Finding a summer vacation destination that offers something for the whole family can often be a bit of a challenge. Of course, as parents, we are always looking for ways to keep our little angels of ours busy, but what about ourselves…we want vacation too!
Kid Friendly at The Lake
They often say if Momma’s not happy then no one is happy. Well from a Momma’s point of view, that is a lie! The truth is if the kids are not busy and happy then vacation can be a disaster. Lake of the Ozarks is one of the most kid friendly summertime destinations in Missouri; offering a variety of either family friendly attractions, or something for kids of all ages.
- Soak up the sun while you watch the kids splash around. Know when you leave, they are going to be exhausted…hey that is always my goal. Big Surf Waterpark is 27 acres of water fun with a gigantic wave pool, three-story Zambezi Falls, whirlpool spa, rapid rides, body flumes, lazy river, and a special designated area for the tiny ones. Onsite there is a concession area; picnic area, lockers, gift shop, and I will add the CLEANEST changing area that I have seen at a waterpark. Not only do I salute them for having a very clean changing area, but I also must add how many staff members they have on site, this trip out I was traveling “solo” with my kiddos and it can be difficult to keep an eye on multiple children at a giant waterpark. We had our game plan and ran into no issue, but just the same it was a relief to see so many staff members on deck and serving as lifeguards…putting safety first always wins me over.
- Spend a relaxing afternoon cruising around the lake. Captain Omer and his fun crew at Tropic Island Cruises offer a variety of cruises. But the daily scenic cruises not only offer a relaxing environment for both young and old, but also engages a child’s imagination. What makes the cruise so fun? The crew, the narrated tour, the crew’s sense of humor, and letting them encourage your children to enjoy the lake. My best advice is: Order your kiddos that fancy kiddie cocktail (cherry coke is what my two suggest) from the bar, sit out on the deck and enjoy gorgeous views with your little ones.
- Cool off in the afternoon. Head to Miner Mike’s Indoor Family Fun Center. To describe Miner Mike’s in proper terms would be to say it as a giant playground for kids of all ages. Inside Miner Mike’s you will find hours of fun with fun games, a few rides, and soft playground area this area is geared to smaller children. For your older bunch head into Buster’s area and feel like you step back into time as you visit what appears to be an old Mining Town. Buster’s gaming area is a bit more exciting for the older crowd sure to keep them busy for hours. Both Miner Mike’s and Buster’s have a food court ready help you refuel and keep your energy flowing.
- Family nightlife. this is always a challenge for me while on vacation, it is hard to find night time activities and shows that will keep my little ones entertained and still intrigue me. Main Street Music Hall offers a variety of shows that may keep you giggling or you will find yourself singing along….or both and not even realize it. I have to confess the show we attended at Main Street Music Hall kept my 4 year old entertained for nearly 2 hours, and you parents know what kind of challenge that can be. The musical talents of Thom, Sandy, and the cast at Main Street Music Hall pour their hearts into singing, dancing, and joke telling, and keeping the show good wholesome family fun. During intermission, the cast comes out takes time to meet their audience, signs autographs, and will even pose for a picture or two.
- Explore the cave life. Something about the “underground” world intrigues kids. Take a tour of one of the many caves in the Lake of the Ozarks area. We visited Bridal Cave on our visit and the key truly engaging your children in a cave tour is the tour guide. I remember as a child touring a few caves with my parents and it was neat, but not nearly as intriguing as our tour at Bridal Cave. Our guide Joel not only had the ability to reach out to my kiddos, but he interacted, brought the conversation down to their level, and honestly connected with my kids. I have to applaud Joel as at first my little man wanted nothing to do with the cave tour and was ready to leave before we got 15 feet into the cave by the end of our Joel and Dillard (my son) were new friend and even posed for a picture together. Bridal cave is the oldest cave in the area and is site of a legendary Indian wedding ceremony in the early 1800’s. Keeping the tradition not only does Bridal Cave offer tours, but also over 2,000 couples have vowed their love to each other inside the cave. Other caves in the area include Jacob’s Cave and Ozark Caverns.
Join our NEW Facebook Community: Making Travel Easier. We promise to always tell you what we would tell our best friend -- what works for kids, what doesn’t and what you need to know before you go to have the Best. Family. Vacation. Ever. Our group of travel experts are ready to answer your travel questions!
Other popular family and kid friendly attractions in the Lake of the Ozarks area includes: Timber Falls Indoor Waterparkk, Miniature Golf Courses, Orion Science Center, HA HA Tonka State Park, Lake of the Ozarks State Park and fishery, and Willmore Lodge.
Adult Friendly Lake
It is often hard for me to think about what adults get to do while on vacation, when you have kids often your priority is to entertain those little ones. Occasionally I either drag my kids out to someplace that is either more adult friendly, or I at least admire the adult friendly attraction from the road as I drive by…hey a gals got to dream.
Lake of the Ozarks is a destination that is an ideal family vacation, but can also be an ideal adult vacation. Lake of the Ozarks is known as a shopper’s paradise, the golf capital of the heartland, and you know being on the lake, you have the opportunity to enjoy some skiing and other water sports.
Lodging at the Lake
Choosing lodging at Lake of the Ozarks may be the most difficult decision you have, not because the lack of lodging, but because of the abundance of quality lodging for any traveler. You have choices of full service resorts, family owned resorts, condominiums, bed and breakfast inns, rv and campgrounds, hotels, and many more options. Depending on what sort of lodging you are looking for do your research; many resorts of meal deals, entertainment on site, and ways to cut cost on vacation without cutting the fun.
Have a Fun Filled Day!
Disclosure: Our visit to Lake of the Ozarks Missouri was sponsored by The Benders-Walkers Group. Opinions, experiences, and photos are my own.
TravelingMom Tip: One of our favorite things to do when taking a vacation is to hire a photographer for family photos. This is a special gift and souvenir that we cherish. We use Flytographer to book a local photographer located in the area that we're traveling to. Use this link and you will get $25 off your photo session.