5 best things to do in Branson for families

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5 best things to do in Branson for families

I used to call Branson home, but it is also a very popular vacation destination. I didn’t realize just how popular Branson is until I lived there. I have had friends from all over the country tell me that they see commercials for Branson all the time. Families travel from all over the country (and sometimes other countries!) to see what this small, Missouri town has to offer.

Branson is a reasonably affordable place to stay, with accommodations ranging from simple hotels to very nice vacation resorts. It’s central location makes it drive-able from many states and easy to access from everywhere else thanks to it’s small airport. Branson has a lot to offer, and it can get overwhelming if you aren’t sure where to start. These are, in my opinion, the 5 best things to do in Branson for families, in no particular order!

Dixie Stampede

I have to admit that I’ve only been to Dixie Stampede around Christmastime. We have been going for several years and the kids absolutely love it. The regular food is really good, and the show is great. They also have a gluten-free option. I can’t say that it’s amazing, but it’s decent and it’s very nice to have the option instead of not eating! While I’ve only been to the Christmas show, I’ve only heard great things about the regular show too. Make sure to go early for the pre-show, it’s worth it!

White Water

White Water had to make it onto my best things to do in Branson list. If you’re visiting Branson in the summer, it’s a must-do! The park is especially fun for older kids. It can be a little crowded it the summer, but it’s worth it to be able to cool off. If you’re looking to visit White Water and Silver Dollar City, you can save a little bit by purchasing a combo pass.

Top 5 best things to do in Branson for families. Tips from a former local on the best activities Branson has to offer.

Table Rock Lake

There is a lot of fun to be had at Table Rock Lake. There are plenty of places to rent boats and other watercraft if being on the lake is something that you enjoy. I also love Table Rock State Park if you’re looking for great walking trails.

National Tiger Sanctuary

The Tiger Sanctuary is located slightly outside of Branson, but I feel like it’s definitely worth the drive. Many of the residents are rescues from circuses or private owners who couldn’t properly care for them. Unlike many zoos or animal attractions in the area, I feel like this is one place that truly cares about the well-being of the animals who live here. I recommend the feeding tour, as it is always fun to watch them eat! In addition to large cats, there are also small cats, dogs, and other animals that live on the property.

Silver Dollar City

Silver Dollar City is definitely #1 for best things to do in Branson in my opinion! We always buy season passes and we love going every year. It’s a fun theme park, set in 1880’s.  If you’re lucky enough to be in Branson around Christmas, you will want to check it out for the lights alone! If you’re visiting in the summer, you can cool down on the water rides or with a trip into the cave. The food at Silver Dollar City is actually pretty good, although it’s a bit pricey just like anywhere else. You can also bring your lunch into the park, something that most theme parks don’t let you do! There is plenty of fun to be had for all ages at Silver Dollar City.

Silver Dollar City, Branson Missouri, best things to do in Branson
My son is the one with his hands up in the air 🙂 This is way back in 2013, he rides the “big rides” now!

In my opinion, these are the best things to do in Branson for families. That being said, it is certainly not an all-inclusive list! Some of our other favorites included mini-golfing. My son recommends Dinosaur Canyon, although Pirate’s Cove is also at the top of our favorites list. Go-Karting is another fun, family friendly option. If you’re looking for something more adult-y, Stone Hill Winery and Mount Pleasant Winery both have tasting tours.  Did I mention that they’re right across the road from each other? You’re welcome.


Where to stay

I have stayed at several hotels in Branson, and my favorite by far is the Radisson. I’ve always had a good experience staying there and it is where I stay when I visit overnight. Make sure to check out how to save money on a hotel to see how I save every time that I stay!

Lastly, I am still in Branson photographing family reunions and weddings frequently. If you’re traveling to Branson for either a large family get together, or a wedding, feel free to check out my photography site at www.amyfillingerphotography.com to inquire about availability. Even if I am not available, I highly recommend having family photos done as often as possible, especially when traveling. If I am not available, I can always recommend other wonderful photographers in the area!

Branson family photos, Branson photographer, Branson family reunion, Big Cedar family reunion, Big Cedar photographer
a family vacation photo at Big Cedar Lodge from last December

Have you visited Branson or have you thought about it? I’d love to hear about your experience.

Just a note: None of the places that I suggest visiting are affiliate links. I called Branson my home for several years and these are the places that I recommend for friends and family.


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