For over a century, Waldo has offered Kansas Citians a holiday oasis of shopping, fun, and great food. Founded in 1841, Waldo became an official part of Kansas City in 1909. Ever since, the neighborhood has been a city-within-a-city experience filled with thriving businesses.
Waldo is home to more than 600 shops, restaurants, and businesses filled with the classic charm Kansas Citians know and love. The best part? Over 60 percent of Waldo businesses are locally owned and operated, so the dollars you spend in Waldo go right back into the community.
During the holidays, Waldo is bustling with shoppers and the sights and sounds of the season. You’ll also notice many of the businesses in the neighborhood are twinkling with lights and showcasing their holiday spirit in the 3rd Annual Holiday Lights Competition—make sure to vote for your favorite here.
With so much to do, it can be a tad overwhelming to plan what to do during your time in Waldo. We worked with the Waldo Area Business Association to come up with the top ten ways to celebrate the holiday season in Waldo in 2022.
Take in the sights and sounds at The Well Bar Grill & Rooftop
The Well’s rooftop is decked out for the holiday season under a heated tent dotted with firepits to gather around. Not only does the bar and grill’s rooftop overlook a fantastic view of the Waldo neighborhood, but you’ll also be surrounded by glimmering lights and magical decorations with a full menu of festive cocktails.
Grab the Perfect Hostess Gift at Marco Polo Selections
Arrive with a bottle of wine from Marco Polo Selections and be the host’s favorite guest at your next holiday gathering. Marco Polo offers family-made wines from places such as Croatia, Georgia, Armenia, Romania, Turkey, Italy, France, Spain, Argentina, and a few domestic areas too. Plus, they offer free wine tastings—just book a reservation.
Relax the Body and Mind at Centered Spirit and Emilie’s French Teas
Need to relax after a busy morning of holiday shopping? Stop by Centered Spirit’s Cultural and Holistic Center for an infrared sauna session, which assists with detoxification, weight loss, pain management, heart health, muscle recovery, and purification. Then, stop by Emilie’s French Teas, located in the heart of the center, for a tasting of soothing teas.
Cure that Sweet Tooth with Holiday Treats from McLain’s Bakery
McLain’s Bakery, which has called Waldo home since 1945, is one of Kansas City’s oldest bakeries serving up delicious homemade pastries, cookies, and cakes. At McLain’s, you’ll find plenty of festive treats to take to the office holiday party or share during family gatherings—from classic holiday cookie boxes to snowman cakes and gingerbread cookie decorating kits.
Find the Perfect Locally Made Gift at Eclectic’s Gift Gallery
Still looking for that perfect gift for the tricky person on your holiday list? At Eclectic, you’ll find a wide selection of unique and handmade gifts from local Kansas City artists. Stop in, and they’ll show you their favorite ornaments, fun stocking stuffers, earrings that will show off your great taste, and more.
Add the Final Touch to Your Holiday Decor with Waldo Greenhouse
The perfect holiday wreath can set the mood for your holiday party, and Waldo Greenhouse has plenty of fresh wreaths to choose from. You can even order a customized wreath that will match your holiday decor to a tee—think pinecones, holiday berries, and other festive finishing touches.
Stop in for a Treat at Betty Rae’s
Can you really visit Waldo without stopping by Betty Rae’s for a velvety-rich ice cream cone or bowl? The local ice cream shop is ready for the holiday season with special, limited-time flavors, including Santa’s milk and cookies, peppermint bark, salted caramel, carrot cake, and cranberry orange sorbet.
Crack Open a Cold One at KC Bier Co.
Amid the busiest season of the year, slowing down for a cold one is almost always a good idea. Visit the Bierhalle to enjoy KC Bier Co.’s German-style biers on tap, plus traditional German sausages and pretzels. Try the Winterbock, a dark, strong special-edition brew that features rich malt flavors of caramel and dark chocolate with a clean, smooth finish.
Pamper Yourself at Cheveux
Don’t forget to reserve a little me time—you deserve a break after all that shopping and holiday planning. You’ll look extra refreshed in holiday photos with friends and family. Book an appointment to get your nails done, a fresh hairstyle, and/or a relaxing spa and skincare treatment.
Give Back at HappyBottoms
Did you know one in three families doesn’t have enough diapers to keep their child clean, dry, and healthy? HappyBottoms has been supplying Kansas City families with the diapers they need since 2009. During this season of giving, HappyBottoms is a great choice—whether you’re interested in donating to the cause or volunteering, you can feel good about giving back to the community at HappyBottoms.