Christmas in Branson Missouri: 20 Most Festive Things to Do

Nothing compares to an Ozark Mountain Christmas. Twinkling lights, loads of live shows, and Christmas shops that will have you swear you’ve been whisked away to the North Pole.

Can’t wait another minute to celebrate this tender time of year? Read on to discover the 20 best things to do in Branson Missouri during Christmas.

A Branson Missouri Christmas is sure to warm even the grinchiest of hearts. From wintery festivals to an illuminated Branson Ferris Wheel and towering evergreens, it’s no wonder Branson has earned the nickname of ‘America’s Christmas Tree City.’

Visitors from all over flock to this unpretentious, rustic destination nestled between Table Rock Lake and Lake Taneycomo.

Whether you want to sing along to classic Christmas carols or learn about the miracle at Bethlehem, Branson, Missouri at Christmas is a gift to us all.

Ozarks During December

Baby, it’s cold outside! While we can’t promise balmy temperatures come December, there are enough indoor things to do in Ozark, MO, to keep you busy for days. December averages high temperatures of 45 degrees with lows of 26.

Those expecting a White Christmas in the Ozark Mountains in Branson Missouri may get lucky. Still, overall this midwestern metropolis rarely receives more than two inches of snowfall at a time. From ice skating to riveting dinner theater shows, there are lots to uncover. For the full scoop on filling your itinerary, check out our guide to Branson MO in the Winter here.

Not visiting in December? No worries! For some non-Santa-themed activities check out more things to do in Ozark MO here.

Christmas in Branson Hotels

Calling Dasher, Donner, Prancer, and Vixen! Before planning your reindeer games, you’ll need to secure your Christmas Branson Missouri lodgings. With oodles of entertainment and an abundance of festive cheer, there’s no way to stay in Branson Missouri for just Christmas day. Spread the love of Christmas in the Ozarks far and wide when you spend a night or three in Branson Missouri.

Searching for a luxurious lake lodge for a family of six? Perhaps a more quaint cabin for a romantic getaway is more your style? Either way, we provide endless Branson Hotels & Lodging options. So plan your yuletide getaway worry-free, knowing you have our lowest rate guarantee.

wintery exterior view of big cedar lodge in branson missouri
Big Cedar Lodge. Image credit: Branson Convention and Visitors Bureau

Things to Do in Branson During Christmas

Branson Missouri Christmas Shows

This midwest town is synonymous with live shows, therefore, the Christmas season here means an explosion of concerts, musicals, and dramatic performances. Visitors of all ages will enjoy everything from dinner theater to live tribute shows, all enacted with a unique holiday twist.

Learn about the Miracle of Christ, or let loose on an authentic river showboat. However, you celebrate, kick off your Ozark Christmas on a high note:

Hughes Brothers Christmas Show – Branson, MO

Hear ye, hear ye! Gather round for a magical musical performance that will take you back in time to teach you about the traditions and symbols of this treasured season. 

The Hughes Brothers Christmas Show is continually awarded as one of the best in Branson, and it’s no secret why. The four Hughes Brothers and their families deliver:

  • lulling vocal harmonies
  • exciting dances
  • inspiring instrumentals that make even the surliest elves smile

Theatergoers will be wholly charmed as the brothers explain the ‘reason for this joyous season through the most moving Christmas presentation of all. 

So keep your eyes glued to the stage not to miss a moment of:

  • Festive surprises and thematic costumes
  • A living nativity scene
  • Visits from a real-life Santa!

Pro Tip: Depending on your choice of ticket, you can choose to enjoy a holiday dinner before the show.

Hughes Brothers performing their Christmas show in Branson, Missouri, USAGatlin Brothers Christmas Show – Branson, MO

Why settle for one brother when you can have all three? Immerse yourself in the razzle-dazzle of the silver-tongued Gatlin Brothers this holiday. The Gatlin Brothers Christmas Show is a love letter to all things merry and bright. Take your seat at the Mansion Theater, and allow the sweet melodies of Winter Wonderland, White Christmas, and Do You Hear What I Hear? to raise your spirits.

Larry, Steve, and Rudy are a Grammy Award-winning trio best known for national hits such as ‘Broken Lady’ and ‘Houston.’ However, this incredibly talented family pulls out all the stops for their country and Christmas concert. A family-friendly affair, the Gatlin men, utilize their expert-level crooning to create unforgettable Yuletide memories.

Clap along to old standbys and contemporary Christian songs as you revel in their 60 years of show business experience. For a convenient pre-show, check out nearby eateries such as Tequilas 2 Mexican Restaurant and Vaskin’s Deli.

Showboat Branson Belle

Anchors away! Inject your Branson getaway with some aquatic reverie when you soak in a traditional Christmas show on the Showboat Branson Belle. Climb aboard this majestic vessel, modeled after the 1800s showboats of yesteryear, and cruise full speed into the holiday season.

Moan over mouthfuls of pot roast and fresh buttered rolls as you train your eyes on the dexterous feet of the Showboat dancers. Rejoice in soaring ballads and Christmas tunes belted out by five-star entertainers, all backed by a live four-piece band. Then, fill up that belly with plenty of ooey gooey Butter Cake, or opt for the Captain’s Premium menu to feast on dry-aged Rib Eye.

Elves of all ages will be spellbound by the magic and comedy of the Showboat’s master of ceremonies. Cinephiles will recognize and relive great soundtrack movie moments aboard the ship. Have that phone or camera at the ready, as you’ll need to capture the searing vistas of Table Rock Lake.

Showboat Branson Belle – Santa’s Pancakes and PJs Cruise

On the hunt for a very merry family-friendly Showboat Branson Belle experience? Prime yourself for a morning of PJ snuggles and selfies with Santa when you set sail on the Showboat Branson Belle – Santa’s Pancakes and PJs Cruise.

This weekend-only December adventure lets you interact and mingle with Santa, his helpers, the North Pole Toy Soldier, and a gaggle of Holiday Sugar Plum Fairies. Harness that holiday spirit as you revel in a cozy breakfast of pancakes, syrup, sausage, and bacon.

Keep the yuletide charm flowing as you continue with story time, a Sing-along, and a festive stage show featuring music, dance, comedy, and more. Little ones can even rock a festive face-painted design, and receive a special gift from the Captain.

exterior view of the Showboat Branson Belle on Table Rock Lake in Branson, Missouri, USA

Sanders Family Christmas Gospel Music Comedy – Branson, MO

Got a hankering for some down-home fun with a side of heavenly gospel? The Sanders Family Christmas Gospel Music Comedy is a hilarious way to let loose this Christmas. Smokey mountain hijinks, antics, and holiday tradition collide in this rollicking laugh-out-loud musical comedy spectacular. 

Join your hosts, the Sanders family, as they prepare to send their only son off to the Marines on Christmas day, circa 1941. This family of singers, dancers, and jokesters promises to keep you entertained. So sit back and enjoy as they regale you with holiday hymns and classic carols at their annual Christmas celebration.

Pro Tip: If you’re feeling hungry, try grabbing a bite to eat at McFarlain’s Family Restaurant before curtain call.

Christmas Wonderland – Branson, MO

High-kicking chorus girls, candy-striped costumes, and a magic sleigh ride make Christmas Wonderland a can’t-miss theatrical production.

Christmas Wonderland is one of Branson’s largest yuletide productions. This show is a feast for the eyes and ears, from lavish sets to elaborate dance numbers and festive costumes. 

Traditionalists will be delighted to hear classic Christmas numbers like White Christmas, Jingle Bells, and Silent Night. Meanwhile, dance lovers will gasp in awe as they witness chorus kicks that go as high as Santa’s sleigh!

Pro Tip: Be on the lookout for the big man in red himself, who always makes an appearance towards the show’s epic finale!

performers on stage in costume at Branson Christmas Wonderland Show in Branson, Missouri, USA
photo credit: King’s Castle Theatre via Facebook

A Shepherd’s Christmas Carol Dinner Show – Branson, MO

The classic tale you know and love with a distinctly Ozark twist! A Shepherd’s Christmas Carol Dinner Show shines a light on the timeless themes of kindness and Christmas spirit through this wholly original production. 

Veterans of the Christmas Carol will find themselves swept up in the excitement, hilarity, and frivolity of this retelling featuring the characters from the famed Shepherd of the Hills play. 

This play is based on the best-selling novel by Harold Bell Wright. The Shepherd characters attempt to use their hillfolk charm and merriment to remind the incorrigible Ollie Stewart of the true meaning of Christmas. 

Come hungry. Audience members will feast upon a traditional Holiday spread complete with turkey, mashed potatoes, cornbread, and pumpkin pie.

Two male actors with mistletoe in the Shepherd's Christmas Carol Dinner Show in Branson, Missouri, USADolly Parton’s Stampede – Branson, MO

An explosion of color, creativity, and festive fun, Christmas at Dolly Parton’s Stampede is as joyous as the queen of country music herself. Saddle on up and prepare for a night of mesmerizing Christmas entertainment and excitement.

This live holiday extravaganza features: 

  • Incredible equestrian acts with 32 horses
  • A fairy tale worthy trip to the North Pole to witness their clashing rivalry with the South Pole
  • Live nativity scene featuring real camels
  • An appearance from Mr. Claus himself!
  • A mouthwatering four-course holiday feast with BBQ pork loin and whole-roasted rotisserie chicken

Miracle of Christmas

A timeless tale of three wise men, shepherds, and camels. Understand the season’s true meaning when you witness the transcendent production of the Miracle of Christmas. The Lord may work in mysterious ways, but there’s no mystery to the genius of this brilliantly mounted Sight and Sound Theatre opus.

Brace yourself for the story of Christ as told through state-of-the-art visual effects, broadway worthy scenery, and opulent costumes. Travel with Mary and Joseph as they make their way to Bethlehem through the grace of strangers. Gaze in awe at the live camels, high-definition LED screens, and falling snow.

Sing along to a completely original soundtrack, and watch as the angels aid our newborn Messiah. From Roman Soldiers on horseback to Mary in the manger, this 2.5-hour opus is not to be missed.

performers in angel costumes on stage with colorful lights and smoke for Miracle of Christmas production at Sight and Sound Branson Theatre in Branson, Missouri, USA
photo credit: Sight & Sound Theatres – Branson, MO via Facebook

A Brett Family Christmas – Branson, MO

Brrr, looking to banish that winter chill with a healthy serving of holiday fun and heartwarming patriotism? 

One of Branson’s premier Christmas productions, A Brett Family Christmas, is a knockout musical event that will delight audience members of all ages. 

Get to know the Brett Family through their sweet vocal stylings, dynamic dancing, slapstick comedy, and tender spirit. Wildly popular, this show sells out every season, so snap up your tickets before they’re gone.

Pro Tip: Bring your tissues! The mini play within the show, “I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” is a touching tribute to our veterans that is sure not to leave a dry eye in the house!

SIX Christmas – Branson, MO

Innovation, creativity, and unparalleled vocal talent collide in this stirring musical concert. SIX Christmas has continually been named ‘Best Show of the Year’ and promises to take your breath away with its unique ‘orchestra of human voices.’ 

This real-life group of brothers harnesses their musical showmanship and acapella talent to forge a ‘vocal band’ that is nothing like you have ever heard. 

Let the energy, enthusiasm, and holly, jolly comedy of the SIX wash over you as you experience:

  • Classic and contemporary hits performed acapella
  • Family-friendly comedy
  • High-octane fun!

Cassandre Voice of an Angel Christmas Spectacular – Branson, MO

Can someone let heaven know they are missing an angel? Cassandre’s stunning voice is next to godliness. The combination of her and her husband’s performance in Cassandre Voice of an Angel Christmas Spectacular is simply otherworldly. 

These veteran 30-year performers have delighted audiences for decades with unmatched vocals and musical prowess.

Prime yourself for a night of musical variety as they take on pop hits, gospel, broadway, country, and Christmas music. Dancers, dazzling costume changes, and additional musical soloists will leave you spellbound with holiday wonder. In addition, Cassandre’s wacky Aunt Erma will leave you in side-splitting stitches with her comedy and dancing.

Pro Tip: Want your holiday buddy to go for free? Right now, Cassandre Voice of an Angel Christmas Spectacular has a BOGO deal!

Cassandre performing at her Voice of an Angel Christmas Spectacular in Branson, Missouri, USAThe Polar Express Train Ride

All aboard! Listen up, and you can still hear the sweet ringing of silver jingle bells in the distance. Go beyond the page, and become part of your favorite Christmas children’s story when you travel to the North Pole via the Branson Scenic Railway.

The Polar Express Train Ride provides a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to relive the magic of this internationally beloved tale. Adults and children alike are encouraged to don their most festive pajamas as they set forth on a journey to collect Santa Claus.

Passengers will snack on creamy hot chocolate and tasty cookies as they are serenaded by carolers and receive visits from the Hobo and Santa. This vintage train ride will last for just over an hour and includes a special gift from St. Nick.

Branson Attractions Christmas and Christmas Light Displays

Branson Holiday Lights Tour – Branson, MO

Pull on your ugliest Christmas sweater and prepare for an evening of nonstop illumination. 

The Branson Holiday Lights Tour is a luxurious, upscale light tour that pledges to impress. Soak in the sparkling lights of the season from the comfort of a Mercedes Benz Sprinter coach on this intimate group tour. 

Your tour will take you through two of Branson’s most eye-catching holiday displays. During this trip, you’ll enjoy a stop at Branson Landing for a look at the enchanted Branson’s lighted Nativity, seemingly suspended above Lake Taneycomo. 

After you hear the history of this festive icon, your tour will conclude with a scrumptious hot chocolate (or wine) nightcap at the historic Branson Hotel. Plus, you’ll receive a famous treat from the Backstage Cafe.

Close up of girl with Santa and a reindeer at Branson Let There Be Lights Drive Thru in Branson, Missouri, USA
photo credit: Let There Be Lights – Drive Thru Christmas Display via Facebook

Trail of Lights – Branson, MO

November 2 – January 7, 2024

Still not tired of sparkling lights and illuminated snowmen? Take time to have some cocoa for a good cause, and celebrate over 30 years as Branson’s longest-running light drive-through! Treat your eyes to glowing Wisemen, blinking evergreen trees, and adorable gingerbread house creations as you cruise through 160 acres of the Shepherd of the Hills Homestead.

This year Trail of Lights visitors can revel in the multi-colored lights while aiding others. Join Cocoa for a Cause, and warm your bones and your spirit, knowing 100% of your donation will go to a local charity. visit to Branson is complete without some retail therapy and taking in the riveting Branson Fountain show. For the official Branson landing light show times, click here.

Branson Let There Be Lights Drive-Thru – Branson, MO

When: November – December 31*

Oh, what fun it is to ride in (your own) sleigh! For a self-contained Christmas-themed safari and kid-friendly activities, you must head to the Branson Zoo.

Kids of all ages will be jumping for joy to partake in Santa’s VIP Safari. This drive-through light display extravaganza lets you and your family go at your own pace. Buckle in and get ready to enjoy some of the best holiday light displays in Branson.

The Santa’s VIP Safari admission includes:

  • A guided 45-minute tour of the lights and animals with one of Santa’s little helpers
  • Full Access to the Christmas Candyland Village
  • Cup of hot cocoa and small popcorn
  • Access to Animal Adventure Building with incredible exhibits
  • Meeting Santa (photo packages available)

*holiday dates are awaiting confirmation

Trail of Lights Christmas Display in Branson MissouriFestivals, Theme Parks, and Outdoor Fun

An Old Time Christmas Festival, Silver Dollar City Theme Park

 When: November 4 – December 30

Everyone’s favorite Branson theme park is back with its award-winning Christmas celebration, An Old Time Christmas Festival.

Feel yourself transported to a simpler time as the glow of 6.5 million lights brightens the sky and the sweet smell of caramel apples seduces you during this holiday season.

Besides the staple Silver Dollar City rides, attractions, and artisans you know and love, festival attendees will be in holly jolly heaven as they enjoy:

  • The debut of Coming Home For Christmas, a brand new Broadway-style Show
  • A Dickens Christmas Carol with an all-new musical score and Frontier Fa-La-La Follies
  • 1.5 million lights in the Christmas in Midtown light spectacular
  • Festive-themed eats and treats like wassail, caramel apples, and hot chocolate
  • Santa’s cottage, complete with worker elves and plenty of photos ops
  • Over 60 unique retail and boutique shops – perfect for all your Christmas shopping needs!

Home for Christmas, Silver Dollar City – Branson, MO

Nothing warms a winter-chilled heart like a live musical show during the holidays! Hence, Silver Dollar City is cranking out the Christmas spirit with its Broadway-style Holiday spectacular, Coming Home for Christmas.

This dynamic 45-minute musical show features a dazzling cast of 14 singers and dancers, a live four-piece band, and over 18 songs.

Immerse yourself in a world of holiday cheer as you witness five celebratory Christmas scenes.

Time Traveler entrance at Silver Dollar City decorated for Christmas - Branson, Missouri, USA
Photo Credit: Silver Dollar City via Facebook

Holidays on Ice, Ice Skating at the Wheel – Branson, MO

When: Mid-November – January 2024*

Sharpen those skates, and channel your inner figure skater as you prime yourself for a day of wintery fun at Holidays on Ice. Seasoned skating pros and novices will be whizzing around the 7,200 sq foot real ice rink, enjoying the heavenly glow of the holiday lights and the massive Ferris Wheel. 

Caught a bit of a winter chill? Then you’re in luck! There are three large wood-burning fire pits conveniently located around the rink to help you warm up. 

Pro Tip: Your general admission ticket includes unlimited skating and the rental of one pair of high-quality hockey skates. So we highly recommend bringing along some long, thick, comfy socks to protect those tootsies!

*Holiday dates for this season are awaiting confirmation.

Branson Area Attractions

Need a few more Ozark Mountain outdoor activities to round out your yule-tide itinerary? Check out some of our favorites below.

Dogwood Canyon Nature Park

Don’t mind a short drive? Then, load up the family and cruise over to Dogwood Canyon Nature Park for the ultimate autumnal experience.

Related Post: Insider’s Guide to Dogwood Canyon Nature Park

Wander through 10,000 acres of lush Ozark Mountain landscape, all accented by the brilliant hues of fall. From flowing waterfalls to ancient burial caves, and miles of hiking trails, there are countless attractions to uncover.

Choose to explore the park via bike, horse, or foot. After a few hours of exhilaration, take a break to refuel at the picturesque Dogwood Canyon’s Mill and Canyon Grill Restaurant. Sample local favorites such as elk burgers and trout cake BLTs as you overlook the cascading 120-foot waterfall and Little Indian Creek. 

Wide shot of a creek surrounded by snowy trees in Dogwood Canyon in Branson, Missouri, USA
photo credit: Dogwood Canyon via Facebook

Copperhead Mountain Coaster

Inject some awesome into your fall plans when you take in the scenery via coaster. The Copperhead Mountain Coaster puts you in the middle of nature’s bounty. Witness verdant forests, Ozark mountains, and more as you snake through over 3,350 feet of track.

Copperhead is Branson’s longest downhill Mountain Coaster and contains countless stomach-churning drops, loops, and dips. Visit day or night, as this nearly mile-long coaster, is open and illuminated until 10 p.m.

Branson Golf Courses

Golfing may not be what comes to mind when you think of Branson winter activities, but thanks to not-too-frosty weather, most courses here stay open year-round. Relish the serene solitude of playing 18 holes in the shadow of Table Rock Lake when you reserve a tee time at any of the following clubs:

  • Thousand Hills Resort & Golf Club
  • Johnny Morris’ Top of the Rock
  • Branson Hills Golf Club
  • Ozark National

silhouette of golfer on course at sunsetSweet Escapes

Dreaming of piping cups of hot cocoa, spicy gingerbread men, and sugar plums? If so, there’s nothing sweeter than a holiday treat or two. So brave the snow and settle in for some deliciousness at our favorite Branson bakeries and cafes.

Sugar Leaf Bakery & Cafe – Branson, MO

Your source for everything nice (and maybe a bit naughty), Sugar Leaf Bakery & Cafe, brings out the holiday spirit in spades! 

Ready to indulge your sweet tooth? If so, dive into their signature velvety hot chocolate, complete with a torched marshmallow. 

But for a really unique beverage option, why not sample one of their special holiday latte flavors like the Buddy (peppermint and bubblegum frappe) or Claus’ Cookie (peppermint, brown butter, and toasted marshmallow latte)? 

Pro Tip: Feeling peckish? Don’t forget to pick up their (almost too cute to eat) snowman or snowflake sugar cookies.

gingerbread man coming out of the door of his gingerbread house with a gingerbread bunny, sleigh, and tree all on white icing.Expresso Branson – Branson, MO

Need your hot cocoa fix to go? Your first step is to cruise on through to the delectably caffeinated Expresso Branson coffee on the go. Conveniently located on 76, Expresso is the ideal spot to refuel with its festive Christmas-themed menu.

After that, load up on such favorites as ‘St. Nick’s Strudel, Elsa’s Frozen Hot Chocolate Frappe, or a Gingerbread Macchiato. 


Missouri may be the ‘Show Me State,’ and Branson shows off more than anyone for the holiday season. As soon as the leaves turn, this mountain paradise is saturated with awe-inspiring lights, yummy treats, and over-the-top Yuletide productions.

Christmas in Branson Missouri means family. Broods of all shapes and sizes will discover untold treasures as they take in the harmonies of the Hughes Brothers or sample every variety of hot chocolate.
Ready to commit to Christmas in Branson? Start planning your Holiday getaway today!

What Things to Do in Branson at Christmas Did We Miss?

Tell us, will you be in Branson Missouri for Christmas this year?
Leave a comment below!

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Written by Isis Maya Nissman

A New York native, Isis-Maya spent most of her professional life working in TV production until a vacation whisked her away to Central...

3 comments about “Christmas in Branson Missouri: 20 Most Festive Things to Do”


November 16, 2021 at 3:29 pm

We just went to Branson and had a wonderful time. One thing you missed was the show “Jesus”. It was definitely the best show that we saw. The sets and special effects were spectacular. It is not necessarily a Christmas show but what better way to celebrate Christmas than to see the story of the man Christmas is all about. 🙂


November 16, 2021 at 3:37 pm

Lori, great recommendation! JESUS is a round-year performance and this article was focused mostly on limited-time seasonal events and shows. However, you are right and JESUS is a fantastic production to see this time of year. We have updated the article to include the production. Thanks for the feedback!


October 10, 2022 at 7:59 am

The Sight and Sound Theater has rotated the Jesus show and has a new holiday show kicking off soon.

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