“‘How friendly is Branson to kids and families?’ is a question we get all the time.” said Tammy Johnson, the Director of Operations for the Branson Tourism Center, one of Branson’s largest and most respected vacation planning services. “The simple one word answer is, ‘Very.’”
From its lakes and natural beauty to live shows, attractions, theme parks and many other activities, Branson offers many unique and exciting choices for families and kids to have fun and share together, from the oldest “kids” to the youngest. Obviously, a seven year old probably would not have the same experience on Silver Dollar City’s world class roller coaster, “Wildfire” as would a teenager, but then a teenager probably wouldn’t be too happy playing inside Silver Dollar City’s new million dollar ‘Half Dollar Holler’ area designed for kids through the age of seven either.
Older kids and teenagers probably won’t be interested in Silver Dollar City’s ten ride “Grand Exposition,” an area specifically designed so that families can enjoy those rides and have a lot of fun together. It has three rides tucked safely away in a corner for the littlest children as well as other rides all designed and placed so that mom and dad or grandparents can ride sitting next to their kids if they choose or just sit on a bench and watch them ride.
“And that’s the magic of Branson, there truly is something for everyone, but in this case let’s take a look at things, that could very well appeal to the whole family, but which would have a special appeal for the younger kids. It should be stressed that with all that Branson has to offer for younger children and kids this is not meant to be an all inclusive list, but merely an illustration of some of the things that will provide a great experience for Branson’s younger visitors.
Before leaving Branson’s largest and most popular attraction, Silver Dollar City, it should be noted that America’s biggest KidsFest, the National KidsFest will be held at Silver Dollar City from June 11 to July 24. As its name implies, this festival is designed with activities for families and kids. With special acts and shows featuring the “Legendary Flying Wallendas,” “Chris Perondi’s Stunt Dog Experience,” “Science Madness,” the opportunity to meet some of your kids favorite cartoon characters Tom & Jerry, Scooby Doo, Sponge Bob and much more. When you add the special events of KidsFest to all the shows rides, shows, crafts and everything else Silver Dollar City offers its hard to imagine there is not something for everyone in the family to enjoy.
What kid, or adult for that matter wouldn’t love meeting “Molly” and “Carter,” the loveable King Charles Spaniels who are the mascots for the Titanic Museum as part of their “voyage.” The Titanic’s crew interaction with their passengers throughout the voyage and the interactive gallery filled with fun and interesting interactive activities, simulating what the passengers on the Titanic went through, provide passengers of all ages a fun filled and exciting experience. You can almost bet that one of your children will say, “Wow, was that water cold.”
Branson many mini golf courses, some indoors and some outdoors, provide an opportunity for all members of the family, from the oldest to the youngest, to have fun together. Even Branson’s go-cart tracks take the younger members of the family into consideration. The Track Family Fun Parks operates four parks in the Branson area with go-carts tracks ranging from the multistoried wooden “Wild Woody” and the fastest go-cart track in Branson. For the younger kids they have the new “Rookie Track” and “Kiddie Go-Carts” in their “Kid’s Country” which also offers an assortment of rides that will amuse and entertain children up to about the age of 7.
White Water, Branson’s 12 acre water park, is two million gallons of cool liquid fun and excitement with more than 7,000 feet of water slides, a dozen exciting rides and features the seven story tall six slide ride “Kalani Towers.” Its youngest guests will have fun at “Coconut Cove, ” an area with activities and rides designed just for them such as interactive sprays and shooting nozzles in a shallow pool of water, a multi-lane slide and much more. Why mom might even want to take them on White Water’s newest ride, a gentle, but wet ride, down the 800 foot “Aloha River” that was designed “with mom in mind.”
Branson is referred to as the “Live music show capital of the world,” and offers some of the finest and most entertaining music and variety shows in the world, but it also offers something else, a variety of shows that will appeal to younger children. Now this is not a matter of being “suitable” for children, this writer has never seen one, content wise, that wasn’t. It’s about shows, that this writer believes, will have a special appeal for younger children and entertain them. The following list is not inclusive, is subjective, sorted alphabetically and contains a few words on specifically what the author believes will appeal to children.
Acrobats of China – color, constant action and one exciting act after another
Amazing Pets – Cats, dogs, birds and interaction with kids.
Cirque Montage – The color, action and excitement of the various Cirque acts
Dixie Stampede – Excitement, color,horses and animals, action, competition and meal
Duttons – The involvement of their kids interacting with your kids
Hamner Barber Variety Show – Great magic and ventriloquism with Pecos Pete and others.
Jungle Jack Hanna - Excitement of the animals (One Day only June 19)
Kirby VanBurch – kids love magic shows
Legend of Kung Fu – Excitement, color, and exciting action
Magic Champion Dennis Alm – Kids love magic shows
NOAH the Musical – Live animals, spectacular 300 foot surround stage with great sets and costuming
Presleys’ Country Jubilee – The action comedy of the father and son Team Herkimer with colorful costuming
Showboat Branson Belle - Excitement of being on the water, dinner, magician in show
The Hughes Brothers – The involvement of their kids interacting with your kids
Todd Oliver & Friends – Ventriloquist with talking dogs and puppets
Yakov’s Dinner Adventure – Lots of color, different action, constant action and dinner
“There is just so much to pick and choose from in Branson,” said Branson Tourism Center’s Johnson. “We would be happy to provide free personal assistance in help you plan the perfect Branson vacation for your family,” she continued. For additional Branson information, tickets or lodging please feel free to contact us by either calling our toll free number 1-800-785-1550 or through our website www.BransonTourismCenter.com.
* Photo courtesy of www.whitewater.silverdollarcity.com