Our 7-year-old, Isabelle, just took her first out-of-state trip without us! My mom and stepdad took her to Branson, Missouri, for a weekend, and they had a blast, so I decided to interview my mom about their experience.
Instead of doing Silver Dollar City, which Isabelle visited a few years back and enjoyed, they tried out other attractions. They only had two days to visit and it wasn’t easy to select from the dozens of options now available in and around Branson.
What did you do over the span of a weekend?
What is the Lost Canyon Cave and Nature Park?
Top of the Rock Lost Canyon and Nature Trail is a beautiful area where families can enjoy the outdoors. You can rent a golf cart and tour around waterfalls. It is best to reserve this in advance online if possible. You actually get to drive through a cave.
Afterwards, you can take the shuttle bus to where the restaurants are located. On the lower level is the Ancient Ozarks Natural History Museum.
This is all owned by Big Cedar Lodge, but you don’t have to stay at the resort to do the activities.
Then you found an alpine coaster in the middle of town the next day…
Yes, and there are a few others in the area, too. There are several different places that have outdoor adventure activities such as ropes courses and zip lines. We waited for a long time to get on the alpine coaster, but Isabelle said it was worth it and had a blast.
I am curious about Dolly Parton’s Stampede. You all got VIP passes! What is the show all about?
It’s a dinner show. There are horses jumping and a pig race and many things like that. It was neat. Children especially love it! The VIP passes allowed us to get front row seats and other extras such as a special area to wait for the show. Several performers came to see everyone, which was great.
I will say that all of the seats are good seats so you don’t need to be sitting in the front to have a great view of the performance. We weren’t sure what the seating would be like since we hadn’t been before.
I’ve heard you all talk so much about Aquarium at the Boardwalk. Is it safe to say that was incredible?
Yes! There was so much thought put into the aquarium’s design. You could see many different types of fish up close. Their 5D show was great. The jellyfish room has to be experienced! Kids can color a picture of an octopus and they have a machine that brings it to life by putting it on a screen. Plus, there are many photo opportunities. Adults as well as children will enjoy the aquarium.
Just 3.5 hours from Tulsa, Branson is booming year-round and offers plenty to keep the entire family entertained. If you haven’t been there in years, you may be stunned by how much it has transformed. New developments continue to expand this family-friendly destination.
Fun fact: Branson earned the title of third Top Trending Destination for 2022 from Trip Advisor.