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Kansas City Holiday Shopping Guide

Festive districts dot the Kansas City metro


The Northland

Zona Rosa Holiday Shopping HP Slider

SHOP

At Briarcliff Village, shop to your heart’s content inside a Tuscan-inspired setting. Nell Hill’s has earned a reputation for its cottage-style home furnishings, while Land of Paws is a dog’s best friend.

CELEBRATE

Zona Rosa is known for reviving several of KC’s popular holiday traditions. Shop in style beneath the Northern Lights—gigantic, beautifully-lit crowns that sparkle in the moonlight—or share your family’s holiday wishes with the Fairy Princess.

DO

Step on the factory floor and see how hogs are made at Harley-Davidson factory, where tours are free. If it’s time for pampering, escape to The Spa at Briarcliff— 60 minutes in the “floating” pool is as restorative as four hours of rest.


Downtown/River Market

Flash, Downtown Skylinel

SHOP

In the Power & Light District, look to Envolve for chic women’s styles or shop eight stores in one at The Garment District—a hip fashion collective with a bar nestled inside. Head to the Crossroads Arts District for unique stocking stuffers like handmade stationery from Hammerpress or artisanal chocolates from Christopher Elbow.

CELEBRATE

Straight out of the mind of Dr. Seuss, City Market transforms itself for Whoville Holidays, a yuletide celebration featuring The Grinch, art activities and a Cindy Lou Who look-alike contest. For grown-ups, check out KC Rep’s Santaland Diaries, a hysterical one-man show from David Sedaris.

DO

Warm up with a hot concert at Sprint Center. Before the show, venture off the beaten path to the Westside area. Popular picks range from fine dining at Novel, vegan-friendly selections at Blue Bird Bistro and farm-to-table fare at The Westside Local.


Country Club Plaza

Country Club Plaza Lights Bower RA

SHOP

KC’s famed Spanish-inspired shopping district touts more than 120 stores inside a 15-block area. New outposts include Kate Spade New York, H&M and Moosejaw, but be sure to explore the local stock, too. Originals such as Halls and Standard Style Boutique provide local flavor to this fashionable district.

CELEBRATE

You’re in for a treat. Miles and miles of holiday lights adorn the Plaza for seven weeks each winter. Outlining every shop, dome and tower of the entertainment district, Plaza Lights is one of KC’s most treasured traditions.

DO

If it’s museums you crave, peruse The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, one of the nation’s premier general art museums, or go wild in the Toy & Miniature Museum, where it’s like Christmas morning every day.


Crown Center District

Crown Center Shopping Holiday

SHOP

Home to Hallmark Cards, this creative complex houses several unique finds—everything from handmade chocolates and fine fragrances to Chinese jewelry and sports memorabilia. Browse seasonal gifts at Holiday Magic, tween gifts at Club 223 and one of only two Crayola Stores in America.

CELEBRATE

Marvel at the 100-foot Mayor’s Christmas Tree, one of the nation’s tallest. Or visit the Holiday Train Village at Union Station, an elaborate display of miniature trains that zig and zag through a wintry scene. For theater, make reservations early for Christmas Spectacular, an Off Center Theatre tribute to holiday specials from yesteryear.

DO

Dive into SEA LIFE, KC’s first aquarium, and LEGOLAND Discovery Center, both new at Crown Center. Or explore the National World War I Museum, an American treasure lying just around the corner, or explore Real Pirates, a National Geographic exhibit showing at Union Station.

 


Westport/39th Street

 

SHOP

Set your sleigh’s GPS to 39th Street West for unique gifts. At 39th’s Rock Candy and Prospero’s, you’ll find vintage looks and books, respectively, while Vinyl Renaissance is a haven for rare and hard-to-find albums.

CELEBRATE

A great deal of KC’s specialty and international eateries dot these hoods, ranging from Asian dumplings at Blue Koi to vegan baked goods at Mud Pie. Down the block, Jazz: A Louisiana Kitchen mixes delicious Creole food with that toe-tapping KC sound.

DO

Plan a holiday toast with friends and family at legendary Westport watering holes like Harry’s Bar & Tables, Beer Kitchen and Firefly Lounge. These cozy yet lively bars are the perfect remedy for the winter doldrums.

 


Brookside/Waldo

KC Zoo Humboldt Penguin Masthead

SHOP

Check in to Brookside Toy & Science, a mom-and-pop toy store lined with games, microscopes and the like. And good luck getting the kids to leave the Reading Reptile, one of the country’s oldest booksellers for little ones.

CELEBRATE

The Kansas City Zoo is a short distance away and now home to the just-unveiled Helzberg Penguin Plaza, featuring feathered friends from cold and warm weather climates, including the Humboldt, king, gentoo and rockhopper species.

DO

Celebrate your sales with cocktails at several great watering holes, such as Bier Station and Louie’s Wine Dive. Then refuel with Domo’s sushi, wood-fired pizzas at Blue Grotto or modern-made comfort food at Julian.

 


On the Kansas side

SAVE with Dine and Play Discounts

SHOP

The Sunflower State is dotted with quaint shopping districts, such as Corinth Square, plus larger, well-known developments like Oak Park Mall. Find great specialty shops in Leawood at Park Place. Stretch your Christmas dollar even further at Legends Outlets, with a long list of factory stores and big-name outlets—including Nike, Saks Off 5th and Brooks Brothers.

CELEBRATE

Watch thousands of twinkling lights dance in tune with concert-quality holiday music during the Legendary Light Show. Also cool: lacing up your skates for a spin on The Ice at Park Place, the only ice skating rink in Johnson County.

DO

If the family is along, make a splash at Great Wolf Lodge, an indoor waterpark where the temperature is always 84 degrees. Or relax and catch a show at New Theatre Restaurant, featuring Broadway-style shows and award-winning cuisine.


Have a favorite district for holiday shopping in KC? Share it below.

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