The Best Christmas Lights of 2017
From decked out homes to magical drive-thrus, we've got you covered with the cream of the Christmas crop.
DISCLAIMER: The information in this article was fact checked and accurate at press time, but 417 Magazine cannot guarantee its accuracy indefinitely.
Silver Dollar City's Christmas in Midtown is 417-land's mecca of holiday lights and cheer. According to SDC, "This incredible addition features 1.5 million twinkling lights, whimsical animations and larger-than-life displays that stretch as high as nine stories into the starry winter sky."
Photo courtesy Silver Dollar City
A Christmas lights outing is quite magical. You pile into your most spacious vehicle, drive to your twinkling destination, arrive, then often times realize you might have gotten a little too excited about waiting in a crazy long line. But when it's finally your turn to see the display, or you get lucky and dodge the line, you find yourself filled with holiday cheer. Luckily, 417-land has plenty of magical destinations for you to explore. Our challenge to you: Visit at least one of these lit up locales.
Before You Go
Get excited like Clark Griswold. Be prepared like a Boy Scout. We recommend bringing:
1. Cash money for hustlers. You're sure to find friendly faces slinging kettle corn, hot chocolate and other sustenance along the way.
2. Your beverage of choice.😏
3. A car with a working radio antenna. Unless you’re more of a silent movie person.
5. An empty bladder.
6. A plan. Choosing which direction to attack from is critical (this mostly applies in neighborhoods).
Photo by Dayle Duggins
2008 E. Cambridge St., Springfield
5–10:30 p.m. Sunday–Thursday, 5–11:30 p.m. Friday–Saturday through December 31
Perhaps the most talked about Christmas lights display in 417-land, Mike Bagwell’s holiday spectacle spans multiple yards, features more than 150,000 individual lights. He considers the elaborate winter wonderland to be a celebration of Jesus’s birth. “So each year, we add more lights as if adding more candles on the cake in honor of him is what I say.” Read more about the Bagwell Lights here.
Photo courtesy Waterford Christmas Cottage Facebook
602 E. Falls Cir., Ozark
Sunday–Thursday 5:30–10 PM, 5:30–midnight Friday–Saturday
While most Christmas lights enthusiasts rely on lights to transform their homes, Michael and Diana Stoffregen have taken it a step further. Along with 11,000 synchronized pixels that dance to 30+ Christmas songs, the Ozarkians have used PVC pipes and sheets of Coroplast to give their home a whimsical look as if it were straight out of Whoville.
Photo courtesy John Barber
John and Mary Barber’s Home
4656 S. Woodpointe Ave., Springfield
5–11 p.m. through New Year’s Eve
Christmas fanatic John Barber has been dousing his yard with holiday cheer since 1998. “I’ve got a choo-choo train, I’ve got a big Santa Claus that waves at you, and on the corner I’ve got an angel with 964 lights on it,” says the retired Santa.
In addition to Barber’s signature helicopter that sits on top of his fence, you'll find patriotic towering trees decorated in red, white and blue. “It takes me about two-and-a-half, three weeks to put it all up,” he says. Now that’s dedication.
Photo courtesy B Highway Christmas Display Facebook
2874 State Highway B, Rogersville
5:30–9 p.m. Sunday–Thursday, 5:30–10 p.m. Friday–Saturday
More than 250 inflatables have taken over Kevin, Valinda and Corbin Bradley's Rogersville yard. Along the walking path, you'll find Hello Kitty, dinosaurs, snowmen, nutcrackers, reindeer and probably every other Christmas creature under the sun. Wind and inflatables often times don't mix well, so check out the Facebook page before you hit the road.
Photo courtesy itsalldowntown.com
Park Central Square, Springfield
Sunset to 7 a.m., likely through the first week of January
Park Central Square in downtown Springfield is lit the heck up in honor of St. Nick’s arrival. A massive tree serves as a centerpiece, and our favorite dragon in 417-land guards the west side of the square. See all the Festival of Lights events (including free ice skating!) here.
Photo courtesy Carthage Convention & Visitor's Bureau
Congregation of the Mother Co-Redemptrix, Carthage
6–10 PM Thursday–Sunday through December 24
Walk or drive through the massive Christmas lights display at the Carthage Congregation of the Mother Co-Redemptrix. Admission is free but donations are accepted.
Photo courtesy The Shepherd of the Hills Trail of Lights Facebook
The Shepherd of the Hills, Branson
5:30–10:30 p.m. Sunday–Thursday, 5:30–11 p.m. Friday–Saturday through December 31
The Shepherd of the Hills Trail of Lights takes you through 160 Christmas-filled acres that include drive-thru animation displays. If you’re feelin’ fancy, take a carriage ride through a portion of the trail for $50. Carriage rides are only available on Fridays and Saturdays through December 23. Ring 417-848-4648 for reservations.
Photo courtesy Let There Be Lights - Drive Thru Christmas Display Facebook
Branson Promised Land Zoo
5–10 p.m. Monday–Sunday through December 31
Explore Santa’s Safari Village at Branson Promised Land Zoo from the comfort of your own car or a climate controlled tour bus. The two-mile drive-thru lights display features a living nativity with critters you can pet and feed. Plus, don’t miss your chance to meet Santa and his herd of baby reindeer at 5:30 p.m. every evening. Pick your tour of choice here.
Photo courtesy bransonlights.com
700 Expressway Lane, Branson
5–11 p.m. through January 1
Head to the intersection of Shepherd of the Hills Expressway and Expressway Lane to experience a new LED drive-thru lights display. Purchase tickets here.
Photo courtesy Silver Dollar City
Silver Dollar City, Branson
Hours vary through January 1
Silver Dollar City slays everything they do, and Christmas in Midtown is no exception. The entire park is dripping with bright lights and the light tunnels are mesmerizing. If you love roller coasters, we recommend going when it warms up outside. Our personal favorite to ride at night is Outlaw Run. See ride temperature guidelines here.
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