The holidays are fun but – boy – can they be stressful. That stress is compounded when you’re spending your savings on fertility treatments – leaving little for holiday cheer. The good news is there are plenty of really special, FREE or very affordable, holiday traditions and activities happening in and around the Kansas City and Overland Park areas.
5 Favorite Holiday Activities in Kansas City and Overland Park
Whether you’re visiting from out of town, meeting with your team of specialists, or hosting out-of-towners in your home this year – the following list can provide a way to get out of the house and fill up on holiday cheer.
- Trip the Light Fantastic. Worried about all that turkey, stuffing, and pie you’re going to eat on Thanksgiving? That’s nothing to fret about. You can burn it off early by loading up the bikes and heading to Trip the Light Fantastic on Tuesday, November 24th, where you and your family can ride 4.5 miles through hundreds of lighted and animated displays set up throughout Jackson County’s Christmas Park (more on that next). Registration is at 5:00 p.m. at the Frank White Jr. Ballpark (where the ride begins) and the finish line is in front of Gusto! Coffee Bistro at New Longview. If you make it to the finish line by 7:45 p.m., you can see awards given out for things like Best Holiday Decorated Bike, Ugliest Holiday Sweater or Best Holiday Dressed Individual.
- Christmas in the Park. Continue to enjoy Christmas in the Park until December 31st. It’s no wonder this is one of our region’s most celebrated holiday traditions, what with 300,000+ glistening lights and 175 colorfully animated holiday scenes. If you whizzed by too fast on your bike, you can stroll or drive with family and friends to enjoy the magnificence. There is absolutely no charge, although donations are accepted. Christmas in the Park is open Sunday – Thursdays from 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday evenings it’s open until 11:00 p.m.
- Kansas City Plaza Lights. For many families in the area, the KCP&L Plaza Lighting ceremony is the official kick-off for the holiday season. This year’s lighting ceremony will take place Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 26th, 2015, from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. From the official “flick of the switch” to the post-lighting ceremony concerts, the entire family will be entertained. If nothing else, you can send guests in that direction so you can enjoy a little peace and quiet at home, reveling in the post-Turkey Day madness. If you don’t want to join the crowds, you can head to the Plaza any evening – between 5 pm and 3 am – through January 17th and see the magic on your own time.
- A Christmas Celebration in Missouri Town 1855. If you’ve never been to Missouri Town 1855 before, you’re in for a treat. While the county historical park is open year-round, it takes on special holiday notes on December 12, 2015 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Celebrate the rich English, German and French heritage that settled this region and join period-dressed actors as they bring the town to life as it was in the mid-19th century. In addition to home-baked treats and the smell of toasty warm fires, children and adults will be thrilled by a special visit and candy treat from “Belsnickle.” Tickets are $5 for adults, $3 for seniors and children ages 6-13. Children 5 and under are free.
- Holidays at Kansas City’s Union Station. Need a little more magic in your life? Each year, Kansas City’s Union Station brings a fantasy world into reality, including free train rides, visits from Santa Claus and a chance to see the world’s largest indoor holiday tree. You can also listen to beautiful holiday music or catch one of the holiday-themed performances. This year’s schedule has yet to be posted but keep their website bookmarked as reservations for the train rides go quickly.
What are some of your favorite Holiday activities in Kansas City, Overland Park or Independence? Let us in on some of your personal traditions.