If you’re looking for a getaway for the holidays, look no further than Christmas in Branson for some of the best shows and attractions in the Midwest.
The holidays are just around the corner, which means it’s a great time to start planning a Christmas getaway.
One Midwest destination which may surprise you with Christmas options is Branson Missouri, also known as America’s Christmas Tree City.
With average temperatures slightly warmer than Midwest destinations along the Great Lakes, plus endless entertainment options for the whole family, you should definitely take a second look at the “Las Vegas” of Missouri.
Celebrating Christmas in Branson with the Best Attractions and Shows
Here is a sample of some of the best Christmas attractions and shows that you’ll find in Branson, Missouri this year.
Christmas Tree Spotting
It won’t take long for you to realize why Branson is called “America’s Christmas Tree City.”
Each holiday season, local businesses and attractions erect over 700 Christmas trees throughout the city.
Luckily, Explore Branson has put together a comprehensive guide to the most popular trees, making it easy for you to plan your own Christmas tree tour!
Crossing several trees off your “list” makes for a fun scavenger hunt if you’re visiting Branson with family or friends!
Ride the Branson Polar Express
No matter when you visit Branson, the Branson Scenic Railway is a great way to spend an afternoon.
If you visit during the holidays, though, this adventure transforms into a trip to the North Pole. Choose from Coach or Premium Seating, and enjoy hot chocolate and cookies along the way. A narrator reads from “The Polar Express” while Santa Claus and Christmas carolers join the tour handing out gifts.
The whole thing is just over one hour, making it easy to squeeze into your Branson Christmas itinerary.
Visit Silver Dollar City
One of the best things to do in Branson is to visit the Silver Dollar City theme park.
The Christmas season is no exception, as Silver Dollar City goes all out for the holidays! They have been named by USA Today as one of America’s Best Holiday Event for several years, thanks in part to over six million Christmas lights! “An Old Time Christmas” runs through November and December, with a nightly parade featuring Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.
Live performances also cater to Christmas crowds, with Broadway-style shows and family features each day. To round out your Branson holiday experience, Silver Dollar City offers three different holiday buffets, plus fun seasonal treats like hot chocolate and candied apples at various locations throughout the park.
There are also dozens of unique shops where you can get a head start on your Christmas shopping. With so many holiday activities at Silver Dollar City, you may find yourself visiting multiple times during your stay in Branson.
Christmas Day Brunch
Many local hotels and restaurants offer a special Christmas day or Christmas Eve brunch so you can enjoy traditional holiday food without the hassle of cooking and cleanup. Some of the most popular restaurants fill up quickly, so it’s not too early to start exploring your options and making reservations!
See a list of Branson Christmas brunch options here.
Drive-Through Holiday Lights in Branson
A fun family tradition is to find the drive-through holiday light displays, and Branson has three of them to explore!
These are a great way to experience the magic of Christmas lights from the warmth of your vehicle. Promised Land Zoo has a two-mile light display, plus a herd of reindeer available for photo opportunities. The “Lights of Joy” display has more than 300 Christmas scenes with over one million LED lights over the course of a 1.2-mile drive. At Shephard of the Hills Homestead, see the drive-through display rated in the top 5 by the Travel Channel.
Get more info on hours and prices here.
Branson Christmas Shows
Branson is known for an expansive roster of live performances and stage shows, so of course, there are tons of special holiday performances scheduled for the Christmas season.
One of the most popular Christmas shows is the Miracle of Christmas performed at the Sight and Sound Theatre, which has been running for several years.
Other popular Christmas shows include Dolly Parton’s Stampede Christmas Dinner & Show, Showboat Branson Belle Dinner Cruise, and Andy Williams Ozark Mountain Christmas Show.
Other performances mix a bit of Christmas spirit into regular performances, and of course, many popular Branson shows run regular performances throughout the holiday season. For a full list of Branson Christmas shows, click here.
Visit Branson Landing
Winter Wonderlanding at Branson Landing kicks off in early November, transforming this shopping and entertainment district into a holiday wonderland.
Holiday decorations and a 50-foot Christmas tree help visitors get into the Christmas spirit, while Santa sets up shop for photos and visits.
Check the Branson Landing website for specific holiday events, such as a turkey trot and Black Friday sales.
Shop at Kringle’s Christmas Shop
You can’t visit Branson without visiting the largest Christmas store in the whole state of Missouri!
Kringle’s brings the Christmas spirit to Branson year-round, so you can browse over 9,000 square feet of Christmas goodness any time of year, but of course, it’s extra special at the holidays! There are over 100 different Christmas trees on display, and a huge assortment of collectibles to buy.
If you have a collector on your Christmas list, make sure you spend some time at Kringle’s Christmas Shop!
Visit Santa Claus
Chances are, you’ll see Santa more than a few times during your holiday visit to Branson, but if you want to ensure some one-on-one time with Kris Kringle, there are plenty of opportunities.
Most of the activities previously mentioned will have Santa sightings, as well as Bass Pro Shops at Branson Landing, and Branson IMAX.
There are also several opportunities to have breakfast with Santa, including the Branson RecPlex, Chateau on the Lake, and Grand Country Buffet.
Having breakfast with Santa is not so different from Disney character breakfasts, so make sure you get your reservations early to ensure a spot at the table!
Have you been to Branson over Christmas? What holiday activities do you suggest?
Are you planning to visit during warmer weather? Check out: Fun things to do in Branson, Missouri