Eagle Days

Are you looking for a fun, educational event to begin your new year with? If you are, then 2019’s Eagle Days may be perfect for you!

 

Eagle Days is an annual event hosted by the US Army Corps of Engineers in the Paradise Point Golf Course Clubhouse at Smithville Lake. The event will be held on January 5th from 9:30 to 3:30 and January 6th from 10:30 to 3:30.

 

Along with the scheduled shows featuring eagle facts and live eagles, Eagle Days offers viewing locations predetermined the morning of the event to be a great place to spot an eagle in the wild. On top of all this, expect to see various fun and family friendly booths inside the Paradise Pointe Golf Course Clubhouse during the days of the event; many of these tables feature fun animals and unique educational experiences too!

 

So far the weather for the event days is looking chilly, but otherwise pleasant for early January! Make sure to keep an eye on the weather though and dress for warmth if you plan on attending!

 

New Years in Clay

As crazy as it sounds, we’re about to begin 2019! With the New Year approaching, now is a great time to take a look at some of our local annual event favorites. Let us know what Clay events and festivals you’re looking forward to in the comments!

 

 

February 2nd: Chocolate Tour

Tour local shops in Excelsior Springs while sampling tasty chocolate! Learn more about the event here: https://visitexcelsior.com/index.php/annual-events/chocolate-tour/

 

 

 

March 16th: Snake Saturday

One of Kansas City’s favorite St. Patrick’s Day traditions, North Kansas City’s Snake Saturday festival and parade is an event you won’t want to miss. Learn more here: https://snakesaturday.com/

 

 

 

April 12th-14th: Smithville’s Best Dam BBQ

Savor tasty barbecue during one of Clay’s most delicious events. Learn more here: https://www.thebestdambbqcontest.com/

 

 

 

June 1st-2nd: Bluesfest

Enjoy live local blues in Gladstone’s Oak Grove Park! Learn more here: http://www.gladstonechamber.com/bluesfest

 

 

 

June 15th: Wine Festival

This Excelsior Springs event offers one of the best ways to sample delicious Missouri wines! Learn more here: https://visitexcelsior.com/index.php/annual-events/wine-festival/

 

 

 

June 21st-22nd: WaterFest

Celebrate local history in this Excelsior Springs favorite festival! Learn more here: https://exspgschamber.com/index.php/events/waterfest/

 

 

 

July 5th-7th & August 2nd-4th: Gladstone Theatre in the Park

Theatre in the park is always a fun, free way to enjoy the summer! This year they’ll be performing 42nd Street and Tarzan! Learn more here: https://gladstonetip.com/

 

Seasonal Coffee & Tea

 

The cold may not always be much fun, but one good thing about the colder weather is the tasty warm drinks that come with it!

 

Here are some of the delicious seasonal drink flavors you need to sip around Clay this year—they’ll get you right into the holiday spirit!

 

Headrush Roasters: This year’s holiday specials include the Winter Rush (a blend of mocha, peppermint, and espresso with candy cane topping) and the Eggnog Latte (eggnog and espresso with a nutmeg topping).

 

The Mug: Holiday flavors you can look for at this Excelsior Springs favorite include: Gingerbread Cookie, Alpine Mocha, Peppermint Mocha, Eggnog, and Eggnog Chai!

 

Anna Marie’s Teas: Not a coffee fan? Then maybe some seasonal tea flavors from Anna Marie’s Teas in Liberty are right up your alley! They’ve got tasty flavors including Christmas Bakery, Winter Apple Herbal, Snowflake Black Tea, and more!

 

What are your favorite holiday coffee and tea treats? Let us know in the comments!

Holiday Lights in Clay!

Winter is a beautiful time, and one of the most iconic scenes from the season is the holiday décor! Here are our top four suggestions for holiday lighting displays in Clay!

 

  1. Liberty Light Show

This is the last weekend for this dazzling display, so make sure you plan a trip to one of these shows before it’s over! The show’s totally free and features live musicians and synchronized lights. Plus, you can enjoy from the comfort and warmth of your car! Shows are scheduled for December 7th-9th. Visit their website to learn more: https://pleasantvalley.org/libertylightshow/

 

  1. Lane of Lights

This drive-through holiday light experience is a community favorite! Found along Excelsior Springs’ Lovers Lane, the display is free to enjoy, but a donation is suggested! Visit their website to learn more: https://exspgschamber.com/index.php/events/community-christmas/lane-of-lights/

 

  1. The Village at Briarcliff

Though there’s no official light show here, the Village at Briarcliff is always decorated for the holiday season, and is a great place to visit for shopping and a scenic winter walk!

 

  1. Worlds of Fun’s WinterFest

Along with all the other festivities this event offers, WinterFest is home to grand lighting displays and festive décor! Visit their website to learn more about this holiday experience: https://www.worldsoffun.com/play/winterfest

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.

Family-friendly & Spooky Halloween Events!

Kid’s Friendly Halloween Events

 

  1. Great Pumpkin Fest – Worlds of Fun until October 28th

Don’t miss your chance to enjoy Worlds of Fun’s ultimate fall festival during its last weekend! From 12:00-5:00 experience family-friendly Halloween-themed events throughout Planet Snoopy!

 

  1. Kid’s Safe Halloween – Shoal Creek Living History Museum October 27th

Trick-or-treat like never before through Shoal Creek’s historic village. The event is scheduled from 12:00 to 3:00—make sure to wear a costume and bring your treat bag!

 

  1. Spooky Fun in Neverland – Macken Park October 27th

Kids will love this spooky Peter Pan themed Halloween celebration! From 11:00 to 3:00, enjoy adventure, bounce houses, pumpkin painting, a hayride, and more!

 

  1. Smithville’s Haunted Campground – Smith’s Fork Park October 27th

From 4:00-6:30, enjoy this kid-friendly Halloween event at Smith’s Fork Campground! Featuring trunk or treating, a costume contest, scare-crow building (straw provided, bring your own clothes to stuff), and more!

 

  1. Bill Payne Halloween – Downtown Excelsior Springs October 31st

From 4:00-6:00, enjoy trick-or-treating through Excelsior Springs’ historic downtown! After, promptly at 6:00, the Bill Payne Costume Contest will begin.

 

Scary Halloween Events

 

  1. Halloween Haunt – Worlds of Fun until October 27th

Tonight and tomorrow night are your last two chances to experience the thrills of Halloween Haunt! This event is not recommended for children under 14, Halloween Haunt becomes frightening after 6:30. Halloween Haunt is from 6:00-12:00 pm and 11:00 am-1:00 am tomorrow.

 

  1. Smithville’s Haunted Campground – Smith’s Fork Park October 27th

Smithville’s Haunted Campground event gets scary from 6:30-8:30!

 

  1. “Haunting” Historical Figures of Clay County – Clay County Museum October 27th

From 6:00-8:00 pm enjoy cider, donuts, and guided tours with ghostly former residents of Clay County! The event is hosted by the Clay County Museum and costs $5 per person!