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Photo from LG Patterson

Things To Do Over Christmas (For Free)

We’re trying to compile a list of great places to stop over the holidays with your family… preferably free since we’ll spending enough money this time of the year. 🙂

Candy Cane Crib: 

Photo from LG Patterson

Spreading Christmas Spirit ~ One Bulb at a Time

For the past few years, Ryan Schultz and friends have built a Christmas light extravaganza at Logboat Brewery, where people can come out to enjoy the lights, some hot chocolate and maybe a few frosty cold ones. 

Santa even stops by on December 21st from 6p – 9p. 

504 Fay Street,
Columbia, MO 65201

Magic Tree (original): 

The Magic Tree has been a crab apple tree in Columbia, Missouri lit by Will Treelighter every holiday season since 1995. Each year in the fall Will has set to work wrapping every branch with mini lights creating an ever more elaborate spectacle that generates increasing interest from surrounding communities. That interest has led to such an influx of admirers to the little neighborhood which has hosted the Magic Tree that Will found it necessary to seek a new home for his creation.

Starting with this 2010 holiday season you will now find the Magic Tree at its new host neighborhood, the Village of Cherry Hill, located in Columbia, MO at Scott Blvd. and Chapel Hill Roads. The new tree is, appropriately enough, a Cherry Tree.

The Magic Tree is lit every evening from 5pm to 11pm from Thanksgiving Eve to Epiphany (January 6th). 

Magic Tree (The Crossing):

Join The Crossing on Friday, Dec. 6, 13, and 20 from 6–8 p.m. for a food truck, complimentary snacks & hot drinks, and free photo booths.

The tree will be lit daily from 5–10 p.m.

Bass Pro Shops (Santa):

Now through December 24th stop by the Bass Pro Shop in Columbia to get a free photo with Santa. They also have an area setup where kids can play games while Mom and Dad try not to drop the child’s inheritance in the store. I’m speaking from personal experience… Love me some Bass Pro. 🙂 – JMac

Open Mon – Sat 9a – 9p and Sundays 9a – 7p

Brookthorn Court North Pole Lights

Lights on daily until Christmas dark-11pm

The owners continue to do this each year because they “love seeing the faces of people who drive by. Christmas joy! I remember as a kid driving around looking at lights with my family, so I hope our home encourages that!” – Shannon Patterson 

Read more about the Brookthorn Court North Pole Lights. 

5002 Brookthorn Ct,

Columbia, Missouri 65203 

Christmas Lights Map: (If you’re just wanting to check out some of the best places to drive to check out lights)

Click Here

Other things to do:

In Columbia 

In Centralia

  • Lighted Tractor Parade on December 20th at 7p

In Jefferson City

  • Jaycees Christmas Parade on Saturday, December 7th at 4:30  

In Mexico

  • Candy Cane Lane, (Behind Porkey’s – Santa will be here on Dec 14th to greet and meet any and all families that would like to visit. Santa will have a little something for each child and there will be hot cocoa and cookies at the cocoa booth. Bring your cameras and take lots of pictures. This is free for everyone.)  

In Ashland

  • Ashland Light Parade on Friday, December 6th at 6p with city tree lighting to follow

In Moberly

In Boonville

In Fulton

  • Fulton Jaycees 71st Annual Christmas parade on Saturday, December 7th at 1pm 
  • Callaway Nativity at Fulton’s Festival of Lights. The Living Nativity will return Dec 6 and Dec 7 from 6-8pm at the Veteran’s Park Amphitheater

In Callao

  • Latchford Christmas Lights is approx. a 5 acre Christmas Light Wonderland!! They invite all young & old to come & celebrate this glorious season with them. We are open daily from 5:15 p.m. to 10 p.m. 

In Madison

Do you have anywhere else we should add to our list?



  1. Centralia’s lighted tractor parade is December 20th at 7pm.

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