Home to rows of theaters and live music shows, Branson Missouri, has earned a sterling reputation as a hub of entertainment. In the hills of the Ozarks, the exciting city will quickly fill up your itinerary.
Branson is built for travelers and families alike. The range of tourist attractions include thrilling theme parks, fascinating museums, and endless theatrical options that will ensure that no night out is the same.
There are plenty of things to do in Branson’s inner city for families and younger kids, but the surrounding nature also provides a range of exciting options. Head out into the Ozarks for boating, hiking, and camping for the perfect complement to the fun in the heart of Branson.
12. Runaway Mountain Coaster
The longest and fastest roller coaster in all the Ozarks, the Runaway Mountain Coaster, is a spectacular way to get your thrill on. The alpine coast is a mile long, with each visitor being in a single or double toboggan. Each “car” is controlled purely by you, allowing you the ability to race through the forest or cruise to your heart’s content.
To begin, you’ll sit in the cart as you enjoy a 5-minute ride to the top gaining over 330 feet in elevation. Enjoy the scenery before being released down the track, gaining speeds of up to 30 miles per hour. The ride is great during the day, but at night the track is lit up by LED lights, creating an unforgettable ride.
11. Butterfly Palace
On a hill overlooking downtown Branson, the Butterfly Palace hosts over 1,000 vibrant butterflies. It’s the perfect rainy day activity, although animal lovers will need no excuse to enjoy this experience.
Your time at Butterfly Palace will begin with a fascinating film about butterflies and their evolution. Now, armed with everything you need to know, you can wander into the palace for a self-guided experience through the giant exhibit. Here, you’ll find not just butterflies filling the canopy with brilliant colors, but also tropical plants and small birds.
Finish up by embarking on the Great Banyan Tree Adventure and completing the Emerald Forest Mirror Maze.
10. White Water Branson
On hot and sunny days in town, there’s only one place to be, White Water Branson. This enormous water park will give everyone the chance to cool off with a bit of wet and wild fun. The park is open from Memorial Day to Labor Day with ample water slides, wave pools, and lazy rivers.
To begin the day, wake up and get the heart racing on the speed slide that will have you flying through the park. Afterwards, be swept by the powerful tides that lead to huge swells at the wave pool. Then, have a rest with the family as you float down the lazy river before starting the process all over again.
9. Branson’s Promised Land Zoo
The family owned and operated Promised Land Zoo is an interactive animal experience that will be loved by young and old. The popular local attraction has wide open enclosures for their animals, with a concerted effort to provide a comfortable environment for the stars of the show.
The zookeepers further this effort through a number of educational tours, workshops, and hands-on experiences. These include the Foot Safari, which allows visitors to venture into the enclosures to feed the animals. While the Exclusive Encounters grants you the opportunity to play with kangaroos, sloths, and lemurs.
There are also entertaining shows throughout the day, such as the Tug-of-Roars with the park’s big cats along with Bottle Feed Babies.
8. Dolly Parton’s Stampede Dinner Attraction
Offering a unique evening experience, the Dolly Parton’s Stampede Dinner Attraction is an exciting way to enjoy your night. The family-friendly event sees 32 well-trained horses and exceptional riders put on a thrilling show as you nosh on your country-style dinner. It’s no wonder it’s Branson’s favorite place to eat.
It all begins with the first serving of your four-course meal, with the riders continually building towards greater exploits. Along the way, the riders will get members of the audience to take part in some friendly competition, which will leave the crowd on the edge of their seats. The show ends with a rendition of Color Me America written and recorded by Dolly herself.
7. Marvel Cave
A part of Silver Dollar City, Marvel Cave, was the original Branson attraction. The cave was first discovered by the Osage people in the 15th century and again by Spanish explorers. In the 1860s, Henry Blow entered the Marvel Cave seeking minerals and started the town’s deep fascination with the cave.
15 years after that fateful day, tours began allowing locals and travelers to wander into the marvelous cave where stalactites and stalagmites dot the spooky hollows. Today it’s a Registered Natural Landmark and one of the biggest cave entry rooms in the country.
There are a number of tours you can enjoy, from the standard one hour experience to the majestic lantern tour. Afterwards, wander up to Silver Dollar City to experience life in an old mining town.
6. Shepherd of the Hills Fish Hatchery
Every year between 350,000 and 400,000 pounds of brown and rainbow trout are produced by the Shepherd of the Hills Fish Hatchery. After a brief drive southwest of Branson, you can tour the facility that first opened in the 1950s.
Run by the Department of Conservation, it’s the biggest hatchery of its kind in Missouri. Join a guided tour to explore the nature center and the duo of viewing decks where you can look down on the hatchery and across to Table Rock Dam.
Along with the tour, Shepherd of the Hills leads educational programs for young and old where you can learn about the complex. Visitors can also walk along one of the four nature trails to tranquil picnic spots.
5. Titanic Museum
Anyone who watched Kate and Leo fall in love aboard the Titanic will feel an eerie sense of déjà vu as they wander the Titanic Museum. The building is shaped much like the iconic vessel while being half its size. It’s even dunked in water for extra effect.
To begin the beguiling experience, enter through an iceberg where you’ll be given a replica Titanic ticket with the name of a real passenger. From there, embark on a self-guided tour of the museum which places you at the heart of the voyage. Wander between the almost two dozen exhibits and galleries showcasing captivating artifacts and multimedia.
4. Silver Dollar City
Between West and Downtown Branson, Silver Dollar City is an enormous entertainment and amusement park with an Old West aura. As you wander in, you’ll uncover the world as if it was stuck in the 1880s, with themed restaurants, shops and live performances.
Among those three things are more than 40 hair-raising rides and attractions. Some of the most popular attractions include the Fire in the Hole, an indoor rollercoaster, and the thrilling Firefall.
In order to get your heart rate down, you can try something more low key, such as visiting Birdie’s Cabin to learn how to be a pioneer. While the restaurants put on workshops throughout the day. Silver Dollar City also hosts seven renowned festivals throughout the year.
3. Table Rock Lake
Head into the Ozarks and enjoy a day on the banks of Table Rock Lake. Enveloped by the old-growth forests of Table Rock State Park, the sprawling lake is the perfect spot to go for a paddle or venture out on a boat.
The lake was formed when the White River was dammed in the 1950s and has since grown into a popular summertime destination. The lake is teeming with bass and bluefish, making it an angler’s delight. You can turn the experience into a multi-day adventure by camping along the beautiful water or choosing one of the many resorts.
If you prefer to stick to dry land, embark on the nature trails that meander through the forests to splendid views and spacious picnic areas.
2. Branson Landing
On the banks of Lake Taneycomo, Branson Landing is the center of the city’s dining and entertainment district. It’s a popular meeting point for locals while being a hub of activity day and night. From the heart of Branson Landing, you’ll have over 100 stores, restaurants and bars all lined along an enchanting boulevard.
The downtown area is particularly special at night when the Branson Landing Fountains shoot up towards the heavens, complemented by an elegant fire show. The colors reflect off of the lake and mix with the vibrant entertainment district.
While the atmosphere is captivating and promises to be one of the highlights of your time in town. After witnessing the show, enjoy a romantic dinner or hop between the many bars.
1. Sight & Sound Theatres
Theater and Branson go hand in hand, and there’s no better place to experience this phenomenon than at the Sight and Sound Theatres. Visitors will love the quality of the performances within the 2,000 seat theater. Families with younger kids can also make the most of the experience within the family room with floor to ceiling windows.
The shows traditionally enjoy Biblical themes, with recent plays being based on the experiences of religious characters along with their spectacular “Miracle of Christmas” show.
If you’re traveling to Branson between March and December, but don’t have time to see a show, you can go behind the scenes on a guided tour. Your guide will peel back the curtain on the logistics of the performances and history of the Sight and Sound Theatres.