Downtown Dazzle marks one of the most thrilling times of the year in Kansas City. With two months chockfull of can’t-miss holiday events every day of the week, there’s never a dull moment when you’re in the heart of the city. Whether you’re spending time with that special someone or bringing the whole family for festive fun, this essential itinerary has your Dazzle weekend covered, morning, noon and night.
Drop off luggage at your hotel or staying place of choice and hit the town with dinner in the Crossroads Arts District. There you’ll find a wide assortment of cuisines both internationally inspired and locally sourced (and often both together).
A few favorites include German dining concept Affäre, known for its seasonal approach to Western European meals. Corvino Supper Club & Tasting Room always impresses, regardless of whether you’re enjoying the tasting menu or the more casual small plates offerings. And pasta is a crowd-pleaser at Lidia’s—run by famed chef Lidia Bastianich—while more rustic fare satisfies at Brewery Emperial courtesy of a menu specializing in wood-fired favorites.
After you’ve had your fill, ride the KC Streetcar down to the Union Station stop, where Crown Center is only steps away. There, you’ll spot the Mayor’s Christmas Tree, a soaring sight accompanied by countless sparkling white lights. No matter what you celebrate during the holiday season, the fir stands as an impressive tribute to the spirit of winter in Kansas City.
Begin the weekend with a brunch you won’t soon forget. Hop aboard the KC Streetcar again and ride it to the River Market neighborhood, where you’ll midmorning meals are aplenty, including local downhome dishes at The Farmhouse, comfort food at Brown & Loe and near-unbeatable sandwiches at Pigwich.
This also proves a perfect opportunity to try out your Dazzling Deals Booklet. Tons of City Market shops and boutiques feature deals during Dazzle, so make sure you pick up your own copy at one of the designated locations. The best part? It’s totally free.
Channel your inner Michelle Kwan at Crown Center Ice Terrace, possibly the most picturesque locale during Dazzle. Novices and experts alike are welcome at this open-air skater’s paradise that also offers coffee, hot chocolate and more.
There are also plenty more shopping deals to be had at Crown Center. Make your way to Halls Kansas City inside the all-in-one entertainment hub to track down holiday gifts, the latest clothing fashions and decorative trends.
It wouldn’t be a Downtown Dazzle weekend without seeing a live holiday performance. Stellar theaters populate the region, putting on shows nightly for audiences of every age. Try out shows at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, including The Nutcracker and Handel’s Messiah. Further north, audiences can enjoy musical Christmas concerts at Quality Hill Playhouse.
After the show, finish off the day with a nightcap at one of several hot hangouts, such as underground gem Manifesto—which touts a menu of seasonal cocktails—craft beer hangout Strange Days Brewing Co. or retro barcade Up-Down.
If you’re up for something featuring a little more revelry, try out the high-energy Power & Light District, home to a karaoke bar, Howl at the Moon piano bar, several humming nightclubs and two popular sports bars.
Start your final morning in Kansas City by caffeinating at one of the many excellent coffee shops in the area.
Messenger Coffee Co. roasts beans in-house and bakes some of the best pastries in the city while trendy Filling Station Coffee in Crown Center has what you need to get going. In the heart of Downtown, PT’s Coffee Roasting and Made in Kansas City Café wow with handcrafted espresso drinks.
Finish your time in Kansas City with a visit to Union Station.
The treasured icon transforms into a yuletide destination during Downtown Dazzle as it plays host to several festive events—plus, charming decorations and kid-friendly attractions. It serves as a fitting send-off to another unbeatable Dazzle in Kansas City.
For more information on Downtown Dazzle, go to DazzleKC.com.