Seven Branson Christmas Must-Dos
From November 1st to January 7th, Christmas is honored with true holiday magic in Branson. To make lasting holiday memories with family and friends, plan a trip to America’s Christmas Tree City this season and experience an authentic Ozark Mountain Christmas!
From renowned festivals and elaborate light displays to gourmet hot chocolate and pictures with Santa, Branson has plenty of holiday fun in store. While you're in town, add these seven Christmas must-dos to your itinerary for the ultimate Ozark Mountain Christmas!
1. Get Festive with Branson's Christmas Shows
From November through December, Branson's live music shows supply a large dose of Christmas cheer. Many productions showcase the cheer and goodwill of the Christmas season through music, story, and dance. Performances such as Christmas Wonderland (shown above), Dolly Parton's Stampede, A Shepherd's Christmas Carol, Grand Country Music Hall, the Presleys' Christmas Jubilee, and several more put thousands of visitors in the Christmas spirit each year!
2. Experience An Old Time Christmas at Silver Dollar City
Known as one of the nation’s most family-friendly Christmas festivals, An Old Time Christmas at Silver Dollar City is filled with favorite Christmas traditions and a few unexpected surprises!
Celebrate the season with the theme park's 6.5 million lights, 1.5 million of which are located in the Christmas in Midtown Light Spectacular. There is also an 8-story, state-of-the-art Christmas tree will debut as the centerpiece for Joy on Town Square. Reaching 80 feet into the night sky, this tree will showcase an impressive combination of high-resolution lights, music, imagery, and more to wow you this Christmas!
Don't miss Coming Home For Christmas, a Broadway-style Show that debuted in 2021 at Red Gold Heritage Hall! The nearly Half-Million Dollar Production features a cast of 12 singers and dancers and a live 4-piece band performing over 28 songs (including an original song created just for Silver Dollar City) during 6 distinct Christmas scenes that reminds us all why this time of year is so special. From classic traditions like tree-trimming and a peek into Santa’s workshop to a salute to those that serve abroad during the holidays and a reminder of the real reason for the season…Coming Home For Christmas is 45-minutes of non-stop Christmas cheer!
3. Go on a Drive-Thru Christmas Light Tour
Branson is home to several drive-thru Christmas light displays that allow you to enjoy the lights without leaving the comfort of your vehicle. See Branson all aglow at Branson’s Lights of Joy featuring hundreds of animated larger-than-life displays. This holiday journey features a spectacular RGB color changing tunnel along with all LED lighting throughout which creates a vibrant glow.
Branson's Promised Land Zoo's Let There Be Lights! features a 2-mile LED display and a live nativity petting zoo. In the VIP Santa's Safari, you can grab some hot chocolate and popcorn and meet Santa's real reindeer team!
Drive through the Trail of Lights (pictured above), a trail filled with millions of multi-colored lights that winds through the historic 160-acre Shepherd of the Hills Homestead. A glowing tradition for over 30 years in Branson, bring your friends and family to see classic animated and themed displays that will leave you feeling bright and merry this season. Don't forget to grab your free cup of hot chocolate and make a kind donation to Cocoa for a Cause to support your local charities!
4. Explore a Candy Lover's Dream
You'll have more than just visions of sugarplums dancing in your head after visiting Branson at Christmastime! Each holiday season, the Chateau on the Lake, Resort, Spa & Convention Center displays an incredible gingerbread village, which is made on-site by the Chateau's chef and culinary team. The village stands more than three feet tall and includes structures such as a church, store fronts, and grand houses. To give you an idea of just how massive this village is, ingredients include 330 pounds of powdered sugar, 120 pounds of egg whites, and 600 pounds of cookies, pretzels, candy, Pop-Tarts, and more!
The holidays are meant to be celebrated with tasty treats all season long, and Branson has plenty of bakeries and confectioneries ready to sweeten your holiday. Area fudge shops are also popular stops during the Christmas season to purchase gifts and pick-me-ups.
5. Complete Your Holiday Shopping
It wouldn’t be the holiday season without a little Christmas shopping. Luckily, Branson's shopping options make checking your list twice easy. There are endless opportunities to choose the perfect gift in the Branson area. Visitors can find outlet centers, shops, and galleries focused on arts and crafts, as well as boutiques and stores offering themed experiences for collectors, gift buyers, and bargain-hunters alike. Find deals on favorite designer brands at Tanger Outlets, shop lakeside at the Branson Landing, or head to the Grand Village Shops for specialty items.
6. Follow America's Christmas Tree City Tour
Recognized as America’s Christmas Tree City, Branson adds to its holiday magic with thousands of decorated trees on display. Christmas trees decorated with unique materials, traditional elements, themes, colors, and lights are set up at locations all over the city, including over 1,000 trees at Silver Dollar City. As new trees are scheduled to pop up around the city, they will be added to an online, interactive map. Branson's Christmas trees make a picture-perfect backdrop, so be sure to snap a few photos of your holiday moments and use #ExploreBranson to share your Christmas memories with us on social media!
7. Ride Aboard The Polar Express
Based on the popular book, “The Polar Express” by Chris Van Allsburgess, the transformation of the Branson Scenic Railway to the beloved holiday train each Christmas is an experience that the whole family will treasure. After you board The Polar Express at the historic 1906 depot in Downtown Branson, you'll be greeted by characters out of the story itself, including the prominent train conductor, friendly hobo, and Santa. Come ready for tasty cookies and hot chocolate, breathtaking scenery, and a reading from Santa. Tickets sell quickly, so be sure to book in advance. Pajamas are encouraged!
With its holiday touch on attractions, events, entertainment, and more, Branson makes for an exciting destination to spend your Christmas. Learn more about celebrating Christmas in Branson here.