One of the most wonderful times of the year is here and I’m thrilled about it. I love every season but the holidays hold a special place in my heart. I love decorating my home, baking cookies and watching Christmas movies. As I shared in my previous blog, the older I get, the more I value making memorable experiences with people and my family is no exception. As my children, age 2 and 4 get older, I enjoy seeing the season through their eyes and teaching them about all things Christmas. There are so many things I LOVE doing in the month of December and here are a few of my favorites in the 417 area code.
Go to a Parade
A few weeks ago a friend invited my family to a Christmas parade. I’d been to parades as a kid in Chicago but never in the Ozarks. My husband ended up working on our home so I took the kids solo. I got separated from my friend that invited me but the kids and I still had a great time. People gave away candy and coupons, there were floats and even an appearance from Santa Clause himself. I hope to attend one of these upcoming parades soon.
The Christmas parade in Springfield, MO will take place on Saturday, December 8th from 2 pm – 4 pm. The parade goes north on South Street into Park Central Square and exits east on St. Louis Street to the Springfield Expo Center. CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO.
The 70th annual Branson Adoration Parade takes place on December 2nd by Branson Landing Blvd and through Historic Downtown Branson, It begins at 5:30 pm. CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO.
The 64th annual Nixa Christmas parade on Sunday, December 2nd at 2 pm will leave the X Center and travel all the way past the Nixa Jr. High. CLICK HERE FOR ALL THE DETAILS ON THE PARADE ROUTE.
Look at Christmas Lights
One of my favorites pastimes is looking at all of the decorations and lights of the season. We’ve been faithful to do this every year and there are so many to see. Here’s my top recommendation.
My family went to the Let There Be Lights at Promised Land Zoo last year. (This is where the photo of my daughter and I was taken.) . Looking at lights through the warmth of your car can be tons of fun. My husband and I decided that this is our FAVORITE drive-thru light experience by FAR. The cost is $35 per car load. (There was a Groupon last year that was a bit more affordable. Let’s all say a prayer that they bring that back. 😂🙏🏿). The display is 2 miles long and they also have reindeer and other animals that you can see. It’s so much fun and we will definitely be going again this year. If you do anything off of my list, this is my number one recommendation. FIND MORE ON LET THERE BE LIGHTS HERE.
The Springfield News-Leader also puts out a list of where to see local lights. Unfortunately, this years list isn’t up yet but I did find last years. While it’s no guarantee that all of these will be up and running this year, make sure you see Bagwell Family Lights. ☺️ They are worth the hype.
See a Live Nativity
It wasn’t until I moved to the Springfield area over 10 years ago that I even heard of a “live” nativity. My first experience with it was at Silver Dollar City in Branson. I was so thrilled to see the animals that when they brought out the donkey and took it away, I was very disappointed. I later learned that a live nativity is seeing Jesus’ birth reenacted – sometimes it has animals and sometimes it does not. I’d definitely recommend trying it if you haven’t already.
There is a Live Nativity on December 1st from 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm at the Ozark Empire Fairgrounds. It’s free and features actors and a dozen animals (Yay animals!) as well as a choir. CLICK ON THE LINK FOR MORE INFO.
Last year my family went to a live nativity at the Nativity Celebration in Springfield. It’s held at Springfield’s Church of Ladder Day Saints. There are lots of performances from Branson acts but we mainly went to see the nativity. I liked it because it was small and short and my kids were able to get up close and see it outside. It runs December 6th-9th from 5pm – 9pm. CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO.
Check Out a Performance
The holidays are also a great time to check out a festive winter-themed performance. There are a lot of Christmas style performances that are only a search away but worth mentioning from me is the Home for the Holidays Matinee on Saturday, December 8th at 2:30 pm. It’s held at Juanita K. Hammons Hall by the Springfield Symphony Orchestra. This a FREE concert featuring lots of holiday classics. CLICK ON THE LINK FOR MORE DETAILS.
Those are my top Christmas recommendations. I’d love to hear yours. What are some of your favorite ways to celebrate in December? Comment below!
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