After all the Christmas lights we’ve looked at lately, we’re feeling in the spirit and ready to hit up all the holiday festivities in Kansas City. Scrooges can stop reading now, because we’re about to fill your heart with so much holiday tradition and nostalgia it will explode warm fuzzy feelings all over you and your loved ones. Fair warning.
Below are some of our most beloved Kansas City holiday traditions. All of them involve leaving your nice, warm home — so fair warning, you’re gonna need to put down that remote, turn off Netflix and put on some pants. Sorry.
Feel free to add your traditions to the list in the comments below!
1. Kansas City Fairy Princess
Zona Rosa has reignited a long-time tradition that includes a stinkload of pink. Since 1935, Kansas City residents have been plopping their kids not just onto Santa’s lap, but a beautiful Fairy Princess’s. Sure, your kids get to sit with her, take their picture and receive a magical gift in a cute bag — but there’s so much more. Like ornament decorating and delicious holiday cookies that you’re immediately going to confiscate “so they won’t get a sugar rush.” Right. You’re fooling NO one. #NomNom
2. Christmas at Crown Center
Over 7,200 lights have sat on this tree for a century, and we hope it lasts for centuries more to come. There’s nothing quit like a 100-ft display to show the country what a great city we are. Nor is there anything more beautiful than that show of wealth being cut up at the end of the season and sold off to benefit those in need. And it really doesn’t matter how many years we watch the lighting ceremony. It’s breathtaking every time.
3. Eskimoland Igloo
Ever wanted to walk through a freezing cold structure in the dead of winter? If you’re as cheap as we are when it comes to the electric bill, it probably feels like you’re doing that at home anyway. But rest assured, we’ve found a much cooler (pun fully intended) way of experiencing this with the Eskimoland Igloo at the Kansas City Museum. What started as an exhibit in 1953 turned into such a beloved tradition, Zona Rosa once again stepped up to recreate the formation.
4. The City Market Whoville Holidays
Your kids get to dress up like little Whos from Who-ville and take darling pictures. They also get to wear themselves out while running around making crafts. Which, most importantly to you, means early bed time! An extra hour of peace and serenity. Is there a better holiday gift?
5. Hooligan Holidays
(c/o their Facebook page)
This huge party started 20 years ago, and it’s still rockin’ hard today. The Hooligan Holiday is three days of celebrating awesome music at some of KC’s finest venues. And it changes every year, so you continually have a reason to go back. Well, that and three nights in a row of (responsible) drinking.
6. Holiday Train Village at Union Station
This is a must-go event for train lovers, magic-of-Christmas lovers and anyone else who has room left in their heart for good fun and cheer — which is apparently everyone in KC because the place is always packed. About 15 years ago, a bunch of volunteers put in thousands of hours to build the beautiful Holiday Express. They made it free to attend, so everyone can join in on the holiday fun. We really love KC.