Best Places to See Christmas Lights in Kansas City
If you’re looking for something spectacular this holiday season, look no further.
The Kansas City Mama Holiday Lights Tour takes you through 15 incredible stops that showcase the best Christmas lights Kansas City has to offer.
But don’t take our word for it. Tour creator Andrea Krasnow has some exciting recommendations for all tour-takers:
“Just like last year, I'm striving to bring you the best holiday light tour for you and your family to enjoy! I'm adding some new locations to help expand your viewing pleasure, as well as continuing to bring the history as it applies. After all these years, I have to say my favorite stop on the tour is the Country Club Plaza. It's just as awe-inspiring as it was when I was little. I hope you join again this holiday season!”
This tour has become an annual tradition for many and takes you through Southwest Kansas City highlighting beautiful displays and massive inflatables. It also features plenty of activities for you and your family to enjoy.
Not only do you get to take in the beautiful sights, but you’ll have opportunities to learn more about Kansas City’s rich history and have the chance to show your support through various charitable organizations.
Built Story Recommendation: If you’re new to Christmas Light Tours, we suggest you pair some of the stops together and spread them out over a couple of nights. Don’t worry, the Built Story App makes it easy to carry on where you left off so you don’t miss a stop.
So grab your favorite holiday treat and let’s get started:
Community Favorites From Kansas City Mama Holiday Lights Tour
We don’t want to spoil all the fun, but we do want to show you some of the most popular, must-see stops! From local favorites to traditions dating as far back as the 1930s, below is a quick peek of what you can expect on your tour.
The Crown Center
This tourist destination in downtown KC opened in the early 1970s. There’s everything from the mayor’s magnificent Christmas tree, to skating on a beautiful ice terrace and activities to keep your children entertained for hours! Not to mention an appearance from Santa himself.
The Christmas lights and oversized wooden toy structures create a brilliant display and provide the perfect foundation for years worth of holiday memories.
The Country Club Plaza
The Country Club Plaza is almost 100 years old! Come take in the marvelous architecture and explore the whopping 784,000 square feet of retail space.
This masterpiece is home to the annual Plaza Lights and where the official lighting takes place on Thanksgiving night. A tradition that first began in 1925 with only one doorway having a single strand of lights.
Downtown Overland Park
Overland Park is an absolute must. This piece of history is located on the historic Santa Fe Trail. It used to be the site of busy horse-drawn traffic, the famous steam-electric interurban railroad line, and even an aviation park.
But now, it’s abundant with beautiful lights and ornaments that go above and beyond. It’s the perfect place for incredible pictures and only a quick stroll away from Thompson Park.
Paulie’s Penguin Playground
If you like penguins (and who doesn’t), you’re going to love this masterpiece. It all started in 2004 when the Craig family set up about 15 penguins and only a handful of lights. Now, there are over 140 inflatables and figures displayed throughout their yard!
Some move around, others play music, and if you happen to look up to the roof, you might just catch a viewing of “Happy Feet.”
Paulie’s Penguin Playhouse is free of charge, but they do accept donations for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. To date, the Craig family has been able to donate nearly $25,000!
This wondrous display begins in early December and remains lit until mid-January. Located in Sar-Ko-Par Trails Park, it’s an experience you’ll want to get out and explore on foot. With miles of light strands and thousands of colorful bulbs, you don’t want to miss it.
Free parking is available at the Indian Trails Aquatic Center or Foundry Church.
Preparing for Your Kansas City Christmas Lights Tour
Get the low down on exactly where to go. We’ve designed each route to ensure maximum light viewing, with the least amount of driving. Turn-by-turn navigation is integrated into the app—making each light tour easy-breezy, cozy, and brilliant.
Hear a holiday joke or read the stories of the people who decorate throughout the self-guided tour, too. You’ll have unlimited access to the route for 30 days—break up the tour if you’d like and enjoy it on your time!
It’s the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of the holidays.
All tours will be live on December 1 – and some earlier than that! Add yourself to the email list and we’ll be sure to send you updates on all Christmas light festivities.