Category Archives: Attractions

Branson earns Traveler’s Choice for Top 25 U. S. Destinations

Main Street Cruise's Landing Princess and Lake Queen viewing Branson Landing's spectacular Water and Fire Show.

Main Street Cruise’s Landing Princess and Lake Queen viewing Branson Landing’s spectacular Water and Fire Show.

“Branson visitors are just amazing,” said Annette Wood, director of sales and marketing, for the Branson Tourism Center. “What a humbling experience that so many of them would take the time to comment on TripAdvisor® that Branson, a little town in the heart of the Ozark Mountains, would, for the first time, make the top 25 List of U.S. Destinations in ‘TripAdvisors® 6th Annual Traveler’s Choice Destination Awards’ along with cities such as New York, Orlando, and New Orleans,” she added. Joining Branson, who was number 19 on the list, as “newbies to the top 25 was San Diego (7), Austin (18), Atlanta (20), Phoenix (21), St. Louis (23) and Nashville (24).

In announcing the awards, Barbara Messing, chief marketing officer for TripAdvisor said, “If you’re looking for trip inspiration, look no further than the Travelers’ Choice Destinations.” The award is based on the “quantity and quality of reviews and ratings for hotels, attractions and restaurants in destinations” that are “gathered over a 12-month period.” The description accompanying the award listing highlighted the number and variety of Branson shows, the natural beauty of the Ozarks and the “great fishing, hiking, biking and water sports” available in Branson.

Larry Milton, owner of Main Street Lake Cruises whose two boats, the Lake Queen and the Landing Princess, are featured in the illustration of the description accompanying the award listing said, “How neat is that, Branson is featured in the top 25 of this award list because of the efforts that travelers to Branson have made based on their own great Branson experiences. What a testimony to the efforts of our entertainers, shows, attractions, lodging providers and everyone else in Branson’s tourism industry who help provide our guests with that great experience.”

Branson Tourism Center’s Wood invites everyone to visit Branson and experience firsthand why this special little town nestled in the Ozarks is listed as one of the top 25 destinations in the U.S. For information on Branson shows, attractions, lodging and everything else that Branson offers please feel free to call the Branson Tourism Center toll free at 1-800-875-1550 or through its website, www.BransonTourismCenter.com.

10 People Share Favorite Things to Do While in Branson

The Titanic Museum Attraction pictured amid the beauty of spring which can't come soon enough this year.

The Titanic Museum Attraction pictured amid the beauty of spring which can’t come soon enough this year.

“There is so much to see and do in Branson that it is often hard to decide what to do,” said Annette Wood, Director of Sales and Marketing, Branson Tourism Center. This week on the Branson Tourism Facebook page, in conjunction with announcing our first ever contest giving away a Branson Spring Break Family package, we asked people if they would comment on their “favorite thing to do or see in Branson.” From the many received, we picked ten in the hopes that the “favorite things to do” from people who have actually been to Branson” might be of benefit to those trying to decide what to see and do while in Branson.

The comments are listed in no particular order, and include the Facebook name of the commenter, the total comment and links to additional information:

 

Shoji Tabuchi and his daughter Christina.

Shoji Tabuchi and his daughter Christina.

Geneva Madding Vance: My favorite thing in Branson is the Christmas Lights and I love to watch the Branson Landing water fountain. I love to walk downtown and shop in the quaint stores. Really enjoy Six and Shoji.

Genevieve Rose: I have been to Branson four times…I could go every year if I could afford it. I love it, but the last time in 2013, at 63 yrs of age, I went Zip-lining…OHHHH…that was the most fun ever…I love the shows especially at the Sight and Sound Theatre…[Biblical spectacular Jonah premieres March 22.]

Natasha Morris: My favorite thing to do is ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING! WHATS NOT TO LOVE? I FEEL PEACE WHEN I’M THERE…THE ATMOSPHERE IS JUST AMAZING!

Linda Hale: I love everything about Branson. We see the shows Presleys, SIX, Clay Cooper, Gilleys, Dixie Stampede. We also love The Sight & Sound Theatre, Ride The ducks, seeing the lake [Branson has two lakes the 22 mile long cold water Lake Taneycomo and the 43,000 surface acre warm water Table Rock Lake], shopping & all the good places to eat, but what we really like is how great the people are in Branson.

Alan Mears: Branson has so much going for it! Have vacationed there for the last 19 years & consider it like my second home. It has a Christian spirit, is family friendly & family oriented with a good, honest fun attitude-filled with museums, a variety of shows, theme parks, great dining, shopping, outdoor activities, delicious food & an amazing blend of old & new talent. It has an atmosphere of hospitality & patriotism, with many different things to do for all ages-can even be a romantic getaway since it is one of the most beautiful places in America with a wide array of things to see & do throughout all the seasons. The memories are awesome, especially bringing someone to Branson for the first time. My Favorite thing is- all the above & so much more!

Pam Hook: RELAX, golf, and shows!!!!

 

Innovations like its new world breaking "Outlaw Run" wooden coaster have helped Silver Dollar City "Create memories worth repeating" for over 50 years.

Innovations like its new world breaking “Outlaw Run” wooden coaster have helped Silver Dollar City “Create memories worth repeating” for over 50 years.

Ashley Fuller: There’s so much to choose from! It would be nice if we had more vacation time and hours in the day to do it all! I would have to say Silver Dollar City, Branson Landing Shopping, Dixie Stampede, Sight and Sound Theater, Titanic, mini golf, Segways and Grand Country.

Joyce Soule Stump: So many things to do. It is hard to pick one or two. Love the Baldknobbers, great restaurants, great motels [Lodging], Dick’s 5 & 10, Flea markets etc.

Dee-Dee Saluppo Baker: Titanic

Deborah Gander Smith: The shows, the lake and the new riverfront [Branson Landing].

We noticed too; most had a tough time picking just one favorite thing, but isn’t that a wonderful memory to have, a vacation with so many favorite things that you couldn’t pick just one.

What you need to know about the exciting 2014 changes at Main Street Lake Cruises

Welcome the New Year in celebrating aboard the 100 foot luxury yacht "Landing Princess."

The 100 foot luxury yacht “Landing Princess”

“There is more of everything this year, excitement, fun, romance and adventure, at Main Street Lake Cruises, downtown Branson’s one stop Lake Taneycomo activity destination,” said Steve Johnson the General Manager of Main Street Lake Cruises (MSLC). “Our goal has been to provide Branson visitors with a ‘one stop’ fun and activity destination from which they could enjoy Lake Taneycomo, the most historic and scenic of Branson’s waterways,” he added.

Whether sightseeing on the river boat replica Lake Queen or dining on the 100 foot luxury yacht Landing Princess, passengers will see a spectacular constantly changing show produced by “Mother Nature” herself. This includes the opportunity to see everything from the Bald Eagles and wildlife along Lake Taneycomo’s shore line, amazing natural bluffs stretching back into the eons of time and the spectacular majesty of Ozark vistas not seen by the vast majority of the millions of visitors who come to Branson each year. Each cruise provides a unique lakeside view of Branson Landing and its $7.5 million fountains that is as unique as it is beautiful and inspiring.

For 2014, a lunch option has been added to the “lunch time” cruises aboard the Lake Queen including a delectable choice of entrees such as Blackened Chicken Salad with croissant, Turkey Croissant with choice of chips or garden salad, Ham Croissant with choice of chips or garden salad or Caesar Chicken Wrap with choice of chips or garden salad and unlimited fountain drinks. Always a wonderful experience, in 2014 the dinner cruise seating aboard the 100 foot luxury yacht Landing Princess becomes even more romantic and intimate with its new private “individual” table seating. To make the occasion even more special there is the option to customize the occasion by adding upgrades, including items such as a bottle of Canyon Road House Wine (red or white) with 2 MSLC Logo Flutes or a half dozen Roses.

The Wilderness Ride fishing kayak.

The Wilderness Ride fishing kayak.

Kayak rentals, including fishing, single and tandem kayaks, are a new addition to the MSLC activities offered for 2014. The fishing kayaks are 11.5 foot “Wilderness Systems Ride” models that are 33 inches wide with raised seating and a stability that enables an angler to stand up and fish from them. The single and tandem kayaks are the “Perception Tribes,” sit on top models that are 9.5 feet long and 31 ¼ inches wide and 13.5 feet long and 33.25 inches wide respectively. A unique feature is that the kayak rentals will all depart from the Main Street Lake Cruises’ Dock located right off the boardwalk at Branson Landing in Branson Landing and do not require any special transportation or pick up coordination. In addition, it is anticipated that there will be an option where the kayaks and passengers will be transported upstream from Main Street Lake Cruises for a release and downstream paddle that can be customized to the desires of the customer.

Also new for 2014 will be pontoon rentals and family or small group custom charters aboard a 27 foot Regal Deck Boat piloted by a U.S. Coast Guard licensed Captain. Add a lunch option from the Paddlewheel Restaurant to either and you are set for a special memorable day on the water.

For additional information or to make reservations for Main Street Lake Cruises’ sightseeing or dinner cruises, kayaks or deck boat charters please contact them by either calling 877-382-6287 or through their web site www. MainStreetLakeCruises.com

Soothe Winter Doldrums by Planning a Perfect Branson Summer Vacation

Silver Dollar City's record setting wooden coaster "Outlaw Run" is just one of the exciting experiences awaiting Branson visitors.

It might seem odd, in the depths of the harsh winter many of us are experiencing to suggest planning a summer vacation in Branson, but what better way to shake the winter doldrums? Naturally, being a resident of Branson for these past 28 years, and having vacationed in Branson for ten years prior to moving here, it is natural to understand why I might be partial to Branson, but the question is why you and your family should spend your summer vacation in Branson?

Simply put, because there is no other place on earth that offers the combination of fun things to do coupled with the spirit Branson offers. The combination of things to do and the hospitality of those providing them stems from an Ozarks heritage and culture that is at the heart of all Branson is. Whether simply relaxing; going through a full day of fun and excitement experiencing Branson’s live shows, attractions, dining and shopping or enjoying one of the many other exciting activities Branson offers, you and your family will be interacting with people dedicated to providing you with a Branson vacation you will never forget.

Of course, it is extremely helpful in that regard that, from its oldest and most popular attraction, the award winning world class 1880s styled Silver Dollar City theme park to its three pristine lakes, around 100 live music and entertainment shows, dozens of attractions and other activities, Branson has more entertainment, excitement and things to do “per block” than any other vacation destination anywhere near its size. As an example, where else could you conveniently start your morning at a world class attraction like the Titanic Museum Attraction; visit a state of the art trout hatchery on your way to basking on a sandy fresh water beach such as Table Rock Lake’s “Moonshine Beach;” enjoy a dinner sightseeing cruise on a 100 foot luxury yacht like Main Street Cruise Lines’ Landing Princess and still be able to take in an evening performance of a Branson Show such as Presleys’ Country Jubilee, Acrobats of China, The Texas Tenors, Haygoods, Clay Cooper’s Country Express, it, The Duttons, SIX, Grand Jubilee or any one of dozens of other live shows.

Seems like a lot and it is, but the point is that everything is so close together and convenient in Branson that your day can be as active or, depending on what you want, as relaxing as you want. The real beauty of it all is that was just one daily itinerary out of hundreds that can be put together to make sure that you and your family have the best vacation ever filled with exactly the things that you want to do. Want to get a better taste of what Branson has to offer? Click here for instant on line access to Branson Tourism Center’s 2014 Branson Vacation Guide.

To make it fun and easy to plan the perfect vacation for your family, the Branson Tourism Center (BTC), who’s mantra is, “We don’t sell discount vacations we sell amazing vacations at a discount,” starts that amazing vacation off with a unique free personal concierge style Branson vacation planning service. One phone call to 800-785-1550 will put you in contact with one of their Branson based Vacation Planners who will show you what Ozark hospitality is as they help you plan a perfect Branson vacation, answer questions, make recommendations on what to see and do, save you time and, in most cases, money.

 

 

Material Connection

Cutting Edge Event Hard to Swallow at Branson Ripley’s Odditorium

 

World Sword Swallower's Day to be celebrated at Ripley's.

The 4000 year old art of sword swallowing will edge its way into the Branson Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditorium (Ripley’s) on February 22. There are only a few dozen full time professional sword swallowers left and 20 of them will be partnering with Ripley’s to celebrate the “7th Annual World Sword Swallower’s Day” which was started by the “Sword Swallowers Association International (SSAI)” and co-sponsored by “Ripley’s Believe It or Not!” “We established ‘World Sword Swallower’s Day’ to honor this ancient art and recognize the few people in the world who can do this,” explains Dan Meyer, a sword swallower whose amazing feats have been chronicled by Ripley’s Believe It or Not!

Each of the “20 sword swallowers will risk their lives when they ‘drop swords’ at Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditoriums around the world on February 22. In all, more than 125 feet of solid steel will go down the hatch – hopefully without a scratch!” Professional sword swallower Sandra Kallich, known as “Bob Zilla,” will demonstrate her sword swallowing skills at a free performance at the Branson Ripley’s starting at 2:00 PM.

“Some people call Ripley’s Believe It or Not a ‘museum’ and some an ‘odditorium,’” said Tammy Johnson, the Director of Operations for the Branson Tourism Center. “One thing everyone seems to agree on however, is that from activities like ‘Sword Swallower’s Day’ to its distinctive look and the unique exotic exhibits it displays, Ripley’s provides Branson visitors with a unique, interesting and fun filled attraction in which they are “guaranteed” to experience the unusual,” she adds.

Ripley’s distinctive earthquake damaged design is one of the most photographed buildings in Branson. The oddity of the building’s design is just a hint of the excitement that awaits its guests. John Dixon General Manager of Ripley’s said, “Our slogan for this year says it all, ‘Odd is in, trust us we are the experts.’ We have over 400 exhibits that are a collection of the odd and interesting things that Robert Ripley collected throughout his life and a lot of other cool fun filled stuff such as the slanted room, vortex, optical illusions, unique collections and interactive activities.” Dixon said that two of his personal favorites are the shrunken head because it’s “odd, creepy, cool and there’s not a lot of them around” and, just recently added, a giant 14 foot “Incredible Hulk” made out of car parts.

Ripley’s truly does have something for everyone, takes about an hour and a half to go through, and is open 365 days a year. For additional information on “Sword Swallowers Day,” the Branson Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditorium or for information or tickets for any of Branson’s shows and attractions or for lodging arrangements please feel free to contact the Branson Tourism Center by calling 1-800-785-1550 or through its website, www.BransonTourismCenter.com.

 

What you should know about what’s new in Branson for 2014

Sight and Sounds "Jonah" is a spectacular biblical production for the whole family.

Having lived in and written about the Branson area for the past 28 years, this is the time of year that is the most exciting for me. It’s not only the anticipation of spring and the opening of the new Branson season, but the metamorphosis of all the effort that Branson puts into presenting their visitors with something that is constantly fresh, new and exciting becoming a reality each year. It may be a new $1.7 M water ride, a complete renovation of a theatre’s auditorium, opening of new shows or attractions or a myriad of other things that keeps Branson on the cutting edge of the fun, entertainment and adventure that makes it the outstanding relevant travel and vacation destination it is.

One of the major highlights of 2014 is the opening of Jonah which will be presented as only Sight and Sound can do it with their 2000 seat theatre, a 300 foot stage that wraps around three sides of the audience virtually engulfing them in the action, elaborate sets that are up to 40 feet high and an assortment of live animals that brings the bible to life in a spectacular way. “Experience all the up’s and downs of the Bible’s most misdirected prophet, ‘Jonah,’ whose story is filled with humor, soul-stirring music, incredible special effects and the amazing ‘underwater’ scene.” It is “an exhilarating fun-filled journey that carries you over land and sea, across deserts, into royal palaces – and deep within the belly of a big fish” and is a production that the whole family will enjoy.

“And that’s just the beginning,” said Annette Wood, Director of Sales and Marketing for the Branson Tourism Center. “From the unique Elvis Lives, kicking the season off with a limited engagement just in time for Valentine’s Day, to Osmond’s American Jukebox and new magic, music, limited engagement and animal shows, Branson’s live entertainment scene for 2014 is bursting at the seams with excitement and variety,” she added. New 2014 Branson shows include, among others, Billy Dean Live!, Chris Perondis Stunt Dog Experience, Dublin’s Irish Tenors and the Celtic Ladies, Hamner’s Unbelievable Variety, Illusionist Rick Thomas, Magnificent Seven, Sha-na-na Rockin Christmas Show, The Lettermen and more.

The annual “Branson Shuffle” has resulted in many shows having a new home for 2014. Some of the major changes include one of Branson’s hottest shows, The Haygoods moving into the Clay Cooper Theatre along with and Joseph Hall’s Elvis Rock N Remember Tribute  and  another of Branson’s hottest shows, the Clay Cooper’s Country Express; Buck Trent to the Baldknobbers Theatre; 70′s Music Celebration Starring Barry Williams to the Hughes Brothers Celebrity Theatre;and the Rankin Brothers moving to the Yakov Smirnoff Theatre to perform 8 PM shows.

The Titanic Museum Attraction pictured amid the beauty of spring which can't come soon enough this year.

From a Branson Attractions perspective White Water’s new $1.7 M 240 foot “Kapu Plummet” water ride starting with a drop-floor drop through a 70 degree plunge into a spiraling loop ride and is promised to be the biggest thrill in “White Water history.” Construction of the new “Branson Auto and Farm Museum,” after its demolition as a result of the 2013 Tornado, is about complete and will result in a bigger and better facility than what was there before. Although no formal completion date has been announced, construction on the new “Parakeet Pete’s Waterfront Zipline” is proceeding. When completed it will provide a unique ride departing from Branson Landing and traveling across Lake Taneycomo to an observation platform high on the side of Mount Branson. From there riders will have a unique and inspiring view of historic downtown Branson, Branson Landing, Main Street Lake Cruises and Lake Taneycomo. When they leave the observation platform they will zip back across the Lake to the original starting point on Branson Landing.

The Branson Titanic Museum Attraction, is always offering something new and fresh for its “passengers” to experience. This year they are featuring a new gallery honoring the eight musicians on the Titanic. As the great ship sank and the final “sadness and sorrow of that dark night” approached these heroic musicians played on. It has been said that “When the music stopped the legend began.” This gallery tells their individual stories and commemorates their courage and gallantry.

Branson Tourism Center’s Wood points out that the Branson entertainment scene is painted day by day on a constantly evolving canvas. She advises that the Branson based Vacation Planning Specialists of the Branson Tourism Center will be delighted to answer any questions anyone may have about the current status of the Branson entertainment scene.

How to give the one you love the perfect Branson Valentine

Branson is a special Valentine.

To those of us who live and work in Branson and to many of the millions who visit each year, Branson is a special place full of excitement and entertainment with a spirit that seems to make special occasions just a little more special. Valentine’s Day, is a special day that those in love show their Valentine just how special they are and what better place to do that than in Branson, Missouri. From great live shows and attractions to romantic dining, shopping and much more, Branson has an outstanding variety of choices to give the one you love the perfect Valentine experience.

 

Grand Country's Comedy Jamboree is just one of the shows to share with your Valentine.

A number of Branson shows will be open for Valentine’s Day Weekend. Clay and Tina Cooper will be opening their 2014 show in their newly remodeled auditorium on Valentine’s Day followed by the Haygoods, who will be appearing in the Clay Cooper Theatre starting this year, the very next night.. The shows that will be open for Valentine’s Day Weekend include:

Absolutely Patsy

Acrobats of China

Amazing Pets

Branson Country USA

Baldknobbers Jamboree Show

Branson Country USA

Clay Cooper’s Music Express

Comedy Jamboree

Dancing Queen ABBA’s Greatest Hits

Elvis Lives

Grand Jubilee

The Haygoods

For many, if not most, Valentine’s Day includes a special meal with their Valentine. Branson offers a variety of choices that meets just about every budget and need. From the simple down home cooking of “Clocker’s Café” in historic downtown Branson to the “Keeter Center,” “Level 2 Steak House,” “The Chateau on the Lake” and many others including a romantic champagne cruise and dinner aboard Main Street Lake Cruises 100 foot luxury yacht the Landing Princess; Branson has the special dining experience that will help make Valentine’s Day Special.

 

The "Grand Stair Case " of the Titanic Museum Attraction.

Although it’s always a great time to visit the Branson Titanic Museum Attraction, Valentine’s Day seems like an especially appropriate time to visit. The museum’s elegant full sized replica of the “Titanic’s Grand Staircase” is a romantic icon that is a popular place for weddings and for couples to renew their wedding vows. Its brand new exhibit honoring the musicians aboard the Titanic coupled with the romance of its band master, Wallace Hartley and his engagement to Maria Robinson is, to me, a special Valentine in itself.

The Branson Tourism Center is offering a variety of “Valentine’s” packages combining shows, lodging, attractions a “Romance Basket” and more. These packages not only provide a way to save money, but a special romantic way to show your Valentine just how special they are.

Why not give your Valentine a special Valentine and plan to celebrate Valentine’s Day in Branson? Need help deciding what to do in Branson or adding that little extra something that will make Valentine’s Day special for your Valentine? Call the Branson Tourism Center, Branson’s largest and most respected vacation planning service, by calling their toll free number 1-800-785-1550 and talk with one of their Branson based Travel Planners who will be happy to assist in planning the perfect Branson Valentine experience for your special Valentine.

Four “free” Branson activities for families to enjoy

"Scotty," feeding the ducks.

Having lived in Branson for 28 plus years, I am constantly amazed by the number of things there are for families to do in Branson. Many of those activities provide families with an opportunity to create special memories and do not cost a penny.

From the many free things that are available in Branson, I have selected this list of four because it presents a broad variety of things that families can enjoy and have fun sharing together that are either of a short duration or permit the flexibility to easily fit in with other activities such as shows and attractions and the attention span of children. In addition, items 1 and 2 are within five minutes of each other as are items 3 and 4:

1. Feed the Lake Taneycomo Ducks and Geese – Located directly in front of Scotty’s Trout Dock & Marina, near the public boat loading ramp on the southeastern corner of the City of Branson’s Camp Ground, is the “unofficial “duck feeding area that most people coming to Branson never see. “Scotty,” Lamar Patton, the owner of Scotty’s, pointed out that depending on the season, there are about 50 to 200 Mallard ducks, Canada Geese and other water fowl swimming around between his dock and the shoreline waiting for an easy meal.

Scotty sells bags of corn to feed them, but he points out that they will also eat bread and crackers etc. The duck feeding area is located just feet from the parking area and provides, what in the old days was called “a Kodak moment;” a wonderful opportunity to get some great pictures of the family feeding the ducks.

 

The free downtown trolley at Stop #4 just accross from Dicks 5 & 10.

2. Historic Downtown Branson’s “Discovery Trolley” – The Trolley ride is a great way to get an overview and perspective of the historic downtown area, the Branson Convention Center and Branson Landing. Along the way, among other things, you will pass a number of Branson landmarks including the grave site of the man the city of Branson is named after, Ruben S. Branson; the Owens Theatre, Branson’s first theatre; the Branson Convention Center; Branson Landing; Lake Taneycomo and the spot where the “Baldknobbers” performed Branson’s first live music show over 53 years ago.

Stop #2 in historic downtown Branson, located on Commercial Street at the east end of the public parking lot at the southwest corner of Commercial and Atlantic Street, is an excellent place to board the trolley. You will have three hours free parking and the trolley will drop you right back where it picked you up after completing its 15 to 20 minute loop.

3. Shepherd of the Hills Trout Hatchery – The “Shepherd of the Hills Trout Hatchery,” is located less than about ten minutes from the famed Branson Strip at the foot of Table Rock Dam just off of State Highway 165. It is operated by the Missouri Department of Conservation and is part of a complex occupying 211 acres along with a “Conservation Center” consisting of trails, a wild life refuge, and a Visitor Center that is visited by a quarter of a million plus visitors annually.

The inside of the Visitor Center features an interesting nature display and a short video on the hatchery and the process involved with producing the trout that makes Lake Taneycomo one of the premier trout fisheries in the nation. It also has a huge aquarium with some “lunker” Brown and Rainbow Trout showing the size that some of the trout in Lake Taneycomo can reach.

Guided tours of the hatchery depart the Visitors Center from Memorial Day to Labor Day on weekdays at 10 and 11 a.m. and 1 and 2 p.m. Visitors are welcome to tour the “race ways,” “trout runs,” by themselves during normal business hours. They will see thousands of trout in the various stages of development from the smallest of trout to the large “brood stock” that is used to produce them. The Visitor Center opens at 9:00 a.m. every day except, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day.

4. The Dewey Short Regional Visitors Center at Table Rock Dam – The new $7.9 million, 15,000 square foot U.S. Army Corps of Engineers visitor center has been called “the crown jewel of Table Rock Lake” and for good reason. It is one of only 11 Class A visitor centers in the U.S. and offers an unparalleled view of two of Branson’s lakes, Table Rock Lake and Lake Taneycomo that can be seen from the floor to ceiling glass windows on the Table Rock Lake side of the building. Among other things, the Center features interactive activities, displays on area history, nature and the inner workings of Table Rock Dam, movies, a gift shop with unique merchandise and an interesting film on the construction of Table Rock Dam. It also serves as the starting point for tours of the inside of Table Rock Dam for which there is a charge.

And that’s just four of the many free activities available. From grist mills, to scenic overlooks, a giant Bass kids can stand in, “Dicks 5 & 10,” a $7.5 million synchronized fire, water and music show, nature and hiking trails, parks and more Branson has a wide choice of free activities that families can enjoy together. For more information on these activities, Branson shows, attractions and lodging please feel free to call the Branson Tourism Center toll free at 1-800-785-1550.

 

Branson, a special way to end 2013 and begin 2014

Joining the party aboard Main Street Lake Cruises' "Landing Princess" is just one of many ways to celebrate New Year's Eve in Branson.

BRANSON, Mo., December 18, 2013 – “For families as well as individuals it’s hard to beat the variety of exciting ways Branson has to ‘ring out’ the old year and welcome in the New Year,” said Tammy Johnson, the Director of Operations for the Branson Tourism Center. “Branson offers an amazing choice of entertaining and exciting ways for everyone to celebrate the New Year,” she added.

For those wanting a special New Year’s Eve celebration with the traditional Midnight welcoming in of the New Year, many of Branson’s shows and Main Street Lake Cruises are providing a variety of unique and exciting New Year’s Eve celebrations. These include:

Legends in Concert – Show at 9:30 PM featuring the world famous Legends in Concert tribute artists performing their tributes to Brooks and Dunn, Stevie Wonder, Cher, Alan Jackson, The Blues Brothers, and Elvis. Includes a New Year’s Celebration with party favors and various food choices depending on the package selected.

Pierce Arrow – Want a funny and musical New Year’s Eve Celebration with great food? The Pierce Arrow New Year’s Eve Celebration includes a special three hour show starting at 9 PMwith funny man Jarrett Dougherty, Pierce Arrow, Kenya Wilhite, Shonna Bonds and special guest stars. The fun and entertainment includes games, giveaways, wonderful catered food from Vaskens Deli and a live countdown with balloon drop.

The Haygoods – This fun and exciting evening includes Chocolate Fountains, the Haygoods show starting at 9:00 PM with a break between 10:00 and 10:50 PM during which Gourmet Hors d’oeuvres will be served. The Haygoods will resume the stage and perform from 11:00 until the Midnight celebration which includes Pyrotechnics and Laser Show, Party Hats, Horns, and a huge Balloon Drop at Midnight!

New Year’s Eve Cruise on the 100 foo luxury yacht Landing Princess or the riverboat replica Lake Queen – Ring in the New Year by joining us for this 3.5 hour New Year’s Eve Party aboard Main Street Lakes Cruises’ 100 foot luxury yacht, the Landing Princess. Enjoy mouthwatering hors’ d oeuvres, a sinfully delicious dessert bar, complimentary party favors, a live DJ and dance floor, hula-hoop and limbo contests with fantastic prizes, raffle give-a-ways with awesome prizes, complimentary midnight champagne toast, a cash bar with end of year drink specials and a memorable cruise on Lake Taneycomo. Both boats are handicap accessible, climate controlled, and have onboard restroom facilities.

Grand Jubilee – The fun starts with the first half of the Grand Jubilee Show from 9:00 to 10:00 PM. Finger foods, desserts, and nonalcoholic beverages will be served from 10:00 to 11:00 PM after which the 2nd half of the show will be presented leading up to the balloon drop at Midnight with party favors.

Doug Gabriel’s #1 Hits Tribute Show – Join Doug Gabriel and his family for a fun night as they ring in the New Year! The celebration includes the show featuring Doug and his talented cast, drawings, raffle prizes, celebration cake, party favors, a live countdown and a Midnight balloon drop.

Other Branson dinner shows open “New Year’ Eve” for wanting an earlier celebration include:

Dixie Stampede 5:30 PM

Showboat Branson Belle 4:00 and 8:00 PM

Christmas on the Trail 5:15 PM

High flying Hoop acrobatics from the "Acrobats of China," just one of the many shows olpe n New Years Eve.

From a pure show perspective, Branson has shows for the entire family starting at 10:00 AM and continuing into the evening. These include the following listed by time:

Amazing Pets 10:00 AM

Michael J. & Friends 2:00 PM

Todd Oliver & Friends 2:00 PM

Acrobats of China 3:00 PM

Comedy Jamboree 3:00 PM

Acrobats of China 8:00 PM

Comedy Hypnosis  8:00 PM

Gatlin Brothers 8:00 PM

During New Year’s Eve Day and into the evening the following attractions will be open for the whole family to enjoy. Please check the link for hours of operation, prices and ticketing:

Adventure Ziplines of Branson

Butterfly Palace & Rainforest Adventure

Castle of Chaos

Celebrity Car Museum

Hannah’s Maze of Mirrors

Hollywood Wax Museum

IMAX Adventure Films

Inspiration Tower

Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum

Shoot for the Stars Mini Golf

The Track Family Fun Parks

Titanic Museum Attraction

Trail of Lights

Vigilante Ziprider

World’s Largest Toy Museum

“And that doesn’t include shopping, golf, fishing and a myriad of other activities. It’s hard to imagine a better place than Branson for families to celebrate New Year’s together,” said Branson Tourism Center’s Johnson. She points out that, particularly at this time of the year, schedules and activities could be impacted by weather and offers the services of Branson’s largest and most respected vacation planning service, the Branson Tourism Center, in answering any questions anyone might have or to assist with tickets or lodging arrangements for New Years. BTC can be reached by calling their toll free number 1-800-785-1550.

Who else wants to see one of the best theme park Christmas celebrations in America?

The Light Parade winds its way through Silver Dollar City's Town Square.

BRANSON, Mo., December 5, 2013 – “Silver Dollar City’s Old Time Christmas has long been acknowledged both locally and nationally as one of the center pieces of Ozark Mountain Christmas,” said Tammy Johnson, the Director of Operations for the Branson Tourism Center, “but it was a joy to see it recognized as one of the 10 great theme parks for the holidays in a recent special written by Larry Bleiberg for USA TODAY. The source of the information for the piece was comments made by Robert Niles, editor of ThemeParkInsider.com who pointed out that theme parks “do Christmas on a scale you won’t find anywhere else” and shared 10 of the best at doing just that.

In his comments on why Silver Dollar City made his list Niles said, “This heartland park embraces Christmas traditions with a living Nativity scene, shows and holiday meals” and points out that the park also “features scores of themed trees, including one that towers five stories in the middle of the park.” Johnson points out that the award winning 1880s styled theme park turns into a glittering winter wonderland amid no less than 5 million sparkling lights and 1,000 decorated Christmas trees throughout the park.”

Of the five million lights, 1 million decorate the streets and cover the 40-foot-tall trees on the Town Square as part of the spectacular light & sound show, Christmas on Main Street featuring a five story Special Effects Christmas Tree. It has 350,000 energy-saving lights that are synchronized with music and to the lights decorating buildings around the square, down to one-hundredth of a second. This can result in over 6,000 light changes per minute. The twice nightly 100,000 light Gifts of Christmas Holiday Light Parade with 18 costumed characters and eight lighted musical floats is another unique and beautiful part of the parks Old Time Christmas celebration.

The parks unique live shows, including an original Silver Dollar musical production of It’s a Wonderful Life, adapted from the inspirational Frank Capra Christmas classic and the “acclaimed Broadway-style production A Dickens’ Christmas Carol, an original musical adaptation of the famous classic by Charles Dickens, with elaborate sets and visual effects, flying spirits, vanishing ghosts, revolving scenery and pyrotechnic special effects and others add to the overall spirit and experience of the Old Time Christmas celebration. When combined with everything else the award winning theme park offers, including craft demonstrations; some of the most unique shopping available anywhere in Branson; a full selection of holiday food and, weather permitting, some of the parks dozens of rides, it’s easy to see why Silver Dollar City’s Old Time Christmas would be listed as one of the “10 great theme parks for the holidays.”

For additional information on Silver Dollar City or tickets for 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.