Kansas City: Plaza shines light on holiday season


The holiday season isn’t complete without a trip to Kansas City’s Country Club Plaza.

The Plaza is renowned for its holiday lights display. For a long time it was THE place to go to see holiday lights in the Kansas City metro area.

But, it has withstood challenges through the years.

We knew we had to visit the Plaza and see the lights.

Our first stop was the Nelson Atkins Museum. It’s sits just outside the Plaza.

The museum has a 22-foot tall tree in the main lobby. Lisa had read about the display and decided we had to see it. She was right (don’t tell her that. I will deny it).


An 18th century nativity scene sits at the foot of the tree.

The figurines in the nativity scene were handmade. The Italian crèche figurines were carved in the 17th and 18th centuries. Imagine items from the 1600s and 1700s just a few feet from you. These items have stayed in decent condition for about 400 years.  Some of the costumes had to be refurbished by a Missouri-Kansas City professor, but most are still original.

IMG_2482The history of the figures, according to the attraction’s description, came about as a result of wealthy neighbors trying to outdo each other during their holiday open houses. Some hired sculptors to design their displays.

The Kansas City exhibit came from the collection of Sallie Casey Thayer. She bought the collection from an Italian prince. Eventually, she gave the collection to the University of Kansas. The museum’s figurines are on loan from KU. The museum added 21 figures to the display in 2001. They were a gift from a Kansas City couple.

After enjoying the beautiful view, we moved on to the Plaza.

IMG_2556Walking along the Plaza’s main street, we took in the sights – lights, lights and more lights. Ok, we also checked out stores and people watched.

The lights are impressive. The blocks-long display of holiday colors lining the tops of buildings is impressive.

The entire Plaza is decorated. You walk down any street, you’ll see decorated buildings.

IMG_2558We stopped at a candy store (Lisa had our Elf on the Shelf with us). It’s Sugar had some toys in addition to tons of candy.

The stuffed talking bear from the movie “Ted” can be purchased in various sizes. Yes, he is as crude as the character in the movie. And just as funny.

IMG_2519Giant lollipops were available for purchase.

IMG_2522I had to drag Lisa away from a 5-lbs. box of Twizzlers (her favorite).

The Plaza has more stores than the candy store. A variety of stores dot the landscape – apparel to sports. If you like shopping, you’ll enjoy spending a few hours or at day the Plaza.