There's no better place to experience the joy and enchantment of the holiday season than right here in Springfield, Missouri. Get into the spirit of the holiday season with these events happening around the Ozarks.
Bass Pro’s Santa’s Wonderland
Photo courtesy of Bass Pro Shops
Experience the magic of Christmas at Santa’s Wonderland at the Grandaddy of all outdoor stores, the original Bass Pro Shops in Springfield. Get a free photo with Santa, and enjoy all the free activities you can do with kids around Santa’s Workshop.
When: Nov. 4–Dec. 24, 2023
Where: 1 Bass Pro Dr., Springfield
“Elf: The Musical”
This holiday movie classic is taking center stage for Springfield Little Theatre’s holiday show at the Landers Theatre. Follow the story of Buddy, a young orphan, who mistakenly crawls into Santa’s bag of gifts and is transported to the North Pole.
When: Nov. 17–Dec. 3, 2023
Mayor’s Tree Lighting
Attend this Springfield tradition the weekend before Thanksgiving. Springfield Mayor Ken McClure kicks off the holiday season by officially lighting the “Mayor’s Tree”. See the tree in Park Central Square come to life, take pictures with Santa, and participate in all the holiday festivities such as horse-drawn carriage rides and free ice skating at Jordan Valley Ice Park.
When: 6–9 p.m., Nov. 18, 2023
Where: Park Central Square, Downtown
FEZtival of Trees
See dozens of decked out Christmas trees donated by local businesses around the Ozarks area at the Abou Ben Adhem Shrine Mosque. Local businesses have provided beautiful themed Christmas trees filled with unwrapped presents up for raffle from coffee shop gift cards, movie tickets, boutique items and more. There will be visits from Santa, vendors and crafters for your holiday shopping and live entertainment!
When: Nov. 17-19, 2023
Gardens Aglow returns to the Mizumoto Japanese Stroll Garden for its fifth season with more than 200,000 festive lights. Stroll through this winter wonderland of festival lights accenting the unique Japanese structures and landscaping. Tickets start at $7 for adults 13+, $4 for kids 12-3 and kids 2 and under are free. Discounts are available if you pre-order tickets online.
When: Nov. 24–Dec. 31, 2023
Visitors to Wonders of Wildlife can watch Scuba Claus and Peppermint the Elf dive in a fish-filled aquarium while Mrs. Claus reads "Twas The Night Before Fishmas."
When: Nov. 24, Dec. 1, Dec. 8, Dec. 12, Dec. 15, Dec. 19, Dec. 22, 2023
Candy Cane Lane at Rutledge-Wilson Farm Park
Drive through Rutledge-Wilson Farm Park and enjoy the dazzling farm-themed holiday displays with more than 100,000 lights. Candy Cane Lane is open 5-8 p.m. Friday-Sunday Dec. 1-17. Tickets are $5 per vehicle with no buses or limos due to height restrictions and sharp turns.
Address: 3825 W. Farm Road. 146, Springfield
Holiday Home Tours
Six of Springfield's most beautiful homes are opening their doors to the public. Start at the Springfield Art Museum to pick up your physical ticket and tour guide. From there you will be free to visit six fascinating homes in the Rountree and Phelps Grove neighborhoods.
When: 10 a.m.–4 p.m., Dec. 2, 2023
Springfield Annual Christmas Parade
The holidays aren’t complete without seeing Springfield’s Annual Christmas Parade in downtown Springfield. This year’s theme is “Santa Paws is Comin’ to Town.” See participants showing off their best parade floats and bands spreading holiday cheer. The route starts on South Avenue and Elm Street towards the Square, then heads down Park Central East to end at the Springfield Expo Center.
When: 2 p.m., Dec. 9, 2023
Where: Downtown, Springfield
Springfield Symphony Presents: “#MostWonderfulTime”
Photo by Discover Creative Services
Get in the holiday mood at the Springfield Symphony’s traditional holiday concert, where you not only get to sit back and listen to all the seasonal favorites, but also join the crowd in the annual carol sing-a-long.
When: 2:30–3:30 p.m., 7:30–9 p.m., Dec. 9, 2023
Springfield Ballet’s “The Nutcracker”
See this annual classic performed live at the Landers Theatre. Patrons will follow along as Clara and her nutcracker prince dash from an extravagant Christmas party to a fierce battle with the evil mouse king. Enjoy a magical journey through the Land of Snow and Kingdom of Sweets.
When: Dec. 15–18, 2023
Nature at Night at Top of the Rock
Photo courtesy of Top of the Rock
Experience the Ozarks after dark at Top of the Rock for a 2.5-mile journey through Nature at Night. Enjoy this unique light tour experience with awe-inspiring displays resembling historic Native American scenes along with traditional holiday vignettes. Sip on hot chocolate and cider, and be surrounded by twinkling lights and a festive spirit while connecting to the great outdoors.
When: Nov. 3, 2023–Feb. 25, 2024
Silver Dollar City’s Old Time Christmas
Photo courtesy of Silver Dollar City
Celebrate Christmas this year at Silver Dollar City in Branson. See over 6.5 million twinkling lights, a new winter menu, and live holiday shows every day.
When: Nov. 4–Dec. 30, 2023
“The Christmas House”
See this classic Christmas play live at the Stained Glass Theatre in Ozark. Return to the 1940s and join the citizens of Hamilton as they open the old Hamilton Mansion, long vacant and known by the locals as the Christmas House.
When: Nov. 9–Dec.16, 2023
Where: 1996 W. Evangel St., Ozark