Uniquely Clay Gifts!

Still looking for something to gift that special tough-to-shop-for someone in your life? Don’t sweat it! Here’s a list of just seven unique gift ideas that can be found only in Clay!


  1. A class (or two) at the Kearney Culinary Academy!

Maybe this year the best gift you can give is knowledge (and tasty food)! The Kearney Culinary Academy offers numerous classes for you to choose from and are sure to be a gift-giving hit! Visit their website to learn more and see what classes are available: https://kearneyculinary.com/



  1. A tour on Excelsior Spring’s Chamber Trolley!

Great memories are another perfect gift for this holiday season! With numerous tours perfect for every taste, there’s sure to be something here that will prove a gifting win! Check out their website to learn more: https://estrolley.com/



  1. A painting class at Pinot’s Palette or Blanc Palette!

A painting class led by a pro is a great way to gift someone lasting memories and a unique piece of art! Pinot’s Palette at the Village in Briarcliff and Blanc Palette in Historic Downtown Liberty both offer numerous classes that someone on your gifting list might love! Visit their websites to learn more: https://www.pinotspalette.com/briarcliff & http://blancpalette.com/



  1. A box (or subscription) of Nellie’s Sweet Shoppe’s Fudge & More!

This is a really sweet gift that can last as long as you’d like and is perfect for the fudge and candy lover on your list. Check out this unboxing video to see what you can expect in a box https://youtu.be/rjsDBc4NNtY and visit their website to learn more https://www.cratejoy.com/subscription-box/nellies-sweet-shoppe/.



  1. A gift certificate with Northland Outdoor Adventures!

If you have an outdoor-lover on your list, then a certificate for kayaking fun at Smithville Lake with NOA might be just what you need to gift them! Learn more at their website:https://www.kcnoa.com/



  1. A trip to Worlds of Fun’s WinterFest!

This event is seasonal at Worlds of Fun, so hurry if you think someone on your list would love it! It’s the perfect way to give someone a dazzling holiday experience and it’s only its second year! Check it out on their website: https://www.worldsoffun.com/play/winterfest



  1. A paranormal investigation at the spooky Belvoir Winery!

Are you shopping for a Halloween lover? Then maybe this frightful gift is right up their alley. Belvoir Winery schedules paranormal investigations around their haunted grounds monthly and a gift like this is sure to haunt someone’s memories forever—in a good way! Learn more at their website: http://www.belvoirwinery.com/



Seasonal Birdwatching

With winter just around the corner, now is a great time to check out some of the perfect places for seasonal birdwatching in Clay!

Smithville Lake

The lake is a great place to visit for a glimpse of some of the areas seasonal bird residents. Last year there were lots of birds to keep an eye out for! Common visitors to Smithville Lake include: bald eagle, American white pelicans, and snowy owls. With numerous trails for hiking and biking and scenic lakeside viewing points, Smithville Lake offers a unique birding experience.


Nature fans and birders alike should also add the Missouri Department of Conversation’s Eagle Days to their calendar. Smithville Lake’s Eagle Days is scheduled for January 5th and 6th at the Paradise Pointe Golf Course Clubhouse. Learn more here: https://www.nwk.usace.army.mil/Locations/District-Lakes/Smithville-Lake/Smithville-Eagle-Days/


Martha Lafite Thompson Nature Sanctuary

The nature sanctuary is always a great place for birdwatching, and it’s no different during the winter months! There are several trails to choose from here, each of varying difficulty. Some of the seasonal residents you can keep an eye out for here include: bald eagles and a multitude of other birds. Click here for a full list of what you might be able to expect to see at the sanctuary: https://www.naturesanctuary.com/birds.html

Top 7 Holiday Activities in Clay

Though tried and true holiday traditions are great, it’s always fun to find new and exciting experiences when you’re feeling festive.
Here’s a quick look at some of the top seven holiday activities in Clay that you may want to make your newest seasonal tradition!
1. Outdoor ice skating at Linden Square!
Open weekends starting November 20th, this outdoor skating rink is fun for the whole family!
2. Christmas tree decorating at Jesse James Park in Kearney!
Starting November 15th, you can plan a trip down to Jesse James Park where you can pick a tree to decorate with your own lights and decorations. Bring your own extension cord as well and a sign with your name on it so everyone can see who decorated the tree. The electricity will be turned on December 1st!
3. Holiday shows at Corbin Theatre in Liberty!
Catch one of the festive holiday shows put on by the Corbin Theatre Co.! This winter they’re performing A Tuna Christmas and The Day Before Christmas.
4. Candyland Christmas in Downtown Smithville!
This holiday event is perfect for kids and allows them to enjoy a fun, seasonal adventure with the local merchants of downtown Smithville.
5. Holiday trolley tours in Excelsior Springs!
Explore the holidays in Excelsior Springs by planning a trip on one of their many holiday tour options! This year the Excelsior Springs Chamber Trolleys are offering: a Holiday Homes Tour, a Taste of Christmas Tour, Holly Jolly tours, and a Christmas Wine Tour!
6. WinterFest holiday celebration at Worlds of Fun!
Starting November 23rd and available select nights through December, Worlds of Fun’s WinterFest is a new local holiday festival that you’ll want to make a family tradition!
7. Hometown Holidays in Downtown Liberty!
Make sure to plan a trip to historic downtown Liberty December 1st to enjoy this holiday celebration! With family friendly activities, local vendors, and live entertainment, this event is the perfect addition to your holiday plans!

November Festivities

With this year’s early snow, it’s not all that hard to believe that holiday fun is just around the corner! Here’s a quick list of some of the holiday events you can look forward to this month!

November 10th: Holiday Lighting Ceremony at the Village at Briarcliff

From 3:00 to 7:30, enjoy Briarcliff’s Annual Holiday Lighting Ceremony! With holiday music performances, live reindeer meet & greets, free photos with Santa, beautiful lighting displays, and more…this is a festive event you won’t want to miss!

November 16th: Mistletowne Market in North Kansas City

Hosted by North Kansas City Parks and Recreation, Mistletowne Market is a festive shopping event that features an artisan holiday market filled with local art and goods. This is a great place to kick off your holiday shopping! The event runs from 10:00 am to 9:00 pm.

November 16th: Mayor’s Christmas Tree Lighting in North Kansas City

Head down to North Kansas City’s City Hall for holiday snacks, entertainment, and pictures with Santa! The event is scheduled from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm.


November 17th: Christmas in Excelsior Springs Kickoff & Lane of Lights

Kickoff the holiday season with Excelsior Springs this year as their Downtown transforms into a winter wonderland! Explore the Hall of Trees in the historic Hall of Waters, tour the enchanting Lane of Lights, or take a Christmas Homes Tour! With all that and more, this is a great holiday event to add to your calendar.

November 20th: Mayor’s Christmas Tree Lighting in Gladstone

Savor the season with live music from local school choirs, a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus, and ice-skating at Linden Square. The fun starts at 6:00 pm! Don’t forget, ice-skating is available seasonally at Linden Square’s outdoor rink starting November 20th for just $5 per person.

November 23rd: Worlds of Fun’s WinterFest

Join Worlds of Fun for their second annual holiday celebration, WinterFest. Starting in November and running on select nights through December, WinterFest features sparkling lights, holiday performances, seasonal treats, iconic characters, and so much more!

Remember, this is just some of the holiday fun that’s coming up in Clay! Stay tuned to see what holiday fun December has in store!

Explore Indoors: Clay’s Must-Visit Museums

It may still technically be fall, but it’s definitely starting to feel like winter out there! With a chill working its way into the air, now’s a great time to explore Clay’s many (mostly indoors) museums and historic sites!


Clay County Museum and Archives—Liberty  

Home to three floors full of local historical relics, this museum is great for those interested in Clay County’s past!


Liberty Jail Historic Site—Liberty 

See where LDS leader Joseph Smith was held from 1838-1839.


Jesse James Bank Museum—Liberty 

Site of the first successful daylight bank robbery during peacetime in the United States, tour the original bank robbed by Jesse James and his gang in 1866.


Jesse James Birthplace Museum—Kearney 

Tour the home where infamous Jesse James and his brother Frank were born and raised! Home the largest collection of James family artifacts; this is the perfect stop for history buffs!


Kearney Historic Museum—Kearney 

Dive into the history of Kearney, Missouri by exploring its local museum!


Watkins Woolen Mill—Kearney 


The only 19th century textile mill still housing its original machinery, Watkins Woolen Mill State Historic Site lets visitors get a glimpse back into the 1870s.


Hall of Waters—Excelsior Springs 

Built in 1934, the Hall of Waters is the place to visit in Excelsior Springs for a look back into the city’s mineral water past.


Excelsior Springs Museum and Archives—Excelsior Springs  

Learn more about Excelsior Springs’ storied past at the local museum!


Atkins Johnson Farm and Museum—Gladstone 

This historic home offers a glimpse back into Gladstone in the 19th century.


TWA Museum—Kansas City 

Learn about TWA’s role in early commercial flight at this truly unique museum experience.


Shoal Creek Living History Museum—Kansas City 

Found on 80 scenic acres within Hodge Park, visitors get to explore a village of authentic 19th century buildings.