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Top Things To Do in Branson at ChristmasNew York, San Francisco, Orlando, Chicago, Las Vegas, Honolulu…and yes, Branson! Branson, Missouri was recently named as one of the top 25 U.S. destinations in the TripAdvisor Traveler’s Choice® Destinations Awards. Branson made the list alongside those other major U.S. cities which were cited as awe-inspiring travel locations based on opinions, comments and reviews of travelers posting on TripAdvisor, one of the world’s largest travel websites. Despite its small size, Branson welcomes millions of visitors to the Missouri Ozarks each year with its unique blend of natural beauty, outdoor recreation, lakes, live entertainment, shopping, dining and attractions. And with the holidays upon us, here are 25 of the top things to do in Branson at Christmas.
1. Silver Dollar CityBranson's biggest attraction for the entire family is Silver Dollar City theme park. This popular park is among the top things to do in Branson at Christmas, and any other time of the year! Modeled after the 1880's Ozarks culture, Silver Dollar City is home to more than 30 thrilling rides and attractions, plus live entertainmen and 60 unique shops and restaurants. Six annual festivals include the park’s Old Time Christmas Festival!
2. Dixie StampedeFamilies will delight in the 32 magnificent horses, a talented cast of trick riders, hilarious racing pigs, a stampede of Longhorn steer, and fabulous four-course feast! Dixie Stampede is a fun-filled adventure for all.
3. Titanic MuseumAlthough Branson has several museums from which to choose, the museum is a fun learning experience. With its bow slicing through water, Titanic soars 100 feet above Hwy 76, stopping traffic. Visitors have expressed this as a "must see" family attraction in Branson. Enjoy this amazing 90-minute, interactive walk through history.
4. Live ShowsBranson has many shows that will captivate the entire family. Noah the Musical is filled with animatronics and live animals. The Acrobats of China will keep the kids entrance with amazing acrobatic feats. And everyone will absolutely love the magic and ventriloquism that is found in the Hamner Barber Show.
5. Ride The DucksExperience sightseeing from a duck's eye view on Branson's only duck tour. Travel on land and water in one amazing vehicle. Tour the heart of the Ozarks and SPLASH into Table Rock Lake and cruise its tranquil beauty.
6. Branson Auto & Farm MuseumThis unique 90,000 square foot building is divided into two areas – one devoted to classic and antique automotive history and one to farming equipment. The museum features more than 100 exciting cars and tractors, and many of them are actually for sale! As a result, the museum inventory changes regularly.
7. Branson Dinosaur MuseumStep back in time a mere 90 million years ago and discover more than 50 life size dinosaur replicas intricately designed from actual dinosaur bones. This museum brings dinosaurs to you – up close and personal – so you can see fascinating exhibits on everything from the T-Rex to a small, four-winged micro-raptor. Enjoy a fossil center and learning area, as well.
8. Promised Land ZooEnjoy exhibits of animal species from around the world, including antelope, zebra, kangaroo, big cars, baboons, spider monkeys, lemurs, deer, prairie dogs, capybara, porcupines and a variety of petting zoo animals. The zoo also features live animal shows, exclusive animal encounters and Parakeet Paradise where you can feed hundreds of birds in a free flight area. www.plzoo.com
9. Branson’s Wide WorldDiscover an amazing world of wildlife from land and sea. An aquarium is loaded with sea creatures such as eels, jellyfish, piranha, colorful reef fish and sharks. Land based creatures include wolves, alligators, singing dogs, lemur, two-toed sloth, pygmy goat, kinkajous, coatimundi, kangaroo, Canadian lynx, arctic fox, and more.
10. Butterfly Palace & Rainforest AdventureExplore this interactive, educational and entertaining adventure featuring more than 1,000 live butterflies, a great banyan tree adventure, the emerald forest mirror maze, the Living Rainforest Science Center and more. www.thebutterflypalace.com
11. Harold Bell Wright MuseumMemories unfold and the imagination abounds at this amazing museum featuring more than 1 million toys! Every day is like Christmas here where you can rediscover the joy of your favorite toys and childhood heroes – from Star Wars and Barbie to pull toys and classic lunch boxes.
12. National Tiger SanctuaryBuilt entirely from private funds, this sanctuary creates a safe and protected environment for a variety of cats from lions and tigers to house cats – all who were in need of a home. Guided tours help ensure the cats have time to rest and remain happy and healthy.
13. Ozark Mountain Christmas Lights & VillageAnother of the top things to do in Branson at Christmas, this special drive-thru Christmas light display also features rides on the North Pole Express train, selfies with Santa, laughs with the Crackling Christmas Chickens, gourmet hot chocolate, photos with Clydesdale horses and a lifetime nativity experience.
14. Shepherd Inspiration TowerBranson’s landmark on the horizon, this massive 230-foot structure is located on inspiration point in the Shepherd of the Hills Homestead. The tower was constructed in 1989 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Harold Bell Wright’s first visit to the area. Glass elevators transport visitors to an enclosed observation deck where you can see for more than 90 miles on a clear day.
15. Trail of LightsLooking for more things to do in Branson at Christmas? Check out the Trail of Lights, an amazing drive thru animation display along a two-mile trail that offers a special holiday theme from start to finish through the 160-acre Shepherd of the Hills Homestead. The journey ends at Inspiration Tower were you’ll enjoy a view of the lights from 230-feet up.
16. Veteran’s Memorial MuseumA list of top things to do in Branson wouldn’t be complete without this national tribute to the brave men and women who have defended American liberties throughout the years. The museum is filled with a collection of wartime exhibits including WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Desert Storm and more.
17. Live ShowsFor more than 50 years, live shows have been a staple of any vacation in Branson, Missouri. Shows in Branson in December include Pierce Arrow, the Magnificent Seven, Sons of Britches, Motown Downtown, Acrobats of China, New Jersey Nights and many more.
18. Shop Branson LandingExperience the best in shopping, dining and entertainment at Branson Landing! Enjoy dozens of stores, a wide range of restaurants and live entertainment. You can also enjoy the attraction’s crown jewel, a scenic boardwalk along the 1.5 mile Lake Taneycomo waterfront. At the center of the Landing is a vibrant square featuring a spectacular fountain and display merging water, fire, light and music, with 120-foot geysers and fire cannons blasting.
19. Talking Rocks CavernThere are plenty of things to do in Branson at Christmas and this is a unique adventure. Enjoy a beautiful landscape of glistening crystals – a spectacular gift of nature. Concrete steps and pathways, creative lighting and more allow for easy access to this cave of wonder. Better yet, the cavern remains a constant and comfortable 63 degrees year-round, so it doesn’t matter what the weather is like above ground.
20. Lakeside Wilderness TrailEnjoy this natural escape with 140 acres of wooded and rugged hill country which showcases the beauty of Branson’s spectacular Ozark Mountains. There are now 4.4 miles of trail winding through upland forest and glades, suitable for even families with small children.
21. Original OutbackHungry? Enjoy an original Australian outback feast featuring gator tail, great steaks and more. The original Outback Steak and Oyster Bar is locally owned and operated and has been serving guests delicious steaks and seafood long before the Outback national chain restaurant came into being.
22. Winery TourWine lovers rejoice. Visitors to Stone Hill Winery are invited to enjoy a guided tour through this huge winery complex to witness the step-by-step wine making process. Soak in the aroma and enjoy a taste of the winery’s finest selection of wines and juices. Then browse through the gift shop.
23. IMAX movieBranson’s IMAX entertainment complex features a wide range of big screen events and live shows. The popular IMAX theater offers an exhilarating and all-encompassing adventure on a screen 6 stories tall and 83-feet wide with 22,000 watts of surround sound! Underwater or high in the sky, IMAX Adventures are sure to have you jumping out of your seat.