“Like Starts in the Night Sky”

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Abigail Pierce, Reporter

A classic holiday tradition that is enjoyed by many is driving around and looking at Christmas lights. Whether you’re going with friends, family, or even alone, Christmas light displays can be pleasing for everyone. 

Kansas City and its suburbs have been known for having extravagant Christmas displays, bringing in many spectators to view the dazzling lights. There are many places to see Christmas lights, but a select few stand out from the rest. 

The first place everyone has to go see is The Plaza, located on the Missouri side of Kansas City. During the holiday season, the Plaza is a lively place to be, containing 15 blocks of shopping, restaurants, and, you guessed it, Christmas lights. Every building is covered in colorful, twinkling lights that look like they took hours upon hours to set up. Not a corner is unturned that isn’t glowing with extravagant lights. It is definitely worth going to at least once, and maybe even getting some gift shopping out of the way as well! Two birds with one stone (three if you consider the fine dining found on every street with a variety of menus). 

Another must-see on this Christmas light adventure is Crown Center, found a few miles straight North of the Plaza. Crown Center is home to the “Mayor’s Christmas Tree”, a 100-foot-tall Douglas fir tree covered top to bottom with white Christmas lights, very pleasing to the eye. The initial lighting of the tree was the Friday evening after Thanksgiving (Black Friday), and it stays lit all the way through January 3rd, 2022. Along with the Mayor’s Tree being the main attraction, there are also dazzling lights lining the streets, a massive shopping mall (with gifts for the whole family), and an ice skating rink as the cherry on top (open November through March); every detail drawing more attention to Crown Center for the holidays. 

After seeing the 100-foot tree, you could head just north a bit to Union Station. Unlike the Plaza and Crown Center, Union Station is an indoor display. The train station lobby has a grand Christmas tree- the largest indoor tree in Kansas City, perfect for photo opportunities- along with the usual activities found there. This year Union Station is showing off their “Holiday Reflections” walk-through village. The bright lights outside the station are simple to draw you in for the extravagant display shown inside, featuring the largest holiday model train layout in the Midwest. 

The Legends Kansas City has decided to put up a Christmas display for the 2021 holiday season, and it’s most certainly a sight to see. Not only are the many shops in the Legends going to hang lights, but there is expected to be a ‘Legend’ary tree as the main attraction, located just in front of the AMC Theater, near the center of the shopping center. 

Although these sights are on the top of the list, they’re also a bit of a drive for Olathe residents. The “Christmas Place” is a neighborhood in Overland Park, which is much less of a drive. The entire neighborhood is lined with lights and blow-ups, not a house left plain. The whole neighborhood chipped in to put their homes on the map, bringing in sight-seers from all around the area to drive down their streets and admire the tons of effort they put into their yards for this festive time. 

Another local display is the Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead, located in Overland Park by the Scheel’s sports complex. Every inch of the face of the barn is covered with lights and digital screens, along with the parking lot. The Deanna Rose barn is easily one of the best in Overland Park, and is visible from the soccer fields right next to it, giving players, parents, refs, and coaches a show to excite them during warm ups or calm them down after a tough game. 

There are plenty more places around the Kansas City area to see Christmas lights, but these are a few of the top few. Whether you’re going with family, friends, or just taking a drive all on your lonesome, looking at Christmas lights is an activity enjoyed by most who experience it. Driving to Downtown KC or staying closer to home, as long as the lights are pleasing to the eye, it’s almost always worth the while.