When O Magazine, Architectural Digest and the Huffington Post call a city one of “America’s most Christmassy towns,” then you know it’s good.
A Branson Christmas visit is a MUST this holiday season. The shows, the trees, the Lights of Joy…Branson has it all. Pack your bags. This is going to be your most favorite Christmas vacation yet!
Here are 10 ways to get festive this Christmas season when visiting Branson, Missouri.
BRANSON CHRISTMAS AT SILVER DOLLAR CITY
DATES: Now – December 30, 2023
Silver Dollar City is Branson’s theme park — and it takes the holiday season seriously! An Old Time Christmas at Silver Dollar City has 6.5 million lights, in addition to an eight-story, custom-designed Christmas tree! The 80-foot tree is the centerpiece of “Joy on Town Square” and features hundreds of thousands of dancing high-resolution lights combining color, music, light and animated imagery.
NEW IN 2023: NEW Rudolph’s Holly Jolly™ Christmas Light Parade VIP Experience! Join Rudolph and Friends for a meet-and-greet and photo opportunity, PLUS experience the behind-the-scenes activity of the parade set-up. VIP Guests will be escorted by Holly Claus (Santa’s favorite niece) to Red Gold Heritage Hall for reserved seating in our exclusive parade viewing area. Holly with have Hot Chocolate with all the fixins’ and a bag of Fun Sized Kettle Corn for each VIP!
Visitors can stroll among the lights and take on 40+ of the park’s rides, enjoy seasonal shows, and find the perfect gift while Christmas shopping. You are guaranteed to have a wonderful time
1,700 STELLAR CHRISTMAS TREES
DATES: Nov. 1, 2023 – January 7, 2024
Branson showcases over 1,700 trees and has proudly owned the title of being America’s Christmas Tree City since 2017.
Branson’s fourth annual community Christmas tree is entitled “Evergreen and Ever Growing.” This year’s Community Christmas Tree is set to be a colorful spectacle from top to bottom with warm white, strobe, and synchronized, multi-color, morphing lights (5,926 LEDs in all!) plus a new, neon sign on its base wishing the world a very “Merry Ozark Mountain Christmas.”
The 39-foot display pays tribute to the unique balance between nature and neon, one of the enduring appeals of the Branson area. The Branson Community Christmas Tree will be located in front of the Branson Ferris Wheel at 3335 West 76 Country Boulevard from November 2 (its first lighting) until the end of the Ozark Mountain Christmas season on January 7, 2024.
NEW AND CLASSIC CHRISTMAS SHOW FAVORITES
From country music to Broadway-style productions, the lineup of holiday entertainment is spectacular. Dolly Parton’s Stampede -with their 32 majestic horses- takes guests on a festive Christmas journey while they enjoy a four-course, country-style meal.
Silver Dollar City’s Broadway-style production shows include original adaptations of A Dickens’ Christmas Carol and Home for Christmas.
Legends in Concert is back in 2023 with their Christmas show, “A Merry Country Christmas”, November 1 – December 23, 2023. You’ll sing along to the country classics performed by Brooks & Dunn, Johnny Cash, Garth Brooks, The Blues Brothers™ (music from Bob’s Country Bunker) and the legendary gospel of Elvis Presley! There may even be a special appearance by the jolly old man in red! We don’t want to give away all the surprises, but we guarantee you will be laughing and singing along to your favorite Christmas tunes.
These are just a sampling of many, many shows. See the full list here.
LOCAL CRAFTS AND GIFTS
One of America’s most Christmas-y towns is the ideal place to shop for gifts and stocking stuffers.
Dicks 5 & 10, one of the country’s last remaining authentic dime stores, features aisle after aisle of 250,000 nostalgic items that you may have thought no longer existed. And Silver Dollar City’s Jingle Bell Junction is home to a colony of 100 resident crafters who demonstrate and sell such one-of-a-kind creations as woodcarvings, hand-blown glass, pottery, candles and more.
Another fun place to shop is Branson Landing, which features a scenic boardwalk along the 1.5 mile Taneycomo Lakefront plus an adorable “town square” hosting several holiday activities like the Winter Wonderlanding lights, a search for Elfie, and more.
NUTS FOR FRUITCAKE
Each year, students at College of the Ozarks bake 25,000 world-famous fruit cakes in the Fruitcake & Jelly Kitchen. The tradition of producing these fruitcakes on campus dates back to 1934 and helps students offset the costs of their education. The kitchen is open for public tours and fruitcakes are available for purchase Monday through Saturday, 8-5
Fruitcake not your thing? At Silver Dollar City, such festive holiday foods as root beer-glazed ham, traditional turkey and dressing, wassail, apple dumplings and hot chocolate can be found at venues throughout the park.
TWINKLING LIGHT DISPLAYS
Drive-through Christmas light displays can be found shining brightly throughout this Ozark Mountain town. Trail of Lights at the Shepherd of the Hills Homestead is a two-and-a-half-mile route through the historic 160-acre homestead. They also have a walk-through experience, “North Pole Adventure,” that takes families on a journey through thousands of twinkling lights.
Let There Be Lights! at Promised Land Zoo features a two-mile LED display and a living nativity with animals to pet and feed.
Finally, Branson’s Lights of Joy, (formerly Gift of Lights) is the area’s traditional festival of Christmas lights, and features more than 300 scenes including a Magical Mile with the 12 Days of Christmas and a nativity scene.
Get Your Guide is a great place to get your Lights of Joy tickets. Get your Lights of Joy tickets here!
DATES: Nov. 4 through Dec. 30, 2023
Strolling through the streets of Silver Dollar City twice a night is Rudolph’s Holly Jolly™ Christmas Light Parade, led by the most famous reindeer of all.
The parade includes Rudolph’s friend Bumble the Abominable Snow Monster™, 14-foot moose characters, 12-foot tall elves and 10-foot candy canes, plus penguins and a troupe of marching wooden soldiers.
With nine musical lighted floats and animated features, the parade is illuminated with 200,000 ultra-bright LED lights.
CHRISTMAS ON THE SHOWBOAT BRANSON BELLE
Dates: Nov. 4 – Dec. 30, 2023
Make your season merry with the Showboat Branson Belle’s new Christmas show! Cruise, dine and be entertained at this unique Christmas show.
Hear music from the 1960s to today, with Christmas favorites sprinkled throughout the show, performed by five-star entertainers with powerhouse vocals and tight harmonies backed by a four-piece band.
Your experience will also include a delicious three-course meal prepared fresh in the ship’s galley and time on beautiful Table Rock Lake.
TOYS & TRAINS FOR KIDS (AND KIDS AT HEART)
Step inside a classic Christmas tale aboard the renowned Polar Express on the Branson Scenic Railway. After boarding an authentic locomotive at the 1906 Branson depot, you’ll experience a journey with character reenactments, a reading of the classic book, a visit with Santa, and plenty of hot chocolate and cookies. Wear your jammies!
Whether you’re 1 or 101, you can make your dreams come true at the World’s Largest Toy Museum, where more than a million dolls, trains, teddy bears, action figures, collectibles – and everything else you can remember from your earliest Christmases – are all in one location.
Get Your Guide is a great place to get your tickets to the World’s Largest Toy Museum. Get your Flexible Entry Ticket here!
AWESOME CHRISTMAS OVERNIGHTS
CHATEAU ON THE LAKE
Throughout December, Chateau on the Lake, Branson’s modern-day “Castle in the Ozarks,” features fun activities and events like ornament making, caroling by the fire, story time, holiday movies and more. It’s also home to an amazing candy village made by the Chateau’s culinary team and displayed in the hotel’s lobby.
The gingerbread and candy village stands more than three feet tall and includes structures such as a church, store fronts, and grand houses.
Book It: Chateau On The Lake
BIG CEDAR LODGE
From November 6 through December 31, 2023, guests at Big Cedar Lodge can enjoy festivities including ice skating, holiday baking workshops, tram tours, visits from Santa and more. The property itself features over 2 million holiday lights.
MORE INFORMATION FOR YOUR TRIP TO MISSOURI
- YOUR MISSOURI VACATION
- BRANSON: 28 Best Things To Do In Branson MO For Family Fun
- SPRINGFIELD: 17 Fantastic Things To Do In Springfield MO
- ST. LOUIS: 27 Fun Things To Do In St Louis You Can’t Miss
- KANSAS CITY: 12 Phenomenal Things To Do In Kansas City
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