Big Cedar Guest Blogger

by Big Cedar Lodge 10. January 2013 11:30

We'd like to share a note from a recent guest:

Hi Big Cedar,

Just wanted to tell you what a great time we had at Big Cedar Lodge. The resort is absolutely amazing! The attention to the smallest detail really impressed us. We loved the ambience created by the "outdoors" theme and the various mounts throughout the lodge and adjoining buildings. The room was great, and the beds were so comfortable! The breakfast buffet was fantastic - as was the room service the night before. As we walked the grounds and took in some of the sights, we realized just how diverse the property is. We cannot wait to come back and explore more that Big Cedar has to offer!

See you Soon!

Rick & Brenda Norem
Antigo, Wisconsin

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Food & Beverage | Outdoor Fun

Lighting the Big Cedar Christmas Tree

by Big Cedar Lodge 13. December 2012 15:06

What do Christmas carolers, cheerleading elves, ice carving, and Clarence Peabody have in common?  They all provide entertainment during the Big Cedar Lodge Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony on the Truman Café lawn!  Every Saturday evening until Christmas, crowds come from near and far to watch a lucky child light up the huge Christmas tree; however, it’s the entertainment before that special moment that make the night truly memorable!

Take Clarence Peabody for example –as Master of Ceremonies for the evening, he offers some unconventional wit with his songs, jokes, and elf wrangling!  The carolers, dressed in Victorian clothing, bring a more traditional aspect to the gathering, and the ice carving is not only beautiful but interesting!  As each chunk of ice falls away, the creations come to life.  And what about the elves, you ask?  Well, their Pep Rally is so good; the jolly old elf himself makes a special appearance!  



Don’t miss your chance to join the celebration each Saturday at 4:30pm on the Truman Lawn at Big Cedar Lodge.  You can also find refreshments, crafts, bon-fires, and all around merriment!  And, don't forget your camera!  



Christmas Activities at Big Cedar Lodge

by Big Cedar Lodge 7. December 2012 15:11

The Christmas spirit is in full swing at Big Cedar Lodge, and with all the activities going on around the property everyone should be singing “fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la!” 


From wreath making to gingerbread houses, holiday light tours to snowman ice cream socials---Big Cedar is the place to bring your family for Christmas.  Join us tomorrow as we light up the Christmas tree and take part in an Elf Pep Rally!   

















The Tree Lighting Ceremony is Saturday, December 8th at 4:30pm on the Truman lawn.  Festivities include a bonfire, carols, refreshments, games, and a visit from a special person! 

For more information on all the Holiday activities click here!

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Christmas at Collections Boutique

by Big Cedar Lodge 30. November 2012 16:39

Stop by the Collections Boutique and check out our great Christmas selections!  We have unique, one-of-a-kind gifts for everyone on your list.  Check out our Top 5 picks this week:


1. Kiss Me In the Garden Bath Products



2. Big Cedar Lodge Wine & Glasses



3. Big Cedar Lodge Feather Beds



4. The Mueller Family Cookbook: Recipes from Jeanie Morris' Family



5. Martin Dingman Duffle Bags and Shaving Kit



Load Up the Wagon, It's Time for the Holiday Light Tours!

by Big Cedar Lodge 15. November 2012 12:19

There is something inherently Christmas about loading up in a horse drawn hitch wagon decorated in holiday greenery, and heading out to view the Big Cedar Christmas lights. I had the opportunity to take my first Holiday Wagon Light Tour this week, and I know it will be a part of my holiday traditions for years to come.

From the moment we climbed into the wagon, I felt like I was entering a Currier & Ives Christmas card. I recommend dressing warmly, but each wagon carries enough blankets to warm the toes of every guest.  Before we left the loading area, we had snuggled into our seats and were comfortably awaiting the ride ahead.

The tour took us by the many beautifully decorated Big Cedar buildings and cabins.  Looking up the hillside, Falls Lodge, Grandview, and Springs Lodge shimmered in the crisp night air.  But it wasn’t just the sights that made the ride so memorable.  From the clip-clop of hooves, to the smell of fresh hay, to the pitch of the wagon as we made our way throughout the property; every sensory element said “The Holidays are Here… Enjoy!”

Our wagon included a couple celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary and a couple who had planned a quick stop at Big Cedar, but after one day, they changed their plans to a week-long vacation stay.   Also in our hitch, we met a young couple who were regulars to the Lodge, but had brought their baby daughter for her first Holiday Light tour.  Each of us from different places and walks of life, but together we made a lasting holiday memory as we exchanged names, stories, and Big Cedar anecdotes.

We unloaded from the wagons at the bonfire site in front of Truman Coffee and Café.  There, we sang Christmas songs with the Singin’ Cowboy, drank hot chocolate, and roasted S’mores over a blazing campfire.   The evening was complete as the last verse of “Silent Night” lingered above the holiday carolers… Currier & Ives couldn’t have designed a better ending to a more beautiful night! 


Veteran's Day: A Note to Those Who Have Served Our Country

by Big Cedar Lodge 12. November 2012 09:15

Veterans Day began as way to honor the soldiers killed in WWI.  In 1918, on the 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month Germany signed the Armistice thereby ending the First World War.  The following year, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed the first Armistice Day by saying:

"To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country's service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations."

Although no longer called Armistice Day, Veterans Day continues to be a day set aside to honor our military servicemen and women.  From the Revolutionary War to the continued Afghan War, as a country we offer pride and gratitude for those who have chosen to fight for our freedom.

In preparation for writing this piece, I started thinking about what sets a soldier apart from a civilian.  What makes a soldier a soldier? 

Is it in their training?  We all know the strict training regiment soldiers must adhere to, but does the training make a soldier?  In both the Revolutionary and Civil War, most of the young men and women involved in the conflicts had no training; yet they showed bravery and heroism in battle on a level matching the more training intensive servicemen and women of today.

If not from training, does being a good goldier come from family history?  There are families where it seems being a soldier is just ingrained in their make-up.  Yet, family history cannot answer to all the good soldiers in our country’s history.  President Eisenhower, one of this country’s most effective generals, was raised by a family vehemently opposed to warfare of any kind.  And Colin Powell, retired Four Star General and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, came from a family with no military history, yet he held the highest military position in the Department of Defense.

Or does it come down to instinct?  Is it an instinctive thing to want to run towards battle instead of away?  Natural instincts may play a role in a soldier’s make-up, but I’ve also spoken to many good soldiers that had to be forced into battle… No, they weren’t instinctively drawn to the task at hand; in fact, like many people reading this today, they would have rather turned and run the other way.

And herein lies what I believe makes a soldier… It is not about what sets them apart; it is in what makes them the same as you and I.  The soldiers we honor today are our fathers, mothers, brothers, and sisters.  They are our uncles and aunts, children and grandchildren.  They are Democrat and Republican, believers and non-believers, every race, creed, and background. They have the same fears and shortcomings, yet they choose to stand and fight for us, because they are us...Americans.  

On this day of honor, let us not forget that every man or woman who has served our country, has done so because they are American.  Not because they are any different than anyone else, but because they are the same… And for that, we are truly thankful and proud!

A New Construction Project at Big Cedar Lodge

by Big Cedar Lodge 9. November 2012 14:16

There’s a lot of construction going on at Big Cedar Lodge—the Garden Chapel, the Big Cedar Spa, and Bass Pro Shops Outdoor Academy are all set to open sometime next year; however, there’s one construction project underway that will be completed within the week… The Giant Gingerbread House!


Every year since 1998, Big Cedar associates have constructed a Giant Gingerbread House.  There have been many structures assembled including replicas of The Worman House, Truman Coffee and Café, Big Cedar Cabins, a life size fireplace, a Santa boat, and a Christmas sleigh.  This year’s construction is a two-story replica of the Garden Chapel, Big Cedar’s newest upcoming wedding venue.


Associates from the bakery department and restaurants have been working around the clock to assemble the edible creation by the end of the week.  Every piece of gingerbread is hand baked and hand laid into place, giving a spicy aroma to the entire Registration area.  Buckets of icing and sheets of confectionary siding will soon combine with assorted candies to complete the design. 

To watch the construction progress, stop by the Registration Building.  No need to bring a hard hat, but you might leave with a sweet tooth!









Big Cedar Lodge Announces the Winners of the 2012 Plein Air Paint Out

by Big Cedar Lodge 31. October 2012 15:51


Big Cedar Lodge is honored to announce the winners of the Third Annual Plein Air Paint Out that took place over the past week.  Artists from across the nation gathered at Big Cedar and Dogwood Canyon Nature Park for a chance to compete for cash prizes, awards, and the coveted Wine Label Award. 

The winners of this year’s competition are: Marty Coulter, 1st Place Quick Draw; John Lasater, 2nd Place Quick Draw; John Lasater, 1st Place Night Paint Out; Ken Chapin, 2nd Place Night Paint Out; Billy’o O’Donnell, 1st Place Best of Show; Susan Rogers, 2nd Place Best of Show; Larry DeGraff, 3rd Place Best of Show; Marty Coulter, Dick Blick Award; Jason Sacran, Artist’s Choice Award; and Henryk Ptasiewicz, 2012 Wine Label Award.

As the winner of the Wine Label Award, Ptasiewicz’s painting will be used as a label for all Big Cedar Lodge house wines served at the Worman House Restaurant, Devil’s Pool Restaurant, Buzzard Bar, and in the Lodge’s gift shop.  In addition, he will receive two cases of the wine and a cash prize. 

“Each year the event gets better and better,” according to Jeanie Morris, fellow artist and coordinator of the Plein Air Paint Out.  “We love the great atmosphere the event brings to the resort, having over 100 gifted and friendly artists painting and visiting with guests while capturing the beauty of the Ozarks in the fall.”

The awards ceremony was preceded by a gallery where resort guests and art lovers could purchase the original paintings created during the weeklong event.  Artists of all skill levels were able to display their works to the public and make valuable connections.

“It was a fun time for the artists to be spoiled a little and catch up with friends,” says Morris.  Exactly what Big Cedar Lodge is all about!  


  John Lasater, 2nd Place Quick Paint


Marty Coulter, 1st Place Quick Paint


                                                                                                     Ken Chapin, 2nd Place Night Paint Out


John Lasater, 1st Place Night Paint Out 


   Larry DeGraff, 3rd Place Best in Show


Susan Rogers, 2nd Place Best in Show






Billy'o O'Donnell, 1st Place Best in Show


                       Jason Sacran, Artist's Choice Award


                                                                                Henryk Ptasiewicz, 2012 Wine Label Award


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Food & Beverage | Outdoor Fun

The Paint Out Begins!

by Big Cedar Lodge 23. October 2012 09:53

The week-long Big Cedar Lodge Plein Air Paint Out event began yesterday with a workshop hosted by John Budicin.  Specializing in outdoor painting, he met with a small group and gave private instructions on painting en plein air. 

 John will give several public demonstrations over the next few days.  Be sure to check the Big Cedar website for more information. 

En Plein Air Workshop with John Budicin

by Big Cedar Lodge 11. October 2012 11:50

Join Big Cedar Lodge as we welcome the 2012 Plein Air Paint Out Host Artist and Judge, John Budicin. Born in Italy, Budicin was educated in Southern California and presently lives in San Bernardino where he maintains a studio. Originally a commercial artist, his passion is en plein air (outdoor) painting, and his works can be found in many private and corporate collections across the United States and abroad. This award winning artist will conduct a workshop and give a public demonstration during the week-long event. 

On Monday, October 22, the week kicks off with the John Budicin Workshop. As an accomplished teacher, Budicin has lead workshops across the United States and Italy. He specializes in painting natural scenes in outdoor locations; making him a perfect match for Big Cedar’s picturesque location on Table Rock Lake.

During the workshop, Budicin will train artists to focus on simplifying and organizing shapes. Beginning with a simple statement, Budicin guides students in capturing shapes, values, and light source quickly; translating each brush stroke into a finished painting.

“Whether it's a landscape or a cityscape, my first reaction is to break it down into a simple statement. By paying close attention to shapes and value, I start to paint a building in the same fashion as I paint a tree or a mountain, by responding to the scene in flat and simple shapes. (The only difference is that a street scene requires a bit more drawing at the outset and more attention to perspective.) Then I'll go back and add details and variation of color. I generally like to include some elements of human life in my work when I can--a house or maybe some animals or people. I want to show the gentle sides of nature and man in a harmonious existence.”—John Bucidin

The following link explains Budicin’s painting process. Notice how simple elements are transformed into a finished scene.

Even if you chose not to participate in the workshop, the Paint Out competition is a perfect opportunity to meet other artists, sell your artwork, get experience en plein air, and have a chance to win great prizes. It only costs $50 to enter the competition, and that fee includes a gift bag filled with samples from our event sponsors. This year’s sponsors include SourceTek, Judson Art Outfitters, SunEden Artist Gear, Plein Air Magazine, Gamblin Artist Gear, Dick Blick, and National Art Shop.

Big Cedar Lodge

Big Cedar is tucked into the wooded hillsides of the Ozark Mountains just 10 miles south of Branson, Missouri on Table Rock Lake. This popular vacation paradise - complete with Jack Nicklaus signature golf course and Dogwood Canyon Nature Park - offers cozy accommodations, delicious dining options and first class service.

Big Cedar Lodge website

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