Fun Kansas City area holiday activities to do with friends and family this weekend

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The turkey is in the fridge after the Thanksgiving feast, but family is still in town.

If you want something to do after Black Friday shopping, there are several holiday activities going on this weekend in Kansas City.

Plaza Lights

Plaza Lights – The Plaza Lights are always spectacular and if you didn’t make it to the Plaza Lighting Ceremony, don’t fret!

The lights stay up through the holidays and make a glowing background to your holiday shopping and dining experiences. The Plaza Lights have been a tradition in Kansas City for over 90 years and the display includes nearly 280,000 lights.

Holidays Come Alive – Union Station also boasts an impressive Christmas tree and plenty of activities for all ages.

The mini holiday express train will take the youngest members of the family on a ride for $5. You can also see a light show as Laser Holiday Magic lights up the sky at the Gottlieb Planetarium. Tickets are $7.

Holiday Swing is also happening Saturday and Sunday. It’s a free indie holiday craft fair featuring handmade goods.

Union Station

Luminary Walk – It’s the 20th year for this annual event at the Overland Park Arboretum.

For $12 on Fridays and Saturdays beginning this weekend, you can walk through the beautifully decorated arboretum and botanical gardens while holiday music plays in the background. Hot apple cider from the Louisburg Cider Mill is also served.

Children under 5 can attend for free.

Mayor’s Christmas Tree – This is the first year that newly-elected Mayor Quinton Lucas will be flipping the switch on the giant Christmas tree that will light up Crown Center.

Standing over 100 feet, its one of the tallest Christmas trees in the country. Friday night’s switch flipping ceremony begins at 5:30 p.m. There’s no fee for admission.

Mayor’s Christmas Tree

Santa’s Wonderland – Every year at Bass Pro Shops, children are treated to a variety of fun activities, including games, snacks, prizes and pictures with Santa.

Christmas in the Park – Fun, free and family friendly, Jackson County’s Christmas in the Park features more than 175 animated figures and a 500,000 lights. Visitors can drive through the park for free, although donations to charitable groups are accepted.

Christmas in the Park

Winterfest – Worlds of Fun transforms into a winter wonderland for the annual Winterfest celebration.

In addition to rides, guests can enjoy Charlie Brown’s Christmas Spectacular, Coca-Cola Polar Bear Plaza, North Pole Post Office, Reindeer Roundup and many more.

Tickets start at $26. Winterfest is open select days through Dec. 31.


Festival of Lights – Powell Gardens lights up the night Thursdays-Sundays until Jan. 5 with this holiday lighting expedition. The milelong trail features Santa, Christmas carolers and dazzling lights.

Tickets are $12 for adults and $5 for children ages 5-12. Children under age 4 get in free.

Paulie’s Penguin Playground – Hundreds of inflatable penguins and lights actually sit in owner Paul Craig’s Olathe backyard.

The display is a neighborhood favorite and is free to walk though. Charitable donations are accepted to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in memory of Betty Craig.

Paulie’s Penguin Playground

Holiday Lights on the Farmstead – The Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead is closed for the season, but that doesn’t mean they’re not in the holiday spirit.

Holiday Lights on the Farmstead is a free light show on the outside of the barn that you can watch from the comfort of your car. Visit and tune in to 90.5 Rose FM to hear holiday songs.

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