By Jenah Wieczorek, PCSgrades Director of Social Media

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Ft. Leavenworth and Kansas City are beautiful year-round, but especially during the holiday season. Want to know about Christmas events, family fun, shopping, and more? Read on and Tis the Season!


Staying Close

The holidays can be stressful enough without having to pack up the car and make a day of it. Luckily, there are numerous events on post and out in the local community for those families that don’t want to drive very far. Below are just some of the events happening locally.

15693313439_38830348ef_zMayor’s Holiday Tree Lighting and Bazaar – This event takes place each year in Haymarket Square in downtown Leavenworth. Families experience a holiday market, Christmas parade, tree lighting and lots more. The fun starts on Nov. 18 at 4 pm.

Cider Hill’s Christmas on the Orchard Event– Everyone’s favorite apple picking venue also does a Christmas event. Starting on Nov. 18 families can enjoy sleigh rides, crafts and of course, hot apple cider.! Additional details can be found at

Fort Leavenworth Spouses’ Club Holiday Bazaar– Want to support local businesses, the Spouse Club, AND knock out some holiday shopping? Head over to the FLSC Holiday Bazaar. A large vendor fair with food trucks is a great way to get into the holiday spirit. This event is Nov. 19 from 10am-4pm at the Old McArthur Elementary School on post.

DFAC Thanksgiving Feast– If you plan to stick around town for the holidays, know that the DFAC serves up a fabulous buffet style meal for Thanksgiving. Tickets are reasonably priced, and this event is a great way to enjoy Thanksgiving without having to cook all day! Bonus points for no dishes either. img_5044

Zais Park Tree Lighting–The installation lights up the holiday tree at Zais Park on Dec 2. There will be choir performances and family fun to be had! Don’t miss out on the fun.

Leavenworth Candlelight Vintage Homes Tour– This yearly event kicks off on Dec. 11 and is a tradition that the locals love. Patrons will start at the Carroll Mansion and tour vintage homes and churches dating all the way back to 1850’s.

Wreath’s Across America– Giving back to our fellow military community is what our company is all about. Join some of the PCSgrades staff as we lay wreaths on the graves at Fort Leavenworth National Cemetery on Dec. 17.



While some families want to stay local, others feel the itch to get out and about and see what the surrounding cities have to offer. Kansas City, MO has a plethora of holiday activities going on. A few highlights are below.

428350_3305759322967_626579591_nKansas City Zoo– Bundle up and take the family to The Kansas City Zoo! Penguin marches, Winter Wonderland, and Santa diving with the Penguins are just a few of the events going on in December.

Crowne Center– So many holiday events take place at Crowne Center. The Ice Terrace is already operating and runs through March if you like to skate. The Mayor’s 100 ft Christmas Tree Lighting and a visit from Santa take place the day after Thanksgiving and are always a crowd pleaser. Add in the local restaurants and shops, and this is a full day event.

Hanukkah Glow Party– Celebrate the festival of lights with the whole family on Dec. 6. Crafts, a DJ, and a baby area will be set up at Jewish Community Center Social Hall in Overland Park. For more details and ticket information, email Amy Ravis Furey at [email protected]

img_5924Kansas City’s Holiday Express Train – Santa and his Elves come rolling into Union Station the weekend of Dec. 16. Families can visit with Santa and tour the train for free, but reservations are required! Union Station will also have numerous holiday movies running all through December.

Power & Light’s District– The KCP&L District will turn itself into Whoville on Dec. 10-11 and Dec. 17-18. Cindy Lou and the Grinch will be on site, so stop by and have some fun.

Musicals and Plays– If these outings are more your speed, you are in luck. A Christmas Carol plays at Spence Theatre from Nov. 18-Dec. 24. The Nutcracker is at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts from December 3-24. And Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Musical will run from Nov. 8-Dec. 31 at the ever popular Coterie Theatre.

The 35th Annual Citywide Kwanzaa Celebration will take place Dec 26-31 at the Historic Gem Theatre. Vendors, performances, and tributes are just a few of the details! Find out more information at


Jamming every weekend full of adventure can be exhausting. These activities are going on for a few months, so don’t feel the need to rush out.

Snow Creek- Did you know you can take a short drive to Weston, MO and ski, tube, and snowboard? Fresh powder and family fun await your family with a projected opening date of Dec. 16. Check their website for further updates and the live camera!

Country Club Plaza, Zona Rosa, and Legends, Oh My! These shopping meccas are decorated head to toe with Christmas lights and sales! Knock out all your holiday shopping at any of these great venues. These locations are surrounded by numerous restaurants and coffee shops so make a day of it.



2017 is approaching fast! Hire a sitter and get out there and enjoy the new year!

new-years-eveNew Year’s Union Station: Ring in the New Year at one of the largest parties in the KCMO area! Union Station will have a live swing band, hot appetizers, and a champagne toast at midnight.

Kansas City Restaurant Week: multi- course meals for a good deal at over 150 area restaurants. Eat to your heart’s desire while supporting a great charity the week of Jan. 13-22.

The holiday season can seem to be go, go, go for many families and it’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle. As a military community, we know that there will be local families with a loved one deployed, away on TDY, or they simply can’t travel home to be with their extended family during the holidays. CGSC is filled with numerous International households! We encourage you to think of these families and do something nice for them. Make them a card, invite them to your house for Thanksgiving or Christmas, or ask if they want to tag along to some of the events above. The holidays are about family, and the military is our family too, so include them.

If you are stationed in the Ft. Leavenworth area or are headed this way on your next PCS, visit for all the latest happenings, base housing info, neighborhood info, school ratings, realtor and moving company recommendations.