Do you remember when Christmas truly felt like magic? If you are one of the very blessed, Christmas may still feel like magic to you. But for a lot of people, finding the magic of Christmas can be difficult. Between bills, and job insecurities, political strife – and sometimes so much worse – life has a way of messing with the best of us at times. And Christmas starts to feel like just another day where we don’t have enough money or time or friends or . . . except even more depressing when we look around and see everyone else having such a great time.
Believe it or not, I’m not trying to be a bummer. And yes, we are getting to happier stuff.
I started this project off by simply wondering what kinds of things were going on in Missouri for Christmas. I have been struggling to find time to write in this blog, so I hoped to kind of “enthuse myself” on the topic and get myself writing again.
And . . . I have definitely done that, and more!
Because I have discovered that when it comes to Christmas, Missouri has it ALL going on! So if you’ve been feeling down, or wishing you could find that Christmas magic again, if only for a little while – check out some of these magical places to experience Christmas in Missouri.
(This post may contain affiliate links, which means that at no additional cost to you, we may earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. Don’t worry, we’ll do something practical with it like pay bills – or travel.)
The Magic of Christmas in Missouri
The Show-Me state really knows how to enjoy some “down-home” fun. And when you see some of the fun activities going on for the holidays around the state of Missouri, you might have a hard time deciding where to visit first. Fortunately, everything on this list is happening throughout December (and some in November, too), so you have a lot of flexibility when planning out your holiday activities. With so many cool things to see and do, you and your family will have every opportunity to enjoy a magical Christmas in Missouri!
Silver Dollar City – An Old Time Christmas
Location: Silver Dollar City, 399 Silver Dollar City Parkway, Branson, MO 65616 Phone: 800-888-7277
Dates: November 3 through December 30, 2018
Website: Silver Dollar City Old Time Christmas
Seriously, when I read about all the things that are going on at Silver Dollar City at their “An Old Time Christmas”, I wish I could just rent a studio apartment inside the park and live there for a month. It truly would probably take a week to really see everything they have to offer.
In addition to all the roller coasters and other fun that Silver Dollar City is famous for, their “An Old Time Christmas” offers all kinds of “MORE!” A walk through “Christmas in Midtown” will dazzle your eyes with over six million brightly colored lights. Kids will love watching Rudolph’s Holly Jolly Christmas Light Parade. And everywhere you look, there are places to eat, buy presents, or hang out with some of your favorite Christmas friends, including Rudolph and Santa. You can even enjoy a Broadway-style production of A Dickens’ Christmas Carol and It’s a Wonderful Life, or spend some time listening to a wonderful variety of live music and other performances, including a Living Nativity. At Silver Dollar City, Christmas magic is around every corner!
Polar Express Train Ride
Location: St. Louis Union Station, 1820 Market Street, Saint Louis, MO 63103 Phone: 314-621-5262
Dates: November 16 through December 30, 2018
Website: Polar Express Train Ride
Since 1985, the book The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg has been enchanting children with the story of the magical Christmas train. In 2004, the book was brought to life in a wonderful movie starring Tom Hanks and if your family is anything like mine, that movie is a “must-see” every year around Christmas.
So, when I found out that you can actually go to the Saint Louis Union Station in Saint Louis, MO, and ride the Polar Express (!!!), I just about popped something. But it’s right there – that beautiful train and the magical golden tickets and everything else. And you have many opportunities to book your own enchanting ride on The Polar Express between now and December 30th! So what are you waiting for?
Location: 12th and Lynch Street, Saint Louis, MO Phone: 314-577-2626
Dates: Thursday-Sunday from November 15 through December 30, 2018
Website: Anheuser Bush Brewery Lights
When you are thinking of family-friendly holiday activities, Anheuser-Busch might not be the first thing that comes to mind. But when you take your family to enjoy the Brewery Lights celebration, you’ll see that Budweiser knows all about “family friendly”! From the beautiful ice skating ring to the Brewery Express train in the Kid Zone, you’ll see that there is plenty to do for the younger crowd. There is warm food, delicious beverages, and over a million twinkling lights to look at. You can even reserve space at one of the Fire Pits where you can hang out, eat, and spend time with friends enjoying some warmth from the chilly air.
And if you just can’t resist petting one of those beautiful Clydesdale horses, you can even schedule a private session where you can stroke a soft nose to your heart’s content!
Old World Christmas in Hermann, MO
Location: Hermann, Missouri Phone: 573-486-5400
Dates: November 17 through December 31, 2018
Website: Hermann, MO for Christmas
Located about halfway between Columbia, MO and St. Louis, Hermann, MO is a picturesque village in the heart of the wine country. The small town has a population of less than 3000 people, but it is a popular tourist destination visited by many people throughout the year. Known for wonderful vineyards and German heritage, Hermann, MO has much to offer – especially during the holidays.
Hermann kicks off the festivities with a traditional German Christmas market. Enjoy warm food and mulled wine as you shop for Christmas goodies and listen to carolers sing. Tour the Historic Hermann Museum, attend a traditional 19th-century German Christmas celebration, take a ride in a horse-drawn carriage, and so much more. The folks in Hermann, MO love to share their love of Christmas with every visitor who comes to call!
Missouri Botanical Garden – Garden Glow (And More!)
Location: Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Blvd, Saint Louis, MO Phone: 314-577-5100
Dates: November 17, 2018 through January 1, 2019
Website: Missouri Botanical Garden-Garden Glow (And More!)
There is so much going on for Christmas at the Missouri Botanical Garden, you really need to keep a schedule handy. Train lovers will enjoy the Gardenland express which features beautiful G-Scale trains traveling through enchanting holiday landscapes. Bid on a wreath at the holiday Wreath Auction, participate in traditional holiday celebrations, or bask in the stunning beauty of Garden Glow as you walk through the Botanical Garden taking in the decorations while enjoying food, drink, and live entertainment. At the Missouri Botanical Garden, you’re sure to feel the magic of Christmas in Missouri!
Candy Cane Lane
Location: Rutledge-Wilson Farm Park, 3825 W. Farm Rd. 146, Springfield, MO Phone: 417-837-5949
Dates: Every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from November 30 to December 16
Website: Candy Cane Lane
Sometimes you’re just in the mood to enjoy some magical, twinkling Christmas lights. And if you happen to be in the Springfield, MO area on a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday night from November 30 to December 16, 2018, be sure to pay a visit to the Rutledge-Wilson Farm Park. Drive through the farm and enjoy the beauty of over 10,000 Christmas lights and farm-themed holiday displays. They even have hot cocoa to really add to that festive vibe! Whether you visit with your spouse and kids or make it part of a romantic date with your special someone, Candy Cane Lane is pure Christmas Magic!
Springfield Botanical Gardens Holiday Train Garden Display
Location: Springfield Botanical Gardens, 2400 S. Scenic Ave., Springfield, MO 65807
Date: December 1st until January 1st
Website: Springfield Botanical Gardens Holiday Train Garden Display
For train lovers in Springfield, MO, a holiday visit to the Springfield Botanical Gardens is definitely in order. From December 1 through January 1, you can enjoy the beautiful model trains in the Botanical Center atrium, as they travel through incredible miniature landscapes filled with holiday cheer. This completely magical experience is a favorite with kids and adults alike. And best of all? It’s completely free!
Christmas Traditions – St. Charles, MO
Location: Various locations around St. Charles
Dates: Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from the day after Thanksgiving through Christmas Eve.
Website: Christmas Traditions
Located on the outskirts of Saint Louis, St. Charles, MO is rather easy to overlook as just a “suburb” – an extension of the big city. But Saint Charles is so much more, and nothing shows that more spectacularly than their month-long Christmas Traditions event. Enjoy beautiful decorations and a festive environment every day during the holidays. But on Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, the Christmas magic is maximized through a series of wonderful events.
The Santa Parade is sure to be a favorite with the kids. And if you’re looking for something a little more peaceful, you can relax and listen to a reading of “Twas the Night Before Christmas” or watch an interactive presentation of “A Christmas Carol”. But that’s only the beginning! Be sure to check out their website to see all of the great events they have planned. When you’re looking for a magical Christmas in Missouri, Saint Charles is a great place to go!
A Spectacular Christmas Show at Crown Center, Kansas City, MO
Location: MTH Theater – Main Stage, 2450 Grand Blvd, Suite 301, Kansas City, MO
Dates: Every Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday in December
Website: A Spectacular Christmas Show at Crown Center
Sometimes there is nothing more magical than some musical theater for the holidays. And at the Crown Center in Kansas City, you can take in “A Spectacular Christmas Show” throughout the month of December. This “Spectacular Christmas Show” is filled with show tunes, dancing, and more. Get your fill of Christmas spirit with this truly “Spectacular” event!
Jackson County’s Christmas in the Park
Location: Frank White Jr., Softball Complex, 3901 SW Longview Road, Lee’s Summit, MO Phone: 816-503-4800
Dates: November 21 through December 31, 2018
Website: Jackson County’s Christmas in the Park
If you’re wanting to see some amazing Christmas Lights in the Kansas City area, head over to the Frank White Jr. Softball Complex in Lee’s Summit for the annual Christmas in the Park. This gorgeous event has been going on for over 30 years and is completely free, although donations are happily accepted! Enjoy animated displays with over 300,000 Christmas Lights, while supporting 35 local charities in the process. What could be more magical than that?
Lake of the Ozarks Christmas on Main Street
Location: Main Street Music Hall, 5845 Osage Beach Parkway, Osage Beach, MO Phone: 573-348-9500 or 800-348-9501
Dates: November 23 through December 22, 2018
Website: Lake of the Ozarks Christmas on Main Street
Another wonderful chance to enjoy some Musical Theater for the holidays, Lake of the Ozarks Christmas on Main Street is a fun-filled event for people of all ages. Enjoy your favorite Christmas songs and entertaining humor suitable for the whole family. Kids will love to meet Santa and the Grinch and they MAY even be called on stage to join in the singing! This delightful show is a lovely way to enjoy the magic of Christmas in Missouri with the ones that you love!
Victorian Festival in Hannibal, MO
Location: Main Street, Hannibal, MO Phone: 573-221-2477
Dates: November 24 through December 22, 2018
Website: Victorian Festival in Hannibal, MO
From November 24th to December 24th, there are all kinds of wonderful things to enjoy at the Victorian Festival in Hannibal, Missouri. Walk through this picturesque town, enjoying the view of all the Christmas lights. Listen to live music, visit Santa, watch the beautiful “Living Windows” displays in the store windows downtown, and make sure you catch the Christmas Parade, too. If you want a good taste of all the joys of a small-town Christmas celebration, Hannibal, Missouri is a great place to be!
Santa’s Magical Kingdom, Eureka, MO
Location: Santa’s Magical Kingdom, Fox Creek Road, Eureka, MO – Phone: 1-636-938-5925
Dates: November 16 through January 6, 2019
Website: Santa’s Magical Kingdom in Eureka, MO
You can see the lights of Santa’s Magical Kingdom from Interstate-44, just a bit southwest of Saint Louis, MO. Not far from Six Flags and right next to Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park, Santa’s Magical Kingdom is a wonder to behold when you see it from afar. And the closer you get, the bigger and brighter it all becomes.
Who needs to go to the North Pole to see Santa when you can take your kids to Santa’s other home, right in the heart of Missouri? The light displays alone will fill you with Christmas spirit. But when you see the store, enjoy a ride on the train, or get your pictures taken with Santa, you’ll know that you are creating magical memories that will last for years to come.
When it comes to Christmas in Missouri, there is a lot going on. This list barely scratches the surface of all the Christmas cheer to be found in every corner of the state. So if you are looking to enjoy the wonder of Christmas you experienced as a child, you might just find it in Missouri!