Holiday events, ice skating, winter markets and plenty of hot cocoa—winter is a magical time in Overland Park and nearby Kansas City. 

One of the Kansas City area’s most beloved traditions, the Plaza Lighting Ceremony, is a must-see! With the flip of a switch during a Thanksgiving night celebration, 15 blocks of holiday lights are instantly illuminated. The lights stay on through mid-January and make for an incredible photo opp. Be sure to tag #VisitOP when you share your photos! Oh, and a pro tip? Stay up late (or wake up early) and see a lights test between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. You might need extra coffee that day, but it’s well worth it!

Other winter event highlights include the captivating Luminary Walk  through the Overland Park Arboretum and Botanical Gardens. Stroll a mile of holiday candles, then enjoy live entertainment, wagon rides, hot cider and visits with the man himself—Santa Claus! Get your fill of holiday festivities at the Mayor’s Tree Lighting  in downtown Kansas City, Christmas in the Park at Longview Lake and the Northern Lights at Zona Rosa. 

And when the calendar kicks over into a new year, that means one thing: Kansas City Restaurant Week  is near! The eagerly anticipated annual event is held in mid-January and includes prix fixe lunch and dinner menus at more than 100 restaurants throughout the Kansas City area, including Overland Park. Seats tend to fill quickly, so once you’ve compiled your dining wish list, we recommend making a reservation. 

Last, but certainly not least, the Crown Center Ice Terrace  is a perfect Kansas City bucket list item for the entire family. The outdoor skating rink offers prime views of downtown Kansas City, and on-site skate rental is available. The Ice Terrace season kicks off in November and continues through February. 

Ready to begin your winter adventure? 

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