Plaza Lighting Ceremony 2017

Posted November 19, 2017 11:28am by Jane

Whether we watch it live at the Country Club Plaza, or on TV after a big Thanksgiving meal, my kids, along with their many cousins, love one of KC’s favorite traditions: the annual Thanksgiving Plaza Lighting Ceremony. Whether you are a first-timer or you go every year, the lighting ceremony is a truly special Kansas City moment. The switch is flipped at the main stage at Nichols Road & Pennsylvania (by Brio Tuscan Grille). However, there are no bad spots to watch it happen when you are on the Plaza for this magical event.

This year, Kansas City Chiefs players Derrick Johnson and Alex Smith will flip the switch at 6:54pm, followed by fireworks.

Here’s the schedule of events:

  • 5–6pm: Pre-show performances and giveaways from the stage
  • 6-7pm: KCP&L Plaza Lighting Ceremony, complete with live entertainment, will be broadcast live on Channel 41 Action News
  • 6:54pm: Flip of the Switch by Derrick Johnson and Alex Smith, followed by fireworks 
  • 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 at or on Twitter @FlipDSwitch. @FlipDSwitch offers a fun and funny look at the lights, so be sure to share the laughs with your kids!

The Plaza Lights will shine from 5pm-3am nightly, Thanksgiving through January 14, 2018. 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

The Nutcracker in KC

Posted November 12, 2017 9:35pm by Jane

The holidays are coming soon, and one of my daughter’s and my favorite ways to enjoy them is with The Nutcracker. And this year, whether you like the tradition of the KC Ballet’s performance, or want something new and different, there are a few options to enjoy!

The Nutcracker, performed the Kansas City Ballet (& featuring local kids), is a timeless classic that includes sparkling costumes, exquisite sets and captivating choreography to ignite your children’s passion for the arts. With a run time of 2 hours and 15 minutes, make sure your kids are old enough to handle it, then sit back and enjoy a very special family day. You can have your kids’ photo taken with one of the characters one hour before and immediately after each performance for $20/photo to benefit the Kansas City Ballet School. December 7-24, 2017, at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts; click here for tickets.

This year, there’s also the Hip Hop Nutcracker, showing live at The Midland, December 10. This incredible performance re-imagines Tchaikovsky’s classic score through explosive hip hop choreography. Mix in an on-stage DJ and an electric violinist, and the Nutcracker story comes to life in contemporary New York City. It’s a new way to celebrates love, community and the magic of the holiday season. 6pm, December 10, 2017, at The Midland; click here for tickets

If heading to a big show is not quite in the cards for you, there are a few other Nutcracker-related activities too!

  • the Sugar Plum Fairy Children’s Ball, December 9, 10:30am-1pm at the Muehlebach Tower of the Kansas City Marriott Downtown, immediately preceding a 2pm show
  • the Nutcracker Tea Party, which includes tea and a performance by the Crescendo Conservatory, Dec. 2 & 3 at the Ritz Charles. This year’s tea party is already sold out, but a great thing to look for next year!
  • Clara’s Dream: Get a taste of The Nutcracker, performed by the Miller Marley Youth Ballet, Dec. 16 & 17, at 2pm and 7pm at Olathe South High School. A great intro to this classic!

If you and your family enjoy The Nutcracker in another way in KC, be sure to leave it in the comments below!

Images courtesy of the KC Ballet & The Midland.



Ice Skating in Kansas City 2017

Posted November 04, 2017 7:12pm by Jane

I always consider the holiday season officially started when KC’s ice skating rinks begin opening around the metro! Here’s a listing of indoor and outdoor Kansas City-area ice rinks to visit with your family. Outdoor skating options:iceterrace

  • Crown Center Ice Terrace:  Kansas City’s public outdoor ice skating rink opens for its 44th season of great skating fun. Located at Crown Center, the Ice Terrace opened Nov. 3, 2017, and is open through March 11, 2018. Regular admission is $6, or complimentary for those over age 60 and children ages 4 and under. Skate rental is $3, or skaters may bring their own. And, you can enjoy 2-for-1 Tuesday evening skating specials to save a little! Click here for hours, group rates and other information.
  • The Ice at Park PlaceSet right in the middle of Park Place Leawood, The Ice is open Nov. 17, 2017 – Feb. 19, 2018, including holidays . The Ice is surrounded by seasonal festivities, warm food and drink options, and unique holiday shopping. Admission is $8 (all ages); skate rental is $3, or skaters may bring their own. Click here for hours, special holiday events, and more! 117th & Nall Ave., Leawood, KS.

Indoor skating options:

  • Centerpoint Community Ice: KC’s newest skating rink offers public skating, learn-to-skate classes, figure skating, youth hockey, adult hockey, special events, birthday parties and private rentals. Public skate general admission is $8/peron, $6/child 12 & under or adults 55 & older; additional discounts available to Independence residents; $3/person for skate rental. Click here for more pricing information, hours and additional information. 19100 East Valley View Parkway, Independence, MO 64055.
  • KC Ice Center: In addition to public skate, KC Ice Center offers skating and hockey lessons, home school skate days and ice-skatinglinecreek more. Regular admission is $8, and skate rental is $3. Kids 4&under Free (with free skate rental) and Seniors 60+ admission is $4. Click here for public skating schedule, or click here for calendar of events and more information. 19900 Johnson Drive, Shawnee, Kansas 66218
  • Line Creek Community Center and Ice Arena: Set in this 34,000 square-foot family recreation center, the Ice Arena is located off of I-29 and Waukomis Drive in Kansas City, MO. Admission is $6, and skate rental is $2 (annual passes & group pricing also available). Click here for public skating schedule and more information. 5940 NW Waukomis Drive, Kansas City, MO 64151

Images courtesy of Crown Center Ice Terrace and Line Creek Community Center and Ice Arena.