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Old 10-11-2013, 12:24 PM   #1
can'tcatchup
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"Christmas on the Trail" at Shepherd of the Hills

Looking for more info than what's given on their website which I've already checked, but most of all reviews on the "Christmas on the Trail" show & meal.

I know the meal is at 4:45 PM & then there's a show. How long is the show, like does it go till 7 PM, 8 PM, etc.?

I think it includes the Trail of Lights drive through and the visit to Inspiration Tower, right? I assume that after the meal & show, one drives through the lights. Was wondering about the Inspiration Tower visit since the website says it's open all year until 5 PM. Do they have it open late during the November/December Christmas show dates, or must you go up there before the dinner meal?

If you've gone in past years, what did you think of the meal (chili, chicken, potatoes, corn on the cob, cornbread & cobbler) and what did you think of the show. I noticed that Branson 2 for 1 has tickets for the show/dinner for $24 each, which seems like a good deal since it covers the dinner, show, drive through the light display, & the tower. Is it worth $24 .... even more?

Thanks! Btw, before asking, I did try the search feature to see if there were posts in the past about it, but either I don't know how to use the search feature, or it doesn't like me. It gave me just about every post from the last year that ever had the word "Christmas" in the title. I tried putting "Christmas on the Trail" in quotes & searched. I tried putting an "and" in between every word of that .... nothing seemed to limit the results to that show only. So I'm hoping for some good info here to help make up my mind about getting tickets.
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Old 10-11-2013, 03:30 PM   #2
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the only question I can speak to here is the tower, at least a couple years ago it was open late, we did the drive thru and looked at the lights then went up the tower and that had to be around 9;00 or so.

it was pretty neat to go up after dark, you could look down on the Shepherds Christmas Lights and look back towards SDC and see all of their lights from a distance.
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Old 10-12-2013, 02:04 PM   #3
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Thanks, Okie, for the "tower info". Glad it's open late.

Wow, as to the other questions, it seems like no one's been to this show. Really?

I did finally come up with a search that gave me a few results, but mainly people also asking questions about the show. It sounds very interesting to me & a bargain since it includes the show, dinner, a drive through the Trail of Lights, and the tower ..... all for $24 on 2 for 1.
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Old 10-12-2013, 03:28 PM   #4
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Saw the show on TV last year, I think, on RFD-TV. Don't know when it was filmed. Wasn't my thing but then I'm not really into cowboy stuff. For example, I enjoy 2 or 3 songs by the Sons of the Pioneers or Riders in the Sky but I don't want to hear an hour or more. The show wasn't just cowboys singing familiar Christmas songs. Some of the songs were Christmas related songs written by someone in the group.
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Old 10-12-2013, 03:29 PM   #5
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We are locals and have been to Christmas on the Trail many times over the years....it is a very good show...probably about 2 hours. Old cowboy music/poetry/nostalgia - nothing fancy, but great harmonies. It isn't the Sons of the Pioneers, but these guys have that same smooth cowboy sound. They play guitars, fiddle, bass, mandolin around a "campfire". You come in and they serve your meal, and the show starts about 5:15. Food is excellent and plentiful. Show is over about 7:15 then you can drive through the Trail of Lights. If you go thru the lights alone it costs $8/person (or maybe $10, I can't quite remember, but it is too expensive to do it by itself!). The light display goes about a mile and a half, winding all through Shepherd of the Hills back trails. Then you go up in the Tower, which does stay open late during the Christmas season...free samples of kettle corn at the bottom of the tower...can't see a whole lot in the dark, but the Christmas lights are pretty from above. Then if you go to the General Store/gift shop next to the ticket office they have free hot chocolate/hot cider for you at the end. It is really a very good deal for the price, so be sure and take advantage of the 2 for 1 tickets and do it...really puts you in the old-time Christmas spirit! We recommend it highly to everyone we know!
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Old 10-13-2013, 06:46 AM   #6
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Wow, thanks! That's a lot of what I was wondering about! I'm not familiar with the theater. Is it small, large, like a traditionally formatted theater? Do you sit at tables (with others)? Or traditional theater seats? With 2 for 1 vouchers, is it like most of the other shows they sell, where once you have purchased the voucher, you can go to the theater to book your date & seats? Or maybe phone them since it's a little outside of Branson & we'd be going during Veteran's Week traffic? is seating assigned, or is it 1st come, 1st served?

What's the average amount of time needed to go through the Trail of Lights & the Inspiration Tower, and is the gift shop/hot chocolate open late?

Thanks!
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Old 10-13-2013, 07:16 AM   #7
biscuitcreek
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Quote:
Originally Posted by can'tcatchup View Post
Wow, thanks! That's a lot of what I was wondering about! I'm not familiar with the theater. Is it small, large, like a traditionally formatted theater? Do you sit at tables (with others)? Or traditional theater seats? With 2 for 1 vouchers, is it like most of the other shows they sell, where once you have purchased the voucher, you can go to the theater to book your date & seats? Or maybe phone them since it's a little outside of Branson & we'd be going during Veteran's Week traffic? is seating assigned, or is it 1st come, 1st served?

What's the average amount of time needed to go through the Trail of Lights & the Inspiration Tower, and is the gift shop/hot chocolate open late?

Thanks!
It's the same theater used for the Sons of the Pioneer shows. There are long tables with white molded chairs. Saw that while we were riding by the theater in the tram going down for the SOTH play. Reminded me of the set up on the main floor of the Showboat.
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Old 10-13-2013, 08:08 AM   #8
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"Theater" is really just an open-air pavilion, and biscuitcreek is right about the tables...just rows of long white tables end to end with white plastic chairs to sit in, all facing the stage. During the winter they put down plastic coverings for the sides and have heaters overhead that cycle on and off to keep you warm, so it's really not bad, although not your typical Branson theater. That kind of adds to the simple charm of the show, I feel. I'd still plan to bring a jacket, though, if you get cold easily. Seats are assigned when you get your tickets, so if you have a voucher, I'd go ahead and get your seats early to get closer to the stage area. Have never used vouchers, but I think you have to exchange them in person, not by phone. They fill up seating from the front back, and you are seated right beside the folks in the next party with no seats between you.

Trail of Lights takes maybe half an hour to go through, depending on how busy it is...you just drive real slowly through it with cars in front and behind you, so it kind of depends on how many people are going through and how much time they want to view all the lights. Inspiration Tower won't take too long, depending on you...you go up the elevator, walk around to see the views from each side, then go back down. Like I said, there's not a lot to see in the dark except the lights below you that you just drove through and the lights of Branson and Silver Dollar City in the distance. I think the lights and tower stay open until about 11 pm, and probably the gift shop/hot chocolate/cider place closes around 10 (but not sure...they may keep it open as long as the lights are on.) Hope that helps you...I know you will enjoy the show/lights/tower, so go for it!

Last edited by thesaint; 10-13-2013 at 08:15 AM.
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Old 10-14-2013, 08:30 AM   #9
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Again, thank you both! I've never been to the Sons of the Pioneers; so I didn't realize the "theater" was open air. If we go, which I'm thinking we will, I don't get cold easily, but I'll be sure to take a jacket along anyway. My concern about getting the tickets was based on my arriving on Sunday, when 2 for 1 is closed. Monday night would be the night open for us if we decide to do this; so I was a bit concerned about buying the vouchers on Monday & running out there to trade the vouchers for tickets/seat, and then running out there again at 4:30 for the show. I've never been to Branson during Veteran's week; so don't know what kind of traffic we'll encounter.

I guess I can call them to see if they'd assign the table/seats based on my word that I have vouchers & then just hold the actual tickets for when we come to see the show.
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Old 10-14-2013, 07:01 PM   #10
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I'd call and tell them I'll be using vouchers and ask them to assign seats before you get there . I have done that with other theaters and haven't had a problem doing so.
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Old 10-16-2013, 12:29 PM   #11
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I'd call and tell them I'll be using vouchers and ask them to assign seats before you get there . I have done that with other theaters and haven't had a problem doing so.
Thanks, I'll definitely do that. I have never done that with any 2 for 1 vouchers before, but I was sure I had read here of instances where folks were able to do that successfully (except for the 1 or 2 shows where you must wait till the last 30 minutes before showtime to trade vouchers for tickets). That's why I asked about phoning them instead of funning out there in what could be a heavy traffic time.
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Old 11-14-2013, 09:02 PM   #12
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I guess I'll have to put this on the list to do next year! We just plain ran out of evenings where we could have done this last week. Thank you for all the information though.
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