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- Branson: Where Nature and Adventure Collide
- Getting to Branson, MO
- Want More Branson Family Fun?
- Where to Stay in Branson, Missouri
Branson is a rare gem: a beautiful Missouri town surrounded by natural beauty and jam-packed with fun things to do with kids. You’ll be tempted to sit and drink in the Ozark Mountain scenery. But the many Branson amusement parks, thrill rides, golf courses, water parks and live shows will get you moving!
The first time I went to Branson, I was blown away by the overwhelming amount of fun things for little kids to do. This family vacation destination has it all. We saw live shows, rode roller coasters, played mini-golf, went to a water park, ate giant pancakes and had a blast. As soon as we left, we started planning to go back again. From the enchanting 1880s-themed Silver Dollar City amusement park to Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede, this charming town has a magnetic pull that is hard to deny.
Current COVID restrictions in Branson include mask-wearing requirements for certain activities and social distancing, when possible. Always check for up-to-the-minute information on attraction websites.
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Branson: Where Nature and Adventure Collide
Branson has been a popular midwest tourist destination for more than a hundred years. Nestled in the Ozarks, early visitors were attracted to the area’s natural beauty, inspiring the urban elite to flock to the region for cave exploration and float fishing trips.
Now, more than seven million tourists visit this small town each year. And the overwhelming amount of attractions keep them coming back again and again. From ziplines to a state park to an amazing array of theatrical productions, you’d be hard-pressed to be bored in this town. In fact, Branson was recently ranked as a top vacation destination worldwide.
Getting to Branson, MO
Branson is a popular destination to include on Midwest family road trips. If you’re coming from farther away, look at flights on Frontier Airlines. They offer low-cost fares from many cities, including Orlando, Phoenix and Los Angeles. Consider a weeklong adventure in the Ozarks. What we discovered was that four days was not nearly enough time to scratch the surface of all that Branson has to offer.
7 Super Fun Things to Do in Branson With Kids
1. Travel Back in Time at Silver Dollar City
Silver Dollar City was easily the highlight of our trip and is now my favorite amusement park in the world. From the moment we entered the front gates of the rustic mountain wilderness theme park, we felt transported back in time to a land of locomotives, train robbers, water wheels, one-room schoolhouses and swinging wooden bridges.
Set in a densely wooded 2,000-acre Ozark forest, Silver Dollar City has rides and roller coasters aplenty, but at its heart is an 1880s frontier village bustling with working craftsmen, banjo pickin’ parties and old-timey treats like fruit turnovers and homemade ice cream made with a four-bucket churn.
2. Tap Your Toes at Shows, Shows and More Shows
The television show 60 Minutes once referred to Branson as the “live music capital of the entire universe.” The show also dubbed the city “Hillbilly Las Vegas,” which is perhaps less flattering, but it certainly captures the imagination. That’s why you’ll want to include at least one show on your list of fun things to do in Branson with kids.
Many of Branson’s music acts have been around for decades, but the town’s nightlife is not limited to musical entertainment. Branson boasts more than 50 theatres with 64,057 seats—which residents will proudly tell you is more seats than are on Broadway. During our brief visit, we saw a magic show, an acrobatic performance and a full-scale musical production.
3. Climb Aboard the Showboat Branson Belle
A dinner cruise aboard the three-tiered Showboat Branson Belle gave us a lovely evening tour of the beautiful Table Rock Lake. We enjoyed a night of family-friendly musical entertainment, comedy and magic, over a nice meal. It’s not every day you get to dine on a showboat while watching an upside-down violin-playing, singing aerialist perform!
4. Cool Off at White Water
Running from water slides to wave pool to lazy river at White Water, Silver Dollar City’s 13-acre water park, was the perfect way for my kids to burn off steam between shows. Three-day passes are available, allowing you to squeeze in a few hours of tubing, racing or splashing, whenever you have time to spare.
5. Go Karts, Mini Golf and More!
The roads of Branson are literally lined with fun things to do with kids, including:
- Ripley’s Believe It or Not
- Branson Landing
- Branson Ferris Wheel
- Branson’s Wild World (arcade and blacklight miniature golf)
- Track Family Fun Parks (go-karts)
Looking for an educational, but fun thing to do with kids in Branson? Check out the Titanic Museum Attraction. Discover what it was like to be aboard the Titanic’s maiden voyage in 1912.
As I entered the giant ship-shaped building in Branson, I was given a boarding pass listing the identity of a real Titanic passenger. The pass had a first-person account of my passenger’s background. As I walked through the 90-minute self-guided audio tour, I was linked to that passenger. I didn’t find out if she survived until the end of the tour. It was a bit nerve-wracking but effective for immersing me in the story. I am thankful to report that the person on my Boarding Pass did make it off of the Titanic alive. The experience made me feel for those passengers who did not.
7. Chow Down at Billy Gail’s
Billy Gail’s Cafe was our go-to restaurant while in Branson. My kids loved it. They begged to go back each morning and I was happy to oblige. The portions are humongous—the pancakes are so huge they don’t fit on your plate—and the coffee is flowing. There’s almost always a wait, but it’s worth it. Just be sure to note that the restaurant is only open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Want More Branson Family Fun?
For more information on entertaining things to do in Branson with kids, check out Free Family Fun in Branson, How to Entertain Toddlers in Branson, 5 Things to do with Teens in Branson, and visit the Explore Branson website.
Where to Stay in Branson, Missouri
There are lots of options for hotel stays in Branson, including vacation rentals. Use the interactive map to help you find a place to stay in the area.