With strings of lights, strands of garlands, and a giant Christmas tree, Thompson Park is a picturesque place to be during the holiday season.
The park, located at 8045 Santa Fe Drive, has a new festive look this time of year, and it’s a can’t-miss destination for holiday lovers of all ages. This Friday, Nov. 19, all the lights in the park will turn on for the holidays.
Mayor Carl Gerlach will flip the switch during Downtown Overland Park Partnership’s Mayor’s Holiday Festival event, which is free and open to the public from 5:30 to 8 p.m. The event will also feature family hayrides, photos with Santa, live reindeer and more.
The centerpiece of the park’s holiday decorations is the Christmas tree, located near the performance stage. The tree is a 27-foot-tall spruce tree that lives in the park year round. Other decorations include lights and garlands throughout the park.
You can take in the entire holiday experience with a waltz along the park’s walking path. The lights will stay on through the holiday season and into the New Year.
Park maintenance staff have helped make the holiday fun at Thompson Park possible. They’ve hung the decorations and maintained the park, including winterizing restrooms and blowing leaves. This park is one of 83 City parks staff maintain, and it encompasses nearly five acres in the heart of Downtown Overland Park.
“We pride ourselves on the beauty and walkability of Thompson Park, especially during the holidays,” said Mike Burton, Manager of Parks & Forestry. “Our staff have worked hard to bring this park to life so Overland Park residents and their families can make it a part of their annual holiday traditions.”
The City improved Thompson Park in 2019, upgrading the park’s amenities to include a new playground, shelters, restrooms and performance stage. It’s since won multiple awards for excellence in architecture and design.
Renovations were possible thanks to the generosity of Downtown Overland Park business owners and philanthropists Frank and Evangeline Thompson, in combination with the City’s Capital Improvements Program.
The Carriage House was also renovated as part of the park’s recent improvement project, and it’s now available as a rental space at $50 an hour. The building now features a cedar wall backdrop and warm, industrial lighting for festive, cozy events. Call 913-895-6390 to make a reservation.
The park is open from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, and restrooms are heated and remain open during the winter.