3 Holiday Events You Don’t Want To Miss!

3 Holiday Events You Don’t Want To Miss!

This month has brought us temperatures in the 80s and temperatures in the 30s. Welcome to Ozarks’ weather, folks. Some days may feel like fall and others like summer, but either way the calendar doesn’t lie – holiday time is here. Thanksgiving is just days away, and if we’ve learned anything at all over the years, it’s the importance of taking time to enjoy the season. There are plenty of opportunities to take advantage of all we have to offer here in the Ozarks, so here are a few ideas to pencil in now, before the holiday hullaballoo ramps up.

Gardens Aglow

Here’s an eye-popping event not to be missed. Every year, the folks at Friends of the Garden trick out the Mizumoto Japanese Stroll Garden with thousands upon thousands of lights in trees, bridges and paths throughout the 7.5 acre park. The glowing lights make for a magical, after-dark stroll with friends and family that’s unlike anything else in the city. Visitors can enjoy foods and beverages from local vendors, music, and even a chance to cozy up by a fire pit while becoming immersed in the holiday spirit. It’s no wonder Gardens Aglow has become a family tradition.

The Members Only preview is November 20th, then the public is welcome on select dates between November 24th and December 31st from 5-8:30 pm. Advance tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for kids age 3-12 HERE. Tickets at the gate are $7 for adults and $4 for kids. Friends of the Garden Springfield Sister Cities Association members get in free. View the full calendar and get tickets HERE.

Mayor’s Tree Lighting 2023

Join Mayor Ken McClure and a few thousand of your closest friends on Saturday, November 18th as the giant Christmas tree lights up in Springfield’s Park Central Square. The lighting itself is only part of the evening’s festivities which start around dusk with free ice skating at Jordan Valley Ice Park, and evolves from there with music, story time, carriage rides, treats, big-screen shows and other surprises. Truly, this is a tradition of fun for all ages, but especially families with little ones who delight in watching Santa Claus usher in the Christmas Season in style.

Here’s a rundown of events:

5-8 pm – Free ice skating at Jordan Valley Ice Park (includes skate rental)
6-9 pm – Free horse-drawn carriage rides at Park Central Square
5:30 pm – Central High School Choir
6pm – Mayor McClure reads ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas
6:10 pm – Santa and Mrs Claus Arrive
6:20-7 pm – Live stage performances
6:45 pm – Swearing-in of future U.S. Army Soldiers
6:15-9 pm – Santa Land fun on Park Central Square
7-7:45 pm – Pre-recorded holiday special on the big screen
7:55 pm Official Tree Lighting
8-8:30 pm – More entertainment & Santa visits

The City of Springfield takes pride in this annual event, and rightly so. Bundle up the family and head downtown for this special night of festive fun. If you can’t make it, you can watch from home on MeTV Channel 33.3 from 7-8 pm.

Historic C-Street Tree Lighting Ceremony

Not to be outdone by the folks downtown, Historic C-Street plans to light up its tree one week later, November 25th. Here’s the perfect opportunity to show off another fun part of Springfield to visiting family who are in town for Thanksgiving.

Events kick off at 4pm with live music, hot cocoa, even an appearance from Santa himself. The countdown to the tree lighting starts at 5pm around the Jefferson Avenue Footbridge. Free parking is available on C-Street and throughout the district, and be sure to come early for dinner, drinks and shopping opportunities!

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