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 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