All aboard for a dazzling holiday season in Downtown KC

Downtown Dazzle will feature the annual return of the Kansas City Southern Holiday Express Train this week exclusively at Union Station.

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 Dazzlenow 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 DistrictUnion 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…

The Fairy Princess will being her holiday gifts to area children this weekend at the Garment District Museum, on behalf of the Kansas City Museum.

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!

The Kansas City Symphony presents its Christmas Festival, the season’s most popular holiday concert, beginning Friday at the Kauffman Center.

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.

Steel Panthers, the world’s premiere party band, will light up the Midland on Tuesday by melding hard rock virtuosity with parody and criminally good looks.

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 Youngthe 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.

The Record Bar will light up the Crossroads with four nights of live music this week, including Big Bad Hats with Rachel Mallin & The Wild Typeand Belle & The Vertigo Waves at 8 p.m. Friday.

The Truman will feature LANco at 7 p.m. Monday, as the band travels the country via the T Mobile + Pandora tour.

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:

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