Branson fully embraces the spirit of Christmas with fantastic live shows, beautiful decorations and one of the nation’s most spectacular Christmas events – An Old Time Christmas at Silver Dollar City. There are also many lighting displays throughout the area, but none are as large as the Shepherd of the Hills Trail of Lights.
The Trail of Lights in Branson, Missouri
is a drive-thru animation display that winds through the historic 160-acre Shepherd of the Hills Homestead. Guests travel through a variety of different lands, each with its own themes, from fantasy to religious to patriotic.
The Trail of Lights utilizes millions on multi-colored Christmas lights to give the trail a life of its own. There are hundreds of amazing light displays, as well as animated scenes. There are also life-size, and some larger than life, three dimensional characters to explore. For 2009, there is a new Victorian-themed Christmas display.
Each display also features holiday music.
Trail of Lights tickets also include a trip to up Inspiration Tower
, which is also twinkling with lights, provides guests a 230 foot-tall birds-eye-view of Branson. To cap off the experience, guests can visit Aunt Molly’s Mercantile and get treated to free hot cocoa or hot apple cider.
The trail takes guests approximately 45 minutes to an hour to go through, depending on traffic.
The Starlite Theater in Branson, Missouri is welcoming a new line-up to their theater in 2010. Next Level Entertainment, the production company behind Starlite Theater, is expanding the entertainment offerings at the theater by adding a brand new show to the 2010 schedule.
Righteous Brothers’ Bill Medley
will be moving his popular show from the Moon River Theater
to the Starlite Theater, for a production that will feature his daughter, McKenna Medley and all of Medley’s hit songs. The show will be available May 14 – December 18 in Branson, MO
Medley is known for his hit songs such as “Soul and Inspiration,” “I’ve Had the Time of My Life,” “Unchained Melody” and “Lovin’ Feeling.” McKenna brings a bluesy feel to her numbers, which showcase the chops that won her 2007 Female Vocalist of the Year in Branson.
The Starlite Theater will continue to be home to The World Famous Platters
, who will be celebrating their 14th year in Branson. Their show will be open May 14 – December 18, and will showcase hits like “Only You,” “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes,” “Twilight Time” and “My Prayer.”
, a show that features former Cirque du Soleil performers, will return to Branson after a short limited engagement in the fall of 2009. The will perform at the Starlite Theater from May 14 – September 5, and will return for a holiday engagement from November 2 – December 19. This show is a must see as it features contortionists, break dancing, aerial chiffon twirling, duo strength and more.
, which called the Starlite home during the 2009 season, will be moving to the Mansion Theater. The Rankin Brothers
, also a Starlite staple during the 2009 season, will be making a new theater announcement soon.
The nation’s U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree provided by the National Park Service will again stop in Branson on its way to be lit in front of the U.S. Capitol building in Washington D.C. See the tree at 3 p.m. on Nov. 23 in front of the Sight & Sound Theatre, which is currently performing Miracle of Christmas.
Mayor Raeanne Presley will greet the tree, and there will be entertainment by Yakov Smirnoff
, the cast of the Circle B Supper Show
, New South of the Grand Jubilee Show
, Doug Gabriel, the Haygoods
and the Highway 76 Trombones. Also, actors and animals from Sight & Sound’s “Miracle of Christmas” will be on hand, according to producer Bill Lennon.
Each year, a tree is provided from a national forest for the honor. This is an 85-foot blue spruce from Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests near Alpine. Arizona. The tree will be decorated with 10,000 handmade ornaments.
After a successful engagement in Branson during the 2009 season at the Yakov Smirnoff Theater, Neal McCoy is planning to return to Branson for the 2010 season at a new venue.
The new Clay Cooper Theater, which is currently billed as The Osmonds Theater
, will feature Neal McCoy in at least 50 headlining shows next year. McCoy plans to perform several shows during the spring and summer months, although the majority of his shows will be performed between October & December. The format will remain similar to the shows he performed during the 2009 season.
McCoy is best known for his hit songs “No Doubt About It,” “Wink,” “The Shake,” “For a Change,” “You Gotta Love That,” “Billy’s Got his Beer Goggles On” and “They’re Playing Our Song.”
Silver Dollar City is currently celebrating an Old Time Christmas this November & December. However, this spring they will launch its 50th year anniversary celebration, complete with a new $7 million ride, special birthday events, live entertainment and new shows for each of the park’s six festivals, along with a $50,000 prize giveaway.
Silver Dollar City, located in Branson, Missouri
, unveiled plans for the new ride on November 7. The name – Tom & Huck’s RiverBlast
– is central to the ride’s theme, as the water raft ride is themed around the adventures of Mark Twain’s Tom Sawyer & Huck Finn. Raft riders, armed with water soakers, will battle other rafts and those on shore. RiverBlast will replace the area currently known as Splash Harbor.
The ride aims to be one big water fight, with the storyline being that Tom & Huck have taken over a riverboat and are causing mayhem in the middle of Silver Dollar City.
A similar ride is already in place at the park’s sister park, Dollywood
, in Pigeon Forge, TN
Tom & Huck’s RiverBlast will hold six to eight people each. The riders will spend more than 5 minutes on the raft, shooting water cannons at other rafters and people on the shore, who will also be able to shoot water ack. Riders will exit onto an “island” where they will be able to continue the water fight before crossing a bridge to exit the ride.
Silver Dollar City in Branson
is a theme park that continues to focus on heritage and tradition, and during their 50th anniversary celebration that focus will remain steadfast. Throughout 2010, the park will host an online memorabilia search and showcase, craftsmen reunions and the presentation of the top country hits of the past 5o years at the evening show at Echo Hollow. Change will also be given in dollar coins, the same way it was done in 1960.
May 1 will begin the official birthday celebration weekend, including a parkwide birthday party, concerts with the Ozark Mountain Daredevils, fireworks, the debut of the new Great American Country Nights evening show and a Night of Praise concluding the events. A recipe contest, hosted by Taste of Home, has already been announced to find Silver Dollar City’s official birthday cake. The season –long Take Time to Celebrate Sweepstakes will conclude in the fall, with $50,000 in prizes being given away to season ticket holders.
Shepherd of the Hills Trail of Lights
November 1 – December 31
This 2-1/2 mile Christmas Adventure includes 3 dimensional mechanical displays with themed music and story lines. Once you drive onto the property untiil you leave, you will be in a wonderland that will bring back the magic of Christmas you had a a little child.
Branson Area Festival of Lights
November 1 – January 2
Join the community-wide celebration as all of Branson is aglow for the holidays. Special holiday shows, drive through light displays and spectacular shopping and dining provide all the reasons to celebrate the holidays in Branson. Included is the Branson Area Festival of Lights Drive-Though Display, more than 1 mile of Christmas lights on display.
White Flight at The Butterfly Palace
November 1 – January 15
9 a.m. – 5 p.m. daily
Thousands of white butterflies flutter like living snowflakes amid a rainforest sparkling with thousands of twinkling lights . . while fantastic holiday music fills your soul. Simply unforgettable! Back for the 2009 holidays – Living Statues! These breathtaking angels will amaze you with their quiet beauty and joyful peace . . and will stun you when they suddenly come to life! Each self-guided holiday journey also includes a 3-D movie about butterflies, a sneak peek at some amazing creatures inside the Living Rainforest Science Center, and a chance to get lost inside the Emerald Forest Mirror Maze.
Veterans Homecoming – Branson Veterans Task Force
November 5 – November 11
America’s Largest Veterans Day Celebration, this seven-day tribute honors the veterans who have served as the stewards of freedom. Please take time to register at one of our Veterans’ Registries.
Santa Claus at Town Square in Branson Landing
November 5 – December 24
Santa Claus is coming to town – Branson Landing’s Town Square that is! Don’t miss your chance to visit Santa Claus in his very own 50-foot Christmas TreeHouse, complete with a cozy fireplace, holiday cheer and memorable photo opportunities. Visit the Branson Landing Website to view Santa’s 2009 Schedule at Branson Landing. Mark your calendars and be sure to join us as we welcome Santa Claus back to Branson Landing this holiday season with a very special Santa Arrival and Tree Lighting Ceremony produced in conjunction with our friends – The Twelve Irish Tenors and The Spirit of Christmas Dancers from the Branson Variety Theater. It’s Winter WonderLanding at Branson Landing and it kicks off on Thursday, November 5th!
Polar Express Train Ride
November 6 – December 19
The Branson Scenic Railway is proud to bring the officially licensed Polar Express Train Ride event to Branson this holiday season! The Polar Express Train Rides are based on the holiday feature film from Warner Bros. Pictures and the beloved children’s book, by Chris Van Allsburg, about a doubting young boy who takes an extraordinary train ride to the North Pole on Christmas Eve. Set to the sounds of the motion picture soundtrack, pajama clad passengers will relive the magic of the story as this nighttime train whisks families away for an unforgettable ride to the North Pole. During the journey, the Conductor will punch tickets and chefs serve hot chocolate, followed by a reading of Van Allsburg’s classic. At the North Pole, Santa will board the train, greet the children and give a gift for those who truly believe — a silver sleigh bell. For tickets and event information, call the Branson Scenic Railway at 800-287-2462 or visit www.bransontrain.com or www.polarexpressride.com. Be sure to make your reservations early as these trains are expected to sell out quickly.
An Old Time Christmas at Silver Dollar City
November 7 – December 30
See all your family’s favorites along with new surprises amidst the glow of over 4 million dazzling lights. You’ll create special holiday traditions, celebrate the true meaning of this magical season and take home memories that will last a lifetime!
A Bonniebrook Christmas
November 7 – November 28
9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Starting with an open house 1 – 4 p.m. Saturday, November 7, Bonniebrook Historical Society presents A Bonniebrook Christmas at the home of American artist Rose O’Neill. There will be holiday decorations at the Victorian style home and visitor center at Bonniebrook. There will also be music, refreshments, and free tours during the open house. O’Neill created the Kewpies at Bonniebrook in 1909 to illustrate a Christmas story for children. Some of her Christmas Kewpie drawings will be on display at Bonniebrook November 7-28. A museum, gallery, and research library dedicated to O’Neill are part of the visitor center maintained by the Bonniebrook Historical Society on the homestead property. Walking trails are open to the public all year. The museum, gallery, and reconstructed home are open to the public for tours Tuesday through Saturday from April 1 through November. Bonniebrook is 10 minutes north of Branson and 30 miles south of Springfield off U.S. Highway 65, at 485 Rose O’Neill Road in Walnut Shade. For more information, visit www.RoseONeill.org or call the Bonniebrook Historical Society.
Christmas in the Ozarks
November 25 – November 29
This Christmas show at the Branson Convention Center features live entertainment, free pictures with Santa, unique gifts and cash prizes.
Christmas Run for CAM
Saturday, November 28
“Christmas Run for CAM” (benefitting Christian Action Ministry) is a run/walk (1 mile or 3 mile) and all proceeds will go to CAM. For further information, please contact Becky Lowrance at 294-4775 or email at Becky@sweetmagnoliatours.com. Race entry form and link will also be posted on http://www.omrr.org/
Santa’s Reindeer at the Titanic
December 4 – December 5; December 11 – 12
Titanic’s parking lot will turn into a winter wonderland again when Santa and his reindeer stop by for two special weekends. Last year’s visit was a magical holiday experience for hundreds of boys and girls, and this year’s Christmas visit promises to be even more exciting. This free family attraction gives parents and kids the chance to pat real-live reindeer while having their pictures taken with these relatively rare creatures.
61st Annual Adoration Parade & Lighting Ceremony
Sunday, December 6, Lighting ceremony 5:30 p.m.
Festive night-time parade and Adoration scene lighting ceremony.
Experience the magic of the season during the Branson Area Festival of Lights 2009 as all of Branson is aglow for the holidays. From fabulous shows and dazzling lights to spectacular shopping and breathtaking scenery, Branson is a special gift for everyone in your family during this special time of year.
The centerpiece, Branson Area Festival of Lights Drive-Through, will delight children of all ages. Your journey begins with a magical one-mile drive along a path illuminated with more than 175 displays. Conveniently located off Shepherd of the Hills Expressway and Roark Valley Road, this one-of-a-kind family experience promises to be spectacular.
Branson Area Festival of Lights Drive-Through is open daily Nov. 1 – Jan. 2, 2010, from dusk until 11 p.m.
Admission Fees for 2009
Family Vehicles – $10
Family Season Pass – $20
Mini-Coaches (12-28 seats), Church Vans and Limos – $25
Full-Size Motorcoaches – $50
Mondays – The 50th family at the drive-through each Monday evening will receive a holiday gift bag.
Tuesdays & Wednesdays – Get a season pass for only $15 when you donate a children’s toy to benefit Love INC. or when you donate canned food items to benefit needy families through Christian Action Ministries.
Create your own tradition during Ozark Mountain Christmas with the Branson Area Festival of Lights.
For a map of the drive through displays, click here
The Titanic Museum Attraction in Branson is hosting Reindeer Days December 4, 5, 11 & 12.
This event was a surprise hit with visitors last year, so the Titanic Attraction brought the event back by popular demand. Santa Clause and his reindeer will be on hand to entertain families the first two weekends in December and the event is completely free to guests.
The event takes place at the Titanic Museum’s parking lot and guests will have the opportunities to pet the reindeer and have their picture taken with them and Santa.
The 21st Annual Ozark Mountain Christmas event kicked off November 1st. The city of Branson is now aglow with holiday light displays and filled with holiday cheer. This special event attracts thousands of visitors as Branson is rated one of the Top 10 Christmas destinations in America by media outlets like the Travel Channel, Good Morning America and Regis & Kelly.
Titanic Museum tickets are on sale now.