It's no secret that Branson, Missouri, offers enough live shows to entertain you every day for the next three months, and they become more spectacular during the holidays. Attend a few, then focus on Christmas lights flickering like a jillion fireflies against the Ozark hills, shops filled with must-haves, and away-from-it-all lodging on Table Rock Lake. Add a few snowflakes, and you have the perfect winter getaway.
If you want to be in the middle of everything, Branson offers plenty of accommodations near the theaters and restaurants. But I like it quiet and scenic, preferably in a cabin at Big Cedar Lodge. Wrapped around a finger of Table Rock Lake, the resort sits 10 miles south of Branson―near enough for you to take in all the attractions, yet far enough away so that you may enjoy the natural beauty of the area. Low-key holiday activities here include creating a gingerbread house and making s'mores.
For digs closer to town, rent a lakeside condo at The Village At Indian Point, just down the road from Silver Dollar City. Or reserve a room at Chateau on the Lake Resort & Spa, set atop a hill near the theater district. One of the newest hotels, Hilton Promenade, puts you at Branson Landing, a downtown entertainment and retail area.
Silver Dollar Nights
Spend at least one evening at Silver Dollar City. Carols fill the air, and the 4 million twinkling lights that outline trees, bushes, and buildings present an awesome display now through December 30.
The aroma of fresh baked goods from the plentiful vendors makes it impossible to walk around without something to munch on. So go for a cinnamon pastry and a cup of hot chocolate with a candy cane in it to warm your hands and heart.
Pop into The Basket Shop to peruse the selection of white oak beauties, or peek into the blacksmith shop to watch artisans pound metal into decorative forms. Be careful of the time, though, and don't miss The Living Nativity and the musical A Dickens' Christmas Carol.