Latest media, press releases and garden updates from Powell Gardens, Kansas City’s botanical garden.
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EVERGY FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS AT POWELL GARDENS HEATS UP FOR THE HOLIDAYS
This weekend brings Santa, an all-inclusive VIP dinner experience, musical performances, and more!
Evergy Festival of Lights at Powell Gardens (Nov. 10-Dec. 30) brings a breath of fresh air to a hectic holiday season. This unique outdoor experience is centered around a 1-mile walk through Powell Gardens’ immersive, botanically inspired installations. Celebrate the most wonderful time of the year Wednesday-Sunday (4-10 p.m.) from now through December 30, 2022.
Kingsville, MO – On November 10, Evergy Festival of Lights at Powell Gardens (Nov. 10 – Dec. 30) will open its doors for the sixth iteration of a beloved holiday festival. This winter festival is a breath of fresh air during a hectic holiday season. All are invited to bundle up, stroll along a lighted outdoor path with immersive, botanically inspired installations, and celebrate the natural joy of the most wonderful time of the year. The updated name reflects the support of a new presenting sponsor, Evergy.
KINGSVILLE, MO– This fall, Kansas City’s Botanical Garden partners with Quixotic to bring Dark Forest, a unique and immersive outdoor experience tied to the magic and mystery of unknown forest spaces, back to Powell Gardens. This signature event is open October 21-23 and 27-30 (7-11 p.m.). The experience takes visitors along a 1-mile mulched path in Powell Gardens’ woods.
KINGSVILLE, MO – On July 21, Powell Gardens welcomes the 25th annual Festival of Butterflies. Kansas City’s Botanical Garden invites your family to celebrate the whimsical world of pollinators. This year’s festival highlights the butterflies and moths of Madagascar, showcasing more than 50 species native to this island country. Garden explorers can learn about the mysterious journey of the Wanderer Monarch, enjoy a brand new art and plant activation at the Lotus Pond, spend evenings listening to live music in the gardens, and discover new ways to play together. Festival of Butterflies runs daily (9 a.m. – 8 p.m.) from July 21 through August 7 with new evening hours each day.
KINGSVILLE, Missouri – On May 26, Fortopia opens to the public at Powell Gardens, Kansas City’s Botanical Garden. This playful outdoor exhibition, comprised of eight awe-inspiring forts, encourages outdoor discovery and adventure. The eight fort designs were hand selected by a jury comprised of educators, architects, horticulturists, and fabricators. Designed to inspire an appreciation of the natural landscape, Powell Gardens is excited for visitors to experience Fortopia’s beauty through the variety of creative perspectives represented in the chosen forts. This year’s fort designers include preschool children, artists, landscape designers, architects, and more. Fortopia runs May 26 – October 16.
March 7, 2022 – Orchid Delirium, inspired by the Victorian-era fascination that led to a collecting hysteria appropriately named Orchidelirium, showcases select blooms from Powell Gardens’ 600-piece orchid collection. Garden-goers will enjoy an indoor tropical oasis where the vibrant colors of the collection collide with rich history to put the awe in education. This spring-awakening exhibit opens to the public on March 9 and runs until March 27, Wednesday-Sunday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
On November 11, Powell Gardens will kick off the holiday season with Festival of Lights (Nov. 11-Dec. 30, 4-10 p.m.), illuminated by Evergy. This family-favorite winter festival is a breath of fresh air during a hectic holiday season. Bundle up and stroll along a lighted outdoor path featuring immersive, botanically inspired installations that celebrate the natural joy of the most festive season.
Festival goers will walk a mile-long path woven through 25-acres. (The path is ADA compliant, with shorter options available.) Miles of holiday lights highlight the natural forms of Powell Gardens’ tree collection and show off the exceptional architecture and design of the Gardens. Encounter Instagram and holiday card-worthy photo stops along the way.
KINGSVILLE, Missouri – This fall, Powell Gardens partners with Quixotic to bring Dark Forest, a brand new immersive outdoor experience tied to the magic and mystery of the woods. At Dark Forest, the universe’s most coveted secrets are freely revealed to all those who wander. This signature event begins October 21 and runs Thursday-Sunday (7-11 p.m.), ending on Halloween.
“Fall is one of the most beautiful times of year in the Midwest,” said Tabitha Schmidt, Chief Executive Officer for Powell Gardens. “Once the sun sets on colorful and changing foliage, the chill in the air brings a quiet, almost eerie, feeling to October. The spectacle of Halloween paired with the dark unknown of the woodland is something new to explore. We are excited to announce a new partnership with Quixotic to bring Dark Forest to our community. With stellar sound, visual, and performance elements from Quixotic, this event is unparalleled in Kansas City.”
KINGSVILLE, Missouri – On September 23, Powell Gardens, Kansas City’s Botanical Garden, will launch its inaugural fall festival, Harvest Days: Gather in the Garden. A celebration of coming together, this family-friendly festival brings fall favorites to the Gardens and introduces two new tours highlighting the unique art and architecture of Powell Gardens. Styled yurts provide private outdoor spaces for loved ones to gather as the seasons shift. Families and friends are invited to explore both historical and modern harvest practices in a picturesque Midwest setting. Harvest Days: Gather in the Garden takes place 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. from September 23 to October 3, 2021 (Thursday-Sunday) with new Festival After Hours on Fridays and Saturdays from 5-8 p.m.
KINGSVILLE, Missouri – On July 22, the 24th annual Festival of Butterflies lands at Powell Gardens, Kansas City’s Botanical Garden. The annual summer festival is a family-favorite, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the whimsical world of pollinators. This year’s festival expands on the monarch migratory journey introduced last year, highlighting new ways to play along the way. With highlights of Peru, the conservatory will be filled with tropical butterflies featuring over 20 brand new butterflies never seen before at the Gardens. Festival of Butterflies runs daily, ending August 8 with new Festival After Hours on Thursdays from 5-9 p.m.
April 12, 2021— Powell Gardens announces Bloom Fest: Play Outside, a new spring festival focused on art, design and plants, presented in partnership with the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. Celebrated designer John Rufenacht debuts an immersive conservatory display inspired by Birthday Bouquet, a painting by Florine Stettheimer. Along with this attraction, six regional artists create large outdoor displays inspired by additional pieces from the museum’s collection. Bloom Fest begins April 15 and runs Thursday-Sunday, ending on May 9.
“After a long winter and an even longer year, Powell Gardens invites our community outside to experience the hope and rebirth that comes with spring,” said Tabitha Schmidt, Chief Executive Officer for Powell Gardens. “We are thankful to have support from the arts community and look forward to exploring connections between art and nature. While Powell Gardens is not immune to the impact of COVID-19, we are looking forward with gratitude. We are glad to steward an expansive outdoor venue for high-level cultural experiences and are thrilled to partner with leading cultural organizations in 2021.”
Tuesday, October 13, 2020 – For the first time, Powell Gardens’ annual “Festival of Lights” will feature presentations by some of the area’s leading cultural organizations. The Lyric Opera of Kansas City and Kansas City Ballet will perform at the Gardens on select evenings. Quixotic will activate the Fountain Garden with a dynamic light installation that will be on view every night of the festival, which begins November 13 and runs through January 3. All offerings are included with festival admission ($12 general admission; $5 children under 5–12; Free for members and children under 4; Discounts for seniors and active military).
“As we began programming the ‘Festival of Lights’ during this difficult and unusual year, we strove to strengthen the connections and the mutual support between cultural organizations that have faced immense challenges due to COVID-19,” said Tabitha Schmidt, Powell Gardens C.E.O./President. “While Powell Gardens is not immune to the impacts of the pandemic, we are fortunate to be able to provide an outdoor venue for a high level cultural experience, and we are thrilled to partner with these luminaries in our community for the ‘Festival of Lights’.”
Rendering of “Fountain of Light” installation designed by Quixotic for Powell Gardens’ “Festival of Lights: Enchantment,” illuminated by Evergy.
September 8, 2020 – On November 13, Powell Gardens will kick off the holiday season with its annual Festival of Lights: Enchantment, illuminated by Evergy.
July 8, 2020 – At Festival of Butterflies: Midwest to Mexico (July 24–August 9), visitors will embark on the outdoor trail that traces the migratory path of the monarch butterfly.
May 20, 2020 – Powell Gardens announces partnership with Chef Michael Foust and site-specific digital exhibition commissioning new work by regional artists, musicians, and creatives.
April 1, 2020 – Home garden Q&As with horticulture staff, weekly educational activities for kids, and beautiful updates from the Gardens to remind KC that spring is not cancelled.
Media & Mentions
Kansas City Magazine – August 2020
Feast magazine – May 28, 2020
Kansas City Star – March 26, 2020
Daily Star Journal – October 2, 2019
Festival of Lights returns to kansas city
Kingsville, MO, November 26, 2019 – Powell Gardens will host the 3rd annual Festival of Lights. A new holiday tradition, this botanical-themed lights display has something for the whole family this holiday season.
Powell Gardens Files Appeal and Injunction Against Controversial CAFO
Kingsville, MO, June 19, 2018 – Powell Gardens has filed for an injunction and will be filing an administrative appeal in response to the Missouri Department of Natural Resource’s issuance of an operating permit to Valley Oaks Steak Company for a confined animal feeding operation (CAFO).
Powell Gardens Rallies Community Support to Oppose Feedlot
Kingsville, MO, February 28, 2018—Powell Gardens, Kansas City’s botanical garden, is pressing the Missouri Department of Natural Resources to grant a public hearing in regards to the expansion of a confined animal feeding operation just three miles west of the 30-year old community treasure. Valley Oaks Steak Company, LLC, located on 50 Highway in Johnson County, has plans to expand their 400-acre operation from nearly 900 head of cattle to 6,999. Concerned about potential effects the expansion could have on the purity of local waterways and air quality, community members and Powell Gardens’ supporters began a campaign last week to convince the Missouri Department of Resources of the need for a public hearing. Powell Gardens is asking for continued support in contacting the Missouri Department of Natural Resources with concerns.
Powell Gardens Names New Vice President of Gardens
Kansas City, Mo, December 12, 2017–After an extensive search, Powell Gardens, Kansas City’s botanical garden, is pleased to announce the appointment of Kunso Kim as vice president of gardens, a new role marrying the duties of director of horticulture with maintenance oversight, in addition to garden and collections management. Kim will strengthen the strategic future of the gardens when he replaces former Director of Horticulture Alan Branhagen, now Director of Operations at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. Kim joins the team at Powell Gardens in early January 2018.
A New Holiday Tradition Emerges at Powell Gardens
Kansas City, Mo. November 28, 2017–Serene settings, botanically-themed light displays and a mile-long walking path, set the new Festival of Lights at Powell Gardens, opening Friday, December 1, apart from its competitors. With nearly 15-miles of lights installed in six of the seven-themed garden areas and a location set away from the light and noise pollution of the city, this new holiday festival offers a chance to see Powell Gardens in a whole new light. Visitors can experience the gardens from 3-9 p.m., Thursday to Sunday, through January 7, 2018.
New Docent Program and Family-Centric Summer Fun Gives Powell Gardens an Educational Edge
Kansas City, Mo. June 20, 2017—Powell Gardens is ramping up educational offerings in the Gardens with a new intensive docent program and additional programming designed to immerse adults and youth in the many facets of a botanical garden. The education department is currently seeking garden enthusiasts to join the new volunteer docent group, Garden Guides, a committed group of tour guides who will engage with Powell Gardens K-12 student and adult tour groups and help them discover the many aspects of the Gardens, while discussing unique plant collections and landscapes. Volunteers selected for this special role will participate in an intensive once-a week, three hour training course at Powell Gardens beginning in October 2017. This program will grow under the direction of Powell Gardens new Director of Education, Outreach and Interpretation, Kristy Peterson.
Powell Gardens Spring Forecast: New Events and Better Member Benefits
Kansas City, Mo. April 11, 2017—Powell Gardens offers exciting new reasons to visit the Gardens this spring. Two new events have been added: Doggies & Dogwoods Days, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 29-30 and the Fungi & Fermentation Festival, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. May 6-7. Also during may is the “Join Our Family Tree” membership drive, which offers new levels and heightened benefits in 2017 including free general and festival admissions year-round.
James H. Houx II Joins Powell Gardens’ Board of Directors
Kansas City, Mo, March 7, 2017—James Henry Houx II, prominent real-estate developer and civic leader in Warrensburg, Mo., was appointed to the Powell Gardens Board of Directors at the February board meeting.
Powell Gardens Offers One-Hour Weddings on Valentine’s Day
Kansas City, Mo. Jan. 23, 2017 – Powell Gardens, Kansas City’s botanical garden, is offering couples the chance to say “I do” in the iconic Marjorie Powell Allen Chapel on Valentine’s Day with a new one-hour wedding package.