My family was invited to Branson by the Branson CVB through The Women Bloggers. Our accommodations as well as some attractions were provided by the Branson CVB. We enjoyed Branson so much, many of the attractions below mentioned were also visited during our own family vacation this spring. All opinions shared of our trip are those of my own family.
My two oldest children are constantly talking about and planning our next trip. They have quite an extensive travel bucket list for children ages six and eight, and I love that they want to see the world. This year with having the new baby, we had decided we would travel a bit closer to home. At the end of 2015, we decided to purchase season passes to Silver Dollar City so we knew Branson, MO would be one of our destinations many times throughout the year.
Having traveled to Branson as a child myself, I had great memories of visiting. Bryan and I have traveled as a couple many times, and we have traveled with kids for short trips but this year was the first year we planned to visit and truly vacation as an entire family. There is so much to do it can be hard to narrow it down. We did so much on our vacation and yet still have a very extensive list of things to do!
Silver Dollar City – Where do I begin? It is an amazing theme park that has the look and feel like you have stepped back in time. It is a relaxed, friendly atmosphere packed with thrill rides, family friendly rides and even lots of rides for the youngest in the group. My oldest loved the thrill rides, including the intense Outlaw Run Rollercoaster.
Even on our long days spent in the parks, it is almost impossible to visit them all, so plan to spend more than one full day here! There are many shows daily as well as many live artisans you can watch practicing their trade.
The glass blowers are some of my favorite that I remember watching even as a child. Even if you don’t enjoy amusement park rides, there is still plenty to see and do to truly enjoy spending time at Silver Dollar City. Be sure to snap a photo at the Branson Star Snap location!
White Water – Our first couple of weekend trips early in the year, Austin begged to visit White Water. As you drive down the strip, you can’t help but notice the huge water slides. Austin is my dare devil and loved everyone of them, including KaPau Plummet!
I spent most of my days floating down the lazy river or in Coconut Cove with the little ones who had a ball! It was blistering hot but the water kept us cool. There was a lot of yummy food options as you are not allowed to bring in cooler with your own food and drinks. (Food allergies are an exception.)
Branson Landing – The landing is a 1.5 mile scenic boardwalk located right on beautiful Lake Taneycomo. It is a beautiful open air marketplace with amazing shopping, eateries and several things to do. One end (or starting point) is a beautiful Bass Prop Shop. The water feature right in the heart of the Landing is amazing! The fountains shoot 120 feet into the air with gusts of water and fire cannons blasting all choreographed to lights and music.
The Track: Branson Family Fun Park – Ever since making our very first trip to Branson with the children, they have wanted to visit the go-karts. We had promised this trip we would finally make it happen! There are four different Branson Tracks located throughout the strip and we were pleased to visit the one located right at the Ferris Wheel. The big kids filled their need for speed with Daddy on the Heavy Metal High Rise track. It was fast but they all loved it! Then there were slower paced, easier tracks for the little ones to enjoy as well. Miss B and Addie were able to ride a few of the amusement rides and loved them. We had such a fun evening and before long it was 11:00pm. There is truth to the fact that time passes so quickly when you are having fun! We ended our night with a few games in the Arcade and decided that the bump cars would have to wait for our next trip because we would be back.
Branson Ferris Wheel – All spring we have the giant ferris wheel take shape. It has been amazing see the progress on our mini-trips over the spring. It stands 150 feet tall and was originally found at the Chicago Navy Pier before finding it’s way to it’s new home in Branson. There are over 16,000 LED lights that put on a spectacular show at 9:00pm, 10:00pm & 10:55pm. The ride is 7 1/2 minutes long and is so exciting! All six of my family hopped into our gondola and loved it. You can see so far out into the horizon. After getting off my children were so excited and exclaimed, “We have to ride again!”
Mini Golf – There are so many mini golf course down the Branson strip, it isn’t hard to find one. The problem is deciding which to golf at. It was on our list of things the children wanted to do while in Branson and we were able to visit two courses. Both were a blast and Miss B got a hole in one at each hole! She was great when it was her turn to place the ball right in the hole. Mini golf is a great way to encourage friendly competition, have lots of laughs and most importantly make lots of memories!
Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum – This is another iconic building you can’t help but notice as you drive down the strip. It is a brightly colored building that is all cracked up and has a larger than life Optimus Prime out front. It is something my two-year old looks for each time we drive down the strip. They had no idea what to expect inside but were pleasantly surprised and shocked by some of the most outrageous, some of the largest and most amazing things you can imagine. The world’s tallest man, largest roll of toilet paper, and massive Color Brite set were all huge hits! This was a perfect way to break up a very hot day.
Amazing Pet Show – If you are looking for a fun, family friendly show even the youngest of children will enjoy, Amazing Pets at Grand Country Inn is it!! They combine kid-friendly humor with cats, dogs and birds that perform lots of fun and amazing tricks. Dancing ballerina dogs, cats that walk the tight rope, birds that fly just over your head are just a few of the fun things you can expect to see. AppleJack is a great MC who really gets the audience involved in the show between the animal acts. Austin was invited on stage twice and Miss B got up there to sing with him once. They all truly loved it. This was a show that starts at 10am, which was perfect timing for us.
Baldknobbers Jamboree – We had heard such good things about the Baldknobbers show and were so excited to finally get to see it for ourselves. You can expect a great mix of country hits and lots of laugh out loud comedy from this family owned show. The Baldknobbers was the first show in Branson and the Mabe family continues three generations later. We really enjoyed the show. The musicians were pretty amazing in the live band and my music loving family were delighted to see so many instruments used. It starts at 8pm and lasts about 2 hours with an intermission.
The Butterfly Palace – I can’t say enough great things about the Buttery Palace. It is a must see for any nature lover. You can get lost in the beautiful butterfly aviary for hours watching them flutter about. This is so much more than a beautiful place, you can truly learn about the life cycle of the butterfly, see a video of where they come from, see the impact that The Butterfly Palace has in Costa Rica with the farmers who raise the butterflies and all that goes into getting the chrysalis into the United States for us to see. There are also several fun place areas for the children as well as an amazing gift shop. Your admission band will give you access for three days and we loved it so much we went back again a second day.
Parakeet Pete’s Zipline – Austin, my oldest who is eight has been pleading with his daddy to zipline for a couple of years now. When we saw Parakeet Pete’s over the lake at the Landing, we decided to give it a go! It was so much fun, with gorgeous views! I would consider this a very mild form of ziplining, so if you have ever wanted to try but have been held back due to being a little scared, Parakeet Pete’s is an awesome place to begin! We enjoyed it so much we actually went more than once. Austin loved it and was ready to take it up a notch and go on the more extreme ziplines afterwards.
Titanic Museum – We had visited the Titanic Museum on a previous trip but daddy wasn’t able to make that trip with us and he has always been fascinated with the history of the Titanic. He really wanted to visit the museum again to really soak it all in. Inside you will find a vast array of historical facts, artifacts that were recovered and replicas of the grand staircase and staterooms. It is like walking back in time and seeing history. Although really little ones aren’t quite big enough to really appreciate it, it is a great learning experience. You can read more about our visit to the Titanic Museum here.
Hollywood Wax Museum – The name speaks for itself! The children had a great time visiting and seeing so many real life people. They were amazed that something so real could be made from wax! The huge gorilla on the outside is an iconic landmark my kids look for each time we drive down the strip. If your family enjoys mini-golf, they even have a fun movie themed course right next door. You can read more about the Hollywood Wax Museum here.
We had the privilege to stay at Point Royale Golf Community in a condo and it was perfect for us. We were able to stay right on the water and watch the geese and even groundhogs. With a family of six, it allowed us to have all the comforts of home and the room we needed with our little ones. The units are individually owned, so each are decorated uniquely.
Our unit was next to the play ground (which my children loved) and picnic area. Bryan would have loved for us to have had the time tor him to take in a round of golf, but it will have to wait for our next trip! Because we will be visiting Branson again.
While we have already experienced so much in Branson, we still have a very extensive list of things we want to do! We have never visited the Branson Belle, Dixie Stampede, stayed at Grand Country Inn to experience their indoor water park, visited the Promised Land Zoo, been on Ride the Ducks or seen the Ancient Ozark Natural History Museum. Branson actually has more theater seats than Broadway! There are so many live shows, and many we can’t wait to experience in the near future.
There are so many fun things to do in Branson, even if you are on a budget there is literally something for everyone! We are so thankful for the invitation to return to Branson to experience so many fun things! If you want to peak into our visit a little more, head over to my Instagram channel. You can also follow other bloggers visiting with the #ExploreBranson hashtag on social media. To stay up-to-date with all the relevant Branson news, be sure to follow the amazing team at Explore Branson because there are some really amazing additions coming to Branson in the near future.