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:

  • 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.
  • 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