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Holiday light displays around Kansas City

Posted December 07, 2012 10:44am by kckids@revisin.com

image via Creative Commons from Flickr user Theresa L Wysocki.

Back when I was a kid growing up in Prairie Village, one of our favorite things to do as a family during the holidays was put on our jammies and hop in the car to drive around and see neighborhood light displays (and also get to eat candy canes after bedtime.) Now we do it with our own kids, and as with many things, technology has made some of these displays more awe-inspiring than ever.

However, as many of you have heard, Mike Babick’s holiday display at 79th & Falmouth, a Kansas City tradition spanning 40+ years, is no more. The neighbors and the city have finally had enough. While we can understand their frustration with traffic and hassle, we’re still a little sad about it. Never fear, however, another Prairie Village light enthusiast is stepping up his game this year – see the article at KCTV5.

Still lots of neighborhoods all over the metro are happily lighting up during this holiday season. Many even have music. Here’s a list of places to visit to see some awesome light displays.

Kansas City-Area Christmas Light Displays

  • Country Club Plaza, KCMO
  • Mayor’s Christmas Tree at Crown Center, KCMO
  • Mormon Visitors Center, Independence, MO
  • Christmas Card Lane (through Jan. 1, 2012) north of 151st around Ridgeview and Frontier (Mission Ridge subdivision) in Olathe, KS.
  • Christmas in the Park (through Dec. 31, 2011. Sun-Thur 5:30-10pm, Fri-Sat 5:30-11pm) at Longview Lake Campground on Raytown Rd. in Lee’s Summit, MO. Over 300,000 lights!!!
  • Northern Lights at Zona Rosa (runs throughout the season) at I-29 & Barry Rd. in Kansas City.
  • Legends Outlets features a light show, synchronized to concert-quality holiday music.  Located at I-70 and I-435 in Kansas City, Kansas.
  • Downtown Overland ParkBriarcliff Village (KCMO),  Brookside andDowntown Lee’s Summit have light displays.
  • “Christmas Place” in the Terrace Place subdivision, 132nd and Antioch, south Overland Park, KS.
  • Chicago Street Lights, Blue Springs, MO at Hwy 7 and Walnut. Animated story of Christmas in lights.
  • Paulie’s Penguin Playground–Olathe, KS at Indian Creek Parkway and Mur-Len. This is a sight to see–more blow-up decorations than you ever knew existed!
  • The Ultimate Tree, south Overland Park, KS – huge flat-panel LED Christmas tree display, synchronized to music. Runs from 5:30pm to 10pm weekdays, 5:30pm to 11:30pm on weekends, through first week of January. 6600 block of 131st Street at Deer Creek Golf Course
  • Vince & Associates – 103rd & Metcalf, Overland Park – huge display, coordinated with music! Best to view from the parking lot of Emmanuel Baptist church directly across the street.
  • Downtown Kansas City – don’t miss the amazing computer-generated facade of the Downtown Marriott hotel!
  • Candy Cane Lane, 79th & Outlook, Prairie Village, KS
  • Kryger family, (as in Kryger Glass) 13201 Granada, in Leawood.

Know of some we missed? Leave us a comment. Happy Holidays to all.

Weekend Activities in KC– Easter 2011

Posted April 19, 2011 9:03pm by kckids@revisin.com

There’s lots going on in the next few days…particularly on Saturday – the day before Easter!  If you’ve got family or friends in town for the holiday weekend, there are activities listed for Saturday from ALL corners of the metro!  KCK, Overland Park, Lee’s Summit, Kansas City North, you name it. Especially fun…the Easter parade at Zona Rosa and the Easter Bunny at Crown Center!  Have fun!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

  • American Girl Party at Leawood Town Center’s Barnes & Noble – 7pm
  • “1/2-Day ARTrageous ART Workshop”: A 2 1/2 hour ART workshop at ARTrageous Creative Studio in south Prairie Village on the children’s day off school, grades 1-8. From 12:30 – 3:00 the Children will explore the history of Ukranian Eggs and create their own decorated eggs in this style using new coloring and patterning techniques. The cost per child is $20.00 to be paid on arrival that day. Pre-enrollment to Julie Flanagan at MissJulie@ARTrageousKC.com or call “Miss Julie” at 913-642-8122

Friday, April 22, 2011

  • FREE Admission to Powell Gardens on Earth Day -Powell Gardens honors our home planet with free admission on this day. For a bonus, children can make a free, ready-to-plant eco-pot filled with dirt and seeds from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Open Gym for all ages – Blue Valley Recreation Activity Center, South Overland Park – Kids 5 & under must be accompanied and supervised by an adult; parents of kids 6 six years and above must wait in the lobby. Daily fee or punch card accepted. Friday 1/7-5/27, 3-6pm. Saturday 1/8-5/28, 3:30-5pm.
  • “1/2-Day ARTrageous ART Workshop”: A 2 1/2 hour ART workshop at ARTrageous Creative Studio in south Prairie Village on the children’s day off school, grades 1-8. From 12:30 – 3:00 the Children will explore the history of Ukranian Eggs and create their own decorated eggs in this style using new coloring and patterning techniques. The cost per child is $20.00 to be paid on arrival that day. Pre-enrollment to Julie Flanagan at MissJulie@ARTrageousKC.com or call “Miss Julie” at 913-642-8122
  • The Easter Bunny visits Crown Center, Shops Atrium, Level 1. A professional photographer will be taking pictures for a fee and visitors are welcome to bring their cameras. Noon to 4 p.m. No admission fee. (April 16-17, 22-23)
  • Spot the Dog (costumed character) comes to Zona Rosa’s Barnes & Noble to meet the kids and pose for pictures – 11am

Saturday, April 23, 2011

  • Ollie’s Egg Hunt at Paradise Park – Lee’s Summit – egg hunts begin at 10:30 and 1:30
  • Legends Outlets Kansas City 3rd annual Easter Family Fun Day, noon – 3:00 p.m. This FREE event is for the entire family, featuring the Easter Bunny, fun activities and games, and chances to win valuable prizes including Legends Outlets gift cards and Schlitterbahn Waterpark tickets
  • Zona Rosa’s Easter Parade – starts at 11am (Kansas City North)
  • Grand Opening of the new Overland Park Yogurtini at 119th & Metcalf, on Saturday, April 23rd, from 4-8pm
  • KidSafe seminar – KC Premier Martial Arts & Fitness, Riverside MO (Northland) – followed by the 1st Annual KCPMA Easter Egg Hunt!!!! Everyone welcome, FREE EVENT!!
  • Open Gym for all ages – Blue Valley Recreation Activity Center, South Overland Park – Kids 5 & under must be accompanied and supervised by an adult; parents of kids 6 six years and above must wait in the lobby. Daily fee or punch card accepted. Friday 1/7-5/27, 3-6pm. Saturday 1/8-5/28, 3:30-5pm.
  • Easter Egg Hunt at One Spirit Methodist Church, 7900 Blue Ridge Blvd. KCMO – 10:45 a.m. – Children ages 2-10 and their parents
    are invited for a free activity featuring a short video explaining the Easter story, an Easter Egg Hunt and take-home treats.
  • The Easter Bunny visits Crown Center, Shops Atrium, Level 1. A professional photographer will be taking pictures for a fee and visitors are welcome to bring their cameras. Noon to 4 p.m. No admission fee. (April 16-17, 22-23)
  • Easter in Independence at Bingham Middle School. Sponsored by Life Connection Church and other community sponsors. 100,000 eggs to hunt by age group. Thousands turn out each year!
  • Spot the Dog (costumed character) comes to Zona Rosa’s Barnes & Noble to meet the kids and pose for pictures – 11am

Sunday, April 24, 2011

    HAPPY EASTER!!
*image of Zona Rosa Easter Parade 2010 courtesy of Fox4KC.com
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Holiday Shopping 2010: Kansas City-style!

Posted November 17, 2010 11:01am by kckids@revisin.com

It’s time to start thinking about your holiday shopping (or at least your Thanksgiving meal plans!!) and we’ve got some ideas to help you. SHOP LOCAL!  The metro has so many neat, one-of-a-kind, locally-owned stores brimming with interesting gifts. Why not visit a few and put together a unique gift this year?

  • Reading Reptile create a Books Basket or treat a lucky kid to a Story Time at Reading Reptile followed by “select any book you’d like…and it’s yours!”—what a neat gift!  And, you have to top off your visit with a unique fairytale-themed cupcake from Le Petit Rouge, the in-house cupcakery.
  • A Train-Themed giftThe Learning Tree (Leawood, KS and Prairie Village, KS) has some wonderful trains and train gifts. Thomas the Tank Engine is there of course, but so are lots of other choices. Include a certificate for a special meal at Fritz’s Railroad Restaurant at the Crown Center Shops, or head across the state line to Shawnee, KS (just west of I-435 on Shawnee Mission Parkway) . What kid wouldn’t love to have her meal delivered tableside by a train?
  • Unleash your child’s inner mad scientist! HMS Beagle is a wonderful store in Parkville, MO–”The Ultimate Science Store” according to their website.  You can introduce your child to science through a number of neat gifts from the basic chemistry set to a fantastic telescope.  They even have a science club with meetings for K-8th graders!  For the little ones–an easy introduction to science can be found by taking a trip to Wonderscope Children’s Museum of Kansas City in Shawnee, KS, featuring arts and sciences exhibits for kids ages 10 and under.
  • GO RETRO! Moon Marble gift shop, located in Bonner Springs’ Moon Marble Company, has some great toys and games that have withstood the test of time…remember Pick-Up Sticks, Chinese Jumpropes and the wooden paddle with the red rubber ball attached?  Find all of these and more!
  • Enrollment in a class at one of the metro’s parks and recreation offices or community centers is a gift that will last weeks and even months! Your little one can try something new like a beginner’s martial arts class, a dance or ballet class or even try something exotic like fencing! What a great way to spend the winter months. Try Blue Valley Recreation or any of the parks and rec departments listed in our Classes directory!
  • Don’t Forget the Music – How about guitar (or other musical instrument) lessons at the School of Rock (North Kansas City), the Toon Shop (Prairie Village, Lee’s Summit or Overland Park) or the Music House (Overland Park)?
  • Shop Etsy Local for unique, handmade items created by talented Kansas Citians like Kate Williams (crayon holders and tulle totebags), three red trees (terribly cute sock dogs, with a portion of sales benefiting Humane Society of Greater KC) and Becky Kelly (very sweet original paintings and prints for a nursery or little one’s room).
  • Consider gifts that support local causes and organizations – like the Zoo! A  Zoo Membership purchased now is good for unlimited FREE admission through March 2012!  And, a portion of the membership is tax deductible.

There’s another place you might want to check out– because uniquely Kansas City traditions are being resurrected with each year!  Zona Rosa is a shopping district in North Kansas City at I-29 and Barry Road.  KC’s holiday past comes to life as the 2000-lb crowns are hoisted into place–near-exact replicas of the crowns that decked the streets of downtown KC for over 20 years!  You’ll also find the “Fairy Princess”.  She first appeared in the Kline’s toy department in 1936!  You can also catch the “Ice Igloo”. Modeled from the original Kansas City Museum igloo, a new, more spacious one has been constructed so the younger generation can make holiday memories of their own.

One of the most charming and unusual gift shops you’ll ever stumble into is located at the Puppetry Arts Institute, 11025 E. Winner in Independence. From simple finger puppets to puppet and marionette kits, books and finished products, there is a huge range of unusual products for kids of all ages.

Check out the Just Taffy Shop on the historic Independence Square. They have a fantastic selection of many flavors of homemade fudge, taffy and cotton candy and make it right there behind the counter. Owner Michael usually makes taffy Sunday afternoons about 12:30 or 1 p.m. and will use the big taffy pulling machine – he actually does free demonstrations for scouts, home schoolers, preschool groups (by appt.)  You might also visit Chip’s Chocolate Factory on Level 2 of Crown Center Shops.  Over 200 delicious
chocolate confections are made by hand using premium imported Swiss Chocolate and traditional confectioner’s techniques.

Let us know if you discover something fun and different to do with your family–we’d love to spread the word!  Believe me, this site will be buzzing over Christmas vacation with parents looking for things to do with their kiddos!!!