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Shepherd of the Hills Trail of Lights in Branson, MO

5586 W Hwy 76Branson, MO 65616
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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.


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
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
January, 2015
good price, easy process.

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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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TripAdvisor Reviews
TripAdvisor user image
Vicksburg, Mississippi
"Great Show!"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed October 25, 2016 NEW
We loved it! Along with the beautiful tram ride going to the theater, the show was thrilling to all ages. They provided extra attention to my mom, who is in a wheelchair, which was much appreciated. Loved the history this show provided, and all the excitement really captures your attention!
TripAdvisor user image
"MUST SEE Do NOT miss this show"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed October 16, 2016 NEW
Whatever you do in Branson do not miss Shepherd of the Hills. Ozark history comes alive and you are able to step back in time and see what started all of Branson tourism. I recommend you read the book first...and you definitely will be hooked. Harold Belle Wright is a wonderful author. Relates to all showing how to deal with life's problems, adventure, and romance with history of Ozarks included. It is amazing to see how a book that was published 100 years ago is being portrayed today. This is located on the "strip" but will take you far away from all the hustle/bustle of Branson in a quiet, soothing, and relaxing way. Visited the tower but did not do the zipline.
TripAdvisor user image
Palestine, Arkansas
"Loved it!"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed October 13, 2016 NEW
I loved the storyline and the message behind it. The staff and cast were all super friendly. I recommend wearing a coat or bring a blanket if you come in the fall. Well worth the money!
TripAdvisor user image
Cizur Menor, Spain
"Love the history."
TripAdvisor user rating 3 out of 5
Reviewed October 13, 2016 NEW
I agree with another review. I feel as though you should (must for a better review) try and section a group with children and a section for adults who no longer have children. My request is only because once you are without children you lose that ability to "tune out" since most parents aren't practicing respect for others trying to follow and enjoy the play. Not trying to slam anyone, I love children, but I paid for the experience and want to enjoy it. You, as management, on the other hand, can solve this easily as in designating spaces. Smart managers pay attention to suggestions as I am a business owner myself. I love the play and history.
TripAdvisor user image
"Not a "must see," but good!"
TripAdvisor user rating 3 out of 5
Reviewed October 13, 2016 NEW
I love outdoor amphitheaters and had fond memories of this experience from 27 years ago. With so many choices of shows in Branson, I would not rank this show among the top few.

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.