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Home Road Trip Holiday Road Trip to Branson: Part 1

Holiday Road Trip to Branson: Part 1

by Staff

I’ll admit that I’ve never been one to get into the holiday spirit until Thanksgiving day, but that all changed for me this year. Isabelle and I took a road trip to the amazing Westgate Branson Woods Resort, which had invited us out for a special media tour weekend. We had first heard about the resort from my mom and stepdad who stayed there last year and loved it. Branson is known for being one of the best places to enjoy the holidays in addition to it being a major year-round tourist destination. This is because there is something for everyone in the family to enjoy.

A city of only 13,000 year-round residents, Branson has transformed in amazing ways over the past several decades, and people have noticed. As we entered Branson, we spotted license plates from Canada and so many different states that we decided to make a game out of it. It took us just over three hours to get there from Tulsa, but clearly some of the other visitors had made a much longer journey. 

Isabelle and I stayed three fun nights at Westgate Branson Woods Resort and only covered a fraction of what Branson offers, but we stayed very busy! I’ll share details about the following activities and attractions in this first post: hiking at our resort, Showboat Branson Belle, and Silver Dollar City. In next week’s post, I’ll provide must-know info on Dolly Parton’s Stampede, Lights of Joy, places to eat, and more on resort entertainment.

Westgate Branson Woods Resort

As you can imagine, we needed a place to chill for a while away from the hustle and bustle of the running around we did. We stayed at a Westgate Branson Woods Resort, nestled in the Ozark Mountains wilderness. For two girls who love nature and take any opportunity to hike, it was ideal. When we weren’t enjoying the view from our patio, we explored the resort area. There were kid friendly hiking trails with several waterfalls. We saw a groundhog and deer among other forest friends. It is an ideal place to take family photos in addition to nature photos.

This waterfall was a very short hike from our villa!

Isabelle and I stayed in a villa, though there are individual cabins available as well. We had a kitchen, which is great because we snack…a lot! Our space was huge and immaculate. Staying at the Westgate reminded me of how important it is to have down time or “quiet time” when traveling with children. It allows both the parent and the child time to reset so that attractions can fully be enjoyed. It worked beautifully for us. If you are looking for 2 bedroom suites in Branson MO with space for the whole gang, Westgate Branson Woods Resort is your place.

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Here is a look at a Westgate Branson Woods Resort Villa. Side note: We had two bathrooms!

Showboat Branson Belle

After settling in at our resort, one of the first attractions we visited was the Showboat Branson Belle. The idea of being out on Table Rock Lake on a giant boat where we would eat while we watched people perform thrilled Isabelle. Her expectations were exceeded. Mine were as well! Our journey lasted a few hours, but it went by fast.

The host and magician Christopher James was brilliant. The musicians, singers, and dancers were incredibly talented, and the segments ranged from heartwarming to humorous. There were a few opportunities for audience participation, which were memorable, in addition to rehearsed acts. Isabelle and I had plenty of time to explore the showboat during a break, and the weather was perfect that day. 

Silver Dollar City

After our showboat experience, we headed to Silver Dollar City. Brace yourself if you like Christmas lights — there are over 6.5 million of them there. That’s correct, million! When their annual celebration “An Old Time Christmas” begins, you will leave the park ready to wrap presents. The display of lights, Christmas trees, and holiday shows is a reason Isabelle and I have decided our family needs to visit Branson in November or December each year now. 

Among all of the things we did at Silver Dollar City, we loved A Dickens Christmas Carol play. All ages, even the tiniest children in the audience, were captivated and watching intently. The parade at night was a blast, too, because it featured many of our favorite holiday movie characters such as Bumble the abominable snowman and Rudolph. Add to these fun happenings the Christmas village, all of the rides, and a cave you can tour, and this is why I recommend spending most of the day at the theme park.

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No photo captures the magnitude of the lights at Silver Dollar City

While we were at Silver Dollar City, we learned that they have 12 full-meal restaurants, 10 snack shops, alongside many concession stands. The food is creative and tasty. Isabelle enjoyed a cheesecake-stuffed waffle cone, drizzled with chocolate, topped with a few graham crackers to help with scooping as we walked. It was a clever snack. Everything was creative at Silver Dollar City.

At the end of the day we were both happy and exhausted. Luckily for me, and especially for my feet, there was a jacuzzi tub in my room! I put it to good use.

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We used our balcony space to sip hot chocolate and spot deer.

Our mommy-daughter Branson getaway was a success. Thanks again to Westgate Branson Woods Resort for helping organize it. I highly encourage people to visit Branson during any time of year, but if you can get there this holiday season — go! It won’t disappoint. 

More to come in my Part II post!

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Isabelle in our Westgate resort lobby all decorated for the season.

Ee Branson Holiday Pin

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