Kansas City’s Holiday Fun Guide – Fairy Princess

Kansas City’s Holiday Fun Guide – Fairy Princess

The Fairy Princess is our family’s favorite “Holiday photo op with a Christmas character” because it is a one-of-a-kind Kansas City experience, our little girls love it (she has gifts for princes too!) and the Kansas City Museum creates a magical and extra special experience for all! Each family meets the Fairy Princess privately in her throne room. The throne room is beautifully decorated as a magical winter wonderland.

Children are each given the chance to visit with the Fairy Princess, share their Christmas wishes, and take photos… and then the REAL magic begins! With the assistance of the children, the Fairy Princess waves her wand, says the magic words, and her special treasure trunk mysteriously opens revealing a gift for each child in attendance!

Each child receives their own keepsake photo in a Fairy Princess frame and the parting gift is a delicious iced sugar cookie! The entire experience is festive, magical, and fun for the whole family!

The Fairy Princess
Saturdays, December 6, 13, 20 | 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Sundays, December 7, 14, 21 | Noon-4 p.m. | 

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The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Ranks Good, but not Great

By Alexander Morales

To say that I am a huge fan of Peter Jackson’s oversized homage to J.R.R. Tolkien’s classic books is by far an understatement. While I have never been a fan of the original books, the Lord of the Rings Trilogy and now The Hobbit Trilogy have been magnificent undertakings that are, in my opinion, some of the most quality movie going experiences audiences have received over the past few years.

2014_the_hobbit_the_battle_of_the_five_armies-wideHowever, in comparing the two trilogies against one another, The Lord of the Rings wins out whole heartedly. In terms of characters, development and wonder, The Hobbit films have just seemed lacking. Not because the actors and actresses have not delivered on their marks and not because the director has not given it his all. In my opinion, it’s all about relevance.

Just looking at the current hashtag attached to the final movies trailers – #OneMoreTime – it’s clear that audiences may just be over watching a Hobbit walk and walk for three hours. With a source material that is far smaller than any of the its following tomes, The Hobbit films thus far have been full of bloat that clearly has watered down its overall effectiveness in the opinions of critics and even the most die-hard of fans.

Have I enjoyed the first two films in the Hobbit Trilogy? Yes. Yes I did. Did I enjoy The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies? Yes. Yes I did. But …

Even I had a hard time caring anymore for Bilbo and crew this time around. Finally making it to their destination over the previous two films was already an exhaustive process and now, to be thrown into a two and a half hour fight took me over the limit. And in my opinion, that was what this film in the series basically boils down to  - a two and a half hour fight.

Did we learn nothing from The Matrix: Revolutions?

While full of visually appealing moments and fantastic fight choreography, ultimately, this film is nothing more than a building block bridging the gaps between Bilbo getting back to the Shire and then handing the ring off to Frodo.

Thorin-Oakenshield-the-hobbit-battlee-of-the-five-armiesWith little character development for anyone other than Bilbo and Thorin Oakenshield, it’s difficult to find a compelling argument to care anymore. That statement may be over-simplifying it too much as, of course, more characters do experience arcs that add to their overall appeal. However, in essence, more than half the Dwarfs remain background noise and the “armies” that arrive are just fodder for the battle field.

Are there moments of awesomeness? Hell yes there are. How about a Saruman, Elrond and Galadriel battle against the nine Ring Wraiths? Amazing. How about a Legolas all-out acrobatic sword fight on a crumbling tower against an orc boss? Crazy badass! What about Thorin’s all-out fight against his arch enemy and murderer of his father? Tear-dropping drama in all its slow motion beauty.

Full of everything I want but alas everything I’ve already seen, this final installment of The Hobbit Trilogy is nothing near the pageantry that was The Return of the King. Where the first film trilogy expanded the audience’s sense of wonder and the abilities of film storytelling, this film is is just another collection of large expansive landscapes, slow motion close-ups and of course … walking.

Like I stated, I did enjoy this film. However, in terms of its relevance in the grand scheme of its product, I’m not sure if larger audiences should take the time this holiday season to go back #onemoretime.

3 out of 5 armored boars

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History of the Fairy Princess

To past generations of Kansas City children, the holidays meant a visit with the fabulous Fairy Princess at Kline’s Department Store, 1113 Main Street. There, in Kline’s wondrous Toyland, yesterday’s youngsters told their fondest holiday hopes to the Fairy Princess. But the beautiful Fairy Princess did much more than listen. Being magical, she waved her wand to make a surprise gift appear for each child. This gift was a delightful prelude to the holidays when children received toys on their wish list.

The Fairy Princess tradition began in 1935 when Kline’s first opened its Toyland. The brand new toy department incorporated the latest trends in child development. As Kline’s officials informed the “modern mother and fathers” of 1935, “we consulted child psychologists and child experts” because “we wanted toys that would help your child develop a more alert mind, a healthier body and a happier disposition.” And, as an additional incentive to lure modern parents to Kline’s, they presented the Fairy Princess. A child could visit Santa at any department store, but only Kline’s featured the unique Fairy Princess.

In the following decades, the white-gowned, lovely Fairy Princess continued to fascinate children as some aspects of the presentation changed. Yet, it mattered little whether the surprise package slid down a chute, revolved on a turntable, appeared behind doors in a fairyland tree or lie in a festively decorated trunk because the Fairy Princess’ magic remained the same. Amazingly, so did the 25 cent fee Kline’s charged for a visit with the Fairy Princess from the 1930s through the 1960s.

The 1960s brought more and more children to this popular holiday attraction. Kline’s new branch store in the Ward Parkway and Antioch Shopping Centers increased the number of children this retailer could delight. To reach even more children, Kline’s sent the Fairy Princess to pediatric wards in area hospitals and to some public schools. Kline’s kept making the holidays special with the Fairy Princess until the late 1960s, shortly before the business closed in 1970.

To re-create one of the treasured traditions of downtown Christmas, the Kansas City Museum brought back the Fairy Princess tradition in 1987. The mission of the Fairy Princess event is to recreate this Kansas City historic event with an air of wonder and excitement. The event is part of local history and something children and adults of today enjoy.

In 2006, Zona Rosa and Kansas City Museum formed a partnership to help the Fairy Princess spread her joy to children at the new Northland shopping district.

The Fairy Princess
Saturdays, December 6, 13, 20 | 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Sundays, December 7, 14, 21 | Noon-4 p.m. |

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Fairy Princess honored for decades of greeting KC children at Christmas time

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The normally somber city council chambers turned more jovial Thursday thanks to the Fairy Princess and the holiday spirit that follows her.

Kansas City councilman Scott Wagner sponsored a special resolution to honor the fairy princess for her role in nearly eight decades of holiday cheer.

“We are so thrilled about this honor,” said Carol Barta, who was fairy princess in 1956. “We’re happy to be recognized as such a significant part of the holiday season here in Kansas City.”

The legend of the fairy princess dates back to 1935 at the Kline’s Department Store, 1113 Main Street, where children gathered to sit at the knee of the princess as an alternative to sit on Santa’s lap.

“It’s one of those lovely things where children come to you. They sit at your knee and they’re not afraid. They’re somewhat in awe,” said Barta.

Kline’s Department Store closed its doors in 1970. The  Kansas City Museum, 3218 Gladstone Boulevard, revived the princess in the mid-1980s.

The current fairy princess is Princess Holly. She grew up in Johnson County and even though she’s only 22-years-old, she knows she’s part of Kansas City’s history.

“My mom grew up going to the fairy princess at Kline’s Department Store, so she’s told me about that. As soon as my sister and I could understand, we always went to the fairy princesses.,” said Princess Holly.

The Kansas City Museum offers visits with the princess on Saturdays and Sundays for the next two weekends.

Special Thanks to Fox 4 News for letting us share this story.

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Kansas City Museum Holiday House Concert

Wednesday, December 10 | 7-9 p.m.

Pre-Registration is required.
Please call 816-513-7568 or email anna.tutera@kcmo.org

Enjoy festive music in Corinthian Hall with Beau Bledsoe and Elizabeth Suh Lane, delectable sweets, and holiday décor. Ms. Suh Lane is founder-Executive Artistic Director and violinist of the Bach Aria Soloists. Mr. Bledsoe is a professional and stylistically diverse guitarist ranging from Latin to classical chamber music. Spaces are limited.

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Gingerbread Lane Sparkles and the Shops at Crestwood Honor the Holidays

For the seven years in a row, I have been a judge for Gingerbread Lane, a benefit for the Children’s Center for the Visually Impaired. This year, the judging fell on Giving Tuesday, the newly designated day to give back after all the craziness of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. It seemed so fitting to take a stroll up and down the sidewalk and into the stores that make up the Shops at Crestwood.

It really is a privilege each year to be a judge. Holidays in Crestwood benefits the Children’s Center for the Visually Impaired (CCVI). In addition to special events, the local merchants donate a percentage of their sales to CCVI. Holidays in Crestwood featuring Gingerbread Lane will be here soon — Dec. 4, 5 and 6.

DSC_0034 NEWCheri Elder, owner of Sweet Bliss Cakery, Blue Springs, has been in the cake business for more than 40 years. Her creations are always something to behold each and every year. This year, Elder created a large and elaborate piece called Over the River and Through the Woods. She has a horse-drawn sleigh with a family heading to visit Grandma.

DSC_0035 NEWElder didn’t know about CCVI when she was recruited as a contestant. “I didn’t know they had a school here in the city,” she expounds. “Several of us took a tour and saw how much help children receive. It’s just wonderful.” CCVI offers visually-impaired children skills that include a variety of real-life experiences designed to increase independence and develop self-confidence. CCVI currently serves about 212 children from both sides of the state line: 105 children in the Infant Program, 50 children in the Preschool & Kindergarten Program, plus 24 sighted peers, and 33 children in the Outreach Program.

The emphasis on aiding children at CCVI and those who come to see the gingerbread houses prove to Elder that her time and devotion to this contest is worth it. Her daughter, Pamala Lair, DSC_0027 NEWnow competes in the gingerbread contest too. She created A Golden Nutcracker’s Braille Christmas Wish, complete with holiday wishes to be read and felt. Another favorite is Ginny Pilarz’s Steorra Queen of the Stars Castle. Pilarz received her inspiration from a Venetian style mask and created a whimsical and fantastical creation truly fit for a queen.

Other designers that always strike me DSC_0040 NEWinclude André and Elsbeth Bollier (Andre’s Confiserie Suisse) and their family members. There’s also Nellie Metcalf of Nellie’s Custom Cakes out of Claycomo and some designers from Trezo Mare who created a replica of Charles and Patty Garney’s Briarcliff home.

Needless to say, being a judge for this contest is just plain hard. I was impressed with every chef’s efforts and Elder’s in particular. They are the sweetest representations of Christmas. Of course, having done stories on CCVI and all the good things they do to help low vision and blind children, it’s pretty easy to be a judge and share the word about the good things are going on at CCVI and the Shops at Crestwood.

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Kansas City Museum The Fairy Princess

The Fairy Princess returns to the Kansas City Museum to spread
holiday cheer the first three weekends in December. Your child
will share their holiday wishes with the Fairy Princess while
getting their picture taken. You’ll have fun making holiday arts
and crafts and hearing stories from our local storytellers. And don’t
forget to pick up your sweet treat. Visit and picture with the
Princess, arts and crafts, storytelling and treats, all for $10!

The Fairy Princess
Saturdays, December 6, 13, 20 | 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Sundays, December 7, 14, 21 | Noon-4 p.m. | $10 per person


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Kansas City Museum Neighborhood Holiday Open House

Ring in the holiday season with the Kansas City Museum at our Neighborhood Holiday Open House. We’ll toast the holidays with sweets, savories and beverages as special guest Irma Starr presents our 2014 Fairy Princesses and Fairy Princess Costume Contest Winners. Special guest performers, soprano and “Snow Queen”Alyssa Toepfer and accompanist Richard L. Williams from the Lyric Opera, will perform at 6 p.m. The Museum this year will also be doing a special lighting of Corinthian Hall. 

Neighborhood Holiday Open House 
Thursday, December 4 
5-8 p.m. | Free

5:00 Reception Starts
6:00 Performance by the Lyric Opera
6:30 Introduction of Fairy Princesses and Costume Contest Winners
7:15 Lighting Ceremony
8:00 Reception Ends

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Come See The Fairy Princess!

Ring in the holiday season with the Kansas City Museum at our Neighborhood Holiday Open House. We’ll toast the holidays with sweets, savories and beverages as special guest Irma Starr presents our 2014 Fairy Princesses and Fairy Princess Costume Contest Winners. Special guest performers, soprano Alyssa Toepfer and accompanist Richard L. Williams from the Lyric Opera, will perform at 6 p.m. The Museum this year will also be doing a special lighting of Corinthian Hall. 

The Fairy Princess will be spreading holiday cheer at the Museum the first three weekends in December, for $10 per child.

The Fairy Princess
Saturdays, December 6, 13, 20 | 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Sundays, December 7, 14, 21 | Noon-4 p.m. | $10 per person


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Exhibit In Print

“Exhibit in Print” means an exhibition-without-a-gallery. This innovative program explores and publishes our collections during Corinthian Hall’s extensive restoration. The Exhibits in Print program invites diverse historians, artists and scholars to offer their unique perspectives about Museum artifacts, our historic home at the R. A. Long Residence and larger themes of regional and national history.

These publications are available to review here, and for purchase in the Museum Gift Shop.  http://kansascitymuseum.org/books/booklist.html

Join us for our next great event: Windows of Kansas City Author Talk and Book Signing with Author Bruce Mathews Thursday, November 13 6:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m. | Free

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Kansas City Museum – Interpretive Plan

Kansas City Museum Interpretive Plan

What is an Interpretive Plan?

An Interpretive Plan is an interdisciplinary guide that informs integrated, site-wide implementation of public program goals. It focuses on visitor needs and addresses professional issues of museum operation. The Kansas City Museum Interpretative Plan comprises a building-by-building site-use projection detailing expected visitor experiences and the environments where “interpretation” takes place.

Vision  The Kansas City Museum envisions that its visitors will experience a meaningful personal connection to the city’s histories and be inspired toward thoughtful citizenship.

Mission  The mission of the Kansas City Museum is to collect, preserve, and interpret the history of Kansas City, Missouri.

The Kansas City Museum Interpretive Master Plan results from more than 5 years’ collaborative planning by the Kansas City Museum Advisory Board, Union Station Kansas City / Kansas City Museum and numerous community constituents and professional peers. Inspired by this Vision and informed by this Mission, the Museum will interpret the development of the Kansas City area via multiple methods and perspectives.

In 2005 the City embarked on an ambitious program of restoration and rehabilitation at the 3-acre, six-building estate. The City is investing significantly in this process and the Museum’s managers, Union Station Kansas City are collaborating with City colleagues to complete plans for rehabilitation and restoration at the site, and subsequent design and installation of all-new exhibits and complementary programs.
The KCM Interpretative Plan is not a build-ready set of designs or blueprints – but will lend to this in future work phases – rather it will answer “who, what, when and where.” The Plan will anticipate programs that allow visitors to answer the “why” and, increasingly, the “so-what”.

The KCM Interpretative Plan will also address staff size, visitor flow and optimal visitor group size, as well as auxiliary Museum operations such as food service and retail, in order to guarantee mission-specificity in these areas.

Illustrations and conceptual drawings will be included in the KCM Plan, detailing select period restoration and other rehabilitation of the historic buildings and grounds, much of which is already under way.

Click here to review the entire Interpretive Plan

Click here for Interpretive Plan as pdf

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