Branson, Missouri is a delight during the holiday season. Festive cheer fills the air and special holiday shows celebrate the meaning of the season. No show in the Ozarks entertains during the holiday season better than Dixie Stampede Christmas. Their Christmas show shines brightly and includes a delicious holiday feast for all to enjoy.

Dixie_Stampede_Christmas_Dinner___Show_(010)If you’ve ever been to the Dixie Stampede show, the Christmas show will be a familiar spin on the original. However, the traditional rivalry between the North and South is turned into a battle between the North and South Pole. Clever, huh? Playful elves add fun and games to the show, during which you cheer and stomp for your favorite team.

Adding to the merriment of the North and South Pole competition are dancing and music segments. During the Toys segment, toys come to life before your eyes featuring a flying sugar plum fairy, larger than life toys and a real horse-mounted toy soldier all set to the music of the Nutcracker. Watch as your child’s eyes grow wide as these toys magically weave a holiday story.

Dixie_Stampede_Christmas_Dinner___Show_(009)Heartwarming throughout, the Dixie Stampede Christmas Show truly captures the reason for the season with their live nativity scene. The true meaning of Christmas comes alive as three kings riding atop camels on their way to Bethlehem. Angels dance above them, while spectacular songs carry them along. When they reach Mary and Joseph, the birth of Jesus is brought to life in a dramatic manger scene complete with live camels, donkeys and sheep.

Romance and mistletoe are included too, as is falling snow and a special appearance from Santa Claus. The entire 1,100 seat arena is transformed into a winter wonderland, with twinkling lights, evergreens, poinsettias, old-fashioned holiday costumes and familiar holiday music. Take in the sights and sounds of the show as you dine on your four-course holiday feast of a whole rotisserie chicken, hickory smoked barbecue pork loin, herb-basted potato, buttery corn on the cob, creamy vegetable soup, hot homemade biscuit, and special holiday dessert.

The Dixie Stampede Christmas Show is performed October 29, 2015, through January 2, 2016. Reserve your tickets early as this show does sell out during the holiday season.

Ashley is Reserve Direct’s travel expert, visiting Branson to find the best travel tips, money-saving deals and insider information. With over 10 years of experience in first-hand-travel adventures, she shares her stories, advice, and current events to help you stay in the know.

YakovOn December 3, 2015, America’s famous Russian Comedian, Yakov Smirnoff, will bid adieu to his Branson, Missouri theater with the finale of his 10:00 AM show. This will be the last day of his final season in Branson.

“Thank you for 23 fabulous years,” says Yakov. “When I say ‘What A Country’ I always think of Branson, a place of small town friendliness, family values, and incredible entertainment. Only In America will you find a Japanese fiddler, the Chinese Acrobats, and the Baldknobbers all performing in the same town…What A Country! You just won’t find this Russian Comedian there after Dec. 3rd. For the last few years I’ve been moving on to a new stage in my career and now it’s time to close the curtain in Branson. There’s not going to be an encore!”

Yakov’s shows are at 10:00 AM Tuesday through Sunday. Yakov says, “Six shows a week. Choose the date you want to wake up with me, Yakov…and laugh your Yak-OFF!”

Shows are at Yakov’s Theatre at the corner of US 65 and Hwy 248. It’s the first theatre you’ll see as you arrive in Branson from the north on US Hwy 65. Also appearing at the theater are the Acrobats of China featuring the New Shanghai Circus doing shows at 3:00 and 8:00 PM.

Longtime friend and owner of the Tribesman Resort, Arno Wehr Jr. said, “We have treasured Yakov’s comedy, his production, and his must-see show, but more then that we have loved him for how he embodies the American values of faith, family, and freedom. He has always shown love and sincere friendship to his employees and local pals. Everywhere he went in our community he was a gift that will be giving back for years to come. We hate to see him go.” Yakov says, “Now that sounds like a part of a song… to paraphrase John Denver, ‘all my bags are packed, I’m ready to go…I’m leaving on a jet plane.’ It’s just these last few shows and then I’ll be on to my PBS project, a special called Happily Ever Laughter, which will air in the spring. I’m also crossing my fingers that you’ll be seeing me soon on Dancing With The Stars #DWTHneedsYakov!” To keep up with Yakov’s adventures go to and follow him on twitter and facebook.

Dixie Stampede touts itself as the most fun place to eat in the Branson, and after attending the show, I have to agree! Read my Dixie Stampede review to find out why.

From start to finish, the show features nonstop entertainment, including singing, dancing, trick riding, comedy and a friendly North and South rivalry that had me stampeding my feet in delight. The show I attended officially started at 6pm, but be sure to get there early for the Carriage Room show opening act which begins at 5:15pm. There is a rotating cast of featured performers, but each specializes in juggling and jokes.

Dolly Parton's Dixie Stampede

The Dixie Stampede Branson tickets include a delicious feast, which is served promptly after the introduction of the armies and cavalries. I was seated in the North section and loudly cheered on my troops and cavalry as they were introduced. While the friendly North and South rivalry got started, I enjoyed a hot bowl of Dixie’s creamy vegetable soup, along with a yummy cheddar biscuit.

While enjoying the rest of my first course, I was awed by the roman riding and fiery hoop jump the skilled riders and horses performed, as well as the “Into the West” segment of the show which paid tribute to frontiersmen and Indians and featured “Sha-Kon-O-Hey,” written by Dolly Parton, as well as an amazing aerialist who gracefully soars high above the audience. The buffalo were a highlight of this segment of the show as well, as they stood their ground in the settlers-themed arena. Skeeter, the pesky and hilarious Dixie Stampede comedian, kept the show rolling with funny jokes, shenanigans and magic tricks too.

Dolly Parton's Dixie Stampede

Before I knew it, the dinner bell rang and my plate was being piled high with a whole rotisserie chicken, pork loin, corn on the cob and herb-basted potato, all while more spectacular trick riding, comedy and a beautiful tribute to the South is performed. Not soon after, the competition begins between the North and the South, where horsemanship and other feats are tested. Some of the competition is also done between audience members, such as the chicken chase for little ones and horse shoes for the adults. Plus, Skeeter gets in on the rivalry as he hosts races between mini-horses and pigs. Recently, a Rumble in the Treetops segment was added putting lumberjack skills to the test. The audience was roaring with applause and stampeding thunder as they cheered on their respective side, a sure sign everyone was having a great time at the Dixie Stampede Branson.

Dolly Parton's Dixie Stampede

As the show winded down, I dug into my flaky apple pastry and watched the competition heat up as the North and South were neck and neck. The very last event–Pass the Flag–includes the entire audience and during my visit, it sealed the win for the North! The show finale is a patriotic salute to America as riders and horses in luminous costumes perform to Dolly Parton’s “Color Me America.” It was the perfect way to end a night that truly was the most fun place to eat in Branson.

Ashley is Reserve Direct’s travel expert, visiting Branson to find the best travel tips, money-saving deals and insider information. With over 10 years of experience in first-hand-travel adventures, she shares her stories, advice, and current events to help you stay in the know.

november_eventsCheck out these Branson events planned for November 2015:

November 1 – December 31: The Trail of Lights
The Trail of Lights opens November 1. Festive holiday music plays as you make your way through the Shepherd of the Hills Homestead, decorated with millions of Christmas lights. Open 7 nights a week from dusk until the end of the shows.

November 1 – December 31: Christmas at Titanic Museum
You’re invited to stop by November thru December for Titanic’s holiday spirit. The ship will be aglow. Come exchange greetings with the jolly Titanic Museum crew or enjoy the glittering lights and the festive decorations. The Titanic Gift Shop will be open every day, including free public access to hundreds of unique Titanic Christmas gift ideas and collectibles.

November 1 – December 24: Branson Landing’s Winter WonderLanding
The entire Branson Landing transforms in a beautiful winter wonderland just in time for the holiday season. Don’t miss your chance to visit Santa in his very own 50′ Christmas Treehouse, located in the middle of Branson Landing’s Town Square.

November 5-11: Veterans Homecoming Week
This seven day tribute to veterans includes many special events throughout Branson. Many are free to veterans. See the complete schedule of events online.

November 6: Charlie Daniels
Charlie Daniels is set to perform at 8pm at The Oak Ridge Boys Theatre.

November 7: Ricky Skaggs
Ricky Skaggs is set to perform at 8pm at The Oak Ridge Boys Theatre.

November 7 – December 30: An Old Time Christmas at Silver Dollar City
Named one of the top 5 holiday events in the country by Good Morning America, Silver Dollar City‘s An Old Time Christmas features 4 million lights, a 5-story special effects Christmas tree, a holiday lights parade, plus holiday shows and treats.

November 8: Grits & Glam Tour
Pam Tillis and Lorrie Morgan will perform at 7pm at the Andy Williams Moon River Theater courtesy of Up Close Concerts.

November 11: Veteran’s Day Parade
The 80th annual Branson Veteran’s Day parade will make its way through Historic Downtown Branson at 11am.

November 11: Lee Greenwood
Lee Greenwood is set to perform at 7pm at the Dick Clark’s American Bandstand Theater courtesy of Up Close Concerts.

November 14: Johnny Mathis
Johnny Mathis will be perform at 8pm at The Oak Ridge Boys Theatre.

November 15: Herman’s Hermits Starring Peter Noone
Don’t miss this performance by one of the greatest voices of the 60’s. The show starts at 7pm at Andy Williams Moon River Theater.

November 18: Kellie Pickler
Pickler will perform in Branson at Dick Clark’s American Bandstand Theater at 7pm.

November 21: Wynona Judd & Big Noise
Country music star Wynona Judd is set to perform at the Oak Ridge Boys Theatre at 8pm.

November 22: Charley Pride
Pride will perform at 7pm at the Andy Williams Moon River Theater courtesy of Up Close Concerts.

November 27: Titanic presents Fifteen-Hundred Magical Luminaries
The corner of  76 Country Boulevard and Gretna Road in Branson will have an exciting new, nighttime glow when the Titanic Museum Attraction lights its entrance with more than 1,500 enchanting luminaries (festival lights) to welcome visitors to the area and to give them a picture-perfect opportunity to shoot memorable, 2015 holiday photos.

November 29: Brenda Lee & BJ Thomas
These two icons will perform together at the Andy Williams Moon River Theater at 7pm.

You know what they say: “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” When you’re in Branson, there are a lot of restaurants to choose from to get your breakfast fix, but some are better than others. From bacon and egg standards to scrumptious brunch options, whatever you crave for breakfast can be found in Branson. For the best in taste, service and quality, add these best Branson breakfast restaurants to your morning. Rise and shine…it’s time to eat!

Sloppy Biscuit at Billy Gail's Cafe

Sloppy Biscuit at Billy Gail’s Cafe

1) Billy Gail’s Café
5291 Hwy 265, Branson, MO

No list of the best Branson breakfast restaurants is complete without mentioning Billy Gail’s Café. This is a hotspot for both locals and visitors, so expect a wait. Don’t worry, though, there’s plenty to look at while you wait, some of which is for sale, and the line moves pretty quickly. The restaurant has a downhome feel, especially as you’re dining in what used to be an old roadside cabin. The staff is friendly without being over-the-top, and the country cooking makes you wish you had a bigger stomach! Portions here are huge. Think pancakes bigger than a plate. If you’re feeling hungry-as-a-hippo, opt for Billy’s Belly Buster Breakfast (includes three eggs any style, stack of buttermilk pancakes, choice of sausage, ham or bacon, hash browns, and toast.) My personal favorite is the Sloppy Biscuit, which as you may have guessed, is a biscuit layered with cheese, sausage and eggs, then smothered with hash browns and gravy. Delicious!

Patio Dining at Dobyns, The Keeter Center

Patio Dining at Dobyns, The Keeter Center

2) The Keeter Center
1 Opportunity Avenue Point Lookout, MO

If you’re in Branson on a Sunday, take advantage of the Sunday Brunch served at The Keeter Center. From 10am-2pm, the Dobyns Dining room offers a scrumptious brunch with carved meats, made-to-order waffles and omelets, and a range of other buffet menu items. The rustic elegance of The Keeter Center provides a nice ambiance for the meal, while the view of the beautiful College of the Ozarks campus is ideal for outdoor dining. Reservations recommended:  417-690-2146 or reserve online.

The Denver Omelettter Clocker's Café/Facebook

The Denver Omelette
Clocker’s Café/Facebook

3) Clocker’s Café
103 S Commercial St., Branson, MO

Located in Downtown Branson, Clocker’s Café has been a Branson tradition for years. Not much about the café has changed over the years, including its low prices. Two people can easily eat here for less than $15, and that’s with endless coffee. The hearty breakfast selections feature giant omelets, traditional breakfast platters and sweet treats like French toasts and waffles. In my opinion, their biscuits and gravy are some of the best in town. As Clocker’s Café is located just around the corner from Main Street, is has a classic Americana feel and welcoming atmosphere. As a result, it can get busy but the location (and people-watching) make the time go by fast. Bonus: Breakfast is served all day at Clocker’s.

Grandma Ruth's Cinnamon Rolls Sierra R./Foursquare

Grandma Ruth’s Cinnamon Rolls
Sierra R./Foursquare

4) Grandma Ruth’s Cinnamon Rolls
3044 Shepard of the Hills Expressway Suite 113, Branson, MO

Sometimes you don’t want a full breakfast, but still need some fuel for the morning. If this is the case, stop in at Grandma Ruth’s Cinnamon Rolls for a sweet morning pick-me-up. You’ll most like see Grandma Ruth baking while there (yes, she is a real person) and her cinnamon rolls are some of the most sinfully delicious I’ve ever had. Cinnabon—who needs ‘em? With Grandmas Ruth’s secret family recipe, she carefully creates fresh-from-scratch, baked-fresh-daily cinnamon rolls and other mouthwatering treats. Varieties include cinnamon, caramel, toffee, and chocolate hazelnut. Oh, and did I mention the cream cheese frosting?! Yum!

Entrance to the Grand Country Buffet

Entrance to the Grand Country Buffet

5) Grand Country Buffet
1945 W 76 Country Blvd

Families like the Grand Country Buffet for several reasons. The all-you-can-eat buffet san satisfy even the pickiest eater as well as satiate even the hungriest of appetites. Plus, kids four and under eat free. That’s one of the best family breakfast deals in Branson! It’s easy to access Grand Country Buffet as its located right on famous Hwy. 76, and has a giant, can’t-miss fiddle at its entrance. The quality of the buffet food is also extremely high; there’s not stale biscuits or cold eggs on this menu. There’s a little bit for everyone too, from those who are eating healthy to those who are throwing calorie caution to the wind.

There are my choices for the best Branson breakfast restaurants. Do you have a favorite that I missed? Tell me about it in the comments!

Ashley is Reserve Direct’s travel expert, visiting Branson to find the best travel tips, money-saving deals and insider information. With over 10 years of experience in first-hand-travel adventures, she shares her stories, advice, and current events to help you stay in the know.