For a great family celebration around Christmas time, look no further than Branson, Missouri. At their theme park, Silver Dollar City, families have gathered together to celebrate the holiday season in a true winter wonderland.
50 years ago, Silver Dollar City was opened to the public. Starting out simply offering cave tours, the owners hired a few people to portray characters. Set back in the late 1890s, these characters entertained the guests waiting in line for the cave tours. Soon after, a town square was opened, and the theme park continued to grow into what it is today.
Silver Dollar City prides itself on providing four million lights throughout the park. Everywhere families walk, reindeer and brightly colored Christmas trees align the streets. With plenty of photo opportunities, memories made during your family’s visit can last a lifetime.
During the day, plenty of specialty shops are open, displaying different crafts. For instance, stop and watch a glass blower in action as he demonstrates how to make vases. Kids and adults alike enjoy decorating candles. With many colored waxes to choose from, guests can safely dip their chosen candle, providing a memento of their trip. Other shops include the candy store, western store and of course, a Christmas store.
If thrill rides are on your Christmas list, Silver Dollar City has many rides open year round, weather permitting. Modern roller coasters are available, as well as an indoor coaster. For the kids, swing over to the Grand Exposition.This area, especially for the little ones, houses ten family rides. Spinning tea cups and flying elephants are huge hits for the little ones.
Many Christmas-themed music shows are also found throughout the park. Probably one of the most popular plays, A Christmas Carol, is located at the Opera House. Based on the book by Charles Dickens, this play has humorous and heart-warming story lines.
Also popular is The Living Nativity. All about the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ, this story details the events that make up our Christmas holiday. Live animals are also included in this production.
Twice an evening is the Gifts of Christmas Holiday Light Parade, that features 100,000 lights. The parade winds around the park, allowing all guests the chance to experience the wonders of the lighted show. Santa, Gingerbread men and Frosty are just a few of the characters included in the parade.
Probably the grandest part of the Christmas celebration is the Christmas tree. Located on the city square, this five-story Christmas tree houses one million lights. Set to many popular holiday songs, such as Carol of the Bells and Joy to the World, the colorful lights dance and twinkle in unison, providing a unique and touching experience.
This is my favorite place to spend the holidays with my daughter. Here are what two national media companies have to say about Silver Dollar City:
CNN.com raves, ” One of the World’s Top Holiday Destinations!
One of the top 5 Holiday Events in the Country! – Good Morning America
For a Christmas vacation that will become your family favorite also, check out Silver Dollar City.