The descent of colorful incandescent festoonery over familiar landscapes has become a signifier of two traditions that Americans hold dear: legalized gambling and Christmas. The Plaza's Thanksgiving lighting ceremony is followed this month by Longview Lake's annual Christmas in the Park celebration at the Longview Lake Campgrounds (10711 West Scherer) through December 31. With hundreds of thousands of lights and dozens of animatronic Christmas figures throughout the park's trails and beaches, Christmas in the Park transforms Longview Lake into a magical Christmas realm (not unlike the stomping grounds of gold-sniffing Yukon Cornelius and a lost civilization of misfit toys) from 5:30 to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and until 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. There's no charge for admission, but donations for local charities are welcome. For more information, call 816-503-4800.
Dec. 15-31, 2008