If children tended to stay in bed during the holidays, with visions of sugar plums in their heads, then hosting your extended family on Christmas week would be easy. Of course, what actually happens is that you end up with a dozen nieces, nephews, and grandkids to entertain for days on end.

When the “Xbox” tournaments and movie marathons start to lose their charm, that’s your signal to clear the house and let the young folks burn off some of that the stocking candy. As Kansas City’s Ambassadors of Outdoor Living, we believe in fresh air and exercise during the most wonderful time of the year. So we’ve put together a short list of outdoor activities that you and your energetic clan can enjoy in a Kansas City December.


It’s not Colorado, but the Snow Creek Ski Park right here in Weston, Missouri never fails to give youngsters a lift. Last we heard, the slopes were scheduled to open on Christmas Day. http://www.skisnowcreek.com/

Outdoor Ice Skating

Nippy outdoor air, graceful evergreens, and colorful holiday lights come together to make the Crown Center Ice Terrace a lovely experience for all ages. You can even practice your triple Salchow (which sounds a lot like “sow cow,” but we know from experience that there’s a difference). https://www.crowncenter.com/Attractions-Theaters-List/Ice-Terrace

Carriage Ride

No, the “horse-and-buggy” method is not the most efficient mode of transportation, and that’s the point. The leisurely trot through the beautiful Country Club Plaza will take you up to half an hour. There’s room for up to 8 on some of these carriages, and there’s even a “sleigh” version of the attraction. http://www.kccarriages.com/

Kansas City Zoo

What more appropriate time of year could there be to hang out with a polar bear than December? In fact, the KC Zoo offers plenty to see in the winter. Not only are tigers, pumas, and snow leopards particularly suited to the cold weather, but you may also find some warm-weather animals inside where you can see them better. Make it a short trip in the warmer hours around lunchtime, and put on your parka. http://www.kansascityzoo.org/

Football and Soccer

Don’t forget to suggest these cold-weather sports that can involve a whole group at once.

Ice Palace

If there’s a string of freezing days during the holidays, find a way to collect some old cardboard milk cartons, the square type. Have everyone fill them with water and let them freeze for a couple of days. Then open the containers and build a structure out of ice, like an igloo. Warning: this takes a little dedication.

Okay, maybe just kidding about the ice palace.

An Opportunity

Seize the season by enjoying its beauties for all its worth. Every moment is fun with those exceptional kids and grandkids. And when you’ve made yourself tired, remember that you’ve made a memory that they won’t forget.