Winter Wonderlands: Kansas City, Missouri

Martha Stewart Living, December 2002

This city's Art Deco architecture has been the cornerstone of its vibrant revival. But Kansas City's style turns over-the-top at Country Club Plaza, with its Moorish towers, intricate tile work, and Greek-god and nymph statues that appear in 15 fountains. It's an extraordinary sight during the holidays, when some 280,000 bulbs light Country Club Plaza. Every year 200,000 people crowd into the plaza's 14 square blocks for the moment on Thanksgiving night when the switch is thrown.

The plaza doesn't have a monopoly on Kansas City holiday decorations, though. Union Station, a recently restored Beaux Arts masterpiece, has become a holiday center. In 2002, pastry chef John Lovitch made a gingerbread village 5 feet wide and 85 feet long, with 260 buildings and a miniature electric train running through it. Still, for most visitors, the lights that twinkle on the plaza's clock towers and iron scrollwork every December night are the city's holiday emblem. In fact, the plaza is so popular that a local chocolatier, Annedores, re-creates the landmark each year.

For information, call 816-221-5242 or visit


Discover Other Winter Wonderlands Across The United States


Solvang, California

A Scandinavian town with a rich historical background, Solvang boasts a Julefest fit for a king complete with a Nativity pageant and thoroughly decked streets.


Cooperstown, New York

The Clark Foundation is responsible for Cooperstown's elegant garlands and Christmas light adornments.


Natchez, Mississippi

Antebellum architecture and modern-day decor compete for attention during Natchez, Mississippi's annual holiday festival. The highlight of the season is the city's candlelit tours. 


Santa Fe, New Mexico

Countless farolitos line the Palace of the Governors in Santa Fe, New Mexico during the holiday season each year, lending further merriment to the city's celebratory bonfires and ornamented trees.



Portland, Oregon

Seafarers flock to Portland's shores during the holidays to observe the city's many bedecked boats. 



Return to Winter Wonderlands 



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