Mayor’s Christmas tree and ice skating highlight holiday season at KC’s Crown Center


The holidays come alive at Crown Center Mall.

Crown Center is home to the Kansas City Mayor’s Christmas Tree. The 100-foot tall tree is among the the tallest holiday trees in the United States.

The tree is surrounded by life-sized wooden toys. People move in and out of them as they visit the tree.

IMG_2728Smaller trees stand on either side of the Mayor’s tree, each with strands of white lights.

The Mayor’s Christmas Tree sits is on display through the holidays. Afterward, the wood from the tree will be turned into ornaments, to be sold in 2014. The revenue will be used to the help the Mayor’s Christmas tree trust fund.

IMG_2740The Crown Center ice terrace was hopping with skaters. We enjoyed the people watching – families, couples on dates, young people hanging out together.

I am not a skater. I tried once on ice, as well as roller skating. Both didn’t end well.

IMG_2644But, I am not averse to watching others skate. I am impressed with the skill it requires. And figure skaters…yeah, no way could I, or most people, even come close to that skill level.

Anyway, I chuckled as one guy hugged the wall as he “skated.” He obviously gave in to his girlfriend for a trip to the ice rink. The couple they were with skated off together, while the man and his girlfriend moved along slowly.

It’s always cute seeing young parents teaching their children things. This time, a mom was teaching her child to skate. Always cute to see. IMG_2573

The ice terrace is open through mid-March.

We decided it was time to move inside the shopping center.

Since it was about dinner time, we thought grabbing a burger would a good idea. We stopped at Fritz’s. It’s a restaurant with a train theme.

IMG_2827Fritz’s kitsch is that a train delivers your meal to the table. The track is near the ceiling. The train has a small platform beneath it.  A basket with a couple of meals is loaded on the platform. As the train approaches the designated table, it ‘s unhitched on to another platform. That one is lowered to the table, where you remove the basket with your food. Fortunately, drinks are hand-delivered to the tables.

After dinner, we took a stroll to the gingerbread house display. It’s an annual display, but it is amazing to watch each time you view it. Working trains and balloons bring the display to life.


We ventured to the Best of Kansas City store.

Here, you can buy almost anything Kansas City related.

IMG_2865Ruby slippers from the “Wizard of Oz” are available. While the story may have originated in Kansas, it fits with KC.

You can buy shirts and caps with “Kansas City” emblazoned on them. Mugs, books and key chains are available as KC memorabilia.

You can even buy any of the city’s main barbecue sauces. IMG_2871

Have fun shopping!

Crown Center has a variety of stores. They range from women’s apparel to sports memorabilia.

We enjoy visiting the Hallmark visitor’s center.

Hallmark was created in Kansas City by a Nebraskan.  Joyce Hall left his hometown in David City in 1910 and moved to Kansas City. His plan was to start a greeting card business.  Man, did he succeed.

Hallmark is THE greeting card company. In a time where people turn to the internet for more and more services, Hallmark continues to survive. It’s adapted with an internet business, as well.

The center highlights the history of Hallmark.

One of the most interesting areas of the visitor’s center is the Christmas tree display. Employees created the theme for the trees. It grew from a card employees gave their leader through the years.

IMG_7162As the company grew, the card evolved into an employees’ tree for the founder. It started in 1966.

Possibly the most heart tugging was the tree they designed for Joyce’s last Christmas. The employee’s last tree was in 1982, the year Joyce, also known as JC, passed away.

IMG_7184Other business/attractions at Crown Center include the Crayola store, as well as Sealife aquarium and Legoland Discovery Center.

Please see our posts on Sea Life and Legoland – Legoland brings out the kids in us and Sealife brings its own oceans of fun to Kansas City’s Crown Center.

We had a great time visiting Crown Center Mall.  Next time you’re in Kansas City, make the Crown Center area a stop. You’ll have a great time.