LAKE OF THE OZARKS, MO – With many fun and festive events, spectacular shopping, impressive holiday light parks, delectable dining and all the Lake-area communities dressed up for the season, Central Missouri’s Lake of the Ozarks is the perfect home-away-from-home to make new holiday traditions this festive season.
On Thanksgiving Day, many Lake of the Ozarks-area resorts and restaurants help their guests brighten their spirits with delicious Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings. In Lake Ozark, visitors can enjoy traditional Thanksgiving feasts at H. Toad’s Bar & Grill at Camden on the Lake Resort, The Encore Lakeside Grill and Sky Bar at The Resort at Lake of the Ozarks, HK’s Restaurant at The Lodge of Four Seasons, and The Regalia Hotel and Conference Center. Elsewhere, The Inn at Grand Glaize in Osage Beach and Old Kinderhook Resort in Camdenton also are offering traditional Thanksgiving buffets complete with delectable desserts.
Thanksgiving Day also marks the opening of The Ice at Old Kinderhook, Central Missouri’s only outdoor ice skating rink. The Ice features casual holiday skating sessions, a “pond hockey” league and other special activities during the winter season. The Ice is open from 5-10 p.m. during the week (Monday through Friday) and from 1-10 p.m. on Saturdays and 1-8 p.m. on Sundays.
On Friday, Nov. 25, Old Kinderhook’s annual Christmas Village opens for the season, featuring visits from Santa and Mrs. Claus, elves, carolers, gingerbread house-making stations, horse-drawn carriage rides, and more festive, family-friendly fun. The Christmas Village will be open every weekend (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) through December 18. For more details, visit www.OldKinderhook.com.
In addition, there are many more holiday events taking place throughout late November and the month of December at the Lake of the Ozarks. For a complete list of holiday open houses, Christmas parades, musical performances, plays and pageants, visit the event calendar at www.FunLake.com/events.
HOLIDAY LIGHTS SHINE BRIGHT
One of the Lake of the Ozarks’ most popular and enduring holiday traditions involves the area’s different drive-through light parks. The Lake’s four different light parks open for the season as early as November 18 and remain open until January 8, 2023 at the latest.
Admission to the different light parks is free, but donations are welcome.
The Enchanted Village of Lights, the Lake of the Ozarks’ largest light park, meanders through 27 acres of the Laurie Fairgrounds and is celebrating its 29th season of warming hearts. The Enchanted Village opens on November 18 and runs through January 2. The light park is open daily from 5 p.m. until 9 p.m. on weekdays and closes at 10 p.m. on weekends.
The Festival of Lights at the Shrine of Saint Patrick is also located in Laurie just a mile from the Enchanted Village on Highway 5. The Lake’s oldest light park, the Festival of Lights, is now in its 41st year and has continued to grow with each season. Thousands of lights decorate the buildings and grounds and, as this site is the home of the National Shrine of Mary, Mother of the Church, the lighted displays focus on Jesus and His mother, Mary. The St. Patrick Festival of Lights will be open daily from 5-10 p.m. from Thanksgiving through January 8.
Versailles joins the lighting celebration from Thanksgiving through December 31 with its own Unity Circle of Lights featuring 40 lighted holiday exhibits in the city park at the junction of Highways 5 and 52 in Morgan County.
In Osage Beach, the 92-acre Osage Beach City Park, located on Hatchery Road off of Highway 54, will be dressed in holiday lights from November 29 through December 31. The Osage Beach Holiday Lights Park will be open daily from 5-9 p.m.
Additionally, visitors can take in the spectacular sights of lighted lakefront homes and boat docks during the “Christmas on the Lake” holiday cruises aboard The Celebration motor yachts from November 25 through December 30. The “Christmas on the Lake” cruises take place on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings and include appetizers and live musical entertainment. Boarding for these two-hour cruises begins at 5:30 p.m. at 1009 Bagnell Dam Boulevard in Lake Ozark. Proceeds from the holiday dinner cruises go to benefit multiple Lake-area charitable organizations. For additional details on different cruises, prices or how to book a reservation, visit www.CruiseLakeOfTheOzarks.com.
RING IN THE NEW YEAR IN STYLE
The holiday season at the Lake of the Ozarks reaches its climax on New Year’s Eve. Visitors can ring in the New Year in style at many Lake of the Ozarks resorts and restaurants. Camden on the Lake, The Lodge at Four Seasons, The Encore Sky Bar Amphitheater at The Resort at Lake of the Ozarks, and Margaritaville Lake Resort, to name just a few, are all offering special New Year’s dinners, dances, parties and/or special New Year’s Eve lodging packages. There also will be Lake-wide fireworks displays at the stroke of Midnight to usher in 2023. For a list of resorts, restaurants and entertainment venues offering New Year’s specials and parties, visit the event calendar at FunLake.com.
“HOME AWAY FROM HOME” FOR THE HOLIDAYS
Visitors to the Lake of the Ozarks area have a variety of options to choose from when it comes to comfortable accommodations for the holiday season; there are full-service large-scale resorts and smaller family-owned and operated resorts as well as charming bed and breakfasts or rustic cabins and cottages. There is no shortage of fully furnished vacation rental homes and condominiums. There also is a selection of familiar hotels and motels at the Lake. For those who prefer sleeping under the stars, spacious campgrounds and RV parks are interspersed throughout the area, too.
The Lake of the Ozarks glistens during the summer months but, during the holidays, it glitters with Christmas lights and festive decorations. Learn more about all the festive events, holiday shopping, musical events and specials on lodging and dining options available at the “Best Recreational Lake in the Nation” at www.FunLake.com or by calling the Lake of the Ozarks Convention and Visitor Bureau at 1-800-FUN-LAKE (386-5253).
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