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Visiting Branson, Missouri? This “family-friendly Las Vegas” as its sometimes called due to the city’s numerous attractions, flashing neon lights and shows, draws visitors from across the nation. If you’re struggling to figure out what to see and do, be sure to put some of these great options on your itinerary.
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Showboatin’ is a must while in Branson, with a two-hour cruise on the Showboat Branson Belle, a river boat that glides across Table Rock Lake. You’ll dine on a three-course meal while taking in entertainment, which includes music, comedy and mind-bending magic. Its “Country on the Lake” show, added in 2017, showcases rising country stars that perform hits from yesterday to today’s popular country tunes.
If you’re fascinated by the Titanic, this is one attraction that you’re sure to love. The Titanic Museum Attraction is a whole lot more than your typical museum. Once inside, you can actually step into the shoes of a Titanic passenger who was on the ship’s ill-fated voyage. You’ll climb the grand staircase, meet the crew and get to check out the artifacts, as well as listen to the sounds of the musicians who played the night it sank. You can even feel those icy, below freezing waters she sank in and take a selfie next to a real iceberg.
Silver Dollar City is an 1880-themed amusement park that offers lots of great family-friendly fun. Branson’s primary theme park, it’s open from mid-March through December 31st and features over 30 rides, entertaining shows, shops and restaurants in addition to hosting a number of festivals each year. It’s impossible to get bored here, with more than 40 shows each day – each one last less than 30 minutes, making it easy to squeeze a few in between thrills like the world’s most daring wooden coaster, the Outlaw Run, along with giant swings, Powder Keg and water shootout rides. You’ll also be able to watch the craftsmen who demonstrate popular crafts from the 1880s, like potters and blacksmiths.
Marvel Cave actually sits right underneath Silver Dollar City. It was discovered by the local Osage people long before Spanish explorers arrived, and in the mid-19th-century Henry T. Blow went in searching for minerals and thought he saw marble, ultimately naming it Marble Cave. Later it was changed to Marvel Cave and opened up for tours just before the turn of the 20th century as the very first attraction in Branson. Today it’s a registered Natural Landmark and is known for hosting one of North America’s largest cave entry rooms. Tours of the cave depart every 30 minutes, allowing visitors to see the magnificent formations that are still alive and growing by traveling 300 feet below ground.
Set along Branson Landing Boulevard, the multi-million dollar extravaganza known as the Branson Landing Fountain Show is one of the city’s most popular attractions with its fire, light, music and water displays. The fountain at the foot of its town square skyrockets water 120 feet up into the sky and is combined with vertical blasts of fire cannons. It’s all accompanied by music favorites like Bon Jovi’s “Living on a Prayer” and Elton John’s “Candle in the Wind,” mesmerizing visitors who come from far and wide. The show takes place every hour on the hour from noon through 10 p.m. Monday to Saturday, and noon until 9 p.m. on Sundays.
If you’re into a little cowboy and cowgirl fun, don your best western hat and get ready to enjoy a fabulous boot stompin’ show and a family-style dinner. The Dixie Stampede Dinner Show features a feud between the North and the South that takes place through a variety of competitions, from amazing horse stunts to incredibly impressive special effects. Afterwards, you can even meet up with the horse stars of the show.
Table Rock Lake offers a whole lot more than showboat cruises. With 800 miles of shoreline, it provides the chance to enjoy just about every type of water sport imaginable, including swimming, wakeboarding, tubing, kayaking, canoeing, fishing and boating. If you’re looking for a big thrill, taking a tour with American Parasail will let you soar like an eagle over the water. There are activities on land too, including hiking or biking the 2.25-mile Table Rock Lakeshore Trail. If you want to explore on two wheels and don’t have a bike, bike rentals area available by the hour or day through the State Park Marina. Or, you can always just enjoy a day relaxing on the sands of Moonshine Beach.
The World’s Largest Toy Museum is located right in Branson on Country Boulevard, and it houses over a million toys. Both kids and adults tend to love it as there are lots of great toys from years past to bring back special memories for older visitors. Some are true antiques, like the Tin Toy Collection that includes lots of Marx toys and the Train Collection, which features trains as well as planes and full-sized cars, including a 1959 Rolls Royce and a 1927 Cadillac.
The family-owned Promised Land Zoo not only hosts many different animals, like zebras and big cats, but it offers personal zoo encounters and lots of fascinating, educational exhibits. A number of shows are featured daily, like the Tug-of-Roar, the Live Animal Show and Bottle Feeding Babies. Embarking on a Foot Safari brings the chance to even feed some of the animals, and Exclusive Encounters allows visitors to feed and play with adorable sloths, kangaroos and lemurs.