Take of a taste of Downtown dining + A&E this week

From Lyle Lovett and his Small Band to The Sound of Music; from Cirque du Soleil Crystal to The Yellowjackets; and from KC Restaurant Week to And, That’s Why We Drink at The Truman, Downtown KC is smokin’ hot this week. Roll the highlight reel for the week in arts, culture, entertainment and dining Monday to Sunday, Jan. 14-20:

Folly Theater will launch its 2019 calendar by kicking off the 36th annual Folly Jazz Series with The Yellowjackets at 8 p.m. Friday. Over the years The Yellowjackets have been applauded for being one of the only true jazz fusion bands, successfully crossing jazz genres including blues, R&B, and electric. The evening will open at 7 p.m. with a Jazztalk by Gerald Dunn.

Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts will light up the KC arts scene with 13 performances this week, including:

  • The Sound of Music – One of Broadway’s all-time best and most popular shows returns to Downtown this week. The KC Broadway Series will present eight performances from Tuesday to Sunday in the Muriel Kauffman Theatre.
  • Side by Side – Join the Kansas City Symphony and the Youth Symphony of Kansas City, as they rehearse side by side on stage in Helzberg Hall. Associate Conductor Jason Seber will lead this open rehearsal beginning at 7 p.m. Wednesday in Helzberg Hall.
  • Classics Uncorked: Grammy Greats –  The Kansas City Symphony will perform some of the best Grammy® Award-winning music for a one-night-only showcase beginning at 7 p.m. Thursday in the world-class acoustics of Helzberg Hall. After the concert enjoy a complimentary glass of wine or champagne, and take in the gorgeous Downtown skyline. 
  • An Evening with Lyle Lovett – With his gift for storytelling, the Texas-based musician fuses elements of Americana, swing, jazz, folk, gospel and blues in a way that breaks down barriers. Lovett’s eclectic performance style guarantees a compelling and captivating experience in his first-ever Helzberg Hall performances with his Small Band and the Kansas City Symphony at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 7 p.m. Sunday.

KC Restaurant Week – the wildly popular celebration of dining continues through Sunday, Jan. 20 in Downtown and throughout Kansas City. Multi-course lunch and dinner menus will be available daily for $15 and $33. Make your reservations at KCRestaurantWeek.com.

Knucklehead’s – the hottest honky tonk in the Big Town – features 8 rockin’ shows this week, including Sam Bush with the Mighty Pines at 8:30 p.m. Friday, and Courtney Patton with Brad Cunningham in the Gospel Lounge at 9 p.m. Saturday.

Mid America RV Show – the RV show for RV enthusiasts – returns to Downtown for a four-day run – Thursday through Sunday – at Bartle Hall. Doors open at 1 p.m. Thursday, 11 a.m. Friday, and 10 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Click here for tickets and more information.

The Broadway touring production of the beloved ‘The Sound of Music’ will light up the Kauffman Center with eight performances this week, beginning Tuesday.

The Record Bar will light up the Crossroads with 3 nights of live music this week, including two nights with The Band That Fell to Earth – a tribute to David Bowie – at 8:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

Sprint Center will be aglow this week with its coolest arena show yet, Cirque du Soleil’s CRYSTAL. This unique arena production showcases synchronized, freestyle and extreme skating alongside circus disciplines such as swinging trapeze, aerial straps and hand to hand. CRYSTAL will be featured in seven performances this week from 7:30 p.m. Wednesday to 5 p.m. Sunday.

The Truman will begin its 2019 performance schedule in grant style with a sold-out concert by And, That’s Why We Drink at 8 p.m. Friday, followed by Trampled by Turtles at 8 p.m. Saturday.

LIVE THEATER is thriving on Downtown stages, including four productions this week, including:

  • Death and The Maiden – At once global and intimate, this bracing Olivier Award-winning play has become a contemporary classic that considers both the social and personal implications of abuse and retribution that remain relevant today. This Kansas City Actors Guild production, directed by Cinnamon Schultz, runs through Jan. 27 at City Stage at Union Station.
  • Let’s Duet – Joining forces for the first time as an exclusive duo act, Broadway stars Corey Cott and Laura Osnes offer an intimate, one-of-a-kind, MUST-see evening with music director and pianist Benjamin Rauhala. Seating is limited, don’t miss your chance to see two of Broadway’s hottest stars at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday at MTH Theater at Crown Center.
  • Songbook of the 40s – Join the Quality Hill Playhouse troupe for a sentimental journey through America’s songbook of the 1940s, featuring hits made popular by the likes of Bing Crosby, Glenn Miller, the Andrews Sisters, and Dinah Shore. Performances begin Friday and continue through Feb. 17.
  • The Sound of Music – The spirited, romantic and beloved musical story of Maria and the von Trapp Family will once again thrill audiences with its Tony®, Grammy® and Academy® Award-winning Best Score, as the Broadway touring production returns to Downtown this week. The KC Broadway Series will present eight performances from Tuesday to Sunday in Kauffman Theatre at the Kauffman 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 VisitKC.com

KC Streetcar to ‘Roll with the Chiefs’ beginning Friday

One of the KC Streetcars will be wrapped in Kansas City Chiefs colors and images today in preparation for a Red Friday debut on, well, Friday. Go Chiefs!

One of the KC Streetcars will be wrapped in Kansas City Chiefs colors and images in preparation for a Red Friday debut on, well, today. Go Chiefs!

The KC Streetcar is doing something it has never done before – turning over a streetcar to the Kansas City Chiefs.

Beginning Friday, all of Kansas City is invited to Roll with the Chiefs on a specially branded Chiefs KC Streetcar. The Kansas City Chiefs and the KC Streetcar Authority (KCSA), together with Hy-Vee and Sprint, wrapped one streetcar in Chiefs branding to kick off Red Friday and the Chiefs playoff run, which begins Saturday against the Indianapolis Colts.

In addition to the Chiefs Streetcar, the Chiefs and the KCSA are throwing a Red Friday celebration.

Rolling with the Chiefs will include Chiefs representatives, KC Wolf, Chiefs Cheerleaders, Chiefs Ambassadors and the Chiefs Rumble for Kansas City’s first-ever Rolling with the Chiefs party. The celebration will start on board the Chiefs Streetcar at 5 p.m. Friday and continue for one loop around Downtown.

The Chiefs crew will then head back to the Power & Light District Streetcar stop at 14th & Main Street where the Red Friday celebration continues as well as at BRGR Kitchen + Bar. There will be giveaways and prizes for those in attendance, including four tickets and pregame sideline passes for Saturday’s AFC Divisional Game at Arrowhead Stadium courtesy of Hy-Vee, presenting partner of the playoffs.

Getting off work early this Red Friday? Join the Streetcar team and 810 Sports Radio as they broadcast live from on board the Chiefs Streetcar starting at 3 p.m. Friday. You can track the exact location of the Chiefs Streetcar, otherwise known as Streetcar 804, using the free KCity Post tracker for or the RideKC Transit App for smart phones.

For KC Streetcar inquiries, contact Donna Mandelbaum with the KC Streetcar Authority at 816.627.2526 (office), 816.877.3219 (cell) or by email at dmandelbaum@kcstreetcar.org. The KC Streetcar is also online at www.kcstreetcar.org and on Twitter (@kcstreetcar), Facebook (@kcstreetcar) and Instagram.

Restaurant Week tops a red-hot list of what’s happening this week

Monster Jam returns to the friendly confines of Sprint Center for four family-friendly shows this weekend.

From KC Restaurant Week to Live from Here with Chris Thille; and from the Monster Jam to the KC Boat & Sportshow, the Downtown is up and running for the New Year. Roll the highlight reel for a relatively quiet week in arts, culture and entertainment – Monday to Sunday, Jan. 7-13:

Ailey Trio will present a free public performance at 7 p.m. Thursday in the Gem Theater, courtesy of the Kansas City Friends of Alvin Ailey. Visit kcfaa.org for details.

KC Boat & Sportshow – Whether you’re an avid outdoorsman or are just looking for a way to escape winter for the day, this is YOUR show! This annual 4-day event – from Thursday through Sunday – will transform Bartle Hall into a one-stop marketplace for outdoor fun.

KC Restaurant Week – the wildly popular celebration of dining – returns on Friday, Jan. 11 for a 10 day feast in Downtown and throughout Kansas City. Multi-course lunch and dinner menus will be available from Jan. 11-20 for $15 and $33. Make your reservations early at KCRestaurantWeek.com.

Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts will light up the KC arts scene with seven performances this week, including:

  • National Geographic Live with photographer Ronan Donovan at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday in the Muriel Kauffman Theatre. Join this biologist turned photographer, as he talks about the incredible similarities we humans share with other social mammals in the animal kingdom, and what we can learn from them.
  • Sounds Relaxing: Rejuvenate – Enjoy a soothing session of meditation + music (courtesy of Kansas City Symphony musicians) at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday in Helzberg Hall.
  • Russian Romantics: The Kansas City Symphony performs the works of three Russian giants – Stravinsky, Glazunov and Tchaikovsky – led by St. Petersburg native Andrey Boreyko who makes his Symphony conducting debut. This edition of the Symphony’s Classical Series is set for 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday in Helzberg Hall.
  • Live from Here with Chris Thile – Come be a part of live radio being made at 4:45 p.m. Saturday in Kauffman Theatre. Live from Here with Chris Thile (formerly A Prairie Home Companion) is a Saturday-night destination for radio audiences everywhere. This variety show features a unique blend of musical performances, comedy and audience interaction. Acclaimed musician and songwriter Chris Thile welcomes a wide range of well-known and up-and-coming talent to the stage – including Ry Cooder and The Hamiltones – for a beautiful listening experience. Live from Here is produced by American Public Media.

Knucklehead’s – the hottest honky tonk in the Big Town – features 7 rockin’ shows this week, including the Chris Knight Band at 8:30 p.m. Friday and the X Parte Dance Band at 8:30 p.m. Saturday.

The Record Bar will light up the Crossroads with 3 nights of live music this week, including Cory Wong (of Vulfpeck) at 8 p.m. Friday.

Sprint Center will shake the foundation of Downtown this week with four explosive episodes of Monster Jam – the unexpected, unscripted, and unforgettable family-friendly motorsport – on Friday through Sunday.

LIVE THEATER is thriving on Downtown stages, including one production this week:

  • Death and The Maiden – At once global and intimate, this bracing Olivier Award-winning play has become a contemporary classic that considers both the social and personal implications of abuse and retribution that remain relevant today. This Kansas City Actors Guild production, directed by Cinnamon Schultz, opens Wednesday and continues through Jan. 27 at City Stage at Union Station.

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 VisitKC.com

NYE to First Friday – a rockin’ week ahead in Downtown

From Noon and New Year’s Eve festivities on Monday to First Friday; and from the City-Wide Kwanzaa Celebration to Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire …  Downtown will be Dazzling again this week. Roll the highlight reel for the last of the 2018 holiday celebrations – and much more – in the Big Town, Monday, Dec. 31 to Sunday, Jan. 6:

Central Library will elevate the New Year with a special program on the new book Hare & Hare: Landscape Architects and City Planners at 2 p.m. Sunday. Authors Carol Grove and Cydney Millstein document the achievements of the Hare & Hare firm and its role in the growth of landscape architecture in the U.S. They discuss their research with former Kansas City council member Jan Marcason, a consultant with the Olsson Studio. RSVP Now for this free Missouri Valley Sunday program.

City-Wide Kwanzaa Celebration – The sixth and final night of the city’s Kwanzaa celebration concludes with the Kwanzaa Ball from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. on New Year’s Eve at the American Jazz Museum. The Jazz Museum has worked in partnership with the National Black United Front- KC, to present the 37th annual celebration that began on Dec. 26. For more information, call 816-866-3025; e-mail nbufkc@gmail.com; or visit the celebration Facebook page.

Downtown Dazzle will reach its holiday climax on New Year’s Eve with celebrations throughout Downtown, including:

Downtown prepares to welcome 2019 with New Year’s Eve merriment. Monday night… get ready to celebrate!

New Year’s Eve will celebrated on Monday night throughout Downtown with games, parties and live music throughout the urban core, such as Knucklehead’s (below) and Record Bar (ditto), The Truman KC (below), Quality Hill Playhouse (Live Theater below) along with a Noon Year’s Eve event for families (see Downtown Dazzle above) and three HUGE NYE parties, including:

  • Crossroads Hotel will celebrate its first New Year’s Eve beginning at 9 p.m. on NY Eve with a transformative night featuring round-the-clock music and performances programmed by Quixotic, open bar and craft cocktails, champagne and small bites for every appetite. Click here for tickets and more information.
  • Power & Light District– For more than 10 years, NYE Live! has been treating party-goers 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! The fun begins at 8 p.m. on NY Eve.
  • Union Station – Dance in the New Year with the hottest, swinging band – Dave Stephens and the KCJO 7 at New Year’s Swingin’ Eve. Your ticket gets it all – admission, live music, party favors, drinks, hot appetizers and midnight champagne toast, and the party begins at 8 p.m. on NY Eve.

First Friday – KC’s hippest night of the new year – returns this Friday with a sizzling collection arts and cultural experiences throughout Downtown via the:

  • 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.
  • On the Vine is a cultural experience of music, art, food, and shopping on First Fridays year ’round. Shop local artists and a diverse array of food trucks from 4-9 p.m. in the Museums of 18th & Vine Atrium … to keep First Friday hot even if the weather is cool.
  • First Friday Warehouse Weekends – one of the finest vintage marketplaces in the country – flourishes every First Friday weekend (Friday through Sunday) in the West Bottoms.

Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts will open its 2019 performance schedule with a blockbuster weekend, featuring the Kansas City Symphony presentation of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire in concert at 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday; noon on Saturday; and 2 p.m. Sunday in Helzberg Hall.

Knucklehead’s – the hottest honky tonk in the Big Town – features 9 rockin’ shows this week, including … New Year’s Eve Party featuring 5 bands on 3 stages, including Outlaw Jim & The Whiskey Benders with The Ben Miller Band, The M 80’s, The Instmatics and The Kris Lager Band beginning at 9 p.m. Monday, NYE; plus Bluegrass in the Bottoms presents Fruition with Brad Parsons & Starbird at 8 p.m. Thursday.

The Record Bar will light up the Crossroads with 3 nights of live music this week, including a rockin’ New Year’s Eve with Murder By Death at 9 p.m. Monday; and a War Child Benefit show featuring Ivory Blue, Adriana Nikole, John Keck and Erica McKenzie.

The Truman will light up the Big Town with a New Year’s Eve masterpiece featuring Making Movies performing The Talking Heads’ Remain in Light album, plus performances by Calvin Arsenia and Reptil. The show begins at 9 p.m. Monday, NYE.

LIVE THEATER is thriving on Downtown stages, including two productions this week:

  • 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 Sunday at The Living Room.
  • NYE Cabaret – Swing in the New Year as J. Kent Barnhart welcomes back Christina Burton and LeShea Wright plus the boys in the band (Ken Remmert on drums and Ben Tervort on bass) for a sizzling evening of jazz standards, 1960s hits, power ballads, and more at 6:30 and 10:30 p.m. New Year’s Eve at Quality Hill Playhouse.

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 VisitKC.com

Downtown continues to Dazzle thru NY Eve

Trans-Siberian Orchestra returns to Sprint Center for two soaring performances on Wednesday. The shows are part of TSO’s 20th anniversary tour.

From the WWI Truce Tournament to the Broadway tour of Book of Mormons; from the City-Wide Celebration of Kwanzaa to New Year’s Eve revelry in multiple locations; and from Noon Year’s Eve fun for families at Science City to the Soulfest at Municipal Auditorium … Downtown will be simply Dazzling this week from Christmas Eve to NYE! Roll the highlight reel for the week in arts, culture and entertainment – Monday to Monday, Dec. 24-31:

City-Wide Kwanzaa Celebration – Celebrate Kwanzaa in the Gem Theater from Wednesday through Tuesday (Jan. 1) evenings. Each night begins with an African market featuring local vendors at 6 p.m. The program begins at 7 p.m.  Each night features a different program or performance hosted by a local organization., including The Kwanzaa Ball on New Year’s Eve. The American Jazz Museum, in partnership with the National Black United Front- KC, presents the 37th annual celebration. For more information, call 816-866-3025; e-mail nbufkc@gmail.com; or visit the celebration Facebook page.

Downtown Dazzle will reach its holiday climax this week throughout 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. 

Knuckleheads – the hottest honky tonk in the Big Town – features 10 rockin’ shows this week, including Rainmakers with Blue False Indigo at 9 p.m. Friday; Samantha Fish at 8:30 p.m. Saturday; and the New Year’s Eve Party featuring 5 bands on 3 stages, including Outlaw Jim & The Whiskey Benders with The Ben Miller Band, The M 80’s, The Instmatics and The Kris Lager Band beginning at 9 p.m. Monday, New Year’s Eve.

The Midland will light up Downtown this week with one performance of the Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker. Featuring world class Russian artists, hand-painted sets, Russian Snow Maidens, and jubilant Nesting Dolls. this remarkable version of the Nutcracker is set for 7 p.m. Friday.

New Year’s Eve Weekend Soulfest featuring The Isley Brothers with Glenn Jones, The Whispers, hosted by Joe Torry and featuring DJ Foots beginning at 7 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 30 at Municipal Auditorium.

Downtown prepares to welcome the New Year with New Year’s Eve merriment throughout the neighborhoods on Monday night.

New Year’s Eve will be a celebration through Downtown KC with fun, games, parties and live music throughout the urban core, such as Knuckleheads’s (above) and Record Bar (next), The Truman KC (below), Quality Hill Playhouse (Live Theater below) along with a Noon Year’s Eve event for families (Downtown Dazzle above) and three HUGE NYE parties, including:

  • Crossroads Hotel will celebrate its first New Year’s Eve beginning at 9 p.m. on NY Eve with a transformative night featuring round-the-clock music and performances programmed by Quixotic, open bar and craft cocktails, champagne and small bites for every appetite. Click here for tickets and more information.
  • Power & Light District– For more than 10 years, NYE Live! has been treating party-goers 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! The fun begins at 8 p.m. on NY Eve.
  • Union Station – Dance in the New Year with the hottest, swinging band – Dave Stephens and the KCJO 7 at New Year’s Swingin’ Eve. Your ticket gets it all – admission, live music, party favors, drinks, hot appetizers and midnight champagne toast, and the party begins at 8 p.m. on NY Eve.

The Record Bar will light up the Crossroads with six nights of live music this week, including New Year’s Eve Eve with Not A Planet, Me Likes Bees and Rubeo at 8 p.m. Sunday, and a rockin’ New Year’s Eve with Murder By Death at 9 p.m. Monday, Dec. 31.

Sprint Center will smokin’ this week with the return of three red-hot performances, including:

  • Trans Siberian Orchestra returns to Sprint Center two spectacular shows at 3 and 8 p.m. Wednesday. This year’s 20th-anniversary tour, a presentation of TSO’s unforgettable “The Ghosts of Christmas Eve,” will feature founder/composer/lyricist Paul O’Neill’s timeless story of a runaway who finds her way into a mysterious abandoned theater.
  • Jeff Dunham brings his Passively Aggressive tour to the Big Town at 5 p.m. Saturday, along with his delightfully twisted cohorts; Peanut, Walter, José Jalapeño, Bubba J, and of course, Achmed the Dead Terroristo.

Truce Tournament – The Kansas City soccer community will take part in the sixth annual tournament commemorating the Christmas Truce in World War I. On Wednesday, teams will compete in The Truce 3v3 soccer tournament played on Memorial Hill with the Kansas City skyline providing an unmistakable backdrop. Activities begin at 8 a.m. Wednesday. For complete details – including a free British pub-themed English Premier League Boxing Day Watch Party inside the Museum – visit the National WWI Museum and Memorial.

The Truman is happy to welcome local psych-rockers Making Movies in to help ring in 2019!

The Truman will light up the Big Town with a New Year’s Eve masterpiece featuring Making Movies performing The Talking Heads’ Remain in Light album, plus performances by Calvin Arsenia and Reptil. The show begins at 9 p.m. Monday, Dec. 31.

LIVE THEATER is thriving on Downtown stages, including four productions this holiday week:

  • Book of Mormon – The nine-time Tony® Award-winning Best Musical returns to Downtown KC for one week only. This outrageous musical comedy follows the misadventures of a mismatched pair of missionaries, sent halfway across the world to spread the Good Word. The touring production opens Wednesday and continues through Sunday at the Music Hall.
  • 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.
  • NYE Cabaret – Swing in the New Year as J. Kent Barnhart welcomes back Christina Burton and LeShea Wright plus the boys in the band (Ken Remmert on drums and Ben Tervort on bass) for a sizzling evening of jazz standards, 1960s hits, power ballads, and more at 6:30 and 10:30 p.m. New Year’s Eve at Quality Hill Playhouse.
  • 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 Sunday at The Coterie 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 VisitKC.com

Crossroads bar nabs national attention for its holiday spirit(s)

The Miracle at Rockhill, on the second floor of The Rockhill Grille in the Crossroads, tops the list of holiday pop-up bars that recently received national attention in The Daily Beast.

A Downtown Kansas City holiday pop-up bar is featured in a national story featuring “Bars that really get into the holiday spirit.”

The Daily Beast pointed its national spotlight last week on festive pop-up bars, which “have officially taken over America.” The Miracle at Rockhill on the second floor of The Rockhill Grille, 2000 Grand, topped the list of The Daily Beast’s story on the best, brightest, and most enthusiastic spots.

The Daily Beast reported:

“From tinsel and twinkling garlands to life-size reindeer and towering nutcrackers, the last few years have seen an influx of holiday themed bars—and to be honest every year they keep getting better and better.

Whether you’re into festive cocktails with a hint of the beach, or want to go full candy cane and Santa Claus, there’s a holiday bar just for you. But there are only a few weeks left to get your fill of holiday cheer before the season comes to a close, so slip on your favorite ugly sweater and visit one of these bedecked bars tonight.

Miracle at The Rockhill Grille, Kansas City, Missouri

Back for its fifth year in a row, more than 80 bars around the country have signed up for a festive Miracle makeover, which includes signature drinks and seasonal glassware. For the first time, The Rockhill Grille in Kansas City, Missouri, is participating in the Miracle program, and the bar team has injected plenty of merriment into the experience. Along with the standard drinks menu, including the Christmapolitan and the Snowball Old-Fashioned that are featured at all of the participating Miracle locations, the bar is also serving a roster of its own recipes using products from local distiller, J. Rieger & Co. The pop-up will run through December 31. Find a list of all of this year’s Miracle locations here.

Erica Verges

Mele Kalikimaka at SOS Tiki, Atlanta, Georgia

At first blush, tiki drinks and the holiday spirit may not seem to go together at all, but for a second year in a row SOS Tiki’s Mele Kalikimaka is proving that it’s actually a match made in heaven. The name of the pop up is, of course, a Hawaiian phrase meaning “Merry Christmas.” (It’s also the title of a Bing Crosby tune popularized in the 1950s.) SOS Tiki, which is pictured above, has 10 Christmas-y cocktails to choose from, including a frozen, rum-spiked Eggnog, and the Jack Frost that combines rums, vanilla, coconut, pineapple, and lemon.

Craft & Commerce and False Idol, San Diego, California

Celebrating the holidays in balmy San Diego means you can have all the holiday cheer you want without having to bundle up. Local bar Craft & Commerce has turned itself into Whoville Winter Wonderland and the nearby False Idol is temporarily The Grinch’s Lair. That means after you’ve enjoyed a Reindeer Games cocktail (apple brandy, aquavit, chile liqueur, apple cider) or any of the other eight holiday-themed cocktails in Whoville, you can then drink a Holiday Mouth Feels (Angostura Bitters, pot still rum, lemon, falernum, orgeat) with the Grinch. Be sure to stop in before January 1, which is the last day for both pop ups.

Santa Baby, Chicago, Illinois

If you’re obsessed with tinsel, taken by wreaths, and blown away by a perfectly bedazzled tree, this immersive Chicago Christmas bar is where you need to celebrate the holidays. Not only will Santa Baby be decked out in over-the-top decorations, but it will also feature multiple bars slinging drinks that Kris Kringle would certainly enjoy. If you’re going with a group, try the oversized Jingle Juice, which blends a base of spiced rum, Grand Marnier and amaretto with a bright, bubbly blend of pineapple, Sprite, citrus and cranberry. And don’t forget to try the Atomic Yule Log (Flamin’ Hot Cheeto, cheddar, Sriracha dust) or a few Lumps of Coal (puffed rice, marshmallow, chocolate cookie dust).

Donn’s Depot, Austin, Texas

For more than two decades, Donn’s Depot in Austin has gotten gussied up for the holidays—and each year the decorations have gotten more intricate. The Sunday after Thanksgiving, more than 40 staff members work together to transform the bar and music venue into what it calls a “magical winter wonderland.” Snowflake ornaments hang from the ceiling and nutcrackers, mini-trees, and rows of stockings cover just about every possible surface. Visitors can sip on boozy and non-alcoholic holiday cocktails, including the Little Drummer Boy (tequila, allspice, pear, lemon), Mazel Tov (rum, chocolate, gelt), and warming hot chocolate.

Winter Chalet at Industry Kitchen, New York

Through the end of January, when you walk into the South Street Seaport’s Industry Kitchen you’ll be greeted by a canopy of twinkling lights, life-size reindeer and a swath of holiday greenery that transforms the space into a cozy getaway. But the wintry chalet experience is not complete without a festive cocktail in hand. Luckily, you’ll have plenty of options when deciding what to pair with your Gingernut Pizza—a pie made with a ginger crust, Eggnog frosting and candy canes. Go for The Flurry, a simple sour that mixes gin, St-Germain and lemon, or gather a group of friends and order the crowd-friendly Frozen Peppermint Slide (Baileys, candy canes, peppermint bark).

Sleyenda at Leyenda, Brooklyn, New York

Last year, Leyenda’s co-owners and bartenders extraordinaire, Julie Reiner and Ivy Mix, debuted their holiday pop-up bar Sleyenda—and this year, it’s back! Celebrating strong women the world over, the award-winning watering hole will donate $1 from each holiday drink sold to different charities, including the Global Fund for Women, New York Women’s Foundation, Outsmart NYC, and the Me Too Movement. That means no matter what Christmas or Hanukkah-themed drink you choose, from the Coquito Ho Ho Ho (reposado tequila, Oloroso sherry, coconut, Braulio, cinnamon) to the Chutzpah Spritzah (Aperol, Campari, gin, Manischewitz, Amaro Angostura, brut rosé), you can be sure you’re contributing to a good cause while spreading a bit of holiday cheer.”

The Miracle at Rockhill is open nightly through New Year’s Eve. Ho, ho, ho…

 

Holiday arts and lights shine bright in Downtown this week

Downtown KC will be dazzling this week, as holiday magic lights up Crown Center and every neighborhood. Hop aboard the KC Streetcar one evening this week and see for yourself. Ho, ho, ho!

From the Kansas City Southern Holiday Express Train at Union Station to the final week of the Kansas City Ballet’s performances of The Nutcracker; from the Kansas City Symphony’s Christmas Festival to The Elders at Knucklehead;s; and from Harry Connick Jr. at the Midland to, well, could it get any better than that?… Downtown will be Dazzling this week. Roll the highlight reel for the week in arts, culture and entertainment – Monday to Sunday, Dec. 17-23:

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 Kansas City Ballet presents its traditional holiday treat, ‘The Nutcracker’ over seven final performances this week at the Kauffman Center.

Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts will feature 12 holiday-inspired performances this week, including:

  • Christmas Festival – Kansas City’s favorite Christmas concert tradition returns 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 the final two (of seven) performances at 7 p.m. Monday and Tuesday in Helzberg Hall.
  • Handel’s Messiah – The Spire Chamber Ensemble and Baroque Orchestra returns to the Kauffman Center just in time for the holidays to perform this masterpiece with period instruments like you have never heard before…inspiring, dazzling, joyous. The performance is set for 7 p.m. Wednesday in Helzberg Hall.
  • The Nutcracker concludes its holiday run of 20 unforgettable performances this week 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 seven times this week with shows on Thursday through Sunday, with the finale beginning at 5 p.m. Sunday.
  • It’s A Wonderful Life – The holiday classic film comes to life with Dimitri Timokin’s timeless score performed by a live symphony orchestra, while the full film is shown on the big screen at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday in Helzberg Hall.

Knuckleheads – the hottest honky tonk in the Big Town – features 14 rockin’ shows this week, including The Elders in a sold-out performance at 8:30 p.m. Friday in the Garage; three performances by Danielle Nicole at 8 p.m. Thursday, 8:30 p.m. Friday and  7 p.m. Saturday in the Gospel Lounge; and the Katy Guillen & The Girls Farewell Show at 8:30 p.m. Saturday.

Harry Connick Jr. returns to KC this week to rejoice in New Orleans’ Tricentennial Celebration with a holiday concert at the Midland.

The Midland will light up Downtown this week with two inspired performances, including:

  • Harry Connick Jr. celebrates New Orleans’ 300th birthday and the influences that shaped his career with this very special holiday performance at 8 p.m. Wednesday; and
  • Jackyl returns to Downtown KC to share its wild, untamed and uncouth approach to rock ‘n’ roll with equal parts hard rock, heavy metal and Southern rock, Jackyl will rock this town at 7 p.m. Friday.

The Record Bar will light up the Crossroads with five nights of live music this week, including DJ Lee and Friends Annual Holiday Show at 7:30 p.m. Thursday; and Radkey with Drop A Grand and Bad Ideas at 8 p.m. Friday.

For King & Country will perform ‘Little Drummer Boy – The Christmas Tour’ on Friday at Sprint Center.

Sprint Center will smokin’ this week with two inspirational evenings of (a) holiday classics and (b) college hoops, including:

  • For King & Country – The Grammy-winning duo, featuring Cory Asbury, presents Little Drummer Boy, The Christmas Tour at 7 p.m. Friday. The Tour features favorite Christmas carols and music from their new album, ‘burn the ships’.
  • K-State – Vanderbilt will square off in a men’s collegiate basketball showdown at 6 p.m. Saturday. The 16th ranked Wildcats will be considered as the home team on the friendly KC court.

LIVE THEATER is thriving on Downtown stages, including five 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 Sunday at Quality Hill Playhouse.
  • Jingle Bells, Batman Smells – Theatre for Young America presents this glittering holiday favorite, which is runs through Saturday 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.
  • 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 Sunday 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 VisitKC.com

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 VisitKC.com

Christmas tree at Crown Center rates of one of nation’s finest

The Mayor’s Christmas Tree at Crown Center is receiving media accolades as being one of the finest public Christmas trees in the nation.

The Mayor’s Christmas Tree at Crown Center is receiving national attention this season, as one of the finest public holiday trees in the land.

USAToday.com with 36.8 million unique monthly visitors (UVM) ranks the Crown Center holiday tree as one of 10 travel-worthy trees across the USA:

“Christmas trees draw communities and travelers together,” Tim O’Connor, executive director of the National Christmas Tree Association, told USA Today. Towering and elaborately decorated public trees allow visitors to join in local holiday traditions and gatherings. “They really symbolize Christmas so well, and attract tens of thousands of people.”

He shares some favorites with USA Today, including the Mayor’s Christmas Tree in Kansas City:

“One of the nation’s largest Christmas trees shines above Kansas City every holiday season,” USA Today reported. “A 100-foot Oregon Douglas fir lords over the city’s Crown Center, which welcomes Christmas with an ice-skating rink, a gingerbread village and holiday train. At the end of each season, wood from the tree is made into ornaments. Proceeds from sales benefit a holiday charity fund for needy city residents.”

More media kudos for the Crown Center beauty have been reported at least three more national media outlets, including:

  • CountryLiving.com (11.5 million UVM) – “The Most Iconic Christmas Tree in Every State”
  • Yahoo.com (10 million UVM) – Syndication of Country Living’s “The Most Iconic Christmas Tree in Every State”
  • BellaNYC.com (14.9 million UVM) – “Spread the Festive Cheer by Visiting These Must-See Spectacular Christmas Trees”

The Mayor’s Christmas Tree at Crown Center will be on public view through year-end. And, it is a sight to behold.

 

Symphony to attempt Guinness World Record for TubaChristmas

The Kansas City Symphony is aiming for tuba glory at noon on Friday, Dec. 7 in the Municipal Arena at Municipal Auditorium with its annual holiday tradition TubaChristmas.

Since 2008, the Symphony has hosted hundreds of tuba and euphonium players for TubaChristmas, most recently in Helzberg Hall at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts for two performances each year. For 2018, the Symphony was ready to up the ante by combining all players into one date at the Municipal Arena and go for a GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS title attempt.

The free, one-hour concert on Friday, Dec. 7 will feature traditional holiday carols arranged for tuba and euphoniums, and the concerts draw packed houses. The 2018 concert also will feature the world premiere of a new composition for tubas and euphoniums by James Barnes, noted composer and University of Kansas professor emeritus of music composition. University of Kansas professor of tuba-euphonium, Scott Watson, will conduct the concert.

The tradition of TubaChristmas began in 1974 in New York City by renowned tuba player and teacher Harvey Phillips. Today there are hundreds of TubaChristmas events around the nation and world, making it the perfect event for a GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS official attempt.

The current record was achieved on December 21, 2007, in Anaheim, California, with 502 performers.

“We can absolutely break the current GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS title,” said Kansas City Symphony Executive Director Frank Byrne, himself a tuba player. “This event has such wonderful spirit, is so much fun, and we have had incredible response each year. For 2018 we want to have the biggest and best TubaChristmas in the world, and to break a GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS title. It will be a source of pride for Kansas City and great fun for performers and audience.”

The Symphony is taking no chances. A GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS Adjudicator will attend, so everyone at the concert will know if the Kansas City Symphony’s TubaChristmas achieves a GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS title.

Tuba and euphonium players may register to perform here.

Audience members who wish to witness the GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS title attempt can secure free tickets right here.

Natl Geographic Traveler names KC one of the world’s ‘best trips’

Courtesy, The Kansas City Star

“One may wonder what Kansas City has in common with Dakar, Senegal, or Perth, Australia.

It seems they are among must-see destinations for travelers in 2019. That’s according to National Geographic Traveler magazine, which published the list last week in the December-January issue.

Why go now? To “revel in the revival,” the magazine says.

“Most visitors to the Midwestern city come for the barbecue and all that jazz but soon find themselves caught up in an urban renaissance,” according to the piece.

It goes on to tout the “reinvention of the historic Savoy Hotel and Grill as the 21cMuseum Hotel Kansas City and the free downtown streetcar.

The article also encourages visitors to check out the American Jazz Museum and the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. It touts the “retro-cool retailers and clubs” of the industrial West Bottoms.

“To me, West Bottoms speaks to the history of Kansas City: the stockyards and trains and commerce moving through the middle of the country,” Chris Goode, CEO and founder of Ruby Jean’s Juicery, told the magazine. “But no matter where you go in Kansas City, it will feel like home. “The city just has soul.”

National Geographic Traveler editor-in-chief George Stone said the Best Trips issue “features 28 destinations and experiences that can inspire us, change our perspectives and connect us with cultures, places and ideas that matter in the world.”

National Geographic travel editors and explorers selected their top destinations in four categories: cities, nature, culture and adventure.

Kansas City is the only American destination on the cities list, which includes Dakar; Perth; Salvador, Brazil; Toronto, Canada; Matera, Italy; and Mexico City. (The magazine specified that it is referring to Kansas City, Mo.)”

Click here to read the complete story.

Lights, camera, action! Holidays light up Downtown all week long

From the Kansas City Ballet and The Nutcracker to the Kansas City Symphony and TubaChristmas; from Downtown Dazzle’s Urban Homes Tour to Martina McBride’s Joys of Christmas; and from the Symphony’s Handel’s Messiah to the Kansas Jayhawks returning to the hoops of Sprint Center … Downtown will be Dazzling this week. Roll the highlight reel for the week in arts, culture and entertainment – Monday to Sunday, Dec. 3-9:

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…

  • 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 presents its second annual Holiday Jam of free musical performances on-board the streetcars. The coming week will feature three Jams, including Ernest James Zydeco from 5-7 p.m. Friday; Christopher “CNote” Nickens from noon-2 p.m. Saturday; and 2Cellos KC from noon to 2 p.m. Saturday.
  • Power & Light District will feature a host of holiday movie parties at the Alamo Drafthouse, including The Greatest Showman at 8 p.m. Monday; Love Actually at 8 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday; and Elf at 8 p.m. Sunday and next Monday, Dec. 10.
  • Union StationHolidays 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.
  • Urban Homes Tour – Downtown’s trendiest residential properties – from the Crossroads Arts District to the River Market – will open for free, public tours during the most popular event of Downtown Dazzle. Participants are invited to explore at their leisure from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday while traveling from one property to the next by using the KC Streetcar, walking or driving. To register or to learn more, click here.

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 this weekend and next – from 3-7 p.m. Friday, and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. For ticket information, click here.

First Friday – KC’s hippest night of the holiday season – returns this Friday with a sizzling collection arts and cultural experiences throughout Downtown via the:

  • City Market will be showcasing artists who want to explore their painting skills during an Art Experience Paint Night class from 7-9:30 p.m. in City Market Square OR to demonstrate their techniques and exhibit their works during Be Part of the Art from 6-10 p.m. in Pavilion 1.
  • 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.
  • First Friday on the Vine is a cultural experience of music, art, food, and shopping on every First Friday year round. Shop local artists and a diverse array of food trucks from 5-9 p.m. in the Museums of 18th & Vine Atrium … to keep First Friday hot even if the weather is cool.
  • First Friday Warehouse Weekends – one of the finest vintage marketplaces in the country – flourishes every First Friday weekend (Friday through Sunday) in the West Bottoms.

Folly Theater will have ’em dancing in the aisles this week with two performances that thrives at the opposite ends of the artistic spectrum, including:

  • A Drag Queen Christmas -presented by Murray & Peter – hosted by Miz Cracker and Monet X Change at 8 p.m. Wednesday; and…
  • Bach Collegium Japan – presented by Friends of Chamber Music – an ensemble consisting of performers of original instruments and a choir formed in 1990 by Masaaki Suzuki, the internationally renowned and highly reputed Bach performer, beginning at 7:30 p.m. Thursday.

Kansas City Public Library will revel in the holiday spirit this week, as it presents four public programs on back-to-back days at the Central Library, including:

  • All Because of a Mormon Cow – Eli Paul, former manager of the Library’s Missouri Valley Special Collections, recounts a Wyoming standoff in 1855-1856, where a rash young officer and 28 of his soldiers were killed in what became known as the Grattan Massacre, instigating the First Sioux War and unleashing a generation of fighting on the Great Plains. The program is set for 6:30 p.m. Wednesday. RSVP here.
  • Backstage Pass – This special exhibit feature works from Baron Wolman, the first chief photographer of Rolling Stone magazine, including 35 photographs, contact sheets, and original magazine covers. It opens at 6:30 p.m. Thursday. RSVP here, man.
  • A Winter’s Tale in Word and Song – Combine scenes from Shakespeare’s greatest plays with the works of Bach, Mozart, and Vivaldi and a couple of beloved, centuries-old carols, and … it’s reason to welcome winter. This performance of Bach Aria Soloists and the Heart of America Shakespeare Festival is set for 6:30 p.m. Saturday. RSVP at once.
  • Holiday Open House – Guests of all ages are invited to step into the holiday season with an afternoon of creative art, music, performance, and refreshments beginning at 2 p.m. Sunday. Ho RSVP ho.

Kansas City TubaChristmas – The Kansas City Symphony will present the region’s largest TubaChristmas event EVER. All area tuba and euphonium players are invited to join in the festivities that begin at noon Friday at Municipal Auditorium. Friends, family and the general public are invited to attend the lunch hour concert to listen to the sounds of the season, tuba-style! Tickets are free, however advanced registration is required. Click here to register, and join a potential world’s largest audience for TubaChristmas!

Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts will feature 10 holiday-inspired performances this week, including:

  • Winter Wonderland – The Kansas City Jazz Orchestra gets its Jingle Bell groove on with some extra hip renditions of holiday tunes featuring Hammond B3 organist, Chris Hazelton. The party is set for 7 p.m. Tuesday in Helzberg Hall.
  • 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.
  • Handel’s Messiah – Nearly 200 amazing musicians and powerful voices bring this choral masterpiece to life with the return of Aram Demirjian as guest conductor. From the “Passion of the Christ” to the “Hallelujah Chorus,” Handel’s glorious Messiah is bigger and better than ever in the acoustically marvelous Helzberg Hall. Performances are set for 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday.

Knuckleheads – the hottest honky tonk in the Big Town – features 14 rockin’ shows this week, including Maria the Mexican at 7 p.m. Friday; Steve Earle and the Dukes with The Mastersons 30th Anniversary of Copperhead Road at 8:30 p.m. Saturday; and the Fish Fry Holiday Extravaganza with the Funky Butt Brass Band at 7 p.m. Sunday.

Country icon Martina McBride will celebrate songs of the season, when she performs on Thursday at the Midland Theatre.

The Midland will be rockin’ around the Christmas tree this week with four huge shows, including:

  • Chvrches featuring The Moth and The Flame, and Royal Teeth at 7 p.m. Tuesday;
  • Martina McBride returns to Downtown KC to celebrate with her Joys of Christmas Tour at 8 p.m. Thursday;
  • Lewis Black – the comedic king of the rant – will ignite the stage at 8 p.m. Saturday;
  • Thom Yorke, featuring Oliver Coates, will light up the Midland with his Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes Tour at 8 p.m. Sunday.

The Record Bar will light up the Crossroads with five nights of live music this week, including The Barclay Martin Ensemble at 8 p.m. Wednesday and the Hooligan Holiday Punk Rock Prom featuring Slapshot, The Press, Unruly Boys, Boss Holligan Sound System and DJ Maladjusted beginning at 8 p.m. Friday.

Sprint Center will feature NCAA men’s basketball with the Jayhawk Shootout, as the 2018 Big 12 Champion Kansas Jayhawks take on the New Mexico State Aggies in non-conference action at 7:30 p.m. Saturday. The Jayhawks are currently ranked as the No. 2 team nationally by ESPN.

The Truman will be soaring with two performances this week, including San Holo with Chet Porter, Taska Black and Beaudamian beginning at 8 p.m. Thursday and Tom Morello and the Atlas Underground Experience at 8 p.m. Saturday.

LIVE THEATER is thriving on Downtown stages, including four 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.
  • 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 opens Thursday and runs through Jan. 6 at The Living Room.
  • 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 and more will open Thursday and 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 VisitKC.com