Virtually every theme park in America which is open at Christmastime is festooned in coordinated decorations and light displays, usually on such a massive scale that only the focused efforts of a major corporate entity can pull it off. No place is this more true than at Silver Dollar City in Branson. Branson, the largest and most popular family vacation destination between Florida and California, absolutely shines at Christmastime. The decorations of Silver Dollar City, which incorporates millions of colored bulbs, is usually ranked the best holiday light display in the United States.
Silver Dollar City is one of America’s most popular independent amusement parks. Opened in 1960 as a sideshow attraction to Marvel Cave, a local natural wonder, it quickly became the area’s chief draw. It also served as a magnet around which other attractions began coalescing in Branson, helping to launch this unlikely town into the stratosphere of family vacation destinations.
Silver Dollar City was one of the first theme parks to fully embrace the holiday season. Its Old Time Christmas celebration incorporates everything from a Living Nativity to caroling to live performances of A Christmas Carol. But the highlight are the lights; four million of them, to be exact. Virtually every structure in the park, from buildings to trees to rides, is draped in spectacular illuminations. With the possible exception of the Osborne display at Disney World, no other theme park display is comparable.
An Old Time Christmas takes place exclusively within the Silver Dollar City Park, approximately two miles west of downtown Branson and 140 miles southwest of St. Louis. The lights come on Thursday through Sunday evenings in November and Devember (excluding Christmas Eve and Christmas Day). As of this writing, a single-day admission ticket was $55. Web: www.silverdollarcity.com (official Website of Silver Dollar City)