Union Station Kansas City

At the station

Holidays 2013

Stay warm and cozy inside Kansas City’s favorite holiday destination, enjoying a variety of unique sights, sounds and experiences this holiday season. Connect with Kansas City’s holiday history and make new memories of your own in this most elegant holiday setting.


Largest Indoor Holiday Tree • Holiday Plays, Performances & Sing-Alongs • Breathtaking Decorations & Family Photo Opps • Holiday Movies, Mini Train Rides, Exhibitions, Displays & Activities for the whole family to enjoy!

Presented by Bank Midwest

Special Holiday Events

Dec 18-22 Kansas City Southern’s Holiday Express Train

Reserved spots to see Rudy and Santa are filling fast. Don't let that stop you, however, from coming to enjoy them both.

General admission is available for each day Dec. 19 - 22. Plan to arrive early, and remember there is no charge to see Rudy or Santa.

One of Kansas City s favorite holiday traditions, the Holiday Express Train brings Santa to Union Station just before Christmas. Guests can visit with Santa and tour the train for free. This magical holiday train will roll into Union Station for a five-day visit this year from Dec. 18-22. Led by KCS Southern Belle business train, the Holiday Express train includes a smiling tank car Rudy; a flatcar carrying Santa's sleigh, reindeer and a miniature village; a gingerbread boxcar; the elves' workshop; the reindeer stable; and a little red caboose. MAKE PLANS NOW, AND PLAN TO ARRIVE EARLY!

Santa pulls into Union Station on Wednesday, December 18, aboard the Kansas City Southern Holiday Express Train. Here are the dates and hours you can come visit Santa and tour the train:

Friday, December 20: 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Saturday, December 21: 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Sunday, December 22: 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

In 2001 volunteers dedicated over 8,000 hours to the rigorous transformation of the previously retired rail cars into the Holiday Express. The six-car train with Santa Claus and his elves travels through 20 communities in six states on 24 dates. Union Station Kansas City is the last stop on the train s journey. The complete schedule is also available on the KCS website.


Dec 20-21 Polar Express Pajama Party

Our Polar Express PJ Parties are both sold out. There are still, however, plenty of opportunities to see Polar Express at Union Station. With many movie times available, make plans now to experience it and our entire Holiday Celebration at Union Station. Thanks for your interest in this holiday favorite!

Dec 21 Holiday Maker Village

Experience the FREE Holiday Maker Village this Saturday 10 a.m.-5 p.m.! Kids of all ages will love the opportunity to make, create and innovate at interactive Maker stations in the entrance of Science City. Whether it is experimenting with Makey Makey's, 3D printing, crayon casting, making conductive cards, creating Art Bots or printing holiday cards, visitors will have a unique, holiday-themed learning experience!

Dec 31 Noon Year's Eve in Science City

12-8 pm Noon Year's Eve in Science City

Union Station begins a new tradition this year, a Noon Year's Eve party inside Science City. Designed for families with children ranging from pre-K to teen-agers, the celebration will include science demonstrations, activities in the test kitchen and Engineerium, and party toy crafts in the Maker's Studio. Festive refreshments will accompany the fun. The cost for the event will be the same as the regular Science City admission. Members attend for free.


ALL DAY Ongoing attractions including the Mini Holiday Express Train, Real Pirates exhibit, Rocky Mountain Express, and Let It Snow.

Ongoing Holiday Attractions

Mini Holiday Express:
Holiday Spirit Train

Take a ride on our miniature train! Often referred to as the Jones Store Train and beloved by generations at Christmas, it was once a popular attraction at the Jones Store downtown. Riders must be under 48" tall (approximately 5-6 years of age and under). Members FREE; Non-members $5

View Schedule

December 23, 26, 27:
9:30 a.m.-5 p.m.
December 20:
9:30 a.m.-7 p.m.
December 24
9:30 a.m.-2 p.m.
December 31:
11 a.m.-5 p.m.

December 21 & 28:
9:30 a.m.-7:00 p.m.

December 22 & 29:
9:30 a.m.-6 p.m.


Real Pirates: An exhibition from National Geographic

FINAL WEEKS! Experience the Golden Age of Piracy aboard the Whydah, one of the most successful pirate ships of her day, and learn about her conversion into a pirate ship in the early 1700s.


Rocky Mountain Express at the Regnier Extreme Screen Theatre

Rocky Mountain Express propels audiences on a steam train journey through the breathtaking vistas of the Canadian Rockies and highlights the adventure of building a nearly impossible transcontinental railway. General Admission: $6. Regular Showtimes: 10 a.m. & 11:15 a.m. (Check Box Office for current showtime listings for specific dates.)


Let it Snow at the Arvin Gottlieb Planetarium

The show features a variety of high resolution scenery and artistic animation, and can be enhanced with real-time and lighting effects by the user for added variety and drama. The 20-minute program is a fun and entertaining experience for audiences of all ages, especially families. General Admission: $3. Regular Showtimes: 1 pm, 1:30 pm, 2 pm, 4 p.m. (Check Box Office for current showtime listings for specific dates.)


‘Twas the Night Before Christmas: Presented by Theatre for Young America

This new play based on the beloved holiday poem brings to life the wild holiday adventures of a mouse, an elf, and a spunky little girl on their quest to find out why Santa missed their house last year. Daily Showings through December 28. [more info]


Holiday Movie Polar Express
at City Stage Theatre

See Polar Express the movie at City Stage in Union Station. This epic, animated adventure movie tells the story of a doubting boy who on Christmas Eve boards a magical train that's headed to the North Pole and Santa Claus' home. Showing daily at 4 p.m. through Dec. 27. (Check Box Office for current showtime listings for specific dates).


Holiday Model Train Display in Sprint Festival Plaza (FREE)

With 800 feet of track, the Holiday Model Train Exhibit has grown even larger this year! The display features eighteen consecutive running trains
and a 15-foot, 3-D, lighted Kansas City Southern Rudy train engine!

USKC Memberships ...

... make great gifts for Year-Round Fun!

Now offering special Centennial Memberships to celebrate our 100th year. Special holiday benefits include:

  • FREE Holiday Express Mini Train rides for small children
  • FREE Admission to Polar Express PJ party
  • Schedule your time to visit Holiday Express Rudy Train and Santa
  • Discounted Pancake Breakfast price.
Become a Member

Choir Performances

Union Station Kansas City hosts holiday performances all season long, and we'd love to have you join us. If you are a school or college choir wishing to perform at the Station during this holiday season, we would be delighted to accommodate you. Please read and submit this application.

Apply Now

Bells are ringing...

...at Union Station!

Union Station and the Salvation Army have teamed up this holiday season to help our Greater Kansas City neighbors in need. Click here to participate in the Red Kettle Campaign!

donate now

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