With the holidays upon us, many families are scrambling with last-minute gift buying, wrapping and Christmas Day get-together planning.
But once that chaos ends, a new kind of challenge begins: staying busy (and not going stir crazy) the week after Christmas, when the kids are home from school.
Luckily, Johnson County and the Kansas City area offers a wide assortment of ways to get the family out of the house.
From local staged performances to light tours, there is plenty to do around Kansas City that is sure to keep the kids (of all ages) entertained and parents calm and (still) full of holiday cheer.
Here is a list the Post has compiled of some family-friendly things to do in Johnson County over the next week or so. If an costs something, we try to note that.
- Lenexa’s Lights Tour — Looking for a free way to still enjoy the holidays? Lenexa’s Deck the City Holiday Lights Tour is going on from now until Monday, Dec 27. Load the family in the car and drive around Lenexa to enjoy some festive homes decorated for the holidays. Follow the site’s handy map that tells you exactly where to go.
- The Post’s “5 to Try” Holiday Lights — Speaking of Christmas lights, take Post readers’ recommendations for the five best light displays in Johnson County.
- Noon Year’s Eve — Taking place at Science City in Union Station, Noon Year’s Eve is a fun way to ring in the new year early with your whole family (and not break your sleep budget). In addition to the usual attractions at Science City, there will be fun, interactive science demonstrations and workshops, animal educator chats, and more. General admission is $14 but free for Union Station members.
- Kansas City Zoo Penguin March — While it is always fun to go to the zoo, right now families can enjoy a special up-close encounter with penguins during any weekend from now through the end of February. Starting at 11 a.m. each day, patrons can view the birds as they take a 15 minute stroll through Helzberg Penguin Plaza. Viewing the penguins is free with admission. General admission tickets to the zoo range from $15 to $18 for non-Jackson County residents. Visitors 2 and younger get in free.
- Ice Skating Park Place — Leawood’s only outdoor ice rink is open every day from now until Feb. 27, including holidays. Surrounded by a variety of restaurants and eateries, families can enjoy a nice bite before or after a skate. From Monday through Saturday, the rink is open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and on Sunday it is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Admission is $11 and skate rental is an additional $4. Kids 3 and younger get in free.
- The Spongebob Musical — Based on the beloved children’s cartoon, “The Spongebob Musical” is currently playing at the Coterie Theatre in Kansas City. From now until Jan. 2, the theatre will be performing the musical every day of the week, except for holidays. Performances are at kid-friendly times with showings at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. each day. Tickets range in price from $16 to $20 per seat.
- Kids’ Day Out — For kids ages 6-10, this program is a fun way for kids to discover history through hands-on activities and exploration at the Johnson County Museum. The program runs Monday through Thursday in late December and Monday and Tuesday in early January from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Price is $35 per child.
- Johnson County Library — Johnson County’s public library system is always a great place to look that offers fun ways to keep your kids entertained. Check out the libraries website for recommendations of kid-friendly books, online games and more.
- Enjoy a local playground — It may sound crazy, but the weather is not going to be too cold next week. Highs could get in the 60s in the early part of the week after Christmas and may be tolerable enough all week to check out our readers’ recommendations for best playgrounds in Johnson County.