NYC has Rockefeller Center, Kansas City has Crown Center. While maybe not as grand as the Big Apple version, Crown Center can offer just about anything the more popular version can. And with Bar B Q!

 

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The Mayor’s Christmas tree stands majestically among the Center’s many fountains.

 

 

 

Crown Center is a shopping and entertainment complex located in Midtown Kansas City, Missouri. The Center contains apartments, restaurants (including the city’s only Forbes four-star location) retail shops, the opulent Westin and Sheraton Hotels, three venues for live theater, Legoland, and an Aquarium. Crown Center is also the world headquarters for Hallmark Cards. The “Crown” in Crown Center comes from Hallmark’s logo.

 

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The Mayors Christmas Tree is guarded by an army of giant nutcrackers. 

Hallmark’s visitor center includes a children’s play area called “Crayola -land” and has a lot of fun activities. You can also learn the history of their greeting cards known throughout the world, The headquarters is a real hub for creativity, hiring many artists and writers to produce their line of cards for every occasion.

 

 

 

 

 

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Maxine, everyone’s favorite curmudgeon is one of the company’s most successful creations. She has appeared on cards, books, and many products at the Hallmark stores. 

 

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Crayola land a fun and colorful play area

 

Hallmark began developing the area in the 1960s. They designed a shopping plaza, with a large outdoor court. Later they developed an area that would serve as an ice terrace during the winter and a concert area in the summer. The ice terrace is the largest in the city and is a favorite of both locals and visitors.

 

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The outdoor Ice Terrace welcomes skaters of every skill set. 

Crown Center has events running throughout the year including the Kansas City Irish Festival, Oktoberfest, and an international sidewalk drawing competition. But Christmastime is probably the most special time of all to visit. The Center features the tallest Fir tree in the city (The mayor’s Christmas tree), and Santa’s Gingerbread Station,

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Gingerbread Station is the seasonal home of Santa and has a Gingerbread town and an almost lifesize toy locomotive, 
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A rare picture of the toy locomotive not being climbed on. 
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The Gingerbread town features a running train. 
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The Crown Center Shopping area
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The mayor’s tree has giant sized nutcrackers, life-size toy cars and trucks, and even a children’s castle. 
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All the trees in the center courtyard are lit up for the holidays.
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At the time of its construction, all of Kansas City’s tallest buildings were confined to downtown.  In the last couple of decades, these towers have moved south into midtown including the 40-story Sheraton Hotel and the San Francisco Condo tower featured here.
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The sumptuous Westin Hotel has a Botanical Garden and cliffside waterfall. The Hotel is built on Union Hill which featured limestone cliffs. The hotel was actually built the formation and included it in the design. 
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Crown Center has three live theaters including the Coterie Children’s theater.  Many of the shows in December have a holiday theme. 

Crown Center’s midtown location put the complex in the center of many of the city’s most popular tourist areas including Union Station, The National World War One and Science Center Museums, and Sea-Life Aquarium. The center is also connected to Downtown and the City Market and Riverfront areas by free light rail service. Make sure you include the Center on any visit to Kansas City. 

 

 

 

 

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