Ashley is a collector of experiences, and since the holiday season is one of her favorite times of the year, we had to get the scoop from her on the most festive places to go and the best things to do in Kansas City for Christmas!
A few years ago, Ashley attended a cocktail class at J. Rieger & Co. during the holidays where she learned how to make her favorite spiked holiday punch. The class itself was fun, but Ashley’s favorite part has been recreating this delicious drink every year for family and friends during the holidays.
Taking a themed class inspired her and her wife, Sarah, to continue looking for classes and experiences like this one that they can incorporate into their yearly holiday traditions. For example, one year, Sarah took a holiday baking class at McClain’s Bakery. Is there any better way to get into the holiday spirit?!
Festive Pop-Up Bars
During the month of December, Kansas City is home to a variety of exciting holiday pop-up bars and some of Ashley’s favorites to hit up are hosted by Miracle. Miracle, a holiday pop-up bar company founded in 2014, hosts these pop-ups all around the U.S. and has a few in Canada, Mexico, and England as well. They deck out their temporary bars with kitschy holiday décor and serve up world-class, professionally-crafted holiday cocktails like no other! This year in Kansas City, Miracle has a pop-up bar at Power & Light, as well as another one on the Plaza.
Besides her fantastic Rieger holiday punch, Ashley has a few other spots she likes to visit for specific cocktails that are perfect for sipping on during the holidays. One of them can be found at a couple of different restaurants around the city, including at Westport Café, a cozy French-American bistro nestled in the heart of Westport. This cocktail is called Bronson’s Milk Punch, created by a Kansas City bartender named Bronson Kistler. Crafted following traditional methods, this milk punch is made with fresh fruit juices and natural ingredients, which are then finely filtered through real milk proteins.
Ashley always makes sure to stop by Corvino during the holidays. The Corvino Supper Club is the perfect place to warm back up, enjoy delicious modern American cuisine, listen to live music and sip on another one of her favorite cocktails, the French 75.
Kansas City is home to many fun places decked out in holiday cheer. Ashley and Sarah like to take a stay-cation in December at one of the city’s stunning hotels, like the Westin in Crown Center or the Crossroads Hotel, and spend an evening together at Pierpont’s, an impressive, must-try restaurant located in Union Station. They eat and drink themselves merry while decked out in their flashiest holiday outfits (luxurious crushed velvet for Ashley!) and take in all the beautiful decorations around Union Station.
Ashley also makes sure to take in KC’s holiday cheer with friends. One of her holdiay traditions is go to Hall’s in Crown Center with her friend Robb, where they can shop, sip champagne, and spend time together. While Ashley spends time with her friends, Sarah likes to go with her friends to see the Nutcracker, something Ashley is completely ok with missing! Ashley and Sarah also make sure to see the Snow Globes, a Kansas City-based trio who put their own spin on traditional holiday songs. Ashley even booked them to play in her front yard one year when the pandemic made it impossible to go see them perform at a local venue!
Ashley and Sarah, of course, share their passion for the holiday season with their children! One of their favorite places to visit is Santa’s Bakeshop in Martin City! Here, Martin City Brewing Company transforms its outdoor space across the street into a truly festive winter wonderland, complete with real snow to play in and delicious holiday treats (hot chocolate and ice cream, yes please!).
This year, Ashley and Sarah took their kids to visit Santa at Union Station! They got to hop on the Holiday Express, which had not been back to KC since the pandemic hit in 2020. This train is decorated to the nines and kids can meet Santa and his Elves while touring the festively decorated train cars.
Check out some of Ashley’s holiday haunts this year to fully get into the season’s spirit!