Roll the highlight reel for the week of Christmas in arts, entertainment and cheer in Downtown Kansas City from today (Monday) to Sunday, Dec. 23-29:
Crown Center, 2405 Grand. This week, will be aglow with the spirit of the season during this Christmas week, featuring::
- Mayor’s Christmas Tree – The 100-foot-tall lighted tree, one of the nation’s tallest, is the centerpiece for an illuminating holiday celebration. The tree is a symbol of the Mayor’s Christmas Tree Fund, which is dedicated to assisting the city’s less fortunate. Now shining through Dec. 31.
- EBT Santa’s Countdown to Christmas – Don’t miss one of Kansas City’s favorite pieces of Christmas nostalgia. 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. The Jolly Ol’ Soul will be on display through Dec. 31.
- Santa’s Gingerbread Station – Kids and families can explore this interactive exhibit (through Dec. 31), meet and have their photo taken with Santa Claus (through Christmas Eve), climb aboard the Crown Center Express Train Engine, and enjoy Gingerbread Village No admission fee.
- And, the ever-popular Ice Terrace – Kansas City’s public outdoor ice skating mecca – is open daily through March 8 (except for Christmas Day). Visit the Crown Center Ice Terrace for the complete schedule and more details.
Downtown Dazzle – Explore Downtown Kansas City and celebrate the season with holiday lights, special experiences, and dining and shopping exclusives now through Dec. 30. For a listing of the many seasonal events in Downtown, and to discover the Dazzle Deals coupon book, visit DowntownDazzle.com. As an added bonus to the holiday magic in Downtown this year, the following holiday pop-up adventures are designed to put a little extra merry in your heart:
- The Crossroads Hotel, 2101 Central, introduces The Toy Shop , a magical mash-up of a bar and toy experience, open from 4 p.m. to close daily through Saturday.
- The Rockhill Grille, 2020 Grand Blvd., is back with its second floor Miracle at Rockhill holiday pop-up bar experience, open from 3 p.m. to midnight through Saturday.
Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, 1601 Broadway. This week, the dazzling center will be aglow in the spirit of the season, including:
- Christmas Festival – The Kansas City Symphony invites you to buckle up for a sleigh ride into Helzberg Hall! Your family and friends will love the annual holiday celebration, filled with festive songs of the season, carols, choirs and special guests — including one jolly visitor from the north. The heart-stirring run of six performances will conclude at 7:30 p.m. today (Monday) in Helzberg Hall.
- The Nutcracker – The Kansas City Ballet awes audiences year after year with its holiday magic, hailed as “positively oozing charm” by The Washington Post. The classic, Victorian-era story of The Nutcracker by E.T.A. Hoffman featuring Clara, the Nutcracker Prince, Dr. Drosselmeier and the Sugar Plum Fairy is a magical theatrical experience wrapped with exquisite costumes, grand sets and captivating choreography. The remarkable 22-performance run will conclude this week – at 1 and 5 p.m. today (Monday) and 1 p.m. Tuesday (Christmas Eve) in the Muriel Kauffman Theatre.
Knuckleheads, 2715 Rochester. This week, KC’s favorite honky tonk will rock the East Bottoms with 12 live shows, including The Rainmakers at 8:30 p.m. Friday; Samantha Fish with Jonathan Boogie Band in a sold-out performance at 8:30 p.m. Saturday; and the Cate Brothers at 8:30 p.m. Saturday.
National WWI Museum and Memorial, 2 Memorial Dr. This week, featuring The Truce Tournament. The 7th annual event – set to begin at 8 a.m. Thursday – commemorates the Christmas Truce of 1914, in which the battles of World War I on the Western and Eastern Fronts temporarily subsided. The year’s activities include a free English Premier League Watch Party with optional all-you-can-eat/drink (beer/bloody mary) buffet and a 3v3 soccer tournament, which will be played on the Southeast Lawn at the National WWI Museum and Memorial. For complete event details, visit http://thetrucekc.com/
Union Station, 30 W. Pershing Rd. This week, experiencing a warm and welcoming holiday glow this Christmas week via:
- Holidays Come Alive – Stay warm and cozy inside KC’s favorite indoor holiday destination, enjoying a variety of unique sights, sounds and experiences this holiday season, including the Largest Indoor Holiday Tree, Holiday Plays & Performances, Breathtaking Decorations & Family Photo Ops, Holiday Movies & Planetarium Show (click here for tickets), Mini Train Rides (thru Dec. 29), Exhibitions, Holiday Science In Science City, and Holiday Displays & Activities for the entire family!
- Genghis Khan – Bringing the Legend to Life – Discover how legends are made in this world-class exhibition that explores the culture, conquests and heritage of the world’s greatest conqueror . . . the man Time Magazine and The Washington Post named “The Most Important Person of the Last Millennium.” Journey back 800 years, to experience the treasures and stories of Genghis Khan’s 13th-century Mongol Empire, the exhibition is showing seven days a week. Click here to learn more.
LIVE THEATER – This week, a peek behind the curtain reveals five productions – including four holiday delights – happening this week in Downtown:
- Best Christmas Pageant Ever – Theatre for Young America presents the holiday play that The Seattle Times calls The Seattle Times calls, “One of the best Christmas stories ever – and certainly one of the funniest.” Performances continue through Saturday at the City Stage Theater in Union Station.
- A Charlie Brown Christmas – The animated classic comes to life – complete with a live jazz trio playing the original Vince Guaraldi arrangements – for the holidays. Performances run through Sunday at The Coterie in Crown Center.
- Jingle Jamboree – Mesner Puppet Theater delivers holiday joy for the entire family with this performance that features favorite sing-along songs and audience participation. Performances run through Saturday at the Mesner Theater.
- Milking Christmas – Missy Koonce directs this holiday musical comedy where something has gone haywire in Christmastown. the fun continue through tonight (Monday) at The Living Room.
- Sensatia, Cirque Cabaret – Prepare to be transported to an interactive multimedia performance blending spectacular acrobatics, state-of-the-art visuals, live music, perfumery, and creative culinary concepts to arouse each of the five senses. Fusing film, live music, awe-inspiring acrobatics, projection mapping, culinary arts and more, this Quixotic experience promises a truly unique multi-sensory experience. Quixotic’s residency show runs through Feb. 1 in the new Quixotic Theater at Crown Center.
LIVE MUSIC is on tap most nights at these Downtown clubs and joints: Blue Room Jazz Club, Black Dolphin, The Brick, Gem Theater, Green Lady Lounge, Hush, The Majestic Jazz Club, Mutual Musicians Foundation, The Phoenix, Prohibition Hall , throughout the Power & Light District, The Record Bar and The Ship.
AND, UNIQUE TREASURES are plentiful via Downtown museums and attractions, including the Airline History Museum, Downtown Airport; American Jazz Museum, 18th & Vine; Arabia Steamboat Museum, River Market; Black Archives of Mid-America, 18th & Vine; Todd Bolender Center for Dance and Creativity, Union Station District; Boulevard Beer Hall, Westside; City Market, River Market; College Basketball Experience, Sprint Center; Garment District Museum, Garment District; Kansas City Public Library, Central Business District; Hallmark Visitors Center, Crown Center; Hy-Vee Arena, West Bottoms; Kansas City Museum, Corinthian Hall; Money Museum, Federal Reserve Bank of KC; National Archives, Union Station District; National WWI Museum and Memorial, Liberty Memorial; Legoland Discovery Center, Crown Center; Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, 18th & Vine; Riverfront Heritage Trail, River Market area; Science City, Union Station; Sea Life Aquarium, Crown Center; 21c Museum Hotel, Historic 9th District; TWA Museum, Downtown Airport; and Union Station, Union Station.