Silver Dollar City is a theme park located in The Ozark Mountains, what you don’t know is, it should definitely not be overlooked by theme park fans. I honestly wasn’t sure what to expect having never been, but I was pleasantly surprised by what I found. Each year from November thru December, the park turns into a winter wonderland celebrating Christmas. If you have never been to the park it can be a lot to take in, I wanted to share my guide to An Old Time Christmas at Silver Dollar City.
Silver Dollar City: An Old Time Christmas Guide
The park’s “An Old Time Christmas” festival features beautiful lights, decorated trees, two Broadway-style musical productions, thrilling attractions, shopping, endless holiday treats and an evening parade. You should certainly plan to spend an entire day exploring this Christmas wonderland with your family.
Few things compare to the sight of over 6.5 million twinkling lights covering trees, buildings, and walkways throughout the park. Over 1,000 decorated trees are sprinkled throughout the park and almost every building is strung with lights from top to bottom. You can spend hours just wandering around the lights so be sure build in extra time in the evening to explore the gorgeous displays.
When To Visit
The park is open November 4-December 30, Thursday-Sunday from 1-9 pm. Should the park reach high crowd levels they will extend park hours. After visiting on a Saturday, I would most definitely suggest visiting during the weekdays if you can. The crowds will certainly be lower, and the park more manageable.
Pro Tip: Be sure to wear comfortable shoes (this park is IN the mountains and the hills are a plenty). As you enter, pick up a Pathfinder at the entrance, it is easy to get turnaround at Silver Dollar City. You can also download the app to view schedules, maps, estimated ride wait times, and more.
Because all attractions are open during “An Old Time Christmas” park tickets are still regular price. Single-day tickets at the gate or online are $61 for adults and $50 for children. A two-day ticket is available for just a few more dollars, $66 for adults and $55 for children.
Pro Tip: As an added bonus, if you enter after 7 p.m., you also get to return the next day for no additional charge. This will certainly help so that you can see and do everything you want during your visit.
Believe it or not, parking is FREE. You can choose to pay extra for preferred parking if you’d like to park closer to the entrance. Trams will take you to and from the park entrance. I have to say FREE parking at a theme park blew me away, I have been charged as much as $40 at some parks. Kudos to you Silver Dollar City, for not pilfering your guests pockets.
Things To Do
This is where you need to have a game plan of sorts, because there is no way you are going to be able to experience everything in one visit. It just isn’t going to be possible.
Ride The Attractions
If you have never been to the park before you need to focus on some of the top attractions (Outlaw Run, Wildfire, Powder Keg) as well as the holiday offerings. Don’t miss the Sing Along Steam Train, the route is decorated with plenty of Christmas flair and traditional carols are sung along the way. About half way through the ride, the train stops while a story is told about the true meaning of Christmas.
Pro Tip: Purchase a Trailblazer Pass for $30 per person, and it will allow you to skip the lines for up to eight rides. This will at least ensure you ride all the top attractions without standing in line all day, especially on the weekend.
Take In a Show
- A DICKENS’ CHRISTMAS CAROL: This is certainly a must-see show. The Silver Dollar City adaptation of the classic Charles Dickens tale follows Scrooge on a journey through Christmas past, present, and future to help him realize the error of his cold-hearted ways. A 15-member cast sings the story with the accompaniment of a live (yes, live!) orchestra.
- IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE: The 1946 film by Frank Capra comes to life as a cast of 14 actors perform a Silver Dollar City adaptation of the popular Christmas story of George Bailey who, after many setbacks, discovers the value of life, family, and friends, with the help of his guardian angel Clarence.
- THE LIVING NATIVITY: Celebrating the reason for the season, The Living Nativity is a live musical version of the original Christmas story. It lasts just 15 minutes and is performed four to five times daily.
- TINKER JUNIOR’S TOY SHOP: Get ready for a fun sing along with everyone’s favorite snowman, Frosty!
- HOMESTEAD PICKERS: You’ll hear some traditional Ozark Mountain Christmas music here along with some family humor.
- FRONTIER FA-LA-LA FOLLIES: Slip back into the Wild West with this Saloon-style Christmas show featuring comedy, dancing, singing, and “just plain fun.”
- CHRISTMAS ON THE BAYOU: Cedric Benoit and the Cajun Connection Band perform Cajun-spiced Christmas favorites.
- SOUNDS OF CHRISTMAS: Pure Heart performs gospel and traditional Christmas songs in the gazebo right under the Christmas tree on Main Street Square.
Meet The Characters
Don’t miss your chance to meet Rudolph, his friend Bumble the Abominable Snow Monster, and Santa! The meet and greets are free and open to all ages.
Shop For Holiday Treasures
I probably could have done all my shopping while at Silver Dollar City. Don’t expect typical theme park gifts here, as Silver Dollar City is the “Home of American Craftmanship.” You can take home handmade glass, pottery, furniture, wood carvings and so much more. Check the times guide and watch a craftsman make your treasures to take home.
In addition to the year-round Christmas Hollow shop, the Frisco Barn is transformed into “Jingle Bell Junction,” a Christmas lovers dream. It’s a great spot to get inspiration for your own Christmas tree and also find some really unique ornaments and decor that you’ll not likely find elsewhere.
Take A Culinary Class
The Midwest Living Culinary & Craft School offers a one hour cooking class (for a fee) where you can see first hand how some favorite holiday treats and meals are made. I learned how to make a Scandinavian Tea Ring, certainly not something I expected to be doing in a theme park.
Enjoy A Holiday Feast (or two)
Food is a theme at Silver Dollar City, and it is especially prominent during the holiday season. Save room for a few sweet holiday treats from Eve & Delilah’s Bakery. From fresh gingerbread cookies, to cinnamon rolls and fruitcake you will surely delight in a delicious treat. Enjoy it with a hot cocoa or warm wassail to really get in the holiday spirit.
- Molly’s Mill Holiday Harvest Buffet: Adults $16.99 / Children 11 & under $7.99. Menu inclues smoked turkey, fried chicken, glazed ham, chicken & noodles, cornbread dressing, mashed potatoes and gravy, sliced apples, candied sweet potatoes, green bean and mushroom casserole, mac and cheese, salad bar, and assorted breads and desserts.
- Reunion Hall Prime Rib Buffet: Adults $19.99 / Children 11 & under $8.99. Menu includes hand-carved prime rib, root beer glazed ham, hickory smoked chicken, chicken & noodles, scalloped potatoes, harvest vegetables, green been and mushroom casserole, rice pilaf, baked potatoes, sliced spiced apples, holiday corn, salad bar, and assorted breads and desserts.
- Lucky Silver Mine Restaurant: Adults $15.99 / Children 11 & under $6.49. Menu includes smoked pulled pork and baked apples, orange glazed chicken, smoked beef brisket, beef stew, ham and beans, mashed potatoes and gravy, apple raisin dressing, sweet potato casserole, mac and cheese, assorted veggies, sweet corn bread, and assorted breads and desserts.
- Lunch With Santa: On Saturday and Sundays, you can dine with Santa for lunch in the Reunion Hall. Tickets are $20 for adults and $16 for children ages 11 and under. Menu includes Mrs. Claus’s Famous Fried Chicken, Santa’s ‘Pasghetti Noodles & Sauce, Frosty’s Mounds of Smashed Potatoes & Gravy, Rudolph’s Dirt & Worms and Elf Cookies.
Take In A Parade
Rudolph’s Holly Jolly Christmas light parade features nine musical floats, designed exclusively for Silver Dollar City and illuminated in a total of 100,000 LED multicolored lights. The parade is accompanied by 33 colorful costumed characters (including Rudolph’s friend Bumble the Abominable Snow Monster), 14-foot moose characters, 12-foot tall elves, and 10-foot candy canes, plus penguins, elves, and marching wooden soldiers.
Pro Tip: There are two parades each evening, go to the second one as it will be much less crowded.
Christmas On Main Street Spectacular
The clear focal point of the Old Time Christmas is the massive five-story tree on Main Street square near the entrance. The tree itself is decorated with 400 ornaments and over 350,000 colorful LED lights, which are choreographed to “dance” to music in unison with Square’s 10 storefronts, 20 street festoons, and over 250 trees.
The Christmas on Main Street light and sound spectacular begins at dusk and is performed every 15 minutes throughout the evening. It features a total of six different songs, with two performed during each show for a total of three different and unique shows.
Christmas in Midtown
New this year is Christmas in Midtown and what a show it is. This display is located behind Main Street and features a 90-foot Christmas tree, a 50-foot Santa and sleigh, a large globe perched 30-feet in the air, 30 flying angels, three light tunnels, two 40-foot moving trains, dozens of stars and snowflakes, and more. I really had no clue where to look it was so beautiful and mesmerizing. This display alone is 1.5 million lights, that cover 70,000 square feet!
Christmas at Silver Dollar City is a family tradition each season, as well it should be. From top attractions, to dazzling light displays, food for every taste bud and more you will want to take your family to visit this timeless Christmas event.