Where to be for Thanksgiving 2016

By: Michael Ayo

Publish Date: November 9, 2016

Now that Halloween has come and gone, and the Veterans Day festivities are starting to begin, the next major holiday to look forward to is Thanksgiving. It’s hard not to love Thanksgiving; from family gatherings and delicious food to football on television all day long, there is always something to be thankful for. If you’re planning on spending Thanksgiving Day in Branson this year, you will definitely need to know not only where you can get a feast of a meal, but also what activities are going on.

Bob Evans

One of the first places you will see on Branson’s Strip after exiting Highway 65 is the Bob Evans Restaurant. This place is a great meal option any day of the week, and it only gets better on Thanksgiving. Not only will breakfast be served all day, but they will also be serving a special holiday menu. You can choose between entrées of slow-roasted turkey, hickory-smoked ham, or slow-roasted pork and mushrooms. From there you will have a choice of three sides such as mashed potatoes, corn, macaroni and cheese and more. After that you choose between breads such as pumpkin, cinnamon coffee and banana, and finish it all off with a choice of pumpkin supreme or fall harvest pumpkin pie.

Cracker Barrel

Another classic place to visit for an old-fashioned, country Thanksgiving feast is Cracker Barrel. Located on the opposite end of Highway 76 from Bob Evans, Cracker Barrels all over the country fed 1.4 million people last year for Thanksgiving and expect to serve just as many in 2016. Their holiday menu includes home-style turkey and dressing along with gravy, sugar-cured ham, cranberry relish and your choice of three sides. Those sides could be anything from mashed potatoes and green beans to corn and fried okra.

Brunch at the Keeter Center

If brunch is more your style for a Thanksgiving meal, you’ll need to check out Dobyns Dining Room at College of the Ozarks’ Keeter Center. The brunch menu will have all the classic options such as breakfast items and fresh fruits, cheeses and salads. In addition to the usual menu, there will be a special menu featuring roast turkey, prime rib and smoked ham to pair with a number of traditional sides.

Grand Country Buffet

Grand Country is known for more than just their great shows. The Grand Country Buffet serves some of most delicious, country-style cooking you will find in the Ozarks and that is especially true on Thanksgiving Day. If you want to catch a show such as the “Grand Jubilee” or “Amazing Pets” before or after dinner, that’s fine because the buffet is open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. They’ll serve all your favorites such as turkey and the classic trimmings, and what makes it better is it’s all you can eat.

Golden Corral

One other great buffet option in Branson is where you can normally find Barbara Fairchild performing, the Golden Corral on Shepherd of the Hills Expressway. While she won’t be performing on the holiday, this restaurant will have a number of delicious Thanksgiving options to choose from. Those options include carved or sliced turkey, chicken and steaks with sides such as sweet potatoes, casseroles, mashed potatoes and various other vegetables.

Branson Landing Turkey Trot

Before you dig in to a wonderful Thanksgiving feast, you may want to watch, or even participate in, the Turkey Trot 5K at the Branson Landing. This will take place at 8 a.m. at the shopping center along the shores of Lake Taneycomo, and is hosted by the Ozarks Running Club. If you are interested in participating, be sure to visit ozarksrunningclub.com to register.

“It” Show

On Nov. 23 and 24, the “It” show at the Hughes Brothers Theatre will have their “We’re Thankful for You” show. This will be a special 10 a.m. performance combining a Thanksgiving theme with the normal Christmas show being performed at the time. If you are one that loves being in the Christmas spirit but also enjoys celebrating Thanksgiving, this is the show for you.

Main Street Lake Cruises – Landing Princess

One other fun activity you can experience on Thanksgiving Day is a Main Street Lake Cruise aboard the “Landing Princess.” This yacht will only cruise once on the holiday, departing at 12:30 p.m. The “Landing Princess” yacht is an elegant and relaxing way to spend the day, and each ride on the boat features a spectacular view of the Landing’s fountain show. As for the menu, the “Landing Princess” will serve tossed Mandarin orange salad, roasted turkey, baked ham, roasted sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, stuffing, seasonal vegetables, warm dinner rolls and pumpkin pie cheesecake.

Branson is always great for visiting during the holiday season, and that is especially true for Thanksgiving. If you find yourself vacationing to Branson during the holiday this November, be sure to check out one of these Thanksgiving-themed meals or activities.