A Guide to Celebrating the Holidays in Johnson County

Happy holidays, Johnson County! It’s officially the most wonderful time of the year. The holiday season provides plenty of opportunities to celebrate, whether you’re staying cozy at home or enjoying family-friendly activities throughout the county.

With December upon us, it’s a busy time exploring lights displays, baking tasty treats and finishing all your holiday shopping. Consider this your guide to everything holiday-related: tips for decorating and celebrating safely, ideas for gifts and activities, and upcoming events and activities in the county.

Tips for a Happy Holiday Season

Wreath with pinecones hung on a house

As you get your decorations out and plan your holiday gatherings, keep these tips in mind for staying safe and healthy throughout the season.

Holiday Decorating with Landscape Greens

As you decorate for the holidays, have you considered fresh greenery? Fresh premade wreaths and garland can add a festive touch to your holiday décor. Consider branches and boughs from your garden, and follow these tips from K-State Research and Extension to keep your greenery fresh and decorate safely.

Going Green for the Holiday Season

The most wonderful time of the year is also the most wasteful time of the year. That’s because Americans generate more than 25% more trash during the holiday season. Keep your holiday lights and Christmas tree out of the trash, and follow these eco-friendly holiday decorating tips from Johnson County Department of Health and Environment. Also, don’t bag your recyclables in plastic trash bags!

Holiday Wellness Tips

The holiday season is a time of gatherings of festivities, and being sick can put a damper on your celebrations. Johnson County Department of Health and Environment has tips to ensure your season is joyful and healthy, including:

  • Practice healthy eating habits
  • Stay hydrated
  • Stay active
  • Wash your hands
  • Prioritize vaccinations

Prevent Scams During the Holidays

Scams can affect us all, but older adults are especially vulnerable. They report a higher average loss: $1,000. These tips can help you avoid scams. If you get calls, text messages or emails that seem suspicious, don’t call back, and don’t click on any links. Do you suspect you are the victim of fraudulent activity or identity theft? Contact the fraud department of the compromised accounts, then report the crime to your local police department.

Johnson County: A Winter Wonderland

Children wait to visit with Santa in a one room schoolhouse

The Lanesfield School Christmas Concert on Dec. 9 will feature a choir performance, followed by a visit from Santa.

The county is hosting a variety of events throughout the holiday season, including events by JCPRD and the Johnson County Library. See what’s coming up at Lanesfield Historic Site, Johnson County Museum and more.

Lanesfield School Christmas Concert

Experience an old-fashioned holiday at the Lanesfield Historic Site. The historic site, located in Edgerton, will host a 1904-themed holiday event Saturday, Dec. 9 from 1-5 p.m. The free program will feature a performance from the Edgerton Rainbow Connection Children’s Choir, followed by a visit from Santa. The historic site is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Jewish Traditions at the All-Electric House

The Johnson County Museum’s All-Electric House is getting a new holiday spin this year. Jewish Holidays in the All-Electric House presents a blend of Jewish traditions, including Sukkot, Hannukah and the Shabbat. The exhibit is a collaboration between the museum and The Michael Klein Collection at The Temple B’nai Jehudah. It runs through Jan. 6, 2024 and is included with museum admission.

Emerging Artists & Papercrete Works Holiday Art Sale

Purchase a homemade holiday gift during Johnson County Developmental Supports’ Emerging Artists & Papercrete Works Holiday Art Sale. The 7th annual art sale takes place Wednesday, Dec. 6 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Johnson County Arts & Heritage Center. Find the perfect gift while supporting artists with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Other Upcoming Holiday Events

  • Candy Cane Hunt: At these child-friendly event on Dec. 11 and Dec. 15 from 10:30 a.m.-noon, create a festive craft then hunt for candy canes hidden around Mill Creek Activity Center.
  • Family Holiday B-I-N-G-HO-HO-HO: Enjoy a pizza dinner, then play holiday bingo with the whole family during this event on Dec. 15 from 5:30-7 p.m. at Roeland Park Community Center.
  • Preschool Storytime: Children ages one and older can enjoy a visit from Santa during this Preschool Storytime at Ernie Miller Nature Center on Dec. 20 at 10:30 a.m.

‘Tis the Season in Johnson County Cities

Trees lit in colored lights at Sar-Ko-Par Park

Sar-Ko-Aglow takes place through Jan. 15 at Lenexa's Sar-Ko-Par Park

Cities across Johnson County are getting in the holiday spirit too. Overland Park’s Luminary Walk takes place at the Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens on Fridays and Saturdays through Dec. 16. You can also enjoy a holiday lights show at Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead nightly through Dec. 31. Thompson Park in Downtown Overland Park is also lit up for the holidays.

One of the best holiday light displays in the Kansas City metro, you can experience Sar-Ko-Aglow at Lenexa’s Sar-Ko-Par Park through Jan. 15. Lenexa is also putting on a live radio play of It’s a Wonderful Life on Dec. 7 from 6:30-8 p.m. at Lenexa City Hall. The Olathe Public Library is hosting its Winter Fest event on Dec. 9 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at Indian Creek Library, as well as Gift Wrapping Parties on Dec. 20, 21 and 22 from 1-3 p.m. at Indian Creek Library.

View upcoming events through these cities as well: Gardner, De Soto, Edgerton, Fairway, Leawood, Merriam, Mission, Mission Hills, Mission Woods, Prairie Village, Roeland Park, Shawnee, Spring Hill, Westwood.

Developmental Supports
Health and Environment
K-State Research and Extension
Park and Recreation