How about teeing off on a golf getaway in Branson?

Pointe Royale’s signature par 3 12th hole; appropriately named the “Fountain Hole.”

Pointe Royale’s signature par 3 12th hole; appropriately named the “Fountain Hole.”

“The choice and variety of quality golf courses Branson has to offer makes it a great golf destination, whether it’s for a week or a weekend getaway,” said Annette Wood, the Director of Sales and Marketing for the Branson Tourism Center. “The consistent moisture this summer has created a virtual golfer’s paradise with lush fairways and greens that are as beautiful to see as they are to play,” she added.

Branson also has a great variety of quality live shows, attractions, and other activities to complement its fabulous golf courses. As one of Branson’s largest and most trusted Branson travel services, we realize that, with all there is to do in Branson, there are many combinations that could go into planning an itinerary for a Branson golf weekend; here’s a sample itinerary of what a golf getaway weekend in Branson could entail:

FRIDAY:

Arrive and check into one of the beautiful condos at Thousand Hills Golf Resort and Conference Center, located just minutes from the center of the famed Branson Strip. Unpack and relax for a while before going out to have a delicious dinner at one of Branson’s fine dining restaurants such as the La Piazza. After dinner, enjoy the show it starring the Hughes Brothers and their Families, conveniently located in the same building.

SATURDAY

Enjoy a leisurely breakfast at the condo or at one of Branson’s many restaurants, like the Stage Door Restaurant at Welk Resort; it’s just a short 15 minute drive from your condo and right across the highway from Pointe Royale Golf Course. After playing a round of golf at Pointe Royale in the morning, Saturday afternoon would be a great time to visit one of Branson’s many attractions, like Branson Landing, located right downhill from another great attraction, Historic Downtown Branson. After dining at another great restaurant, such as Shorty Small’s, a great way to end the day would be to see another of Branson’s most popular and highly recommended shows such as the Illusionist Rick Thomas, Puttin’ on the Ritz, or SIX.

SUNDAY

Tee off early at Thousand Hills Golf Course, located a minute or two away from your condo, for another fabulous round of golf. Afterward, return to the condo to freshen up and check out, then enjoy lunch at Dick Clark’s American Bandstand Grill on your way home.

Branson Tourism Center’s Wood points out that with all Branson has to offer, this is just one of many possible itineraries that could be planned. Just one call to 1-800-785-1550 will put you in touch with one of  Branson Tourism Center’s Branson-based Travel Planners who will be delighted to help customize an itinerary specifically for you. There is no charge for this service, and the Travel Planners are available from 8:00 AM through 9:30 PM daily during the season.

Do you think all Branson shows are music shows?

The "Amazing Pets" in action.

The “Amazing Pets” in action.

“Branson is called by some, ‘The live music show capital of the world,”‘ said Annette Wood, the Director of Sales and Marketing for the Branson Tourism Center, one of Branson’s largest and most respected vacation planning services. “While it’s true that most of the over 100 live shows offered daily during the season, are primarily music shows, some of Branson’s most popular shows are not,” she added.

This rolling pyramid is as dangerous as it is beautiful.

This rolling pyramid is as dangerous as it is beautiful.

A prime example is the Acrobats of China Featuring New Shanghai Circus which gives Branson audiences some of the most electrifying and unforgettable performances they’ll ever witness. A recent review of the show said, “From juggling to strength acts, hoop jumping, an unbelievable bike act, pole climbing, and so much more, this show truly entertains the entire family throughout the entire two hours of the show, entertaining kids and adults simultaneously. Each act seamlessly transitions from one to another, almost like magic, with no dead time. The skill and energy of these performers is amazing even to the way they leave the stage and rush out to the lobby to meet and greet the audience after the show.”

Like animals? The Amazing Pets, a unique Branson show, features delightful circus-like acts with an impressive cast of creatures! Cats galore, cuddly canines, and even brilliantly colored exotic birds put on a show that delights kids of all ages! It’s a bit of magic, a touch of mayhem, and a whole lot of fantastic family fun. Although a show for “kids” of all ages, it will have a special appeal to younger children and the adults accompanying them to the show.

The biblical spectacular "Jonah" is thrilling Branson audiences.

The biblical spectacular “Jonah” is thrilling Branson audiences.

When Sight and Sound puts on a production it’s spectacular, and its production of Jonah is no exception. It takes one of the most popular bible stories of all time and brings it to life with a story that goes from nail-biting to inspirational, has immersive special effects, an original score, brilliant costuming, acting, and singing to give you and your family the experience of a lifetime! Jonah is unlike anything that most people will ever see live on stage, a pure joy to experience and is something that every member of the family can enjoy together and remember forever. Jonah will be performed through December 29, 2015, and will be replaced by Moses in 2016.

Rick Thomas and his assistant Tara.

Rick Thomas and his assistant Tara.

Want a little magic in your life? Illusionist Rick Thomas is the show is for you. As you watch this world class artist perform, you will not only be thoroughly entertained and thrilled, but might be asking yourself the question, “Is it just an illusion…or is it truly magic?” In a recent review, I said, “From the time the show starts until it ends with a “blast,” it’s two hours of truly magical non-stop entertainment. It’s an amazing variety of illusions, close up magic; what I call ‘mind magic’…doves, dogs, color, dancing, music, and action that will ‘knock your socks off! The magic is illusionary, but the fun, excitement, and enjoyment I experienced, and witnessed others enjoying, was real!”

For additional information or tickets for any of these shows, please feel free to contact the Branson Tourism Center, by calling 1-800-785-1550 or by visiting its website www.BransonTourismCenter.com http://www.bransontourismcenter.com/

Branson Highlights that you will not want to miss during September 2015

Gourd painting is just one of the many crafts featured at Silver Dollar City's National Harvest & Cowboy Festival .

Gourd painting is just one of the many crafts featured at Silver Dollar City’s National Harvest & Cowboy Festival .

“On a day to day basis, it’s doubtful if there is another town in America that offers its visitors the variety of live entertainment, natural beauty, lakes, and other activities that Branson does,” said Annette Wood, the Director of Sales and Marketing for the Branson Tourism Center. “It becomes even more so when the special events, activities, and limited engagement shows are factored in,” she added.

In addition to Branson’s spectacular lineup of resident live shows and attractions, here’s a list highlighting the major special events and limited engagement performances you can enjoy in Branson during September, 2015 as well as our featured Show, Event, and Limited Engagement of the month:

Featured Show: Presleys’ Country Jubilee continues to be a mainstay on the list of Branson experiences you can’t miss! Long before anyone ever heard of Branson, Missouri, the Presley family had people from across the country lined up every night to hear the type of country music and comedy that eventually made Branson a household name.

Mary Wilson, founding member of "The Supremes."

Mary Wilson, founding member of “The Supremes.”

Featured Limited Engagement: The Hits Starring Mary Wilson nabs a Motown superstar for just seven shows – the ‘supremely’ legendary, “Mary Wilson!” She’s well respected in the music industry, as a founding member of the superstar group from Detroit, The Supremes, and as a solo artist. The Supremes had mega-hits like You Can’t Hurry Love, Love Child, and Stoned Love.

Featured Event: National Harvest & Cowboy Festival at Silver Dollar City is a sure sign that fall is in the air as our beautiful Ozark Hills start to burst into their fall colors, and one of the largest gatherings of American artists and craftsmen begins. The National Harvest Festival is a true celebration of American craftsmanship, illustrating why Silver Dollar City is called “The Home of American Craftsmanship.”

LIMITED ENGAGEMENT HIGHLIGHTS

Sep 1-19: The Hits starring Collin Raye
Sep 5: Prince Ivan
Sep 12: Ray Stevens
Sep 18: Clint Black
Sep 20: Shenandoah with Marty Raybon and Johnny Lee
Sep 21-Sep 30: The Hits starring Mary Wilson
Sep 22: Larry’s Country Diner-Dailey & Vincent
Sep 23: Larry’s Country Diner-Jimmy Fortune
Sep 24-Sep 25: Larry’s Country Diner-Gene Watson
Sep 26: Bill Engvall
Sep 27: Larry’s Country Diner-Joey + Rory
Sep 27: Terri Clark & Aaron Tippin

SPECIAL EVENT HIGHLIGHTS

Sep 1-Sep 7: Southern Gospel Picnic Festival at Silver Dollar City
Sep 1-Sep 30: Tanger Mall Thanks Teachers in September
Sep 4-Sep 7: Labor Day Weekend Sale at Tanger Mall
Sep 11-Sep 13: Country Music Weekend Festival at Silver Dollar City
Sep 12: 2015 Walk to End Alzheimer’s
Sep 13: Tanger Club Ladies Night Out at Tanger Mall
Sep 16-Oct 31: Silver Dollar City’s National Harvest & Cowboy Festival
Sep 17-Sep 19: Autumn Daze Arts & Crafts Festival (866-523-1190)
Sep 25-Sep26: Branson Landing’s Artisan’s Market (417-239-3002)
Sep 26: Annual Tanger Style Fit for a Cure 5K Run/Walk

For additional information on these events, or any of Branson’s shows and attractions, or for lodging arrangements, please contact the Branson Tourism Center, one of Branson’s largest and most respected vacation planning services by calling 1-800-785-1550, or by visiting www.BransonTourismCenter.com.

 

From tigers to butterflies, Branson’s animal attractions are as amazing as they are unique

Just one of the beautiful tigers at the National Tiger Sanctuary.

Just one of the beautiful tigers at the National Tiger Sanctuary.

From ziplines, go-karts, and roller coasters to museum attractions featuring everything from giant dinosaurs to the Titanic; from classic cars and celebrity wax figures to Silver Dollar City, an international award winning 1880’s styled theme park, Branson has an amazing choice of attractions for all ages and interests. Nowhere is that more obvious than in the variety of the unique animal attractions it offers.

Branson’s Promised Land Zoo is an exciting zoo adventure like no other! It’s an up-close-and-personal experience not soon forgotten. Animals from cute and cuddly to grand and majestic, or scaly and slithering, you’ll find big cats, monkeys, kangaroos, camels, zebras, reptiles, and birds as well as unique, rare, and endangered species from a variety of locations around the world just waiting to be discovered by you and your family in this intimate zoo setting.

Want to get closer to exotic and fascinating wildlife than you’ll ever experience at a traditional zoo or aquarium? Then Branson’s Wild World, combining the adventure of both a zoo and aquarium into one unique attraction, is the place for you! This amazing animal attraction includes features such as Touch Tanks where you can actually touch sea animals; a hands-on Reptile Display that lets you interact with several different animals, like bearded dragons, snakes, lizards, and more; and Wings of the World, an aviary with exotic birds like macaws, cockatoos, and parrots! There’s also an interactive aquarium filled with fascinating sea creatures like eels and sharks. It’s one of only two facilities in the country to have bull sharks on display, the most feared by man in the shark world, and you won’t just see them; you can feed them!

These Orange Tip and White Kite butterflies are just two of the hundreds that will be flittering around iyou at the Butterfly Palace & Rainforest Adventure.

These Orange Tip and White Kite butterflies are just two of the hundreds that will be fluttering around you in the Butterfly Palace & Rainforest Adventure.

How about an adventure that’s a little more delicate? The Butterfly Palace & Rainforest Adventure provides a unique tropical experience inside a beautiful palace in the middle of Branson. This interactive, educational, unique, and extremely entertaining family adventure includes the Living Rainforest Science Center, Emerald Forest Mirror Maze, and the Banyan Tree Bungee Adventure. It’s highlighted by a spectacular Butterfly Aviary featuring hundreds of beautiful, living, and flittering exotic butterflies in an unforgettable kaleidoscope of color and beauty.

You’ll be awed by the size, strength, beauty, and agility of the big cats at the National Tiger Sanctuary. It houses an African Lion, a Black Leopard, a Bengal Tiger, and several Bengal/Siberian Tigers, as well as several mixed-species animals adapting to their return to nature after enduring an inhumane, caged existence. You’ll also be amused at their playful antics, and deeply touched by the stories of how they came to live in this magnificent haven in the Ozarks. It’s Southwest Missouri’s only facility that’s expansive enough to shelter large, exotic animals in a habitat as close as possible to that of their home in the wild while, at the same time, providing an opportunity to view these magnificent creatures up close and personal.

The beautiful waters of Branson’s Lake Taneycomo teem with brown and rainbow trout, making it one of the best trout fisheries in the nation. The lake’s trout are raised at the Shepherd of the Hills Fish Hatchery, located just below the Table Rock Dam. Operated by the Missouri Department of Conservation, the hatchery features an entertaining and educational visitor center that includes a nature display, a short video on the hatchery and the process used to produce the trout, a giant aquarium with huge trout, and displays of wildflowers and plants indigenous to the area. It also offers tours of the hatchery, providing an up close and personal look not only at the hatchery operation, but the raceways, containing tens of thousands of trout it is raising. Their size ranges from very small to the large rainbow and brown Trout used for breeding.

For more information on these and other Branson Attractions please feel free to contact the Branson Tourism Center, one of Branson’s largest and most respected vacation planning services by calling 1-800-785-1550 or by visiting its website www.BransonTourismCenter.com.

 

Age 30 or not, who wouldn’t enjoy seeing one of these Branson shows?

“Branson is noted worldwide for the quality, quantity, and variety of the live entertainment it offers,” said Annette Wood, the Director of Sales and Marketing for the Branson Tourism Center (BTC), one of Branson’s largest and most respected vacation planning services and sellers of over four million Branson show and attraction tickets. “With almost 100 live shows available during the season, there is a show for just about every age and budget,” she added.

BTC has tens of thousands of Branson fans participating in their social media channels including its Facebook page. From time to time, we go to that resource with questions that we believe would be of interest not only to them, but to potential Branson visitors. Recently we asked the question, “If a good friend or close relative, age 30, was coming to Branson, what one show would you tell them not to miss?”

As would be expected, with hundreds of responses, there was a wide variety of shows listed. The top five most chosen are listed below, in alphabetical order, along with a description and link to where you can get more detailed information on the show’s content, schedules, pricing, and, in most cases, videos and pictures:

Clay Cooper’s Country Express has everything you want in a great Branson show! With 24 veteran entertainers, there’s a variety of singing, dancing, comedy, and music. Backed by a live, 7 piece band, you’ll hear country and pop hits from the likes of George Jones, Hunter Hayes, the Doobie Brothers, and Bruno Mars!

Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede will take your family on a wild ride! Dixie features their world famous racing ostriches, 32 horses in some amazing equestrian feats, a stampede of buffalo, the Rumble in the Treetops lumberjack relay, and friendly competition all wrapped up in a fabulous four-course feast!

The Haygoods is an amazing Branson experience! Excellent choreography, exquisite harmonies, state-of-the art sound and special effects, a delightful sense of humor, and energy that never quits, you get it all in one show from one phenomenal family! It’s easy to see why “The Haygoods” pack the house night after night!

Presleys’ Country Jubilee continues to be a mainstay on the list of Branson experiences you can’t miss! Long before anyone ever heard of Branson, Missouri, the Presley family had people from across the country lined up every night to hear the type of country music and comedy that eventually made Branson a household name.

SIX is Branson’s sensational sibling singing group that quite simply defines the art of performing music without instruments! Sensational harmonizing, polished professionalism, zany on-stage antics…it’s the most talented half dozen guys you’ll ever meet! They’ll charm you right from the opening note!

Wood points out that it’s interesting to note that the vast majority of these shows, along with many more that were mentioned, are found on the Branson Tourism Center’s List of Most Popular and Highly Recommended Shows.

Mother Nature’s amazing Ozark’s Fall Foliage Show premiering soon in Branson

The first blush of the color to come spreads across a scenic Ozark vista.

The first blush of the color to come spreads across a scenic Ozarks vista.

For a limited time, Branson’s shows won’t be the only live entertainment in Branson! From the first tint of color, until the last leaf falls, the fall foliage of the Ozark Mountains provide one of Mother Nature’s most amazing and beautiful shows. If the past is any indication, and everything keeps on going like it’s been going, visitors to Branson can expect a spectacular fall foliage show this year!

Frances Main, a Forester with the Missouri Department of Conservation, said that the moisture this summer, all the good leaves on the trees, and the weather thus far portends a good foliage season that should peak during about the second week in October. She points out that it’s the cool nights followed by bright sunny days that really help bring out the brilliant colors; it starts in mid-September when species such as Walnut and Hickory start changing and really coloring up; the Oaks, Maples, Persimmon, and other trees and bushes start to change shortly thereafter. Click here for more information on “Why Leaves Change Color” from the Missouri Department of Conservation.

“It will be a magnificent, one-of-a-kind sight to behold,” said Annette Wood, the Director of Sales and Marketing for the Branson Tourism Center.  “One of our most asked questions is, ‘What’s the best way to see the foliage?'” Wood says that one of the neat things about the fall foliage in the Branson area is that there really is no one best way to see it because just about everywhere one turns they will be surrounded by its vibrant, colorful beauty.

That said, however, Wood points out that it’s hard to top the magnificent view of the Ozark’s foliage from the lofty heights of the 230-foot-tall Inspiration Tower. Located on top of Inspiration Point at the Shepherd of the Hills Homestead, one of the highest points in southwest Missouri, it provides a unique and unparalleled panoramic view of the Ozarks’ countryside. Glass elevators transport guests up to the enclosed observation deck from which, on a clear day, they can see over 90 miles covering hundreds of square miles that presents a spectacular view of the fall foliage not available anywhere else.

There are a number of “Scenic Lookouts” that provide a superb panoramic view of the Ozark’s fall foliage. These include the Lookouts on State Route 165, about a mile south of its intersection with State Route 265, the Table Rock Dam Overlook, located on the south end of Table Rock Dam across the road from the Visitors Center, and the Henning Conservation Area Lookout, located about a mile west of the junction of State Route 76 and State Route 376 on the north side of the road.

Another excellent panoramic view of Branson’s beautiful fall colors is provided at “Point Lookout” on the campus of the College of the Ozarks. Located on top of a bluff overlooking Lake Taneycomo, it provides a unique view of Branson’s fall foliage not available anywhere else. With the lake as a backdrop, it’s simply breathtaking. While at the college, you might want to eat at the Keeter Center, visit the Edwards Grist Mill, or enjoy the Ralph Foster Museum, commonly referred to as the “Smithsonian of the Ozarks.”

Branson Tourism Center’s Wood also suggests two other ways to enjoy the fall colors in Branson: from the vintage dome cars of the Branson Scenic Railway, and from the deck of the Showboat Branson Belle on Table Rock Lake. They both provide unique panoramic views of Branson’s fall foliage.

Seven amazing reasons why you and your family should plan to be in Branson for Labor Day Weekend

There's nothing quite like the thrill of a "Duck Splashdown."

There’s nothing quite like the thrill of a “Duck Splashdown.”

“One of the great things about Branson is that there are so many amazing ways to be entertained and have fun,” said Annette Wood, the Director of Sales and Marketing for the Branson Tourism Center. “The summer months, through Labor Day, provide the greatest access to all of Branson’s water-related activities, and they will all be in full splash mode over the Labor Day Weekend for families to enjoy,” she adds.

Wood points out that this list is focused on those activities that families might want to enjoy together, are best enjoyed in warmer weather, or close right after Labor Day:

1. A sightseeing Cruise on Main Street Lake Cruises’ Lake Queen: Relax with the family aboard an authentically replicated paddlewheel boat! While many destinations offer cruises, none offer the blend of boarding at a modern shopping attraction like Branson Landing, where you can witness a $7.5 million dollar spectacular water attraction! From bald eagles and other birds and wildlife abounding on Lake Taneycomo’s shoreline, to amazing natural bluffs formed over many centuries, to the spectacular majesty of Ozarks’ vistas, this 1.5 hour cruise is a unique experience not yet enjoyed by the vast majority of the millions of visitors who come to Branson each year. Produced primarily by Mother Nature, it’s one of Branson’s most extraordinary shows and will provide you and your family with memories to cherish forever. The Lake Queen offers a full set of modern amenities, is fully handicap-accessible, has full-sized modern restrooms, has a full bar and snack food service, and features a fully enclosed environmentally conditioned lower deck, as well as an open air upper deck. Don’t miss the opportunity to experience this unique adventure! The final 2015 season cruises on the Lake Queen will be on September 7.

White Water's iconic 7-story multiple slide "Kalani Towers."

White Water’s iconic 7-story multiple slide “Kalani Towers.”

2. White Water: Branson’s “White Water” douses you with two million gallons of rides and attractions that range from the relaxing Aloha River, to the riveting Kapau Plummet, and the exciting Kalani Towers! Discover tons for the little ones to do, like Splashaway Cay and Coconut Cove, and attractions for the whole family, like the Surf’s Up Wave Pool. White Water’s last day of operation for the 2015 season is September 7.

3.The Track Family Fun Parks: Operating four unique parks and a large selection of go-kart tracks around Branson, the Track Family Fun Parks offer a wide variety of fun for every member of the family. You’ll find bumper boats/cars, batting cages, laser tag, mini-golf, arcades, and the incredible Skycoaster, a 100-foot-tall super swing that combines the elements of skydiving and hang-gliding. The Track Parks are also a go-kart lover’s paradise! In addition to the traditional go-kart tracks, you’ll find the steel and concrete, 1,200 foot, four-story-tall “Heavy Metal High Rise;” the four-story spiral climb of the “Wild Woody;” and the spirals and blind peak of the “Lumber Jack!”

4. Showboat Branson Belle: The Showboat Branson Belle is a full size replica of the old time river showboats; it combines a cruise on beautiful Table Rock Lake with a delightful meal and a show to create an unforgettable experience. While cruising, you’ll enjoy music, magic, dancing, comedy, a delicious meal, and a view of Ozark vistas and scenery that can only be seen and appreciated from this unique vantage point on the lake.

5. Silver Dollar City: When it comes to phenomenal, world-class theme parks, it doesn’t get any better than Branson’s biggest attraction, Silver Dollar City! Live music, thrilling rides, demonstrating craftsmen, food, shopping, amusements for all ages, seasonal and themed festivals and events, the all-new Fireman’s Landing, and even more awaits you and your family! Although, it remains open until Christmas, from a weather perspective, the Labor Day weekend will provide an excellent chance to enjoy its rides, especially its water-related rides. In addition to everything else the park offers, it will be celebrating “A Southern Gospel Picnic” over the Labor Day Weekend.

6. National Tiger Sanctuary: Branson’s “National Tiger Sanctuary” is an excellent educational and entertainment experience for young and old alike! You’ll be awed by the size, strength, and agility of many of the Sanctuary’s wild creatures. You’ll also be amused at their playful antics, and touched deeply by the stories of how many came to live in this magnificent haven in the Ozarks.

7. Ride the Ducks: This extremely popular attraction is a boatload of fun for the whole family aboard a WW II style amphibious DUKW, a.k.a. “The Duck.” During the 60 to 70 minute adventure, you will enjoy a tour narrated by a U.S. Coast Guard licensed Captain, who is every bit as good at entertaining as they are at being a driver and captain. You’ll especially enjoy the big Splashdown into either Table Rock Lake or Lake Taneycomo. After the Splashdown, there is an opportunity for the kids to drive the Duck in the water. The area covered by the tour and the lake of the Splashdown depends on whether you board Ride The Ducks at Branson Landing or their Highway 76 location. The final 2015 season Ride the Duck trips from Branson Landing  will be on September 7. The Highway 76 Ride The Ducks will remain in operation through November 29.

BTC’s Wood suggests that potential visitors to Branson over the Labor Day Weekend make advance show and lodging reservations to ensure the best choice of show seating and lodging accommodations. Just one phone call to 1-800-785-1550 takes care of it all, and will put you in touch with one of the Branson-based Travel Planning Specialists at Branson Tourism Center. They’ll be delighted to answer questions, explain how you can save money by “packaging” lodging and shows, take care of reservations and ticketing, or assist you in any way they can to help you plan a great Branson trip for you and your family.

 

If you were going to pick a comedy trifecta in a Branson show wouldn’t it have to include Presleys’ Country Jubilee?

Branson's comedy show trifecta Jay Wickizer, left, Cecil, and Herkimer.

Branson’s comedy show trifecta Jay Wickizer, left, Cecil, and Herkimer.

Branson’s nearly 100 shows offer a variety of live entertainment that would be the envy of any major tourist destination. That variety includes spectacular productions such as Jonah or Million Dollar Quartet; music shows covering every genre of music including rock n’ roll, country, gospel, and just about everything else in-between, including magic shows, comedy, and much more.

Although known primarily for its music shows, a major element of Branson entertainment industry, from its very first show, the Baldknobbers Jamboree, has been comedy. The paradigm of music, with comedy routines strategically worked in throughout the show, is a Branson staple that has been entertaining Branson visitors for over 55 years. It is used by some of Branson’s most popular shows including Billy Dean With Jarrett, Clay Cooper’s Country Express, Comedy Jamboree, Grand Jubilee, Paul Harris and the Cleverlys, Presleys’ Country Jubilee, and others. With all the great comedians performing in these and other Branson shows, coupled with the variety of the comedy they offer, it would be virtually impossible to pick a winning trifecta of Branson comedy shows. The comedian(s) in every one of them will have you laughing throughout the show!

In terms of a comedy trifecta in a Branson show, who would bet against comedians Gary and Eric Presley, assisted by their straight man, Jay Wickizer? Ever since the Presleys opened Presleys’ Country Jubilee on the Branson strip in 1967, the multi-talented Gary Presley, a.k.a. “Herkimer,” has been bringing laughter to Branson audiences with his uniquely humorous jokes and comedy antics. That tradition has continued to grow exponentially with the addition of his son Eric, a.k.a. “Cecil,” and straight man extraordinaire Jay Wickizer. The show’s comedy offers a one of kind blend of one-liners, action and skits that keeps the audience, kids and adults alike, laughing and wondering what’s coming next.

From Herkimer’s signature hillbilly garb, Ozarks logic, and comedy, to the complex simplicity of Cecil’s interaction with both Herkimer and Jay, this is one funny trio. They add hilarious comedy to one of the best vocal and instrumental shows in Branson, at just the right time. While some might question the use of the word “trifecta” in this instance, to this writer, the uproariously funny and distinctive comedy of Herkimer, Cecil, and Jay in Presleys’ Country Jubilee, is a trifecta of outstanding, hilarious comedy unlike any other in Branson!

For additional information or tickets for Presleys’ Country Jubilee, or any of Branson’s other shows and attractions, or for lodging arrangements, please feel free to contact the Branson Tourism Center, one of Branson’s largest and most respected vacation planning services by calling 1-800-785-1550 or by visiting its website www.BransonTourismCenter.com.

 

Is the heat of summer the ideal time to plan your visit to see Ozark Mountain Christmas?

Silver Dollar City's acclaimed dazzling 5-story special effects Christmas Tree.

Silver Dollar City’s dazzling 5-story special effects Christmas Tree.

“Yes! Why do we recommend planning for Branson’s Ozark Mountain Christmas, an annual event that runs from November 1 through December 31, in the 90-degree-plus temperatures of summer?” asked Annette Wood, the Director of Sales and Marketing for the Branson Tourism Center, one of Branson’s largest and most respected vacation planning services. “The simple answer is that Ozark Mountain Christmas is easily the most colorful, exciting, inspirational, and busiest time of the year in Branson,” she added.

Wood points out that its overwhelming popularity creates a high demand, not only for the availability of the more popular shows and lodging establishments, but in getting the best choices in show seating and lodging accommodations. “For the best availability, and to save money on the ‘hottest’ deals, planning your trip to Branson’s Ozark Mountain Christmas in the heat of summer might just be the ‘cool’ thing to do,” Wood advises.

A major attraction of Branson’s Ozark Mountain Christmas for many is the fact that it’s a unique and special celebration of the traditional American Christmas not available in any other major tourist destination. From Silver Dollar City’s Old Time Christmas to the large Adoration Scene on top of Mount Branson, Ozark Mountain Christmas in Branson is filled with Christmas lights, shows, shopping, and a Christmas spirit that puts a special glow in the hearts of those who want to celebrate and experience the true spirit of Christmas.

In addition to the spiritual glow, there is the actual glow of millions of Christmas lights glittering throughout the Branson area. In Silver Dollar City alone, there are over five million sparkling Christmas lights transforming the park into a virtual Christmas wonderland as part of its celebration of Old Time Christmas.

The Shepherd of the Hills’ Trail of Lights provides a spectacular drive through lighting display with millions of glowing Christmas lights and numerous displays. It’s one of the most unique.and beautiful drive-through displays anywhere and is set within the natural beauty of our Ozark Hills. And the glow of Christmas lights doesn’t stop there as Christmas decorations and lights adorn utility poles, Branson Landing, and many of Branson’s shops, attractions, and theatres.

The vast majority of Branson’s shows share the spirit of Christmas by devoting a portion of their show to the celebration of the traditional Christmas. In addition, there are a number of shows that are only available during Ozark Mountain Christmas, such as the Andy Williams Christmas Show starring the Osmond Brothers and Lennon Sisters, Christmas Wonderland, and the Hughes Brothers Christmas Show. Speaking of shows, you’ll want to allow plenty of time while at Silver Dollar City so you have enough time to see its two spectacular Christmas productions, “A Dickens’ Christmas Carol” and “It’s A Wonderful Life.”

BTC’s Wood points out that Branson provides a great shopping experience year round, but there’s just something special about shopping in Branson during Ozark Mountain Christmas. Its large variety of unique boutiques, specialty shops, galleries, craft shops, Branson Landing, and outlet malls like Tanger Outlets and The Shoppes at Branson Meadows make Branson the ideal place to get the ideal Christmas gift for everyone.

Wood re-emphasizes the point that during Branson’s regular season there are periods when shows and lodging fill up, and during Ozark Mountain Christmas, particularly with the more popular shows and lodging establishments, the situation increases exponentially. She explains that not only do the chances of non-availability increase, but the chances of getting the best show seats, choice of accommodations, and the best prices decrease the longer one waits to make their Ozark Mountain Christmas travel plans.

For additional information on Ozark Mountain Christmas, tickets for any of Branson’s shows and attractions, or for lodging arrangements, please feel free to contact the Branson Tourism Center, one of Branson’s largest and most respected vacation planning services by calling 1-800-785-1550 or by visiting its website, www.BransonTourismCenter.com .

Six great reasons why you should take your family on a one-of-a-kind Lake Taneycomo sightseeing cruise aboard the Lake Queen

Main Street Lake Cruises "Lake Queen" cruising Lake Taneycomo.

Main Street Lake Cruises “Lake Queen” cruising Lake Taneycomo.

“Our goal is to provide our passengers with a unique, exciting, and unforgettable experience that will become a special part of their favorite Branson memories,” said Steve Johnson, the General Manager of Main Street Lake Cruises. “A cruise aboard the 84 foot long riverboat replica Lake Queen is reminiscent of the boats and the White River that played such an important part in Branson’s early history; it’s truly a one of a kind adventure produced by Mother Nature,” he added.

Here are some things you should know about taking your family on an amazing sightseeing cruise aboard the Lake Queen:

1. It’s Safe: The safety of you and your family is foremost. The Lake Queen and its crew are licensed, and the boat is inspected by the U.S. Coast Guard on a regular basis.

2. Full Modern Amenities: The Lake Queen is fully handicap accessible and offers modern amenities including full-sized modern restrooms, a well-stocked bar, snack food service, a fully enclosed environmentally conditioned lower deck and an open-air upper deck.

3. Enjoy Sights Never Seen by the Vast Majority of Branson’s Millions of Visitors Each Year: These sights include a unique mid-lake view of Branson Landing and its $7.5 million fountain, a spectacular synchronized fire, water, light, and music show; one of Missouri’s largest Blue Heron Rookeries; amazing bluffs carved naturally by Mother Nature over the centuries; spectacular Ozark vistas; and much more.

4. See Ozarks’ Birds and Other Wildlife: From your vantage point aboard the Lake Queen you’ll come upon the birds and other wildlife that abound on Lake Taneycomo and its shoreline. You could see deer, mink, river otters, the great blue heron, bald eagles, various species of ducks, Canada geese and other geese, as well as many other species.

5. Fully Narrated: Although there is plenty of time to relax and just enjoy the serenity of being on the lake, the Captain will provide a live, interesting narrative of what you’ll be seeing, both fixed and spontaneous sights … a bald eagle sitting in a tree, or a mink scurrying along the shoreline, or any number of things that just can’t be planned!

6. Relaxing: Whether you enjoy it inside the climate controlled lower deck, or in the fresh air of the open top deck, it’s hard to imagine anything more relaxing than cruising on Lake Taneycomo aboard the Lake Queen while enjoying the peace and serenity of the Ozarks.

For additional information or tickets for a cruise aboard the Lake Queen, please contact the Branson Tourism Center, one of Branson’s largest and most respected vacation planning services by calling 1-800-785-1550, or by visiting www.BransonTourismCenter.com.