Five Fun Things to do in Branson, Missouri With Kids
Located in the beautiful Ozark Mountains, Branson, Missouri is surrounded by three pristine lakes and enough activities to keep your family occupied for weeks. Branson is known as “The Live Music Capital of the World” with more than 50 live performance theaters offering shows from early morning to late evening. Your family will love the theme parks, food, golf courses, fish hatcheries, and Mom will love the fantastic outlet mall shopping.
Branson is easily accessible by car and has a major airport less than an hour away in Springfield, Missouri. I was fortunate as a child to live less than four hours away and spent many family vacations exploring the area, seeing the shows and making memories as we now do with our son. In no particular order, here are five things to do in Branson that our family enjoys.
1. Ride the Ducks
Plan to spend an hour exploring the scenic views aboard a Duck Boat. Don’t be scared, this isn’t a real duck but an amphibious vehicle that will take you to the top of the beautiful Ozark Mountains in this area and then directly into Tablerock Lake where it will float.
Your children will even have an opportunity to drive the duck while traversing across the water. Your Captain will spend the time entertaining you with stories, history and Ozark humor that will “quack” you up. Each passenger will be outfitted with your own duck call that you can enjoy after the trip.
2. See a Show
Your family will be able to find wholesome family entertainment that will make everyone happy. You have access to live variety shows, music from the 50’s to current billboard charts with touring performers, theater productions and dinner cruises.
One of our favorites is Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede, complete with horses, longhorn cattle and dinner that is served while watching the non-stop action. Tip: Arrive early so you can walk around outside and view the horses that will be participating as part of the show.
3. Spend the Day at an Amusement Park
Step back in time with a visit to Silver Dollar City, an 1880’s style theme park. The park occupies over 100 acres, has more than a dozen restaurants, over 30 rides and more than 60 shops featuring over 100 craftsmen demonstrating the art of woodcarving, glass blowing, pottery, blacksmithing and candy making, among many others.
While I stay away from the giant roller coasters, I have to always include a ride on “Fire in the Hole” as a thrill I’ve enjoyed since childhood. The park has over 40 shows a day including the ever popular “Showdown at the Silver Dollar” that takes place in the Saloon. (Side Note: I dreamt of being one of the Saloon Girl Performers since I was a young girl, but since I can’t sing or dance I doubt this dream will ever be fulfilled.)
Silver Dollar City is also known for hosting world class festivals, like the upcoming National Harvest Festival followed by An Old Time Christmas. The cooler temperatures are going to be perfect to enjoy these upcoming events, and I have always heard how beautiful the park is during the Christmas celebration with the trees full of lights.
4. Visit A Fish Hatchery
The Shepherd of the Hills Fish Hatchery is the largest trout production facility in the Missouri Department of Conservation trout production program. The Hatchery produces over a million trout fish annually. Your family will have the opportunity to learn about all trout production phases from egg incubation through when it is time to release into area lakes. A favorite activity for all ages is to be able to feed the fish and admire their beauty.
5. Be Adventurous and Explore
Branson will allow your family to enjoy hiking, biking, canoeing, kayaking, horseback riding, trout and bass fishing, spelunking, rock climbing, ziplining and other recreational activities. Your kids will love riding go carts, waterslides and visiting an attraction dedicated to butterflies.
One of the great museums in the area is the Titantic. This museum is dedicated to preserving the history of the Titantic and provides you with a boarding pass that lets you view the exhibits with the mindset of an actual passenger. My son loved the iceberg feature when entering the museum which allowed him to feel how cold an iceberg is.
As you prepare for your Branson adventure, remember Hilton Promenade at Branson Landing is the perfect location for your family to call home base while experiencing all that Branson has to offer.
- Read about other vacations to national and state parks.
- See other amusement parks we’ve visited.
- Learn about other trips that included zoos and farms.
Marti resides in rural northeastern Oklahoma where she works with corporate, association, and government clients as a meeting planner. She enjoys traveling, whenever possible, with her husband,…