Here are thirteen great things to do in Kansas City this weekend, December 15-18, including Christmas Festival at Kauffman Center, The Office alum comedian David Koechner, and a performance from country-pop superstar Martina McBride.
Evergy Festival of Lights at Powell Gardens
This unique festive outdoor experience follows a 1-mile walk through Powell Gardens’ immersive, botanically inspired light installations. On Fridays and Saturdays, patrons can create and deliver their holiday wish lists to Santa, who will be in a festive crib in the Children’s Garden, where he will also be posing for photos. There will also be live Christmas music performed by local favorites like St. Paul Ringers Bell Choir and Carolers of Note.
November 10-December 30. Times vary. Powell Gardens.
A Charlie Brown Christmas
The beloved cartoon comes to life as a live jazz trio plays the original Vince Guaraldi arrangements along with the holiday classic. Charlie Brown tries to direct the school Christmas pageant and tries to remind others of the season’s true meaning with a droopy, small fir tree. There will also be shows interpreted in ASL and sensory-friendly performances offered to include the whole community.
November 15–December 31. Times vary. The Coterie.
A Christmas Carol
Charles Dickens’ all-time Christmas classic tells the story of Ebenezer Scrooge’s redemption through visits from the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future. KC Repertory Theatre’s annual production of A Christmas Carol creates generations of memories and helps remind families of the meaning of the season.
November 18–December 24, Spencer Theatre.
Kansas City Ballet’s annual tradition continues to be a wintertime favorite. The classic Victorian-era story of imagination is brought to life with opulent costumes, magical sets and enchanting choreography.
December 7–24. Times Vary. Kauffman Center.
Seussical the Musical
This musical extravaganza is an amalgamation of the best-loved stories by Dr. Seuss. In a continuing effort to make theater accessible to all, they are offering bean bag seats to youngsters and a sign-language interpretation performance. “We are so excited to present this family friendly, delightful bit of seuss-y fun for the holiday season this year,” said Tim Bair, Producing Artistic Director.
December 9–23. Times Vary. Black Box Theatre.
The gardens are transformed bright with color as thousands of lights glow on trees, buildings and bridges. Candle-lined pathways lead to magical gnome and fairy villages and the colorful children’s garden. There are musical performances to enhance the holiday ambiance and even the opportunity to visit with Santa in his Woodland Depot.
December 15–17. 5 pm. Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens.
The Kansas City Symphony and Symphony Chorus, with surprise guests, perform carols and other holiday songs. A family sing-along and an early visit from Santa are also promised to usher in the Christmas spirit for everyone.
December 15–18. Times vary. Kauffman Center.
A Spectacular Christmas Show
This original revue features new arrangements of holiday classics from Musical Theater, along with an exciting singing and dancing “extravaganza” that has made this annual holiday show a beloved KC tradition.
December 15–18, 20–23. Times vary. Music Theater Heritage.
Kansas City-born and internationally renowned performance art collective Quixotic brings an interactive multimedia performance this winter. Blending acrobatics, futuristic visuals, live music, and perfumery, Sensatia promises a wildly unique sensory experience.
December 16-17, 30. 8:30 pm. Quixotic Theater.
Missouri native David Koechner is probably best known for his role as Todd Packard on The Office as a crass and annoyingly hilarious friend of Michael Scott. His career has spanned decades, bringing us some iconic comedy roles, including his hilariously gross role in Anchorman.
December 16. 7:30, 10:15 pm. December 17. 7, 9:45 pm. Improv KC.
The show so annoying to parents and so beloved by tots that it was tested for hyper-stimulating effects is coming to KC. So bring your earplugs and tantrum-prone tikes to this immersive world of bright dinosaurs and giant babies. Or don’t.
December 17. 3 pm. Kansas City Music Hall.
Country pop queen Martina McBride has been on the scene since the early nineties, most notably giving us the soulful anthem, “This One’s for the Girls.” McBride’s bringing back nostalgic holiday feels with her The Joy of Christmas Tour, which features classic Christmas songs with her downhome country twist.
December 17. 8 pm. The Midland.
Every weekend between Thanksgiving and Christmas, there will be an open-air shopping experience in River Market–the perfect place to find local, handmade gifts during the holidays. There will also be additional options in the market to sip on seasonal beers and canned cocktails, Kansas City Public Library’s Holiday Book Mobile popup, and performances from carolers and choruses.
December 17–18. 10 am-5 pm. River Market.