Forget the ‘Border War’ – Kansas City ‘Enchants’ the holiday season on both sides of Stateline Road

Christmas lights at Enchanted
“Enchanted” is a special holiday attraction taking place in seven cities across the country. Kanas City, Kansas, is the most popular of the group.

A LEGO Elf on the Shelf observes the good boys and girls of all ages make their way to an exhibit covering everything LEGO from A to Z at Union Station in Kansas City, Missouri. Across Stateline Road, Kansas City, Kansas, embraces the holiday with “Enchant,” as millions of twinkling lights illuminate the field at Legends baseball stadium.

The attractions are just part of the festive season in the Kansas City area. From the Mayor’s Christmas Tree at Crown Center to the lights at Country Club Plaza and the historical crowns floating above Zona Rosa to drive-thru light venues, visitors embrace the holiday season.

Spending two weekends exploring the KC metro’s holiday events, we discovered new events and enjoyed familiar lights.

Kansas City, Kansas

Running nightly through Dec. 31, Legends baseball field has been transformed into a majestic holiday event, as dozens of brightly lit displays help you embrace the Christmas season. With more than a million lights of all colors, larger-than-life displays feature bow-tied boxes and trees, as well as unique items, including a rocking horse, moon, airplane and dinosaur. Enjoy a scavenger hunt as you navigate a maze full of illuminated displays, helping Santa Claus save Christmas by locating eight “gifts” that were stolen by a mischievous elf.

Gift shaped ornament and Christmas tree decorated in lights.
Giant ornaments surround a colorfully-decorated Christmas tree.

Enchant is a special holiday attraction in Kansas City, Kansas. Offering only a few shows across the country, including Milwaukee, Kansas City has proven to be the most-supportive region. I think Enchanted and KCK are developing a lasting relationship.

Hot chocolate, cider and seasonal treats are available during your visit. Local vendors are on-site in case you want to do a little holiday shopping.

Giant ornament bulb
Good luck hanging this bulb.

Knights of Lights
Bonner Springs, Kansas

Home to the annual Renaissance Faire in the fall, Bonner Springs transforms the medieval park into a holiday faire with Knights of Lights. Open evenings every Friday-Sunday through Dec. 31, visitors walk the grounds soaking in about a half-million colorful lights. From the Grinch to reindeer, the park features a variety of inflatable characters and lit displays.

You’ll love meeting Barbie the Elf (yes, it’s a real-life character including the Elf ears). She’ll pose in a life-size Barbie box or take a photo of you inside it.

Barbie elf character in a Barbie box
Barbie Elf helps visitors celebrate the holiday at Knights of Lights.

Knights of Lights offers its version of the Odd Couple, pairing Santa Claus and Scrooge together. Next to Scrooge is an animatronic reindeer waiting to be named. Enter a contest to name it and you may win tickets to next year’s event.

Santa Claus sitting and visiting with people
Santa Claus knows if you have been good or bad.

While walking along the unpaved and uneven surface may be a challenge for some, it sets the scene for a medieval village. So do the buildings each decorated with lights and displays. Along your walk, you’ll encounter a pirate ship and fire-breathing dragon. Oh, and there’s a singing and dancing Grinch in a telephone booth.

Medieval attractions are decorated with Christmas lights.
Knights of Lights features a half-million holiday lights.

Knights of Lights offers a three-course dinner in a heated igloo for an additional fee. There’s free hot chocolate for young children.

Legends Outlet Christmas tree
Kansas City,  Kansas

Musical Christmas tree lit in green
Lights “dance” to holiday music at Legends shopping center.

A “dancing Christmas tree” welcome you to Legends outlet shopping center. Located near the movie theater, a Christmas tree is the canvas for a light show set to holiday music. Whether it’s a ballad or uptempo song, the tree’s lights move about, changing colors and shapes synchronized to the tunes. The music and light show plays every 30 minutes nightly through early January.

Explore the shopping center for large ornaments and props perfect for photo opportunities.

Holiday Reflections
Kansas City, Missouri

Visit the North Pole without leaving Kansas City. With Santa Claus greeting each visitor, Union Station is home to Holiday Reflections, an indoor village full of Christmas trees and plenty of seasonal displays to appreciate or use as backdrops for photos. Of course, there are a plethora of trains (would you expect anything less from a train depot?).

Row of various colored Christmas trees
Holiday Reflections celebrates Christmas with a variety of attractions, including colorful trees.

Holiday Reflections features a beautiful display of decorated trees with a water fountain in front of them (after all, KCMO is the “City of Fountains”). Singing reindeer and penguins serenade with seasonal songs. Children can hop aboard a train for a ride around a holiday-themed display.

Union Station’s train gallery entices you to watch train models travel the rails through decorated towns, featuring a movie drive-in showing a “Thomas the Train” movie, factories and dozens of businesses and homes. I’m not not saying I had to pull Lisa away from a LEGO-themed Christmas village like a parent with a stubborn child, but we had other trains for me to watch (and I’m not not saying she returned the favor having to pull me away displays like I was a kid).

Admission to Holiday Reflections is extra when visiting Union Station, but well worth it. While in the main hall, check out the tall tree with its giant ornaments, perfect for holiday photos. You can also enjoy holiday entertainment presented by local artists.

Union Station offers a variety of holiday events during the season. Check out its website for more information.

Bricktionary: The Ultimate LEGO A-Z
Union Station

While it may not truly be a Christmas-related attraction, if you have a LEGO fan (Lisa has become obsessed over the past few years) you’ll want to visit. With more than 150 custom-built models, Bricktionary: The Ultimate LEGO A-Z covers the alphabet through a series of large pieces and interactive hands-on experiences, including a mosaic visitors get to help create by putting together pieces of it.

LEGO space shuttle model
Imagine celebrating the holidays in outer space.

During your tour of the alphabet, you’ll find everything from a giant airplane to an Orca to models of the Eiffel Tower and Las Vegas welcome sign. Space enthusiasts will enjoy checking out the International Space Station, rocket and even Star Wars spacecraft. Plan to spend a minimum of two hours (and probably longer). Bricktionary runs daily through March 30.

Mayor’s Christmas Tree
Crown Center

Crown Center has been home to the Mayor’s Christmas Tree for more than 50 years. The tree display, along with life-size holiday toys, is a symbol of the Mayor’s Christmas Tree Fund, which assists Kansas City residents in need during the holiday season. Nearby trees are also lit in holiday colors creating a majestic scene outside the downtown shopping center. The display runs through Jan. 2, 2024.

Mayor's tall tree decorated in white lights and surrounded by smaller trees lit in white
The Mayor’s Tree is displayed annually as part of a community relief program.

Following the holiday season, wood from the Mayor’s Tree is turned into commemorative ornaments, with proceeds from sales used to support next year’s Mayor’s fund.

While at Crown Center, tour the Hallmark Visitors Center with its vintage Christmas trees and ornaments on display.

Decorated trees in the Hallmark Vistors Center
Employee-designed Christmas trees from past years are displayed at the Hallmark Vistors Center.

Plaza Lights
Country Club Plaza

Resembling an Italian city, 15 blocks of Country Club Plaza are lit from Thanksgiving weekend through mid-January. Visitors have taken in the impressive sight for more than 90 years.

Country Club Plaza was the first planned suburban shopping center to accommodate visitors by car in the early 1920s.

Country Club Plaza buildings are trimmed in holiday lights
Country Club Plaza has celebrated the holidays with lights for more than nine decades.

Christmas Crowns
Zona Rosa

Once a staple of downtown Kansas City, the historic Christmas Crowns could be found floating above intersections as people visited department stores for their holiday shopping. From 1962 until 1976, downtown had a royal air about itself during the holidays. The friends disappeared after America’s bicentennial.

Giant holiday crowns are located at intersections at the Zona Rosa mall
Zona Rosa revived the holiday crowns about 20 years ago.

In 2004, Zona Rosa, then a new outdoor shopping center in northwest Kansas City, revived the Christmas Crowns. Nearly 20 years later, five crowns are displayed above intersections, encouraging people to take a step back in time. A sixth crown is located at an ice rink, which people can use for photographs. A 55-foot Christmas tree anchors the center’s community park.

Drive-thru attractions

Winter Magic
Cliff Drive

Located in northeast Kansas City, Winter Magic features a mile of holiday lights and displays. Starting in 2019, the drive-thru attraction has been a popular event from Thanksgiving weekend through Dec. 31. Admission is charged per car, not individuals.

Holiday displaying showing dinosaur characters
A mile of holiday lights and displays attract people to Holiday Light and Magic in KCK.

Holiday Light & Magic
Bonner Springs

With more than 60 cute and unique scenes along a mile-long route, Holiday Light & Magic provides a fun experience. Started in 2021, the attraction continues to grow in popularity each year.

While I could go on and on about the holiday attractions in the Kansas City area – there are dozens with seeing – I wanted to share only ones we’ve actually visited. Kansas City – both KCK and KCMO – is the perfect spot for a weekend getaway or an even longer stay. You’ll love the holiday attractions and events in the area. Dare I say you’ll find it “Enchant”ing?