Everyone celebrates the holidays a little differently. Are you “O Holy Night” or “Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer”? Do you prefer eggnog or cocoa … beautifully decorated homes or fabulous lights displays … a holiday classic play, ballet or concert or wild winter fun?
Whatever your pleasure, here’s just a sampling of Show-Me State fun to suit your Christmas spirit:
Holiday Lights at Warm Springs Ranch, Boonville – Nov. 24-Dec. 30: Brand new this year, the home of the Budweiser Clydesdales isn’t horsing around when it comes to Christmas. Enjoy thousands of twinkling lights as you drive up to the barn. Stop in to sample (guests 21 and older, only), shop in the gift store and of course, enjoy an up-close visit with one of the magnificent Clydesdales. Open Thursday-Sunday only, 5 p.m.-8 p.m. Admission is $5 per person; ages 2 and younger are admitted free. No reservations needed.
The KCP&L Plaza Lights, Kansas City – Nov. 23-Jan. 13: At the other extreme – when it comes to light displays – Plaza Lights has been a local tradition for 88 years. The area shops have extended hours during the holiday season and it’s the best time to take a carriage ride on the famed Country Club Plaza. The 15-block holiday spectacle is lit up every day, 5 p.m.-3 a.m.
Christmas Aboard the Showboat, Branson – Nov. 4-Jan. 1: Celebrate the season cruising around the Table Rock Lake on the Showboat Branson Belle. Enjoy a two-hour cruise, a delicious three-course meal and top it off with festive entertainment from an all-star cast of entertainers performing your favorite Christmas classics and contemporary holiday hits. Check their calendar for cruise days and times.
The Nutcracker, St. Louis – Dec. 15-23: This holiday favorite at the Touhill Performing Arts Center features a large professional cast of company dancers and special guests joined by students from the school of the Saint Louis Ballet in the children’s roles. Set on Christmas Eve, The Nutcracker is a holiday treat for the whole family.
Christmas Traditions, Saint Charles – Nov. 24-Dec. 24: At this month-long festival, you won’t meet Santa – you’ll meet Santas from around the world. Where else can you run into Jack Frost, the Sugar Plum Fairy and other Legends of Christmas right on the street? Follow the closing candlelight processional and end your day singing traditional carols with the Cobblestone Wassailiers. Christmas Traditions is guaranteed to put you in the holiday spirit. Open Wednesday evening and Friday through Sunday.
Victorian Festival of Christmas, Hannibal – Nov. 25-Dec. 24: Magical sights and sounds will transport you back more than a century to the wonder and enchantment of an authentic Victorian holiday celebration, with horse-drawn carriage rides, carolers, wassail tasting and so much more. Check their website for specific dates and hours.
Victorian Holiday Elegance, Independence – Nov. 24-Dec. 30: Vaile Mansion closes its doors for nearly a month to prepare this beautiful Victorian home for its annual Christmas Open House. Take one step in the door and be transported to a late 19th century residence, dressed in its seasonal best. Trees decorate many of the 31 rooms while marble fireplaces are draped in greenery and ribbons. Each year, designers showcase a new theme, bringing visitors back year after year.
Christmas at the Glenn House, Cape Girardeau – Nov. 24-Dec. 30: This holiday tradition never grows old, as the elegant Victorian home’s decorations are refreshed every year. Tour the exquisite rooms of this 1883 home, then enjoy cookies, hot chocolate and apple cider in the carriage house. Open weekends only, Friday through Sunday.
Winter Fest, Kansas City – Nov. 24-Dec. 30: Brand new this year, join Worlds of Fun for Winter Fest, featuring 10 live shows, a holiday lights display, ice skating, cookie decorating, 16 iconic holiday characters and up to 25 rides. Open select dates during the season; check their website for days and hours.
An Old Time Christmas, Branson – Nov. 4-Dec. 30: Silver Dollar City really knows how to celebrate the season, with 6.5 million dazzling lights, 1,000 decorated Christmas trees, Broadway style productions, a five-story special effects Christmas tree, rides (weather permitting), two dozen shopping venues, Christmas feasts and Rudolph’s Holly Jolly Christmas Light Parade.
There are many more markets, festivals, concerts, light displays and parades around Missouri for your holiday entertainment. Check out the full events listing on VisitMO.com.