From the Fairy Princess to the Symphony’s Christmas Festival; from The Nutcracker to the KC Southern Holiday Express; and from Jim Brickman to the homecoming of Joyce DiDonato … Downtown will be Dazzling this week. Roll the highlight reel for the week in arts, culture and entertainment – Monday to Sunday, Dec. 10-16
Downtown Dazzle – now in its fifth year – welcomes you to celebrate the holiday season in the neighborhoods, theaters, restaurants and destinations of Downtown KC, including Crown Center, Union Station, the Crossroads Arts District, the Power & Light District, the City Market, the Westside, the 18th & Vine Jazz District, Union Hill and the KC Streetcar. The seasonal event brings people together from across the region to explore Downtown Kansas City and celebrate the season special experiences, events and dining and shopping exclusives, including…
- Crown Center will be all aglow this week with Santa’s Gingerbread Station and EBT Santa’s Countdown to Christmas open daily during Crown Center Shops hours now through Dec. 31; Holiday Choirs performing daily from today (Monday) through Dec. 21; plus the illuminated cheer from the 100-foot-tall Mayor Christmas Tree; the magic of the Ice Terrace (open daily); and two holiday stage shows (see below under Live Theater).
- KC Streetcar will conclude its second annual Holiday Jam of free musical performances on-board the streetcars this week with two performances. The coming week will feature two Jams, including The Pine Drivers from 4-6 p.m. Saturday, and They Call Me Sauce from 6-8 p.m. Saturday. The closing jam will be staged inside of Ruby Jean’s Juicery, 1111 Main, on the streetcar line.
- Power & Light District will feature a host of holiday movie parties at the Alamo Drafthouse, including Elf at 8 p.m. Monday; Gremlins at 8 p.m. Tuesday; Polar Express at 8 p.m. Saturday; and A Christmas Story at 8 p.m. Sunday. In addition, the district will feature its annual 12 Bars of Charity Crawl at 8 p.m. Friday in the KC Live! Block.
- Union Station – Holidays Come Alive features 25,000 lights on the indoor Grand Hall Tree alone! “The holidays at Union Station are more than lights… they are about creating holiday experiences you can’t find anywhere else. This week, the station will welcome back the 18th annual Kansas City Southern Holiday Express Train for six days only – beginning Friday evening and running through Tuesday, Dec. 18. And, it will feature the 2nd annual Trombone Christmas Kansas City concert at 11 a.m. Saturday.
The Fairy Princess – The holiday season isn’t just about visits with Santa Claus. The Fairy Princess, a tradition at the Kansas City Museum, will relocate to the museum’s Downtown satellite location – the Garment District Museum – while Corinthian Hall is under renovation. The white-gowned Fair Princess debuted in 1935 at Kline’s Department Store, where she waved her wand and a surprise gift appeared for each child. The princess will work her magic from 3-7 p.m. Friday, and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. For ticket information, click here.
Folly Theater will have ’em dancing in the aisles this week with three huge shows, including:
- Jim Brickman – Be part of the holiday concert tradition of the season as Grammy nominated songwriter and piano sensation returns to Kansas City for A Joyful Christmas at 7:30 p.m. Monday.
- Joyce DiDonato – Whether she’s singing in one of the world’s top concert halls or performing for refugees in Greece, this Prairie Village native represents the best of the human spirit. The Harriman-Jewell Series is proud to bring our hometown heroine back at 7:30 p.m. Thursday. This time, she will perform with one of today’s brightest stars, Yannick Nézet-Séquin, who will prove he plays the piano as superbly as he conducts.
- Central Standard, the Kansas City men’s a cappella group will perform Holiday Harmonies at 7 p.m. Saturday. CS just returned from the Barbershop Harmony Society’s annual convention, where the 55-member ensemble earned a 3rd place ranking in the world!
Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts will feature 13 holiday-inspired performances this week, including:
- George Winston – One of the most recognized solo pianists in the world, Winston will light up Helzberg Hall at 7 p.m. Wednesday. Inspired by the seasons and topographies, his performances feature a variety of styles including melodic folk piano, New Orleans R&B piano, and stride piano.
- The Nutcracker continues its holiday run of 20 unforgettable performances in the Muriel Kauffman Theatre. The Kansas City Ballet presents this magical, Victorian-era story by E.T.A. Hoffman complete with exquisite costumes, grand sets and captivating choreography. The Nutcracker will be performed six times this week with shows on Thursday through Sunday … and running through Dec. 22.
- Christmas Festival – Kansas City’s favorite Christmas concert tradition returns for seven joyous performances with the Kansas City Symphony and Symphony Chorus. Cherished Christmas carols and Yuletide songs, talented special guests and one jolly visitor from the North Pole are sure to fill you with holiday spirit over seven performances beginning at 7 p.m. Friday and running through Tuesday, Dec. 18 in Helzberg Hall.
Knuckleheads – the hottest honky tonk in the Big Town – features 15 rockin’ shows this week, including Flow Tribe at 8 p.m. Thursday; and the Tab Benoit Review featuring Damon Fowler and Eric Johanson at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
The Midland will be rockin’ around the Christmas tree this week with three giant shows, including:
- Steel Panthers – the world’s premier party band – intend to Lower the Bar when they rock the big town at 8 p.m. Tuesday;
- Snails with Svdden Death and Hekler will tear up the Midland at 8 p.m. Thursday;
- Brett Young, the former college baseball pitcher and current ACM New Male Vocalist of the Year uses his competitive edge to create music that critics, radio and fans cannot stop raving about. He is due to shake things up at 7:30 p.m. Sunday. Opening acts will be Tyler Rich and Rachel Wammack.
LIVE THEATER is thriving on Downtown stages, including six holiday productions this week:
- Christmas in Song featuring a blend of sacred and secular, popular and traditional, this Kansas City tradition has been called “the best Christmas show in town” and “Kansas City’s most consistently stirring Christmas show for 15 years” by critics and audiences alike. The fun continues through Dec. 23 at Quality Hill Playhouse.
- Jingle Bells, Batman Smells – Theatre for Young America presents this glittering holiday favorite, which is now showing through Dec. 22 at the City Stage at Union Station.
- Milking Christmas – Driven by a mission to keep the holiday perfect, Macey Maid-a-Milking finds herself in a lot of trouble as the future of Christmas hangs in the balance. Directed by Missy Koonce & Rusty Sneary, the hit musical runs through Jan. 6 at The Living Room.
- Nutcracker: All Jazz’d Up puts a jazzy spin on this holiday classic during two sold-out performances at 7:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the City Stage at Union Station
- Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical – Back by popular demand, the beloved television classic soars off the screen and onto the stage this holiday season. Rudolph and his friends, Clarice, Hermey the Elf, and Yukon Cornelius learn what makes you different makes you special. Performances run through Dec. 31 at The Coterie at Crown Center.
- A Spectacular Christmas Show – Singing • Dancing • Show Tunes • Christmas: These are a few of our favorite things! Holiday tunes from musical theater, innovative arrangements of Holiday classics continue through Dec. 23 at MTH Theater at Crown Center.
ARTS – your guide to arts and culture in greater Kansas City:
- ArtsKCGo is the new, online guide to arts and cultural events in greater Kansas City – including Art in the Loop, Charlotte Street, First Fridays, the City’s all-new arts festival, Open Spaces, plus all other Downtown-centric arts events.
LIVE MUSIC – of all tastes and flavors – is performed at these Downtown venues on most nights:
- Angel’s Rock Bar in the Power & Light District
- The Black Dolphin in the Crossroads
- Blue Room in the Historic 18th & Vine Jazz District
- Brewery Emperial in the Crossroads Arts District
- The Brick in the Crossroads Arts District
- The Dubliner in the Power & Light District
- Garment House in the Downtown Loop
- Gem Theater in the Historic 18th & Vine Jazz District
- Green Lady Lounge in the Crossroads
- Howl at the Moon in the Power & Light District
- KC Live Block! in the Power & Light District
- Kill Devil Club in the Power & Light District
- Knuckleheads Saloon in the East Bottoms
- Leinenkugel’s Kansas City in the Power & Light District
- The Majestic in the Downtown Loop
- The Midland in the Downtown Loop
- Mosaic Ultra Lounge in the Power & Light District
- Mutual Musicians Foundation in the 18th & Vine Jazz District
- The Phoenix in the Downtown Loop
- PBR Big Sky in the Power & Light District
- Prohibition Hall in the Downtown Loop
- Record Bar in the Crossroads
- The Ship in the West Bottoms
- Stockyards Brewing Company in the West Bottoms
- The Truman in the East Crossroads – Coming soon!
MUSEUMS are alive and well throughout Downtown, including these 16 destinations:
- Airline History Museum in Hangar 9 at the Downtown Airport
- American Jazz Museum in the historic 18th & Vine Jazz District
- American Royal Museum in the West Bottoms
- Arabia Steamboat Museum in the City Market
- Black Archives of Mid-America in the historic 18th & Vine Jazz District
- Hallmark Visitors Center at Crown Center
- Historic Garment District Museum in the Downtown Loop at 801 Broadway
- Kansas City Museum in northeast KC at 3218 Gladstone Blvd.
- Money Museum at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City
- Museum of Illusions at Union Station
- National Archives of Kansas City, west of Union Station
- National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame at the Sprint Center
- The National WWI Museum and Memorial at Liberty Memorial
- Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in the historic 18th & Vine Jazz District
- Science City at Union Station
- TWA Museum at the Downtown Airport
- Union Station Gallery at Union Station
For more of what’s happening in Downtown and Kansas City, check out our friends at VisitKC.com