Updated on November 18, 2019.
If you've been to any of the area retailers or taken a drive around town, it would be hard not to notice Christmas is upon us. For many, loading up in the car together to view holiday lights displays is a Christmas tradition enjoyed by family members both young and old . . . and even our furry friends.
As Kansas City’s local PEO for more than 30 years, we know a thing or two about the top holiday spots in the metro. Here are 11 of our favorite places to view dazzling Christmas lights across Kansas City.
1. Mayor’s Christmas Tree at Crown Center (Kansas City, Missouri)
Did you know Kansas City is home to one of USA Today’s Top 10 Public Christmas Trees? It’s true! The 100-foot Oregon Douglas fir is one of the nation’s largest Christmas trees featuring 7,200 lights twinkling from our very own Crown Center here in Kansas City. While you’re there, immerse yourself in the season with ice skating, a gingerbread village and holiday train. For more information, visit the Crown Center website here.
Santa Claus arrives at Crown Center and makes his way to his Gingerbread Station in a horse-drawn carriage on November 29, 2019 at 10 a.m.
Kansas City's Mayor Quinton Lucas and special guest will flip the switch to light the tree on November 29, 2019 at 5:30 p.m.
Located at 2405 Grand Blvd. in Kansas City, Missouri.
2. Union Station (Kansas City, Missouri)
The holidays really do come alive at Union Station! You’ll find classic holiday decorations in green and red throughout, including one of the largest indoor lighted trees and a Holiday Express train! With plenty of beautiful places throughout, you’ll be able to snap the perfect holiday picture. Visit Union Station’s website for hours of operation.
The official kick-off to the holiday season begins at Union Station on November 23, 2019 at 10 a.m. with hands-on activities. Then, at 6:30 p.m., don't miss the holiday lighting ceremony and a special performance by Quixotic at 6:30 p.m.
Located at 30 W. Pershing Rd. in Kansas City, Missouri.
3. WinterFest at Worlds of Fun (Kansas City, Missouri)
Step into a world of holiday fun when you visit WinterFest at Worlds of Fun. A relatively new tradition, November through December 31 the theme park is transformed into a magical escape featuring thousands of lights, live shows, iconic holiday characters, ice skating, cookie decorating and of course you can catch a ride on select theme park rides. Visit the Worlds of Fun website for more information.
Worlds of Fun's Annual WinterFest celebration opens on November 23, 2019.
Located at 4545 NE Worlds of Fun Drive, Kansas City, Missouri.
4. Plaza Lights at Country Club Plaza (Kansas City, Missouri)
Maybe the most well-known lights in the area are those illuminating the Country Club Plaza buildings. A local tradition for 89 years, the plaza lighting ceremony is what many local Kansas Citians consider the official start to their holiday season. The best spots to admire the lights include the rooftop of the Halls building, McCormick & Schmick’s restaurant, the InterContinental Hotel and the second floor of Barnes & Noble. For fun facts about the Plaza Lights, check out the VisitKC website here.
The 90th Annual Evergy Plaza Lighting Ceremony takes place Thursday, November 28, 2019.
Located at 4706 Broadway Blvd. in Kansas City, Missouri.
5. Christmas in the Park (Lee’s Summit, Missouri)
Your holidays aren’t complete unless you’ve taken a drive through the 31st annual Jackson County Christmas in the Park! This breathtaking display features more than 300,000 dazzling lights and 175 animated displays. For pictures and additional information, visit the Jackson County website here.
Christmas in the Park is open from November 27 - December 31, 2019 from 5:30 - 10:00 p.m. Sunday-Thursday and 5:30-11:00 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
Located at the Longview Campground at 1499 SW County Park Road in Lee’s Summit, Missouri.
6. Lee’s Summit Magic Tree (Lee’s Summit, Missouri)
Once you’ve taken in the Christmas in the Park experience, be sure to head over to Lee's Summit Magic Tree. The tree is simple elegance and illuminated with more than 12,000 rainbow colored LED lights. Visitors are able to take photos in front of the tree and have the option to donate to charity. For pictures, directions, charity information and testimonials, visit the Magic Tree website here.
Experience the Magic November 26, 2019 through January 5, 2020.
Located at I-470 and View High Drive in Lee’s Summit, Missouri.
7. Holiday Lights on Farmstead Lane at Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead (Overland Park, Kansas)
In its sixth year, but with plenty of new features, Holiday Lights on Farmstead Lane is the perfect place to pull in with your family to enjoy a 38-minute show synchronized to music. So, grab some hot chocolate before you head out, find a parking spot, tune your radio to 90.5 FM and enjoy the show. More information can be found on the City of Overland Park’s website here.
Holiday Lights on Farmstead Lane kick-off on November 28 from 5:30 - 11:00 p.m.
Located at 13800 Switzer in Overland Park, Kansas.
8. Holiday Lights Display at Vince and Associates (Overland Park, Kansas)
For years, Vince and Associates’ building on Metcalf Ave. in Overland Park has been a major attraction. The display takes three men approximately three weeks to install all of the lights and features over 200,000 LED lights synchronized to music. For the best view, park across the street in the Emmanuel Baptist Church parking lot and be sure to tune your radio to 96.9 FM! For more information, visit the Vince and Associates website here.
Located at 103rd and Metcalf in Overland Park, Kansas.
9. Christmas Place at Terrace Place Subdivision (Overland Park, Kansas)
Voted the number one Christmas neighborhood in Johnson County Kansas for 16 years, this neighborhood is a must see! It features a double cul-de-sac with all 23 homes participating and is the closest you'll get to a real-life winter wonderland right here in Kansas City. The tradition was started by Terrace Place resident Cindy Lou Corley who lost her courageous battle against breast cancer. The neighborhood has done an outstanding job keeping her tradition alive. For more information, visit the Christmas Place website here.
Open Thanksgiving evening through New Year's.
Located at 131st Place and Antioch in Overland Park, Kansas.
10. Candy Cane Lane (Prairie Village, Kansas)
This well-known display has been around since 1958 and was revived for its 50th anniversary in 2007 and is definitely worth the drive this holiday season. Each home on the street and cul-de-sac has at least one 4-foot tall candy cane, with some measuring 10-foot, hence its name, Candy Cane Lane. You can expect to see lots of twinkling lights, holiday displays and a 50-foot tall Christmas tree with lighted presents displayed around it. To see photos and for additional information click here.
Located at the 7900 block of Outlook Lane in Prairie Village, Kansas.
11. Bradshaw Christmas Light Show (Overland Park, Kansas)
Another attraction to add to your holiday lights adventure in Overland Park is the Bradshaw Street Christmas Light Show. While it is a more recent display, it is just as impressive as some of the more well-known ones. The display encompasses an entire cul-de-sac of homes. Be sure to tune to 99.9 FM once you enter the neighborhood as many of the lights are synchronized to the music and be sure to check out the talking Christmas tree!
Located at 13812 Bradshaw in Overland Park, Kansas.
If you're planning on expanding your holiday lights display before your guests arrive, be sure to check out this blog where our Safety and Health Consultant, Randy Clayton, shares holiday lights safety tips.