Take your loved ones on a magical trip to Missouri this holiday season, where festivals and traditions take center stage, and create memories to cherish for years to come. From dazzling lights to family fun, you’ll find plenty to celebrate in the Show-Me State.
If you like big celebrations of the holidays, perhaps there’s no better destination than Branson’s Silver Dollar City, which hosts An Old Time Christmas. From Nov. 5-Dec. 30, 2016, the award-winning theme park will come to life with 5 million lights, 1,000 decorated Christmas trees, two live shows and a light parade – not to mention the outstanding food, thrill rides (weather permitting) and eclectic shops.
St. Charles also does the holidays in a big way with its annual Christmas Traditions festival. From the day after Thanksgiving (Nov. 25, 2016) until Christmas Eve, the streets of this historic city are filled with songs of the season, Santas from around the world and great shopping and dining opportunities. Various events include caroling, Breakfast with Santa, candlelit readings of “The Night Before Christmas,” meeting Santa’s reindeer and, on Christmas Eve, a Santa send-off.
Across the state, in Kansas City, the holiday season begins with the traditional Plaza Lights Lighting Ceremony. Held on Thanksgiving (Nov. 24, 2016) in the popular Country Club Plaza entertainment district, the Plaza lighting includes activities and concerts both before and after the traditional flip of the switch. The Plaza lights illuminate 15 city blocks and are on daily, from 5 p.m. to 3 a.m., through Jan. 15, 2017. Shops in the district offer extended hours during the holidays.
Fun for all ages abounds in the Lake of the Ozarks area during the holiday season. Visit the Enchanted Village of Lights (Nov. 18, 2016, through Jan. 1, 2017) and the annual Lighted Christmas Parade (Nov. 26, 2016) in Laurie. Don’t miss Old Tyme Christmas (Dec. 17, 2016) in Linn Creek and the Lake Ozark Christmas Parade (Dec. 10, 2016) during your holiday travels to the Lake. And, while you’re there, get a little last minute gift shopping done at more than 110 stores at Osage Beach Premium Outlets.
The first weekend in December is a great time for festival fun in Ste. Genevieve, which hosts its 32nd Annual Holiday Christmas Festival from Dec. 3-4, 2016. During the weekend, you’ll enjoy a parade, carolers and carriage rides; have the chance to snap photos with Mr. and Mrs. Claus; listen to any number of free musical programs in the historic district; and shop in stores and art galleries. While you’re in town, don’t miss the chance to visit Ste. Genevieve’s popular wineries. After sampling for yourself, pick a bottle (or two) as gifts – you’re sharing a true taste of Missouri!
Also in Ste. Genevieve, the Felix Valle House State Historic Site hosts Le Reveillon, a showcase of traditional French Christmas customs, decorations, music and food on Dec. 11, 2016. The Buldoc House Museum will showcase a winter wonderland of lights during their Vieux Noel events on Fridays and Saturdays from Nov. 25, 2016, through Jan. 7, 2017.
Remember, not every holiday gift has to come from a store. In fact, the best gifts are shared memories and creating family traditions that endure. Enjoy the holidays in Missouri. Learn more on www.VisitMO.com.