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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

18 Reviews sorted by:
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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Beverly Luck
Collierville, TN
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Best drive-thru light display I've ever seen"
January, 2015
We took our 3 grand kids ages 7-3, and they loved it. It has many moving displays and several unique light displays. The trip to the top of Inspiration Tower was neat, but you can't really see much of Branson in the dark. The free hot chocolate was a big hit with us all. Reserve Branson has the best ticket prices.
Tip: It took us about an hour to drive through the whole display because we stopped to let the kids watch the animated displays. The people behind us did keep riding up on us, so when we got to a wider spot, we pulled over and let them pass. This would be the only negative part of my review.

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Tanya Ganey
Sherwood, AR
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Friend Christmas Shows"
January, 2015
This was the first time I had been to Trail of the Lights in over 16 years since my mother went to heaven. It was AWESOME and brought back many special memories we shared together in Branson. I go to Branson at least twice a year. I usually stay a few weeks. My record number of shows is 22 in one visit. This was my first time to use Reserve Branson and it was the best price in town. I would love to win the $1000 so I can continue to travel in my retired years. Also, I go to Gatlinburg and other places your site is listed. I will definitely be watching for AWESOME deals on your site in the future.
Tip: Some theaters offer 1/2 off after you purchase the first ticket and other discounts!

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Sheryl Claunch
Excelsior Springs, MO
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Christmas wonderland"
January, 2015
First time at the Trail of Lights. It was so beautiful, we enjoyed the antique look of a lot of the displays, relaxing drive, festive music. Our ticket included going up in the Inspiration Tower to look out over Branson at all the lights, and free hot chocolate in the gift shop was nice too!
Tip: Get tickets online, travel early in November, we had no lines to wait in

Was this review helpful? Yes

Teena Gray
Conway, AR
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Girls weekend"
January, 2015
Price of Trail of Lights was lower than other sites, extremely easy to schedule a date and order tickets, easy to print the e-tickets with instructions easy to understand. Will definitely use this site again for future trips and will pass this site onto others. Great experience!
Tip: Have a general plan of what you want to do and when. Having this scheduled before hand made the weekend go smoother and easier to plan the whole weekend.

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Monica Dreiling
Hays, KS
18 Reviews
Verified Traveler
"Relaxing Fun"
January, 2015
We loved the Shepherd of the Hills Trail of Lights. My daughter insisted that I take pictures of all of the displays. She now has a photo book to remember the entire trail. My husband and mother-in-law also enjoyed the Trail of Lights. It was a fantastic evening activity! We would go again and will recommend it to others.

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Kay P.
Deville, LA
3 Reviews
Verified Traveler
"Trail of Lights"
January, 2015
Must see if your in Branson at Christmas. Breathtaking and beautiful of display of lights. My granddaughters were in awe of all the beautiful lights.
Tip: Make sure you go to the gift shop after your drive through and get your hot chocolate and cider.

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Anna Campney
Houston, MO
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Great activity for the family"
January, 2015
Veery pretty city with tons of stuff for you & the family
Tip: Nothing everything you could need can be found there

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Marcus Bryant
Olsburg, KS
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Best drive-through Christmas light show !!!!"
January, 2015
This was by far the best drive-through of Christmas lights and Christmas Displays we have seen in one place. Fun for the whole family.
Tip: Make sure you know how to turn off your headlights before you enter the tour !!!

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Janet Deckman
Wright City, MO
3 Reviews
"Last Minute Drive Through"
January, 2015
We had not planned for this but drove past it on the way to lodging and decided to visit. What a wonderful drive through experience. Tons of lights and little animated huts. Tons to see and well worth it.
Tip: Don't rush take your time and enjoy!

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Reserve Branson Customer
O'Fallon, MO
3 Reviews
Verified Traveler
"Nice but oudated"
January, 2015
It took a long time to get through the lights because it was so crowded. Many of the displays were outdated and need to be updated. Overall it was a good display and the kids enjoyed it.

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Vivian Vansant
sparta, IL
5 Reviews
"Drive through Christmas lights"
January, 2015
This is one of the best drive through light shows Ive driven through. It is animated as well. Kids will really like seeing all the beautiful lights and scenery. Highly recommended.
Tip: Drive slowly and take your time. Go to the top of the tower when done. It has a spectacular view of the area

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TripAdvisor Reviews
TripAdvisor user image
Traveling M
Mankato, Minnesota
"Vacation 2016"
TripAdvisor user rating 4 out of 5
Reviewed August 28, 2016 NEW
This is a very neat production. We got our tickets and were in row 7...it was during off season so it was not busy. We asked if we could move because our kids couldn't see and they told us we could sit anywhere because they were not busy. We got front row seats! The kids loved the animals and gun fights. They also enjoyed the intermission up on the stage square dancing with the cast!! Thanks for the memories!
TripAdvisor user image
James M
Branson West, Missouri
"I Will Lift Mine Eyes To The Hills From Whence Cometh My Help!"
TripAdvisor user rating 4 out of 5
Reviewed August 24, 2016 NEW
It has been a little over a year since my wife and I move into the Branson area. One show we both have wanted to see and experience was at the Shepherd Of The Hills Outdoor Theater but because of my work schedule it never to come to pass until tonight. What can you say about a production that has been playing for 57 years? Wowser! The only complaint both my wife and I have to register is that the sound and mikes on certain actors was not balanced well and at times was hard to hear what they were trying to project. Some had to do with actors not enunciating their dialogue clearly. Otherwise it is a production we highly recommend for all ages.
TripAdvisor user image
firetater
Walnut Hill, Florida
"Great play with a good meaning!"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed August 23, 2016 NEW
This is a very good outdoor drama. Very interesting. It does help if you have read the book (Shepherd of the Hills by Harold Bell Wright) The actors are friendly and you can interact with them.
TripAdvisor user image
Jill R
Nebraska
"Super Summer Cruise"
TripAdvisor user rating 2 out of 5
Reviewed August 15, 2016 NEW
The super summer cruise parade is getting more disappointing each year. It keeps getting shorter with more restrictions.
TripAdvisor user image
In_Oz1014
Wichita, Kansas
"A Story That Never Gets Old"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed August 15, 2016 NEW
We first saw The Shepherd of the Hills 31 years ago on our honeymoon. The most recent return visit was the last week in August and it didn't disappoint. This visit was an introduction of a granddaughter to the history of the area. Histrically based it tells the story of a stranger who comes to the Ozark region to find himself and becomes a beloved piece of the community. This closely follows the book written by Harold Bell Wright unlike some of the Hollywood versions. Touching, funny, action filled, with the audience asked to participate in the square dance, there was enough to keep the interest and entertain this multi generational group. Stick around after the show and meet and greet the cast members. They are some of the friendliest and most talented people in the area.

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.