Living

Five holiday events to get you in the spirit

Vaile Mansion in Independence will be dressed this year for Victorian Christmas Magic.
Vaile Mansion in Independence will be dressed this year for Victorian Christmas Magic. KANSAS CITY STAR

The Kansas City Symphony really knows how to celebrate the holidays.

Musical director Michael Stern and his crew will cover all the holiday bases with five concerts in the Kauffman Center’s Helzberg Hall, starting Dec. 5 with TubaChristmas in the afternoon and Handel’s “Messiah” in the evening.

TubaChristmas, which will also be presented Dec. 8, is a lunch-hour concert at which all area tuba and euphonium players are invited to perform. Advance registration is required for performers ($10 fee per person); it is open and free to the public.

The Kansas City Symphony Chorus and the Independence Messiah Choir will lend more than 250 voices to the Symphony’s three performances of “Messiah” Dec. 5-7.

The Symphony will present “Waltzing in a Winter Wonderland,” which will include Richard Strauss’ “Snowdrop Waltz” and Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s “Waltz of the Flowers” from “The Nutcracker” on Dec. 10, then will join Chris Mann and Oleta Adams for a concert benefiting the Mission Project on Dec. 12.

The grand finale will be the Symphony’s Christmas Festival, a six-performance extravaganza Dec. 18-21 featuring traditional carols and songs performed with several guest artists.

Christmas in the Sky

Local tradition has it that the Christmas season doesn’t begin until Thanksgiving night, with the Plaza Lighting Ceremony. That doesn’t keep other folks from getting an early start, however.

Several events will get a jump on the Plaza event, with the biggest likely to be Jackson County’s Christmas in the Sky. The free event, which takes place Nov. 26 (the night before Thanksgiving) at Longview Lake in Lee’s Summit, will feature holiday entertainment followed by fireworks synchronized to holiday music. Gates open at 5 p.m.

This also will serve as the opening of Christmas in the Park, a drive-through display with the flavor of a winter wonderland. The free display will run through Dec. 31.

And if you just can’t wait to see the sights, you can check out Christmas in the Park on Nov. 25. The catch is that you’ll have to do so on a bicycle at an event called Trip the Light Fantastic.

Victorian celebration

If you’ve ever visited the Vaile Mansion in Independence, you know what a treat it is. Now envision the house dressed up for the holidays, as it will be for Victorian Christmas Magic.

The mansion’s 31 rooms, complete with nine marble fireplaces and multiple crystal chandeliers, will feature elves, snowmen and fairies. Built by Col. and Mrs. Harvey Vaile in 1881, the mansion is considered one of the nation’s best examples of Second Empire architecture.

Tours will be available daily Nov. 28-Dec. 30 and are $6 for adults; $2 for children.

In addition, the Vaile Mansion will be host to “Champagne and Chandeliers, a Christmas Mystery” at 5:30 p.m. Dec. 6. Visitors can enjoy hors d’oeuvres and champagne while the mystery transpires around them within the rooms of the decorated house. Tickets are $35.

Shopping extravaganza

It’s never too early to start Christmas shopping, and the Holiday Boutique at the Overland Park Convention Center will provide an early opportunity to do just that.

Roughly 150 companies will be represented Nov. 6-9, offering products ranging from jewelry and home decor to art and apparel. The event’s website (kcholidayboutique.com) has a searchable database.

In addition, Danni Boatwright, winner of CBS’ “Survivor: Guatemala,” will be on hand to share her favorite finds, and a Girls Night Out is Nov. 7.

In conjunction with the Holiday Boutique will be the Enchanted Forest, Marillac’s annual fundraiser featuring more than 100 donated trees and wreaths. Visitors can purchase them through a silent auction.

Historical holidays

The name Jim Lane doesn’t exactly conjure visions of snowmen and candy canes. But the leader of the Civil War-era Jayhawkers, known more for the burning and looting of Osceola, Mo., than for any Christmas activities, does have a connection with a local holiday celebration.

Part of Lane’s legacy is the Lanesfield Historic Site in Edgerton, Kan. Now part of the Johnson County Museum, the last remaining structure of a former town named after Lane is a one-room schoolhouse, which will be decorated for the holidays and open to the public starting Nov. 29.

Visitors can learn how Christmas was celebrated in 1904 and make ornaments to take home. They can also learn more about Lane, who became a Union general and later a U.S. senator (before committing suicide).

On Dec. 6, the schoolhouse, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, will be host to a Country School Christmas. It will feature a program by schoolchildren, as well as visits from Santa Claus.

Here are more holiday events going on around town:

MUSIC

NOV. 23

Mannheim Steamroller Christmas: Holiday music with multimedia effects. 3:30 and 7:30 p.m. Kauffman Center

Info: $50-$90; kauffmancenter.org, 816-994-7200

DEC. 5

Musica Sacra: “Leonardo Leo and traditional Christmas Carols.” 7 p.m. St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church, 1001 E. 52nd

Info: $12-$18; rockhurst.edu/mstickets; 816-235-6222

DEC. 5-7

▪ Rezound! Handbell Ensemble: 7 p.m. Dec. 5, North Cross UMC Church, 1321 N.E. Vivion; 7 p.m. Dec. 6, Prairie Baptist Church, 7416 Roe, Prairie Village; 3 p.m. Dec. 7, Eastgate Christian Church, 4010 S. River, Independence

Info: Free; rezound.org

▪ Heartland Men’s Chorus: “Kansas City Christmas.” 8 p.m. Dec. 5-6; 4 p.m. Dec.7. Folly Theater

Info: $15-$67; hmckc.org, 816-931-3338

DEC. 6

▪ Jacomo Chorale: Christmas concert. 7p.m. Nativity of Mary Parish, 10017 E. 36th Terrace S., Independence

Info: Free; jacomochorale.org, 816-355-0114

▪ Conservatory Choirs: “A Season for Giving.” 7:30 p.m. Visitation Church, 5141 Main

Info: Free; conservatory.umkc.edu, 816-235-2900

▪ Liberty Symphony: “Classical Christmas.” 7:30 p.m. Liberty Performing Arts Theatre, 1600 S. Withers, Liberty

Info: $18; libertysymphony.org

DEC. 7

▪ Northland Symphony: Holiday Pops Concert. 3 and 4:30 p.m. Park Hill South High School, 4500 River Park, Riverside

Info: Free; northlandsymphony.org

▪ Kansas City Flute Choir: “Christmas Memories.” 3 p.m. Grace United Methodist Church, 11485 S. Ridgeview, Olathe

Info: Free; kcflutechoir.org

▪ MidAmerica Nazarene University Choir: “Christmas Joy.” 3:30 p.m. Bell Cultural Events Center, 2030 E. College Way, Olathe

Info: $5; mnu.edu/bellcenter, 913-971-3636

DEC. 9

KC Jazz Orchestra: Christmas concert featuring vocal ensemble the New York Voices. 7 p.m. Kauffman Center

Info: $25-$50; kcjazzorchestra.org

DEC. 10

Kansas City Symphony: “Classics Uncorked: Waltzing in a Winter Wonderland.” 7 p.m. Kauffman Center

Info: $25; kcsymphony.org, 816-471-0400

DEC. 11

Kansas City Chorale: “Wintersong at the Nelson.” 5:30 p.m. Rozzelle Court, Nelson-Atkins Museum, 4525 Oak

Info: $25; kcchorale.org, 816-444-7150

DEC. 12

▪ Canadian Brass: “A Holiday Concert.” 7:30 p.m. Lied Center, 1600 Stewart, Lawrence

Info: $14-$40; lied.ku.edu, 785-864-2787

▪ Kansas City Symphony: Benefit concert with Oleta Adams and Chris Mann. 8p.m., Kauffman Center

Info: $52-$125; kcsymphony.org, 816-471-0400

DEC. 12-13

▪ Kansas City Chorale: Holiday concerts. 7:30 p.m. Dec. 12, Rolling Hills Presbyterian, 9300 Nall, Overland Park; 2 p.m. Dec. 13, St. Michael the Archangel, 143rd and Nall, Overland Park; 7:30 p.m. Dec. 13, St. Paul’s Episcopal, 4041 Main

Info: $10-$30; kcchorale.org, 816-444-7150

▪ Kansas City Civic Orchestra: “Sounds of the Season.” 7:30 p.m. Atonement Lutheran Church, 9948 Metcalf

Info: Free; kccivic.org

DEC. 13

▪ Schola Cantorum: “Advent Lessons and Carols.” 7 p.m. Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, 416 W. 12th

Info: Freewill donations; kcgolddome.org, 816-842-0416, ext. 119

▪ Jacomo Chorale: Christmas concert. 4p.m. Marjorie Powell Allen Chapel, Powell Gardens, 1609 N.W. U.S. 50 (30 miles east of Kansas City)

Info: $5-$14; powellgardens.org, 816-697-2600

▪ Lee’s Summit Symphony: “Holiday Magic.” 4 and 7 p.m. Bernard C. Campbell Performing Arts Center, Lee’s Summit High School, Blue River Parkway and Missouri 291 N., Lee’s Summit

Info: $7-$18; lssymphony.org, 816-401-5251

▪ Fountain City Brass Band: “The Wonder of Christmas.” 7:30 p.m. Bell Cultural Events Center, MidAmerica Nazarene University, 2030 E. College Way, Olathe

Info: $5-$20; mnu.edu/bellcenter, 913-971-3636

DEC. 13-14

▪ Liberty Youth Ballet Company: “The Nutcracker.” With tea party and abbreviated performance for matinee Dec. 14. 7 p.m. Dec. 13; 3 and 6 p.m. Dec. 14. Liberty Performing Arts Theater, 1600 S. Withers, Liberty

Info: $10-$15; libertyyouthballet.com, 816-519-2708

▪ Owen/Cox Dance Group: “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King” with the People’s Liberation Big Band of Greater Kansas City. 8 p.m. Dec. 13; 2 p.m. Dec. 14. Carlsen Center’s Polsky Theatre, JCCC, 12345 College, Overland Park

Info: $10-$20; owencoxdance.org

DEC. 14

▪ Mid America Freedom Band: “Frozen Fantasia.” 2 p.m., J.C. Nichols Auditorium, National World War I Museum

Info: Name-your-price ticket; theworldwar.org, 816-888-8100

▪ Central Standard Chorus: Holiday performance by a cappella ensemble. 4 p.m. Marjorie Powell Allen Chapel, Powell Gardens, 1609 N.W. U.S. 50

Info: $5-$14; powellgardens.org, 816-697-2600

▪ Anonymous 4: “On Yoolis Night”: Songs, motets and carols from the British Isles. 2 p.m. Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, 416 W. 12th

Info: $35; chambermusic.org, 816-561-9999

▪ Midwest Chamber Ensemble: “Menotti’s Amahl and the Night Visitors.” 7:30 p.m. Lutheran Church of the Resurrection, 9100 Mission, Prairie Village

Info: Free; midwestchamberensemble.org

DEC. 18

Overland Park Civic Band: Christmas concert. 7:30 p.m. Bell Cultural Events Center, 2030 E. College Way, Olathe

Info: Free; mnu.edu/bellcenter, 913-971-3636

DEC. 18-21

Kansas City Symphony: “Christmas Festival” with Symphony Chorus, Allegro, Rezound! and others. 7 p.m. Dec. 18-19; 1 and 8 p.m. Dec. 20; 2:30 and 7 p.m. Dec. 21. Kauffman Center

Info: $30-$70; kcsymphony.org, 816-471-0400

DEC. 19-21

Dickens carolers: Holiday favorites in melody. 8 p.m. Dec. 19-20; 2 p.m. Dec. 21. Chestnut Fine Arts Center, 234 N. Chestnut, Olathe

Info: $22; chestnutfinearts.com, 913-764-2121

DEC. 19

▪ William Baker Festival Singers: “Candlelight, Carols & Cathedral.” 8 p.m. Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, 416 W. 12th

Info: $15-$20; festivalsingers.org, 913-403-9223

▪ Ensemble Ibérica: “Kilmore Carols.” 8 p.m. St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 11 E. 40th

Info: $15-$20; ensembleiberica.org

DEC. 20

▪ The King’s Singers: Holiday concert, part of Harriman-Jewell Series. 8 p.m. Folly Theater

Info: $25-$70; hjseries.org, 816-415-5025

▪ St. Joseph Symphony: Classical and pops holiday music featuring New Generation Singers. 7 p.m. Missouri Theater, 717 Edmond, St. Joseph, Mo.

Info: $10-$43; saintjosephsymphony.org, 816-233-7701

DEC. 20-21

Kansas City Kantorei Choral Concert: “Christmas Around the World.” 7 p.m. Dec. 20, Country Club United Methodist Church, 400 W. 57th; 3 p.m. Dec. 21, Visitation Church, 5141 Main

Info: $20-$25; kantoreikc.org

DEC. 21

Christmas in the Temple: Led by Young Adults of Central Mission. 7 p.m. Community of Christ Temple, 201 S. River, Independence

Info: Freewill offering; cofchrist.org/dome_spire, 816-833-1000

DEC. 23

▪ Trans-Siberian Orchestra: Rock opera “The Christmas Attic.” 4 and 8:15 p.m. Sprint Center

Info: $38-$72.50; sprintcenter.com, 816-949-7100

▪ Spire Chamber Ensemble and Baroque Orchestra: Performance of Handel’s “Messiah.” 7 p.m. Kauffman Center

Info: $20-$35; kauffmancenter.org, 816-994-7200

PARADES AND LIGHTS

NOV. 6

Mayor’s Christmas Tree Arrival: 100-foot tree completes journey from Oregon. 9 a.m. Crown Center Square

Info: Free; crowncenter.com, 816-274-8444

NOV. 21

▪ Christmas on the River: Highlights will be Children’s Christmas Activity Village and live entertainment on the main stage, followed by fireworks. 6 p.m. Downtown Parkville

Info: Free; parkvillemo.org

▪ Downtown Overland Park Mayor’s Holiday Tree Lighting: Carolers, dancers and bell ringers will join the festivities. 5 p.m.

Info: Free; downtownop.org, 913-642-2222

▪ Lee’s Summit Mayor’s Tree Lighting: There also will be the Merry & Bright: Wrap Yourself in Lights Contest. 6:30 p.m. Howard Station Park, Third and S.E. Main

Info: Free; downtownls.org

NOV. 22

▪ Christmas Celebration: Among highlights is the lighted Christmas parade. All day, Hall of Waters District, Excelsior Springs

Info: Free; exspgschamber.com, 816-630-6161

▪ Legendary Tree Lighting: Ceremony will include giveaways and live holiday music. 6 p.m. Legends Outlets, 1843 Village West Parkway, Kansas City, Kan.

Info: Free; legendsshopping.com

▪ Northern Lights: Lighting ceremony, plus arrival of Fairy Princess and Santa and Mrs. Claus. 6 p.m. Zona Rosa Town Square, 8640 N. Dixson

Info: Free; zonarosa.com, 816-587-8180

NOV. 28

▪ KC Mayor’s Christmas Tree Lighting: Mayor Sly James will flip the switch. 5:30 p.m. Crown Center Square

Info: Free; crowncenter.com, 816-274-8444

▪ Santa’s Arrival: Costumed characters, including Perry the Penguin and Casey Bear, help greet the big man. 10 a.m. Crown Center Shops, Grand Boulevard entrance

Info: Free; crowncenter.com, 816-274-8444

NOV. 28-29 and DEC. 5-6

Holiday Luminary Walk: Trails through gardens and woods will be lined by candles. 5-9 p.m. Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens, 8909 W. 179th, Overland Park

Info: $7; opabg.org, 913-685-3604

DEC. 5

▪ Holiday Lights and Festive Sights: Santa and Mrs. Claus will arrive in horse-drawn sleigh, plus activities for children and adults. 5:30-8:30 p.m. Mission

Info: Free; missioncvb.org

▪ KCK Mayor Holland’s Downtown Holiday Lighting: Tree lighting, visits with Santa and plenty of entertainment. 4 p.m., City Hall Plaza, 701 N. Seventh, Kansas City, Kan.

Info: Free; wycokck.org, 913-573-5010

▪ Sar-Ko Aglow: Stroll through park illuminated by lights while listening to carolers. 6 p.m. Sar-Ko-Par Trails Park, 87th Street and Lackman Road, Lenexa

Info: Free; ci.lenexa.ks.us/parks/festivals_oldtown.html, 913-477-7100

DEC. 6

▪ Christmas Around Town: The many activities will include carriage rides, music, the Christmas tree lighting and the arrival of Santa and Mrs. Claus. 4:30 p.m. Downtown Shawnee

Info: Free; shawneekscvb.com

▪ Old Fashioned Christmas Parade: Billed as “the only exclusively ‘horse’ parade in the Midwest and one of very few throughout the United States.” 11 a.m. Downtown Lawrence

Info: Free; lawrencechristmasparade.org

DEC. 13-14

Gardens by Candlelight: A Luminary Walk: Visitors can see Powell Gardens aglow while listening to classical music. 5-7:30 p.m. 1609 N.W. U.S. 50

Info: $4-$10; powellgardens.org, 816-697-2600

GIFTS AND CRAFTS

NOV. 7-8

▪ Mistletoe Madness: Variety of vendors will sell their wares. 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Gamber Center, 4 S.E. Independence, Lee’s Summit

Info: Free; lsparks.net, 816-969-1580

▪ Northland Holiday Mart: Benefits Safe Place For Kids. 5 p.m. Nov. 7; 11 a.m. Nov. 8. Harrah’s Convention Center, North Kansas City

Info: $15-$20; Info: brownpapertickets.com/event/774367

NOV. 7-9

Holiday Open House: Visitors can enjoy classes taught by merchants while holiday shopping. Regular business hours, Downtown Lee’s Summit

Info: Free; downtownls.org

NOV. 8

Hometown for the Holidays: Shopping event will feature artists and crafters. 9a.m.-5 p.m. at most venues, Downtown Peculiar

Info: Free; downtownpeculiar.com

NOV. 8-9

Holly Festival: Craft show supporting Lee’s Summit Drug Abuse Resistance Education program. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Nov. 8; 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Nov. 9. Bernard Campbell Middle School, 1201 N.E. Colbern Road, Lee’s Summit

Info: Free; lscares.org/hollyfestival.html, 816-347-3248

NOV. 13-16

Holiday Chick Event: Shop for gifts in vacant Restoration Hardware space. 5-9 p.m. Nov. 13 (VIP night); 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Nov. 14-15; 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Nov. 16. Town Center Plaza, 5000 W. 119th, Leawood

Info: $5-$20; chickevents.com

NOV. 22

Holiday Craft Show: Christmas gifts galore. 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Eisenhower Community Center, 2901 N. 72nd, Kansas City, Kan.

Info: Free; wycokck.org/parks, 913-573-8358

NOV. 28-30

Kansas City Urban Potters Holiday Sale: Functional and decorative ceramics will be available for viewing and purchase. 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Nov. 28; 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Nov. 29; 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Nov. 30. Unity Temple on the Plaza, 707 W. 47th

Info: Free; kcurbanpotters.com

DEC. 4-6

Holidays in Crestwood: Gingerbread Lane highlights benefit for Children’s Center for the Visually Impaired; also Holiday Luncheon and Breakfast with Santa. Regular business hours, Crestwood Shops, 55th and Brookside

Info: Varies for special events; gingerbreadlane.org

DEC. 5-6

Kristkindl Markt: German-themed holiday event. 5-8 p.m. Dec. 5; 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Dec. 6. Country Club Congregational Church, 205 W. 65th

Info: Free; cccucc.info/kristkindl-markt

OTHER EVENTS

NOV. 7 to MID-MARCH

Crown Center Ice Terrace: Free skating on opening day, 6-9 a.m. Hours vary, Crown Center, 2450 Grand

Info: $6; crowncenter.com/iceterrace, 816-274-8411

NOV. 27-DEC. 20

Free Holiday Movies: Film will be shown as part of Moonlight Madness on Thanksgiving night, then every Saturday Dec. 6-20 — midnight Nov. 27 and 10 a.m. Dec. 6, 13 and 20. Phoenix Theaters, Legends Outlets, 1843 Village West Parkway, Kansas City, Kan.

Info: Free; phoenixtheatres.com/loc_legendsstadium14.asp

NOV. 28-DEC. 31

Santa’s Crayola Christmas Land and Santa’s Gingerbread Village: Children can play on super-sized Crayola products. Regular shopping hours, Crown Center, 2450 Grand

Info: Free; crowncenter.com, 816-274-8444

NOV. 29, DEC. 6, 13 and 20

Whoville Holidays: Grinch and Cindy Lou Who will be present for photos, and children can make Whoville-themed crafts. 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m., City Market, 20 E. Fifth

Info: Free; thecitymarket.org, 816-842-1271

NOV. 29-JAN. 3

Christmas at Lanesfield: Schoolhouse will be decorated for an old-fashioned Christmas. 1-5 p.m. Friday-Saturday, Lanesfield Historic Site, 18745 S. Dillie, Edgerton

Info: Free; jocomuseum.org, 913-893-6645

DEC. 4, 11 and 18

Christmas in the West: See how pioneers celebrated the holidays. 2 p.m. National Frontier Trails Museum, 318 W. Pacific, Independence

Info: $3-$6; ci.independence.mo.us/nftm, 816-325-7575

DEC. 5

Nutcracker Ball: Dinner and performances by Kansas City Ballet dancers are part of benefit for Kansas City Ballet Guild. 6 p.m. Union Station, 30 W. Pershing

Info: $250; kcballet.org, 816-931-2232

DEC. 5-7

“The Nativity”: Check out the 7-foot puppets. 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. Dec. 5; 2 and 5 p.m. Dec. 6; 3 p.m. Dec. 7. Grace & Holy Trinity Cathedral, 415 W. 13th

Info: $9-$16; paulmesnerpuppets.org

DEC. 6

▪ Christmas on the Farm: Costumed interpreters will be on hand, as will Father Christmas. 2-7 p.m. Watkins Mill State Park, 26600 Park Road North, Lawson

Info: Free; mostateparks.com/park/watkins-mill-state-park

▪ Country School Christmas: Christmas program by schoolchildren, followed by visit from Santa. 1-3 p.m., Lanesfield Historic Site, 18745 S. Dillie, Edgerton

Info: Free; jocomuseum.org, 913-893-6645

▪ Holiday Wild: Santa will visit the zoo, and kids can visit with him. 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Kansas City Zoo, 6800 Zoo Drive

Info: $9.50-$12.50 zoo admission; kansascityzoo.org, 816-595-1234

▪ Holidazzle: Holiday children’s festival, with a Christmas movie and more. Noon-4 p.m. Bruce R. Watkins Cultural Heritage Center, 3700 Blue Parkway

Info: Free; kcparks.org, 816-513-0700

▪ Home for the Holidays: Staff and volunteers will share ideas for decorating and gift giving, and visitors will have an array of gifts to choose from. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Powell Gardens, 1609 N.W. U.S. 50

Info: $4-$10 gardens admission; powellgardens.org, 816-697-2600

▪ Sugar Plum Fairy Children’s Ball: Benefit for Kansas City Ballet School will include matinee of “The Nutcracker.” 10:30 a.m. Sprint Festival Plaza, Union Station, 30 W. Pershing

Info: $70-$200; kcballet.org, 816-931-2232

▪ Visit from St. Nicholas: Experience a 19th-century Christmas. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Shoal Creek Living History Museum, 7000 N.E. Barry

Info: $5; shoalcreeklivinghistorymuseum.com

DEC. 6-7

Nutcracker Tea Party: Friends of Overland Park Arts event featuring “Nutcracker” Ballet performed by Ballet Legacy. Noon-2 p.m. Dec. 6; noon-2 p.m. and 4-6 p.m. Dec. 7. Ritz Charles, 9000 W. 137th, Overland Park

Info: $25-$40; nutcrackerteaparty.org

DEC. 6-7, 13-14 and 20-21

Fairy Princess: Who needs Santa when you can have your picture taken with a princess? 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturdays; noon-4 p.m. Sundays. Kansas City Museum at Corinthian Hall, 3218 Gladstone

Info: $10; kansascitymuseum.org, 816-513-0720

DEC. 12

▪ Santa’s Wonderland: Enjoy live music and hot chocolate as well as light displays and Santa. 6-8 p.m. Gillham Park, Gillham Road between 39th Street and Brush Creek Boulevard

Info: Free; kcparks.org

▪ Ugly Christmas Sweater Party: Fundraiser for Operation Breakthrough. 7:30 p.m., Tower Tavern, 401 E. 31st

Info: $50-$75; kcsweaterparty.com

DEC. 13

▪ Christmas Celebration: Christmas customs of English, German and French settlers are brought to life. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Missouri Town 1855, Fleming Park, Blue Springs

Info: $3-$5; jacksongov.org, 816-503-4860

▪ Christmas in the White House: Archivist David Clark provides a look at the Truman family’s celebration at the White House. 11 a.m. Truman Library, 500 U.S. 24, Independence

Info: $3-$8 museum admission; trumanlibrary.org, 816-268-8200

▪ Santa’s Wonderland: Enjoy live music and hot chocolate as well as light displays and Santa. 4-6 p.m. Penguin Park, North Vivion Road and North Norton Avenue

Info: Free; kcparks.org

▪ ’Tis the Season Gala: An evening of music and the arts, with a reception and silent auction. 6 p.m. Bruce R. Watkins Cultural Heritage Center, 3700 Blue Parkway

Info: kcparks.org, 816-513-0700

DEC. 13 and 20

Fun with Santa and Mrs. Claus: Pancake breakfast, storytelling, craft-making and more. 9 a.m.-noon. Powell Gardens, 1609 N.W. U.S. 50

Info: $4-$10 gardens admission; $5-$13 for breakfast; powellgardens.org, 816-697-2600

DEC. 14

Santa’s Wonderland: Enjoy live music and hot chocolate as well as light displays and Santa. 4-6 p.m. Longview Tract, 7101 Longview

Info: Free; kcparks.org

DEC. 20

Skate with Santa: Fun on the ice with the jolly one. 2-4 p.m. Line Creek Community Center, 5940 N.W. Waukomis

Info: $6; kcparks.org, 816-505-2423

DEC. 26-31

Kansas City City-Wide Kwanzaa: Weeklong celebration, with events organized by National Black United Front. 6-9 p.m., Gem Theater, 1615 E. 18th

Info: Free; nbufkc.org

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