courtesy Union Station, Kansas City

Of course, the mother of all holiday lighting events is the Annual Plaza Lighting Ceremony, now celebrating its 89th year. The festivities start at 5 p.m. Nov. 22, with a pre-show, followed by a ceremony at 6 p.m., and the flip of the switch and fireworks at 6:54 p.m. Stick around for the post-ceremony concert featuring The Elders.

The fun continues downtown Nov. 23, with the Mayor’s Christmas Tree Lighting at 5:30 p.m. at Crown Center. After the holidays, wood from the tree is made into ornaments (see page 28), sold to benefit the Mayor’s Christmas Tree Fund, which assists the less fortunate.

Many other lighting events throughout the metro have extended runs. Following is a compilation of a few favorites.

Union Station

courtesy Union Station, Kansas City

Head to Union Station for Science City’s “Laser Holiday Magic” show in the Arvin Gottlieb Planetarium, from Nov. 17 through Jan. 6. A $7 ticket buys a festive reprieve from the holiday bustle, with a 25-minute program of colorful laser choreography set to music of the season.

Nov. 17 – 25, 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. Tuesday – Sunday
Nov. 26 – Dec. 2, 1 p.m. Tuesday – Sunday
Dec. 4 – 29, 1 p.m. Tuesday – Friday; 11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Saturday; 1 p.m. Sunday
Dec. 30 – Jan. 6, 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Tuesday – Saturday; 1 p.m. Sunday

For more information, visit

Powell Gardens

The annual Festival of Lights: Illuminated by KCP&L is back, from Nov. 23 through Jan. 6. Dress warmly to enjoy botanical-themed lighting displays that begin at the garden entrance and continue along a mile-long walking path through six themed gardens.

Hours are 4 to 10 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays at Powell Gardens, 1609 US-50, Kingsville, Missouri. Admission is $12 for adults, $10 for seniors, $5 for children, and free to children under 4. Parking costs $5. For more information, visit

photo by Mark Stuecheli

Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead

The popular Holiday Lights on Farmstead Lane runs from Nov. 22 through Jan. 7. View the 38-minute animated light show from your car, where you can listen to synchronized holiday music on 90.5 Rose FM. Pull up to the Farmstead’s main entrance and turn off your lights. The show is free.
Hours are 5 to 11 p.m. at Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead, 13800 Switzer Rd., Overland Park. For more information, visit

photo by Katharine Garrison

Overland Park Arboretum

Enjoy a walk in the woods tinged with holiday magic at the Overland Park Arboretum’s Holiday Luminary Walk, featuring candlelit trails and gardens, and holiday lights in the trees. Attractions include live music, Santa Claus in the Depot, horse-drawn wagon rides, hot cider around a campfire and mystical Gnome and Fairy Villages.

Hours are 5 to 9 p.m. Nov. 23 and 24, Nov. 30 – Dec. 1, and Dec. 7 and 8. eTickets, purchased online, cost $9 per person; free for children 5 and younger. Tickets can also be purchased at the gate the night of the event for $10 per person.

KC Studio

KC Studio covers the performing, visual, cinematic and literary arts, and the artists, organizations and patrons that make Kansas City a vibrant center for arts and culture.

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