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Travel

Your Guide to Branson

Looking for a little magic this holiday season? Pack all your little elves into the car and make the short trip to Branson!

Nov 2018

entrance to Branson Missouri's Christmas light display
Photo courtesy Silver Dollar City

Christmas lights twinkle a little bit brighter. Christmas treats taste a little bit sweeter. And Christmas carols warm your heart just a little bit more in Branson! You can’t help but feel festive in America’s Christmas Tree City. They’ve decked all the halls and are ready to share the joy of the season with you and your family. Use this guide to plan the perfect holiday trip.

Attractions

Silver Dollar City Christmas in Midtown, Branson MO
Photo courtesy Silver Dollar City
Silver Dollar City Christmas Parade, Branson MO
Photo courtesy Silver Dollar City
Silver Dollar City Christmas Parade, Branson MO
Photo courtesy Silver Dollar City
Christmas Lights at Silver Dollar City Christmas, Branson MO
Photo courtesy Silver Dollar City

Silver Dollar City

Silver Dollar City’s An Old Time Christmas presents the park’s brightest season with 6.5 million lights, featuring the popular Christmas in Midtown Light Spectacular, and 30 miles of new lights illuminating the walkways and load station area for the new ground-breaking coaster Time Traveler. The festival also features an evening light parade, two Broadway-style original musical productions, a 5-Story Special Effects Christmas tree with a sound and light show and holiday dining, November 3–December 30.

Christmas in Midtown takes holiday lighting to a new level, filling over an acre with 1.5 million LED lights—145 miles of lights covering 70,000 square feetin the Midtown area alone. Huge light tunnels and wreath portals lead into the area, which includes light displays 9 stories high, flying angels, running reindeer, moving trains, a 90-foot tree, musical trees with moving lights, dozens of stars and snowflakes and a giant turning globe, all created at Silver Dollar City.

Thirty miles of new lights lead up to the new $26 million Time Traveler, the World’s Fastest, Steepest and Tallest Complete-Circuit Spinning Roller Coaster. Bright lights enhance the views from above for night rides on Time Traveler and all of the select rides open, as weather permits.

The light experience begins on the Square with the 5-Story Special Effects Christmas tree, a massive tree with over 350,000 colorful LED lights. The tree blazes to the movements of Christmas songs, with up to 100 light changes per second, while lights around the Square flash along.

A parade of lights, Rudolph’s Holly Jolly™ Christmas Light Parade, winds through the streets of the City twice each evening. As Grand Marshal, Rudolph leads the evening parade of nine musical, lighted floats, illuminated with 200,000 LED lights. The parade is accompanied by 45 colorful costumed characters, including Bumble the Abominable Snow Monster, 14-foot moose characters, 12-foot tall elves, 10-foot candy canes, penguins, elves and marching wooden soldiers.

A Dickens' Christmas Carol at Silver Dollar City, Branson MO
A Dickens' Christmas Carol at Silver Dollar City, Branson MO
Photos courtesy Silver Dollar City

The festival also features two original musical productions, A Dickens’ Christmas Carol and it’s a Wonderful Life. A Dickens’ Christmas Carol is an adaptation of the Dickens classic, with revolving sets, flying spirits, pyrotechnic special effects and a cast of 15, accompanied by a live band. It’s a Wonderful Life presents a musical interpretation of the classic film, with unique special effects and a cast of 14 singers/actors.

Popular festival features include shows such as Tinker Junior’s Toy Shop, with a 12-foot talking Christmas tree; a dramatic musical Living Nativity; strolling carolers; and holiday foods from a prime rib buffet to fresh-made fruitcakes, ginger cookies and hot wassail. Fine craftsmanship is also showcased, as the park’s 100 craftsmen create one-of-a-kind holiday items.

Since its debut more than two decades ago, Silver Dollar City’s An Old Time Christmas has become one of the country’s most recognized events for spectacular lighting and entertainment, and has been profiled as one of the top holiday celebrations by USA Today, CNN Travel, the Travel Channel and Good Morning America.

During An Old Time Christmas, Silver Dollar City is open Thursdays–Sundays November 3–18, then Wednesdays–Sundays November 21–December 30. Hours are 1–9 p.m. most days, with extended hours on select days, including some Fridays, Saturdays and Thanksgiving weekend.

Silver Dollar City is also open New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day for a “New Year’s Celebration.” The 6.5 million holiday lights are still on and special entertainment is presented.

Information: 800-831-4FUN (386) or silverdollarcity.com.

Lindwedel Winery wine glasses clink
Photo courtesy Shutterstock

Lindwedel Winery

Wine lovers, head to Lindwedel Winery this season to sip on Missouri’s finest wine. Enjoy live music, great conversation, a lovely atmosphere and breathtaking views of the Ozarks with friends and family. Featuring wines produced in the state of Missouri and other varietals crafted in the United States, the 15-acre winery just west of Branson is ideal for day trips, girls’ getaways, anniversaries, parties and relaxation time. To see this season’s schedule and to plan your next trip, head to lindwedelwinery.com or call 417-338-0256.

Grand Village Shops Branson MO shopping
Photo courtesy Grand Village

The Grand Village Shops

The Grand Village, one-of-a-kind shopping experience located in the heart of Highway 76.  With over 20 locally owned shops and dining establishments, there is something for everyone.  Singing waiters entertain while you are enjoying diner style food and scrumptious ice cream from the soda fountain at Mel’s Hard Luck Diner.  A local favorite, Sugar Leaf Café & Bakery, features everything homemade, from the bread on the sandwiches to soups, salads and amazing dessert.

Mulberry Mill is known for their gourmet mixes and goodies, one-of-a-kind home décor and more.  The Grand Village has shoes galore at Corky’s and Grand Glitz’; Kringles, the Midwest’s Largest Christmas Store; and clothing at Grand Glitz, Dickens, Stargrass Traders for Women & Men and Sunrise Leather ShopLori’s Soap shop features all natural homemade soaps and lotions.

Other shops include artisan Peter Engler Designs, Copper Coin, Tatmans, Back in Time Toys and Tea Maze.

National Tiger Sanctuary lion
National Tiger Sanctuary tiger
Photos courtesy National Tiger Sanctuary

National Tiger Sanctuary

National Tiger Sanctuary is a non-profit rescue organization that provides a permanent home for exotic and domestic animals. The mission of National Tiger Sanctuary is threefold: to provide exemplary animal care to the residents of the sanctuary, to foster a love and respect for the natural world and to provide lifelong educational opportunities for all guests. The sanctuary offers guided tours Wednesday through Sunday. These tours are offered year-round and provide an awesome opportunity to meet big cats up close and personal in a safe environment while you learn about the cats and hear their stories. 

Titanic Museum Attraction grand staircase Branson MO
Photo courtesy Titanic Museum Attraction

Titanic Museum Attraction

For the last three years, the Titanic Museum Attraction has ushered in the holiday season with an enchanting Luminaries Festival of Lights display. This year, by popular request, this Great Light Way will once again guide guests and visitors along a candlelit path leading to the museum attraction’s main entrance and the magical family adventure that awaits inside. 

“The lighting of luminaries has been a glowing, ceremonial way of welcoming the Christ Child into the world,” says Titanic Museum Attraction President/COO & Co-Owner, Mary Kellogg.  “Our luminaries continue this welcoming tradition and also serve as a spiritual tribute the 2,208 men, women and children who sailed on the RMS Titanic.”

With the beautification of Highway 76 complete, the Titanic Museum Attraction’s luminaries are certain to add an inviting sparkle and shine to Titanic’s new gateway corner at HWY 76 and Gretna Road. Visitors to the famed ship-shaped attraction will find exciting, outdoor photo opportunities as they follow the Great Light Way past a giant iceberg to the ship’s entrance. Here they can purchase tickets and join the special yuletide festivities underway throughout the ship.

“Once on board, guests will experience Christmas as it might have been celebrated on Titanic in 1912,” explains Kellogg. “In keeping with tradition, a lavish, turn-of-the-century, holiday look – both inside and outside the ship – has been created. The Titanic crew and I can’t wait to share it with one and all. So plan ahead and pick a date to be part of a new season of joyful thanksgiving at the Titanic Museum Attraction.”


Dining

Level 2 Steakhouse meal
Photo courtesy Level 2 Steakhouse

Level 2 Steakhouse

Join Level 2 Steakhouse in the Hilton Branson Convention Center Hotel and dine a level above the rest. They pride themselves on having the highest quality meat and ingredients from their 28-day aged corn-fed Midwest Beef, highest quality and responsibly harvested seafood, heritage Missouri pork, locally grown produce and signature house-made desserts. Their 1600° Infrared Oven quickly sears the outside of their steaks, producing very tender and juicy steaks. Level 2 Steakhouse offers 5 distinctive steak knives to choose from while dining there. Join the Kut Klub and have an engraved steak knife all your own. They also offer complimentary valet parking! For reservations call 417-243-3433 or visit Level2Steakhouse.com.


Accommodations

Keeter Center dinner server at College of the Ozarks
Keeter Center at College of the Ozarks
Photos courtesy Keeter Center

The Keeter Center

Visit College of the Ozarks this Christmas season to enjoy shopping, dining or special accommodations at the award-winning Keeter Center Lodge. You’re invited to visit the college’s many student-work stations, featuring student-made crafts and delectable treats. 

The Stained Glass & Candle Shop will enchant you with custom, stained glass artwork and fragrant candles, the perfect gift for that special someone. 

Edwards Mill & General Store offers a variety of student-made mixes to enhance your perfect Christmas morning breakfast or a handcrafted basket to make a unique gift for anyone. 

Fruitcake & Jelly Kitchen, also located on the college campus, is a unique workstation that has been a long-standing tradition of the college’s Work Education Program and delights thousands of visitors each year with free samples of fruitcake.

The Keeter Center welcomes you to historic lodging and fine dining. Step into the lobby, where the aroma of fresh-baked sweets fill the air and instantly reminds you of those cherished holiday memories. After visiting the bakery, relax in the comfort of the grand fireplace, where a beautiful, twenty-five foot Christmas tree graces the lobby. 

Plan a special night or weekend away by ending your day in one of the stunning suites at the lodge. Unwind in your room and experience the renowned turn-down service featuring fresh milk and homemade cookies.  Wake up to an in-room breakfast delivered to your suite in the morning. 

For reservations visit keetercenter.edu or call 417.239.1900.  


Entertainment

Dickens Carolers Christmas Carolers Branson MO
Photo courtesy Dickens Carolers of Branson

Dickens Carolers

When you think of Christmastime in Branson, you think of joy and wonder, song and merriment. Capture that magic and bring the festivity to you, with the Dickens Carolers of Branson! These professional carolers pull out all the stops with elaborate, period costumes and extensively rehearsed medleys. Their songs will warm your heart and fill the room with the Christmas spirit! Hire them for your holiday event, and they’ll be the surprise that everyone remembers. Consider the Dickens Carolers of Branson to appear at this year’s Christmas party, corporate gathering, retirement home holiday entertainment, hotel lobbies, receptions and more. Plus, you can choose the performance options that are right for you, whether you’d like for them to perform as background music or as the featured presentation of an event, acapella or with guitars and keyboard, singing traditional songs or even carols in German and Japanese. Good tidings they’ll bring to you and your friends. We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! 

The Track Family Fun Parks Branson MO
The Track Family Fun Parks bumper cars Branson MO
Photos courtesy The Track Family Fun Parks

The Track Family Fun Parks

Come experience a “Story at Every Turn.” The Iconic Chicago Navy Pier Ferris Wheel makes its new home right here in Branson.  At Track 4, now named The Branson Ferris Wheel, this 150-foot-tall ride will give you picturesque views of the Ozarks and Branson’s entertainment district. 

Don’t act your age… just drive! Experience high-rise and classic go-karts for all ages, bumper boats/cars, batting cages, kids’ rides, outdoor mini golf, Route 76 indoor glow golf, laser tag, arcades and more!