5 Great Christmas Traditions in Springfield MO

Start your own family traditions with these annual Springfield events.


Santa and Reindeer at Bass Pro photo PBH

1.  2011 Festival of Lights – Six weeks of Holiday events, activities and family fun most of it free! The Festival of Lights celebration kicks off this Saturday, Nov. 19th with the lighting of the Mayor’s Christmas Tree in Jordan Valley Park at 5:00pm.  The tree is followed by the Cardinals Christmas and Fireworks at Hammons Field and ice skating at Mediacom Ice Park from 5:30-6:30pm.

Festival of Lights activities throughout November and December include caroling in Park Central Square, horse-drawn carriage rides, holiday shows and concerts, Christmas light displays in Jordan Valley Park, the Downtown Springfield Christmas Parade and First Night Springfield.

2. Supreme Bakery for Kringle. 3314 S National Ave Springfield, MO 65807, 417-881-5226. The Kringle is a delicious Christmas tradition. Famous for its Kringle, Supreme Bakery creates a Danish pastry of 39 layers of buttery, flaky dough and filled with flavors like pecan or raspberry. If you feel virtuous, buy two. Just try to give away one of these delicate holiday treats. Or better yet, just tell your friends where to find this Danish delight.

3. Free photo with Santa at Bass Pro – Get a free 4×6 photo with Santa at Bass Pro now through December 24. There are free crafts and games, and plenty of gift ideas for everyone on your list. Oh, and a free kids meal when adults dine in the restaurant. 1935 S. Campbell, Phone: 417-887-7334 GPS Coordinates: 37.1798ºN, 93.2973ºW (WGS84/NAD83)

4. Christmas parade –  Downtown Springfield Prepares for “Rockin’ Around the Square” Christmas Parade The parade is Dec. 10, 2011, at 1 pm in Downtown Springfield. The theme of this year’s parade is “Rockin’ Around the Square.”  Featuring over 60 floats, 10 marching bands, and Santa himself, the parade will wind around the newly renovated Park Central Square. Thursday, November 10.

This year’s parade will begin at South Avenue and Elm Street; continue north on South Avenue to Park Central Square; go around the square and exit on Park Central East. The parade will take a left at Kimbrough Avenue and a right on Trafficway Street ending at Jordan Valley Park.

The Nutcracker

A timeless Christmas Classic, Springfield Ballet's "The Nutcracker" at Landers Theatre. photo: Springfield Ballet.

5. Springfield Ballet’s “The Nutcracker,” a beloved Christmas story with music composed by Peter Tchaikovsky.  The Nutcracker Ballet is based on the book “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King” by E.T.A. Hoffman. See it again and again. The Christmas story never grows old.

The Landers Theatre, Friday, December 16th – 7:30, Saturday, December 17th – 2pm & 7:30pm, Sunday, December 18th – 2pm & 6pm. Ticket Prices:Adult:  $24, Student/Senior/Military (with valid ID):  $21, Child (12 and under):  $16

Where to eat Gilardi’s, 820A E Walnut St., (417) 862-6400, Monday – Saturday 5:00 pm – close, Sunday and lunch open for big groups only. Maybe the best Italian food you’ve ever eaten out.

Where to eatFarmers Gastropub, 31 S. Jefferson Ave., Suite 160, Springfield, MO – 65806, Phone: (417) 864-6994, Hours: Sun 11am-4pm, Mon 4-10:30pm, Tue-Sat 11am-close. Fresh, simple, sustainable food in a casual neighborhood pub. If you are not a regular, you will be.

Striped Pot Eat at Farmers Gastropub

Where to stay Walnut Street Inn, 900 E. Walnut – Springfield,
Phone: (417) 864-6346, FAX: (417) 864-6184, 800-593-6346 Email: [email protected]

Simply the best B&B. I’ve stayed in half of the dozen beautifully appointed rooms, each came with a dreamy night’s rest and a tasty breakfast.

Striped Pot Walnut Street Inn

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feature photo: Itsalldowntown.com