No matter where you live, we all celebrate the holiday season a bit differently. It may be regional, cultural or just family tradition, but as we get into the holidays we all get excited to celebrate with our loved ones. While a lot of people like to wait until after Thanksgiving to start celebrating the holidays, if you’re like me and love the Christmas season, you start as soon getting in the holiday spirit.
When the rest of the country was still celebrating Halloween, in the Ozarks the shows and attractions in Branson were resetting for Christmas. Some of the shows and attractions actually start their Christmas shows a week before Halloween, and continue to celebrate Christmas through the rest of the year. The acts and shows in Branson practice for months before hand and when the clock strikes, their shows are instantly transformed into magical shows for the whole family.
Earlier this month, I was invited back to Branson to check out how the city transforms for the holiday season. The whole city is dipped in glitter, decoration and twinkle lights – and everything to set your heart racing. From dining inside restaurants surrounded by Christmas trees, shows full of Christmas music and hotels decked out for the season. Christmas isn’t just one day in Branson, but a two month celebration that will fully embrace you. It’s the perfect location to find your holiday spirit, or to start a new holiday tradition with your family.
Not sure what you would do while visiting Branson for the holiday season? Here are some of our favorite things you can do while in the area. We will be writing more about each soon, so be sure you check back for updates and more fantastic things you can do in the Ozarks this holiday season!
Find The Meaning of Christmas
Each year, we seem to watch a different version of The Christmas Carol. But if you’re visiting Silver Dollar City, be sure you stop into the Opera House to check out their version. Not only is the production a fun twist on the story, but the story will put you in the mood for Christmas. Besides fantastic sets, lighting, great songs and when they actually make it snow in the theater – we love that the show is no additional charge! Hop off the roller coasters and go sit inside and enjoy the warm theater for just over an hour. There are shows happening throughout the whole amusement park and they are already included in your ticket price for entrance. We’ve heard the holiday train sing along is a must visit as well!
Find out more about the lights and shows at Silver Dollar City:
Fall in Love with the Christmas Lights and Magic of the Season
Did we mention the whole city is covered in twinkle lights? One of the most spectacular displays is at Silver Dollar City. There isn’t a building, tree or restaurant that isn’t covered in LED lights. Silver Dollar City puts out 6.5 Million LED Christmas lights and puts on a holiday light parade every day (and sometimes twice a day during the busy times). Watch as some amazing light up floats go by! Don’t worry about the cold, the parade is under ten minutes so you can enjoy the show without getting too cold! Find out more about Silver Dollar City – An Old Time Christmas
Need more Christmas lights? The downtown area of Branson is covered in them, and you can even find a drive through zoo has a drive through light display that you and the kids will love!
Watch the Silver Dollar City Holiday Parade:
Take some Time to Learn More about History
There is something about the holidays that makes us think about on family and our own personal history. But one of the things we absolutely love to do while we’re in Branson is visit the Titanic Museum. Yes, this is a serious museum, but it’s the perfect stop to take your family. The Titanic Museum helps take any trip and turn it into an educational one. A visit to the museum takes an event that happened over a century ago and makes it more relevant. You are given a card with an actual passengers name on it and find out their fate after the tour.
The Titanic Museum not only helps you teach about a significant moment in our history, but helps you relate to the people who lived through the tragedy. The museum has a special kids tour that can make history come alive and make it more relate-able, and understandable for younger kids.
We’re not allowed to take pictures inside or film inside the museum, but here is a quick video from after this visit and more about the experience:
Remember the Importance of Family and the Holidays
The meaning of Christmas is on full display throughout the city and most shows you attend will do at least half Christmas music as part of their set. But some shows, like the Hughes Music Show take the opportunity not only feature their favorite songs but the true meaning of Christmas as well. With a focus on the first Christmas, the iconic parts of Christmas and how you can engage your children in learning more about the holiday.
We sat down with Jason Hughes after the show – find out more about their show and what they’re passionate about:
Take in Some of the Beauty of the Surrounding Area
Want to see a show but still explore the area and see more than the main strip? Get tickets for dinner and a show on The Showboat Branson Belle. From live music, comedy, and dinner you would think that the Belle would be a complete night out right? What also is included and one of our favorite things a beautiful trip on Table Rock Lake the gorgeous views as you go! Take in a sun set, watch as the hills go by and enjoy the beauty that you can find in the Ozarks around you!
Here’s a small bit of the show on the Showboat Branson Belle:
Get Your Fill of Nostalgia with Classic Musicians and Christmas Tunes
Whenever we turn on Christmas music there are certain songs I look for including the classics. And if that is your type of music you need to take a trip to the Andy Williams PAC and catch Jimmy Osmond and the Lennon Sisters. The show will transport you back in time to Christmas of your past and places you hold dear. The show not only includes amazing song, but also Britain’s Got Talent singing sensation Charlie Green, and America’s Got Talent dynamic trio AYO – Voices Of Glory, and featuring the championship ice skating of The Ice Angels.
Check out out the quick video I did with my friend Drew from Benspark Family Adventure before the show started!
Keep the Kids entertained
Need to get outside and get some fresh air? How about time to play with kids and get out some energy? The Branson Tracks not only offers an arcade for those cold or rainy days, but offers bumper cars, bumper boats, go karting and much more. One of our favorite places to visit there is the Branson Ferris Wheel where you can not only see all of downtown Branson but you can ride on a piece of history. Moved to the Branson area in 2015, the Ferris Wheel traveled from Navy Pier in Chicago. The ride is smooth and you’ll love the view from the top. But be sure to swing by it at night, when the Ferris wheel is lit up and turns into a show of it’s own!
Learn more about the Branson Ferris Wheel and the Tracks:
Enjoy Fire Side Stories Told by Some of Branson’s Stars
Remember how we said every thing is decorated for the holidays in Branson? That will include your hotel if you’re staying at the Stone Castle Hotel and Conference Center. Stone Castle offers themed rooms including the Andy Williams suite which is completely decorated for Christmas, but the hotel lobby is transformed as well. And to celebrate the holidays the hotel invites stars from the local shows to come to read Christmas stories for their guests. Snuggle up with your friends and family and come down in your pajamas for a story time and a glass of Wassail.
Whatever your holiday tradition is, you can kick it off early with a visit to Branson. From enjoying the lights, live music, story time and more. It is easy to fit in a new holiday tradition while taking a small get away with your family. It’s easy to get in the holiday season and even book a holiday meal with your family at different venues. With multiple show times daily, be sure you get your show tickets and kick start your holiday spirit with your Ozark Mountain Christmas.
Be sure to check back over the next couple of weeks as we share more about our recent trip to Branson and our own Ozark Mountain Christmas experience!
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