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The holiday season is a great time to get away from our busy lives and appreciate what’s truly important in life. It’s a time to reconnect with our family and be thankful for all of God’s blessings.
And a great way to do that would be at a place where you feel life you’ve gotten away with it. A place where you could be surrounded by the beauty of nature. And that place is Big Cedar Lodge!
Big Cedar Lodge is surrounded by the beauty of the Ozark Mountains. It overlooks the gorgeous Table Rock Lake. And Big Cedar Lodge even created by the founder of Bass Pro Shops, Johnny Morris, to be a great destination for families to connect in the great outdoors!
And even though you’ll feel a long way away for civilization, the resort’s location in Ridgedale, Missouri means you’re less than thirty minutes away from Branson, Missouri. And there’s a lot of great holiday things to do in Branson!
And there are also a lot of things your family can enjoy at Big Cedar Lodge. They have eleven unique restaurants that range from dining on the lake to a backyard BBQ. There are a lot of great outdoor activities, though the weather may not permit you can do all of them during the winter.
But don’t worry. There is plenty to do during the holiday season. And we are about to go over some of them!
The Garden Chapel Christmas Experience
You may be away from home and from your local church service, but you can still attend a Christmas service at the Garden Chapel. There are multiple services led by Pastor Al on Sunday, December 24th, 2023. They take place at 9:00 AM, 10:00 AM, 1:00 PM, 2:00 PM, 3:00 PM, and 4:00 PM. It is free but reservations are required.
12 Days of Christmas Chapel Service
In Christian theology, the 12 Days of Christmas is the period between the birth of Christ and the coming of the Magi, the three wise men. It begins on Christmas, or December 25th, and then runs through January 5th (otherwise known as the Epiphany or Three Kings’ Day). So from December 25th through January 5th, there will be a nightly celebration at Big Cedar Lodge’s Garden Chapel from 6:30 PM to 7:30 PM.
Home for the Holidays Self-Guided Tour
The Big Cedar property has lots of beautiful Christmas lights throughout the resort. You can drive your vehicle for a self-guided drive-through Christmas lights experience. These light displays tell the story of Christmas. Once you are done, you can come to the property for hot chocolate and walking s’mores pop. There are also souvenirs available for purchase.
This experience is so great that non-guests want to see it, too. But as a guest, you’ll get it for free! Even though it is free, reservations are recommended since availability is not guaranteed.
This experience is available from November 10, 2023, through December 30th, 2023.
Holiday Tram Ride
Flying in so you won’t have a car? Or do you just not want to drive your car on your vacation?
Then take a ride on Big Cedar’s tram. You also get a free hot chocolate or cider and a traveling s’more on a stick. Pick-up and drop-offs for the tram ride are at Swimmin’ Hole Lawn.
Please note this is popular so you will need to leave at your scheduled time – and you’ll need to check in twenty minutes before your scheduled tram time. Your scheduled time will be sometime between 6:00 PM and 9:40 PM.
Nature At Night on The Lost Canyon Cave & Nature Trail
Enjoy Christmas lights while enjoying nature on this 2.5-mile journey. It is a unique tour where you get to see light displays resembling historic Native American scenes and traditional holiday vignettes. Then you get to sip on hot cocoa and take in nature.
This is available from November 3, 2023, through January 7, 2023 from 5:00 PM to 9:00 PM for an additional cost.
Tree Lighting Ceremony
Every Saturday from November 11th through December 16th (and then again on December 24th), you can head to the Swimmin’ Hole Lawn where the Big Cedar Christmas Tree will be in all its beauty. If you’re there from 5:00 PM to 6:00 PM you can enjoy a wonderful Tree Lighting Ceremony! Santa Claus even makes an appearance and he’ll choose one lucky kid to light the Christmas tree with him! Afterward, children can sit on Santa’s lap and receive a special gift.
Home for the Holidays Ice Rink
Ice skating during the holiday season is so iconic, right? Well, you can head to the Swimmin’ Hole Lawn for an “all-weather synthetic” Ice Rink. You’ll also get a great view of the lights show at the resort’s Centre tree. Skating assistance is available for the youngest guests.
This is available on select dates and times starting November 10, 2023.
They’ll provide the houses, icing, and fixings. And you provide the creativity in your gingerbread house decorating! There will even be a contest, though to qualify you can only use the supplies given to you (nothing from home). Prizes are awarded to first and second place winners. It takes place on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 10:00 Am to 11:00 AM at the Table Rock Event Room at Fun Mountain. It costs $40 per gingerbread house.
Breakfast with Santa
Join Santa, Mrs. Claus, and the elves for a special breakfast at the Worman House Bistro this holiday season. It takes place from 7:00 AM to 11:00 AM on select dates starting November 11, 2023.
Baking with Mrs. Claus
Children ages four to twelve years old are invited to the Table Rock Event Room on Saturdays in November and December from 12:00 PM to 3:00 PM. Because that is where they get to bake and decorate Christmas cookies with Mrs. Claus and the elves! The whole experience includes games, stories, and songs. And kids get to leave with their own chef’s apron, hat, water bottle, a cozy critter, and the crafts they made, which are pretty great souvenirs.
This is a reservations-only event for $90 per kid.
Storytime with Mrs. Claus
Mrs. Claus will be reading children’s Christmas stories in the Falls Lodge Lobby on Fridays in November and December from 2:00 PM to 2:30 PM. You’ll also get to enjoy Christmas cookies! Please note that reservations are required and that all children attending must be accompanied by an adult.
Mrs. Claus Welcome Table
On Fridays in November and December at 4:00 PM, you can visit Mrs. Claus and the elves at the Holiday Welcome Table in the Registration Building. You can get holiday cookies, take photos of you and your family with Mrs. Claus and the elves, and learn about all the holiday events at the Lodge.
Photos with Santa at Falls Lodge Lobby
Looking for that perfect picture for your home or your office? Looking for that perfect picture for your social media feeds? Well, how about a picture of your family or your child(ren) with Santa Claus himself?
This will be available on select dates in November and December during 10-minute time slots. It costs just $30, and this includes printing! You do need reservations for this, too.
By the way, family portrait sessions without Santa are also available as well.
Grinch at Fun Mountain Special Appearance
The Grinch will be at the Fun Mountain on Wednesdays from November 8th through December 27th from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM. And not just Grinch, too; he’ll be joined by Cindy Lou Who! You can get photos with these special guests.
The Grinch’s Ugly Sweater Party
Speaking of the Grinch, he is also hosting an Ugly Sweater Party at the Kids Discovery Center at Fun Mountain for children ages four to twelve years old. It takes place on Mondays in November and December from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM. Kids will get to enjoy Grinch-themed games and Grinch-themed crafts. They’ll be making green pancakes. It can be a lot of fun for your children – and give you some time to yourselves.
Oh, and if you want to bring an Ugly Sweater for your child to wear to the party, you can find some kid-sized ugly sweaters here.
Cozy Critters Workshop
Cozy critters are adorable stuffed animals you can get at Big Cedar Lodge. And in this activity, kids can go to the Kid’s Adventure Club at Fun Mountain, choose from a variety of cozy critters, and then help stuff them. They also get to pick out a name for their new friend!
Holiday Wreath Making
Want a special unique holiday wreath for your home with a lot of great memories? Then make one at the Table Rock Event Room at Fun Mountain! This is available on Wednesdays in November and December at 3:00 PM. You can do this with your family or by yourself! It costs $65 per wreath.
You can also decorate your own Christmas stocking at the Table Rock Event Room at Fun Moutnain! They’ll provide you with glitter, ribbons, iron-on patches, bells, and more. It costs $20 per stocking, a free hot chocolate bar is included in the price!
Elves Winter Workshop
Want a unique ornament to take home from your Christmas vacation? Then head to the Table Rock Event Room at Fun Mountain, where the elves will help you decorate your very own Big Cedar-themed ornament! This is available on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays from 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM in November and December. It costs $22 per ornament.
Holiday Centerpiece Building
Another fun way to show off your creativity while getting to take home a fun souvenir in holiday centerpiece building. No experience is necessary and they provide everything. It also takes place at the Table Rock Event Room at Fun Mountain on Thursdays in November and December from 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM. It costs $65 per centerpiece.
12 Days of Christmas Light Scavenger Hunt
If you’re like me, you love scavenger hunts. So you’ll enjoy racing around Big Cedar Lodge to different holiday light diplays. Once you find the holiday light display, you’ll need to take a team picture before you go the next clue. Once you are done, hurry back to the Swimmin Hole to see if you were the first to finish. There are some great first, second, and third place prizes.
This takes place on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 7:00 PM throughout November and December. It costs $17 per person. Please note that appropriate footwear is recommended as there is a lot of walking, and please note that this activity is not really suitable for small children.
Elf of the Shelf
Pick up a clue sheet from the front desk a walk around the Big Cedar Lodge solving riddles to find all the little elves. Take pictures of each elf you find and then show the pictures to the front desk to get a prize!
You can enjoy this activity from November 25th, 2023, through December 25th, 2023.
Shop with an Elf
Have a child in your family who hasn’t shopped for Christmas gifts? No worry; an elf is here to help! Your kid can come and pick from a variety of thoughtful and unique gifts. The elf will them help them and box and wrap the gift. They can enjoy hot chocolate and s’mores during this event, too!
It takes place the Adventure Hut in Family Wonderland on the Swimmin’ Hole Lawn. It is available on select hours from November 10, 2023, through November 18, 2023, and then from 12:00 PM to 9:00 PM from November 19, 2023, through December 24, 2023.
Want the elf to visit you? You can schedule a 10-minute visit at night where the elves will read bedtime stories and take letters to give to Santa. They even come with special Big Cedar stockings full of goodies! The elves will also even sign a book and leave it with the family, so you’ll be able to remember this wonderful experience for years to come.
The elves aren’t the only ones who can visit your room. Santa Claus can, too! They’ll visit with your child and you can get a great picture of your child with Santa. Your child can literally hand their letter to Santa. And they get a special gift as well!
Kids’ Club PJ Party
There will be a party at Fun Mountain for children ages four to twelve in November and December from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM. It is a great chance for your children to have fun, while you enjoy some time with the adults! There will be a dance party, Christmas crafts, and dinner. Mrs. Claus even appears herself! Reservations are required.
Big Cedar Bakery Wars
Ever watch those baking competitions on the Food Network and think, I could do that! Well now is your chance! You and your teammates can compete with other teams to see who is Big Cedar’s Top Baker!
Boho Hat & Leather Burning Workshop
Ever wanted to learn how to make your own hat or other leather creations? The staff at Big Cedar Lodge is here to assist you! You’ll choose from a variety of everyday items like wallets, key chains, hats, and coasters. You can burn them to your very own design. And you could give them as gifts!
This takes place at the Paint Studio on the lower level of the Fitness Center. You can do it on Sundays from 3:00 PM to 4:30 PM for an additional cost of $70. Please note this experience is only available for guests ages 16 years old and older.
Big Cedar Lodge Deals
Looking for a great for Big Cedar Lodge this holiday season? Well, you can find the best prices here. But hurry – a resort this great books up very quickly during the holiday season!