Trip Ideas: Branson Family Friendly Adventure
Branson is a great destination for fun family vacations in the Midwest. With countless shows, indoor and outdoor water parks, museums and fun eats, you’ll love Branson’s family-friendly atmosphere. Use this guide to fill your Branson trip with activities the whole family can enjoy.
Day One
Start your family adventure at Bucks and Spurs Guest Ranch. Enjoy great horses, great food, a dude ranch, cattle drives, horse roundups, fishing, arrowhead hunting, horse training, and kayaks and tubes furnished for floating on Big Beaver Creek. You’ll have all of the amenities of country living with rustic, comfy cabins and natural home-cooked meals. It’s the perfect escape from city life and the outdoor activities make Bucks and Spurs Guest Ranch one of the most fun family vacations in the Midwest.
HC 71, Box 163, Ava MO 65608, 417-683-2381
Hours: Office: Mon.-Sat., 8 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sun., 2 p.m.-4 p.m.
Day Two
Only a 90-minute drive, and you're ready to Ride the Ducks and get your bearings in Branson. This is not just a sightseeing tour; it is an adventure. Your ride combines fun, music, history and sights aboard a one of a kind amphibious vehicle: a duck especially built to resemble a vehicle used in World War II. Ride through the Ozarks and splashdown into the lake for a fun cruise as the duck takes you from land to water.
2320 W. 76 Country Blvd., Branson MO 65616, 877-887-8225
Hours: Ticket office: 8 a.m.-6 p.m.
Just over 2 miles away you'll be visiting Branson's rainforest and walking among more than 1,000 live tropical butterflies. Each self-guided journey includes a 3-D movie about the life of a butterfly; a visit to the Rainforest Critter Center; a chance to get lost inside the Emerald Forest Mirror Maze; and the challenging Banyan Tree Bungee Adventure. This is an interactive, educational and entertaining adventure for the family.
4106 W. 76 Country Blvd., Branson MO 65616, 417-332-2231
Hours: Daily: 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
You're probably hungry by now, so head over to the Grand Country Buffet, only six minutes away. The buffet has more than 125 items to choose from. There is something for everyone. Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner; you can select from several scatter bars featuring meats, salads, soup and potatoes, fruits, vegetables, bakery breads and desserts, ice cream sundae bar and more.
1945 W. 76 Country Blvd., Branson MO 65616, 417-335-2434
Hours: Daily, 7 a.m.-8 p.m.
Stay put and check in at your Branson family adventure headquarters: the Grand Country Inn. It’s so much more than a place to sleep, with indoor and outdoor pools and an interactive water park that is free for guests; three live shows daily; 36-hole indoor mini-golf; and Fun Spot for kids. Grand Country is one of the top must-see family vacations in the Midwest.
1945 W. 76 Country Blvd., Branson MO 65616, 888-514-1088
Hours: Open 24 hours.
Time to burn off some energy at Splash Country Indoor Waterpark, right there in the hotel! No matter what the temperature is outside, visitors can enjoy a vast array of activities and aquatic family fun. The 20,000 square foot indoor water park can treat you to a luxurious float ride on the 250-foot lazy river, or careen you down two giant tube slides. With a three-level tree house, a 1,000 gallon tipping bucket and a 2,000 square foot toddler pool, this a great place for everyone and one of the best Midwest water parks! There’s even the Melting Pot Spa for mom and dad so they can relax and still keep an eye on the kids.
1945 W. 76 Country Blvd., Branson MO 65616, 888-514-1088
Hours: 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
Only a half-mile from the hotel, families are treated to a live and up-close experience at the Dixie Stampede: 32 magnificent horses, a stampede of Buffalo, stunts and special effects. A four-course meal is included, complete with a dessert. In November and December, Dixie Stampede transforms into a holiday celebration, including “Toys Come to Life,” a spectacular live Nativity with three kings, camels, and holiday music; and a visit from Santa.
1525 W. 76 Country Blvd., Branson MO 65616, 800-520-5544
Hours: Shows begin daily: 5:30 p.m. and 8 p.m.; with 12:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. matinees on select dates
Day Three
You’re in for a day full of fun for the whole family in one location, only about 10 miles from the hotel. Silver Dollar City is a 1880s-themed amusement park, where the adventure of the past is combined with the high-tech thrills of the present. There are two dozen rides; 60 unique shops; 12 restaurants; 40 live shows daily; and more than 100 resident craftsmen and artisans demonstrating America's heritage crafts. For the daring among you, try a heart-pounding escapade aboard Outlaw Run: the second-fastest wooden roller coaster on the planet with top speeds reaching 68 mph; with the world’s steepest drop (162 feet, at 81 degrees) and the world’s only double barrel roll (720 degrees).
399 Indian Point Road, Branson MO 65616, 800-831-4386
Hours: Hours vary by day and schedule.
Day Four
Less than 2 miles from the hotel, you'll find one of the most unusual examples of architecture you will see in Branson. What's inside is even more peculiar: genuine shrunken heads; an aircraft carrier made from matchsticks; an authentic Vampire Killing Kit from the mid-1800s. The Branson Odditorium is dedicated to offering guests a unique and unusual entertainment experience they won't find anywhere else in Branson… or on any other family vacations in the Midwest!
3326 W. 76 Country Blvd., Branson MO 65616, 417-337-5300
Hours: Daily, 9:30 a.m.-10 p.m.
Less than a mile down the road will find you at the Track Family Fun Parks, where you're expected to NOT act your age! The go-karts and other rides and activities at the four Branson locations make kids feel like grown-ups, and grown-ups act like kids! Choose from 14 different go-kart tracks, including three unique high-rise tracks, for family-style racing for every age level. Experience elevating, spiraling, twisting and turning on the four-story steel and concrete track called Heavy Metal Rise, or on the two wooden tracks, Wild Woody and The Lumber Jack. Each Track location has several other attractions and activities ranging from rides to cool you off on hot days to rides for thrill seekers to arcade games.
2505 W. 76 Country Blvd., Branson MO 65616, 417-334-1612
Hours: Hours vary by track: see website for details. http://www.bransontracks.com
Only a quarter-mile and 60 years away, stop to enjoy a great 1950s-style meal at Mel's Hard Luck Diner, home of Branson's original singing servers. The diner’s servers, hosts, cooks and cashiers are professional singers, song writers, and musicians. They offer you a great dining experience seasoned with a song. The servers must audition for their job. All are professional singers, many having performed on stage in Branson; two have appeared on American Idol. The menu includes our popular burgers and sandwiches, great salads, blue plate specials, and some of the largest and tastiest desserts to be found anywhere. It’s fun for all ages at Mel's, where we sing for your supper (and lunch and breakfast too). Located in the Grand Village Shops, next to the Grand Palace.
2800 W. 76 Country Blvd., Branson MO 65616, 417-332-0150
Hours: Fall/Christmas: Sun.-Thu., 7:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 7:30 a.m.-8:30 p.m. —Spring: Sun.-Thu., 11 a.m.-7 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 11 a.m.-7:30 p.m.—Summer: Sun.-Thu., 7:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 7:30 a.m.-8 p.m.
Just over a half-mile away but an additional 40 years back in time from Mel's, board the Titanic Museum Attraction for a one-of-a-kind, once-in-a-lifetime adventure. Experience life on board Titanic, just as it was on her maiden (and only) voyage, April 1912. Walk the hallways, parlors, cabins and Grand Staircase while surrounded by more than 400 rare artifacts. Touch an iceberg; steer the ship; sit in a Titanic lifeboat; listen to the voices of actual survivors, telling their stories. Of the passengers and crew members who set sail, only 705 Titanic passengers survived.
3235 W. 76 Country Blvd., Branson MO 65616, 800-381-7670
Hours: Open daily: 9 a.m.
Less than nine miles away, bring yourselves back to the future before you head home, with some of the best barbecue in the area. Danna's is known for its hickory-smoked pork, beer, chicken, ribs and sausage and selection of fresh, never frozen, hamburgers. Catfish also is a customer favorite; it's deep-fried and served with sides such as beans, coleslaw, fries and a roll. Great for a couple people to share (or one big appetite), try the Smoked Pit Plate, which offers pulled beef, half a chicken, pulled pork, smoked sausage, ribs, beans, coleslaw, fries, and a roll.
963 Route 165, Branson MO 65616, 417-337-5527
Hours: Mon.-Sat., 11 a.m.-8 p.m.