By Mira Temkin
It’s been a few years since I’ve been to Branson, but I’m happy to report that Branson continues to grow in leaps and bounds with new attractions, new restaurants and new ways to enjoy their beautiful natural resources. Branson is known as a family-friendly destination with activities that appeal to everyone. It’s like Las Vegas, but G-rated, so you’ll feel comfortable taking the kids with you.
Fritz’s Adventure brings the thrill of outdoor adventure into an indoor environment. Three stories high and 80,000 square feet of rock climbing walls, zip lines, underground tunnels, ropes course and more, guaranteeing hours of fun. www.fritzsadventure.com
The Branson Ferris Wheel, originally at Navy Pier in Chicago for 20 years, has a new home in Branson. Standing nearly 15 stories tall, it’s the perfect opportunity for some amazing photos and selfies of Branson and the Ozark Mountains, too. Don’t miss the nightly music and light show.
Old Faves with New Additions
For over 55 years, Silver Dollar City has been Branson’s #1 attraction. This internationally-acclaimed 1880s-style theme park features seven world-class festivals, 12 restaurants, 40 thrilling rides, live shows daily, a water park and 60 unique shops. One of the most interesting aspects of the park, known as The Home of American Craftsmanship, is more than 100 craftsmen demonstrating the art of woodcarving, glass blowing, pottery, blacksmithing and more. In addition, Silver Dollar City’s An Old Time Christmas® is nationally recognized for its light parade, a 5-Story Special Effects Christmas Tree, 2 Broadway-style productions, and over 5 million lights! Several new attractions slated include the Festival of Wonder, new concert series and new Christmas in Midtown Light Splendor. silverdollarcity.com
The Titanic Museum
This year is the 20th anniversary of the award-winning film and the Titanic Museum celebrates with new artifacts from the movie, set pieces, props and more. People continue to be fascinated with the Titanic, more than 100 years after the massive ship sunk. Costumed interpreters take you through the museum and show you everything about the passengers; the stately staircase, the elegant china, stories of survival, even the water temperature. It’s a museum where you can literally spend hours learning more about this ill-fated journey. titanicbranson.com
Walking down Main Street is like taking a step back in time. Be sure to visit Dick’s 5 & 10 and show your kids what an old-fashioned dime store looked like. Here you’ll find thousands of souvenirs, gifts, toys, and candy. Then check out Branson Landing, a scenic boardwalk along the 1.5 mile Taneycomo Lakefront with more than 200 shops, restaurants and entertainment venues. Stop to see the beautiful fountain showcasing a spectacular show of water, light, fire and music.
Live Music Capital of the World
In season, you can literally go from show to show with three performances a day — 10:00 a.m., afternoon matinee and an evening show. Traditional favorites like the Lennon Sisters, The Texas Tenors and the Hughes Brothers continue to delight audiences with exciting new spectacles.
Raiding the Country VaultWhether you’re a country music fan or not, this is top notch entertainment at the Starlight Theatre that will leave you tapping your toes and clapping your hands. Showcasing Nashville’s top country music stars with their bios, the show features a live cover band that takes the house down. Before or after the performance, stop in at Getting’ Basted for their championship barbecue that’s simply out of this world. raidingthecountryvault.com
Sight and Sound Theater takes “Moses” to New Heights
This is an epic production with special effects, live animals, larger-than-life sets, beautiful music and heartfelt drama that will engage you in an incredible spectacle of theatre. Journey back through time and relive the golden splendor of ancient Egypt, the oppression of the Hebrew slaves and Moses, the humble man who became their deliverer. Through October 20. sight-sound.com
Legends in Concert at the Dick Clark American Bandstand Theatre
This world famous live tribute features an amazing cast of all-star entertainers, proclaimed by the International Press Association as the “Show of the Year.” Each performance highlights solo or groups like The Temptations, Johnny Cash, the Blues Brothers and the king of rock’ roll, Elvis himself. But check the schedule, because there’s always someone new to take you back in time with musical memories. legendsinconcert.com
Head to the Level 2 Steakhouse in the Hilton Convention Center Hotel for mouth-watering steaks. Recommended is the Kansas City Strip with Parmesan Truffle Fries and Sweet Potato Dauphinoise as sides. The Missouri Butter Cake makes a decadent dessert. Frequent diners even get their own knives. The Keeter Center on the College of the Ozarks serves a mammoth Sunday brunch that will absolutely wow you. The White River Fish House at Branson Landing was named the “Best Restaurant in Branson.” A part of the Bass Pro Shops family, The White River Fish House serves up delicious fish, steak, chicken and sandwiches.
Branson is a fabulous destination to make wonderful family memories. Make your plans to visit soon. explorebranson.com
All photos courtesy of the Branson Convention & Visitor’s Center
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