2018 December Family Events: Things to Do in Kansas City (With Kids!)

Looking for fun, holiday things to do with your kids? This is for you.

We’ve found all the December kids events in Kansas City, so relax, and enjoy this special time with your family.

Want to do a lot in December without spending a lot of money? Buy a POGO Pass – 16 kids activities for less than $40! Purchase a POGO Pass with code ifamilykc to get the pass for ONLY $39.95. This is a steal. 

December Kids & Family Events in Kansas City

Find fun things to do all month long. You can also find where to volunteer in Kansas City this holiday season.

If you’re looking for more fun things to do with kids, check out The Kansas City Events Calendar!



Kids Things to do in December:

The Polar Express Train Ride at Midland Railway

November 17th through December 30th

Baldwin City, KS

Immese yourself in the magic of the Polar Express at Midland Railway this season. Based on the classic children’s book, your family will enjoy a round-trip visit to the North Pole, a delicious treat on board the train, and storytime that the children will love. You’ll create lasting memories with your children singing Christmas carols and visiting with Santa during the trip.


Create a Gingerbread House at Taste Bud’s

Family & adult classes throughout December 2018

Tastebuds Kitchen: 5336 151st St. Leawood, KS 66224

Get the whole family together and head to Taste Buds Kitchen in Leawood for Gingerbread House making. They’ll provide the supplies and the clean up, you provide the fun. They’ve got many December dates available for families OR adults/BYOB. Book yours now before they fill up.


Lots of Christmas Fun at Paradise Park

December 2018

Lee’s Summit, MO

Christmas comes alive at Paradise Park for the holidays each year where your family can enjoy tons of fun seasonal activities all December long. Hang out in the Discovery Play area for themed Adventure Times each week:

  • Penguins (Dec 2 – 8) – Whether it’s the way they waddle across the snow, their tastefully tuxedoed “attire,” or their playful personalities, penguins are such loveable creatures. When cold weather comes, it feels like a good time to learn a little more about our feathered friends from down south!
  • Toys & Gifts (Dec 9 – 15) – The theme this week is all about the wonder and fun of giving and receiving toys and gifts as we anticipate the joy of the season.
  • Christmas (Dec 16 – 24) – We HO-HO-HOPE you’ll join in for some of the fun they have planned for kids and their grown-ups in Discovery Play this special week at Paradise Park
  • New Year’s Celebration (Dec 26 – 31) – In this last week of 2018, they’re celebrating the New Year in Discovery Play Adventure Time!

Ginormous Gingerbread House (All December) – For the month of December, their giant, two-story Foam Factory transforms into a Ginormous Gingerbread House where snow falls magically indoors amidst a colorful world of flying foam balls with everyone working together to fire the balls through air-powered cannons, blasters and geyser.


Santa Diving Begins!

Saturdays & Sundays in December

2:00 – 2:30 pm

The Kansas City Zoo: 6800 Zoo Dr. Kansas City, MO 64132

Watch Santa dive at the Kansas City Zoo, Saturdays and Sundays in December.


Holiday Themed Laser Shows at the Planetarium

Shows throughout December 2018

Planetarium: Union Station, W Pershing Rd, Kansas City, MO 64108

The universe is bigger at the Arvin Gottlieb Planetarium inside Union Station downtown. Throughout the month of December, they’ll be showing special holiday and Nutcracker themed laser shows. Tickets can be purchased online in advance or at Union Station during your visit.


$3 Holiday Classics at the Extreme Screen at Union Station

December 2018

Extreme Screen: Union Station, W Pershing Rd, Kansas City, MO 64108

From the Polar Express & Elf to Home Alone, your family can enjoy $3 classic holiday films during the month of December at the Regnier Extreme Screen inside Union Station. Check online for a full listing of show times & holiday movies.


Holiday Workshops, Story Times, & Classes at MCPL

December 2018

Multiple Kansas City Locations

Mid-Continent Public Library offers multiple holiday themed workshops, special story times, activities, and craft times at their various Kansas City area branches all throughout the month of December. Visit online for a full listing of available activities for your families.


See the Lights (and Alpacas!) at YaYa’s Alpaca Farm

YaYa’s Alpaca Farm: 30200 E 275th St. Garden City, MO 64747

Visit Yaya’s Alpaca Farm for the holidays where they go all out to decorate their farm in holiday spirit. While you’re there, you can visit with the Alpacas and enjoy an educational experience for the kids.

Also shop the farm store for unique Alpaca goods like gloves & socks…they are extra warm! The perfect holiday gift. 


Worlds of Fun Winterfest

December 2018

Worlds of Fun

Get in the holiday spirit with music, shows, lights, and holiday characters at the Worlds of Fun Annual Winterfest Celebration happening each weekend in December. Ticketed admission into the park is required. Visit online for more details.


Branson Scenic Railway Polar Express Train

November 1st through December 23rd

Branson, MO

A visit to Branson during the holidays is an exciting experience for families. While you’re in town, be sure to take a ride on the Branson Scenic Railway Polar Express Train, a long standing tradition for many families. Get your tickets in advance – they sell out VERY fast.


Outdoor Ice Skating at Linden Square

Opens November 20th

Gladstone, MO

Ice skating with your family is the perfect holiday activity!


December Things to Do

The Nativity at Mesner Puppet Theater

Friday November 30th through Sunday December 2nd

Show times vary by date.

Kansas City, MO

Celebrate the Nativity with a cast of more than 40 puppets at Mesner Puppet Theater in downtown Kansas City. This celebrated annual event is not one to miss. Grab your tickets now as there are only three performances to select from this year.


Holiday Luminary Walk

30th & 1st, 7th & 8th (Friday & Saturday)

From 5:00 to 9:00 pm

Overland Park Arboretum: 8909 W 179th St. Bucyrus, KS 66013

The holidays at the Overland Park Arboretum are magical! Take a walk, visit with Santa, enjoy a wagon ride, listen to music, and enjoy the holiday lights during this fun family friendly event. Explore the trails of the Overland Park Arboretum as they are lit up for the holiday season. There will be miles of candles and lights that line the trails. You can also visit Santa in the Depot, drink hot cider, and catch horse-drawn wagon rides. Don’t miss the beautiful holiday lights!

You can Purchase tickets online – $10 per person, $9 for FOTA Members. Kids 5 & under are free. For 2018, you MUST purchase tickets before.


Holiday Lights and Homemade Soup

Friday November 30th

6:30 – 8:00 pm

Merriam, KS

Head down to the Merriam Marketplace for a special lighting ceremony followed by delicious soup, games, and visits with Santa at the Irene B. French Community Center. Admission to the tree lighting ceremony is free. The soup experience admission is $1 or free with the donation of a toy or canned good to the Johnson County Multi-Service Center.


C.W. Parker Carousel Museum SmallMall

December 1st and 2nd

Leavenworth, KS

Kids can shop on their own for holiday gifts (with the help of elves, of course  in a safe environment at the C.W. Parker Carousel Museum in Leavenworth. After shopping at the small mall, kids will participate in a fun craft, visit with Santa, take a free ride on the carousel, and even take home a bag of reindeer food.


Holiday Wild at KC Zoo

December 1st and 2nd

9:30 am – 3:00 pm

Kansas City, MO

Visit Santa from 10 to 3 both days. You can also see Santa dive in the penguin exhibit at 2 pm both days! There will also be a penguin march at 11 am.

Friends of the Zoo (FOTZ) members will enjoy an exclusive breakfast snack and a special meet and greet with Santa on Saturday, December 1 from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m.



Saturday, December 1st

2:00- 6:00 pm

Shawnee, KS

Join the city of Shawnee for family friendly entertainment, Santa and reindeer sightings, and the mayor’s Christmas tree lighting ceremony all at the annual Christkindlmarkt, free for families.


The Great Candy Cane Hunt

Saturday, December 1st

5:30 pm

Stagecoach Park

Come search for all the candy canes at Stagecoach Park to get your kiddos in the holiday spirit.

Grab your flash lights and search for candy while your kids do holiday crafts and activities. After all the candy canes are found, warm up with some hot chocolate!

Bring your flashlights and help us find the Candy Canes Santa dropped on Stagecoach Park. You can even find special candy canes and turn them in for some great prizes. You can even register online.


Smithville Shopping & Holiday Tree Lighting

Saturday, December 1st

7:00 pm

Smithville, MO

Shop around, visit with Santa, have a cup of cocoa, and enjoy the long standing annual tradition of lighting up the tree all in downtown Smithville on Saturday, December 1st. No registration is required for this free, family friendly event.4


Hometown Holidays in Liberty

Saturday, December 1st

10:00 am to 6:00 pm

There will be tons of fun all day! Find the full schedule of activities online.

The Mayor’s Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony will be at 5:10 pm with holiday activities all day. Passport shopping begins at 10 am, with family activities from 2 pm to 5 pm.

Kids can get their pictures taken with Santa, make holiday crafts & s’mores, as well as enjoy live music & dancers.


Breakfast with Santa & Ceramics

Sunday, December 2nd

9:00 am – Noon

Ceramic Cafe: 9510 Nall Ave. Overland Park, KS 66207

Decorate ornaments & create a clay impression of your kids’ hand prints & footprints for Christmas ornaments. Santa will be there for pictures and continental breakfast is included! Call 913-383-0222 to reserve your spot today.


Enjoy a unique breakfast and pottery painting session with Santa Claus at Ceramic Cafe in Overland Park. Children will enjoy making a special santa clay ornament, painting session, and a visit with Santa along with a continental breakfast. You do need to call to sign up starting November 1st as space will sell out and advanced registration is required.


Breakfast with Santa at the Irene B. French Community Center

Saturday December 1st

10:00 am

Merriam, KS

Merriam Parks & Rec has an exciting Gingerbread Man themed event for families this year that includes breakfast, storytime, a fun craft, and special time with Santa all for just $5 per adult (children get in free with a paying adult). Grab your tickets before November 29th.


Lunch with Santa at The Midland Theatre

Sunday December 2nd

11:00 am

Kansas City, MO

Kick off your holidays with a fun afternoon at The Midland at the Power & Light District downtown. Your family will enjoy a pancake breakfast, cookie decorating, a special professional photo with Santa, and a special gift from the North Pole. Tickets go on sale November 2nd.


Christmas Themed Movies at Alamo Drafthouse

December 1st through December 18th

Kansas City, MO

Experience the magic of the movies at Alamo Drafthouse this season with showings of classic movies like a Christmas Story, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, Elf, and The Polar Express. With their full service restaurant in the theater, you can enjoy dinner and a movie at the same time on your visit. Visit the Alamo Drafthouse website for a complete list of showings.


Shop the Holiday Swing at Union Station

December 1st and 2nd

Kansas City, MO

Shop the area’s largest Indie homemade craft festival at the Holiday Swing happening the first weekend of December at Union Station. You’ll have access to local vendors selling amazing homemade gifts for the entire family.


Paint Me a Story: Pete The Cat Saves Christmas at Paint, Glaze, and Fire

December 4th and 7th

Paint me a story runs throughout the month.

Overland Park, KS

Head on over to Paint, Glaze, and Fire for a Pete The Cat Saves Christmas themed Paint Me A Story workshop with your kiddos. Don’t miss out on a holiday themed family night happening on Friday, December 14th. Tickets to these events sell out fast – Head online for a full schedule.


Meet Santa at Above All Trampoline Park

December 5th: 11:00 am -1:00 pm

December 9th: 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Liberty, MO

Santa Claus is Coming to Town…actually to Above All Trampoline Park!

Jump, bounce, & play while you get pictures with Santa! Kids can get their picture taken with Santa throughout the event.


Get In the Holiday Spirit with a Tree Lighting Ceremony

Thursday, December 6th

6:00 pm

Grandview, MO

Join the Mayor of Grandview for hot cocoa, cookies, caroling, and a special reading of “The Night Before Christmas” at the Grandview Christmas Tree lighting ceremony. This free event is sure to be a lot of fun for the entire family.


Free Candy Cane Lane

Friday, December 7th

6:00 – 8:00 pm

Grandview, MO

Take a trip down Candy Cane Lane where you’ll enjoy a meet and greet with Santa, cookies, and craft time courtesy of the city of Grandview. This event is free and open to the public with registration.


Elf Night in Lee’s Summit

Friday, December 7th

6:00 – 9:00 pm

Lee’s Summit, MO

Families are invited to enjoy a free holiday party at Summit Fair in Lee’s Summit where there will be free visits and photo opportunities with Buddy the Elf, face painting, crafts, cookies, and cocoa.


Holiday Lights & Festive Sights

Friday, December 7th

5:00 – 8:00 pm

Sylvester Powell, Jr. Community Center: 6200 Martway Mission KS 66202


Free Holiday Make & Take Activity at US Toy

Saturday December 8th

12:00 – 2:00 pm

Leawood, KS

Join US Toy off of State Line Road and 435 for a holiday themed make and take activity. This fun workshop is happening on December 8th and is free for families to participate in. Your kids will even go home with a free bag of Plus Plus Blocks while supplies last. Check their Facebook page to stay up to date on details.


Breakfast with Santa in JoCo

Saturday, December 8th

8:00 – 11:00 am

JoCo Fairgrounds – green building

There will be all you can eat pancakes, sausage, juice, coffee, & water.

Take pictures with Santa for free or do holiday arts and crafts with the kids. The breakfast is $5 for people 13 & older, $4 for ages 4-12, children 3 & under are FREE with a adult. 


Take a Holiday Lights Tour

Wednesday, December 12th 2018

6:00 – 9:00 pm

Across the Metro

Take a holiday bus tour and discover Christmas lights all around town for only $20 per person. You must book in advance to take advantage of this special activity. Grab full details online. The tour includes cocoa, coffee, and cookies. You can also find more info on the Facebook event page.


Holiday Express Train at Union Station

December 14th through 18th

Check online for specific times

Union Station: 30 W Pershing Rd. Kansas City, MO 64108

A long-standing Kansas City tradition, the Holiday Express Train at Union Station is back for its 18th year. Your family can enjoy this free experience that includes a tour of the train (with Santa’s sleigh, reindeer, elves’  workshop) and a visit with Santa inside Union Station.


Winter Wonderland at the Zoo

December 15th and 16th

10:00 am – 3:00 pm

Kansas City Zoo: 6800 Zoo Dr. Kansas City, MO 64132

Experience the holidays with real life penguins at the Kansas City Zoo for Winter Wonderland. See Santa dive underwater, watch the penguins march, and get in the holiday spirit during this exciting holiday weekend at the zoo.


The Nutcracker

December 15th & 16th

2:00 pm (Sat & Sun) then 6:00 pm (Sat) & 7:00 pm (Sun)

The Carlsen Center: 2345 College Blvd, Overland Park, KS 66210

Watch this holiday classic performed by The American Youth Ballet. Tickets are $16-$24 and you can purchase them online.


Holiday Cookies Galore Cooking Class (3 days)

December 19th to 21st

Taste Bud’s Kitchen: 5336 151st St. Leawood, KS 66224

4-8 Cooking Class 9:00 am to noon

9-13 Cooking Class 1:00 to 4:00 pm

Celebrate the holidays with cookie cooking classes. Learn to make Frozen Hot Chocolate, Snickerdoodles, & sugar cookies. There will be many cookie recipes, and the chance for kids to put their own spin on holiday cookies! The 3-day camp costs $150 or $55 for a single day. Full week campers receive an apron to decorate and recipe book on the last day.


Flash Light Candy Cane Hunt

Thursday, December 20th

5:30 pm

Cornerstone Park

Hunt for hundreds of candy canes with your flashlight to win prizes. If you find a lucky candy cane you win a special prize!

The holiday event is $3 for kids ages 2-12 – Register by December 17 online or at City Hall.


Baking Techniques Cooking Class (3 days)

December 26th to 28th

Taste Bud’s Kitchen: 5336 151st St. Leawood, KS 66224

4-8 Cooking Class 9:00 am to noon

9-13 Cooking Class 1:00 to 4:00 pm

Learn to bake like the best for Handmade Pies, Scones, Cookies & Cupcakes! Each day will focus on a new baking skill. Learn to cut butter for a perfect scone, the secret to perfect pie crust, & more delicious recipes. $150 per 3-day week or $55 per day.


Coding Camp at Code Ninjas

December 26th to 28th

Code Ninjas Leawood: 3622 West 135th Street Leawood, KS 66224

Your kids can learn to code in day camps or 3-day camps…you choose what fits with your schedule! Kids will interact in fun, hands-on activities including coding, game-building, robotics, & problem solving.

Camps run from 8:30 am to 3:30 pm. Costs range from $69 for a single day to $175 for 3-days. You can even enroll online!


New Years Eve GLOW Bash

Friday, December 28th

8:00 pm – Midnight

Sky Zone Kansas City: 6495 Quivira Rd. Shawnee, Kansas 66216

Sky Zone Lee’s Summit: 2801 NE McBaine Drive Lees Summit, Missouri 64064

Jump into 2019 at our New Year’s Eve GLOW Bash at Sky Zone!

Music, lasers, dancing, and jumping transform the park at night! Wear clothing that illuminates under black light and you glow too! Giveaways and fun games for everyone who celebrates with us AND get a free shirt with your ticket purchase!

***All ages welcome. $24.99 gives you 2 hours of jump time and a free shirt!***


New Year’s Eve Events

Find a full list of kid-friendly New Year’s Eve events too!

Sky Zone Noon-Years Eve

December 31st

11:00 am – 1:00 pm

Sky Zone Kansas City: 6495 Quivira Rd. Shawnee, Kansas 66216

Sky Zone Lee’s Summit: 2801 NE McBaine Drive Lees Summit, Missouri 64064 (December 30th)

Celebrate New Year’s Eve early at Sky Zone this year! Kids can jump for 2 hours for only $24.99. There will also be New Year’s Eve party favors & a special mini slushy toast a 12:00 pm!

Come jump around & ring in the new year just a tad early.


Sky Zone New Year’s Eve Overnight Lock In

December 31st

11:00 pm -6:00 am

Sky Zone Kansas City6495 Quivira Rd. Shawnee, Kansas 66216

Sky Zone Lee’s Summit2801 NE McBaine Drive Lees Summit, Missouri 64064

Drop the kids off for a night full of jumping fun…and you can have fun with your friends! Kids will enjoy a live DJ, prizes, relay races, dance contests, GLOW jump, & freestyle jump.  There will be snacks, pizza, & drinks all night long too. It is only $34.99 to reserve your child’s spot today!

Don’t forget to bring your own pillow!


Family Friendly New Years Eve at Paradise Park 

December 31st

Noon – 6:00 pm

3-2-1…Happy 2019! You are invited to ring in the New Year early with the legendary Ball Drop at Paradise Park’s Foam Factory. Have a blast with friends and family. This rocking New Year’s Eve party is an early-evening, totally kid-friendly celebration. Ball drop at 12 noon (instead of 12 midnight)!


Zoo Years Eve

December 31st

10:00 am – 2:00 pm

Kansas City Zoo

Celebrate the new year at the Kansas City Zoo! There will be peguins, polar bears, and other animals to celebrate with. Dance with your kiddos at the interactive DJ and take pictures at the photo booth!


NOON Year’s Eve at Science City

December 31st

Noon – 7:00 pm

Science City: Kansas City, MO

Join in on an event the whole family will LOVE at Science City inside Union Station for Noon Year’s Eve where you can participate in fun, hands-on science demos and workshops, a spectacular science stage show, interactive maker activities, a giant 2,500+ balloon drop, and more. Visit online for full details.


Other Things to Do in Kansas City

Take a Class at The Cooking Station

Lee’s Summit, MO

The Cooking Station in Lee’s Summit offers classes for children of all ages each month. Allow your kids to dive into the world of culinary arts by signing up for a class today.


Fly High with Aerial Fitness

Shawnee, KS

Let the kids burn off pent up energy with a class at Learning 2 Fly in Shawnee. Bonus: They also offer winter break camps for families so the kids can have fun while they’re out of school.


Go Horseback Riding with the Family

Lee’s Summit, MO

Create lasting memories with your family while horseback riding with Sunset Trails Stables in Lee’s Summit. They offer trail riding for all skill levels or you can bring your own horse to ride on their trails.


Catch a Movie at B&B Theatres

All Across the Metro

There are so many wonderful family films coming out in December including Aquaman (December 13th), Spiderman (December 14th), Mary Poppins (December 19th), and Bumblebee (December 21st). Spend some time with your family at B&B Theatres catching one of the new movies. You can also sign up for their loyalty program and get discounts and treats all year long!


Get In The Game & Burn Off Some Turkey

Kansas City, MO

Visit the College Basketball Experience at the Sprint Center downtown and get in the game while burning off that turkey dinner. Visit their website for full details on available hours and activities.


Create Magical Works of Art

Kansas City, MO

Using leftover pieces from the Hallmark manufacturing process, families who visit Kaleidoscope at Crown Center can create unique works of art and have a great time doing it, too. Family art sessions are free. Visit them online for a full schedule of available dates.


Drop the Kids Off While You Christmas Shop

Olathe, KS

Need to get in some Christmas shopping without the kiddos in tow? Kids Park in Olathe offers drop in services to accommodate families starting at just $7.75 per hour. Kids Park welcomes children ages 2.5 through 12. Visit them online for more information.


Take a Swim at an Indoor Pool

Olathe, KS

Escape the cold and enjoy some family swim time at Aqua Tots in Olathe. They also offer swim lessons and parties, too, year round in their temperature controlled environment.


Enjoy a Night Out for You & The Kids

Leawood, KS

Your code loving kids (ages 7-14) are going to love participating in Parents Night Out at Code Ninjas in Leawood. Drop the kids off and head out for an evening on the town or get in some of your holiday shopping. Be sure to also look at the schedule for available camp options and regular classes.


Get Your Hands on History

Kansas City, MO

The National World War I Museum & Liberty Memorial offers free Hands on History sessions every Saturday at the museum. Your family will learn about and discover real life artifacts from the war during this interactive session. You only need to RSVP to get in.


Year Round Tropical Fun

Overland Park, KS

Take the family swimming at Goldfish Swim School in Overland Park, KS. You can drop in and enjoy warm waters with your family or sign up for regular classes to teach your children the importance of water safety. Bonus – They have birthday parties, too!


Get The Kids Ready for Family Pictures

Northland, Lee’s Summit, and Olathe

Get the kids photo ready with a fun haircut from Shear Madness. They have three metro area locations to choose from. Stay tuned to the current issue of iFamilyKC for special offerings year round.


Let the Little Ones Explore

Leawood, KS

Take your tiny tots to Gymboree in Leawood for one of their many toddler focused classes or just for open gym when they need to burn off some energy and it’s too cold to go outside. Visit their website for a full list of classes.


Jump Around & Get Down

Overland Park, KS

Get in a family workout with low impact trampoline time at Urban Air in Overland Park. Your family will love creating lasting memories together at their location. Be sure to check out their special events online and don’t forget about their indoor playground specially designed for your little jumpers.


We hope your family finds fun things to do in Kansas City throughout December! If there are other fun events happening around town, add them to our calendar or drop them in the comments below!

You can also sign-up for The Scoop to get the best info and exclusive invites delivered right to your email.

From our family to yours, iFamilyKC. 

Things to do in Kansas City

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