October 17, 2020
For the first time, Powell Gardens’ annual “Festival of Lights” will feature presentations by some of the area’s leading cultural organizations. The Lyric Opera of Kansas City and Kansas City Ballet will perform at the Gardens on select evenings. Quixotic will activate the Fountain Garden with a dynamic light installation that will be on view every night of the festival, which begins November 13 and runs through January 3. All offerings are included with festival admission ($12 general admission; $5 children under 5–12; Free for members and children under 4; Discounts for seniors and active military).
“As we began programming the ‘Festival of Lights’ during this difficult and unusual year, we strove to strengthen the connections and the mutual support between cultural organizations that have faced immense challenges due to COVID-19,” said Tabitha Schmidt, Powell Gardens C.E.O./President. “While Powell Gardens is not immune to the impacts of the pandemic, we are fortunate to be able to provide an outdoor venue for a high-level cultural experience, and we are thrilled to partner with these luminaries in our community for the ‘Festival of Lights.’”
The festival features a mile-long path spread out over 25 acres through the Gardens featuring a variety of immersive light displays. More than 20 miles of holiday lights comprise installations that highlight the natural forms of Powell Gardens’ tree collection, show off the exceptional landscape design of the Gardens, and transport visitors to enchanted wonderlands. The eight-week festival will showcase fan-favorite installations alongside brand-new displays. New features include a greenhouse transformed into a holiday-themed enchanted tiki bar complete with tropical plants and music as well as a corncrib converted into Santa’s workshop. Santa will be at the Gardens on select Fridays and Saturdays throughout the festival, and his reindeer will make a special one-night-only appearance on November 28. Tickets and more information are online at powellgardens.org/festivaloflights.
The safety of visitors, staff, and volunteers is a top priority for the Gardens, and leadership reviews precautions frequently to ensure that they are adequate and appropriate in response to the pandemic. Precautions for the “Festival of Lights” will follow guidance from local health officials and updates are posted on the Powell Gardens website.
Special Events during “Festival of Lights”
“Festival of Lights: Enchantment”
Illuminated by Evergy
Nov. 13–Jan. 3 | Thursday–Sunday, 4–10 p.m.
Additional days (Dec. 21-23 and Dec. 28-30) have been added to accommodate seasonal holidays. (Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day.) Admission: $12 for adults, $9 seniors; $8 active military; $5 for children 5–12. Free for members and children under four.
Kansas City Ballet
Nov.13, 14, and 15 | 6 p.m., 7 p.m., and 8 p.m.During the opening weekend of the festival, Kansas City Ballet Second Company will perform an exciting and beautiful medley of dance, including excerpts from Devon Carney’s “The Nutcracker” alongside new holiday-themed jazzy numbers that are sure to excite hearts and incite smiles.
“Fountain of Light,” by Quixotic
Ongoing throughout the “Festival of Lights,”The “Fountain of Light” installation will transform the Fountain Garden, combining reflective structures, lighting design, and sound elements to create depth and space evolving into a fully immersive environment.
Lyric Opera of Kansas City
Saturday, Nov. 21 | 6 p.m., 7 p.m., and 8 p.m.Artists from the Lyric Opera of Kansas City will present a concert as part of “Soundscapes in the City,” a series of short, outdoor concerts featuring hits from opera and
Work & Learn: Holiday Container Design
Nov. 21 | 1–4 p.m.
$55 | Powell Gardens members receive 10% off
Join David Breedlove, Powell Gardens’ seasonal display specialist, to gather ideas to spruce up your pots and add winter interest to your seasonal displays using fresh greenery, other natural materials, ribbons, and more. Each participant will create a fiber pot container and enjoy a complementary festive adult beverage. Advance registration required.
Nov. 27 – Dec. 19 | Fridays & Saturdays
Deliver your holiday wish lists to Santa in a festively transformed corncrib in the Children’s Garden, where he will be posing for photos.
Reindeer in the Gardens
Saturday, Nov. 28 | 5–8 p.m.
On Saturday, November 28, three of Santa’s reindeer will visit the Children’s Garden corral. Visitors will be able to pet the reindeer and pose for photos with them. One night only.