Holiday happenings in Mid-Missouri

Featured Sliders / Food & Drink / Lifestyle / Stories / November 14, 2018

In Mid-Missouri, there are ample ways to visit with Santa, explore Christmas celebrations of yesteryear, make holiday memories with families and friends, and shop and prepare for the big day. Take a break from the holiday hustle and bustle and plan a yuletide adventure filled with festive events. NOTE: Find out more details at the links provided.

Fulton/Callaway County area 

Turkey Trot 5K Run/Walk

Winners in each age group receive a medal and free Thanksgiving turkey during this event at 9:30 a.m. Nov. 17 in Fulton. 573-592-3190 or

Fulton Festival of Lights

The City of Fulton will light the annual Wish Tree and Field of Joy holiday displays at 5:30 p.m. Nov. 30 at Veteran’s Park, with the light park open every evening through Christmas.

Fulton Christmas Parade

Collect candy, wave at Santa and listen to carolers following the annual Jaycees Christmas Parade at 1 p.m. Dec. 1 in Fulton’s downtown Brick District.

Callaway Singers “Almost Christmas” concert

The Callaway Singers will present its “Almost Christmas” concert at 7 p.m. Dec. 6 and 2 p.m. Dec. 9 at Dulany Auditorium at William Woods University in Fulton. The concerts are free and open to the public, with handicap accessibility. There is limited space, so come early as doors open an hour before the show. “Friends of Callaway Singers” on Facebook. 

Christmas in the Barn

Rock Garden Antique Barn in Fulton will celebrate the season with home baked goodies, hot cocoa, visits with Santa and Mrs. Claus in a three-story historic barn from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Dec. 8.

Holts Summit Holiday Parade

Enjoy a variety of festive floats during this city-sponsored event at 2 p.m. Dec. 8 in Holts Summit.

Homegrown Holidays with The Kay Brothers

Listen to old time Missouri stompgrass when The Kay Brothers deliver a Homegrown Holidays Christmas concert from 6-8 p.m. Dec. 15 at The Brick District Playhouse in Fulton.

Columbia area


The MU Choral Union, in collaboration with the University Singers and University Philharmonic, will present George Frideric Handel’s most recognizable work at 7 p.m. Nov. 15 at MU’s Jesse Auditorium in Columbia.

Columbia Holiday Festival

Held at the Holiday Inn Executive Center in Columbia, guests get a jumpstart on their Christmas shopping with vendors, artisans and crafters from across the state from 6-9 p.m. Nov. 16, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Nov. 17 and 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Nov. 18. A portion of ticket proceeds support local charities. 

Mannheim Steamroller Christmas

by Chip Davis

Marking the 34th anniversary of Mannheim Steamroller Christmas album release and tour, Chip Davis will deliver classic Christmas hits, as well as a selection of compositions from the group 7 p.m. Nov. 26 at MU’s Jesse Auditorium in Columbia.

“The Great Russian Nutcracker”

Experience the classic Christmas celebration of “The Great Russian Nutcracker” at 7 p.m. Nov. 28 at MU’s Jesse Auditorium in Columbia.

Santa’s Little Workshop Craft Show

Boy Scout Troop 134 from Ashland will host its 30th annual holiday craft show from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Dec. 1 at the Ashland Optimist Club. 

City Kwanzaa Celebration

Celebrate African-American holiday traditions based around developing positive families and communities from 2 p.m. Dec. 1 in Progressive Missionary Baptist Church. The free event will include community awards, entertainment and a holiday feast.

Holiday Brass Concert

This annual concert features faculty and students from the University of Missouri School of Music and supports MU music scholarships at 3 p.m. Dec. 2 at Missouri United Methodist Church in Columbia.

March Family Victorian Christmas

Stephens College gives its annual Victorian holiday celebration a new twist, focusing on the exceptional women in the March family portrayed in “Little Women” during this event at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 2-5 at the Historic Senior Hall at Stephens College. Enjoy Christmas carols, dancing and treats. 573-876-7199 or


This new family musical is based off the Eoin Colfer book with a score by Liam Bates about a young girl preparing to star in a school play when her mother suddenly disappears. While on her search, the girl encounters a crew who must rediscover the magic of Christmas. The production is at 7 p.m. Dec. 5 at MU’s Jesse Auditorium in Columbia.

 “It’s A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play”

Columbia Entertainment Company presents the beloved American holiday classic as a live 1940s radio broadcast at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 6-8 and 13-16 and 2 p.m. Dec. 9 and 16 at its Columbia-based theater.

Living Windows

Columbia’s The District has its own Living Windows festival held from 6-8 p.m. Dec. 7, where shopkeepers move all the merchandise out of their front windows and stage live holiday performances for onlookers. Open houses, strolling carolers, holiday treats, snowflakes on Broadway, the Magic Tree and visits with Santa are also a part of the festivities.

Holiday Lights and Sights Tour

See the city’s most beautiful holiday lights from the Parks and Recreation mini-bus from 6:15-9 p.m. Dec. 7. Tours depart from the ARC. 

Jingle Bell Run

The Arthritis Foundation hosted event brings teams of friends, family and co-workers to run or walk, spread smiles and good cheer, raising funds for their programs and services at 8 a.m. Dec. 8 at Silverthorne Arena in Columbia.

“The Ultimate Christmas Show (Abridged)” 

The Reduced Shakespeare Company delivers an irreverent yet heartwarming trip through the holidays during this play at 7 p.m. Dec. 12 at Missouri Theatre on University of Missouri campus in Columbia.

Kringle Jingle Holiday 5K

The Kringle Jingle 5K is a cheery Christmas themed road run, filled with holiday decorations, Christmas themed mile markers, live music, Santa and after race activities at 8 a.m. Dec. 15 at 300 N. 10th St. in Columbia. 

Lake of the Ozarks area

Holiday Market Place

Explore craft booths and vendors with Christmas crafts and gifts from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Nov. 16-17 at the Camden County Museum in Linn Creek. Lunch is available for a donation.

Sugar Plum Tea Party and “The Nutcracker” 

Meet and have desserts with the Sugar Plum Fairy, Clara and other characters from STEPS Dance Studio’s “The Nutcracker” at 3 p.m. Nov. 17 at STEPS Creative Arts Center, then attend “The Nutcracker” ballet at 2 p.m. Nov. 25 at School of the Osage High School’s Cummings Auditorium in Osage Beach.   

Christmas Village at Old Kinderhook

Every Thursday through Saturday from Thanksgiving (Nov. 22) through Dec. 23, the community is invited to take horse drawn carriage rides, decorate gingerbread houses, view the tree lighting and tree trimming gatherings, meet with Santa and Mrs. Claus, listen to elves telling stories, make s’mores, ice skate and more at The Ice at Old Kinderhook in Camdenton.

Lake area light parks

Four drive-through holiday light parks help brighten spirits throughout the season at Lake of the Ozarks. The Versailles Unity Circle of Lights is Jan 1 from Nov. 25 through Jan. 1 at the city park is more recent addition, and the oldest display is the Festival of Lights is open nightly from 5-10 p.m. Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 22, through Jan. 2 at the Shrine of the St. Patrick and Mother’s Shrine in Laurie. The Enchanted Village of Lights is open nightly from 5-9 p.m. and on the weekend until 10 p.m. from Nov. 16 through Jan. 1 at the Laurie Fairgrounds in Laurie. From 5 p.m. Nov. 24-Dec. 31, see more than 100 displays at the Holiday Lights in the Park at Osage Beach City Park.

Lake area Christmas parades

At least three Christmas parades are held annually at Lake of the Ozarks. The first is the annual Lighted Christmas parade, held this year at 6 p.m. Nov. 24 along north Missouri 5 in downtown Laurie. The annual Lake of the Ozarks Christmas parade is scheduled for 3 p.m. Dec. 8 on Bagnell Dam Strip in Lake Ozark, followed by a community bonfire, treats, crafts and visits with Santa at Two Bit Town.

Deck the Docks

Celebration Cruises in Osage Beach takes passengers aboard a decorated yacht to view holiday decorations from the shoreline held at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from Nov. 23 through Dec. 29.

Running of the Elves/Christmas on the Square
Dress like an elf during the Running of the Elves 5K Run/Walk that starts at 8:30 a.m. Dec. 1, beginning at the Camdenton Square. Then stick around for the annual Christmas on the Square with games, ornament making, chocolate snowmen, prize drawings, craft tables, music, cookie decorating, petting zoo, refreshments, dance and music performances, visits with Santa and more from 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m.

“The Pony Espresso” 

This Sunrise Beach Little theatre children’s holiday production is a fun, pun-packed comedy by Rachel Davidson at 7 p.m. Dec. 7-8 at the Sunrise Beach Community Center.

“The Nutcracker Ballet”

 This traditional holiday classic will hit the Royal Theatre stage at 7 p.m. Dec. 14-15 and at 2 p.m. Dec. 16 in downtown Versailles.

Old Tyme Christmas at Linn Creek 

Enjoy craft activities, refreshments, gift ideas, Christmas exhibits, free museum tours and caroling from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Dec. 15 at the Camden County Museum. At 2 p.m., attend the annual children’s Christmas play, “We Wish You A Merry Spendmas.” 


Christmas California Style

On Dec. 1., businesses are planning an open house with sales, discounts, prizes and refreshments. Local entertainment and performances will take place, and a lighted Christmas parade with special guests, Mr. and Mrs. Claus, will begin at 5 p.m. downtown.

“Gracy & Lacy – Cool Yule”

These sisters bring their passion for performing and singing vintage show tunes enticed “Cool Yule” at 7 p.m. Dec. 1 at Finke Theatre.

Heather Pirner

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