Christmas in Branson is a community-wide celebration with holiday light displays throughout the city and surrounding communities. You'll see decorations everywhere...from houses to businesses and large animated drive-through displays. It all starts at the beginning of November, so plan a visit to Branson and jump-start your holiday spirit!
Branson Area Festival of Lights
Date: November 1, 2009 – January 2, 2010
Hours: Every day, Monday through Sunday, from 5 pm (dusk) to 11 pm
Location: Branson’s well-known drive-through holiday light display can be seen at Shepherd of the Hills Expressway and Roark Valley Road at Expressway Lane right behind the new Sight & Sound Theatre.
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
2009 Special Offers:
- Click here to print a $2 discount coupon for the Branson Area Festival of Lights Drive-Through
- Visit the drive-through on a Monday: the 50th family attending receives a free holiday gift bag
- Visit the drive-through on Tuesday or Wednesday: you can purchase the Drive-Through Family Season Pass for $15 if you donate a children's toy (Love, Inc) or canned goods (Christian Action Ministries-CAM)
Over 230 magical displays light up the 1 1/4-mile drive. It should be noted that this was a new location in 2007 and it is a one-way drive-through with its only entrance at the junction of Expressway Lane and Shepherd of the Hills Expressway just opposite the new Sight & Sound Theatre. Many of the displays are animated and grouped into themes like Cartoon Land, The Twelve Days of Christmas and Peach on Earth.
Christmas light displays at Silver Dollar City’s Old Time Christmas Festival
Date: November 7 – December 27, 2009
Open: Thursdays through Sundays, plus November 25, closed December 21-25, open December 26-27
From November 7 through December 27 Silver Dollar City dons Christmas lights and all the merriment of the season for its Old Time Christmas Festival - the event CNN called "one of the top holiday destinations in the world." Let Silver Dollar City jump-start your Christmas spirit with holiday shows, specialty foods and over 4 million holiday lights. Festival highlights include:
- The return of the new 5-story Special Effects Christmas Tree & the spectacular Christmas On Main Street Show - a light and sound show on the Silver Dollar City Square with over 1 million lights flashing in synchronization to Christmas music
- A grand LIVE production of A Dickens' Christmas Carol - with elaborate sets, vanishing ghosts and flying spirits
- The Living Nativity - a musical retelling with talented actors, original music and elaborate sets in a dramatic presentation of the birth of Christ
- the Gifts of Christmas Holiday Light Parade - with colorful, musical floats winding through the Silver Dollar City streets
- Kringle's Krossing where you can visit the jolly old elf himself (Santa's Home Away from Home)
- Special holiday food treats & feasts throughout the park
- Plus, ride The Silver Dollar City Sing-Along Steam Train (and more rides) at night
Lunch With Santa at Silver Dollar City
Dates: November 7 - December 20 on select dates; click here for specific schedule of times
Lunch With Santa Meal Tickets (theme park admission is required; call 800-831-4FUN for lunch reservations):
- Adult (age 12+) $18.99 (plus tax)
- Child (age 4-11) $14.99 (plus tax)
- Child (age 3 & under) FREE, but still need a reservation
- 10% discount for Season Pass holders
Silver Dollar City features Lunch With Santa in The Reunion Hall on select days (weekends and a couple weekdays) in November and December. Bring the kids for all the fun...special gifts, sing-alongs with Santa's friends, kid-friendly lunch food and, of course, a photo opportunity with the Jolly Old Elf himself. (Theme Park admission is required, and the Lunch Event has an additional charge. Reservations required.)
Trail of Lights at Shepherd of the Hills
Date: November 1 – January 2, 2010
Hours: Open 7 nights a week from dusk till midnight
Admission: Adults (age 17+) $10; children (age 4-16) $5, Car Load $40
The Trail of Lights is a drive-through animation display that winds its way through the historic Shepherd of the Hills 160-acre homestead. You'll travel through a variety of different lands, each with its own theme and holiday music, from fantasy to religious to patriotic. Life-size (and some larger than life) three-dimensional characters have their own housing so you can peek in on the fun happening inside. Favorites include a Victorian Village, North Pole Village, The Elves General Store, The Animals Knelt, Reindeer Care, The Reason for the Season, and Land of Sugar and Spice. New additions include fun displays and scenes like Eskimo Lane, I'll Play My Drum for Him, and the gorgeous Santa Sea Serpent Castle.
The Trail also includes millions of multi-colored Christmas lights. Every building in the park is completely illuminated, and there are hundreds of lighted displays and animated scenes, like The Nativity, Mele Kalikmaka and the Jingle Bell Jungle.
The grand finale is a stop by Inspiration Tower where you can ride glass elevators up 230 feet for a Santa’s-eye view of the lights from above.
Click here for a sneak preview!
3rd Annual Holiday Promenade of Stars
Date: Saturday, November 7, 2009
Time: 10:30 am
New location on 2009: Highway 76 - the 1.4 mile route starts at White Water and ends at the Grand Village (previously at the Branson Landing)
Parade route: The parade will move south on the Strip, round the bend, pause for brief stage performances at The Titanic Museum and then move east to end at the Grand Village.
New in 2009: the parade will be broadcast nationally on two networks. Debby Boone and Jimmy Osmond will host the tv broadcasts on RFD-TV and Retro Television Network (RTN) nationally, and on KSFX Ozarks FOX locally, plus a live broadcast on KOMC-FM radio with host Eric Marshall.
Broadcast dates: Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day, plus more (check here)
The Holiday Promenade of Stars features local celebrities from the Branson area, with Andy Williams as the Grand Marshall again in 2009. Look for the stage in front of The Titanic Museum.
Performers in front of The Titanic Museum include:
The television broadcast schedule is for Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. In the Springfield/Branson area the parade special will be televised on KSFX Ozarks FOX. In Branson on the Vacation Channel, it'll be aired 6 times: Thanksgiving Day at 8 am, November 27 at 8 pm, November 28 at 8 pm, November 29 at 8 am, November 30 at 8 pm and Christmas Eve at 8 pm. National broadcasts are on RFD-TV and Retro Television Network. Click here for the complete broadcast schedule.
61st Annual Adoration Day Parade
Date: Sunday, December 6, 2009 at 5:00 p.m.
Location: Downtown Branson
Hot tip: arrive early for pre-parade activities, entertainment and shopping!
A unique parade because:
- it's been happening every year since 1948
- it starts with the lighting of a really, really big Nativity Scene that sits atop Mt. Branson
- the whole parade happens in the dark (5 pm start)
- every float or band or walking unit dons a Christmas theme
- commercial signage is not allowed on any parade entry. In other words, you won't see any company logos, names or signs on floats, clothes or anything in the parade
- For safety, candy is not supposed to be thrown from the floats - it's distributed at the end of the parade by the Branson Fire Department (so bring a candy bag!)
- this is truely an inspirational community event to celebrate the spirit of Christmas
- By tradition, Santa is at the end of the parade!
Branson’s festive night-time parade and Adoration creche lighting ceremony at 5:00 p.m. in historic downtown Branson. Nativity scene lighting at 5 pm; parade immediately following. Bring a lawn chair and find a spot to enjoy Missouri's oldest non-commercial Christmas parade. The Nativity Scene, the largest in the area, is located on Mt. Branson overlooking Lake Taneycomo.
White Flight at The Butterfly Palace & Rainforest Adventure
Date: November 1, 2009 – January 15, 2010
Open: 9 am - 5 pm daily (closed Thanksgiving and Christmas Day)
Imagine thousands of white butterflies dancing like snowflakes in a rainforest sparkling with thousands of twinkling Christmas lights and you’ve got the idea behind the Butterfly Palace’s exclusive holiday event. Add holiday music and a stop in the 3-D theatre, Rainforest Critter Center and Emerald Forest Mirror Maze and it’s an unforgettable outing. Plus, the Living Angel Statues are back in 2009.
Bring your camera! Beautiful poinsettias, flowers, lights and butterflies abound for great photo opportunities. Look for the large poinsettia Christmas tree - it would make a particularly beautiful background for a holiday photo.
Santa's Workshop in Historic Downtown Branson
Date: To be announced
Visit Santa's North Pole Workshop in December at the Downtown Branson Main Street Association office, 119 W. Pacific in Branson, Missouri.
Children can visit Santa, have their picture taken and tell him their secret wishes. In the Workshop, children can decorate cookies and make an ornament to take home.
The Downtown Association also decorates the Giving Trees in December to collect gifts for the Boys & Girls Club and residents of local nursing homes. For more information on Santa's Workshop or the Giving Trees, call 417-334-1548.
Ride the Ducks Holiday Land & Light Tour from the Highway 76 location
Date: November 2 - December 13, 2009
Admission: Adults (age 12+) $16; children $10 (plus tax)
Ride The Ducks is offering a Christmas cruising option...of the more silly sort. Their fully-enclosed, festively-decorated duck takes you on a 60-minute holiday cruise on land only. The ticket price includes a Santa hat for you to take home. Cruises leave at 5:30 and 6:30 pm between November 2 and December 13. 2009. Ride the Ducks Holiday Land and Light Tour is available only from the location on Highway 76 this year.
A Winemaker's Christmas at Stonehill Winery
Date: November 1 - December 31, 2009
Admission: FREE holiday winery tours
The Winery is open daily and tours run every 15 minutes. Hear about the history of winemaking amidst festive decorations and lighting displays. Stonehill Winery is located 2 blocks from Highway 76 at the intersection of highway 165 & Green Mountain Drive. Check your Christmas list - the showroom and gift shop are great places for holiday shopping.
Christmas At The White House
Date: November 1 - December 21, 2009
Location: The American Presidential Museum, 2849 Gretna Road (at the corner of Gretna Road and Roark Valley Road in the old Majestic Steakhouse building)
See dozens of themed Christmas Trees just like former First Ladies and First Families had while they were in the White House. You can test your Holiday White House Trivia knowledge and see over 40 years of White House Christmas Cards and Holiday Tour Books. Make it a holiday tradition.
Visit Father Christmas aboard The Titanic Museum
Date: December 1-23, 2009
Santa will be listening to children's Christmas wishes at the Grand Staircase of the Titanic Museum again this season. New surprises will delight the kids and parents as well. The Titanic is bringing in LIVE Reindeer to see and touch. Wear your holiday best for a memorable holiday photo with the reindeer.
Visit LIVE Reindeer at The Titanic Museum
- Friday, December 4 & Saturday, December 5, 2009
Friday, December 11 & Saturday, December 12, 2009
Again this year, the Titanic is bringing in Reindeer for Christmas in December. Families can see and touch real LIVE Reindeer and have a Christmas photo taken. Reindeer visits are from 10 am to 7 pm. Also when he's not out packing his sleigh, Father Christmas will be listening to children's Christmas wishes at the Grand Staircase aboard The Titanic Museum.
Titanic's parking lot will turn into a winter wonderland when Santa and his reindeer stop by for these two special weekends. This will give parents and kids the chance to pet these relatively rare creatures.
A FREE family event in the parking lot.
Date: November 1 - December 31, 2009
The city of Hollister invites you to see the 26-foot-tall Christmas Tree with a 4-foot star shining brightly on top at the Town Hall Square and the Christmas Light Displays along Historic Downing Street. Holiday shopping? Visit Hollister's Southtowne Center, Industrial Park, Historic Downing Street and area retail centers.
Direction tips: Hollister is located 35 miles south of Springfield on Highway 65 (and only 11 miles north of the Arkansas state line); and to get to Hollister from Branson, just drive across the Taneycomo Bridge near The Landing and you're in Hollister. Turn right and continue down the highway to go to downtown Hollister (that's where the Train Depot is located).
The 17th Annual Santa Train in Hollister
Date: Sunday, December 13, 2009
Time: arrival at 2 pm; departure at 3:30pm
Leaving the miniature sleigh and eight tiny reindeer back at the North Pole, Santa is arriving in Hollister by train! Bring the whole family to the Train Depot in Downtown Hollister on Sunday, December 13th at 2 pm to see Santa arrive, have a visit and get snacks and goodies. Kids will get a treat bag, too. Need directions? See below for the details and directions to Hollister's Santa Train. Sounds like a fun event! A good idea, too, so the reindeer will be well-rested for Christmas deliveries.
Hot tip: arrive early for this FREE event!
Direction tips: Hollister is located 35 miles south of Springfield on Highway 65; and to get to Hollister from Branson, just drive across the Taneycomo Bridge near The Landing and you're in Hollister. Turn right and continue down the highway to go to downtown Hollister to the Train Depot.
You can also celebrate the holidays with your entire family at almost every Branson show in November and December. We have Mr. Christmas himself, Andy Williams, and the popular annual Christmas Extravaganza with Dino at the Yakov Smirnoff Theatre this year.
Cancelled Christmas Light Displays:
- Kimberling City’s long-running Port of Lights display is no longer in operation (effective 2007).
- Enchanted Forest on Indian Point Road - Cancelled for 2009 due to lack of funding. Check back for 2010.