Monday, November 21, 2022

The Best Christmas Light Displays in Kansas City

*Originally posted December 9, 2014

Driving around looking at lights each December was a tradition when I was a kid (only child), and my husband also remembers doing this with his family (five kids). So it only makes sense that we have continued this festive tradition with our kids. Some years we start out with to-go mugs of hot chocolate (mixed with coffee for me, please!), or sometimes we might go to Starbucks for hot chocolates for the kids and coffees for the adults. We have plenty of space in our 12-passenger van, and this year we even loaned out our van to a friend who had family in town so they could look at lights together and in comfort. 

Once we're all loaded up, we hit some of these places, in no particular order, and you can always make it a two-night affair if you need to: 

CandyCane Lane is a cul-de-sac in the 7900 block of Outlook Street in Prairie Village (3 streets west of Nall) since 1958, which means my parents were taking me there when I was a kid.

CLOSED DOWN. BOO! That Cool House on Falmouth (we call it Foul-mouthed Street, and it's a one-way street) is at 7611 Falmouth and is also in Prairie Village, not far from Candy Cane Lane. It was officially called Mike Babick's Falmouth Christmas Display. Here's more about it.

**Deanna Rose Farmstead at 13800 Switzer in South Overland Park is a pretty new addition to our outing but an entertaining one for sure, with great music and neat lights ... it's a light show you can watch in your car. Here are more details.

Vince and Associates at 103rd and Metcalf. We zoom by heading north on Metcalf to get the radio station digits then swing a left where there's a fork in the road and two churches are next to each other. We take a left and park up on the hill to watch the show!

If the kids are being awesome and nobody is crying (which now that we don't have babies anymore is highly possible), we might even tack on:

Ward Parkway in Missouri, which is on the way to The Country Club Plaza. Just meander up and down the streets.

The Country Club Plaza. If you can swing it, do the horse-drawn carriage ride. And yes, they do have large ones for big families. We did it in 2012 and are hoping to do it again! The Plaza is on the way to Crown Center!
December 28, 2021, my husband took me for an overnight at The Raphael Hotel on the Country Club Plaza, and this was our exact view!!!!

Crown Center. I have to point out here that I used to work as an administrative assistant in the building on the left in this photo. I got the job by driving to the interview in a blizzard in 1996, for real! Okay, my mad typing (thanks, Dad!) and editing (thanks, Mom!) skills did not hurt, either, but the fact that I showed up in that weather made me stand out. Just sayin'. Anyway, it was in that building that I dreamed and dreamed and prayed of/about marrying Mr. Kerrie and becoming a Mom to Many. Yay for dreams coming true! Now we can be found in this area quite a bit at Science City (we'll be seeing the Christmas indoor stuff there on Friday) and sometimes might even eat at Fritz's around Christmastime.

Longview Lake Park in Missouri was on my list of places to go back when this post was originally published in 2014, but I had heard there is always a huge line to get in and that it creeps along at a snail's pace. I remember one weekend night when my mom and stepdad took our THREE kids to this place while Aron and I went to see our first movie in a million years, and it was The Pursuit of Happyness. Baby Callie slept through most of the light situation.

UPDATE: Joel got to go one year with his Theology of the Body for Teens class and one year five of my family members went on a Wednesday night around 7 the week after Thanksgiving and it was not busy. Don't forget to bring some cash for a donation! The next night my entire family of 7 went (Thursday night) around 8:30 or so and it was DEAD ... we took our time and looped around twice no problem! Since then, we've been every year at least once. In 2021, all five of my kids were big enough to get on the trailer the Christy family takes (they teach ToB, see above), and my girlfriend and I drove a few cars behind them.

2021 update: This year we went after Christmas and did the Plaza, Ward Parkway, a neighborhood west of Nieman between 119th and 127th Streets, Deanna Rose. This took us about two hours, and we drove home some sleepy kids!

I'd love to hear about some of your favorite places! We have some more places we'd like to check out, like the Powell Gardens Festival of Lights, GloWild at the Kansas City Zoo, and Winter Magic in Swope Park.