Enjoy Holiday Fun in the Springfield Area

The Springfield area likes the winter holidays!

If you do, too, you’ll enjoy your visits to the city because winter brings with it all kinds of holiday events. From plays to displays, Springfield and the surrounding communities have it all.

Below are just a few holiday events scheduled for this winter. Be sure to check out our online calendar. New events are added daily. Or call the Convention & Visitors Bureau at 800-678-8767 to plan your trip today.

Tablescapes – Setting the Stage for the Perfect Meal: Thanksgiving
Event Time: 2 p.m.
Dates: Saturday, Nov. 19
Location: Springfield-Greene County Botanical Center
Admission: $5, registration required
This series shows the creation of appropriate floral and table decorations for each themed presentation, explains the china, glassware, and silverware used, features a fictitious menu, and each presentation is peppered with anecdotes, tips, and poetic or otherwise appropriate readings. Light refreshments provided. Call 417-891-1515 to register.
www.ParkBoard.org

Enjoy a carriage ride during Festival of Lights.

Springfield Festival of Lights
Event Time: Varies
Dates: Saturday, Nov. 19 Saturday, Dec. 31
Location: Downtown Springfield
Admission: Varies; many are free
A six-week celebration with activities ranging from musical performers to shopping to free fun for kids and adults. Kicks off the Saturday before Thanksgiving and ends by bringing in the New Year at First Night Springfield.
http://www.ItsAllDowntown.com

Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot 5K Run/Walk
Event Time: 8 a.m.
Dates: Thursday, Nov. 24
Location: 635 E. St. Louis St.
Admission: Early bird admission: $20 adults; $15 kids 12 and younger (includes T-shirt)
Join the flock of more than 6,500 runners for the largest Thanksgiving morning 5K run/walk in Missouri. Proceeds benefit the Developmental Center of the Ozarks and the Park Board’s Scholarship Fund.
www.ParkBoard.org

Civil War Christmas Tours at Smallin Civil War Cave
Event Time: 6 p.m.
Dates: Friday, Nov. 25-Saturday, Nov. 26
Location: 3575 North Smallin Road in Ozark, Missouri
Join Smallin Cave for a Civil War themed Christmas tour. You will be treated to hot chocolate around a campfire, story telling, and a lantern light tour of the cave with twinkling Christmas lights along the way. Reserve required.
www.SmallinCave.com

Jim Brickman – A Christmas Celebration
Event Time: 7 p.m.
Dates: Sunday, Nov. 27
Location: Juanita K. Hammons Hall for the Performing Arts
Admission: $20-$75
This holiday season, join two-time Grammy®-nominated, platinum-selling artist Jim Brickman for new and old traditional holiday favorites, plus all his hits.
www.HammonsHall.com

A Christmas Story
Event Time: varies
Dates: Thursday, Dec. 1
Location: Springfield Little Theatre – 311 E. Walnut St.
Admission: Call for details
A perennial holiday favorite, A Christmas Story recounts the Parker Family Christmas in a small Midwestern town in 1938. Nine year old Ralphie wants only one thing for Christmas: an official Red Rider BB gun. This wish and his efforts to fulfill his dream provide a delightful story of a simpler, less hectic time, a family holiday season and life in general, as seen through the eyes of a 9-year-old boy. Filled with lots of fun and laughter. A Christmas Story is a terrific holiday treat.
www.SpringfieldLittleTheatre.org

Nixa Xtreme Christmas Lights Tour
Event Time: Dusk-9 p.m.
Dates: Thursday, Dec. 1-Saturday, Dec. 24
Location: 3825 W. Farm Road 146, Nixa
Admission: Free
Residents go Xtreme with the annual Nixa’s Xtreme Christmas Lights. Visit website for map and details.
www.NixaChamber.com

WinterFest 2011
Event Time: Friday, 5 p.m.-10 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sunday, noon-5 p.m.
Dates: Friday, Dec. 2-Sunday, Dec. 4
Location: Juanita K. Hammons Hall for the Performing Arts – 525 S. John Q. Hammons Parkway
Admission: Free art show, theatrical performance prices vary.
WinterFest is a performing and visual arts festival. The lobby of Hammons Hall is filled with the work of 39 artists. Local performers fill the lobby with music throughout the day, and large-scale performances take place in the theater. Specific information regarding performances will be posted as WinterFest nears. Plan to get your Christmas shopping done by buying from local and regional artists!
www.HammonsHall.com

Night Sky Essays: A New Winter Solstice Concert
Event Time: 7 p.m.
Dates: Friday, Dec. 2
Location: Juanita K. Hammons Hall for the Performing Arts – 525 S. John Q. Hammons Parkway
Enjoy the talents of Barbara Higbie, Samite and Liz Story as they illuminate your winter evening with the cool rhythms of the snow covered north, the vibrant winters of Africa, and the awe-inspiring beauty of the sky on a winter’s night with this multi-media musical performance. Samite is a world-renowned musician/composer/vocalist and photographer whose recordings have topped the World Music Charts. Liz Story is a pianist/composer and a three-time Grammy® nominee who has long been at the vanguard of new instrumental music. Barbara Higbie is a Grammy®-nominated multi-instrumentalist/vocalist that the San Francisco Chronicle calls “one of the most exciting musicians we have heard.”
www.HammonsHall.com

Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol
Event Time: 7 p.m.
Dates: Saturday, Dec. 3
Location: Juanita K. Hammons Hall for the Performing Arts – 525 S. John Q. Hammons Parkway
Admission: $15 (all seats)
In a Christmas present for the entire family, Ebenezer Scrooge, Tiny Tim, Bob Cratchit, Marley’s Ghost, and the vivid cast of characters who inhabit Charles Dickens’ holiday classic come alive – in a virtuoso solo performance by New York veteran repertory actor Carl Whidden. Whidden’s faithful adaptation and masterful performance capture the essence of the timeless story at its source, bringing to life – with laughter, tears, dance and song – the realism, mastery of prose, comic genius and unique personalities that are hallmarks of Dickens’ most popular novel.
www.HammonsHall.com

Christmas at the Farm
Event Time: Saturday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sunday, noon-8 p.m.
Dates: Saturday, Dec. 3-Sunday, Dec. 4
Location: Rutledge-Wilson Farm Park, 3825 W. Farm Road 146
Admission: Free; some activities have a fee
Make a visit to the farm part of your holiday tradition. Learn what happens on a farm during the winter months and how the animals cope with the cold. Enjoy making holiday crafts, get your picture taken with Santa or warm up with a cup of hot cocoa.
www.ParkBoard.org

Live Nativity Pageant
Event Time: 6:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Dates: Wednesday, Dec. 7-Saturday, Dec. 10
Location: Ozark Empire Fairgrounds
Admission: Free
Experience the joy at the 33rd Annual Springfield Nativity pageant – a mini drama in 10 acts placed along the hillside. View from your car. Free admission. Donations welcome.
www.OzarkEmpireFair.com

Tablescapes – Setting the stage for the Perfect Meal: The Dickensian Christmas
Event Time: 2 p.m.
Dates: Saturday, Dec. 10
Location: Springfield-Greene County Botanical Center
Admission: $5, registration required
This series shows the creation of appropriate floral and table decorations for each themed presentation, explains the china, glassware, and silverware used, features a fictitious menu, and each presentation is peppered with anecdotes, tips, and poetic or otherwise appropriate readings. Light refreshments provided. Call 417-891-1515 to register.
www.ParkBoard.org

Springfield Christmas Parade
Event Time: 1 p.m.
Dates: Saturday, Dec. 10
Location: Downtown Springfield
Admission: Free
Annual Christmas parade in downtown Springfield.
www.ItsAllDowntown.com

The Nutcracker
Event Time: Call for details
Dates: Friday, Dec. 16-Sunday, Dec. 18
Location: Landers Theatre
Admission: Call for details
Springfield Ballet presents the holiday classic “The Nutcracker.”
www.SpringfieldBallet.org

Enjoy a variety of performers during First Night events.

First Night Springfield
Event Time: 5:30 p.m.-Midnight
Dates: Saturday, Dec. 31-Sunday, Jan. 1, 2012
Location: Downtown Springfield
Admission: $8 each, $30 family four-pack, children 3 and younger free
Alcohol-free, family friendly New Year’s Eve celebration. More than 20 performing groups at about a dozen venues. Music, theatre, dance, comedy, magic and more. Join the grand finale in Jordan Valley Park with fireworks at midnight.
www.ItsAllDowntown.com

Written by Susan Wade, public relations manager for the Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau.