Ozark Mountain Christmas is a serious celebration in Branson, Missouri. From live shows, to light displays and special events taking place November 1 until New Years Eve, you will surely embrace the Christmas spirit. Did you know Branson is the Christmas Tree Capital of the United States? They display over 150 decorated trees, and each tree around town offers a different theme.
I had the pleasure of being a guest of this small (population 11,000) mid-west town, and taking part in many of their Christmas traditions. It’s certainly a wonderful time of year to visit, especially if you love the holidays.
If you haven’t been to Branson during the holidays, you’re in for a real treat. For over a quarter century, Branson has made its holiday season a treasured tradition. Families come from all over the country to experience the magic of this town during the Christmas season. Offering fantastic live shows, dinner theater, holiday displays and so much more I can certainly see why. Take a look with me at a few of my favorite things to do in Branson during the holiday season.
There is no shortage of live entertainment in Branson year round, and that is especially true during Christmas. I’m not even sure how you would pick the “best” show to see, so you may as well pick a variety of shows to experience during your visit. I had the pleasure of seeing two very different shows during my visit and I would absolutely take the kids to see both of them.
The Andy Williams Christmas Extravaganza
Andy Williams will always be a Branson icon, and although he is no longer with us, the iconic and fun Jimmy Osmond has carried on his tradition in true holiday fashion. This show was fun and very family friendly, the entertainment along with Jimmy included illusionist Rick Thomas, as well as the famed group The 5th Dimension. From joyful holiday songs, to magic and classic entertainment this is surely a crowd pleaser for all ages.
Showboat Branson Belle Pancakes and PJ’s Cruise
Pack up the kids and head to Table Rock Lake for this fun and festive show. Your little elves will follow a map throughout the Showboat as they search for the Sugar Plum Fairy, visit the Captain in the Wheelhouse, see Santa’s Helpers for face painting and to complete their Christmas list to leave in the Toy Soldiers Mail Box for delivery. Once the cruise begins you will enjoy a wonderful breakfast and live show that includes Story Time, a Sing-A-Long and a visit from Santa himself.
At the conclusion of the one hour cruise, you will head to the docks to meet Santa for photos and share your Christmas wishes. This was certainly a fun way to spend a morning, I only wish I had my kids with me to take part in all the extras!
Dick’s 5& 10
During the holiday season, Branson is ready to greet eager bargain hunters in its upscale thrift shops, handmade artisan stores and big outlet malls. Before you hit the big box stores for novelty items, be sure not to miss Dick’s 5&10 in Historic Downtown. Dick’s 5 & 10 has been a family owned mainstay for over 50 years.
As soon as you walk in the store you will be amazed with what you see. With trains running overhead, a huge selection of nostalgic and novelty candy, the large assortment of merchandise, historic collections and truly something new and fun around every corner. I found color- forms here! I wanted to buy them all for my youngest daughter, because I remember how much I loved mine as a kid.
No trip to Branson is complete without a stop at Dick’s 5&10 for a trip down memory lane!
College Of The Ozarks
Stick with me here, because I too was confused as to why I was going shopping for fruitcake at a local college. Hard Work U, as it’s known around town is a liberal arts college in Branson and students don’t pay tuition rather they work for it. Working for an education may seem barbaric, but it is anything but that. Student jobs range from working in the fruitcake and jelly kitchen, to the janitorial staff and even servers in the public restaurant.
I wasn’t just buying a fruitcake mass-produced, I was buying one of 20,000 handmade by students, working hard through college so they can leave debt free. In addition to the tasty fruitcake you can buy jams, jellies, baked good, candles, biscuit mixes and more in the Keeter Center on campus. Hop online and purchase one of the gift baskets this holiday season, I can vouch for the fact that homemade just tastes better.
World’s Largest Toy Museum
Did you know The Ozarks are home to the LARGEST toy museum in the United States? Neither did I until last week! What better way to celebrate the holiday season than to reminisce about the toys from your own childhood. As I strolled through the museum, I was brought back to many a Christmas morning, opening that one toy you had wished for all year.
The World’s Largest Toy Museum Complex holds over one million toy attractions within 6 museums and multiple collections. It’s an eclectic collection of toys that range from the 19th century to present day. The museum is closed on Sunday’s, so be sure to plan accordingly.
Branson’s Gift Of Lights
No Holiday celebration is complete without a brilliant light display. This display is the area’s newest drive-through Festival of Lights. This all-new, all-LED drive-thru Christmas Light display is located at the same location where Branson has enjoyed Christmas lights for years. At the intersection of Shepherd of the Hills Expressway and Expressway Lane. When you pull in you can enjoy a photo with Santa and a cup of hot cocoa before you begin the light tour.
The cost per car is $20. The price for shuttles, mini-buses, or limos is $35. For motor coaches, the price is $60. Purchase Tickets Now.
Silver Dollar City
If you want to see the ULTIMATE Christmas display you need to visit Silver Dollar City! This year they added Christmas in Midtown, which has added 1.5 million more lights bringing the park light display to 6.5 million lights. Christmas in Midtown fills 70,000 square feet of this classic park, and offers 143 miles of LED lights. I have seen many light displays in some of the top places in the country, and Christmas in Midtown is now my number one light display in the US. Don’t believe me go see for yourself.
While the light displays are breathtaking, you can also ride the attractions, dine on holiday treats and take in Broadway style shows. Silver Dollar City’s, An Old Time Christmas is a timeless celebration of the holiday season.
Places To Stay
To fully embrace the Christmas season in Branson you will need to spend a few days there. Offering a myriad of accommodations it can certainly be hard to choose.
Hilton Branson Convention Center
This is where I stayed during my visit to Branson and it was in the perfect location. The hotel sits within walking distance to Branson Landing and Historic Downtown, both great places for dining, shopping and attractions. The Branson Scenic Railway is next door and offers a Polar Express train during the holiday season. If you are looking for a central location for your visit, this is it.
Chateau On The Lake
If you want to escape the hustle and bustle of Route 76 and downtown, Chateau On The Lake is where you want to be. Situated above Table Rock Lake this resort offers stunning views, and beautiful accommodations. Located only ten minutes from the entertainment district you are still close to all of the fun in town.
During the holiday season they are offering a special for guests to experience all the holiday cheer of a Ozark Mountain Christmas. This exclusive offer includes two nights in a spacious room, two Silver Dollar City tickets to enjoy “An Old Time Christmas” festival, a keepsake Chateau on the Lake ornament, a $25 dining credit to any of our decadent restaurants, and use of the indoor pool, hot tub, fitness center and year-round nature trails. Click here to book this limited offer.
Ozark Mountain Christmas
During my four days in this Ozark Mountain town, I came to learn quickly that Branson is a close-knit community that places a great value on their Christian faith. I personally have no issue with that, I fully embrace Jesus and the meaning of Christmas all year, not just during the holiday season.
If you are looking for a wholesome, family friendly place to celebrate the most wonderful time of the year, be sure to add Branson and the Ozark Mountain Christmas celebrations to your list. It will truly get you in the spirit of Christmas, and all that it truly is about, faith and family.