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Shepherd of the Hills Trail of Lights in Branson, MO

5586 W Hwy 76Branson, MO 65616
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Overview

A drive-thru animation display of lights that occurs during the holidays each year at The Shepherd of the Hills Homestead, the Trail of Lights offers a stunning Christmas show for the whole family. Guests can explore the 160-acre homestead to find it transformed into a winter wonderland, with illuminated life-size characters, festive music and a ride on the glass elevators of Inspiration Tower.

Good To Know

from Ashley, one of our Branson Travel Experts
  • Turn headlights off before entering.
  • Roll your windows down so you can hear the holiday music.
  • Visit the gift shop for complimentary hot cider and hot chocolate.
  • Drive-through light display.
  • Variety of different themed lands.
  • Ticket includes entrance to Inspiration Tower.

Description

from Shepherd of the Hills Trail of Lights
With a 20-year Heritage of Holiday Magic, the Trail of Lights is a drive-through trail of millions of multi-colored Christmas lights, and themed, animated displays, winding it's way through the 160-acre Shepherd of the Hills Homestead, and straight into the very Heart of Christmas! As you wind your way through the homestead you are reminded of your childhood as it seems you are driving through one snow globe after another. The "Trail of Lights has been rated by the Travel Channel as one of the top five drive through Christmas displays in the United States.

Included in the Trail is a trip up the area's largest Christmas Tree-the 230 foot Inspiration Tower - for a Santa's-eye view of the Trail of Lights!

November 1 - December 31
The Trail opens at 5:30pm and is open until 11:00pm or later as traffic dictates.

Reserve Branson Customer Reviews

19 Reviews
Abby O'Hara
1 Review
"Trail of lights"
November, 2016
Trail of light at Shepard of the hills is the best! Its fun for all ages! Would definetly recommend it to everyone. There was about a 12 minute wait for tickets, but after that the trail was about 1.5 hours of Christmas magic! They had tons of different themes. Although the Christmas music wasn't played over the whole trail, it was still a great time!
Tip: Don't go too late as it will be at least an 1.5 hours between the ticket wait and the trail. Be sure and go to the bathroom before you enter the ticket line!

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Karsyn Batt
Tecumseh, OK
2 Reviews
Verified Traveler
"Trail of Lights"
February, 2016
My family traveled up to Branson from Tecumseh, Ok. We had a long day of traveling and decided to hit up the trail of lights first thing before we even went to our hotel. We got there around 9:30 at night. The trail was so AWESOME! My girls (ages 6 and 4) were beyond amazed at everything. The tiniest details just made this display a one-of-a-kind attraction. The tower at the end was nothing short of spectacular. We were in awe by seeing all the lights of Branson from up top. The only drawback I had to this whole experience is: there wasn't hot cocoa like we were told when we made it to the tower. Like stated above, we got there a little later at night. But the people at the main entrance told us to be sure to get our hot cocoa before we left. When we made it to the tower we didn't see anyone serving it anywhere. We asked the person at the gift shop counter and they didn't even respond. We left, and we were still amazed by everything. But if they stop serving the cocoa, just let us know at the gate so we aren't expecting it. That's the only issue we had. Otherwise awesome!!!!
Tip: Go earlier in the evening to get the refreshments (if desired). Also was very busy when we went at 9:30pm.

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Maddi Grover
1 Review
"Waste of money"
December, 2015
Its very expensive at 12 dollars per adult and 6 dollars per child. Our kids were very disappointed, and we were as well. Alot of lights were burned out, not much to be excited about. The displays were old and outdated. Some of the lights were even falling off the trees and not hung up well. The best thing was the free cider at the end. Will not be returning.
Tip: Have cash, their card runner was down. Plan on wating in lime at least 30 minutes to get in. They were very slow getting folks in.

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Dakota Darby
Branson, MO
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Branson Christmas lights"
February, 2015
The trail of lights at Shepherd of the Hills can be a very enjoyable experience. If you are not in a hurry and are in the mood for a leisurely ride through the trail, then it is a good time. If you have antsy little ones or are on a schedule, be cautious. This takes anywhere from 1:30-2 hours. The scenes are wonderful and the true message of CHRISTmas is presented. However, the scenes are becoming a bit outdated. This may not be an issue if you have never seen them before but I would hope a revamp would be in the works. It is pricey but can be worth it. It gives a great opportunity to enjoy the Christmas season with loved ones in the comfort of your own vehicle with beautiful scenery all around. If you have never done this I recommend it.
Tip: pricey, turn off your headlights, go to the bathroom before you enter

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David Jones
Maplewood, MN
5 Reviews
Verified Traveler
"Overall, a wonderful experience."
January, 2015
Let me begin with the positives. You get free hot cocoa which we've never taken advantage of, but is a nice touch. You also get to go up into the tower to look down upon the surroundings, which is amazing at night! These AREN'T just a few strung up lights, but rather very detailed light displays including intricate scenes with figures. Go at your own pace.
There are three minor (and I repeat, minor) negatives. First, while fairly well laid out, there can be a few moments where you're like "which way do I go?", but usually you can easily find the way. Also, if someone is impatient behind you it could make going at your own pace more difficult. Lastly, the music, while very nice, can be loud if you roll down your windows for a better photo opportunity.
Tip: Remember to turn your headlights off when entering. Be sure to go up in the tower, and remember your hot cocoa if you want.

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derek mullarkey
springfield, MO
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"price"
January, 2015
good price, easy process.

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MURIEL DANIELS
Kearney, MO
5 Reviews
"It is a marvelous light display......"
January, 2015
We went to see this 10 years ago....and it was good.......10 years later, they have expanded it 10 times and it is 10 times greater, lots of good things to see, fun, colorful, inspirational, and patriotic. Don't miss it if you are in Branson. In fact, I would drive to Branson again just to see it, and it is not expensive.
Tip: We went on a very foggy night which was a little scary driving, but there was no line either. The fog did not interfere, keep your windows down to hear the music. Great Price.....

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Reserve Branson Customer
Edmond, OK
3 Reviews
Verified Traveler
"Good for kids of all ages"
January, 2015
The trail has many lights and music playing to go along with them. Each section has a theme. Very fun for young kids. Also the free hot chocolate or apple cider after was nice to warm up on a cold evening.

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TripAdvisor Reviews
TripAdvisor user image
PRGuide
Saint Louis, Missouri
"Closed"
TripAdvisor user rating 1 out of 5
Reviewed June 16, 2017
We made reservations for a show in late May 2017. Drove the family from Texas to see the show. When we got to Branson we learned they never reopened for the 2017 year. They are still closed. No notification from them.
TripAdvisor user image
Janice S
Springfield, Missouri
"End Of An Era"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed May 09, 2017
We have enjoyed the outdoor theater production, trail of lights, and the breathtaking views from Inspiration Tower over the years. But as with many older attractions and venues in Branson, The Shepherd Of The Hills is NOW CLOSED. As announced and confirmed by news media today, the bank is foreclosing on the property tomorrow 5/10/2017. So sad that the end of an era has come for this legendary facility.
TripAdvisor user image
jennysrocks
"Absolutely Wonderful!"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed March 17, 2017
This production was amazing! The amphitheatre is nestled into the hillside, which creates a wonderful atmosphere. Everyone was super friendly and seemed to truly be one big family. They allow people to participate in an old fashioned square dance at intermission, which was great fun. The play follows the book to a tee. You can just tell that everyone involved in the production is doing so because they truly love it, their passion for telling their story is like nothing I have ever seen. It is a lovely story with a timeless message for all generations and creeds. If you are ever in Branson, you can't miss this show!
TripAdvisor user image
levitad
Morrisville, Missouri
"Observation tower"
TripAdvisor user rating 3 out of 5
Reviewed March 15, 2017
The tower sits atop of the hill at shepherd of the hills outdoor theater. You ride a glass elevator ten stories up then you get to walk around the entire glass tower. It is nice if you have not seen Branson the way it used to be back in the day. Now you get to see how commercialized it has all became. It is the only reason I gave it a three. I grew up in the summers and now they just keep taking the beauty of the hills and the trees away.
TripAdvisor user image
schnedavid
Saint Louis, Missouri
"Trail of Lights"
TripAdvisor user rating 2 out of 5
Reviewed December 27, 2016
We love holiday lights and have gone to see countless displays. This one is really sad. I would suggest you carefully look at the pictures and understand the entire thing is 80-85% animatronics that are tired and ugly. It may appeal to you but we thought is was really bad. The tower was a dud as well and needs to be remodeled. So Sorry folks. I really prefer to tell you good (or great) things.

Frequently Asked Questions about Shepherd of the Hills Trail of Lights

Do we drive our own car?
Yes, you will drive yourself through the trail.

How long does it take to drive through the trail?
It depends, generally it takes over an hour. It really depends if you have cars in front of you.

Do we visit the tower before or after the Trail of Lights?
You will visit the tower after you drive through the trail. The tower will be located at the exit of the trail.

When is the Trail of Lights open?
Around November and December for the Christmas season.

What does the "Carload" ticket mean?
It's one price for however many people can fit in one car.