Visit Branson For An Ozark Mountain Christmas
Have you ever visited Branson during Christmas? Well, let me tell you, you are in for a serious treat. I was recently invited on a medial trip hosted by #BloggingBranson to participate in many of the amazing Christmas experiences this beautiful town has to offer. I wasn't quite sure what to expect but whatever my expectations were, Branson far exceeded them.
If you are a frequent flyer to Kreative in Life, you probably know that I love Christmas with my whole heart. A town that starts their celebration the first week of November is a town I could certainly call home. Branson is a year round destination but there are many things that make Branson's Ozark Mountain Christmas experience unique and I am thrilled to share them with you!
For any trip, one of the first things you book is where to stay. We were fortunate enough to stay at the Stone Castle Hotel & Conference Center and it did not disappoint. This beautiful hotel boasts 296 rooms which include 30 themed rooms. We stayed in a themed room which provided for a unique experience in itself. When looking at hotel options, here are the features that the Stone Castle boasts that would be important to me when booking my next trip.
- Rooms include a microwave and mini-fridge. With a baby, this is important to us.
- Breakfast is FREE. It's not just a continental breakfast either. It's a full on hot breakfast buffet that is wonderful. I recommend the biscuits and gravy! Also, I was told that after all hotel occupants have breakfast, the hotel then feeds the staff instead of throwing the left overs away. This speaks volumes to me. A business that takes care of its employees will always win my business!
- FREE parking AND internet. Yes, please.
- Outdoor and Indoor heated pool.
- Game room for kids of all ages. Yes, mom and dad, that means you too!
- Amazing customer service. Y'all, I did not walk by one employee the entire five days we stayed there where I wasn't greeted with a, “Good morning!' or “Have a nice day!”
- Branson expertise. Want to know what show to see? They can help you out. Need a dinner recommendation, they know all the things. Hopefully by reading this post, you will have a good idea of what to do when you visit, but it's nice to stay at a hotel that knows their stuff and is willing to be so helpful to make your experience in their town memorable.
Before visiting Branson, I already knew that it was known as the Live Musical Capital of the midwest, if not the world. I love a good musical or live concert so I had high expectations and Branson's reputation precedes itself. These shows feature so much remarkable talent year round but in November and December, they add a Christmas flair that is unlike anything I have ever seen. I love how so many of the shows mix Christmas traditions with the birth of Jesus. Branson is not only full of Christmas spirit but there is an underlying spirit of faith that will move you during every production. The performers are genuine, humble and so incredibly gracious. They heart is to not only entertain you but to share the love of Jesus and for that I was thankful.
It's a family affair, y'all and this family is so entertaining. Clay, his wife, two sons and the rest of the cast are definitely fulfilling their calling on the stage. Clay is one of the funniest performers I have ever seen. He is witty and full of life. We laughed, sang and were completely entertained. This is no short show either (actually no show I saw in Branson was). Prepare for over two hours of merriment. The first half includes the best from their traditional show and the second half is dedicated to Christmas. Joy to the World and Happy Holidays from start to finish! I can certainly see this show over and over again!
While we were in Branson, it was Veterans Week and Branson does Veterans Week big. Every show paid tribute to our amazing veterans and it was a privileged to participate in it. I will post more about that separate experience another day. It truly was life changing.
This show is jaw dropping amazing! The four Hughes brothers have been making beautiful harmony for over 30 years. This dream team boast the title of “World's Largest Performing Family”. Not only are their wives incredibly talented but the show showcases their over 30 children and grandchildren. Their family shares their heart to spread joy and kindness to the world and during the Christmas season, an added bonus with an amazing reflection on the birth of Jesus. It is a show that you do not want to miss!
This show features Branson’s timeless traditions through the performances of Jimmy Osmond and The Lennon Sisters. For 26 seasons, they have dazzled their audiences with their singers, dancers and this year, ice skating routines. Their version of the Nutcracker was AMAZING!
I honestly didn't know what to expect with this experience. I have been on boats like this that didn't move or they did and you just explored during the ride. Not only was the atmosphere beautiful but we had so much fun. The Branson Belle set sail right before sunset which made for many amazing pictures. We were treated to a nice dinner followed by a break to explore. The host of the evening was funny and provided many laughs with magic and audience involvement. I seriously laughed until I cried. After intermission, we watched the live show and it was incredible. Just as other shows, they did more of a traditional show for the first half and a Christmas show for the second half. From start to finish, the show was a delight.
The Baldknobbers have been entertaining audiences since 1959. This family friendly show makes beautiful music, that's for sure. They also include a few “characters” for added laughs, which never hurts. They featured classic and contemporary country music and of course an amazing Christmas grand finale. They will fill you with Christmas JOY before heading back home.
The Haygoods is another family spectacular in Branson that features something a little different. These six siblings are not just incredibly talented vocally but also have amazing musical abilities to play numerous instruments, 20 to be exact. Their show features unbelievable laser lights and special effects that provide for a fascinating experience. Expect jaw dropping numbers that will make your face hurt from smiling so much. It truly is a wonder.
Dolly Parton's Stampede offers a world class dinner and show experience. You will see horses, dancers, Sugar Plum fairies and even ice skaters during these two magical hours. Kids will absolutely love this show! My favorite part was the live Nativity scene. It was heart warming and inspiriting. My heart was overflowing with the Christmas spirit. Y'all, the food. It was so good! Way too much for me to eat in one sitting. You will not leave hungry, that is for sure. Make sure to snap a picture in front of the big tree out front!
I love a good theme park but Silver Dollar City is so much more than just that! First, it is decorated beautifully for Christmas. Grab yourself some wassail and take a ride in their free carriage rides to look around the circle. Make sure you stop and listen to the carolers because they are amazing. They have great rides and attractions (which I always love) but they also offer so much more. It is an artisan's paradise. Watch glass being blown, candy being made or take a cooking class.
If you aren't a ride person, you don't have to be bored in this park! They also feature amazing shows and character experiences. By far, my favorite Branson experience, was night time at Silver Dollar City! They showcased over 6.5 MILLION lights that you can walk through. It is an experience for the senses that you don't want to miss. Make sure you watch the parade and then climb aboard the sing along steam train! I cannot wait to bring my family here!
While in Branson, we experienced several other attractions that are worth mentioning. They aren't necessarily holiday treats but activities I would squeeze in to any family adventure.
Great Places To Eat
Branson hosts so many great places to eat. Today I am sharing the specific places I ate and loved every meal. You can't go wrong with any of these options.
Such a fun atmosphere and amazing food! Make sure to order a meatball and then take a picture in one.
If you are looking for a great burger or steak, look no further!
Also, check out McFarlain's and ask for the special table. You will thank me later! Oh, and don't skip dessert. You will want their cobbler!
Ready to pack yet?
I know I have shared a LOT of information with you and honestly, I could add one hundred more pages to this but you don't have to read that and I don't have time to write that. Ha! Seriously though, I cannot wait to take my family to Branson next year to experience everything they have to offer for Christmas. The town itself is charming and the people are as sweet as can be. I must warn you though, once you go, you will want to come back. I know I can't wait to go again! I've never been to one place the has so much to offer for Christmas. There is something for everyone!
If you are looking for a memory making family experience, girls trip or even a weekend away with your sweetie, then look no further friends. If you have any questions, please feel free to email me. I feel like I could plan a Branson vacation in my sleep now. One more thing, make sure you schedule a big nap when you return home. You will absolutely need it!
Merry Christmas travelers. If you are searching for some Christmas spirit and holiday JOY, Branson is calling your name!
**This was a sponsored media trip but all opinions are my own.