The Best Ways to Enjoy the Holidays

Embrace the holiday season with pop-up bars, road trips, Christmas events and activities among the best southwest Missouri has to offer.

By Evan Greenberg and Corin Cesaric

Dec 01 2018 at 8 a.m.

ice skating at mediacom ice park
Photo by Kevin O'RileyGlide into winter with a skate sesh at Mediacom Ice Park. Purchase Photo

…Skate and slide at Mediacom Ice Park
635 E. Trafficway St., Springfield, 417-866-7444 
Skate on the same ice that the Missouri State Ice Bears play on for a great way to get a workout and have fun doing it. Whether you’re a novice or an experienced skater, the Ice Park is a fantastic complex for skaters of all ages. Admission is $6 for adults and $5 for kids ages 3 through 12. 

Take In an Old Time Christmas at Silver Dollar City
99 Silver Dollar City Parkway, Branson, 800-888-7277 
Silver Dollar City doesn’t do anything halfway when it comes to celebrations, and Christmas is no different. Running through January 1, this extravaganza features 6.5 million lights, 1,000 decorated Christmas trees, two Broadway-style productions and a five-story special effects Christmas Tree. There are also snacks and a prime rib buffet, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. It all comes with admission—SDC often runs specials, but normal prices are $65 for adults and $54 for kids. It's the perfect Christmas event for kicking off the season.

Sip a Glass of Mother’s Brewing Co.’s Winter Grind
215 S. Grant Ave., Springfield, 417-862-0423 
With winter comes the highly anticipated release of Springfield’s own Mother’s Brewing Co.’s Winter Grind, a coffee stout through and through. It’s a beer perfect for the season, a dark stout to sip by the fire. Find it in stores and on tap locally now. 

Cook Up a Storm at European Café Cooking Classes
207 Park Central East, Springfield, 417-986-4646
European Café has cooking classes throughout the year, but its classes in the wintertime are especially great. This year, they are offering two variations on gingerbread house–making, in which you can make a home from scratch or decorate an already-built house. For class dates and prices, visit

Bask in the Bagwell Lights
2008 E. Cambridge St., Springfield
The Bagwell Lights have become a 417-land tradition, and no holiday season is complete without a trip to see the Bagwell home lit up. This music-synchronized display is Christmas lights taken to its extreme, and it’s something you have to see to believe. Be sure to tune in to 105.5 FM to listen to the musical accompaniment. You can see the lights through December 31, Sunday through Thursday from 5 to 10:30 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 5 to about 11:30 p.m.

Drink at a Holiday Pop-Up Bar

This year Springfield has two pop-up bars located right in the heart of downtown that are sure to get you in the holiday spirit. Golden Girl Rum Club and Civil Kitchen are participating in Miracle on the Square and Sippin’ Santa. Visit the bars, buy one of the exclusive drinks that are only available this month and a portion of the proceeds goes to the Child Advocacy Center.  

Decorate Like the Pros
Christmas only comes once a year, so you might as well drench your home in holiday spirit while you can. Get inspiration from this decked out Rountree home.

Put Your Tree Up
Nothing will put you in the Christmas spirit as much as draping the tinsel and hanging ornaments on your Christmas tree, so pull it out and get creative. If you’re looking for a real tree, here is your guide to Christmas trees in Springfield.

Swap Out Your Fall Foliage 
Make your home feel extra cozy this winter with wintery elements like wreaths, garland and extra pillows and blankets. Here are some local stores in southwest Missouri that might have the perfect wreath for your winter wonderland. If you want to get crafty and make your home decor even more special, here are some tips on how to make one yourself

Nothing is better than giving back during the holiday season, and luckily Springfield is a great place to do so. Springfield has been fighting poverty for years, and there are a ton of ways you can help. Ozarks Food HarvestThe KitchenHarmony House and Crosslines Food Pantry are some places where you can give a helping hand or make a donation. 

Visit New Orleans
It’ll take you about 10 hours to drive to New Orleans, but it is a sight you need to see in the winter. There are drool-worthy restaurants, bike tours and great places to see live music in this historic town. 

Head to Branson

Here are Silver Dollar City’s 6.5 million twinkling lights that spans 30 miles. It is open from November 3December 30. You can even get on one of the roller coasters to get a better look at all of the festivities below. If you want to see more than just Silver Dollar City, Branson offers a ton of attractions like the Grand Village Shops, Titanic Museum Attraction and The Track Family Fun Parks that make for the perfect holiday trip. Use this guide to help plan a weekend that your family won’t forget.

Visit Santa Claus
Christmas isn't complete until you get a photo with Santa. Springfield has some of the Santas that the kiddos will love. Here are five of our favorites


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