Is it the aromas? The lights in the trees? The feel of an old country town? The period attire? Or maybe it’s just my memories that make this place so special.


The aroma of sizzling skillets filled with potatoes, green peppers and pork sausage saturates the air.

Employees stroll the park donning 1880s attire including petticoats, long dresses, straw hats and cowboy boots.

Storefronts offer freshly baked cinnamon rolls, homemade soap and candles, unique jewelry and handcrafted woodworks.

State-of-the-art rollercoasters cater to the more adventuresome types.

This is the atmosphere of the rustic theme park Silver Dollar City located in Branson, Mo.

The park exudes an entrancing charm that makes this my favorite amusement park.

So, who goes to Silver Dollar City and why is it so enjoyable?

This park entertains entire families.

You will see moms pushing strollers, couples enjoying live music, grandparents shopping for handcrafted merchandise and teens looking for the next adrenaline rush on Wildfire, a $14 million roller coaster patterned after an 1880s flying machine and hurling riders up to 66 mph.

From my experience, the park reaches its peak of excellence during the Christmas season.

During this time the park goes from a rustic Western haven in the Ozarks to a glistening city of lights, music and remembrance.

As soon as you step into the park you are awed by the scene of Christmas lights adorning every tree, bridge, building and ride in sight.

It may seem cliché, but this scene recreates the scene of Christmas past in my memory.

After being thoroughly enchanted by the glistening lights you see it — a Christmas tree that rivals its White House counterpart.

This is no ordinary tree.  It is adorned with beautiful ornaments and lights that change colors in rhythmic timing.

Christmas at Silver Dollar City is never complete without its high quality musicals like, “It’s a Wonderful Life” and” A Christmas Carol.”

Last Christmas my family chose to see “It’s a Wonderful Life” while at the park.  We waited in line outside for hours in the frigid cold but the temperature did not dampen the joyful mood of the crowd.

Once inside, we enjoyed a high quality performance of the show equipped with special effects and a talented cast.

Any trip to Silver Dollar City during Christmastime would not be complete without a train ride to hear Grandpa read the Christmas story from Luke.

I clearly remember this part of Christmas celebration at Silver Dollar City during my childhood.

You ride a classic train throughout the park.  In the middle of your ride, the train stops and an elderly gentleman named Grandpa reads the Christmas story to the entire train.

Amidst all the lights, effects, shows and joy of a Christmas experience at Silver Dollar City, the star on top of the tree is a train ride that reminds you of the reason for the season.

By Chelsea Gammon

Chelsea Gammon is a staff writer and editor for MBU Timeline. She is a senior double majoring in Journalism and Public Relations. Chelsea works part-time in the Special Events office on campus. In the spring she will be a public relations assistant for MBU’s University Communications Department. She previously enjoyed working with Timeline Broadcast. After graduation, Gammon plans to explore many opportunities and make a difference wherever she goes.