Top Attractions for Families
Branson is built around families. There are many attractions geared to entertain adults and children alike. Here are a few of our top picks for family fun.
2339 HWY 65
Walnut Shade, MO 65771
If long-lasting memories are your goal, this is the way to make ‘em! Young and old (weighing between 70-275 pounds) can enjoy this Tarzan-style treetops encounter.
Jeeps transport you via jeep to the Wolf Creek Station where trained guides will (literally) show you the ropes. There are short and long tours available, with multiple variations of ziplines, suspension bridges and even freefall drops. A nighttime “Xplorer in the Dark” tour offers a totally different experience, zipping through the trees at night!
Branson Zipline is an opportunity to see beautiful Ozarks views while facing new heights and enjoying the thrills only ziplines offer. It’s a fantastic family adventure that brings cheers, laughter, maybe some screaming … but definitely long-lasting memories.
Buckets & Boards
3115 W. Hwy. 76
If you want to watch your kids belly laugh, take them to see Buckets n Boards. This is a show that reached the kid in everyone.
Buckets n Boards is a high energy rhythm show. (Really high energy.) Gareth Sever and Matt Levingston can take just about anything and turn it into entertainment. Their instruments, in addition to the obvious buckets and boards, include various sizes of plastic barrels, ladders, squeaky toy turtles, a hard hat (played while someone is wearing it), and more. Even the drum set gets an impressive black-light makeover. An ordinary recorder gets played using nostrils. What’s probably most impressive is when there are no instruments at all. Matt and Gareth use their hands and feet to display amazing rhythm, skill, and a natural camaraderie.
From the ridiculous opening video through the final number it’s obvious Matt and Gareth are great friends. Watching them is like reliving favorite moments with your best pal. Matt’s repertoire of facial expressions is almost worth the price of a ticket alone. These two – literally - never skip a beat.
Buckets N Boards is regularly featured as headlining entertainment on Disney Cruise ships. Fortunately they still call Branson home and, when in town, continue to entertain families with clean comedy, precision percussion and totally unique talent.
(Tip: Be prepared for your kids to want a set of drumsticks - and drums - after the show.)
1525 W. Hwy 76
Bottom line on this show: Dixie Stampede is worth the splurge. The food is fantastic, entertainment is interactive, breathtaking and hilarious all at the same time.
Choose a side: north or south and root your way to victory by kicking, yelling and stomping during comical contests between the north and south (think chicken chases and horse races). Kids will love it!
Dinner is downright delicious. Creamy vegetable soup (kids won’t even know it’s vegetables), garlic cheese biscuits, hickory smoked pork loin, a whole rotisserie chicken, corn on the cob and herb-basted potato. Don’t worry… they’ll hand out doggie bags. And save room because the apple pastry is worth the wait. Kids enjoy eating here because… there’s no silverware! You eat everything with your hands. (Hot towels are delivered for cleaning fingers.)
During the meal, enjoy singing, trick riding, beautiful scenery, props and costumes. There are times when audience members are even pulled into the arena to be part of the fun.
During the holidays, the arena is transformed with lights, decorations and all things Christmas. The north and south transform into the “red and green.” There’s also a dramatic live nativity scene complete with angels singing overhead.
(Tip: If you’re staying at the Stone Castle Hotel & Conference Center , ask for the Dixie Stampede family suite.)
Ride the Ducks
2320 W. Hwy 76
150 Promenade Way
Kids will never forget this fun and exciting way to see Branson and even splash down in the Lake. There are two tour experiences available. The Table Rock Lake tour begins on Highway 76 (near Wal-Mart). Guests drive through the entertainment district, over the dam, which separates Table Rock and Lake Taneycomo and splashes down into the lake.
The Lake Tanycomo experience leaves from Branson Landing. It tours historic downtown Branson as well as the prestigious College of the Ozarks before its lake splashdown.
While floating on the lake, every kid is given the opportunity to captain the amphibious DUKW (or Duck, a remnant of World War II). There is also a patriotic trip up the mountainside to explore other important military vehicles and the important roles they hold in American history.
(Tip: You’ll feel obligated to buy the fun but headache-inducing duck noise makers, aka “Wacky Quackers.” Kiddos will love blowing them non-stop during the tour. Just be sure to hide them before the drive home.)
Silver Dollar City
399 Silver Dollar City Parkway
Everyone. From the youngest to the oldest. Absolutely everyone can find their version of fun at Silver Dollar City. Shopping, shows (really good ones), and rides … tame to terror-inducing… are all readily available at this totally unique theme park.
The park was designed to mimic Marmaros, a small mining town built in the 1880’s around Marble Cave. The mining operation - and the town - was a failure. But the cave, now called Marvel Cave, remains and tours are included in the ticket price. (There are a lot of stairs to climb so it may not be appropriate for little ones or those with physical difficulties.) The history of this cave is well worth the hour-long tour.. Special evening lantern expeditions (for an additional fee) give one the experience of being one of the original explorers.
History is all over Silver Dollar City (named for the owner’s original habit of handing out silver dollars as change). There are even historical facts woven into its live “street fights,” shows and some of its rides.
There are several unique festivals held throughout the year: Bluegrass & BBQ, Star Spangled Banner, Southern Gospel Picnic, National Harvest & Cowboy Festival and An Old Time Christmas. Season passes are offered allowing guests unlimited visits during the year. The Old Time Christmas is a must-see experience with over 5 million Christmas lights, broadway-style shows, 1,000 Christmas trees and a holiday light parade.
Beyond amusement park rides, Silver Dollar City is known for its unique demonstrating craftsman. Be inspired watching glass blowing, woodworking, and leather demonstrations. You can even learn some new skills at the Silver Dollar City culinary school. (Additional fee required).
(Tip: For those with young kids, head straight to the measuring station at The Grand Exposition. They’ll measure height and give kids a wristband indicating which rides they can experience according to their stature.)