The Plaza has been entertaining visitors from across the country and from around the world since its inception in 1923. With its European inspired architecture and unique shops, the Plaza has become the Midwest’s premier shopping, dining and entertainment destination.
The Plaza Lights are one of Kansas City's most favorite traditions and is the official kick off of the holiday season. The famous ceremony, which began as 16 lights hung over a doorway, now includes over 80 miles of lights with 280,000 multi-colored bulbs outlining and illuminating the buildings and towers of the Country Club Plaza.
Each autumn, the streets of the Country Club Plaza are transformed into a beautiful outdoor art gallery. A nationally-recognized event, artists throughout the USA an abroad come together to display their fabulous artwork and attract countless art enthusiasts.
This upscale shopping district and residential neighborhood, often referred to as simply "The Plaza," was the first shopping center in the world designed to accommodate shoppers arriving by automobile. Established in 1923 by J. C. Nichols and designed architecturally after Seville, Spain, the Plaza comprises high-end retail establishments, restaurants, and entertainment venues, as well as offices.
The Country Club Plaza is also famous for its annual Lighting Ceremony, which draws thousands on Thanksgiving Day each year. This 75-year-old tradition rings in the holiday season for all who live and work in the Greater Kansas City area. On Thanksgiving night, tens of thousands of people visit the Plaza to enjoy the local entertainment and to watch the electric lights, including fireworks and entertainment, initiate the Christmas season.
Although the Plaza was designed and built to accommodate visitors arriving by automobile, it is unlike modern shopping malls with sprawling parking lots: parking is discreetly concealed in multilevel parking garages beneath and behind the shops, or hidden on the rooftops of buildings. Thus the Plaza does not suffer from the sprawl that afflicts modern shopping centers, and this design makes it friendly to pedestrians.