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INDEPENDENCE

Blaze your own trails and find your next one-of-a-kind travel experience.
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find your

AMERICAN LEGEND

Retrace the steps of President Harry S.Truman.
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find your

FAMILY ROOTS

Branch out while rediscovering your past.
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WAY WESTWARD

Pack your wagon and ride historic trails.
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WEEKEND GETAWAY

Stay Where It Makes Sense and Cents!
upcoming EVENTS

Nov
16
Fri
Ararat Shrine Circus @ Silverstein Eye Centers Arena
Nov 16 @ 7:30 pm – Nov 18 @ 2:00 pm

The Ararat Shrine Circus returns to Silverstein Eye Centers Arena for its 83rd annual performance!

About

Come take part in all of the family fun of KC’s only three-ring circus. Catch any one of five shows scheduled through the weekend.

When and Where

Friday, Nov. 16 @ 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, Nov.17 @ 10:30 a.m., 2:30 p.m., & 7:30 p.m.

Sunday, November 18 @ 2 p.m.

 

Nov
21
Wed
On the Square: U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree @ Independence Uptown Market
Nov 21 @ 9:00 am – 10:00 am

About

The 2018 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree is making a stop in Independence on its way to Washington D.C. for the holidays. Come to the Uptown Market on the Square to get a look at the tree and sign the banner that will be displayed with the tree in the capitol.

Independence Parks and Recreation will have a variety of events to commemorate the occasion. The tree will be on display 9 a.m. to 10 a.m.

What is the Capitol Christmas Tree?

The tradition of the Capitol Christmas Tree, or “The People’s Tree,” began in 1964 when Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives John W. McCormack placed a live Christmas tree on the Capitol lawn. The tree lived three years before succumbing to wind and root damage.

Then, in 1970, the Capitol Architect asked the U.S. Forest Service to provide a Christmas tree. Since then, a different national forest has provided “The People’s Tree” each year. The 2018 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree is being provided by the Willamette National Forest in Oregon.

Why Independence?

This year marks the 175th anniversary of the “Great Migration” of wagon trains on the Oregon Trail. In 1843, approximately 1,000 pioneers made the 2,170-mile journey from Independence to Oregon. In the 25 years that followed, 400,000 people traveled west from Independence with dreams of a new life, gold and lush farmlands.

Commemorating this anniversary, the 2018 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree is taking the Oregon Trail in reverse toward Washington D.C.

 

Nov
23
Fri
“Spirit of Christmas Past” Tours at the 1859 Jail & Marshal’s Home @ 1859 Jail Museum
Nov 23 @ 10:00 am – Dec 30 @ 4:00 pm

About

Come tour the 1859 Jail to learn more about Christmas during the 19th century.

The museum will be open daily for tours from Nov. 23-Dec. 30. Hours are 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 1-4 p.m. on Sundays.

 

Bingham-Waggoner Estate Holiday Tours @ Bingham-Waggoner Estate
Nov 23 @ 10:00 am – Dec 30 @ 4:00 pm

About

“Tis the Reason for the Season” — that’s the theme at the Bingham-Waggoner Estate this holiday season.

The Bingham-Waggoner Estate will be open daily for holiday tours from Nov. 23-Dec. 30, excluding Dec. 23, 24 and 25.

 

Nov
24
Sat
Small Business Saturday @ Independence Square
Nov 24 all-day

It’s good to #ShopSmall

Just in time for the holiday season, Small Business Saturday is a great way to support the small, locally-owned businesses in our community. Whether its art, home goods or food and drink, the shops on the Independence Square help make Independence home.

Make the Square your home for the holidays!

Start early, stay late

Shop or dine at over 40 locally-owned shops and restaurants in our historic downtown.

Rise-and-Shine breakfast specials available before 10 a.m. at select cafes. There, you can also pick up a guide that highlights shopping specials throughout the downtown district.

Receive a reusable “Shop Small” tote with purchase at the following local merchants, while supplies last:

ALL THINGS INDEPENDENCE, ART SQUARED GALLERY, BE HERE NOW, GAME CAFE, GILBERT WHITNEY & CO., PRIMARY COLORS GALLERY, SALON 208, SALON PINK, SCANDINAVIA PLACE, SMILES ON THE SQUARE, STUDIO ON MAIN, THE KEEPING ROOM, TOP HAT WINERY, WILD ABOUT HARRY

 

Carolers, Cookies and Santa on the Square @ Visitor Experience Center
Nov 24 @ 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm

About

Step back in time as the historic Independence Square is transformed into a winter wonderland for the holiday season.

On Saturdays from 1-4 p.m. between Nov. 24-Dec. 15, experience a horse-drawn sleigh ride with carolers around the Square.

Cookies and Santa himself await each guest in the Visitor Experience Center, located inside the Truman Courthouse.

 

Nov
30
Fri
Mayor’s Christmas Tree Lighting in the Holiday Forest @ Hiram Young Park, Independence, MO 64050
Nov 30 @ 6:00 pm – 6:30 pm

About

Mayor Eileen Weir invites citizens to join her at the Mayor’s Holiday Lighting at 6p.m. on Friday, Nov. 30 at Hiram Young Park.

The Mayor will be joined by a special guest to light the Mayor’s Christmas tree and other features in the park.

Santa will join the festivities and lead everyone up to the Square for Living Windows at 7 p.m.

 

 

 

Dec
1
Sat
Mayor’s Christmas Carnival @ Roger T. Sermon Community Center
Dec 1 @ 9:00 am – 12:00 pm

About

Celebrate the holidays with balloon creations, face painting, carnival games, prizes, snacks and a visit with Santa.

 

 

Roger T Sermon Community Center

 

Carolers, Cookies and Santa on the Square @ Visitor Experience Center
Dec 1 @ 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm

About

Step back in time as the historic Independence Square is transformed into a winter wonderland for the holiday season.

On Saturdays from 1-4 p.m. between Nov. 24-Dec. 15, experience a horse-drawn sleigh ride with carolers around the Square.

Cookies and Santa himself await each guest in the Visitor Experience Center, located inside the Truman Courthouse.

 

“A Dickens of a Christmas Tour” at the Vaile Mansion @ Vaile Victorian Mansion
Dec 1 @ 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm

This Dickens of a Christmas Tour will feature some of your favorite characters from the classic, “A Christmas Carol.”

“Come join us for an exclusive, evening tour of the beautifully decorated Vaile Mansion.”

Come anytime between 5:30 and 8:30 p.m. for this exclusive tour. After the tour, enjoy a glass of champagne and light hors d’oeuvres in the dining room. Make plans to visit the Vaile Mansion for this truly special event that is certain to put holly in your heart.

 

 

 

Dec
2
Sun
Mayor’s Christmas Concert @ Community of Christ Auditorium
Dec 2 @ 2:30 pm – 3:30 pm

About

The 33rd Annual Mayor’s Christmas Concert, benefitting the Community Services League, will feature fourth-grade students from the Independence School District and Nativity of Mary, the Truman High School Concert Choir, the Young MAIsterSingers of the Music Arts Institute, and the Spirit of Independence Band.

Dick Wilson will serve as master of ceremonies. The Kansas City Mavericks’ mascot, Mac, and another special guest are coming, too.

Admission is free. A donation offering will be taken during the concert.

 

 

 

 

 

Dec
6
Thu
Holly & Mistletoe Homes Tour @ Various locations
Dec 6 @ 10:00 am – 8:00 pm

About

The Independence Young Matrons are excited to present their annual Holly & Mistletoe Homes Tour.

“Homes festooned with holiday cheer will welcome you on this year’s tour.”

Tickets are available at several area outlets, which you can see via the “Event Website” link above.

Make sure to the visit the Sweet Shop from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the day of the tour. Located in the Delaware Event Space on the Square, the Sweet Shop features homemade treats and goodies. You can also check out the raffle basket table.

Your participation in the Holly & Mistletoe Homes Tour makes it possible for Independence Young Matrons to donate to local agencies supporting people throughout eastern Jackson County.

 

 

Tour-goers visit a home along the Holly & Mistletoe Homes Tour in 2017.
Dec
8
Sat
Carolers, Cookies and Santa on the Square @ Visitor Experience Center
Dec 8 @ 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm

About

Step back in time as the historic Independence Square is transformed into a winter wonderland for the holiday season.

On Saturdays from 1-4 p.m. between Nov. 24-Dec. 15, experience a horse-drawn sleigh ride with carolers around the Square.

Cookies and Santa himself await each guest in the Visitor Experience Center, located inside the Truman Courthouse.

 

Dec
12
Wed
15th Annual Winter Solstice Torch-Lit Hike @ George Owens Nature Park
Dec 12 @ 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm

About

Come out for the 15th annual Winter Solstice Torch-Lit Hike at George Owens Nature Park.

Walk a torch-lit trail through the park and learn about the change of seasons. Stay warm with a roaring fire and hot chocolate.

The event features ice sculptures, live raptors, telescopes to view the night sky (weather permitting), a variety of snowmen decorated by Independence families, organizations and businesses, and much more.  Free travel mugs for the first 200 participants.

The Snowman Trail will be on display from Dec. 12 – Jan. 31.

If you, your family or your organization are interested in decorating a snowman, you can purchase on at the Truman Heritage Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Independence (505. N Dodgion Ave.) through Dec 4, 2018. 

Snowmen are $10 for families, $25 for groups and $100 for businesses. Decorated snowmen can be dropped off at George Owens Nature Park, 1601 S. Speck Rd., on Dec. 1, 2, 5 or 6 from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Funds generated will be used to support Truman Heritage Habitat for Humanity’s work in Independence.

 

 

Families, businesses and organizations from across Independence decorate snowmen like these for the annual torch-lit hike.
Dec
15
Sat
Carolers, Cookies and Santa on the Square @ Visitor Experience Center
Dec 15 @ 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm

About

Step back in time as the historic Independence Square is transformed into a winter wonderland for the holiday season.

On Saturdays from 1-4 p.m. between Nov. 24-Dec. 15, experience a horse-drawn sleigh ride with carolers around the Square.

Cookies and Santa himself await each guest in the Visitor Experience Center, located inside the Truman Courthouse.

 

Dec
23
Sun
Frosty Skate at Centerpoint Community Ice @ Silverstein Eye Centers Arena
Dec 23 @ 9:30 am – Dec 30 @ 9:30 pm

About

Get in the holiday spirit!

Come ice skate with your family, friends or by yourself inside the Silverstein Eye Centers Arena, presented by Snow Creek.

Hours

Dates and times vary through the week. There is no Frosty Skate available on Christmas Day.

  • Sunday, Dec. 23
    • Variety Adaptive Frosty Skate @ 9:30-11 a.m.
    • Frosty Skate @ 11 a.m.-9p.m.
  • Monday, Dec. 24
    • Frosty Skate @ 11a.m.-4p.m.
  • Tuesday, Dec. 25
    • Closed for Christmas
  • Wednesday, Dec. 26
    • Frosty Skate @ 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
  • Thursday, Dec. 27
    • Frosty Skate @ 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m.
  • Friday, Dec. 28
    • Frosty Skate @ 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, Dec. 29
    • Frosty Skate @ 11 a.m.-2:15 p.m.
    • Frosty skate at 6-9 p.m.
  • Sunday, Dec. 30
    • Frosty Skate @ 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m.

Admission is $8 at the door. Skate rental is an additional $3. Children under 4, seniors over 65, and spectators are free.