Roll the highlight reel for the week of New Year’s festivities in arts, entertainment and cheer in Downtown Kansas City from Monday to Sunday, Dec. 30-Jan. 5:
Crown Center, 2405 Grand. This week, the ever-popular Ice Terrace, Kansas City’s public outdoor ice skating mecca, is open daily – including New Year’s Eve (10 a.m.-6 p.m.) and New Year’s Day (noon-9 p.m.) – through March 8. Visit the Crown Center Ice Terrace for the complete schedule and more details.
First Friday welcome the New Year this week with a cool collection of arts and cultural experiences throughout Downtown, including:
- Crossroads Arts District featuring arts organizations, galleries, studios, and a wide variety of local businesses in a celebration of local, regional and national artists and live entertainment from 5-9 p.m. Take a peek at the district’s galleries and studios at KCCrossroads.com.
- 18th & Vine delivers a cultural experience of music, art, food and shopping on First Fridays year ’round. Shop local artists and diverse food trucks from 4-9 p.m. in and around the Museums of 18th & Vine.
- First Friday Film Festival – MTH Theater at Crown Center presents this free, short film festival at 7:30 p.m. Friday. Open seating. Free tickets are available right here.
- First Festival Weekends – one of the finest vintage marketplaces in the country – flourishes every First Friday weekend – from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday through Sunday – in the West Bottoms.
Kansas City Public Library, 14 W. 10th St. This week, featuring Mansion on a Hill, a program on The Willows Maternity Home and the Adoption Hub of America at 2 p.m. Sunday in the Central Library. Author KelLee Parr’s mother was among the thousands of infants adopted through The Willows during its 64 years of operation. In a discussion of his new book Mansion on a Hill, he examines the history of the hospital and Kansas City as a “baby hub” through the mid-20th century, sharing the stories of some of the children adopted there.
Knuckleheads, 2715 Rochester. This week, KC’s favorite honky tonk will rock the East Bottoms with 7 live shows, including a blowout NYE party (see below).
National WWI Museum and Memorial, 2 Memorial Dr. This week, featuring a special exhibition on The Vietnam War. More than 40 years after its conclusion, the War remains one of the most controversial events of the 20th century. How did the conflict begin? Why did it begin? What are the connections between the war and its confounding cousin, World War I? This exhibition explores themes of patriotism, duty and citizenship through a remarkable collection of objects from the New York Historical Society.
NEW YEAR’S EVE –
- Crossroads Hotel, 2101 Central. Party with Quixotic, Molly Balloons, DJ Marvin Gardens, DJ House of Dante and Calvin Arsenia beginning at 9 p.m. And… did we mention Molly will be pouring champagne all night loong?
- Hotel Phillips, 106 W. 12th St. Ring in the New Year beginning at 7 p.m. with a prix-fixe seven-course culinary adventure in Tavernonna and entertainment by Billy Brady on acoustic guitar. Join us in P.S. Speakeasy for KC’s only Prohibition-style NYE, featuring live jazz by A La Mode.
- Knuckleheads, 2715 Rochester. Get down with a rockin’ night featuring 7 BANDS, including The Zero’s, The Instamatics, Katy and Stephanie, Stone Cutters Union, Levee Town, Heather Newman & Slim Hanson and The Poor Choices beginning at 8 p.m.
- The Madrigall, 1627 Oak. White Out celebration will feature Bollywood and Bhangra dance remixes all night long. Wear white.
- Power & Light District, 50 E. 13th St. For more than 11 years, NYE Live! will celebrate the Roaring 20s for 2020 with the BIGGEST New Year’s Eve party in town! Party-goers look forward to exclusive access to up to 12 bars and nightclubs, all-inclusive packages, great entertainment, NYE-themed party favors, confetti cannons, Champagne toasts and the city’s most anticipated countdown to Midnight – complete with a “Times Square” ball drop!
- Quality Hill Playhouse, 303 W. 10th St. Celebrate the end of 2019 with a hilarious and nostalgic evening of cabaret featuring Christina Burton, Molliann McCulley, LeShea Wright, and J. Kent Barnhart at 6 or 9 p.m.
- The Record Bar, 1520 Grand Blvd. Get down on NYE at Studio 1520: A Studio 54 Party featuring MC Theopatra Jones, Bill Pile and XO Blackwater at 9 p.m.
- J. Rieger & Co., 2700 Guinotte Ave. Kick up your heel’s at J. Rieger’s inaugural NYE festivities featuring specialty cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, plus entertainment by Sheppa + Lars, Hot Club KC and Julia Haile and a midnight toast.
- Scottish Rite Temple, 1330 E. Linwood Blvd. NYE at the Temple offers a six-hour open bar, four levels, five DJs and the “largest balloon drop” in the Midwest. from 8 p.m.-2:30 a.m.
- Studio Dan Meiners, 2500 W. Pennway. Behold the Black Party XV, the 16th annual and longest-standing NYE sellout party in KC from 8 p.m.-2 a.m.
- The Truman, 601 E. Truman Rd. Celebrate with Making Movies and special guests Wick & The Tricks and DJ Thundercutz beginning at 9 p.m.
- Union Station, 30 W. Pershing Rd. Double your pleasure with two huge celebrations, including:
- Noon Year’s Eve – Kids of all ages are invited to join this special daytime celebration featuring fun, hands-on science demos and workshops, a spectacular stage show, maker activities and more from noon to 7 p.m. in Science City.
- New Year’s Swingin’ Eve – Swing in the New Year at the biggest celebration in Kansas City, featuring award-winning Dave Stephens and the Kansas City Jazz Orchestra 7 (“KCJO7”) from 8 p.m.- 1 a..m. The evening will be emceed by Fox 4’s John Holt.
- Westin Crown Center, 1 E. Pershing Rd. Revel II is your passport to NYE via a two ballroom, two level spectacular beginning at 8 p.m. with art, fashion, music and food. Entertainment will feature KC native and Grammy-nominated producer Jo Blaq, plus premier musicians including Go Hard and the NuBlvckCity bands. Dance all night with DJ Hobo Tone and DJ Hank.
Union Station, 30 W. Pershing Rd. This week, in addition to NYE celebrations (above), check out:
- 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, featuring 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. 15 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.