Kansas City's Best Holiday Light Displays

Brush Creek on the Plaza at night

Hngrange/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 3.0

If you'll be in Kansas City, Missouri, between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day, you won't want to miss visiting one of the many local Christmas light displays. From the famed Plaza Lights to a house whose decorations dance to music, you'll find all kinds of extravagant trimmings just by driving through the city.

Kansas City boasts one of the largest city lighting projects in the country, covering the Country Club Plaza shopping center in its entirety with more than 250,000 lights. In addition, Kansas City residents seem to be extra festive with their outdoor decor during the holiday season, often replicating an entire North Pole village in their own front lawns. Discover more about these special seasonal displays so you can plan your Christmas vacation around them.

Fireworks at the Plaza Lights at the Country Club Plaza in Kansas City, Missouri
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The Evergy Plaza Lights

One of the biggest draws of holiday travel in Kansas City has to be the Plaza Lights that have illuminated Country Club Plaza every Christmas for nearly a century now. The lights debut during the evening of Thanksgiving and remain lit well into the new year. The display features more than 280,000 bulbs strung on 80 miles of rope that adorns the Spanish-style buildings of this picturesque district.

Those who come to see the lights can expect to also find deals on Christmas shopping, opportunities for fine dining, and even a carriage ride while wandering through the district. This festive celebration has been a Kansas City staple since the 1930s.

Other Famous Lighting Displays Near Kansas City

Country Club Plaza might be the most popular place to see Christmas lights in Kansas City, but it certainly isn't the only place. Check out:

  • Legendary Light Show: Since its introduction in 2009, the Legends Outlets at Village West Shopping District has wowed audiences each year with this holiday light spectacular, which was actually the first public display to be synchronized to holiday music. The show runs every evening from 5 to 10 p.m. at 15-minute intervals and kicks off with the annual tree lighting ceremony in mid-November.
  • Residential displays: It's certainly worth driving around the suburbs to find Kansas City's hidden light displays, too. The residential streets of Overland Park rarely disappoint. Consider also stopping by the Downtown Marriott—located at 200 West 12th Street—for a festive display.
  • Christmas Card Lane: This is the name given to 200-plus decorated homes in Olathe, Kansas.
  • Candy Cane Lane: This Prairie View neighborhood saw a resurgence in popularity after its 50th anniversary in 2007. It has participated in the Candy Cane Lane Christmas lighting event for six decades.
  • Christmas in the Park: Head over to Longview Lake's Christmas in the Park for one of Jackson County Parks and Recreation's most celebrated events of the year, featuring more than 175 animated figures and 300,000 lights that you can enjoy from the warmth and comfort of your own car. Paulie's Penguin Playground tends to put on festive installations each year, too.
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