Monday, December 21, 2015

A Krasnow Christmas in Kansas City

I have lived off and on in Kansas City for roughly 25 years and there are certain things that are synonymous with Christmas and Kansas City. The largest being the lights around the Country Club Plaza. It has to be the most beautiful sight in the city, in my opinion. After college, I moved back to Kansas City and lived in a studio apartment that overlooked that Plaza. A dream of mine that became a reality. And during the month of December, I went to bed every night with the lights of the Plaza as my backdrop. It was truly the best night light ever!

When my husband and I got married, we didn't really have any traditions when it came to Christmas. My parents lived out of town for the first five or six years of our marriage, so we spent most of the time on the road. But, we would always try to find the time to drive around neighborhoods checking out Christmas lights or driving through the Plaza and enjoying its wonder. It wasn't until we had our son that we truly began creating Christmas traditions. 

Crown Center, a Kansas City staple when it comes to shopping, dining, and checking out local theater, has become one of the first stops on the holiday tour! And when we go, we pretty much camp out all day! We took our son for his first Christmas, at age eight months, to see the Mayors Tree and play on all the wooden cars, trucks, and other toys that sit beneath the tree. No, he couldn't walk, but that didn't stop us. We personally had a blast! Now that he's four, he looks forward to our annual pilgrimage to Crown Center.

In addition to our play time beneath the tree, we stand in line to dine at his favorite eatery within Crown Center, Fritz's Railroad Restaurant. This place is wonderful for kids! You order your meal via a telephone from your table and it's delivered directly to your table by their signature restaurant-wide railroad. And each child under 12 is given their very own conductor hat! After lunch, we walk over to Union Station to check out their free model train exhibit! 

Union Station is pretty amazing! When you walk into the grand hall, on your way to the model train exhibit, you are met with such a beautiful room that leaves you wondering what it was like during its hay day! It's simply beautiful. Oh, and did I mention that during the holidays, there is a Lego exhibit of little towns decorated for Christmas with running model trains? It's pretty incredible. And, as if that wasn't enough, there is a giant Christmas tree with a train that travels all the way around it for kids to ride! McKinley has a blast, and I have to admit, I wish I could ride the train with him!  

 So now that we've been at Crown Center and Union Station for about four hours, it's time to wrap things up. And, because I'm beyond exhausted from toting all the things moms tote for their children, and trying to keep up with all of his energy, I'm ready for a little afternoon pick me up! Thank goodness that Parisi Artisan Coffee is literally on our way out the door! A local cafe with two locations that provides beautiful coffee art in each cup. It's the boost I need to get me through the rest of the afternoon! 
As we walk back to our car, we find ourselves watching the skaters making their way around the Ice Terrace. I love watching to see how the kids handle the skates. My son loves to wait for the zamboni! And, if we can't find it on the rink, we have to find its spot in the parking garage! He's obsessed!

 And as we head home, we drive through the Plaza and look at the glorious lights one last time. If you don't have a sleeping little one in the backseat, take some time to walk through the Plaza. I love to just take a stroll and take in all the joy. And, if we ever get the chance, we love to stop and have a drink before heading home. There are so many amazing restaurants to choose from, but I love The Classic Cup. An Independently owned restaurant that's so quaint. During warmer months, I love to sit along the sidewalk and people watch. There are some amazingly chic shoppers in this city! During the colder months, their window lined dining room allows for the same view, but you also get to take in the lights! Did I mention the Plaza lights are my favorite thing about the Kansas City?

    Coming to Kansas City during the holidays and have little ones in tow? Make sure you add at least one of these to your itinerary! No one will be disappointed! And, you may just find the magic of Christmas all around you! 

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