Five Memorable Christmastime Scenes in Downtown Branson

That time of year is here again! Lights are up, Christmas trees are lit, ovens are on and the kids are excited about the Christmas break. In the hustle and bustle of the holidays don’t forget to take a break and check out the festive side of the Ozarks! You’ll be left “simply having a wonderful Christmas time.”

Branson's Polar Express

Take a ride on The Polar Express by Branson Scenic Railway with the family and be reminded of just how wonderful it is to live here. Each trip lasts 1 hour and 15 minutes, approximately and includes a live reading of its namesake book, The Polar Express. Pajamas are encouraged and everyone gets a visit from Santa, after you pick him up first of course! Free hot cocoa and cookies too! Be sure to reserve your premium seats by phone, they sell quickly but you get to keep the Polar Express souvenir mug you enjoy the unlimited hot cocoa in.

Branson Scenic Railway
206 East Main St. Branson, MO


Lazy Magnolia Carriage Rides in Downtown Branson

Take a carriage ride downtown with your favorite person! Being pulled through downtown Branson by Percheron horses right before Christmas is something that’s hard to beat. Chilly out? Take the Starbucks ride and warm up with coffee while you cruise. The Cinderella ride is perfect for a romantic evening or a great birthday party for a princess! With an LED round topped light up carriage the only thing missing is the fairies. Or, for the ultimate Christmas experience, take the Christmas ride through Branson to see all of its best light displays.

Lazy Magnolia Carriage Company
302 Veterans Blvd , Suite #2, Branson, MO


Though downtown and the Branson waterfront district have changed over the years, the Adoration Scene has remained much the same for nearly 70 years (pictured in 1959, source: Missouri State Archives)

Admiring the Branson Adoration Scene is a great way to reflect on the important things during the holidays. A longtime tradition — more than six decades long in fact — the nativity’s lighting every year is something that draws people from all over the area to downtown Branson. First built in 1949 by Joe Todd and Steve Miller, it stands 28 feet tall and overlooks downtown and Lake Taneycomo. After the tornado of winter 2012, the wooden figurines were rebuilt to the exact same specifications as the original. The scene is lit each year on the first Sunday in December with the annual Adoration Parade immediately following.


Winter Wonderlanding at Branson Landing
The Winter Wonderlanding Tree is the largest in downtown.

The Branson Landing is an amazing one stop shop for everything! Restaurants, boutiques, and entertainment all co-mingled together along the 1.5 mile stretch of Lake Taneycomo. But nothing beats the Carol of the Bells. A whopping 120-foot geyser of water, light, music, and magnificence brought to you by the same people who are responsible for the famous Bellagio fountains in Las Vegas. The shows begin at noon each day and end at 10 pm Monday- Saturday and 9 pm on Sunday. This year’s lineup includes Carol Bells, All I Want For Christmas, Living On A Prayer, and Listen To The Music.

Branson Landing
100 Branson Landing Blvd, Branson, MO 65616


Santa's Wonderland at Bass Pro Shops
Children can experience the free Santa’s Wonderland at Bass Pro Shops

Bass Pro Shops has its roots firmly planted right here in the Ozarks, and Christmastime is the time to go see Santa’s Wonderland! You can get a free 4 x 6 studio quality photo with Santa Claus. Whatever you do, don’t forget the crafts and games to be made and played while you’re there! There’s a laser arcade and wildlife carousel too! Pictures are available from 10 am- 8 pm, Monday through Saturday and till 5 pm on Sunday, through December 24th. Come by on Christmas Eve between 12 pm and 5 pm and have fun building a gingerbread house!

Bass Pro Shops
1 Bass Pro Drive, Branson MO 65616

The Ozarks really do have so much to offer during the holidays. From wild water and lights to magic-filled nights on a train, there’s sure to be something for everyone to enjoy.