Growing up, my family visited Branson during every possible season — the busy and hot summer months as well as the cool and wintry months. No memories of Branson topped those spent there during Christmas time, when each theater when tall out in holiday decor and showmanship. I’d like to see how things have changed in Branson and introduce my kids to the holiday magic, so I started daydreaming a Branson Bucket List of things to do when we visit next.
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See Silver Dollar City at Christmas
Silver Dollar City is a popular amusement park in Branson, and when I was a kid, there was no chance of visiting it in the off-season. Now, it’s open with festive activities — and some rides — in November and December.
So I’d love to go there, have a cup of hot cocoa and stroll around enjoying Silver Dollar City’s An Old Time Christmas.
See all the lights
There are drive-thru displays at Let There Be Lights at Promised Land Zoo, Branson’s Lights of Joy, and The Trail of Lights at Shepherd of the Hills. There’s also a walk-thru experience at Shepherd of the Hills called the North Pole Adventure.
Another great display at Branson Landing includes a tree that’s taller than 60 feet high!
We’ve been to several of these places, but in March during our Great Ozarks Road Trip, and I think they completely transform with Christmas decorations.
Get spoiled at Chateau on the Lake
Everyone knows about the impressive gingerbread village in the Branson lakeside resort’s lobby each year at Christmas time. But that’s just icing on the cake to my bucket list item there: The Chef’s Table experience. It consists of a five-course meal with wine pairings.
Ice skate under a ferris wheel
My kids are obsessed with outdoor ice skating, so this one’s for them. The oval-shaped ice skating rink is set up seasonally next to Branson Ferris Wheel and the holiday lights of the ferris wheel and those strung around the rink sound like the makings of a magical night time experience.
Some shows and places offer backstage tours, and I think that’s gotta be added to the list. Perhaps the behind-the-scenes tour during intermission at Legends in Concert would be a great one because…Blue Christmas Elvis has to be part of the show, right??
Have a memorable Christmas brunch
The best dining experience in Branson I ever had was at The Keeter Center at the College of the Ozarks, and it was just some random weekday dinner. I think the ultimate meal has to be the Christmas Brunch there, with live music and ice sculptures to add to the meal.
Take part in Christmas at the Ranch
I heard Sycamore Creek Family Ranch has Christmas At The Ranch over the first weekend of December and it sounds perfect with its hayrides and bonfire, and a family scavenger hunt.
Ride on the Polar Express Train
Any seat on Branson Scenic Railway’s Polar Express Train would be great, but I think the ultimate spot would be in the Dome Car. I can just imagine the view at night while I enjoy the chocolate chip cookies.
Have one of those giant marshmallows
I’ve heard about the giant homemade marshmallows served on top of the hot cocoa at Sugar Leaf Bakery, and that’s just the kind of thing to add to my bucket list.
See a Christmas show
Obviously, a live show at Christmas time should be on this list, but help me out. There are 100 live shows – or more – in Branson! When I was a kid, my family went to Branson at Christmastime and I saw Dolly’s Stampede‘s North vs. South Pole (fabulous and fun), as well as a few now-shuttered shows.
What’s the must-see holiday show in Branson now?