Holiday lights in Branson...they’re here! (and there, and everywhere!) There’s no place like Branson for Christmas! Like most communities around the country that celebrate the holiday season, Branson has fabulous drive-through displays, and we’ll talk about those, too, but we want you to know about the Christmas lights all over Branson! Did you know that Branson has an annual, coordinated, and community-wide Christmas tree program? Businesses around town are going the extra mile to decorate trees outside their buildings, and put up decorated trees inside. We’re going to share information on ticketed attractions and drive- throughs, but also places where you can drive by or stop in to see lights, all at no cost to you. (If it’s holiday shopping you’re interested in, here you go: Christmas in Branson - It’s Time to Go Shopping!)
In no particular order, here are 11 great ideas on where to see sparkling, twinkling, dazzling lights in Branson this holiday season:
Christmas at Branson Attractions & Drive-Through Displays!
1. Shepherd of the Hills: You’ll find several ways to enjoy the lights at the historic Shepherd of the Hills - their legendary drive-through display, The Trail of Lights, has been delighting folks for nearly 30 years. Now they’ve created a walk-through experience, the North Pole Adventure, which includes a visit to Santa that’ll feel like you’re really on your way up to the North Pole! The rest of the iconic Homestead is twinkling with lights, and there are Christmas shows to see, shopping to be done, and more!
Location: Shepherd of the Hills Homestead & Adventure Park - 5586 West Highway 76
2018 Schedule: November 1 through December 31 - both Christmas light experiences open at dusk.
2. Silver Dollar City: Of course, no list would be complete without Branson’s crown jewel of attractions, the world-famous, award-winning Silver Dollar City theme park! And boy do they amp it up big-time for the holidays! Literally millions of lights smother the park, and anyone who’s ever visited at Christmas loves the 5-story tree in the Square - it’s set to beautiful Christmas music with thousands of lights that dance along. There’s Rudolph’s Holly Jolly Christmas Light Parade, live stage productions, a living nativity, and special eats, treats, and sweets available throughout the park! Silver Dollar City truly becomes “Christmas City” for the holidays!
Location: 399 Silver Dollar City Parkway (on the peninsula of Table Rock Lake known as Indian Point.)
2018 Schedule: An Old Time Christmas runs November 3 through December 30 - the park opens at 1:00 p.m. (During this holiday season, Silver Dollar City is closed on Monday and Tuesday - except December 18 - and on the first two Wednesdays in November.)
3. Branson’s Gift of Lights: Another attraction that helps local charitable efforts, including Christian Action Ministries, this all LED lighted drive-through features the 12 Days of Christmas, Noah and the Ark, a Christmas Forest, and so much more! Kids can visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, and are welcome to take free selfies with Santa. Hot chocolate is available with all proceeds benefiting K-Life.
Location: North of Sight & Sound Theatre where Expressway Lane and Shepherd of the Hills Expressway intersect.
2018 Schedule: November 1 through January 1 from 5:00 p.m. (dusk) to 11:00 p.m.
4. Branson’s Promised Land Zoo: This popular zoo attraction transforms into a Christmas wonderland drive-through! Discover thousands of lights, a living nativity, and Santa with his real reindeer. There’s also a Santa’s Safari VIP Guided Tram Tour available that includes cookies and hot chocolate.
Location: 2751 Shepherd of the Hills Expressway
2018 Schedule: November 1 through December 31 from dusk to 11:00 p.m.
5. VIP Tours - Branson Holiday Lights Tour: This organized tour invites guests aboard their 18-passenger Mercedes Sprinter Coach that’s equipped with 4G mobile and WiFi, with USB outlets at every seat. The tour price includes admission to drive through displays and viewing the historic Adoration Scene atop Mount Branson. The tour will also include a stop along the way for holiday refreshments.
Location: All tours board at Dick Clark’s American Bandstand Theater on Highway 76.
2018 Schedule: November and December - tours take place on Wednesday through Saturday at 5:00 and 8:00 p.m.
Finding Christmas Lights Throughout Branson
Here are places to enjoy Christmas trees and other holiday lights all over town - at no cost! This section includes businesses participating in the Branson Christmas Coalition’s Christmas Tree program:
6. Historic Downtown Branson: You’ll find lots of places dressed in lights for Branson’s extended Christmas season, and many local retailers are participating in the Branson Christmas Coalition’s work to make the town famous for Christmas trees. You’ll find trees inside and out, including at Dick’s 5 & 10, the Branson Convention Center, Branson Petal Pushers Florist, Central Bank of Branson, Branson Centennial Museum, and a new “Mayor’s Tree” that was put up this year in Liberty Plaza. It won’t cost a thing to see all of these beautiful Christmas trees!
Location: Historic Downtown Branson - East of Highway 65 - accessed via Highway 248/Branson Landing Boulevard or West Highway 76
2018 Schedule: Outside trees can be viewed throughout the evening; inside displays depend upon each business’s operating hours.
7. Theater & Attraction Exteriors: There are many Branson theaters, attractions, and other businesses that dress up their buildings and street-front greenspaces for the Christmas season - these include: Dolly Parton’s Stampede, Branson Ferris Wheel, Clarion Hotel, Titanic Museum Attraction, Presleys’ Family Theatre, the Butterfly Palace & Rainforest Adventure, Chateau on the Lake Resort, Spa & Convention Center, and the Andy Williams Performing Arts Center & Theatre. Grand Country Resort on Highway 76 really goes above and beyond - inside and out - with Christmas cheer - the lights are incredible!
Location: You’ll find many of these holidays light displays while cruising down Highway 76, as well as Shepherd of the Hills Expressway. The Chateau is located on Highway 265, just a few minutes from 76 and right on Table Rock Lake.
2018 Schedule: Outside trees can be viewed throughout the evening from approximately November 1 through December 31.
8. Branson Landing: In addition to the gorgeously lit trees, their beautiful silver reindeer, and other twinkling lights you see everywhere you look, the Landing is host to Christian Action Ministries’ (CAM) inaugural Branson Festival of Trees, an exciting Christmas Tree & Wreath Exhibition! With proceeds benefiting CAM, a local charitable organization that operates a food pantry and a mobile food outreach program, the Festival will exhibit and sell trees and wreaths, have opportunities for kids to enjoy milk and cookies with Santa, go out caroling, and more. It’s a good time for a good cause - and isn’t that what Christmas is really all about? Admission is free, but there are opportunities to make purchases and help CAM.
Location: Suite 219 in Branson Landing - 100 Branson Landing Boulevard in Historic Downtown Branson (location above.) The suite is right across from H&M.
2018 Schedule: November 10 through December 9
9. Grand Village Shops: This beautiful shopping area has a festive English village atmosphere year-round, but at Christmas time, it literally glows everywhere you turn! They’ve added two large decorated trees along the meandering cobblestone walkways, and they’re home to a huge Christmas store that’s open throughout the year. Strolling and window-shopping is free, of course, but we encourage you to bring your wallet - you’ll find things in the Grand Village that you won’t be able to resist!
Location: 2800 West Highway 76
2018 Schedule: Most stores are open from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
10. Adoration Parade: Branson will hold its 70th annual Adoration Parade - this legendary event is the largest non-commercial parade in the country, and maintains a theme of “Keeping Christ in Christmas” year after year. Dozens of floats, school marching bands, automobiles, and more will make their way through the Historic Downtown Branson district. It’s a parade, so it’s another free opportunity to enjoy holiday cheer, one that reinforces the true reason for the season. It begins with the lighting of the huge nativity (Adoration) scene atop Mount Branson just above Branson Landing.
Location: Historic Downtown Branson
2018 Schedule: Sunday, December 2 from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
11. Random Sights of Glitter, Glow, & Holiday Ho Ho Ho! You’ll find a huge tree - the Branson Tree of Light (sponsored by the City) on display in the center of the Branson Landing Boulevard roundabout by Cox Medical Center. There’s also a huge live tree in a nearby neighborhood that gets decorated with lights each year. (Hint: a great viewing area for these trees is right behind the CVS Pharmacy and Casey’s Convenience Store at Highways 76 at 65.) There’s a nativity in lights you can easily see from Highway 76 where it passes over Highway 65 - it sits on open greenspace along the exit ramp on the southwest corner. You’ll find decorated trees and other lights in front of CiCi’s Pizza, Tanger Outlets, White Water, Great American Steak & Chicken, Fritz’s Adventure, Pasghetti’s, and even more, all along The Strip - Highway 76.
If you follow our posts, you’ll see that we just can’t say enough about Branson for the holidays! We encourage you to discover just how much fun “coming home” for Christmas can be, especially when you adopt Branson, Missouri as your holiday home! (If you need a little more incentive, check this out: Christmas in Branson 2018 - 20 Entertaining Reasons to Come Back “Home” for the Holidays!)