Festive events, holiday light parks, musical shows and more make the holiday season special at the Lake of the Ozarks.
The holiday shopping season traditionally begins the day after Thanksgiving, but visitors can get a head start on the festivities now, with the lighting of the Enchanted Village of Lights.
The 27-acre drive-through light park, which opened Nov. 16, is located at the Laurie Fairgrounds in Laurie on the west side of the lake and is open through Jan. 1.
More than 8,160 vehicles and 25,600 people visited the light park last year. The Enchanted Village of Lights is open from 5 p.m. until 9 p.m. on weekdays and open until 10 p.m. on weekends. Admission is free.
Three other light parks around the Lake of the Ozarks open this weekend. Vacationers can experience the holiday lights at the Osage Beach City Park, the Festival of Lights at St. Patrick’s Shrine in Laurie, Missouri, and the Unity Circle of Lights in the Versailles, Missouri, city park at the junction of Highways 5 and 52. Admission to all light parks is free, but donations are welcome.
Thanksgiving Day at the lake
Several lodges and restaurants in and around the Lake of the Ozarks are offering Thanksgiving Day menus, buffets and specials during the holiday season. For more information about these and other dining options during the holiday season, visit the Lake of the Ozarks Convention and Visitor Bureau’s website, www.FunLake.com.
Thanksgiving marks the opening of Old Kinderhook’s annual Christmas Village and The Ice, central Missouri’s only outdoor ice rink.
Located at 68 Club Place in Camdenton, Missouri, the resort’s annual Christmas Village opens Friday, featuring visits from Santa and Mrs. Claus, elves, carolers, gingerbread house-making stations, horse-drawn carriage rides and more, and will take place every weekend until Christmas Eve. The Ice will also be open for the season for holiday skating sessions and a “pond hockey” league. The hours for The Ice are from 1 to 10 p.m. Thanksgiving weekend. The rest of the winter, The Ice is open from 5 to 10 p.m. on weekdays and 1 to 10 p.m. on weekends. For details, visit www.OldKinderhook.com.
Another long-standing Lake of the Ozarks holiday tradition kicks off Friday. Christmas on Main Street, at the Main Street Music Hall at 5845 Osage Beach Parkway in Osage Beach, features holiday carols, gospel hymns, comedy and musical impressions.
Shows are scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays and 3 p.m. on Sundays, from Friday through Dec. 22. Tickets are $22 for adults, $13 for children ages 5 to 12 and free for children ages 4 and younger. For more details, or to order tickets, call the Main Street Music Hall box office at 800.348.9501 or visit www.LakeMusicHall.com.
On the water
Visitors can take in the sights of lighted lake-front homes and boat docks during the Deck the Docks holiday dinner cruises aboard The Celebration motor yacht beginning Saturday and continuing through Dec. 29. The cruises feature dinner and live musical entertainment. Boarding for these two-hour cruises begins at 5:30 p.m. at 5085 Davis Drive at the west end of the Grand Glaize Bridge in Osage Beach. For additional details on different cruises, prices or how to book a reservation, visit www.CruiseLakeOfTheOzarks.com.
In addition to the events and attractions listed above, there are many festive events taking place throughout the month of December at the Lake of the Ozarks. For a complete list of holiday open houses, Christmas parades, musical performances, plays, pageants and more, visit the event calendar at www.FunLake.com.
The holiday season at the Lake of the Ozarks concludes with several New Year’s Eve celebrations at many resorts, restaurants, and bars. There will be live music, dinner and at dancing Camden on the Lake, The Inn at Grand Glaize, The Lodge of Four Seasons, Old Kinderhook and Tan-Tar-A Resort, just to name a few. There also will be fireworks displays along the lake at the stroke of midnight on Jan. 1.
(Editor’s note: Information provided by the Lake of the Ozarks Convention and Visitor Bureau.)