Do you find yourself asking, “Whatever happened to a traditional family Christmas?” Come to Branson, Missouri, and celebrate the true meaning of the Christmas season. Nationally recognized by newspapers and travel associations as one of the top Christmas destinations in the nation, America’s Live Entertainment Capital is all aglow in the spirit of the season. It all begins on November 1! With lots of star-filled Christmas shows, the famous 76 Strip and a glittering array of animated lighting displays including the 1-mile Branson Area Festival of Lights drive-through, a visit to Branson will create beautiful memories and new Christmas traditions for your family.
Branson’s star performers, special effects and elaborate holiday production numbers are ready to dazzle visitors and their families in November and December. From the famous voice of “Mr. Christmas” Andy Williams to the multimedia extravaganza of The Christmas Sounds of Mannheim Steamroller at The Grand Palace, as well as Mel Tillis and Connie Smith at the Welk Resort, there’s a multitude of Branson Christmas shows that deck the halls with boughs of holly and showcase the holiday’s finest talent. Music fills the air at Branson’s family shows like the Presleys, The Baldknobbers, and the Hughes Brothers and peals of laughter roll through the aisles at Jim Stafford, Hamner-Barber and Yakov Smirnoff’s shows. From the Lennon Sisters with the Gatlin Brothers to Barbara Fairchild, the Twelve Irish Tenors and Broadway’s Spirit of Christmas with The Osmonds, Branson wraps up its musical packages with one-of-a-kind holiday family fun. And, for the kids in all of us, there’s a “magical” Christmas celebration as well, at world-famous Kirby VanBurch’s Christmas Spectacular.
Silver Dollar City, an internationally awarded theme park, presents an all-new, $1 million light and sound extravaganza for “An Old Time Christmas” the park’s biggest light show ever. Called “Christmas on Main Street,” the show features a new 5-Story Special Effects Christmas Tree that blazes to the musical movements of Christmas songs, joined by one million lights on trees, shop fronts and hanging canopies all flashing, as surround-sound fills the Square. The entire park glows with millions of flickering lights and a Holiday Light Parade with colorful, musical floats winds through the streets.The acclaimed Dickens’ “Christmas Carol” returns with the special effects said to be one of the best productions in the history of the park. Plus, holiday food, strolling Christmas carolers and the roller coasters are open after dark for the thrill of the lights from above.
The Showboat Branson Belle is bedecked in Christmas finery and charts a course for holiday food and fun on Table Rock Lake though December. Also, the World’s Largest Titanic Museum Attraction will be decorated with thousands of merry lights and holiday trim that recall those elegant Christmases past. Your family can discover Branson’s newest “Winter Wonder Landing” at the Branson Landing waterfront, featuring a promenade of trendy specialty shopping and dining establishments, the brilliant water and fire spectacular that dances to the sounds of the season in the Town Square and Santa Claus, who has even been known to vacation in Branson himself!
For all of your Christmas shopping, there are three name-brand outlet malls, boutique shops at the Grand Village and Ozarks craftsmen at Branson Mills and Engler Block with their stores all decked out in lights with elaborate holiday decorations that beckon Yuletide visitors.
A host of Branson lodging options are available from a cozy cabin at one of the lakeside resorts to luxurious hotel rooms and condos throughout the area.
While in the Branson/Lakes Area you can also enjoy a Christmas light display at the Enchanted Forest on Indian Point Rd. and the Christmas on the Trail show and Trail of Lights at Shepherd of the Hills Historic Homestead. On the first Sunday in December, thousands of people gather in downtown Branson to watch a Christmas parade dedicated to “the true meaning of the season.” This year marks the 59th Adoration Parade in Branson, an evening event with dozens of high school bands and lighted floats. The theme has always been “Keeping Christ in Christmas.”
“When I started my solo career, I believe God told me to come to Branson and sing with my kids. I’m a Southern California guy, but Christmas in the Ozarks is truly magical,” says Righteous Brother Bill Medley, member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, who performs at Dick Clark’s American Bandstand Theater.
Branson’s Veterans Homecoming, Nov. 5-11, pays tribute to our nation’s heroes from all wars and conflicts and all branches of service. For details about this weeklong series of events, tribute shows, reunions and more, click the above link.
Outdoor activities in the Ozarks like fishing, hiking, camping and other outdoor pursuits are year-round opportunities for sporting enthusiasts in the Ozarks. The cool, crisp weather in late autumn and early winter is an appealing time for outdoor activities. Those three pristine lakes never freeze, so they are ideal for fishing for bass, trout, crappie and other species, and there is boating and many other types of water activities even in mid-winter. The mild winters also allow visitors to enjoy the area’s dozen championship Golf courses.
Information courtesy of Branson Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce