2022 Christmas Events Near Me: Your Festive Guide to Holiday & Christmas Events in Kansas City

Is the Christmas season in Kansas City your family’s favorite time of year? If so, you are probably asking yourself, “Where are the best Christmas events near me?”. With the hustle and bustle of the season and the many holiday events to choose from it can sometimes be overwhelming.

Below you will find dozens upon dozens of options when looking for things to do this season in and around Kansas City, Missouri!

Keep reading for the best Christmas events in KCMO filled with tree lightings, winter magic, Christmas music and of course a few Santa Claus sightings! There are plenty of photo ops with holiday lights as you explore Kansas City this holiday season. So, get your hot cocoa in a thermos and head out to these events the entire family is sure to love.

santa with present

23 Best Holiday & Christmas Events in Kansas City for 2022

Christmas is approaching, which means so are everyone’s favorite Kansas City Christmas events! The Plaza, Crown Center, Kauffman Event Center, and Union Station all host plenty of popular KC Christmas activities for those looking for holiday classics.

You can make some of these events part of your family advent calendar, a surprise date night, or even attend free Christmas events on a whim this December 2022 in Kansas City.

Classic Kansas City Holiday Events

1. Evergy Festival of Lights at Powell Gardens

DATES: November 10, 2022 to December 30, 2022

holiday lights

During the Evergy Festival of Lights at Powell Gardens,  Kansas City’s botanical garden transforms into a winter wonderland. Bundle up with family and friends while you stroll a lighted outdoor path, pausing for plenty of Instagram and holiday-card worthy photo moments along the way.

You’ll see immersive botanic installations that show off the exceptional architecture and landscape elements of the Powell gardens holiday light experience during the most festive season of the year.

Address: 1609 N.W. U.S. Highway 50, Kingsville, MO

2. Crown Center Ice Terrace

DATES: November 22, 2022 through March 2023

ice skating rink

Kansas City’s original outdoor skating rink is open for its 50th Season! This is one of the most popular Crown Center events and one of the best family activities to get into the holiday spirit!

For anyone with young kids you can make it a family event as all children under 4 years old are completely free! Crown Center has a ton of walkable, themed holiday exhibits and activities for anyone looking for a budget-friendly event this Christmas.

Regular admission is $8 for adults and children aged 4 and older. Skate rentals are $5 or you may bring your own.

November, December and January hours: Sunday – Thursday, 10 a.m. – 9 p.m., Friday – Saturday, 10 a.m. – 11 p.m. Check the website for hours in February and March.

Location: Crown Center Ice Terrace; 2450 Grand Blvd., Kansas City, MO

3. The Plaza Lights

DATES: November 24, 2022 to Mid January 2023

Plaza Lights in Kansas City

The Plaza lights are one of the most fun Christmas events in Kansas City! The Country Club Plaza buildings and shops don over 200,000 bulbs every December and this year is no different.

While the lights look best at night, you can go a little earlier in the day and check out popular shopping or restaurants with the whole family. But, make sure to stay until 5 pm when the lights are turned on! This is a favorite holiday tradition for many families in Kansas City and beyond.

The Evergy Plaza Lighting Ceremony will take place from 5 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022. Negro Leagues Baseball Museum President Bob Kendrick will flip the switch, followed by a fireworks display and live performances by Quixotic and KC-based Celtic-rock band, The Elders.

The November 24th schedule includes the following:

  • 5 to 6 p.m.: Pre-lighting performances and giveaways from the main stage
  • 6 to 7 p.m.: 93rd Annual Evergy Plaza Lighting Ceremony
  • 6:52 p.m.: Ceremonial flip of the switch featuring Negro Leagues Baseball Museum President Bob Kendrick
  • 7 to 8 p.m.: Post-ceremony concert with The Elders

Big fan of The Plaza lights? The Legends and Zona Rosa also have their shopping districts lit up for Christmas if you’d like to see more.

Location: 4706 Broadway Blvd, Kansas City, MO 

4. Santa’s Arrival at Crown Center

DATES: November 25, 2022 – December 24, 2022

Santa Claus arrives in a horse-drawn carriage to kick off the holiday season. Join Santa as he makes his way to Santa’s Gingerbread Station, where he resides through December 24.

Arrival on the 25th of November will be between 10:00 a.m. to 10:15 a.m.

 Location: 2450 Grand Boulevard, Kansas City, MO 

5. Mayor’s Christmas Tree at Crown Center

DATE: November 25, 2022

As mentioned above, Crown Center has a wealth of Christmas-themed events. The Mayor’s Christmas Tree is one of the largest trees illuminated with Christmas lights in the entire nation! You have until January 2nd to witness this tradition that has been in KCMO for half a century. 

If you’ve checked out the Mayor’s Christmas Tree and the Crown Center Ice Terrace, it’s only a short walk to Legoland, Sea Life aquarium, or to visit Santa himself inside Crown Center at Santa’s Gingerbread Station.

 Location: 2450 Grand Boulevard, Kansas City, MO 

Holiday Concerts and Shows

holiday lights with red bulbs

For anyone hoping to experience a new adventure this Christmas, there is a holiday-themed stand-up at The Bird comedy theater, a live KC symphony performance accompanying the movie Elf, and others listed below!

6. A Charlie Brown Christmas at The Coterie

Dates: November 15, 2022 to December 31, 2022

The animated Charlie Brown Christmas classic will come to life on the Coterie stage – and a *live jazz trio* will play the original Vince Guaraldi arrangements. Join Charlie Brown on a memorable journey as he tries to direct the school Christmas pageant. In their letters to Santa, everyone seems to be acting materialistic – so Charlie Brown tries to restore the holiday spirit with a ragged little fir tree.

Experience the power of this wonderful story live onstage as Charlie Brown turns to his best friend Linus to learn the season’s real meaning. Special encore song: Snoopy’s Christmas Eve encounter with the Red Baron!

Location: Crown Center; 2450 Grand Blvd, Suite 144 Kansas City, MO

7. A Christmas Carol at Spencer Theatre

DATES: December 1-24, 2022

The live production of A Christmas Carol by The Rep provides an opportunity to watch the transformation of Ebenezer Scrooge on stage in Kansas City. With a run time of 1 hour and 15 minutes, plus an intermission, this metro tradition of A Christmas Carol is a great way for audiences of all ages to remember the true meaning of Christmas.

Location: 4949 Cherry Street, Kansas City, MO 

8. The Nutcracker at Kauffman

DATES: December 7-24, 2022

Nutcracker ballet

For fans of Kansas City Ballet, their performance of The Nutcracker offers a beautiful set, magical costumes, and top-notch choreography for audiences this December. This Victorian-era classic is brought to life in KC every year and is one of metro areas holiday classics. 

Tickets start as low as $34 making The Nutcracker a great Christmas date option with visuals that are sure to impress.

Location: 1601 Broadway Boulevard, Kansas City, MO 

9. KC Symphony Presents Christmas Festival

DATE: Dec 18, 2022

The KC Symphony will be playing Christmas carols and other classic songs on December 18th during their Christmas Festival performance. Touted as a ‘musical sleigh ride’ this performance will feature a visit from Santa, a family sing-along, as well as special guests! 

Tickets are selling fast, with remaining tickets starting at $98.50, for this perfect KC outing for lovers of live music this holiday season.

Location: 1601 Broadway Blvd, Kansas City, MO

10. Elf Film + Live Orchestra

DATES: December 21-24, 2022

For Christmas movie buffs, The KC Symphony will be performing live to the movie ELF. This is a family-friendly performance featuring a PG rating, Will Ferrel as Buddy the elf, and plenty of Christmas spirit! 

Don’t miss the live scores and holiday charm this Christmas, with tickets starting at $85 and running for just 4 days. 

Location: 1601 Broadway Blvd, Kansas City, MO 

11. The Bird Comedy Theater Holiday Spectacular

DATE: December 23, 2022

The Bird Comedy Theater Holiday Spectacular

The Bird is an 18+ comedy club venue that is hosting a variety show Holiday Spectacular for its first Christmas in Kansas City. This show should bring plenty of Christmas spirit, merriment, and laughs!

Unable to make the December 23rd event? The Bird is hosting numerous Christmas and holiday-themed events including a free First Friday show.

Location: 103 W. 19th St Kansas City, MO 

12. The Trans-Siberian Orchestra

DATE: December 26, 2022

The T-Mobile Center will be hosting the Trans-Siberian Orchestra again this Christmas season for The Ghost’s of Eve tour. Kansas City is one of a mere 60 cities in North America that the band will be touring, you will not want to miss seeing this multi-platinum group on December 26th! 

With two showings and tickets starting at just $39, this is a must-see performance this holiday season.

Location: 1407 Grand Boulevard, Kansas City, MO 

Kansas City Christmas Events

13. GloWild at the Zoo

DATES: November 01, 2022 – December 30, 2022

GloWild is a lantern festival and light show like no other, featuring massive handmade steel and silk works of art depicting animals, local landmarks, botanicals, and Asian cultural creations.

GloWild has been extended through December 30 with the addition of an illuminated Christmas Village located at the sheep station in Australia. The jolly old man himself, Santa, will also be making visits for photo opportunities on select evenings

Location: 6800 Zoo Drive Kansas City, MO

14. Winter Magic Drive Through Light Show

DATES: November 3, 2022 to January 1, 2023

Winter Magic Drive Through Holiday Lights

This is a fantastic holiday event the whole family will love!

The 2022 Kansas City Winter Magic has moved to Cliff Drive in the Historic Northeast to accommodate more cars each night. Book your ticket, gather some fun snacks, put a holiday playlist together, and take a ride into a winter wonderland!

Once you enter the first tunnel of light displays, you’ll be transported to a winter wonderland of one mile of twinkly lights, and lifesize decorations that celebrate Kansas City and the holidays.

Each twist of the road reveals a new themed section such as the 12 days of Christmas, Hannukah, reindeer pixel town, and tunnels of lights.

Location: 1800 Cliff Drive in Kessler Park, Kansas City, MO

READ MORE: Winter Magic Guide & Video

15. Holiday Reflections at Union Station

DATES: November 21, 2022 to January 1, 2023

Holiday Reflection captures the holiday spirit with enchanting lights and floating ornaments, dozens of trees, and a mini Holiday Express train that’s a favorite for kids. Filling the Grand Plaza at Union Station, this is truly a beautiful Christmas experience that you won’t want to miss. Tickets start at $9 and kids under 12 months get free entry.

Location: 30 West Pershing Road Kansas City, MO

16. PJ Party with Santa

DATE: December 2, 2022

pajama party

Wear your warmest jammies and meet Santa! The PJ Party with Santa will be a festive event with holiday music and a chance for photos with Santa as well as by the Christmas tree or with Willard the reindeer. The party includes free milk, cookies & a holiday children’s book (one per family).

Afterward, head to the ice skating rink to skate with Elves and enjoy free hot chocolate for those skating in their jammies.

This is a FREE community event from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., but it is requested that each family bring a Mac n’ cheese cup donation for Feed Northland Kids (FNK) who supports hungry children and families in our Northland Community.

This is an outdoor event — make sure to wear those hats, gloves and coats to stay warm while you enjoy the festivities!

Location: Zona Rosa 8640 N Dixson Ave, Kansas City, MO

17. Meet Santa at the Zoo

DATES: December 3-4, 2022

Santa Claus

The Kansas City Zoo will be hosting both Santa and Mrs. Claus this year for their Meet Santa event. Visitors can bring letters and Christmas lists to give to Santa, and even meet them both  in person! 

The Meet Santa event happens to coincide with the Zoo’s Penguin March as well! After meeting Santa and giving him a Christmas list, visitors can watch the zoo’s penguins as they take a walk around the zoo in the winter weather. This makes for a very adorable holiday event for the whole family!

Location: 6800 Zoo Drive, Kansas City, MO 

18. Polar Express Movie at Union Station

DATES: December 9-20, 2022

The Polar Express is a holiday movie filled with Christmas time magic. It plays at 12:30 pm, 4:00 pm, and 7:30 pm in the Regnier Extreme Screen Theatre at Union Station and is just $3.50.

This is the story of a young hero boy on Christmas Eve who boards on a powerful magical train that’s headed to the North Pole and Santa Claus’s home. What unfolds is an adventure that follows a doubting boy, who takes an extraordinary train ride to the North Pole; during this ride, he embarks on a journey of self-discovery which shows him that the wonder of life never fades for those who believe.

Address: 30 West Pershing Road Kansas City, MO

19. Kansas City Southern’s Holiday Express

DATE: December 17

Kansas City Southern's Holiday Express

This December the Haverty Family Yards at Union Station will be visited once again by Kansas City Southern’s holiday train! Onboard the train will be Santa and his elves, and upon arrival Santa will mingle with the crowd. 

KC Southern’s Holiday Express features free admission granted to 3 of the 6 themed cars, which feature festive themed displays. If you make reservations in advance you can also tour the inside of the final 3 cars which feature festive holiday displays.

This free event is great for families and couples alike, and while you’re there you can also check out the Holiday Reflections display in Union Station’s Grand Plaza.

Location: Haverty Family Yards; 30 W Pershing Rd, Kansas City, MO

20. Hearthside Christmas Storytime at the John Wornall House Museum

DATES: Dec 18, 2022 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Visit the John Wornall House Museum for a classic Christmas story time in the historic home. Stories will be read in the Wornall House parlor followed by holiday craft time.

Some of the stories will include 1987 Little Golden Book version of The Night Before Christmas – which was illustrated using the Wornall House as inspiration!

There are three story times to choose from –1:00, 1:30, or 2:00 p.m.

$5 per family of 4. Pre-registrations are strongly encouraged.

Address: 6115 Wornall Rd., Kansas City, MO

21. Santa Delivers at the Zoo

DATES: December 17-18, 2022

Free with admission to the KC Zoo, guests to Santa Delivers will love getting to see Santa delivering gifts personally to animals at the Zoo that made their way to the nice list. 

This event also coincides with one of 4 ‘Penguin March’ events, where the KC zoo penguins are let out to walk about the zoo due to the cold weather. 

Location: 6800 Zoo Drive, Kansas City, MO 

22. Hanukkah Glow Party

DATE: December 18, 2022

The Hanukkah Glow Party 2022 is an annual event. Plan for fun with crafts, games, food, a DJ, dance party and more!

Address: 5801 W 115 Street in Overland Park

23. Christmas Tree Farm Fun!

Christmas tree farm

Fort Osage Farm & White Pine Lodge in Independence, MO

What is the holiday season without planning to pick out a Christmas tree? Fort Osage Farm opens on Saturday, November 19th and is the closest Missouri Christmas tree farm to KCMO.

They are a Choose & Harvest Christmas tree farm; which means you can wander through the farm and choose your perfect Christmas tree. You then use one of the hand saws provided by the farm and cut your own tree!

set on twenty acres of rolling Missouri countryside, filled with Christmas trees. They also offer the largest and most recent cut selection in the metro area of #1 USA Christmas tree Fraser Fir (6′-12′ sizes).  You can even bring your dog!

Address: 3022 N. Twyman Road, Independence, MO

More Kansas City Holiday Fun!

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