Only a two-hour drive from Northwest Arkansas there is a spectacular Christmas show your whole family will love. I just went for the first time with my four sons, ages 10-5. Their eyes twinkled with delight from beginning to end as they experienced Christmas at Dolly Parton’s Stampede.
Tip: Take the journey via Springdale- it is less windy and is a smoother drive over other routes.
It is simply magical to see the joy of Christmas through your children’s eyes. Christmas comes alive at Dolly Parton’s Stampede and it starts the moment you arrive.
After parking, we made our way to the Horse Walk to see the magnificent horses- my boys loved reading each one’s name. Give yourself plenty of time to enjoy all Dolly Parton’s Stampede has to offer.
Tip: Christmas decorations abound. Don’t miss the chance to take seasonal family photos outside.
Once inside, the decked halls and greeters make it easy to get into the holiday spirit. The Christmas music and family entertainment in the Carriage Room before the main show is a lot of fun. Don’t miss it! It gave us the opportunity to potty, grab a drink (in a souvenir boot mug) and regroup. Plus, the entertianing pre-show is included in your ticket price.
Tip: Plan to arrive at least an hour before show time to take it all in.
The Christmas show has all the fun and excitement of the traditional Stampede, but Christmas makes it all just a little more enchanting. Dolly Parton’s Stampede brings the true meaning of Christmas home with sweet and tender moments. During the live nativity, angels ascend, fluffy snow falls and songs inspire as the Three Kings enter on camels.
The Stampede arena changes form as ice skaters (and a rink) appear- snow falls and they gracefully skate in the spotlight. A very cool glow-in–the-dark scene with toys bouncing about was cool and had my kids ‘oohing and aahing’ most of the night.
Again and again, the arena changes as 32 horses and trick riders put on a powerful performance- its the North Pole versus the South Pole in a high-energy show with fun competition.
My boys had a blast as they participated in the Stampede by “hooting and hollering” and stomping their feet. We all caught each other’s eyes throughout the night and smiles were plentiful.
One of the best things for families at Dolly Parton’s Stampede is the ability to let loose, relax and let the kids get into the show. You don’t have to be quiet or embarrassed if a child needs to potty in the middle- you’re easily able to get up without disturbing those around you. It is a family-friendly atmosphere and children are welcome.
Tip: Kids 2 and under, who sit in laps, and share a dinner plate with an adult, are free.
The stunts on horses at top speeds kept my boys’ attention at length. We all enjoyed cheering as other animals made their way out for races- piglets and rescue pups- what a fun surprise! Of course, Santa makes an appearance too- and lots of other fun throughout the Stampede. It is truly a Christmas tribute full of nostalgia.
Tip: You will enter and exit through the gift shop, manage expectations of little ones who will be drawn to the fun toys and souvenirs.
The delicious food came as no surprise, as Dolly Parton’s Stampede is known as “Branson’s Most Fun Place To Eat”
The food just keeps coming- my kids loved the biscuits and corn on the cob- but were most impressed with their very own whole rotisserie chicken. Eaten with their hands – they dug in happily. Servers bring out food and drink refills throughout the performance and it was no problem for me to help my kids with their plates of heaping feast food.
Tip: Vegetarian and Gluten Free meals are available- Just notify the Stampede when making your reservation. Also don’t forget extra cash to tip your server.
See Christmas at Dolly Parton’s Stampede Oct. 24, 2019 until January 4, 2020, in Branson, MO.
*We were gifted tickets to the show, but all opinions are our own.