kansas city holiday events and activities
Kansas City Life Insurance Building

Are you in search of holiday cheer in Kansas City this year? You’re in the right place – we have the Ultimate Guide to Kansas City’s Holiday Events and Festivities for 2023!

As Kansas City locals, we love the holidays in the heartland. Sure, the weather is a bit cold, but there are plenty of warm, cozy places around town along with so much festive cheer! There’s so much, in fact, that deciding how to plan your holiday visit can be overwhelming. So, we’ve created this comprehensive guide to help!

Kansas City has numerous holiday shows, markets, events, and popups throughout the city to help get you in the holiday spirit. We are all about supporting local – and there are so many opportunities to do that during the holiday season. So, skip the mega holiday shows and instead visit one of our local small businesses to support our Kansas City community!

Whether you’re looking for holiday performances, markets, events, or popup bars, there’s something for everyone in Kansas City this holiday season. Make sure you check back – we’ll be continually updating this post as new holiday events are announced!

kansas city holiday festivities
Tinsel Town

Kansas City Holiday Performances

There are so many options for holiday performances and Christmas concerts in Kansas City.

1. Kansas City Repertory Theatre: A Christmas Carol

November 21st – December 24th

KC Rep has been putting on A Christmas Carol for over 40 years! They offer evening showtimes during the week and daytime and evening showtimes on the weekends.

The show takes place at their Spencer Theatre location near the Country Club Plaza. Ticket prices range from $49 – $139.

kauffman performing arts center decorated for the holidays
Kauffman Performing Arts Center

2. The Kansas City Symphony at Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts

  • Christmas Festival Family Concert
    December 14th – 17th
    Join the Symphony and Symphony Chorus as they bring you extraordinary musical renditions of beloved Christmas carols and seasonal songs. It’ll be an evening of heartwarming family sing-along with captivating performances by special guest vocalists. And that’s not all – Santa himself will make an early appearance! Ticket prices range from $47 – $28.
  • The Nightmare Before Christmas in Concert
    December 21st – 24th
    Experience Tim Burton’s iconic masterpiece, “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” like never before! Immerse yourself in the full feature film as it is projected on a giant screen in Helzberg Hall. Hear the captivating dialogue, enchanting songs, and mesmerizing effects, all brought to life by the phenomenal Kansas City Symphony. Ticket prices range from $67 – $112.

3. The KC Ballet at Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts: The Nutcracker

December 1st – 24th

We couldn’t write Ultimate Guide to Kansas City’s Holiday Events and Festivities without The Nutcracker! The Kansas City Ballet’s annual production of “The Nutcracker” continues to mesmerize audiences year after year. This timeless Victorian-era tale brings to life enchanting characters, creating a magical and captivating theatrical experience.

Immerse yourself in wonder as childhood dreams are reignited. Ticket prices range from $34 – $149.

kauffman performing arts center decorated for the holidays
Kauffman Performing Arts Center

4. Kansas City Jazz Orchestra Charlie Brown Christmas

December 5th, 7:00p

Take part in Kansas City’s tradition of jazz music by attending the Kansas City Jazz Orchestra’s Charlie Brown Christmas at Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. The beats are going to be bold, the brass will be brassy, and the holiday spirit will be as high as ever. Ticket prices range from $20 – $72.

Kansas City Holiday Markets

Support local this holiday season at our small business and maker holiday markets!

1. Westport Christmas Market

December 9th, 9:00am – 7:00pm

At the Westport Christmas Market attendees can expect to find a variety of handcrafted goods from local artisans, perfect for unique holiday gifting. The market’s atmosphere is further enhanced by live music performances, filling the air with joyous melodies and cheerful tunes. As visitors explore the market, they can indulge in festive treats and warm beverages, all while enjoying the twinkling lights and cozy ambience.

2. Merry Market at City Market

Saturdays and Sundays from November 25th – December 17th, 10am – 5pm

Hosted by Art Garden KC, this open-air European style market will feature over 70 unique local makers, bakers, and artisans. In addition to shopping, you can partake in seasonal drinks from Boulevard Beer, live performances, and holiday photo-ops

3. Strawberry Swing’s 13th Annual Holiday Swing at Crown Center Square

November 25th – 26th, December 1st – 3rd, December 8th – 10th, December 15th – 17th

Now in its 13th year, this enchanting event is a must visit. Immerse yourself in a world of twinkling lights, joyful melodies, and the delightful aroma of freshly baked treats. At the market, you’ll find a haven of local artisanal treasures. Explore charming booths adorned with festive decorations, offering unique and handcrafted gifts. Savor hot cocoa, mulled wine, or cider, and enjoy hearty meals from local food trucks. Feel the joy as you wander through the market, serenaded by your favorite holiday tunes and immersed in a festive ambiance!

4. Christkindlmarkt at The Campground KC

December 7th – 9th, 14th – 16th from 5:00pm – 9:00pm

The Campground is hosting their 4th annual Christkindlmarkt, an open-air, European-style holiday market. They will have local vendors selling their wares in booths – announced vendors include Untamed Supply Candles, Paul Mallory Ceramics, Julia Pitt Jewelry, Fetch, and The Object Enthusiast, among others.

In addition to the shopping, you can enjoy festive drinks, holiday bites, and fire pits.

5. Holidays at the Belger Crane Yard Gallery

November 3rd – December 30th

Support artists by purchasing artwork for holiday gifts at this annual exhibition. Shoppers can choose from an array of unique ceramics, glass, metal, wood, and more.

kansas city holiday christmas activities
Tinsel Town

Kansas City Holiday Events

It’s hard to keep up with all of the Kansas City holiday events and festivities! So, we’ve compiled a list for you below and continually update it as new events are announced.

union stations holiday reflections with christmas trees and fountains and holiday lights
Holiday Reflections

1. Union Station’s Holiday Reflections

November 20th – January 1st, 10am – 8pm

Experience the wonder of the holiday season at Union Station’s Holiday Village. Stepping into the Grand Plaza, you’ll be greeted by towering lights, adorned trees, and whimsical forest creatures. Marvel at the colossal mirrored ornaments that add a touch of magic to the surroundings. Tickets ($7/weekday, $10/weekend) are sold in hourly increments. Entry for your ticket time opens thirty minutes prior to your hourly timed ticket.

If you don’t want to purchase a ticket to the holiday village, visiting the free public spaces in Union Station is lovely around the holidays. Make an afternoon of it by starting at Crown Center, which is always festive for the holidays, and walk through the enclosed “link” walkway that will take you to Union Station.

Insider’s Tip: Union Station will be playing several holiday movies in the cinema over November and December, so you can make a day of it!

holiday model train exhibit at union station
Holiday Reflections
santas #1 elf holiday light photo op
Holiday Reflections

2. Crown Center’s Mayor Christmas Tree Lighting

November 24th at 5:30pm

The Mayor’c Christmas Tree Lighting has been a Kansas City tradition for over 50 years. In addition to the lighting, enjoy hot beverages and s’mores by cozy fire pits, and be captivated by a dazzling fireworks display. You can stop by the Crown Center Square from November 24th to January 2nd to see the Mayor’s Christmas Tree. This is a no-cost event.

3. Kansas City Country Club Plaza Holiday Lights

For over 90 years, Kansas City’s Plaza Lights has been a cherished local tradition. This dazzling holiday spectacle takes place on The Plaza, where thousands of jewel-colored lights illuminate every dome, tower, and window of the Spanish-inspired outdoor shopping district.

The lighting ceremony – a storied Kansas City tradition – takes place on the evening of Thanksgiving Day.

From Thanksgiving through January 14th, the Plaza Lights shine daily from 5:00pm – 3:00am. As you marvel at the lights, take a moment to explore the festive window displays of the many shops and immerse yourself in the sounds of the season.

Stroll along the sidewalks and seek warmth and holiday gifts by stepping into the many great local shops, like Made in KC, EB&Co, Nickel & Suede, and Charlie Hustle, among others.

Don’t miss this captivating holiday tradition that continues to bring joy to both locals and visitors alike.

4. Winter Magic Drive-Thru Christmas Lights in Kessler Park

Pricing: $25/car

Imagine yourself immersed in a winter wonderland, where the festive spirit of Kansas City comes alive in a mesmerizing display of lights and joy.

Winter Magic, the drive-thru holiday party of Kansas City, is in its fourth season. It’s done in partnership with KCMO Parks and Recreation. You can cruise down a mile-long stretch, surrounded by synchronized holiday lights that dance to the rhythm of seasonal classics.

Located along Historic Cliff Drive in Kessler Park, Winter Magic transforms Kansas City’s first park into a contemporary holiday spectacle. If you tune into the dedicated radio stations, you’ll experience holiday music that synchronizes with the light show.

Additionally, when you book online, you can add on snack options.

5. Classic Holiday Movies at Union Station

Did you know that Union Station has an Extreme Screen theater with ultra-plush leather chairs and stadium-style seating? You can catch classic holiday movies there this season! This year’s holiday films are:

  • National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (November 17th – November 22nd)
  • Elf (November 24th – December 7th)
  • Polar Express (December 8th – December 31st)

Price: General Admission $3.75

Sunday thru Friday – 12:30 pm, 4 pm, and 7:30 pm
Saturday – 9:00 am, 12:30 pm, 4 pm, and 7:30 pm
*No showings on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.

6. Pendleton Heights Holiday Homes Tour

Saturday December 9th, 11:00am – 4:00pm
$20 in advance, $30 day of

Tour the historic homes decorated for the holidays in the northeast’s Pendleton Heights neighborhood. This is their 14th annual holiday homes tour and includes seven residences where you’ll learn about the local history and architecture of each home.

union station kansas city at the holidays with a christmas tree
Union Station

Kansas City Holiday Popup Bars

Are you on the search for holiday cheer in Kansas City? Get into the spirits of the season by visiting one of Kansas City’s holiday popup bars! As Kansas City locals who seek out any opportunity to indulge in seasonal festivities and our locally crafted spirits, we’ve compiled a list of all the must-visit holiday popup bars in Kansas City!

From festive decor and creative seasonal cocktails to jovial atmospheres filled with holiday tunes, these popup bars are the perfect places to make merry this season. So, don your ugly Christmas sweaters and get ready to explore the best holiday popup bars Kansas City has to offer in 2023!

Be sure to check back – we will add more as they are announced!

kansas city holiday pop up bars
Tinsel Town

1. Tom’s Town Tinsel Town

November 16th – December 24th
Crossroads Arts District

We’re not sure if Tom Pendergast would approve of these holiday festivities, but Tinsel Town stays true to his belief that “The people are thirsty” – they’re just adding some season’s cheer to it! This speakeasy-style holiday popup should not be missed!

This is the fourth annual Tinsel Town, and like years past, they’ll have holiday-themed cocktails, Christmas carols on repeat, and all the tinsel you could ever need. There is no cost for the reservation.

2. Winter Wine-derland at KC Wineworks

December 1st – January 27th
Crossroads Arts District

Back for another year is KC Winework’s Winter Wine-derland! Those who love KC Winework’s exceptional Missouri wine will want to stop by for this holiday cocktail and wine-inspired drink popup. There are no reservations required.

Pro Tip: Ask for the shot of brandy in the mulled wine.

3. Union Station’s Tinsel & ‘Tinis

December 15, 16, 21; 8:30pm – 11:30pm

Have your holiday cheers at Union Station’s holiday popup, Tinsel & ‘Tinis at Holiday Reflections. Experience the magic of the season with festive decorations and and holiday-themed craft cocktails. This after hours popup takes place at Union Station’s Holiday Reflections. Stepping into the Grand Plaza, you’ll be greeted by towering lights, adorned trees, and whimsical forest creatures.

Marvel at the colossal mirrored ornaments that add a touch of magic to the surroundings. Note: Admission ticket ($15) includes entrance to Holiday Reflections, drinks sold separately.

4. Boulevard’s Rec Deck the Halls

November 24th – December 30th, Fridays + Saturdays, 1:30pm – 10:00pm
Kansas City Downtown Westside

Visit Boulevard Brewery’s fourth floor for their holiday popup bar, Rec Deck the Halls! They’ll have holiday-themed libations, decor, and festivities – along with their shuffleboard courts. Two-hour seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis for a $5 cover charge. Groups over eight will need a reservation and to purchase a food package.

5. Arrowhead’s Kingdom’s Greetings

November 24th – December 30th, Thursdays – Sundays, 5:00pm – 11:00pm
Arrowhead Stadium

Kansas City Chiefs enthusiasts, this one is for you! Combine your Chiefs spirit with the holiday spirit at the Penthouse in Arrowhead Stadium. The luxurious Penthouse will be decked out in holiday decor – take your picture on the Chiefs sleigh, take a stroll through the red and gold trees, or curl up by the fireplace in this winter wonderland.

Festive cocktails will be served in Vignettes Cocktail Bar. Each reservation will last no longer than 1 hour and 30 minutes. Reservations are $10 per person on Thursday and Sunday nights and $15 on Friday and Saturday nights. Paid reservations are for entrance only – no amount applies to the final bill. Reservations are recommended.

6. Conductor Club’s Elf’d Up at Union Station – SOLD OUT


Located in historic Union Station’s Pierponts, this holiday cocktail experience is inspired by the classic beloved movie, Elf. This popup has been a hit in previous years!

The first round of reservations open Friday, November 17th for November 24th, 25th and December 1st, 2nd, and 8th. The second round of reservations opens on Friday, December 8th for December 15th, 16th, 22nd, 23rd, 24th, 29th, and 30th. There is a $5 admission cost.

7. Miracle KC Pop-Up Holiday Bar

Country Club Plaza, Downtown

This popular holiday popup is known for its festive ambiance, complete with twinkling lights, holiday decorations, and a soundtrack of classic Christmas tunes. It offers an extensive holiday-inspired cocktail menu that adds a sprinkle of cheer to every sip. There are two locations, downtown and The Plaza.

8. Tinsel Tavern at Power & Light

November 24th – December 30th, open daily

Step into the magical world of Tinsel Tavern, where twinkling lights and shimmering tinsel adorn every corner. Indulge in delectable bites infused with holiday cheer and bask in the cozy ambiance while sipping on delightful holiday-inspired cocktails.

9. Nine Zero One Igloo at The Fontaine Hotel

November 20th – February 18th
Country Club Plaza

Back this year is Nine Zero One’s igloos and glamping lounge at The Fontaine hotel.

The glamping lounge includes 3-hour reservation with a mixture of dining and lounge seating for up to 20, reserved outdoor fireplace seating, interactive entertainment, board games, and a welcome round of hot chocolate.

The igloos offer with festive décor, hand crafted cocktails, and a seasonal menu. The reservation includes a 2-hour time slot in one of the rooftop igloos for up to 8 guests and a welcome round of hot chocolate.

If you’re flexible, pricing and availability is better on weekdays.

10. Humbug at The Kansas City Club

November 22nd – December 23rd
Kansas City Downtown

Step into downtown’s historic Kansas City Club and you’ll be transported to Charles Dicken’s “A Christmas Carol”. Reservations are available for either 6:00pm or 9:00pm.

During the 2-hour timeslot, you’ll see a performance based around A Christmas Carol followed by live music, all while enjoying festive cocktails and small plates. The $25 ticket includes entrance to the popup and one complimentary seasonal sip.

11. The Wonder Dome at Our House KC

39th Street

The Wonder Dome is a heated rooftop snow globe experience at Our House KC. The family-friendly popup will include live music and festive drinks. You can also order from their regular food menu, which boasts smoked meat sandwiches and platters.

In addition to the popup bar, they will have a santa brunch on December 10th and 17th.

12. Winter Skies at Crown Center

November 16th – December 23rd, Thursday through Saturday

From the 42nd floor, take in panoramic views of downtown while being immersed in a winter forest theme. The experience is centered around a gourmet menu and festive cocktails from Restless Spirits distillery.

The $70 ticket includes the reservation, parking, and a 3-hour timeslot from 6:00pm – 9:00pm.

13. Sippin’ Santa at J. Rieger Co.

November 20th – December 30th
East Bottoms

This holiday tiki popup is hosted in J. Rieger Distillery’s most intimate space, which has been transformed into a tropical holiday oasis. You’ll sip on festive cocktails made from spirits distilled on-site. There is a $5 reservation fee.

14. Christmas in the Crossroads at Society KC

November 24th – January 13th
Crossroads Arts District

Society’s modern, upscale space is transforming into a Christmas popup bar. The experience features holiday-inspired cocktails and sharable snacks. There are no reservation fees.

15. Sweet Sips, Sounds, & Deals at Loews KC

We’re pretty sure that the brightest, most brilliant Christmas tree in Kansas City can be found at Loews downtown. This holiday season, their Bar Stilwell is offering a peppermint espresso martini – we loved the crushed candy cane pieces.

They also have live holiday music on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 4pm – 7pm. The hotel and bar are both decorated beautifully for the holidays.

If you have family coming in for the holidays, Loews has special packages this season that include free internet and nightly food & beverage credits valued at $50.

peppermint martini in front of a christmas tree
Loews KC

Kansas City Holiday Themed Dinners

Le Fou Frog’s Noël en Provence

December 20th at 21st at 6:30pm

Le Fou Frog’s “Noël en Provence” recreates the traditional Christmas Eve “Réveillon de Noël.” A 13-course feast will treat guests to the essence of French cuisine harmonized with the warmth of classic Christmas carols, creating an atmosphere that’s both celebratory and serene.

At $150 per person, and an additional $45 for curated wine pairings, the hosts hail this event as their most beautiful dinner of the year, steeped in tradition and symbolism, and guarantee an evening of unforgettable culinary splendor.

Cheers to Kansas City’s Christmas Spirit!

Whether you’re a fan of festive pop-up bars, captivated by the magic of twinkling holiday lights, or an ardent shopper for unique locally-made gifts, Kansas City offers exceptional holiday attractions. From the trendy Miracle KC cocktail bar to Union Station’s exquisite holiday decor, there’s truly something for everyone.

We hope you enjoyed our Ultimate Guide to Kansas City’s Holiday Events and Festivities! Don’t miss the opportunity to experience the magic and make unforgettable holiday memories in Kansas City this season.

If you found this guide helpful, you might want to read:

The Complete List of Kansas City’s Holiday Pop-Up Bars

11 Kansas City Experiential Gift Ideas

Guide to Kansas City Christmas Tree Farms

Kansas City Holiday Gift Guide 2023