NOTE: This post has been updated to reflect Christmas at Silver Dollar City 2015.
I don’t know about you, but every time Christmas rolls around, I get the urge to meander through an 1880s Ozarkian town, sipping wassail, marveling at the glittering trees, and jumping on roller coasters. No? You don’t feel the same? Well believe me, after you experience Christmas at Silver Dollar City, you’ll wonder why you don’t take a step back in time every Christmas season.
Nestled into the hills of Branson, Missouri, Silver Dollar City is an 1880s-set theme park. Although you can enjoy the park’s roller coasters, craftsman demonstrations, and delicious food nearly year-round, one of the best times to go is during their Old Time Christmas celebration, which kicks off in early November and can be enjoyed until December 30. With wild rides for the thrill seekers, handcrafted gifts for the shoppers, and lively shows for the theatergoers, your entire family is sure to enjoy this Branson treasure. Still not convinced? Read on to discover how much you can do and see during Christmas at Silver Dollar City.
Christmas at Silver Dollar City
If you want to feel the wind in your hair and butterflies in your stomach, head on over to Outlaw Run or Powder Keg, two of the biggest and fastest roller coasters around. In fact, Outlaw Run, built in 2013, is the second fastest wooden roller coaster in the country! If you’d prefer something milder, check out the Flooded Mine, Grandfather’s Mansion, or Marvel Cave. The cave first entertained visitors in the late 1880s, but it’s just as interesting and awe-inspiring today. And if you have little ones in tow, check out the Grand Exposition and Fireman’s Landing (which opened in spring 2015). Both of these quaint, themed areas of the park have plenty of small rides for children.
There are over 30 rides and attractions at Silver Dollar City—some fast and exciting, others pleasant and mild—so you’re sure to find something for everyone. However, be aware that some of the larger rides do close down for inclement weather, which is more common in the colder months.
There are numerous food vendors at Silver Dollar City with cuisine ranging from traditional 1880s Ozarkian fare to pizzerias and sandwich shops. If you want a hearty sit-down meal, try the prime rib buffet or pick up a bowl of hot chili or a potato skillet. If you’d rather explore the park as you eat, grab a pretzel or a cup of hot wassail. There are also plenty of options to satisfy your sweet tooth: s’mores, hot apple dumplings, peanut brittle, saltwater taffy, or even a warm cinnamon roll from the bakery.
Did you know that your admission ticket allows you to enjoy several entertaining shows within the park for free? In addition to two Broadway-style shows—A Dickens’ Christmas Carol and It’s a Wonderful Life—the park hosts the faith-based Living Nativity. Each show features a talented cast of actors and singers as well as elaborate costumes and sets. Whether you’re in the mood for a jolly holiday production or you simply want to warm up after a chilly night in the park, be sure to check out one (or more) of these festive shows.
Christmas at Silver Dollar City is an all-out holiday celebration. There are over five million lights setting the park aglow and you can take your kids to visit Santa in his workshop on Santa Claus Lane. Twice each night, a glowing holiday parade—Rudolph’s Holly Jolly Christmas Light Parade—weaves its way through the central streets, and a 5-story Christmas tree sparkles in a grand light show. In addition to the wonderful shows listed above, be sure to stop by one of the stages where performers sing and dance to holiday songs, such as Christmas on the Bayou and Holiday Hearthside Harmonies. Finally, at Rudolph’s Christmas Town you can meet your favorite classic characters like Rudolph, Bumble the Abominable Snow Monster, and Clarice!
With over two-dozen unique shops, you’re sure to find something for everyone on your list at Silver Dollar City. Many of the shops include craftsmen demonstrating their art, whether that’s carving wood, sculpting clay, or blowing glass. There are also more modern stores selling women’s fashions, kitchen supplies, and toys, amongst other things. The largest of the shops is Jingle Bell Junction, which features 80 decorated Christmas trees and beautiful holiday decor available for purchase, including snow globes, ornaments, tableware, and wreathes.
You and your family will forever cherish a Christmas at Silver Dollar City. The lights, the thrills, the food, the festivities: it’s Branson’s Winter Wonderland!
Are you planning a trip to Branson this Christmas? Instead of booking a stay at a standard hotel, check out Branson Vacation Rentals. Our cabins and cottages are the perfect place to enjoy a fun family trip during the holiday season. Browse our cabins, condos, villas, and cottages, or give us a call at 417-832-9991 to learn more.