2023 Holiday & Christmas Events in Kansas City (December Things to Do)
It’s officially Christmas in Kansas City! Sometimes we are so busy that it’s hard to find and plan holiday things to do together. But our team is working hard to make it easy to find fun holiday activities and Christmas events in Kansas City—all in one place!
Relax and enjoy this special time with your loved ones using our 2023 Ultimate Christmas in Kansas City Guide.
As we receive info on new events, we add it to the bottom of this guide. So be sure to review them all!
You’ll find holiday things to do, Christmas events, & activities for kids. We’ve found all the things to do in Kansas City in December, perfect for families. Do you know of a Christmas or Holiday Event we should add? EMAIL us the details!
Holiday Things to Do and Christmas Events in Kansas City
We gathered everything you need to know about the holidays to celebrate stress-free with your family.
Find fun holiday things to do all month long, including fun Christmas events, and holiday activities, plus our comprehensive Guides to local Christmas Tree Farms, Where to Visit Santa, Christmas Light Displays & everything in between.
Whatever your family’s winter plans are, we’ve got you covered. Get started celebrating Christmas with your family!
Christmas in Kansas City with Kids
We know how magical the holidays are for children (& adults too!), so be sure to explore as many of these Christmas activities & events as possible!
Use these holiday “things to do”, to start celebrating the season with your family…
Also, check out Restaurants OPEN on Christmas Day in Kansas City!
Christmas Events & Activities: All Month Long
There are fun holiday events in Kansas City all month long! Explore these different holiday activities & things to do now…
There are still TONS of places to visit Santa for pictures, breakfast, parades, tree lightings, and more.
If you’re looking for fun Christmas activities in Kansas City, ice skating with your family is the perfect holiday activity! It’s a great way to burn some energy and make some forever memories. Be sure to bookmark our Ice Skating Guide for easy access all season long.
From Monday, following Thanksgiving, to December 9th, you can drop off letters to Santa at the North Pole Mailbox at Grandview City Hall (12500 Main Street). Clearly write the name and address of your child so Santa can send a letter back!
November 17th through December 30th, 2023
St. Louis, MO
The kiddos are going to remember this forever! Ride with the family to see Santa Claus! All aboard a real train, rolling to the magical North Pole. Santa and his elves are ready for the full steam ahead of the Polar Express Train. This is truly an extra special experience.
They even have a pancake breakfast with Santa you can book as well! Yummo!
Grab tickets for the date and time you prefer before they sell out.
Create a Gingerbread House at Taste Bud’s (or At-Home)
November 26th through December 18th, 2022
Taste Bud’s Kitchen: 5336 151st St. Leawood, KS 66224
If you’re looking for fun Christmas activities in Kansas City, get the whole family together and head to Taste Buds Kitchen in Leawood for Gingerbread House making. Below are the dates of classes:
- December 1st-3rd, 8th-10th, and 15th-17th
They’ll provide the supplies and the clean-up, you provide the fun. They’ve got many December dates available for families, as well as at-home kits available to bring with you. Book yours now before they fill up.
November 20th to January 1st
Union Station: 30 W Pershing Rd. Kansas City, MO 64108
Walk through the holiday scenes set up in Union Station, “Featuring sky-reaching lights, trees, forest friends and giant, floating mirrored ornaments”, according to the website. There are eight different photo spots to grab the perfect holiday pic!
Ride the mini holiday train too! It’s only accessible with tickets to the Walk Thru Village.
Multiple Kansas City Locations
Mid-Continent Public Library offers multiple holiday-themed workshops, special story times, activities, and craft times at their various Kansas City area branches all throughout the month of December.
Tons of family fun and festivities at multiple Mid-Continent Library locations. Bookmark their website for the latest details near you.
Check out Gingerbread events & many other fun holiday activities. Visit online for a full listing of available holiday activities for your families.
Bethel Annual Christmas Walk
Every Friday and Saturday November 24th through December 23rd at 5:30pm
2329 Flora Avenue, Kansas City, MO
Visit displays, mail a letter to Santa, and take a picture on Santa’s Sleigh!
Donation of $5, Children 2 and under are free
SPECIAL VIEWING TIMES AVAILABLE *-
816-604-0388 or 816-231–3555
Christmas Events Happening on Specific Dates in December 2023:
November 14th, to January 1st
Planetarium: Union Station, W Pershing Rd, Kansas City, MO 64108
The universe is bigger at the Arvin Gottlieb Planetarium inside Union Station downtown. Throughout the holiday season, they’ll be showing special holiday light shows on a “super-sized” screen!
Tickets for these holiday shows can be purchased online in advance or at Union Station during your visit.
November 1st, through December 31st come see hundreds of Christmas trees decorated to the nines with vintage and antique ornaments!
For information on group tours and more, call 785-887-6148.
Showing Elf, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation and Polar Express.
Details with exact dates and links to buy are here.
Extreme Screen: Union Station, W Pershing Rd, Kansas City, MO 64108
These are cheap Christmas activities for kids!
Check online for a full listing of show times & holiday movies.
November 17th- January 1st
Planetarium: Union Station, W Pershing Rd, Kansas City, MO 64108
If your family likes space, check out this star tour at the planetarium! This is the only 4K start tour in the area, so it’s definitely something to add to your holiday to-do list…
Beginning November 24th through December 31st every Friday -Sunday you and the kiddos will enjoy a fantastic holiday light show, plus food, entertainment, activities for the kids & plenty of holiday fun for all! This year, KC Ren Fest is transforming its festival grounds into a beautiful holiday light show you can walk through!
Sunday, December 17th 2:15-3:15
Tickets are $30 per child for membership holders and $40 per child for non-membership holders
Swing by SuperKidz club for exclusive access to meet and greet with Santa and Mrs. Claus, receive a special souvenir from Santa, take photos, and receive a personal invite from Santa in the mail from the North Pole! There will be an open play session included.
Christmas Events & December Things to Do
Find fun Christmas events throughout Kansas City! There are fun holiday things to do all around town…
November 24th -25th, December 1st-2nd, 7th-9th, and 15th-16th.
Santa will be in the Children’s Garden. 5:00 pm-8:30 pm. Adults-only Candlelight Stroll is November 30th and December 14th. (perfect for date night for Mom & Dad!).
Overland Park Arboretum: 8909 W 179th St. Bucyrus, KS 66013
The holidays at the Overland Park Arboretum are magical! Personally, we think this is one of the best Christmas events in Kansas City…
Take a walk, enjoy a wagon ride, listen to music, and enjoy the holiday lights during this fun family-friendly event. Explore the trails of the Overland Park Arboretum as they are lit up for the holiday season. There will be miles of candles and lights that line the trails.
November 27th at 7:00 pm.
The City of Gardner is ready for Christmas! Their 33rd Annual Christmas in the Park holiday event is going to kick off off with the Mayor’s Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony on Monday, November 27th, 2023 at Cornerstone Park. Holiday music will be performed by local students. Don’t miss the arrival of Santa and Mrs. Claus. One lucky resident will be chosen to flip the switch that turns on thousands of beautiful lights throughout the park. After the festivities, the kiddos can visit Santa and Mrs. Claus at Santa’s Workshop in Cornerstone Park!
Cornerstone Park: Gardner, KS
Taste Bud’s Kitchen: 5336 151st St. Leawood, KS 66224
Taste Buds Kitchen has a variety of festive cooking classes for kiddos and their caregivers. These classes are known to sell out FAST. Reserve your spot today.
December 1st from 6:30 pm-8:00 pm.
A donation of a canned food item, a new toy, or cash is requested.
Merriam Community Center: 6040 Slater Street Merriam, KS
Come see Santa arrive in his sleigh and take pictures with him in the sleigh with Mrs. Claus! This is the perfect, safe holiday event for the whole family!
There will be a Christmas Tree Lighting at Merriam Municipal Plaza as a new annual event. Don’t miss out on the holiday fun!
Friday, December 1st 5:30 to 7:30 pm.
Free photos with Santa, milk, and cookies too! They ask that you bring a mac & cheese cup to donate to Feed Northland Kids.
5:30 pm – 8:00 pm
This tree lighting will be held at the Olathe Community Center. Enjoy the holidays with live music and Santa.
4:00 pm – 8:00 pm
The Independence Square
This free Christmas event is fun for the whole family! This annual holiday event features 20+ decorated windows.
Local artists will create magical holiday scenes in store windows, so come check out the Christmas-themed windows!
December 2nd from 10:00 am- 4:00 pm
1200 E Kansas City Rd, Olathe, KS 66061
Get in the holiday spirit at Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop. Make ornaments, visit Mahaffie House and ride the stagecoach or make a gingerbread house.
Enjoy the Heritage Center decorations, make an ornament or a gingerbread house, and visit the Mahaffie House!
Rides are $3 per person ages 3 and up and gingerbread houses are $4.
December 2nd, 1:00 pm – 5:30 Parade to follow at 6:00 pm
Downtown Smithville, MO
Head to downtown Smithville and visit Santa and Mrs. Claus. After, have some treats and wander around downtown to see all the festive excitement. This is a free Christmas event for the whole family, so come out & enjoy it together!
You can even drop off letters to Santa…
December 1st-2nd and December 8th -9th from 6:00 pm-9:00 pm.
Youthfront Camp West: Edgerton, KS
Come experience the Christmas season with your whole family at camp! There will be an interactive Nativity scene, hot chocolate, bonfires, holiday music & tons of family fun together. You can also shop the holiday market from local makers in the area!
Experience the wonder of the season in this event for the whole family. Fully decked out for Christmas, Youthfront’s Camp West features an illuminated lake walk with interactive experiences to retell the amazing story of the Nativity! The kiddos will sip hot chocolate by a bonfire, enjoy Christmas music & yummy s’mores, and of course, food from their Snack Shack. Gather the kids for Santa’s Barrel Train, play at their family game stations, get photos taken with Simon the Donkey, and so much more to make forever family memories!
December 1st-2nd, December 8th-9th
This is of course one of our most favorite holiday events in Kansas City each year. Not just for kids!
December 9th at 10:00 am.
All participants will receive a long-sleeve race shirt or a Santa suit, a finisher medal/ornament, and holiday treats. The Elf Dash is for ages 12 & under. All Elf Dash participants will receive a race shirt and a goodie bag.
Use the hashtag #santadashKC to share your images and
Join hundreds of Santas in KC as they trek along special Christmas light holiday courses. This is one of the most unique Christmas events in Kansas City, so don’t miss out!
Spend a morning, on December 9th with your munchkins at the North Pole! Parents, grandparents, and children will love the “All You Can Eat” pancakes, sausage links, and juice too! All from Chris Cakes. Kiddos can make a cute craft and have professional photos taken with Mr. and Mrs. Claus; these will be available for purchase for $5. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to make forever memories with the family!
December 21st – 22nd and January 2nd-5th 8:30am-3:30pm
5636 Johnson Drive
Mission, KS 66202
Come experience the incredible world of aerial fitness. We will move through a circuit with a silk, low trapeze, hammock, rope, cloud swing, and lyra (hoop).
We have two camps going on simultaneously. One camp for ages 6-10, and the other for 11-15. Both groups share meals and aerial class together, but the rest of the time they have different activities.
Learning2Fly educates, empowers, and inspires your kiddos toward a lifelong love of health. Kids will learn about ways to improve their health, and also expand on community and global health issues. L2F works to advocate for healthy living and to motivate young people towards a lifestyle of healthy choices for mind, body, and spirit.
Space is limited. The fun never is!
105 Osage Street, Sibley, MO 64088
December 9, 5:00pm-9:00pm
Come experience Fort Osage with a candlelight tour! Create crafts while listening to Classic Christmas Carolers.
Cost: $10 per person
8010 E Park Road, Lee’s Summit, MO 64086
December 2, 9:00am-4:00pm
Join carolers in singing Christmas songs, view live historic cooking demonstrations, and deck the halls for Christmas!
Cost: $8 Adults, $4 for youth and seniors
Urban Air Cookies with Santa
- Lenexa: Thursday, December 14, 2023 (Santa + Cookies 9am-11am, playtime ends at 12pm)
- Overland Park: Friday, December 15, 2023 (Santa + Cookies 9am-11am, playtime ends at 12pm)
- Entry Fee: $10.99 per child + $3.49 socks (all participants are required to have Urban Air brand Jump Socks)
There will be cookies, beverages, and an opportunity to have a professional photo taken with SANTA! Santa will be in the building from 9am-11am, playtime will end at 12pm. These events take place during our Jumperoo time and are specifically for children ages 7 & under.
New Year’s Eve Events
Find a full list of kid-friendly New Year’s Eve events too!
Other Things to Do in December
If you’re looking for other holiday things to do with your family, check out these activities:
Fly High with Aerial Fitness
Let the kids burn off pent-up energy with a class at Learning 2 Fly in Shawnee. Bonus: They also offer winter break camps for families so the kids can have fun while they’re out of school.
Go Horseback Riding with the Family
Lee’s Summit, MO
Create lasting memories with your family while horseback riding with Sunset Trails Stables in Lee’s Summit. They offer trail riding for all skill levels or you can bring your own horse to ride on their trails.
Create Magical Works of Art
Kansas City, MO
Using leftover pieces from the Hallmark manufacturing process, families who visit Kaleidoscope at Crown Center can create unique works of art and have a great time doing it, too. Family art sessions are free. Visit them online for a full schedule of available dates.
Get The Kids Ready for Family Pictures
Northland, Lee’s Summit, and Olathe
Get the kid’s photo ready with a fun haircut from Shear Madness. They have three metro area locations to choose from. Stay tuned to the current issue of iFamilyKC for special offerings year-round.
Jump Around & Get Down
Lenexa, KS and Overland Park
Get in a family workout with low-impact trampoline time at UrbanAir Overland Park AND Urban Air in Lenexa. Your family will love creating lasting memories together at their location. Be sure to check out their special events online and don’t forget about their indoor playground specially designed for your little jumpers.
November 25th, 4:00pm-6:00pm
Overland Park, KS
Enjoy cookies & hot chocolate with Santa while creating unique treasures to take with you.
Check online for specific times
Union Station: 30 W Pershing Rd. Kansas City, MO 64108
A long-standing Kansas City Christmas tradition, the Holiday Express Train at Union Station is back for its 18th year. Your family can enjoy this free experience that includes a tour of the train (with Santa’s sleigh, reindeer, and elves’ workshop) and a visit with Santa inside Union Station.
December 31st from 12:00 pm-6:30 pm
Tickets are $14.50 and must be purchased in advance. This family-friendly Noon Year’s Eve is great for the whole family. Union Station Members are FREE
Science City: Kansas City, MO
Join in on an event the whole family will LOVE at Science City inside Union Station for Noon Year’s Eve where you can participate in fun, hands-on science demos and workshops, a spectacular science stage show, interactive maker activities, a giant 2,500+ balloon drop, and more. Visit online for full details.
Ceramic Cafe: 9510 Nall Ave. Overland Park, KS 66207
Decorate ornaments & create a clay impression of your kids’ handprints & footprints for Christmas ornaments at this fun Christmas event.
Shoal Creek Living History Museum in Olathe, KS
7000 NE Barry Rd., Kansas City, MO
Visit St. Nicholas during their holiday celebration, complete with decorated homes, villagers in costume & a letter-writing station! St. Nicholas Event arrives on December 9th from 10:00 am-3:00 pm at Shoal Creek Living History Museum.
C.W. Parker Carousel Museum Small Mall
December 2nd, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
December 3rd, 10:00 am-4:00 pm
Kids can do their own Christmas shopping for holiday gifts. (with the help of elves, of course in a safe environment at the C.W. Parker Carousel Museum) After shopping at the small mall, kids will participate in a fun craft, visit with Santa, take a free ride on the carousel, and even take home a bag of reindeer food.
December 12th at 7:30 pm
Music Hall Kansas City
This unique Christmas experience is for one night only! See stunning cirque artists perform various acrobatic stunts accompanied by all your favorite holiday music. Tickets are on sale now.
December 16th from 2:30 pm and 7:30 pm
Come see the world-renowned Trans- Siberian Orchestra as they perform their “Christmas Eve and Other Stories” during their winter tour.
Get your tickets now, so you don’t miss out on this holiday classic!
December 32nd from 9:00 am-10:30 am.
Merriam Parks & Rec has an exciting Christmas event for families this year that includes breakfast, storytime, a fun craft, and a special time with Santa all for just $6 per person
Shows are touring and need to be booked.
What If Puppets Theater: 1006 E Linwood Blvd. Kansas City, MO
Join Randall P. Nutbutter and his friends as they get ready for the ultimate Christmas party… the Jingle Jamboree. Come sing along with all your puppet pals during these fun Christmas shows!
December 1st from 6:00 pm-7:30 pm in downtown Mission.
Visit Santa, enjoy holiday music and s’mores. This is a free thing to do too!
December 1st – 24th
Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts
Come enjoy this classic holiday show as it graces the stage at the Kauffman Center by the Kansas City Ballet, accompanied by music from the Kansas City Symphony. This is sure to make your holidays come to life.
We hope your family finds fun things to do in Kansas City throughout December! There are so many Kansas City Christmas things to do…
No matter how you choose to celebrate the holiday season, spending time with your family is what matters. If you know of other fun things to do for Christmas (or another holiday) in Kansas City, drop ’em in the comments!
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From our family to yours, iFamilyKC.