Christmastime is hands-down our favorite time of year in Ozark Mountain Country. The Branson Christmas season begins immediately after Halloween (and sometimes before!) and runs through New Year’s Day. Below is our full list of the many must-see Christmas activities and attractions that you’ll be able to experience this year.
There’s no doubt that Christmas in Branson is magical! Here is a list of our favorite things to do during the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.
An Old Time Christmas at Silver Dollar City
We could talk for days about the spectacular display of lights, Broadway-style shows, comfort foods, and generally warm feelings one finds at Silver Dollar City’s (SDC) “An Old Time Christmas” celebration. Proclaimed the “most illuminated park on Earth,” SDC will be adorned in over 6.5 million lights this year with the addition of the “Christmas in Midtown Light Spectacular.” The 2019 festival runs Sat., Nov. 2 (with a special “white glove” charity preview event on Nov. 1) through New Year’s Day.
See our Ultimate Silver Dollar City Christmas Guide for an extensive rundown of everything the park has to offer.
Snow Tubing at Wolfe Mountain
The Branson Zip Lines and Canopy Tours is now also home to Wolfe Mountain, a Snowflex synthetic snow tubing hill. The year-round attraction is nestled in the natural beauty of the Ozark Mountains yet just a few miles north of the city along Highway 65. The 400-foot-long slope allows up to six tubes to run down simultaneously and is open to all-ages.
Pricing, reservations, and more info is available at wolfemountainbranson.com.
The Polar Express Train Ride
Immerse yourself in the 1985 classic holiday story as you ride aboard the Polar Express on the Branson Scenic Railway. The popular experience includes a reading of the story, sounds and carols from the motion picture soundtrack, and complimentary hot cocoa and cookies.
Polar Express tickets often sell out VERY early (starting in July!), so make reservations as soon as possible. Ticket information and more details can be found here
Drive-Through Light Displays
There are three immersive drive-through light displays that welcome guests from dusk until late-night: Let There Be Lights at Promised Land Zoo, Branon’s Lights of Joy, and The Trail of Lights at Shepherd of the Hills.
Visit our Branson Christmas Light Displays page for dates/times of operation and prices.
Live Reindeer at Promised Land Zoo
Pet, feed, and take photos with Sven, Rudolph, Prancer and all your other favorite reindeer at Branson’s Promised Land Zoo, home to the region’s only reindeer herd. A petting zoo featuring live nativity animals, christmas shops, and a two-mile drive-through light display are also part of the Zoo’s Christmas season offerings.
More details on Christmas at Promised Land Zoo here.
Christmas (and Ice Skating!) at Big Cedar Lodge
Big Cedar Lodge offers a variety of Christmas activities for hotel guests and visitors. The main lobby is beautifully decorated and features a moving train set circling a scale model of the property. Activities include wreath and ornament making, gingerbread house decorating, holiday wagon light tours and carriage rides, snowman ice cream socials, elf tuck-ins, breakfast with Santa, and more. An outdoor tree lighting ceremony takes place in early December. Some activities are open to hotel guests only and/or require additional reservations and fees.
In 2017, Big Cedar introduced a new ice skating rink open from mid-November through early January. The rink is made of a synthetic “Xtraice” material, meaning it’s useable on even the warmest days. Skating is $15 per person (including skate rental). Hours are 4 to 8 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday-Sunday (and Thanksgiving Day).
Christmas at Dolly Parton’s Stampede
Touted as the “most fun place to eat in Branson,” Christmas at Dolly Parton’s Stampede features a four-course holiday dinner served while 32 horses and a cast of riders perform tricks and stunts in a 35,000-square-foot arena. The live nativity scene is a fan favorite with flying angels and live camels, sheep, and more.
Christmas at Dolly Parton’s Stampede tickets are on sale now.
Excerpts from BransonChristmas.Info.