Top 4 Holiday Activities in Branson

Branson offers plenty of fun activities for the whole family during the holiday season. Here are some of the top holiday activities in the area that are sure to make for a fantastic winter vacation to the Ozarks!

Drive through the Trail of Lights

The Shepherd of the Hills Trail of Lights is a drive-through lights display featuring two and a half miles of animated lights displays. The kids will love seeing all the eccentric characters and twinkling lights and you’ll even receive coupons for free cups of hot cocoa or cider at the gift shop once you exit the Trail of Lights. After you enjoy your warm beverage, head to the top of Inspiration Tower where you can look out across the many fantastic Christmas lights glittering all over the Branson area.

 

See a Christmas  show

Branson’s popular shows are great year round, but during the holiday season they are especially delightful. With fabulous lights and decorations and incredible music that welcomes the holiday season with warmth, Branson visitors love Christmas! Try Dixie Stampede’s Christmas Show for a holiday cowboy good time or Christmas Wonderland at King’s Castle Theatre for a lavish production that takes you all the way from the North Pole to California!

Silver Dollar City

There’s so much to see and do at Silver Dollar City’s An Old Time Christmas! With traditional vendors, thousands of Christmas lights, a five-story decorated Christmas tree in the square and all your favorite Silver Dollar City rides and coasters, there’s no lack of exciting adventures to be had here. New to 2014 is the Holly Jolly Christmas Parade featuring life-size lovable characters, dozens of floats and the one and only Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.

Shopping

Finishing up your Christmas shopping? Branson has you covered. From the diverse array of flea shops and vintage markets to more than 100 specialty stores at the Branson Landing, shopping options here are endless! Stop by the Grand Village and pick up great stocking stuffers and decor for your home at Kringles Christmas Shop, head to The Shoppes at Branson Meadows or Branson Hills Plaza for big name stores mixed in with some local shops. And don’t forget about historic downtown Branson where you’ll find dozens of locally owned boutiques like the Cowgirl Clad Co., Crain Creations Gallery, Dick’s 5 & 10 and so much more.

 

Have a Cowboy Christmas with Christmas on the Trail

Shows at The Shepherd of the Hills Historic Homestead are always great and the Christmas on the Trail Dinner Show is no exception!

You’re in for a rowdy, cowboy holiday celebration complete with a delicious authentic chuck wagon dinner of three-bean trail chili, dutch oven taters, roasted chicken breast, a flame-roasted ear of corn, cornbread with honey butter and a dutch oven sweet apple cobbler. Delicious!

The dinner entertainment is just as great, with a cozy, heartwarming display of Christmas cheer from a talented cast of musicians. You’ll all gather around the stage set as a warm campfire in the Ozarks forest as the cast sings all your favorite Christmas songs with a little bit of a country twang.

Invoke the true meaning of Christmas with an 1800s style Christmas celebration before heading up to Inspiration Tower after the show, where you’ll find the bird’s eye view of twinkling Christmas lights across Branson simply irreplaceable.

Once you soaked up all those beautiful panoramic sights from the tower, head back down to drive through the Trail of Lights, an amazing two and a half miles of animated Christmas light displays.

Spend an evening celebrating the true meaning of Christmas with family and friends and experience a true cowboy Christmas with Christmas on the Trail Dinner Show, Inspiration Tower and the Trail of Lights.

To get your tickets to the show, click here. If you just want to check out the Trail of Lights, click here. If Inspiration Tower is more you’re thing, get your tickets here.

The Shepherd of the Hills Historic Homestead is at 5586 W. 76 Country Blvd., about two and a half miles north of White Water on the strip.

 

Spend an Evening of Quality Family Time at the Trail of Lights in Branson

I don’t usually begin celebrating Christmas so early but since I’m in Branson so much, I’ve slowly been mentally accepting the fact that the holiday season is in full swing in that special place nestled in the Ozark Mountains.

This past weekend, I experienced the Trail of Lights at the Shepherd of the Hills Homestead for the first time and it was as festive as festive gets!

The display fills two and a half full miles with seasonal light displays, holiday scenes, all the classic Christmas music and some great photo opportunities.

As we drove through the Trail of Lights at a leisurely pace, we stopped every so often to take pictures of the fantastic lights. My favorite part was the tropical holiday celebration, where Santa sat relaxing in the sun under the shade of beachy palm trees. On my left, a waterfall of sparkling blue lights cascaded down the side of the hill, making for a fantastic illusion of real water. It was great!

We spent about an hour driving through the display and once we made it back to the main parking lot in front of Aunt Molly’s Mercantile, we headed inside to get our free cup of cocoa. (When you pass through the ticket booth at the start of the lights tour, you’ll get a complimentary coupon for a free cup of coffee, cocoa or cider from Auny Molly’s Mercantile.)

It was a delicious way to warm up and a wonderful way to end the night. Inspiration Tower is also open for guests to head to the very top and look out over the twinkling lights that are beginning to populate the Branson area.

If you’re looking for a fun way to get in the Christmas spirit, definitely head to the Trail of Lights on Highway 76. Going into it, I wasn’t sure if I could muster up the willingness to start celebrating Christmas so early, but about a quarter of the way through I felt myself really starting to get into the Christmas spirit. The combination of sparkling lights, festive sounds, precious family time and a warm cup of cocoa in hand demands nothing less.

To read more about the Trail of Lights, click here or get your tickets here.

 

What is Ozark Mountain Christmas?

You may have read some of my previous blogs where I’ve loosely used the term “Ozark Mountain Christmas” but if you’re not from the Ozarks, you might be wondering what that is exactly.

Ozark Mountain Christmas is a magical celebration of the holidays. When it comes to Christmas, Branson definitely follows the “go big or go home” motto, and beginning November 1 the whole town is transformed into a glittering holiday extravaganza. It’s so much fun!

The Branson Area Festival of Lights and the Shepherd of the Hills Trail of Lights both provide visitors with incredible drive-through light displays featuring millions of lights, familiar holiday characters and all the best classic Christmas songs.

This year’s celebration will feature Branson’s 66th Adoration Parade where the whole community is invited to gather in the historic downtown Branson area and at the Branson Landing to celebrate the reason for the season. The parade honors the story of Christmas and is filled with inspirational color and beauty.

Silver Dollar City’s An Old Time Christmas is an incredible experience on its own, with a whole new parade this year led by none other than everyone’s favorite reindeer, Rudolph. The whole theme park will be filled to the brim with Christmas decorations, more than 1,000 Christmas trees and genuine crafters around every street corner. It’s definitely a sight to behold and shouldn’t be missed.

Many of the theaters debut their fantastic Christmas shows the first week of November, boasting holiday music favorites, extravagantly festive sets, colorful costumes and of course, Santa Claus. Try Christmas In Hollywood’s Christmas Wonderland, the Dixie Stampede Christmas Show, The Acrobats of China or the Christmas on the Trail Chuckwagon Dinner Show for a night of unforgettable Christmas fun for the whole family. Visit Bransonshows.com for a complete list of Branson Christmas shows.

With an extensive list of local events, shows, parades and Christmas activities for the whole family, there’s no lack of fun to be had during Branson’s Ozark Mountain Christmas, so make sure you stop by sometime this November or December!

 

Top 5 Branson Attractions for Kids

Car seat? Check. Snacks? Check. Tickets to Dixie Stampede? Check. Now what attractions will you plan on taking your kids to for your trip to Branson?

If you’re planning a trip to Branson with children in mind, you’ve probably combed through information about dozens of attractions, shows and restaurants in order to create an appropriate itinerary for your trip.

To make your life just a little bit easier, here are a few of the top attractions in Branson for kids.

Silver Dollar City

Silver Dollar City

This 1800’s themed amusement park is a kid’s dream. With dozens of exciting rides, live shows and delicious food. Also included in your admission ticket to the park is a tour of Marvel Cave, an absolute wonder of the underground. Your kids will love walking through the enormous, dark caverns that have been attracting tourists for centuries. The new Fireman’s Landing is set to open in the spring of 2015 for even more exciting rides and attractions. Click here for tickets.

Parakeet Pete’s Waterfront Zipline

Parakeet Pete's Waterfront Zipline

This waterfront zipride is fun for kids of all ages! You’ll have a blast zipping over Lake Taneycomo while getting an incredible bird’s eye view of the lake, the Branson Landing and the historic downtown Branson area. This ride is perfect for young and older kids because instead of a traditional zipline, you’re seated the whole time and don’t have to worry about brakes, straps or harnesses. You’ll be safe and secure as you zip all the way to the top of Mount Branson and back. Click here for tickets.

Ride the Ducks

Ride the Ducks

Your kids’ favorite part of this attraction is bound to be the quackers. Tour the city of Branson in a vehicle that was once used in the 1940’s during WWII to transport soldiers, ammunition and supplies. Your Duck Captain will entertain you with silly jokes throughout this narrated tour of land and water. Once you experience the incredible splash down into Table Rock Lake, all riders aboard will have the chance to drive the Duck! Make sure you bring a camera for that one. For tickets, click here.

Branson’s Wild World VIP Animal Adventure, Escape Mini Golf & Jungle Arcade

Branson's Wild World

Branson’s Wild World has the best of all kinds of entertainment: live animals, 3D mini-golf and a jungle arcade. What more could a kid ask for? Check out dozens of animal exhibits featuring sea turtles, wolves, alligators and all kinds of other creepy crawlers, birds and mammals. Experience starfish, stingray and more aquatic creatures up close with the touch tanks, where you can reach in and feel them for yourself! The 3D blacklight mini-golf features a nine-hole course surrounded by live animal exhibits and the Jungle Arcade is filled to the brim with fun interactive games. Click here for tickets.

Trail of Lights

Trail of Lights featured

If you’re planning a trip to Branson during the holiday season, one of the most amazing sights for a youngster — or just about anyone — is the Trail of Lights. Each year this amazing 2 mile drive through display of lights awes visitors from all over the country. You’ll drive through the Shepherd of the Hills Homestead that has been completely covered in a cloak of multi-colored Christmas lights and lighted animated displays. You and the kids will stay warm and bundled up inside your car as you pass through this twinkling display of holiday cheer. Your ticket also includes an elevator ride to the top of Inspiration Tower where you can gave out across the dazzling displays all over the Branson area. For tickets, click here.

 

Goings on this Weekend in Branson

otcThere are a smattering of dynamite, festive events happening this weekend in the Branson area. Take your friends and family down to Branson for one of these limited time events and don’t miss out on the best that this season has to offer!

Trail of Lights at Shepherd of the Hills

Not only is Shepherd of the Hills offering their famous Christmas on the Trail Chuckwagon Dinner Show, the “Trail that Nobody Knows How Old” has been transformed into a winter wonderland. Come enjoy this two and a half mile long ride featuring different characters and colors!

White Flight Exhibit at the Butterfly Palace

During this holiday treat, the Butterfly Palace is decked out in poinsettias, twinkling lights, and filled with thousands of little white butterflies. A truly spectacular Christmas experience, the White Flight Exhibit is something you don’t want to miss this season!

An Old Time Christmas at Silver Dollar City

“An Old Time Christmas” is still underway at Silver Dollar City and this festival promises to turn any scrooge attitude into a cheerful, holiday spirit. Dine, enjoy performances, ride, and shop at this year’s spectacular Christmas festival.

Here are a list of one of a kind activities in Springfield as well:

Free Carriage Rides at the square in Downtown Springfield from November 23- December 14.

Folk Art by the Springfield Symphony at Juanita K. Hammons Hall for the Performing Arts only November 23

Ozark’s Beerfest at Springfield Exposition Center on November 23 only

Romeo and Juliet at Craig Hall Theatre, Missouri State University, November 21-24