By Jacki Wood
The last stop on the 2016 Christmas tour takes us down to Kansas City where you can add a little holiday fun to your last-minute Christmas shopping.
After a day of shopping and eating at the Country Club Plaza, make sure you stick around to enjoy the miles and miles of holiday lights.
A tradition now for nearly 90 years, the Plaza lights outline every shop, dome and tower and feature thousands of glimmering, jewel-colored bulbs.
Courtyard Caroling features local musical groups throughout the day from 10 am to 8:45 pm. You can also take a helicopter tour of the Plaza Lights with River’s Edge Aviation.
A few blocks up the road, several downtown buildings also light up the sky with the MarriottKansas City Downtown showcasing a synchronized display of 30,000 bulbs.
For more information, call 816.753.0100 or visit countryclubplaza.com.
Bingham-Waggoner Estate Christmas
“Spirit of Christmas – Past, Present and Future” is the theme this year for Christmas at the Bingham-Waggoner Estate which is open through December 30.
The tour begins at the Carriage House Boutique where you can find many unique Christmas gift ideas. Following the tour, enjoy music, cookies and hot spiced tea or coffee in the third floor Tea Room.
Tours run from 10 am to 4 pm, Monday through Saturday, and 1 to 4 pm on Sunday.
Admission is $6 for adults and $3 for youth ages 6-16.
Bingham-Waggoner Estate is located at 313 West Pacific Avenue in Independence.
For more information, call 816.461.3491 or visit bwestate.net.
Plenty of holiday magic, music and fun can be found at Crown Center including the Mayor’s Christmas tree in the Crown Center Square.
Santa’s Gingerbread Station is open during shopping hours through December 31 in the Level 1 Showplace. The free event gives kids and families the opportunity to explore the interactive exhibit, meet Santa and have their photo taken with him, take a ride on the Crown Center Express Train Engine and enjoy Gingerbread Village.
Holiday Music at Crown Center can be heard in the atrium from 1 to 4 and 6 to 9 pm on Saturday, December 24.
The Ice Terrace, an indoor public ice skating rink, is open through March 12. Hours are 10 am to 9 pm, Sunday through Thursday, and 10 am to 11 pm, Friday and Saturday. Admission is $6 and free for adults over 60 and children four and under. Skate rental is $3.
Crown Center is located at 2450 Grand Boulevard.
For more information, call 816.274.8444 or visit crowncenter.com.
Christmas in the Park
A festive drive-through lights display, Christmas in the Park returns to Longview Lake Park in Lee’s Summit.
The park is transformed into a winter wonderland with more than 300,000 lights and 175 animated figures.
It is open from 5:30 to 11 pm daily through December 31.
The event is free, but donations are accepted to benefit local charities.
Begin the drive at the Frank White Jr., Softball Complex, 3901 SW Longview Road, Lee’s Summit.
For more information, call 816.503.4800 or visit makeyourdayhere.com.
They’ve decked the halls at Union Station’s Grand Hall with trees, tinsel, lights and more.
“Let It Snow,” a musical celebration with classics from Frank Sinatra and Chuck Berry to Burl Ives and Brenda Lee, also features a multi-media finale by the Trans Siberian Orchestra and includes thematic animation, laser imagery and special effects in the Planetarium’s Dome Theatre.
The show runs through January 8 except for Christmas day. Admission is $3 and free for children two and under and members.
Union Station is located at 30 West Pershing Road.
For more information, call 816.460.2020 or visit unionstation.org.