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I recently returned from a great family trip to Branson, Missouri! In our 6 days of fun, we had some amazing experiences, but I also know that we barely scratched the surface of all there is to do and see. With the help of my sister-in-law Bethany, who has lived in Branson for 18 years, and performed there for most of that time, we’ve put together a list of the best things to do in Branson!
1 – Silver Dollar City.
This theme park is a must for any trip to Branson. Full of rollercoasters, rides, shows, shops, food, craftsmen, attractions, and even a cave tour, SDC won’t disappoint! Its 19th century theme contributes to the overall fun.
Christmas is one of the best times to visit SDC--the many Christmas lights and festivities are a perfect way to celebrate the holidays!
2 – Showboat Branson Belle.
This is a relaxing, entertaining, and delicious experience! Board a paddle wheel boat on Table Rock Lake, and settle into your table facing a large stage. As you enjoy your dinner, you’re entertained by the pre-show. Following your meal, you have time to enjoy the views out on deck, and then return to your seat for dessert and the a spectacular show of song and dance.
3 – The Hollywood Wax Museum.
The museum is open 7 days a week and features over 100 life-size wax figures, including Julia Roberts, Lady Gaga, Elvis Presley, Harrison Ford, and so many more! They offer props so you can take as many photos as you want with the wax museum celebrities.
4 – Castle of Chaos and Hannah’s Maze of Mirrors.
The Castle of Chaos is a 5D seat-rocking experience that will have you blasting your way through onscreen adventures. Hannah’s Maze of Mirrors features walls, ceilings, and floors made completely from mirrors; you’ll try to save Princess Hannah of Savannah as you wind through this labyrinth of confusion.
4a - Mini Golf
Right next to the Castle and the Wax Museum is a super fun Hollywood-themed miniature golf course. A great way to round off your experience is to get a ticket for all three!
5 – Aquarium at the Boardwalk.
The aquarium showcases more than 7,200 sea animals in a beautiful display. At the end of your tour, you have a chance to touch some of the sea creatures.
6 – Float the Buffalo River in Arkansas.
Rent a kayak or canoe, drive to the Buffalo River, and you’ve got a great adventure in store! The best time to float the Buffalo River is in the summer; if you go in July or August, you’ll probably have to carry your boat through some shallow parts of the river. Generally, the river is slow-flowing and uneventful, making for a great trip. Jump in and get wet when you need to cool down, and paddle your way down through some beautiful scenery.
7 – Dolly Parton’s Stampede.
This dinner show includes 32 horses and a cast of trick riders, with some delicious country-style food to go along with it. It's a great way to cheer for your side (north or south) and enjoy some great entertainment.
8 – Butterfly Palace.
The large indoor garden is home to over 1,000 butterflies, exotic flowers, and a rainforest with live reptiles. It's a beautiful, peaceful place!
9 – The Alpine Coaster at Branson Mountain Adventure.
The coaster zips over 4900 feet through the forest, and is the longest and fastest mountain coaster in the Midwest. There are a handful of coaster-type rides in Branson.
10 – Dick’s 5 & 10 Store.
This old-fashioned variety store has nearly everything, but I think the main attraction is the retro candy. Goo Goo Pies, Wax Lips, Beeman’s Gum, and a whole host of other nostalgic candies load the shelves of this general store.
11 – Shop in Branson
From the Amish Country Store to the local shops at the Landing, from the tourist shops to the Tanger Outlets, you won’t find a shortage of shops to visit or souvenirs to buy in Branson!
Even this list barely scratches the surface of all there is to do in the beautiful city of Branson, Missouri! I can’t wait to return and try some of the things I didn’t get to experience!