Venturingaround town to see all the homes and businesses decked out in thousands of colorful twinkling lights is a favorite Christmastime activity in Branson.
This year, there are several drive-through light displays that welcome guests from dusk until late-night — perfect for the after-show crowd!
If you prefer to let someone else do the driving,Branson VIP Holiday Lights coach tourtakes you through two light displays, a view of the Branson lighted nativity scene, and ends with hot chocolate and treats from the Backstage Cafe at the historic Branson Hotel.
For an aerial view of the lights, there are holiday helicopter tours available from Branson Helicopter Toursor Chopper Charter.
Branson’s Lights of Joy
Branson’s Lights of Joy (formerly known as Gift of Lights) drive-through display debuted in 2015 but its location off Shepherd of the Hills Expressway is the same as the formerFestival of Lights, which was held there for almost 25 years prior.
Branson’s Lights of Joy contains more than 300 displays with overone million twinkling LED lights throughout the 1.25 mile drive, and was completely overhauled with new all-new displays in 2021.
You can also visit with Santa every weekend from Nov. 5 through Dec. 18.
LOCATION: 700 Expressway Lane, Branson, MO 65616
DATESOF OPERATION: Nov. 1 – Jan. 1
HOURS: 5 to 11 p.m.
PRICE: Starting at $22.41 per single car with up to 9 passengers if purchased online in advance. Prices are $25-30 at the gate.
The Trail of Lights at Shepherd of the Hills
Home to the famous outdoor theatre, the 160-acre Shepherd of the Hills Homestead transforms into a holiday paradise. Rated by the Travel Channel as one of the top five drive through Christmas displays in the U.S., the Trail of Lightsfeatures a series of story-telling animated characters surrounded with millions of Christmas lights.
LOCATION: 5586 W Highway 76, Branson, MO 65616
DATESOF OPERATION: Nov. 2 – Jan. 1
HOURS: 5:30 to 10:30 p.m.(open until 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturdays, or later as traffic dictates)
PRICE: $23.29 per single car with up to 8 passengersif purchased online in advance.
Let There Be Lights at Promised Land Zoo
Branson’s Promised Land Zoo is home to the area’s longest drive-through light display. The two-mile display is open nightly beginning Nov. 1. The Zoo is also home to the region’s only live reindeer herd, giving patrons the opportunity to pet, feed, and take photos with the Sven, Rudolph, Prancer, and more with the VIP “Yeti Express” option. Every admission includes the light display, ‘Candyland Courtyard’ complete with dancing trees timed to your favorite Christmas tunes, ‘Animal Adventures’ building with dozens of animals on display, Elves’ Secret Gift Shop, and more.
LOCATION: 2751 Shepherd of the Hills Expressway, Branson, MO 65616
DATESOF OPERATION: Nov.1 –Dec. 31
HOURS: 5 to 11 p.m.
PRICE: $30 per car (up to 6 passengers) for drive-through only; $25 per person for VIP Yeti Express, which includes a 45-minute guided tour through the lights and animals, and more.
Visit the Let There Be Lights websitefor furtherdetails.
Deck The Trails at Big Cedar Lodge
Big Cedar Lodge has always been well decorated during the holidays, but the hotel and resort is introducing a paid drive-through display for 2022 with a record number of lights. You’ll journey through the story of Christmas as you travel from Top of the Rock to Big Cedar.
Separate from this self-guided drive-through, you can also book a 25-minute holiday tram tour of the lights (priced at $20/person). Once there, head into the main lobby to see their gingerbread village and train display, large trees, and other holiday decor. There’s also a synthetic ice skating rink with a large tree programmed to “dance” along with a selection of favorite Christmas songs.
LOCATION: 190 Top of the Rock Road, Ridgedale, MO 65739
DATESOF OPERATION: Nov. 5 – Dec. 31
HOURS: 5:30 to 10:30 p.m.
PRICE: Drive-through is free for Big Cedar hotel guests. All others are $45 per car on Friday/Saturday, $35 per car Sunday-Thursday if purchased online here. Reservations include several discounts to other Big Cedar attractions. Season passes for unlimited visits are $100.
Silver Dollar City
While not a drive-through display, Silver Dollar City is decked out in over 6.5 MILLIONlights during the annual An Old Time Christmas festival. The theme park — styledas an 1880s mining city — continually receives recognitionfor its incredible illuminated displays, 1,000 decorated trees, two Broadway-style Christmas shows, an eight-story LED special effect Christmas tree, Rudolph’s Holly Jolly Christmas light parade, thrillingamusement rides, festivalfoods, and more.
Visit our Ultimate Guide to Christmas at Silver Dollar City for a full rundown of all the park has to offer.
LOCATION: 399 Silver Dollar City Parkway, Branson, MO 65616
DATESOF OPERATION: Select days from Nov. 4 – Dec. 30
PRICE:Varies.Purchase online here.
FREE Neighborhood Light Displays
Check out these free displays in the Branson area that would make even Clark Griswold jealous.
Many businesses in Downtown Branson extensively decorate for the season. The streets are decorated in all-new lighted snowflakes on the lamp posts. Chick-Fil-A (607 W Main St, Branson, MO 65616) has covered their exterior in hundreds of thousands of lights (which can be seen from Highway 65) and added a light tunnel in the drive-through. Steak ‘N Shake (503 W Main St, Branson, MO 65616) has also covered their restaurant in lights and a larger-than-life illuminated snowman greets guests from the road.
There are of course plenty of shopping and dining opportunities at the Branson Landing, but it’s also a great place to simply walk around and enjoy the sights and sounds of the season. The focal point is a 63-foot animated Christmas tree, which features shows every 20 minutes from 5:15 to 10 p.m. (exact schedule varies). The fountain and fire show also takes place at the top of every hour.
Branson Theatre District
Many of Branson’s music theaters and attractions decorate inside and out. Take a drive down Hwy 76 (also known as “The Strip”) to enjoy everything the city has to offer. One example: the exterior of Presleys Country Jubilee (2920 W 76 Country Blvd, Branson, MO 65616) is covered in lights and features massive toy soldiers that were once part of the decor at the Grand Palace Theatre.
Bennett Christmas Lights
The Bennett family goes all out for the holiday and you can enjoy their Christmas light display from Nov. 25 through Dec. 31. Located at 321 Sherry Lane, Branson, MO 65616,the display is illuminated from 5:30 to 9 p.m. Sun.-Thurs., and 5:30 to 10 p.m. on Fri. and Sat. nights. Tune your radio to 96.3 FM to hear music synchronized to the lights. While not required, monetary and pet supply donations to the Branson Humane Society are accepted at the collection box in the driveway.
Christmas Lights of Ozark at Finley River Park
This free drive-through display is located in Ozark, Mo., which is 30 minutes north of Branson and 15 minutes south of Springfield. Located at 891 N Riverside Rd., Ozark, MO 65721, the display is open Nov. 12 through Jan. 2. Hours are 5 to 10 p.m. Sun.-Thurs., and 5 to 11 p.m. Fri. & Sat. Donations are accepted to support the display and other park needs.
Bagwell Lights (Springfield)
This light display has been featured on “The Great Christmas Light Fight” national TV show and is a favorite in the Springfield area (about 45 minutes north of Branson).Located at 2008 E Cambridge St., Springfield, MO 65804,the display is on from Nov. 24 through Dec. 31. Hours are 5 to 10 p.m. Sun.-Thurs., and 5 to 11 p.m. Fri. & Sat. Tune your radio to 105.5 FM to hear music synchronized to the lights.
More Branson Christmas Info
For more information about holiday activities and attractions in Branson, check out these popular articles:
- Branson Christmas Tree Tour
- Branson Christmas Shows
- Ultimate Silver Dollar City Christmas Travel Guide
- Branson Christmas Parades
- 10 fun and free things to do in Branson this Christmas season
- Where to visit Santa in Branson
- Where to feast on Thanksgiving Day in Branson
- Where to dine on Christmas Day in Branson
- Where to celebrate Christmas in Branson after Dec. 25
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