Rosa, a shopping district known for reviving several local traditions, spruces up its streets each holiday season for Northern Lights (Nov. 17-mid-January). Massive and ornate, several lighted crowns are suspended above the district’s busy streets, harking back to a 1950s downtown tradition. Also in store for visitors: a holiday igloo, live reindeer, carriage rides and visits with Kansas City Museum’s Fairy Princess.
Legends Outlets will keep shoppers in tune with its Legendary Light Show, back for its 8th year (Nov. 17-Jan. 2). Every 15 minutes, the sprawling shopping center will spring to life with thousands of dazzling lights synchronized to classic holiday tunes. Other festive activities include visits with Santa Claus, a decadent 45-foot tree and larger-than-life Christmas ornaments sprinkled throughout the district.
Thanksgiving weekend marks the return of Christmas in the Park, a festive drive-through display in Longview Lake Park (Nov. 21-Dec. 31). A tradition for 24 years, the Park is transformed into a delightful winter wonderland with more than 300,000 lights and almost 200 animated figures. The event is free, but donations are accepted to benefit local charities.
Looking to enjoy the sights without leaving the comfort of your car? Head to Christmas Card Lane, a drive-through adventure inside one of KC’s most festive neighborhoods (Nov. 23-Jan. 1). Featuring more than 200 decorated homes in the city of Olathe, the celebration earned its name by the larger-than-life greeting cards that line the streets.
Kansas City’s major holiday lights displays offer no shortage of cheer for you and yours this season.