The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

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December 27, 2012

Dave Woods: Favorite holiday just around the corner

Branson offers NYE fun for everyone

BRANSON, Mo. — We all have our favorite holiday.

For some, it’s Christmas and Easter because of their spiritual significance.

For others, it’s getting together with old friends and family — like ’em or not — around a crowded table topped with holiday fare.

Deviled eggs, anyone? Some love fireworks, picnics or life on the lakes.

My favorite holiday celebrates the outgoing year and welcomes in a new one. And there’s free champagne if you find the right party.

I wait 364 days each year for the opportunity to wear a funny paper hat, pull on exploding paper confetti poppers and drink from plastic champagne glasses.

I love New Year’s Eve. It’s all about rest, relaxation and sipping some bubbly submerged in a good hotel hot tub.

My New Year’s stay-cation in Branson has been planned for weeks. The three-day excursion allows me to pamper myself a little. By “pamper,” I mean sleeping past 7 a.m., eating great meals, trying new restaurants and staying up past 11 p.m.

If you’re still struggling between staying local or hitting the road for a day or three, I suggest taking a two-hour drive south to Branson.

Relax. Leave the kids at home and grab an adult outing in the Ozarks. Couples, singles or groups of adults will find plenty to do in Branson. Accommodations are available for any price range.

There’s only one New Year’s Eve each year, so better make the best of it.

It’s easy: Do some quick online research, plan and book. Keep it simple.

Slow down, do some shopping and find a restaurant that challenges your imagination.

I assembled a list of special New Year’s Eve performances and shows. Many include a meal, champagne toast at midnight or adult beverages. There are plenty of shows and activities for families, too.

All are solid options for a great New Year’s Eve out. Staying local is great, but I don’t want to be “that guy” in the silly paper hat. Not in Joplin, at least.

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