As one of the most revered spots to enjoy Christmas lights and festivities in the world, Silver Dollar City is of course packed with countless holiday activities and attractions. With so much to see and do, it can be overwhelming.
If you’re on a time budget and want to make the most of your visit, let this list of 10 must-see and do activities be your guide to a joyful — and efficient — Old Time Christmas experience in The City. The festival runs Thursdays through Sundays (and some Wednesdays) from Nov. 6 until Dec. 30.
And if you’ve got a bit more time on your hands, be sure to reference our Ultimate Guide to Christmas at SDC.
1. See the lights!
This is obvious. With over 6,500,000 (read: 6.5 million) lights strung all over the buildings, streets, and trees, you’ll feel like you’ve been transported into a Christmas wonderland!
The breath-taking Christmas in Midtown area is covered in 1.5 million lights and features a 90-foot light pole Christmas tree, a 50-foot Santa and sleigh, a large globe perched 30-feet in the air, 30 flying angels, three light tunnels, two 40-foot moving trains, dozens of stars and snowflakes, and more.
2. Watch the live performance of “A Christmas Carol” (60 minutes)
It’s easy to get distracted by the lights and the food and the parades and the… (see what I mean?) and totally forget about the outstanding live shows the park produces. We’re talking Broadway-quality talent, costumes, and staging — the full package. This is an SDC adaptation of Charles Dickens’ 1843 story of Ebenezer Scrooge’s transition from a bitter old man to a gentler, generous soul after a few Christmas “visitors.” The musical numbers are sung live and performed by a live orchestra. This show will feature a fresh musical score for the 2021 season.
3. Drink hot chocolate and wassail
Hot mulled cider — also known as wassail — and rich hot chocolate. Enough said. Ask for the “loaded” hot chocolate for a delectable drink topped with marshmallows, chocolate chips, whipped cream, and a candy cane.
4. See the giant tree on Town Square (10 minutes)
The stunning 80-foot-tall state-of-the-art tree (part of “Joy on Town Square”) comes to life each night at 5:30 p.m., and performances take place every 15 minutes thereafter for the remainder of the night. The $1.5 million custom-designed tree soars eight stories into the night sky and features hundreds of thousands of “dancing” high-resolution lights, all choreographed to music. Together with other illuminated trees and structures on Town Square, over one million LEDs combine color, music, light, and animated imagery.
5. Roast your own s’mores and eat hot apple dumplings with cinnamon ice cream
There is certainly no absence of comfort foods around the park. From harvest-themed “skillets” to walking tacos to fresh fried pork rinds, there’s a flavor for every palette. But for a special holiday treat, try a red velvet funnel cake or hot apple dumplings, complete with cinnamon-infused ice cream. You can also roast your own s’mores and smash them between two giant cookies!
6. Watch and join in on the nightly light parade (10 minutes)
Who doesn’t love a parade? Rudolph’s Holly Jolly Christmas Light Parade runs twice nightly at 6 and 8:15 p.m. (check the mobile app to confirm exact times) and includes nine musical floats decked out in 100,000 LED lights, all led by Rudolph himself. The floats are accompanied by 33 costumed characters. The parade itself lasts less than five minutes and we recommend staking a spot near the beginning (Red Gold Heritage Hall) for the most comfortable viewing environment. Once the parade passes you by, don’t be afraid to follow behind on your way to the next destination. Check out photos and video from the parade for a preview!
7. Watch the live performance of “Home For Christmas” (45 minutes)
This is a brand new show debuting for the 2021 season at Red Gold Heritage Hall. A cast of 12 talented singers and dancers will be accompanied by a live four-piece band performing 28 total songs. The show will feature six unique Christmas scenes to celebrate holiday traditions like tree-trimming, take a peek into Santa’s workshop, salute those that serve abroad during the holidays, remind us of the real reason for the season, and more. Just remember to arrive early as seating is limited and theaters can fill up 30 minutes before showtime.
8. Shop at Jingle Bell Junction and Christmas Hollow
Need some new ornaments or holiday decor to take home? You’ll find a sampling of every style at these two shops. Christmas Hollow is a year-round Christmas shop, while Frisco Barn is transformed into the Jingle Bell Junction, a never-ending spread of Christmas delight. It’s a great place to explore if you’re waiting for the parade to start.
9. Watch a cooking demonstration
Stop by Brown’s Candy Factory to watch a live demonstration of how SDC’s famous brittle and fudge are made and grab a free sample too! You can also watch the bakers in action at Eve & Delilah’s Bakery as they create GIANT cinnamon rolls, eclairs, cookies, and holiday fruit cakes.
10. Ride the sing-along steam train (10 minutes)
The train ride takes you on a behind-the-scenes journey through The City all while singing along to favorite Christmas carols. Halfway through, the train stops in time for Grandpa to tell a story of the true meaning of Christmas from his rocking chair.
TIP: Silver Dollar City tickets should be purchased in advance for the best pricing.
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