Christmas Day is next week, and here in Branson, there is no shortage of things to see and do on Christmas Eve, as well as Christmas Day.
“Merry Christmas with Dino & Cheryl”: Christmas Eve morning kicks off at 11 a.m. at the Shepherd of the Hills Historic Homestead & Adventure Park when Dino and Cheryl Kartsonakis take the stage to celebrate Dino’s 30 years of entertaining in Branson in “Merry Christmas with Dino & Cheryl.”
Kartsonakis starred in one of the first Branson Christmas shows in 1989 and went on to co-headline a multi-million-dollar Christmas production show at the Grand Palace, along with “The Radio City Christmas Spectacular” starring the Rockettes.
During his career, Dino introduced Branson to international audiences with his weekly television shows and specials on Trinity Broadcast Network. He has performed on the Jerry Lewis Telethon and also hosted and performed at the Preliminary Competition Show for the MISS USA Pageant on CBS in 1999 and 2000.
The Playhouse Theatre offers a unique, up-close and personal atmosphere for guests. A traditional Christmas meal will be served as guests enjoy favorite holiday carols as well as some of the greatest songs of all-time.
“Acrobats on Ice” at the White House Theatre: The White House Theatre will host “Acrobats on Ice,” featuring the Heilongjiang Ice Acrobatic Team, the first and only of its kind in China. This show combines “world class” ice skaters and acrobats into a single production, with high-quality lighting, costumes and music.
During this 2 hour show, guests will see skating flips and jumps, ice dancing and synchronized skating, trapeze on ice and in the air, pole jumping, juggling and more.
Showtimes are 3 p.m. Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, as ell as an 8 p.m. show Christmas night.
“Amazing Acrobats of Shanghai” at the Mickey Gilley Grand Shanghai Theatre: During Christmas, Mickey Gilley’s Grand Shanghai Theatre will feature the “Amazing Acrobats of Shanghai” for 3 and 8 p.m. shows both Christmas Eve, as well as Christmas Day.
One of Branson’s most popular shows, “Acrobats of Shanghai” takes audiences on an “enchanting journey through the Orient with beautiful costumes, scenery, and the unbelievable art of acrobatics.”
The talent from these performers includes chair balancing to foot juggling, aerial acrobatics to mask changing.
“All Crazy ‘Bout Patsy” at the Hot Hits Theatre in downtown Branson: Performer Alice Fay will headline her “All Crazy ‘Bout Patsy” show at the Hot Hits Theatre in downtown Branson at 5 p.m. Christmas Eve, as well as Christmas Day.
Fay not only features more than a dozen tunes made famous by Cline, but also pays tribute to Dolly Parton, Tammy Wynette, Tanya Tucker, Loretta Lynn and more. Fay is also joined by entertainer Sierra Schwanz, as well as fiddler Jerry Shapiro during this 90 minute show.
“Amazing Pets” at Grand Country Music Hall: The Grand Country Music Hall will again host the “Amazing Pets” show at 3 and 7 p.m. on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
The show feature more than 30 trained animals performing many different feats, like walking on two paws, riding bicycles and scooters, tightrope walking and more.
Those “Amazing” animals are trained by Russian-born dog and cat trainer Valery Tsoraev, who has performed with the Cole Bros. Circus all over the world. He was also featured, along with one of his cats, in the 2003 Tim Burton film “Big Fish.”
The show also features the natural goofiness and good nature of comedian Shannon “Apple Jack” Thomason, who has tailor made his set for a younger audience. The show also uses audience participation, including youngsters tell jokes of their own to start the show, to gathering them together on stage for a sing along.
Visit grandcountry.com for more.
“Comedy Hypnosis with Jecobie Roberts” at the Majestic: At 6:30 p.m. on Christmas Eve, the Majestic will host “master stage hypnotist” Jecobie Roberts and her “Comedy Hypnosis Dinner Show.”
Roberts takes the stage with her own extraordinary personality, delivering an energetic and highly entertaining performance.
Dinner, which includes pineapple honey-glazed ham, baked chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy, corn, mac & cheese, green beans, rolls and “Grandma’s” apple cobbler.
Dinner is served at 6:30 p.m., showtime is 7:30 p.m.
“Doo Wop & The Drifters” at the Hot Hits Theatre in downtown Branson: Christmas Eve and Christmas Day at 2 p.m. will see “Doo Wop and the Drifters” hitting the stage at the Hot Hits Theatre in downtown Branson. Starring a trio of Branson favorites, “Doo Wop & The Drifters” celebrates the music and fun of one of the most popular genres of music ever.
For more, visit bransonhothits.com.
“Motown Downtown” at the Hot Hits Theatre in downtown Branson: At 7 p.m. both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, the “Motown Downtown” show at the Hot Hits Theatre in downtown Branson takes the stage.
This show features the biggest Motown and R & B hits of the 60s and 70s, from artists such as the Temptations, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Lionel Richie, the Supremes, Martha and the Vandellas and more. The guys on stage also capture the essence of the era with coordinated suits and synchronized dance steps that helped make those acts legends.
For more, visit bransonhothits.com.
“Petersen Family Bluegrass Band” at the Little Opry Theatre: Christmas Eve at 2 p.m., the “Petersen Family Bluegrass Band” will take the stage at the Little Opry Theatre for a special holiday show.
The family has been performing together for more than a decade and their journey to Ozark Mountain Country began when patriarch Jon Petersen retired from the U.S. Air Force in 2007. The family performed at Silver Dollar City, as well as several other venues before finding a home at the Little Opry Theatre.
A few seasons back, the younger Petersens, Katie, Ellen, Matt and Julianne Petersen began taking a more active role in the content and direction of the group.
Showtime is 2 p.m. Dec. 24.
“A Shepherd’s Christmas Carol” at the Shepherd of the Hills Homestead and Adventure Park: Christmas Day at the Shepherd of the Hills Historic Homestead and Adventure Park sees “A Shepherd’s Christmas Carol” take the stage for 5 and 8 p.m. shows.
This show, which also features a full-course turkey dinner with pumpkin dessert, catches up with “Shepherd of the Hills” character Ollie Stewart several years after losing his sweetheart, Sammy Lane, to his childhood friend and rival, Young Matt Matthews. Mandy Ford, Uncle Ike, and the rest of the neighborhood attempt to include Ollie in their Christmas festivities as they try to remind him of the magic of Christmas and the true meaning of friendship.
Dinner is served at 4:15 and 7:15 p.m., with 5 and 8 p.m. showtimes.
“Glen Campbell Songbook” at the Little Opry Theatre: Award-winning singer James Garrett will host the first of two Christmas Day shows at the Little Opry Theatre when he headlines the “Glen Campbell Songbook” at 2 p.m.
This show features the greatest hits of Glen Campbell’s impressive career including “Galveston,” “Rhinestone Cowboy,” “Wichita Lineman,” “True Grit,” “Southern Nights,” “Gentle On My Mind,” “Country Boy,” “By The Time I Get To Phoenix” and more.
“George Strait Country” at the Little Opry Theatre: Entertainer James Garrett, formerly of The Kendalls, headlines his second Christmas Day show at the Little Opry Theatre inside the Branson Imax Entertainment Complex at 5 p.m. with “George Strait Country.”
This show features the music of George Strait, the man who tallied 57 No. 1 hits. Garrett covers tunes including “Ocean Front Property,” “Amarillo by Morning” and more.
“Branson Comedy Hypnosis with Austin Singley” at the Yakov Smirnoff Theatre: Comedy hypnotist Austin Singley will host his “Comedy Hypnosis” show Christmas night at 7 p.m.
During the show, Singley first snags some volunteers, who are the real stars.
Once he hypnotizes the volunteers, Singley serves as a ringmaster of sorts, coming up with suggestions for situations and behavior perfect for laughs. Singley, who spent time as an emcee with Dolly Parton’s Stampede, seem right at home on stage, and he’s quite “dry” with his deliveries, which tickled me all the more.
“Reza: Edge of Illusion” at the Branson Famous Theatre: Illusionist Reza will headline his “Edge of Illusion” show at the Branson Famous Theatre at 2 p.m. Christmas Eve, and 8 p.m. Christmas Day.
“Reza: Edge of Illusion” features mostly original illusions and content, along with humor, charm, and the art of misdirection. The show will also feature exciting dancers and assistants, as well as world-class illusions.
In addition to all that fun on stage, Branson’s drive-thru light displays are also open for Christmas Eve, as well as Christmas night.
One of Branson’s oldest tourist attractions, the Shepherd of the Hills Homestead and Adventure Park, is again hosting the Trail of Lights, Branson‘s original, longest running drive-through light display.
The Trail of Lights runs from Nov.1-Dec. 31, and opens at dusk.
Branson’s Lights of Joy Christmas drive thru display, a one-mile, drive-along path illuminated with more than 300 displays, is also open Christmas Eve and Christmas night.
The Lights of Joy displays include everything from Santa and elves to whimsical things like a dinosaur park, Santa shooting hoops into a basketball goal over the road, elves playing ice hockey, toy trains and more. There’s sure to be something for everyone.
Not only are there hundreds of light displays to light up your visual senses, but you can also take a picture with Santa Claus, Mr. and Mrs. Frosty, enjoy delicious hot cocoa and donate to Christian Action Ministries.
Branson’s Promised Land Zoo’s Let There Be Lights drive-thru will also be open Christmas Eve, as well as Christmas Day. This unique drive thru features dozens of LED displays, a living Nativity scene and Santa’s real reindeer team. Folks can also get a special glimpse at some of the zoo animals as they drive through the bright two-mile trail. Plus, they’ve added a new Candy Land Courtyard this year.
With Santa’s VIP Safari Tram Tour admission, folks can tour through the Christmas lights from a climate controlled tour bus to meet and feed animals in the Safari as well as personally meet some of Santa’s Reindeer along with complimentary hot cocoa and popcorn too!