Christmas at Union Station 2016

Posted December 05, 2016 7:03am by Jane

uskcstrainIt’s that time of year! Kansas City is full of fun Christmas events and celebrations going on all around the city (see our Events Calendar). One of my family’s favorite places to visit during the holiday season is Union Station, which offers a wide variety of fun holiday activities throughout the month of December.

What’s in store for you:

  • Science City offers “Merry Science” on Dec. 10, and Noon Year’s Eve on Dec. 31, both jam-packed full of learning and fun activities to bring in the holidays. Merry Science includes a Toy Workshop in the Maker Space, cookie decorating with Mrs. Claus, a holiday egg drop, and so much else to help kids discover Christmas in a new way. Noon Year’s Eve is the 4th annual celebration, from noon-7pm at Science City on Dec. 31.
  • Kansas City Southern Holiday ExpressMini Train Rides and more: Santa Claus and his elves come back to Union Station on the Holiday Express train, Dec. 16-20. Visit with Santa and tour this unique Christmas train for free (reservations suggested). In addition, there are mini train rides throughout the month. Mini train rides are $5/person (free for Union Station members) and riders must be under 48″. Click here for the schedule and more details. Plus, there will be an expanded Holiday Model Rail Exhibit, with more than 800 feet of track, 18 consecutive running trains and a 15-foot, 3-D, lighted Kansas City Southern Rudy train engine!usmerryscience
  • The “Holiday Swing” Indie Craft Fair: Go local Dec. 11 and shop the 100+ handmade and vintage vendors of Strawberry Swing, plus enjoy a special Quixotic surprise!
  • Gingerbread House Display: Dec. 13 – 24, the Kansas City Culinary Arts School has some amazing and creative Gingerbread houses to explore.
  • Various performances throughout the month, including the Snow Globe Musical Performance and Nutcracker: All Jazz’d Up on Dec. 17.
  • Finally, when you need a break, be sure to check out:

And, of course, there’s a special mailbox for kids of all ages to post their letters to Santa, located on level B, Tuesdays-Sundays!

Images courtesy of Union Station.

Kansas City Area Christmas Tree Farms – 2016

Posted November 27, 2016 4:21pm by Jane

Haven’t yet had a chance to get your locally grown Christmas tree? Here’s a list of local farms to check out! Always visit the website and/or contact the tree farm before you go to make sure they’ll be open this year.

Bierman’s Christmas Tree Farm
Address: 2825 South 63rd Street Kansas City KS 66106
Contact: Brian Bierman, (913) 375-1317

Christmas Ranch Tree Farm
Address: 24818 NE 148th Street Excelsior Springs MO 64024
Contact: Roy Freeman, (816) 630-5086

D & G Christmas Tree Farm
Address: Highway 69 & 247th Street Louisburg KS 66053
Contact: Douglas Eble, (913) 837-2387

Evening Star Pines
Address: 9820 Evening Star Road Eudora KS 66025
Contact: Cris & Sherry Crawford, (785) 542-1634christmastree-fontana-pines

Fontana Pines
Address: 20337 W. 383 St., Fontana KS (6 miles south of Paola/15 miles SW of Louisburg)
Contact: (913) 432-3725 or email

Fort Osage Christmas Trees
Address: 3022 N. Twyman Rd., Independence, MO
Contact: Bob & Kim Luke, (816) 838-3707

Fulk Farms
Address: 23400 Highway 92 Platte City MO 64079
Contact: Dennis Fulk, (816) 225-8809

Grandpa’s Tree Farm
Address: 11322 Hubbard Road Kansas City KS 66109
Contact: Warren Liston, (913) 721-2905

Address: 24250 W. 83rd Street, Lenexa, Kansas
Contact: (913) 484-5024 or

Jingle Bell Trees
Address: 7821 SE 240th Street Lathrop MO 64465
Contact: Paul E. & Wynne Peterson, (816) 740-3732

Kennedy’s Country Farm
Address: 27102 Herring Rd., Greenwood MO (located 1 mile south of the intersection of MO Hwy 50 and MO Hwy 7.)
Contact: (816) 744-0386 or

Midland Holiday Pines LLC
Address: 18541 Midland Drive Shawnee KS 66218
Contact: Phil & Judy Wegman, (913) 631-5095

Pumpkins and Pines Inc.
Address: 20606 South SR 7 Pleasant Hill MO 64080
Contact: Michael Haffner, (816) 540-3887

Quail Creek Tree Farm
Address: 6061 SE 240th St. Lathrop MO 64465
Contact: James & Margaret Stevens, (816) 740-4282

Reindeer Lane
Address: 19401 Fightmaster Trimble MO 64492
Contact: Russell Bumgarner, (816) 803-5853

Strawberry Hill Christmas Tree Farm
Address: 794 Highway 40, Lawrence, KS
Contact: (785) 331-4422

Wilderson Christmas Tree Farm

Address: 14820 Parallel Road Basehor KS 66007
Contact: Charles Wilderson, (913) 724-1057



Longbranch Christmas Tree & Wreath Company

Address: 25990 West 77th Street Shawnee KS 66227
Contact: Karen Andrews, (913) 441-5990

Image courtesy of Fontana Pines.

Plaza Lighting Ceremony 2016

Posted November 20, 2016 8:38pm by Jane

plaza lighting ceremony2015OK, I’ll admit it: I still feel the excitement I did when I was a kid when it comes time for the annual Thanksgiving Plaza Lighting Ceremony! For those of you who have experienced it, you’ll know what I mean when I say the lighting ceremony is a truly special Kansas City moment. Especially after this very divisive election year, I personally look forward to an evening of community this Thanksgiving evening. The switch is flipped at the main stage at Nichols Road & Pennsylvania, but you and your family can enjoy the festive, family-friendly party mood from wherever you stand on the Plaza that evening.

This year, KC native and 2016 Olympic Tennis Medalist Jack Sock will flip the switch amidst the rest of the festivities.

Here’s the schedule of events:

  • 5–6pm: Pre-show performances and giveaways from the stage
  • 6-7pm: KCP&L Plaza Lighting Ceremony, hosted by Gary Lezak, with various performances during the hour
  • 6:54pm: Flip of the Switch by Jack Sock 
  • 7–8pm: Post-ceremony concert featuring The Elders

Can’t make it to the festivities? You and the kids can always watch it live on KSHB-TV, stream it online at, or follow the festivities live at or on Twitter @FlipDSwitch.

The Plaza Lights will shine from 5pm-3am nightly, Thanksgiving through mid-January. Tip: Our kids love it when we drive into the Plaza (heading North) from Wornall Road. The view is unbeatable!

Image courtesy of The Country Club Plaza