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 nine ways to get festive this Christmas season when visiting Branson, Missouri.
CHRISTMAS AT SILVER DOLLAR CITY
DATES: Nov. 6-Dec. 30, 2021
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 2021: Don’t miss the debut of Home For Christmas, a brand NEW Broadway-style Show at Red Gold Heritage Hall!
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. 4 – Dec. 31, 2021
Branson showcases over 1,700 trees and has proudly owned the title of being America’s Christmas Tree City since 2017.
Branson’s second annual community Christmas tree is entitled “Be the Light.” The tree’s theme is a celebration of faith and an inspiration to all. It is a combination of old and new, warm and cool, silver and golden tones, all creating and reflecting light — the age-old symbol of goodness, wisdom, hope, and the grace of God.
The 2021 Community Christmas Tree is displayed on West 76 Country Boulevard between the Branson Ferris Wheel and the Holidays on Ice Skating Rink again this year.
Nearly 10,000 genuine, cut crystals are provided to adorn the tree by the Branson Centennial Museum and Branson Boardwalk, home of Aquarium at the Boardwalk. These Austrian crystals originally formed the magnificent chandelier that hung in The Grand Palace theater lobby from 1992 until 2008.
Ice skating is back for a second year at the Wheel complex this holiday season. This year, Branson has added a 7,200-square-foot ice rink — that’s just a smidge larger than the rink at New York’s Rockefeller Center!
The rink will operate from mid-November through New Year’s Day, perhaps longer. The goal is to keep the rink open both day and night. Nighttime skaters not only enjoy the light shows on the Branson Ferris Wheel, but holiday lights strung around the rink itself.
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.
Come celebrate the magic of the season with Legends in Concert, November 1 – December 23, 2021. You’ll sing along to the classics performed by Whitney Houston, Dean Martin, The Blues Brothers™ and Elvis! 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.
Or bop down memory lane this Christmas with the Hot Rods & High Heels gang for a rockin’ holiday! With 50s hits like “Dig That Crazy Santa Claus” and “Jingle Bell Rock,” you’ll feel like you’ve stepped back into “the good ole’ days.” This performance is fun for the whole family!
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 displays can be found shining brightly throughout this Ozark Mountain town. Trail of Lights on Shepherd of the Hills Expressway 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.
DATES: Nov. 6-Dec. 30, 2021
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.
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.
AWESOME CHRISTMAS OVERNIGHTS
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.
From November 6 through December 30, 2021, guests at Big Cedar Lodge can enjoy festivities including ice skating, holiday baking workshops, visits from Santa and more.
MORE INFORMATION FOR YOUR TRIP TO MISSOURI
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