LEGO art & Royals Fan Fest inspire a fun-filled week

The Art of the Brick, a special exhibition designed to inspire ingenuity and creativity, represents the world’s largest and most elaborate display of LEGO art will open on Thursday at Union Station.

LEGO art and the Kansas City Royals Fan Fest top a colorful stretch of arts and entertainment in Downtown KC over the week ahead – Monday to Sunday, Jan. 22-28:

The Art of the Brick featuring the critically acclaimed collection of creative and inspiring pieces constructed using only LEGO bricks was created by world-renowned contemporary artist Nathan Sawaya. The exhibit opens on Thursday and continues through May 28 at Union Station.

Folly Theater features Llyr Williams, the Welsh pianist, in a very special Friends of Chamber Music performance at 7:30 p.m. Friday. A pre-conference lecture is set for 6:30 p.m.

KC Public Library presents two programs this week featuring authors who bring local history to life, including:

  • Our Fathers: Making Black Men – In a discussion of his new book, former Kansas City Star columnist and editorial board member Lewis Diuguid pays tribute to his father and others who made their one-block enclave in St. Louis a place where African-Americans could thrive. The program is set for 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Central Library. RSVP here.
  • For All Children Everywhere – In a discussion of his book, a comprehensive history of Kansas City’s renowned Children’s Mercy Hospital, Thomas McCormally walks through the facility’s founding by two sisters and its growth through more than a century of challenges. RSVP here for this heart-warming program at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Central Library.

KC Tornados – the newest professional sports franchise in Kansas City will be in action this week at 7 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday vs. the Ohio Cardinals at Municipal Arena.

Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts will feature the Kansas City Symphony in three performances of Mahler’s Seventh, part of the Symphony’s Classical Series, at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday in Helzberg Hall.

Knuckleheads Saloon – the hottest honky tonk in town – features 11 shows this week, including The M80’s at 6 p.m. Friday and Heavy Petty, a Tom Petty tribute with special guest Amanda Fish, at 9 p.m. Saturday.

The Midland will be blazing with two concerts this week, featuring Datsik and his Ninja Nation Tour at 8 p.m. Friday and Marilyn Manson with Amazonica at 8 p.m. Sunday.

Norman Rockwell’s Christmas – Hallmark Cards showcases paintings and drawings for the artist’s popular Christmas cards. Seen here together for the first time, this exhibition of works from the Hallmark Art Collection provides a rare opportunity to view the meticulous craftsmanship that set Rockwell apart from his peers. This free exhibit continues through Saturday at the Hallmark Visitors Center.

Royals FanFest – Make plans now for this annual celebration, presented by Commerce Bank, beginning at 2 p.m.  Friday and 11 a.m. Saturday at the Kansas City Convention Center. The event will feature autograph sessions with current and former Royals, interactive games for fans of all ages, main stage programming and more. For tickets and more information, visit royals.com/fanfest.

The Truman – the City’s newest and hottest concert venue – will be rockin’ with two shows this week featuring the Drive-By Truckers with special guest Lilly Hiatt at 8 p.m. Friday and Milky Chance in a sold-out performance at 8 p.m. Saturday.

UMKC Roos are back in Downtown this season for men’s basketball home games. This week’s schedule features two big match-ups at Municipal Arena, including William Jewell at 6 p.m. Tuesday and New Mexico State at 7 p.m. Saturday.

LIVE THEATER is thriving on Downtown stages, which feature four productions this week, including:

  • Sea Marks – This romantic comedy from the Kansas City Actors Theatre examines loving relationships in all their complications. It’s the story of a fisherman from a remote Irish island who falls in love with a woman he’s seen only once. Sea Marks continues through Sunday – at City Stage at Union Station.
  • The Secret of Courage – A world premiere production with magic and wonderment, the play begins with 13 year old Jack McCall learning some very bad news about his health. The production opens Tuesday and continues through Feb. 11 at The Coterie at Crown Center.
  • That Old Black Magic – Harold Arlen brings the blues to the Great American Songbook beginning Friday and continuing through Feb. 18 at the Quality Hill Playhouse.

ARTS – your guide to arts and culture in greater Kansas City:

LIVE MUSIC – of all tastes and flavors – is performed at these Downtown venues on most nights:

MUSEUMS are alive and well throughout Downtown, including these 16 destinations:

For more of what’s happening in Downtown and Kansas City, check out our friends at VisitKC.com

‘Color Purple,’ Seinfeld add bite to Restaurant Week

Comedy legend Jerry Seinfeld will perform two stand-up shows this Friday evening at The Midland. Tickets are still available for the second show at 9:30 p.m.

KC Restaurant Week, with a side of Seinfeld and a ‘Color Purple’ garnish, tops a tasty and colorful stretch of arts and entertainment in Downtown KC over the week ahead – Monday to Sunday, Jan. 15-21:

An Evening with 2 Cellos – The Croatian cellist duo, consisting of classically trained Luka Šulić and Stjepan Hauser make a stop in Downtown KC, as part of a global tour. This week’s performance – set for 7 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 21 at Sprint Center – will serve as a make-up for the 2 Cellos performance that was originally scheduled for  Nov. 5.

Folly Theater features two remarkable performances this weekend, including:

  • Marcus Roberts Trio will perform at 8 p.m. Friday, as part of the Folly Jazz Series. In 2014, Marcus Roberts’ life and work was featured on a segment of the celebrated CBS News program 60 Minutes, entitled “The Virtuoso”, which traced Roberts’ life to date from his early roots in Jacksonville and at the Florida School for the deaf and blind to his remarkable career as a modern jazz musician.
  • Maxim Vengerov – A violinist of supreme authority and ability, the Siberian-born Vengerov will play in KC  after two decades away. The 42-year-old virtuoso, who made his American recital debut in the Series in 1993 and quickly returned in 1996, will demonstrate his peerless playing with a program of Schubert, Beethoven, Ravel, Ysaye, Ernst, and Paganini. The performance – courtesy of the Harriman-Jewell Series – is set for 7:30 p.m. Saturday.

KC Boat & Sportshow – Your outdoor adventures is about to begin! Whether you’re an avid outdoorsman or are just looking for a way to escape winter for the day, this is YOUR show! This annual 4-day event features more than 300 boats and 40 dealers will turn Bartle Hall into a one-stop marketplace for outdoor fun beginning at 2 p.m. Thursday and continuing until 5 p.m. Sunday. Click here for tickets and show information.

KC Public Library presents The Casablanca Conference, 1943: Pursuing Unconditional Surrender at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the Central Library. Franklin Roosevelt became the first U.S. President to leave American soil during wartime when he traveled to Casablanca, Morocco, in 1943 to confer with Britain’s Winston Churchill. Gates Brown, an assistant professor of military history at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, discusses the eventful 10-day meeting, which was kept under wraps until the participants left Morocco. RSVP now.

KC Restaurant Week continues its mouth-watering return to Downtown and the entire KC area for another seven glorious days. To dine out during restaurant week – which runs through Sunday evening, connect to the restaurant list and search function to find your favorites (do a quick search by restaurant name, menu type, cuisine and/or location), and then click on the OpenTable links to make your online restaurant reservations in advance. After that, just show up during Restaurant Week and enjoy your specially-priced ($15 or $33) multi-course meal! To learn more, visit KCRestaurantWeek.com.

The Broadway touring production of ‘The Color Purple’ arrives in Downtown KC this week, beginning Tuesday at the Kauffman Center.

Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts will feature 13 much-anticipated performances this week, including:

Knuckleheads Saloon – the hottest honky tonk in town – features 11 shows this week, including Lee Ann Womack at 8 p.m. Thursday; Sara Morgan at 8:30 p.m. Friday; and two sold-out performances by Danielle Nicole in the Gospel Lounge at 6 and 9 p.m. Saturday.

The Midland embarks on a bold week of performance art with one cutting-edge magic show and two performances by a comedy legend, including:

  • Criss Angel Raw – The Mindfreak Unplugged is a theatrical experience that brings Angel’s famous sleight-of-hand street magic, mentalism, and even some of his most iconic illusions to life – all performed in an intimate, raw setting beginning at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.
  • Jerry Seinfeld – The comedy icon returns to KC for two performances this week. Seinfeld’s latest project is critically-acclaimed web series Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, seen exclusively on Crackle and comediandsincarsgettingcoffee.com, which has garnered more than 10 million views, and which The New York Times describes as “impressively complex and artful” and Variety calls “a game changer.” Seinfeld will perform in two shows – 7 and 9:30 p.m. – on Friday. The opening performance is already sold out.

Norman Rockwell’s Christmas – Hallmark Cards showcases paintings and drawings for the artist’s popular Christmas cards. Seen here together for the first time, this exhibition of works from the Hallmark Art Collection provides a rare opportunity to view the meticulous craftsmanship that set Rockwell apart from his peers. This free exhibit continues through Saturday, Jan. 27 at the Hallmark Visitors Center.

The Truman – the City’s newest and hottest concert venue – will be rockin’ with one performance this week featuring The Wombats with Courtship and Nation of Language beginning at 8 p.m. Friday.

UMKC Roos are back in Downtown this season for men’s basketball home games. This week’s schedule features two big match-ups at Municipal Arena, including a showdown with CSU Bakersfield at 7 p.m. Thursday and a tussle with Grand Canyon at 7 p.m. Saturday.

LIVE THEATER is thriving on Downtown stages, which feature four productions this week, including:

  • The Color Purple – Hailed as “a direct hit to the heart” (The Hollywood Reporter), this joyous American classic has conquered Broadway in an all-new “ravishingly re-conceived production that is a glory to behold.” (The New York Times) directed by Tony winner John Doyle. This touring Broadway classic will run from Tuesday through Sunday in the Muriel Kauffman Theater at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts.
  • Fools Gold Country Review III – This all-new show featuring music from the Ozark mountains and Honky Tonk classics from Nashville will take center stage at 8 p.m. Friday at the MTH Theater at Crown Center.
  • Sea Marks – This romantic comedy from the Kansas City Actors Theatre examines loving relationships in all their complications. It’s the story of a fisherman from a remote Irish island who falls in love with a woman he’s seen only once. Sea Marks is now showing – through Jan. 28 – at City Stage at Union Station.
  • That Old Black Magic – Harold Arlen brings the blues to the Great American Songbook beginning Friday and continuing through Feb. 18 at the Quality Hill Playhouse.

ARTS – your guide to arts and culture in greater Kansas City:

LIVE MUSIC – of all tastes and flavors – is performed at these Downtown venues on most nights:

MUSEUMS are alive and well throughout Downtown, including these 16 destinations:

For more of what’s happening in Downtown and Kansas City, check out our friends at VisitKC.com

KC Restaurant Week tops a tasty stretch of A&E this week

KC Restaurant Week tops a tasty stretch of arts and entertainment in Downtown KC over the week ahead – Monday to Sunday, Jan. 8-14:

Brian Regan brings his comedy tour to Downtown this week with a long awaited performance at 8 p.m. Saturday at Music Hall.

The American Spiritual Ensemble will raise the roof of the Folly Theater this weekend.

Folly Theater features two remarkable performances this weekend, including:

  • Ying String Quartet with pianist Alon Goldstein and bassist Rachel Calin at 7:30 p.m. Friday. The Ying Quartet occupies a position of unique prominence in the classical music world, combining brilliantly communicative performances with a fearlessly imaginative view of chamber music in today’s world.
  • American Spiritual Ensemble – Spirituals have always been a balm for the soul, and the American Spiritu
  • al Ensemble is a foremost interpreter of the genre. Founded in 1995, the group is dedicated to preserving the legacy of the Negro Spiritual, but they also venture into classical music, jazz, and Broadway. This inspired performance, presented by the Harriman-Jewell Series, is set for 7:30 p.m. Saturday.

KC Restaurant Week makes its mouth-watering return to Downtown and the entire KC area for 10 glorious days, beginning with lunch on Friday (Jan. 12) and continuing through dinner on Sunday, Jan. 21. To dine out during restaurant week, connect to the restaurant list and search function to find your favorites (do a quick search by restaurant name, menu type, cuisine and/or location), and then click on the OpenTable links to make your online restaurant reservations in advance. After that, just show up during Restaurant Week and enjoy your specially-priced ($15 or $33) multi-course meal! To learn more, visit KCRestaurantWeek.com.

KC Tornado’s – the newest professional sports franchise in Kansas City via the North American Premier Basketball League – will be in action this week at 7 p.m. Wednesday vs. the Albany Patroons at Municipal Arena.

Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts will feature four highly anticipated performances this week, including:

  • National Geographic Live – Dive deep into the world’s oceans with one of National Geographic’s most seasoned photographers. Watch as Brian Skerry’s images illuminate the vast, hidden world beneath the waves. The 2018 program series returns at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Muriel Kauffman Theatre.
  • Kansas City Symphony marks the first 2018 performance of its Classical Series as Geller and Grossman play Mozart, plus Sibelius’ Fifth at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday in Helzberg Hall.

Knuckleheads Saloon – the hottest honky tonk in town – features 11 shows this week, including Elvis’ Birthday Bash at 8 p.m. Saturday and the Uncle Lucius Farewell Party at 7 p.m. Sunday.

Lana Del Rey arrive in Downtown this week, as she takes her new album, Lust For Life – which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 – on the road for a highly-anticipated 24-date tour. She will be accompanied in KC by special guest Jhene Aiko, when her LA TO THE MOON lands at 8 p.m. Tuesday at Sprint Center.

Mid-America RV Show is the largest consumer show dedicated to the RVing lifestyle – including travel and outdoor fun – in the Midwest. Featuring more than 150 makes and models spread of RVs spread throughout the Kansas City Convention Center, the show will run from Thursday through Sunday at Bartle Hall.

The Midland – the grand dame of the City’s live music scene – presents Black Veil Brides on their Asking Alexandria tour at 6:30 p.m. Friday.

Monster Jam returns to Sprint Center this weekend for four wild & crazy shows.

Monster Jam returns to the Big Town this week with its new Triple Threat Series season. Monster Jam promises to bring motorsport fans to the edge of their seats with adrenaline-charged, high-flying, four-wheel excitement that is fun for the entire family with each competitor using customized: Monster Jam Speedsters, Monster Jam ATVs and the famous Monster Jam trucks. Monster Jam will rock Downtown with four shows on Friday through Sunday at Sprint Center.

Nitro Arenacross Tour – Experience two high flying nights of motorized adrenaline pumping Arenacross action beginning at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday at Hale Arena.  And, don’t miss the Nitro AX Tour Pros, as they battle it out for more than $70,000 in this season’s purse, including motorcycle racing, ATV racing and a FMX pro jump off..

Legendary Norman Rockwell, left, shares his artwork with Hallmark Cards founder Joyce Hall.

Norman Rockwell’s Christmas – Hallmark Cards showcases paintings and drawings for the artist’s popular Christmas cards. Seen here together for the first time, this exhibition of works from the Hallmark Art Collection provides a rare opportunity to view the meticulous craftsmanship that set Rockwell apart from his peers. This free exhibit continues through Saturday, Jan. 27 at the Hallmark Visitors Center.

The Truman – the City’s newest and hottest concert venue – will be rockin’ to Cody Johnson in a sold-out performance that features Randall King, beginning at 8 p.m. Thursday.

ARTS – your guide to arts and culture in greater Kansas City:

LIVE MUSIC – of all tastes and flavors – is performed at these Downtown venues on most nights:

MUSEUMS are alive and well throughout Downtown, including these 16 destinations:

For more of what’s happening in Downtown and Kansas City, check out our friends at VisitKC.com

What ‘s happening in Downtown – 1st week of 2018

Jurassic Quest – an exhibition life-size, moving, museum-quality dinosaurs will take KC by storm this weekend at Hale Arena.

Here’s the highlight reel for a relatively quiet New Year’s week ahead in Downtown KC – Monday to Sunday, New Year’s Day to Jan. 7:

First Friday – one of the KC’s hottest events of the winter – returns on Friday with a gaggle of arts and cultural experiences throughout the Crossroads Arts District and the 18th & Vine Jazz District from 5-9 p.m. Friday; and one of the country’s most complete vintage marketplaces – First Friday Warehouse Weekends – in the West Bottoms on Friday through Sunday.

Jurassic Quest brings you a Dinosaur Adventure for the whole family. The main dinosaur exhibit features ultra-realistic, life-size animatronic dinosaurs; more than 80 life-size dinosaurs in all. Visitors can interact with these huge creatures, learn about them and even ride a few this Friday through Sunday at Hale Arena.

Knuckleheads Saloon features nine shows this week on this “light” New Year’s week schedule, including Here Come the Mummies at 8:30 p.m. Friday and an Allman Brothers Tribute Show with Mark & The Sharks Kaopectones at 8 p.m. Saturday.

Markiplier’s Your Welcome Tour – Expect hilarity, absurdity, fan-favorite sketches, and the ultimate night out, when You Tube sensation Markiplier brings his first tour to KC, beginning at 8 p.m. Thursday at the Midland.

Night of Hope featuring Joel and Victoria Osteen, pastors of Lakewood Church in Houston – the largest church in America – are coming to KC to deliver a message of hope beginning at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Sprint Center.

Legendary Norman Rockwell, left, shares his artwork with Hallmark Cards founder Joyce Hall.

Norman Rockwell’s Christmas – Hallmark Cards showcases paintings and drawings for the artist’s popular Christmas cards. Seen here together for the first time, this exhibition of works from the Hallmark Art Collection provides a rare opportunity to view the meticulous craftsmanship that set Rockwell apart from his peers. This free exhibit continues through Jan. 27 at the Hallmark Visitors Center.

UMKC Roos return to Downtown this season for men’s basketball home games. This week’s schedule features a showdown with the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley at 7 p.m. Saturday at Municipal Auditorium.

ARTS – your guide to arts and culture in greater Kansas City:

LIVE MUSIC – of all tastes and flavors – is performed at these Downtown venues on most nights:

MUSEUMS are alive and well throughout Downtown, including these 16 destinations:

For more of what’s happening in Downtown and Kansas City, check out our friends at VisitKC.com

Downtown is ho, ho, ho-ing – week of Dec. 25-31

New Year’s Eve in Downtown KC will feature Kid Rock at the Sprint Center, Samantha Fish at Knuckleheads, Dave Stephens and the KCJO7 at Union Station – and those are just the start of the NYE lineup in the Big Town.

Here’s the ho, ho, highlight reel for a light, but festive holiday week ahead in Downtown KC – Monday to Sunday, Christmas Day to New Year’s Eve:

Crown Center is totally in the holiday spirit with family-friendly fun at every turn, including:

  • Santa’s Gingerbread Station – Kids and families can explore this free interactive exhibit, meet and have their photo taken with Santa Claus, climb aboard the Crown Center Express Train Engine, and enjoy Gingerbread Village. Open during Crown Center Shops holiday hours through New Year’s Eve.
  • EBT Santa’s Countdown to Christmas – EBT Laughing Santa, who first appeared at KC’s Emery, Bird, Thayer department store in the early 1900s, has been providing memories for new generations at Crown Center since 1979.  Open during Crown Center Shops holiday hours now through New Year’s Eve.
  • Ice Terrace – Kansas City’s only public outdoor ice skating rink is open for its 45th season of great skating fun! The rink is open daily through March 11. Visit the Ice Terrace website for hours and fees.

Knuckleheads Saloon features 11 shows this week on this “light” Christmas week schedule, including Outlaw Jim and the Whiskey Benders at 9 p.m. Friday; and The Rainmakers at 8:30 p.m. Saturday. See the New Year’s Eve heading (below) for more Knuckleheads mania.

New Year’s Eve will be celebrated in grand style on Sunday at multiple Downtown venues, including:

  • Downtown Dazzle – As we round the bend into Christmas week, the entertainment calendar gently shifts from Santa Claus to, well, the likes of Kid Rock, Samantha Fish and Dave Stephens and the pitter patter of New Year’s Eve merriment just days away. NYE parties are planned throughout Downtown – such as John’s Big DeckRecord BarSoT Social or one of the other live music joints listed below – although we are particularly Dazzled with the following seven mega-celebrations:
  • Knuckleheads Saloon celebrates NYE with three shows that featuring Samantha Fish & the  Belairs, Atlantic Express and Levee Town on three Knuckleheads’ stages. Doors open at 7 p.m., shows begins at 9 p.m.
  • Martini Corner presents Countdown at the Corner with DJs and access to four bars with unlimited drinks from 8 p.m.-1 a.m.
  • MTH Theater celebrates a NYE Jazz Extravaganza featuring the Joe Cartwright Trio, Molly Hammer and Shay Estes at 8 p.m. at Crown Center.
  • New Year’s Swingin’ Eve with big band swing and your favorite 60’s to modern hits, featuring award-winning Dave Stephens and the Kansas City Jazz Orchestra 7 (“KCJO7”) at historic Union Station. Your ticket gets it all – admission, live music, party favors, drinks, hot appetizers and midnight champagne toast.
  • Power & Light District presents NYE Live! featuring exclusive access up to 12 bars and nightclubs, premium bar packages, live DJ’s, NYE-themed party favors, champagne toasts, confetti cannons and the city’s most anticipated countdown to midnight – complete with a Times Square ball drop!
  • Science City rolls out a day of family entertainment with Noon Year’s Eve – complete with a science stage show, hands-on demonstrations, a balloon drop and more – from noon to 7 p.m. at Union Station.
  • Sprint Center features multi-platinum award-winning rock ‘n roll icon, Kid Rock to the ‘Greatest New Year’s Eve Bash on Earth’ beginning at 9 p.m.

Truce Tournament – Sporting Kansas City, the National World War I Museum and Memorial and The Soccer Lot invite the Kansas City soccer community to take part in the fifth annual Truce Tournament commemorating the Christmas Truce in World War I.  Teams will compete in The Truce 3v3 soccer tournament from 8 a.m.to 1 p.m. Tuesday on Memorial Hill.

Union Station is immersed in the holiday spirit with Holidays Come Alive – complete with a spectacular, lighted holiday tree – and special features including:

  • Gingerbread House Display, courtesy of the Kansas City Culinary Arts School, is open daily through New Year’s Day.
  • Laser Holiday Magic – The Arvin Gottlieb Planetarium features a special laser light show that is set to holiday music. The laser holiday fun continues daily until Jan. 7 (except for Christmas Day).
  • Mini Holiday Express Train – the beloved holiday tradition from the Jones Store Downtown – is providing rides to children through New Year’s Day. Riders must be under 48″ tall. Click here for the mini train schedule and pricing.

LIVE THEATER is thriving on Downtown stages, which features just one production this week:

ARTS – your guide to arts and culture in greater Kansas City:

LIVE MUSIC – of all tastes and flavors – is performed at these Downtown venues on most nights:

MUSEUMS are alive and well throughout Downtown, including these 16 destinations:

For more of what’s happening in Downtown and Kansas City, check out our friends at VisitKC.com

Downtown is Dazzling as holiday season nears a crescendo

Here’s the ho, ho, highlight reel for the busy and festive holiday week ahead in Downtown KC – Monday to Sunday, Dec. 18-Christmas Eve:

Crown Center will is totally in the holiday spirit with family-friendly fun at every turn, including:

  • Santa’s Gingerbread Station – Kids and families can explore this interactive exhibit, meet and have their photo taken with Santa Claus, climb aboard the Crown Center Express Train Engine, and enjoy Gingerbread Village. No admission fee. Photos with Santa are available for a fee, or you may take your own. Open during Crown Center Shops holiday hours now through New Year’s Eve.
  • EBT Santa’s Countdown to Christmas – EBT Laughing Santa, who first appeared at KC’s Emery, Bird, Thayer department store in the early 1900s, has been providing memories for new generations at Crown Center since 1979. Children of all ages will marvel at this Jolly Ol’ Soul as he chuckles his way through the holiday season while counting down the days until Christmas. Open during Crown Center Shops holiday hours now through New Year’s Eve.
  • Holiday Choirs will light up the Crown Center atrium, as more than 130 area school, church and community choirs perform daily through Tuesday.
  • Ice Terrace – Kansas City’s only public outdoor ice skating rink is open for its 45th season of great skating fun! The rink is open daily through March 11. Visit the Ice Terrace website for hours and fees.

Downtown Dazzle – your complete Downtown KC holiday experience through Jan. 1. Now in its fourth year, Dazzle brings people together from across the region to explore all neighborhoods of Downtown KC and celebrate the season with holiday lights, special experiences and dining and shopping exclusives. For a complete guide to a dazzling array of holiday fun this week visit DazzleKC.com.

Live music – via the Holiday Jam – on the KC Streetcar is a featured attraction of Downtown Dazzle.

Holiday Jam – Hop on board the KC Streetcar this weekend and enjoy some live music from some of our local musicians. Enhance your Downtown Dazzle holiday experience by riding the FREE KC Streetcar and jamming to some tunes while heading to Union Station, Crown Center, the City Market, the Sprint or Midland Theaters, or the KC Power & Light District. This week’s jam will feature Hailey Massengale from 4-6 p.m. Wednesday on board the streetcar and Cucharada from 4-6 p.m. Friday at the Union Station Streetcar stop.

Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts will set the stage(s) for a monumental week of holiday arts and entertainment that features The Nutcracker performed by the Kansas City Ballet; Christmas Festival performed by the Kansas City Symphony and Chorus; and more, including:

  • Christmas Festival – Join the Kansas City Symphony and Chorus for this spectacular holiday celebration filled with lush symphonic arrangements of Christmas classics, fresh versions of your favorite carols, and many melodic surprises. This holiday favorite features two more performances at 7 p.m. today (Monday) and Tuesday in Helzberg Hall.
  • The Nutcracker – This classic story is set to the celebrated Tchaikovsky’s score and wrapped with sparkling costumes, exquisite sets and captivating choreography. See your children’s wonder ignite and feel the glimmer once more as your childhood dreams return and inspire you to IMAGINE AGAIN. The Kansas City Ballet presents this timeless classic for eight more shows from Wednesday through Sunday in the Muriel Kauffman Theatre.
  • Handel’s Messiah with Spire Chamber Ensemble – Messiah has rendered audiences breathless since its 1743 debut, and Spire’s annual performance has become a Kansas City tradition for the whole family.  Let the voices of Spire, and the virtuoso playing of the Spire Baroque Orchestra on original period instruments light up your holidays at 7 p.m. Wednesday in Helzberg Hall.
  •  A Nightmare Before Christmas – The wildly inventive world of Tim Burton’s macabre classic will be shown in its entirety on a huge screen this Screenland at the Symphony presentation. Danny Elfman’s rambunctious, colorful score will roar to life in the hands of the Kansas City Symphony as you follow Jack the Pumpkin King’s quest to seize Christmas. Performances are set for 7 p.m. Friday and 1 and 7 p.m. Saturday in Helzberg Hall.

Knuckleheads Saloon – the hottest venue in greater Downtown – features 10 shows this week, including Jimmy Bratcher’s Man, it’s Christmas Show at 8 p.m. Friday and Sky Smeed in the Gospel Lounge at 8 p.m. Saturday.

The Midland will be in the spirit of the season with two big shows, including Illenium with Said The Sky and Dabin at 8 p.m. Thursday and Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker at 7 p.m. Friday

Shen Yun returns to Downtown KC for long-awaited encore performances this weekend. China was once known as the “Land of the Divine,” its ancient culture was said to be inspired by the heavens. Shen Yun now brings this lost world back to life. You are invited to take this immersive journey to the distant past and realms even beyond the visible world. We’ve combined the incredibly expressive art form of classical Chinese dance, gorgeous orchestral works, brilliant costumes, and innovative effects to bring you an unparalleled theatrical experience. Performances are set for Friday and Saturday at the Music Hall.

The Truman will be on fire this week as The Floozies present their second annual Miracle on Funk Street with Late Night Radio and DJ Chicken Sammich at 9 p.m. Saturday.

Union Station is immersed in the holiday spirit with Holidays Come Alive – complete with a spectacular, lighted holiday tree – and special features including:

  • Gingerbread House Display, courtesy of the Kansas City Culinary Arts School, is open daily through New Year’s Day.
  • Kansas City Southern’s Holiday Express Train – The magical holiday train continues its annual visit to Union Station today (Monday) and Tuesday. The Kansas City Southern Holiday Express train includes a smiling tank car Rudy; a flatcar carrying Santa’s sleigh, reindeer and a miniature village; a gingerbread boxcar; the elves’ workshop; the reindeer stable; and a little red caboose. This holiday treasure will be open today (Monday) from 11 a.m.-8 p.m. before its final day from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday.
  • Laser Holiday Magic – The Arvin Gottlieb Planetarium features a special laser light show that is set to holiday music. The laser holiday fun continues daily until Jan. 7 (except for Christmas Eve and Day).
  • Mini Holiday Express Train – the beloved holiday tradition from the Jones Store Downtown – is providing rides to children through New Year’s Day. Riders must be under 48″ tall. Click here for the mini train schedule and pricing.

LIVE THEATER is thriving on Downtown stages, which feature five productions this week:

ARTS – your guide to arts and culture in greater Kansas City:

LIVE MUSIC – of all tastes and flavors – is performed at these Downtown venues on most nights:

MUSEUMS are alive and well throughout Downtown, including these 16 destinations:

For more of what’s happening in Downtown and Kansas City, check out our friends at VisitKC.com

Holiday Express chugs into Union Station for 5 days

Powered by “Rudy” the smiling tank car, the Kansas City Southern (KCS) Holiday Express, rolls into Union Station today (Friday) and will remain through Tuesday. This “holiday gift” to the community allows children young, and young at heart, to meet Santa Claus and tour the train adorned from floor to ceiling with holiday decorations, lights, wintry scenes and toy trains. Tours are free and general admission is available every day.

The KCS Holiday Express journeys across six states and 22 communities in total for the 2017 season. As tradition dictates, Union Station is honored to be the last and largest stop of its journey. In 2016, more than 19,000 enthusiastic Kansas City children, parents and grandparents experienced this sentimental holiday favorite.\

But the train brings more than just a memorable holiday experience, it delivers hope and help to children in need. This year Santa and his Elves will distribute a total of $172,500 in gift cards to The Salvation Army at stops along the route. The gift cards are designated for the purchase of warm clothing and other necessities for kids in need.

As part of the total, in addition to matching employee gifts up to $20,000, The Kansas City Southern Charitable Fund donated another $5,000 designated to support the purchase of gift cards for Hurricane Harvey-affected Holiday Express stops, including Victoria, El Campo, Kendleton and Beaumont, Texas.

Led by the Southern Belle business train, the train includes “Rudy” – the backdrop for many a photo op; a flatcar carrying Santa’s sleigh, reindeer and a miniature village; a gingerbread boxcar; the Elves’ workshop; reindeer stable; and a little red caboose. Each car is dressed in lights.

“Every year, the KCS Holiday Express train is another marvelous reminder of how magical the holidays are here at Union Station,” George Guastello, president and CEO of Union Station, said. “Countless Kansas Citians have come to see this enchanting train over the years and many come back again and again with their children and grandchildren.

“It’s a wonderful and cherished family tradition. I’d even venture to say it’s one of the most sought out holiday experiences in the area and best of all, it’s free. It combined with a packed schedule of holiday festivities is just one of the reasons why Union Station is truly home for the holidays and we recently we honored as Kansas City’s Attraction of the Year.”

The KCS Holiday Express was built on the tradition of the Santa Train, which ran on a segment of the network purchased by Kansas City Southern in 1997. In 2000, KCS employees noticed the Santa Train was the only Christmas some children had, and some did not even have essential items like coats, hats and gloves. KCS employees were so touched, they committed to elevating the project. Since its beginning in 2001, the KCS Holiday Express project has raised well over $1 million to purchase gift cards for this cause.

Remember, the Holiday Express is only here for five days so make your plans today. General Admission is still available. Dates and times to tour the Holiday Express (and visit Santa) are as follows:

Friday, December 15: 2 – 5 p.m.
Saturday, December 16: 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Sunday, December 17: 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Monday, December 18: 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Tuesday, December 19: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Visitors are encouraged to arrive early to minimize wait time. They also note event parking applies to all Station lots during December weekends – including Monday and Tuesday, Dec. 18 and 19 – through Jan. 1. This expedites entry, parking fee collection as well as exit from the complex.

For a complete schedule of events for Union Station’s Holiday Celebration – “Holidays Come Alive” – please visit UnionStation.org/Holidays. For more on KCS’ Holiday Express train, visit KCSouthern.com.

Ho, ho, happenings this week in Downtown KC

Here’s the ho, ho, highlight reel for the busy and festive week ahead in Downtown KC – Monday to Sunday, Dec. 11-17:

Accidental Activitists – Author David Collins discusses his book Accidental Activists: Mark Phariss, Vic Holmes, and Their Fight for Marriage Equality in Texas at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Central Library. The book chronicles the legal fight for same-sex marriage rights by two men – one with Missouri ties – in a state “steeped in Marlboro Man mythology and social conservatism.” RSVP here.

American Jazz Museum will deck the halls with a Jazzy Hip-Hop Christmas featuring Kemet the Phantom, Kadesh Flow, Marcus Lewis Big Band and Bobby Watson at 8:30 p.m. Saturday in the Blue Room.

The City Market presents its annual gift of Whoville Holidays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Dress up as a Whoville character and visit the Grinch and Cindy Lou Who in their Whoville home located in the center of City Market Square. It is open to the public and FREE with the suggested donation to the Help a Who campaign: three canned goods for Harvesters or a new toy in original packaging for the Salvation Army.

A Crooner Christmas – Sinatra Style – Crooner Les Lankhorst has made a career of personifying Frank Sinatra on stages all over the world. Now he brings that voice and swagger to KC for three nights of classic holiday favorites and swinging standards. Don’t miss this intimate, swingin’ toast to the season beginning at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday at MTH Theater at Crown Center.

Crown Center will is totally in the holiday spirit with family-friendly fun at every turn, including:

  • Santa’s Gingerbread Station – Kids and families can explore this interactive exhibit, meet and have their photo taken with Santa Claus, climb aboard the Crown Center Express Train Engine, and enjoy Gingerbread Village. No admission fee. Photos with Santa are available for a fee, or you may take your own. Open during Crown Center Shops holiday hours now through New Year’s Eve.
  • EBT Santa’s Countdown to Christmas – EBT Laughing Santa, who first appeared at KC’s Emery, Bird, Thayer department store in the early 1900s, has been providing memories for new generations at Crown Center since 1979. Children of all ages will marvel at this Jolly Ol’ Soul as he chuckles his way through the holiday season while counting down the days until Christmas. Open during Crown Center Shops holiday hours now through New Year’s Eve.
  • Holiday Choirs will light up the Crown Center atrium, as more than 130 area school, church and community choirs perform daily through Tuesday, Dec. 19.
  • Ice Terrace – Kansas City’s only public outdoor ice skating rink is open for its 45th season of great skating fun! The rink is open daily at 10 a.m. Visit the Ice Terrace website for hours and fees.

Downtown Dazzle – your complete Downtown KC holiday experience through Jan. 1. Now in its fourth year, Dazzle brings people together from across the region to explore all neighborhoods of Downtown KC and celebrate the season with holiday lights, special experiences and dining and shopping exclusives. For a complete guide to a dazzling array of holiday fun this week visit DazzleKC.com.

The Fairy Princess makes her annual return to the Kansas City Museum this week’s for five sold-out days of holiday joy.

The Fairy Princess makes her annual return to the Kansas City Museum this week for five sold-out days at the museum’s Garment District Museum location at 800 Broadway. To inquire about any, possible remaining tickets during the five-day visit (Wednesday through Sunday), visit kansascitymuseum.org.

Folly Theater will be festive form this week, as Central Standard presents Holiday Harmonies at 7 p.m. Saturday. Central Standard is a Kansas City men’s a cappella group with 50+ men, each with a passion for music and a desire to have a great time making it. CS just returned from the Barbershop Harmony Society’s annual convention, and is proud to claim the title of 3rd place in the world!

Live music – via the Holiday Jam – on the KC Streetcar is a featured attraction of Downtown Dazzle.

Holiday Jam – Hop on board the KC Streetcar this weekend and enjoy some live music from some of our local musicians. Enhance your Downtown Dazzle holiday experience by riding the FREE KC Streetcar and jamming to some tunes while heading to Union Station, Crown Center, the City Market, the Sprint or Midland Theaters, or the KC Power & Light District. This weekend’s jam will feature Victor & Penny onboard from 4-6 p.m. Friday; Crystal Rose onboard from 2-4 p.m. Saturday; and Heartstrong – KC Women’s Chorus from 5-7 p.m. Friday at the Union Station stop.

The Kansas City Ballet presents ‘The Nutcracker’ now through Christmas Eve. .Photo courtesy of Phill Mill.

 

Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts will set the stage(s) for a monumental week of holiday arts and entertainment that features The Nutcracker performed by the Kansas City Ballet; Christmas Festival performed by the Kansas City Symphony and Chorus; and more, including:

  • The Nutcracker – This classic story is set to the celebrated Tchaikovsky’s score and wrapped with sparkling costumes, exquisite sets and captivating choreography. See your children’s wonder ignite and feel the glimmer once more as your childhood dreams return and inspire you to IMAGINE AGAIN. The Kansas City Ballet presents this timeless classic on Wednesday through Sunday this week (and continuing until Christmas Eve) in the Muriel Kauffman Theatre.
  • A Kansas City Christmas will be performed by the Kansas City Jazz Orchestra at 7 p.m. Wednesday in Helzberg Hall. This annual holiday show features holiday standards the whole family (and Charlie Brown’s favorite beagle…) will enjoy, in KCJO’s most swinging style!
  • Christmas Festival – Join the Kansas City Symphony and Chorus for this spectacular holiday celebration filled with lush symphonic arrangements of Christmas classics, fresh versions of your favorite carols, and many melodic surprises. This holiday favorite will be unwrapped for seven performances beginning Friday in Helzberg Hall.

Knuckleheads Saloon – the hottest venue in greater Downtown – features 15 different gigs this week, including: The Creepshow with Popskull Rebels at 8 p.m. Wednesday; Michale Graves (from the Misfits) with the full band in full makeup at 9 p.m. Saturday; and Live, Life, Music, a tribute to Stevie Wonder and Earth Wonder & Fire begins at 7 p.m. Sunday.

The Midland will be rockin’ this week with four holiday events, including three concerts and a brunch:

  • Elfmas 2017 with Sabrina Carpenter, Prettymuch, Above Waves and Alex Aiono at 7 p.m. today (Monday);
  • The Night the Buzz Stole XXmas, featuring X Ambassadors, Irontom, Olivia Fox and more, beginning at 7:30 p.m. Thursday;
  • The Night the Buzz Stole XXXmas with BORNS, AJR, Kitten, Brandon Phillips & The Condition gets under way at 6:30 p.m. Saturday; and
  • Brunch with Santa – Santa Claus comes to the Midland for a fun-filled Sunday afternoon, featuring a multi-course brunch, hot chocolate bar, games, crafts, a puppet show and cookie decorating, benefiting the Phoenix Family’s HIKE Program. Each family takes home a one-of-a-kind family photo with Santa, courtesy of Arvest Bank, and each child receives a special gift from the North Pole. Click here for ticket information.

Evanescence, the melodramatic rock band, will sound bigger than ever at the Music Hall, accompanied by an orchestra tonight (Monday).

Music Hall will be in the holiday spirit today (Monday) for Evanescence: Synthesis Live with Orchestra that will lift your spirits beginning at 8 p.m. tonight.

Power & Light District will be celebrating the holidays this week with its second annual 12 Bars of Charity Bar Crawl beginning at 6 p.m. Saturday. Last year, the 12 Bars of Charity event helped raise more than $15,000 for local charities! Help them raise more money this year for local charities by signing up and inviting your friends! Click here for more information.

Sprint Center is preparing for a big-time sports week with two big-time events, including:

  • NCAA Women’s Volleyball Championship comes to Downtown KC this week for the national semi-final match-ups at 6 and 8 p.m. Thursday and the championship game at 8 p.m. Saturday. (Teams will be announced closer to the event dates.)
  • All-American High School Volleyball Match & Skills Competition – The best 24 high school volleyball players in the nation converge on the host city of the AVCA Convention and NCAA Championship to put on a show for the audience at Sprint Center beginning at 8 p.m. Friday.

The Truman will be on fire this week with three concerts, including The Irreplaceables on tour featuring the girls from Dance Moms, Kendall, Chloe and Kalani at 7 p.m. Thursday; The Jackyl performing the 98.9 The Rock Twisted Xmas at 8 p.m. Friday; and Brent Smith and Zach Myers of Shinedown in a sold out acoustic evening at 8 p.m. Saturday.

Union Station is immersed in the holiday spirit with Holidays Come Alive – complete with a spectacular, lighted holiday tree – and special features including:

  • Mini Holiday Express Train – the beloved holiday tradition from the Jones Store Downtown – is providing rides to children until New Year’s Day. Riders must be under 48″ tall. Click here for the mini train schedule and pricing.
  • Gingerbread House Display, courtesy of the Kansas City Culinary Arts School, opens Thursday and continues through New Year’s Day.
  • Kansas City Southern’s Holiday Express Train – The magical holiday train will roll into Union Station on Friday for a five-day visit. Led by the Kansas City Southern Southern Belle business train, the Holiday Express train includes a smiling tank car Rudy; a flatcar carrying Santa’s sleigh, reindeer and a miniature village; a gingerbread boxcar; the elves’ workshop; the reindeer stable; and a little red caboose. This holiday treasure will be open from 2-5 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; 11 a.m.-8 p.m. next Monday; and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. next Tuesday.
  • The coming week will also feature the Holiday Magic Laser Show in the Planetarium beginning Saturday; Trombone Christmas Concert at 11 a.m. Saturday in the Grand Hall; a Snow Globe Performance at 1 p.m. Saturday in the Grand Plaza; and the Nutcracker: All Jazz’d Up performance on Sunday.

LIVE THEATER is thriving on Downtown stages, which feature five Christmas-inspired productions this week:

ARTS – your guide to arts and culture in greater Kansas City:

LIVE MUSIC – of all tastes and flavors – is performed at these Downtown venues on most nights:

MUSEUMS are alive and well throughout Downtown, including these 16 destinations:

For more of what’s happening in Downtown and Kansas City, check out our friends at VisitKC.com

Holiday magic fills the air & stages of Downtown this week

The Kansas City Ballet presents ‘The Nutcracker’ beginning Thursday at the Kauffman Center. (Photo courtesy of Brett Pruitt, KCBalletMedia.)

From The Nutcracker to Handel’s Messiah, from the Urban Homes Tour to Kansas Jayhawk basketball, this is the busiest and most wonderful time of the year for arts & entertainment in Downtown KC. Here’s the ho, ho, highlight reel for the busy ahead – Monday to Sunday, Dec. 4-10:

The City Market presents its annual gift of Whoville Holidays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. this weekend and next. Dress up as a Whoville character and visit the Grinch and Cindy Lou Who in their Whoville home located in the center of City Market Square. It is open to the public and FREE with the suggested donation to the Help a Who campaign: three canned goods for Harvesters or a new toy in original packaging for the Salvation Army.

‘Whoville Holidays’ returns to The City Market this weekend and next.

Crown Center will is totally in the holiday spirit with family-friendly fun at every turn, including:

  • Santa’s Gingerbread Station – Kids and families can explore this interactive exhibit, meet and have their photo taken with Santa Claus, climb aboard the Crown Center Express Train Engine, and enjoy Gingerbread Village. No admission fee. Photos with Santa are available for a fee, or you may take your own. Open during Crown Center Shops holiday hours now through New Year’s Eve.
  • EBT Santa’s Countdown to Christmas – EBT Laughing Santa, who first appeared at KC’s Emery, Bird, Thayer department store in the early 1900s, has been providing memories for new generations at Crown Center since 1979. Children of all ages will marvel at this Jolly Ol’ Soul as he chuckles his way through the holiday season while counting down the days until Christmas. Open during Crown Center Shops holiday hours now through New Year’s Eve.
  • Holiday Choirs will light up the Crown Center atrium, as more than 130 area school, church and community choirs perform daily through Dec. 19.
  • Ice Terrace – Kansas City’s only public outdoor ice skating rink is open for its 45th season of great skating fun! The rink is open daily at 10 a.m. Visit the Ice Terrace website for hours and fees.

Downtown Dazzle – your complete Downtown KC holiday experience through Jan. 1. Now in its fourth year, Dazzle brings people together from across the region to explore all neighborhoods of Downtown KC and celebrate the season with holiday lights, special experiences and dining and shopping exclusives. For a complete guide to a dazzling array of holiday fun this week – particularly the free Urban Homes Tour of Downtown’s trendiest residential properties from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday – visit DowntownDazzle.com.

Folly Theater will be festive form this week with two very special events, including:

  • The Folly Goes Country – Make plans now to welcome the hot country duo Walker McGuire for the 3rd annual Folly Frolic benefit concert at 8 p.m. Wednesday. With tickets only $20, this is a great opportunity to see these rising stars – Nashville’s Jordan Walker and Kansas City native, Johnny McGuire  – before they become the next big country artists. And, the benefit will support the Folly’s Operations and Programming budget, as well as to maintain the historic theater.
  • Spanish Harlem Orchestra, the two-time Grammy-winning, Salsa and Latin Jazz Band, sets the standard for excellence for authentic, New York style, hardcore salsa.  Now in its 14th year, SHO will perform the sounds of the barrio, when they take the Folly stage at 8 p.m. Saturday.

Live music – via the Holiday Jam – on the KC Streetcar is a featured attraction of Downtown Dazzle.

Holiday Jam – Hop on board the KC Streetcar this weekend and enjoy some live music from some of our local musicians. Enhance your Downtown Dazzle holiday experience by riding the FREE KC Streetcar and jamming to some tunes while heading to Union Station, Crown Center, the City Market, the Sprint or Midland Theaters, or the KC Power & Light District. This weekend’s jam will feature Enrique Chi at 5 p.m. Friday; They Call Me Sauce at 6 p.m. Friday; and American Slim at 4 p.m. Saturday.

Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts will set the stage(s) for a monumental week of holiday arts and entertainment that features the opening The Nutcracker performed by the Kansas City Ballet; Handel’s Messiah performed by the Kansas City Symphony; and more:

  • Tuba Christmas – One of the most popular performances of the year features tuba players from the Kansas City area and members of the Kansas City Symphony, as they perform the sounds of the season tuba-style in two sold-out concerts at noon today (Monday) and Friday in Helzberg Hall.
  • The Nutcracker – This classic story is set to the celebrated Tchaikovsky’s score and wrapped with sparkling costumes, exquisite sets and captivating choreography. See your children’s wonder ignite and feel the glimmer once more as your childhood dreams return and inspire you to IMAGINE AGAIN. The Kansas City Ballet presents this timeless class beginning Thursday and over 20 performances through Christmas Eve in the Muriel Kauffman Theatre.
  • Handel’s Messiah – This mosaic of the scriptures remains Handel’s most famous work, and it is one of the most triumphant choral pieces ever written. The impeccable acoustics of Helzberg Hall together with the  Kansas City Symphony and Chorus make this THE Messiah performance of the season! Performances are set for 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday.

Knuckleheads Saloon – the rockin’est venue in greater Downtown – features 13 different gigs this week, including the Maria the Mexican Christmas Show at 8 p.m. Saturday and the Fish Fry Christmas Show with the Funky Butt Brass Band at 7 p.m. Sunday

The Midland will be rockin’ this week with five shows, including:

  • Kodak Black – one of the hottest hip hop artists on the scene – performing at 8 p.m. Monday; 
  • Brain Candy Live starring Adam Savage and Michael Stevens at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday;
  • My Favorite Murder Livethe touring production of the wildly popular crime comedy podcast, at 8 and 10:30 p.m. Saturday; and
  • The Hip Hop Nutcracker is a holiday mash-up for the entire family, a contemporary re-imagination of Tchaikovsky’s timeless music, that opens at 6 p.m. Sunday.

Power & Light District will be celebrating the holidays this week with three special events, including”

  • Bubbles Off the Block – Give bubbly this holiday season! Enjoy more than 65+ champagne & sparkling wines, small bites & a silent auction benefiting Kansas City CARE Clinic from 7-9 p.m. Thursday at The Gallery Event Space. Click here for ticket information.
  • Urban Homes Tour – View One Light and Two Light luxury apartments while touring Downtown’s trendiest residential properties. Participants are invited to explore at their leisure from 10 a.m.-5 p .m. Saturday.
  • S’mores with Santa – Watch the Polar Express & enjoy s’mores at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, followed by photos with Santa Claus (bring your own camera!). Click here for ticket info.

Sprint Center is preparing for a major league week with three big-time events, including:

  • Jayhawk Shootout returns to Downtown KC this week as the No. 4 ranked Kansas Jayhawks take on the Washington Huskies in a non-conference basketball showdown at 8 p.m. Wednesday;
  • Christmas with Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith – These multi-platinum, GRAMMY® winners co-bill their popular Christmas tour this holiday season with a much-anticipated visit to KC at 7:30 p.m. Friday. They will be joined by Republic recording artist Jordan Smith, Season 9 winner of NBC’s The Voice.
  • Trans-Siberian Orchestra, the critically-acclaimed, musical powerhouse, returns to Downtown KC this week with a completely updated presentation of its unforgettable “The Ghosts of Christmas Eve” experience. TSO will present two shows – at 3 and 8 p.m. Saturday.

The Truman will feature The Wood Brothers in concert at 8 p.m. today (Monday). National Public Radio’s World Cafe recently raved that “there is so much warmth, soul and musicianship at a Wood Brothers show, it’s no surprise that the band’s audience keeps growing.”

Union Station is immersed in the holiday spirit with Holidays Come Alive – complete with a spectacular, lighted holiday tree – and special features including:

  • Mini Holiday Express Train – the beloved holiday tradition from the Jones Store Downtown – is providing rides to children throughout the season. Riders must be under 48″ tall. Click here for the mini train schedule and pricing.
  • Merry Science – a day jam-packed full of holiday-themed science and Maker fun in Science City – is on tap from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. Click here for more details.
  • Holiday Swing – The 7th annual “Holiday Swing” Indie Craft Fair will feature more than 100 handmade and vintage vendors of Strawberry Swing from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.

LIVE THEATER is thriving on Downtown stages, which feature six productions this week:

  • A Charlie Brown Christmas – The animated classic will come to life on stage, complete with a live jazz trio will play the original Vince Guaraldi arrangements. Join Charlie Brown on this memorable journey, which runs through Christmas Eve at The Coterie.
  • Christmas in Song – Celebrate the joy of the Christmas season through its beloved songs and carols as the Quality Hill Playhouse presents its 16th annual holiday celebration. Performances run through Christmas Eve.
  • Les Miserables – Cameron Mackintosh presents the new production of Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg’s Tony Award®-winning musical phenomenon, direct from an acclaimed two-and-a-half-year return to Broadway. This Theater League production opens Tuesday and continues through Sunday at the Music Hall.
  • Milking Christmas – This world premiere musical comedy directed by Missy Koonce runs through Dec. 23 at The Living Room.
  • Raggedy Ann and Andy’s Christmas Adventure – a production of Theatre for Young America – continues through Dec. 30 on the City Stage at Union Station.
  • A Spectacular Christmas Show, featuring holiday tunes from Musical Theater, innovative arrangements of Holiday classics, a three-minute Nutcracker and more! This jam-packed holiday treat opens Thursday and runs through Dec. 23 at MTH Theater at Crown Center.

ARTS – your guide to arts and culture in greater Kansas City:

LIVE MUSIC – of all tastes and flavors – is performed at these Downtown venues on most nights:

MUSEUMS are alive and well throughout Downtown, including these 16 destinations:

For more of what’s happening in Downtown and Kansas City, check out our friends at VisitKC.com

Holiday magic fills the air this week in Downtown KC

The Salvation Army presents the second annual Rock the Red Kettle free concert on Friday evening at the Power & Light District.

Downtown Dazzle, Rock the Red Kettle and First Friday lay down the beat for all-things-Downtown in the week ahead – Monday to Sunday, Nov. 27-Dec. 3:

Art Starts at the Library – The Central Library provides a perfect family-friendly starting point on First Friday. Among the offerings: the exhibit Cattle, Cowboys, and Culture: Kansas City and Amarillo, Building an Urban West and Rodolfo Marron III’s reflective This Is for La Raza. There’s also a pre-Christmas book giveaway, live holiday music … and Santa. The fun begins at 5:30 p.m. Friday. RSVP here.

Celebrate a holly, jolly holiday season at Crown Center.

Crown Center will roll out the red carpet for the holiday season – and Downtown Dazzle – this week with a feast of seasonal joy, including:

  • Santa’s Gingerbread Station – Kids and families can explore this interactive exhibit, meet and have their photo taken with Santa Claus, climb aboard the Crown Center Express Train Engine, and enjoy Gingerbread Village. No admission fee. Photos with Santa are available for a fee, or you may take your own. Open during Crown Center Shops holiday hours now through New Year’s Eve.
  • EBT Santa’s Countdown to Christmas – EBT Laughing Santa, who first appeared at KC’s Emery, Bird, Thayer department store in the early 1900s, has been providing memories for new generations at Crown Center since 1979. Children of all ages will marvel at this Jolly Ol’ Soul as he chuckles his way through the holiday season while counting down the days until Christmas. Open during Crown Center Shops holiday hours now through New Year’s Eve.
  • Holiday Choirs will light up the Crown Center atrium, as more than 130 area school, church and community choirs perform every day through Dec. 19.
  • Ice Terrace – Kansas City’s only public outdoor ice skating rink is open for its 45th season of great skating fun! The rink is open daily at 10 a.m. Visit the Ice Terrace website for hours and fees.

First Friday – one of the KC’s coolest and hottest events of the winter – returns for its December feast of visual and performing arts bursting throughout Downtown with:

Downtown Dazzle – your complete Downtown KC holiday experience through Jan. 1. Now in its fourth year, Dazzle brings people together from across the region to explore all neighborhoods of Downtown KC and celebrate the season with holiday lights, special experiences and dining and shopping exclusives. For a complete guide to a dazzling array of holiday fun this week – including the Rock the Red Kettle concert on Friday – visit DowntownDazzle.com.

The Heartland’s Men’s Chorus is well-strung for the holidays with two performances this weekend at the Folly.

Folly Theater will get all wrapped up for the holidays and finish it off with your favorite BEAUS. The Heartland Men’s Chorus presents Packages With Beaus! at 8 p.m. Saturday and 4 p.m. Sunday.

Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts will begin its holiday celebration this week with a special performance by the Canadian Brass: Christmastime is Here! at 8 p.m. Friday in Helzberg Hall. These five brass masters – featuring the French horn, trombone and tuba, along with the Kansas City Symphony welcome the holidays with the sounds of the season.

Knuckleheads Saloon – the rockin’est venue in greater Downtown – features 12 different gigs this week on multiple stages, including Big Red Truck from Nashville at 9:30 p.m. Wednesday; Making Movies & Friends in the Garage at 8 p.m. Saturday; and Rain at 9 p.m. Saturday.

The Night the Buzz Stole Xmas arrives Sunday for its first of the three holiday headbangers at The Midland.

The Midland will begin its holiday season of performances with three concerts this week, including Straight No Chaser on its Speakeasy Tour at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday; Damien Escobar – one of the planet’s finest violinists, will take center stage at 8 p.m. Thursday; The Night the Buzz Stole Xmasfeaturing Phoenix, Y God Y, and more get the party started at 7:30 p.m. Sunday.

Rock the Red Kettle – The Salvation Army presents its second, annual free Rock the Red Kettle concert, featuring alternative rock band Switchfoot and pop rock band Parachute, beginning at 6:30 p.m. Friday at the Power & Light District.

The Truman will heat up the East Crossroads with four shows this week, including Chad Prather with James Johann at 8 p.m. Thursday; Chris Lane, featuring Dylan Schneider and Bailey Bryan at 8 p.m. Friday; Hollywood Undead with Butcher Babies and Demrick at 8 p.m. Saturday; and Periphery, featuring Astronoid and 34 at 8 p.m. Sunday.

The Mini Holiday Express Train is running daily through Jan. 1 at Union Station.

 

Union Station is immersed in the holiday spirit with Holidays Come Alive – complete with a spectacular, lighted holiday tree and holiday mini-train rides daily through Jan. 1. Often referred to as the Jones Store Train and beloved by generations at the holidays, the holiday train was once a popular attraction at the Jones Store Downtown. Riders must be under 48″ tall (approximately 5-6 years of age and under). For the complete holiday schedule at Union Station, visit UnionStation.org/holidays.

LIVE THEATER is thriving on Downtown stages, which feature three productions this week:

ARTS – your guide to arts and culture in greater Kansas City:

LIVE MUSIC – of all tastes and flavors – is performed at these Downtown venues on most nights:

MUSEUMS are alive and well throughout Downtown, including these 16 destinations:

For more of what’s happening in Downtown and Kansas City, check out our friends at VisitKC.com

Rock the Red Kettle concert to light up KC on Dec. 1

Rock the Red Kettle – featuring alternative rock band Switchfoot and pop rock band Parachute – will kickoff the holiday entertainment season in Downtown KC at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 1 in the Kansas City Power & Light District.

The free community concert is presented by the Salvation Army of Kansas and Western Missouri, in partnership with the Downtown Council of Kansas City, The Cordish Companies and Commerce Bank. This will be the second annual RTRK concert in Downtown Kansas City.

Commerce Bank is this year’s Rock the Red Kettle premier sponsor. Kevin Barth, executive vice president, Commercial Line of Business, Commerce Bancshares, Inc. , is serving as honorary chair for the event and for the city-wide Christmas Campaign, which will run through Christmas Eve.

“Commerce Bank is proud to support Kansas City’s Christmas concert, and our entire team looks forward to the Rock the Red Kettle concert to kick-off the holiday season,” Barth said.

“The Salvation Army plays a huge role in helping our Kansas City neighbors in need, whether it’s putting food on a family’s dinner table or a roof over a man’s head for the night, and we hope to help bring the community together for this great event while also bringing in donations to the red kettles this holiday season.”

Donations are welcomed at the event, by way of red kettles which will be stationed at the Power & Light District entrances. Funds raised at Rock the Red Kettle support many of The Salvation Army programs and services throughout the year, including food assistance, emergency rent and utility assistance, necessities at the Children’s Shelter for abused and neglected children, alcohol and drug abuse treatment programs, senior citizens’ programs, homeless shelters and transitional housing for veterans.

Rock the Red Kettle is a featured highlight of the Downtown Dazzle festivities which celebrate all of the holiday arts and cultural events and happenings in Downtown KC from today (Nov. 24) through Jan. 1.

“We’re excited to bring Rock the Red Kettle back to Kansas City again this year, after a very successful and enjoyable event last Christmas” said Salvation Army Divisional Secretary Major David Harvey. “Kansas City is such a giving community, and we hope to provide a fun and joyful experience to the community at this year’s Rock the Red Kettle concert to inspire and activate the giving spirit heading into the holiday season.”

Attendees are encouraged to arrive early to the Rock the Red Kettle celebration next Friday. For more information,  visit rockredkettlekc.com.

About The Salvation Army of Kansas and Western Missouri

The Salvation Army of Kansas and Western Missouri is and evangelical part of the universal Christian church established in 1865, supporting those in need in His name without discrimination. The organization provides assistance through a broad array of social services ranging from food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless and opportunities for underprivileged children. For more information about the Kansas and Western Missouri Division of The Salvation Army, visit salarmymokan.org.

 

Downtown Dazzle will light up the city – now thru Jan. 1

Downtown Dazzle – the official Downtown Kansas City holiday experience – returns this Friday and will continue daily through Jan. 1, 2018.

The fourth annual Downtown Dazzle will offer more more than a full month of holiday fun for Kansas City residents and visitors of all ages. The seasonal event brings people together from across the region to explore Downtown Kansas City and celebrate the season with holiday lights, special experiences and dining and shopping exclusives.

Downtown Dazzle will get off to a fast and festive start with the Mayor’s Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony beginning at 5:30 p.m. Friday at Crown Center and a dazzling holiday lighting installation presented by Sprint at Washington Square Park,

Downtown Dazzle serves as an umbrella for promoting all of the holiday-themed arts, entertainment and cultural events that occur in Downtown KC neighborhoods and districts, such as:

For more information, visit DowntownDazzle.com and/or VisitKC.com.