Trip Ideas: Holiday Getaway - Northwest Missouri
Every region of Missouri offers great places to visit during the holiday season. Northwest Missouri is a virtual winter wonderland, with history, home tours and holiday lights.
Morning
The outside view of this National Register site is a shutterbug's dream; inside, learn more about regional history and the courthouse's role in the Ford brothers' trial for the murder of Jesse James.
411 Jules St., St. Joseph MO 64501, 816-271-1412
Hours: Mon.-Fri., 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
Enjoy snow skiing, snow-boarding and the Tornado Alley Tube Park, which features a thrilling downhill ride and a relaxing journey back to the top of the hill, at Snow Creek. Snow Creek features 12 trails, ranging from beginners to advanced.
1 Snow Creek Drive, Weston MO 64098, 816-640-2200
Hours: Skiing and snowboarding areas: Mon.-Thur., noon-9 p.m.; Fri., noon-2 p.m.; Sat., 9 a.m.-2 a.m.; Sun., 9 a.m.-8 p.m.; Tornado Alley Tube Park: Wed.-Thur., 4:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m.; Fri., 4:30 p.m.-2 a.m.; Sat., 10 a.m.-2 p.m.; Sun., 10 a.m.-8 p.m.
Help warm up your holiday get-together with a stop at the McCormick Country Store, which sells a complete line of McCormick products, plus logo items. Not sure what you want to buy? Samples are just a quarter (yes, 25 cents) for customers ages 21 and older.
420 Main St., Weston MO 64098, 816-640-3149
Hours: Tues.-Fri., 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sat., 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sun., noon-5 p.m.
Afternoon
Built in 1881, this 30-room mansion comes alive during the holiday season. Celebrate a Victorian Christmas at Vaile Mansion for a holiday experience you won't soon forget. Holiday tours generally begin the day after Thanksgiving and last until Dec. 30 (with select closing dates around the Christmas holiday)
1500 N. Liberty Street, Independence MO 64050, 816-325-7430
Hours: Mon.-Sat., 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Sun., 1 p.m.-4 p.m.
Step back in time and enjoy the scenes of a traditional Christmas past at Bingham-Waggoner, one of the most beautiful and historic homes in the region. Holiday-season tours generally begin the day after Thanksgiving and run through Dec. 30 (with select closing dates around the Christmas holiday).
313 W. Pacific Ave., Independence MO 64051, 816-461-3491
Hours: Mon.-Sat., 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Sun., 1 p.m.-4 p.m.
Evening
One of Kansas City's most popular dining and retail destinations gets into the holiday spirit with a festive celebration and ceremony to mark the "flip of the switch" for thousands of lights around this 15-block area.
4750 Broadway Blvd, Kansas City MO 64112, 816-753-0100
Hours: Hours vary by business.
Crown Center is a great retail and dining destination; the three-story indoor shopping complex has more than 60 shops and restaurants, two hotels, and is home to the world headquarters of Hallmark Cards. During the holidays, it's best known for housing a mammoth Christmas tree and family fun at the Crown Center Ice Terrace ice-skating rink.
2450 Grand Blvd., Kansas City MO 64108, 816-274-8444
Hours: Mon.-Wed., 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Thur.-Sat., 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sun, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. (skating rink hours may vary)