First of all, I’m not selling you anything here. I’m just sharing an idea on a cool way to spend a weekend. I grew up in a small Missouri town but Kansas City has always been my “hometown.” Sure, I’m a bit biased but KC offers some unique attractions that make it a special place. At the top of that list is The Country Club Plaza, especially around the holidays.

“The Plaza” as it’s known by the locals is a shopping center spread out over several city blocks with nearly 500,000 feet of retail and office space. In there are some of the best restaurants and stores in the US. Established in 1922 it was the world’s first shopping district designed to accommodate shoppers arriving by automobile. Inspired by the Spanish city of Seville, the Country Club Plaza has had the longest life of any planned shopping center in the history of the world! 

The holiday lights are legendary. Starting with a single strand across a doorway in 1925, the lights have grown to a 15-block spectacle. The 90-year-old annual lighting ceremony on Thanksgiving Day evening sees thousands packed in the streets as someone, usually a celebrity with local ties, flips the switch illuminating the streets. Every evening starting at 5 PM running through January 12th, the lights are on. Grab a few friends or family members and head to KC for a weekend. It’s about a 6-hour drive from Mankato and well worth it!