Zona Rosa keeps KC holiday traditions alive


For nearly four decades, Kansas Citians could take in the views of holiday crowns hanging above intersections downtown.

The tradition, which started in the 1950s, ended in the 1980s.

Zona Rosa shopping center developers learned about the tradition as they were planning the outdoor mall in the early 2000s. They thought it would be a great tradition to revive.

Thus, as you travel around the shopping center in northwest Kansas City, you can see the large crowns displayed above intersections.

IMG_2898We learned about this a few years ago during a visit. While it hasn’t become an annual tradition with us to drive down from Omaha and take in the Zona Rosa crowns, we’d like to see them more often than we do.

They are really something to see firsthand. They float high above the streets via several strong cables.

The crowns are really cool to see. Each has its own design and colors.

IMG_2894In addition, the trees along the streets are decorated with white lights.

The courtyard area has Zona Rosa’s Christmas tree. Near the top of the tree is a crown. The shopping center really supports recognizing this tradition.

IMG_2947In addition, there is a fairy princess to visit with kids and hear their Christmas wishes. The fairy princess, sponsored by the Kansas City Museum, was originally located at Kline’s Department Store when the city displayed the holiday crowns downtown.

Kids can walk through the Igloo at Zona Rosa. The 9-foot tall structure resurrects an old tradition used at the KC Museum. The Igloo was retired in the early 1980s. Zona Rosa again brought back another KC tradition.

IMG_2926Zona Rosa has some great shopping spots for people. We’ve enjoyed visiting the shopping center when we are in town. One of our favorite stops is the Barnes and Noble bookstore. It has two floors for customers to browse and find something to read.

We’ve enjoyed some good meals there, as well. Granite City has been a must-visit at times. I realize it’s a chain restaurant, but it has the best salad I’ve eaten – grilled chicken Asian salad. The tomato and potato soups are among the best I’ve had. IMG_2928

While neither of us are fanatical shoppers (thank goodness), we enjoy walking. Places like Zona Rosa give you the opportunity to be outdoors, while also offering breaks.

I realize with the holiday season coming to an end, the crowns and lights at Zona Rosa will be available for a couple more weeks. If you are in the area, I suggest making the stop off of I-29. You’ll appreciate the tradition.