Category Archives: Branson Attractions

Best Branson Insider Highlights for April 2017

There just something special about Spring in the Ozarks!

April is the month where our Ozark Hills bloom into the full freshness and beauty of spring,” said, Annette Wood, Director of Sales and Marketing for the Branson Tourism Center. “April is also when Branson’s shows and attractions ‘burst into the bloom’ of their 2017 seasons,” she added.

Here’s our Featured Show and Event of the Month, with a list of the highlights of special events you can enjoy in Branson during the month of April:

Featured Show of the Month: The Haygoods are celebrating their 25th year of entertaining Branson Audiences in 2017. Starting as youngsters at Silver Dollar City, these incredible artists have developed a unique iconic style of quality high energy entertainment. They are constantly re-energizing and changing their performances throughout the year to meet the expectations of their anticipated audience. How good is this show? When I saw it, I wrote, “Based on over 30 years of seeing Branson shows, I can testify to the fact that it’s, “Really terrific!” A WOW, WOW, and WOW, on a Three WOW Scale with three WOWs being as high as you can get! From the “Get go,” its two hours of the most unique, innovative, talented, energetic, personable, and exciting entertainment you will ever experience on a Branson stage.

Featured Limited Engagement of the Month: Kris Kristofferson for one night only! Heralded as an artist’s artist, the three-time GRAMMY winner wrote and recorded the hit songs Me and Bobby McGee, For the Good Times, Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down and Help Me Make It Through the Night. In addition to many other awards, Kristofferson is a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, winner of the prestigious Johnny Mercer Award from the Songwriter Hall of Fame, and was honored with the American Veteran’s Association’s “Veteran of the Year Award” in 2002.

Featured Event of the Month: Branson.com Honors Purple Heart Recipients, Thursday, April 20 through Saturday, April 22. It’s a unique event remembering, honoring, serving, and entertaining those receiving the ‘Purple Heart’ as the result of combat wounds suffered while serving in the U.S. Armed Forces. It’s designed to allow time for the attendees to spend time with one another, experience Branson, and participate in events that honor, entertain and support them. All the activities are free to Purple Heart Recipients. For additional information or to Register, please call 1-800-268-4014 or go to the Branson.Com Honors Purple Heart Recipients website.

Limited Engagements (Sorted by starting date.)

Apr 7: Kris Kristofferson
Apr 7: The Dean Z Show
Apr 8: Ultimate Elvis Tribute Contest
Apr 12: Ricky Nelson Remembered
Apr 19-20: Boot Daddy Presents Gene Watson
Apr 21-22: Oak Ridge Boys
Apr 21-22: Branson Music Fest

Special Event Highlights (Sorted by starting date.)

Apr 1-2: Big Bass Tour Table Rock Tournament
Apr 1-May 31: Ozark Mountain Shindig Festival
Apr 6-8: 2017 Kenneth Copeland Branson Victory Campaign
Apr 6-30: Silver Dollar City Presents a Festival of Wonder
Apr 8: FLW Ozark Division Bass Fishing Tournament
Apr 8: C.A.M. Benefit Trout Tournament
Apr 8: Easter Bunny Festival
Apr 15: MCDA Cheer and Dance Championships
Apr 15: Hollister Easter Egg Hunt
Apr 15: Branson RecPlex Easter Egg Hunt
Apr 15: Easter Egg Hunt – Rockaway Beach
Apr 16: Easter Cruise on Main Street Lake Cruises Landing Princess
Apr 16: Easter Shopping at Tanger Outlets
Apr 16: Easter Brunch at Chateau on the Lake
Apr 16: Easter Weekend in Branson
Apr 16: Keeter Center Easter Brunch
Apr 17-Apr 23: Legends of Golf Presented by Bass Pro Shops
Apr 19: College of the Ozarks to dedicate The Missouri Gold Star Families Memorial
Apr 20: Hootenanny in the Park
Apr 20-22: Branson.com Honors Purple Heart Recipients Weekend
Apr 21-22: Branson Music Fest
Apr 21-22: The Branson Collector Car Auction
Apr 21-23: Taneycomo Throwdown
Apr 27-28: JMH Righteous Revolution Rally
Apr 29: Kayak Branson’s Biggest Flotilla Adventure on Lake Taneycomo

For additional information on these events, or any of Branson’s shows and attractions, or for lodging arrangements, please contact the Branson Tourism Center by visiting www.BransonTourismCenter.com, or calling 1-800-785-1550 and talking with a Branson-based vacation planning specialist. They will be delighted to answer any questions, and assist you with show or lodging reservations and there’s absolutely no charge for this service

How many of these free Branson experiences would your family enjoy?

The free downtown trolley is a great way to get an overview of Historic downtown Branson, Branson Landing, and Lake Taneycomo.

“With its great shows, attractions, and so much more  there’s always something fresh and exciting to do in Branson,” said Preston Garrison, Director of Operations for the Branson Tourism Center. “Although many have admission charges there’s so much  for families to do that doesn’t cost anything,” he added.

Recently we asked the following question on our Facebook page, “What’s your favorite ‘free’ thing to do in Branson?” How many of these unique experiences would your family enjoy doing?

Historic Downtown Branson’s “Free Trolley:” The Free Trolley is a great way to get a survey of the Historic Downtown District, the Branson Convention Center, Branson Landing and the Lake Taneycomo shoreline. It runs on a constant loop passing several Branson landmarks. You will see the grave site of Ruben S. Branson, Branson’s first theater, the Branson Convention Center, Branson Landing, and the spot where the “Baldknobbers” performed Branson’s first live music show over half a century ago.

Although there are many places to board the trolley in historic downtown Branson, we would recommend boarding at Branson Landing either near Bass Pro Shops or by the Belk store. This avoids the two-hour parking limits that cover most of the parking in the historic district. The trolley runs March-December daily, 9 AM – 6 PM except on Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Branson Landing Fountains: The fountains are in the middle of Branson Landing on the shoreline of Lake Taneycomo, at its Town Square. They’re the centerpiece of a $7.5 million spectacular water attraction. It’s the first-ever merging of water, fire, light and music with water fountains. This one of a kind show features shooting 120-foot geysers going up into the air and “fire cannons,” all choreographed to lights and music.

The Branson Landing Boardwalk: Millions go to Branson Landing each year to shop. One of its unique features is the Branson Landing Boardwalk. Following Lake Taneycomo’s shoreline, the 1.5-mile Boardwalk is concrete, level, and accessible providing a unique chance to experience the lake and its wild life, birds, and natural beauty up close.

Shepherd of the Hills Trout Hatchery: The Missouri Department of Conservation runs the Hatchery. It’s part of a 211 acre complex consisting of the hatchery, trails, a wildlife refuge, and a Visitor Center.

The Visitor’s Center features an interesting nature display and a short video. The video shows What it takes to produce the trout making Lake Taneycomo one of the premier trout fisheries in the nation. There’s a huge aquarium with some of the largest Brown and Rainbow Trout that most people will ever see.

Guided tours of the hatchery leave from the Visitors Center each weekday, from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Visitors may tour the “race ways” on their own during normal business hours and see tens of thousands of trout in the various stages of development. The Visitor Center opens at 9:00 a.m. every day except, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day. It’s located at the foot of Table Rock Dam just off State Highway 165.

Want to experience something you will never forget? Take your family on an early morning summer walk along one of readily accessible lakeside trails. The fog rising off Lake Taneycomo is a beautiful thing to see as it interacts with winds and the rising sun. It’s the kind of unique sights that creates memories that can last a lifetime!

Dick’s Old-time 5 & 10 and Historic Downtown Branson: Historic Downtown Branson is an authentic downtown that’s a Branson attraction of the best kind, with fine art, flea markets, antiques, clothing and jewelry boutiques, cafes, music shows, and more. No visitor to Branson should miss downtown’s retail centerpiece, Dick’s Oldtime 5 & 10! You’ll be launched back to your childhood of visiting the local variety store, complete with green and white tiled floors, everyday household goods, and fun Branson souvenirs. Locals will tell you “if you don’t find it at Dick’s, it just can’t be found!”

For more information on these activities, or Branson shows, attractions and lodging, please feel free to call the Branson Tourism Center, toll-free, at 1-800-785-1550.

 

Showboat Branson Belle launching exciting new guest experience in 2017!

The magnificent Showboat Branson Belle!

When the magnificent Showboat Branson Belle leaves the dock on her first 2017 Table Rock Lake cruise, on March 4, 2017, something special will happen. Her guests will be cruising into an exciting new experience. They will enjoy the improvements of Phase One of a two-year, multi-million dollar, “large-scale guest experience relaunch.” The relaunch delivers to the boat’s guests what they said they wanted during extensive research done in 2016.

Nick Guevel, Director of Operations for the Showboat Branson Belle, took time from his busy schedule to the talk with the Branson Tourism Center about the Branson Belle and the exciting new guest experience they will have in 2017.

BTC: How long have you been working at the Showboat Branson Belle?
NG: I’ve been with Herschend Family Enterprises for five years and with the Showboat Branson Belle for just over a year.

BTC: What does the Director of Operations do?
NG: They manage the complete operation of the Showboat. This includes everything from marketing and ticket sales to the daily execution of cruises and customer service.

BTC: If you could write the headline for an article describing the experience your guests will have on the Branson Belle in 2017 what would it be?
NG: Showboat Branson Belle launching exciting new guest experience in 2017!

BTC: In 2017, the Showboat’s guests will enjoy the enhancements of Phase One of a two year multi-million dollar “large-scale guest experience relaunch.” What was the driving force behind the project?
NG: Giving our guests an experience creating “Memories worth repeating” has always been our mission. To do that we are constantly evolving to give our guests the best experience possible. Last year we conducted extensive research to get their opinion as to what they wanted. This project delivers what they said they wanted.

BTC: What are some of the major elements of Phase 1?
NG: A complete redo of our theatre and dining area including carpeting, stage, chairs, wall paper and painting. The launch of a new summer show, “Country on the Lake;” menu changes, expansion of the premium dining area, entertainment on the top deck; modification of the panoramic windows throughout the boat so the curtains won’t have to be drawn while guests enjoy the show, and much more.

Just enjoying the moment.

BTC: Of all the physical enhancements in Phase One, which one are you personally most excited about?
NG: I’m most enthused about those that focus on enhancing the experience of the lake for our guests. One example is taking the curtains off the giant panoramic windows throughout the boat so that our guests can see the lake at all times while on the boat.

BTC: Does glare coming through the windows interfere with guests enjoying the show?
NG: No. We have a coating on the windows that reduces glare while permitting the guests to enjoy both the show and the view of the lake.

BTC: In the past, a premium dining and seating experience was offered in the Paddle Wheel Room. How is that experience changing for 2017?
NG: We have guests on the boat that want the best deal they can get. We also have guests that are willing to pay for premium experiences. In 2017 we are growing our premium seating and the amenities that go along with it. Our “Captain’s Club Premium Seating and Dining Experience” includes priority boarding, ordering from a menu with a choice of delicious entrees, and premium seating. The 60 premium dining seats, the first three rows in the balcony, are considered “the best seats in the house.” The “upcharge,” from “General Admission,” to “Captain’s Club” is $20.00 for adults and $10.00 for children..

BTC: Will the “Paddle Wheel Room,” still be part of the premium dining experience?
NG: No. In the past it was, but diners then missed the pre-show.

BTC: Will the enhancement include more room between seats?
NG: Yes. One of the things people told us during our research was that they wanted more room. We have removed seats from the boat so that there is more room between each seat.

BTC: What are the Phase Two enhancements?
NG: We’re going to continue to work on the remodel of our front atrium area, more seating and activities on the exterior of the boat, the top deck, and more work on the White River Landing area where people arrive.

BTC: Why the emphasis on more seating and activities on the exterior of the boat?
NG: We are trying to make the outside of the boat more flexible for each guest. We want to create an opportunity for guests to go up to the top deck and enjoy it their way. If they want to sit up front and listen to the music we have seats for that. If they want to go find a quiet place on the boat to just sit and talk, we want to have nice seating for that too. We’re trying to create these “pods” around the boat with activities and seating where people can really get to use the boat to maximize their experience.

BTC: Could you give an example of where these “pods” would be located?
NG: Throughout the exterior of the boat we have spaces where we are creating unique comfortable settings for people to enjoy. The back of the boat on the top deck provides a lot of flexibility, but there are other areas. One would be the “atrium balconies” at the front of the boat on each level.

BTC: What one thing about the first phase of the enhancement project means the most to you?
NG: For me, there’s a sense of pride in that we are delivering on what our guest research told us our guests wanted. It’s satisfying to me to know that we not only asked, but that we listened.

BTC: Will the boarding process be a little different in 2017 than in the past?
NG: Yes. We want people to relax and enjoy the experience. That starts with giving them more time to shop and enjoy the landing, maybe have a coke before boarding. We also wanted to do away with long boarding lines and make it a more fluid experience. Everyone has an assigned seat so there’s no need to rush on board. We will call smaller groups by row. You listen for your row, we will scan your ticket and you go right down and sit in your seat. There’s no need to wait in those long lines.

CELEBRATE’s Cassandré Faimon-Haygood and Christopher James.

BTC: CELEBRATE is the headline show of the Showboat Branson Belle. Are there any major cast or production changes from last year?
NG: Our all-star cast is returning. This includes the ShowMen, our talented vocal group; Cassandré Faimon-Haygood, one of Branson’s premier female vocalists and entertainers; the four-man dance troupe Rhythm; and comedian emcee Christopher James will all be returning. The Rockin’ Dockers, one of the finest live bands anywhere, will also be back.

BTC: Will there be changes in the music in CELEBRATE?
NG: Yes. Our research indicated that our guests wanted more classic rock. Although there will certainly be a variety of music, with something for everyone, it’s going to be much more focused on classic rock.

BTC: Can you give us an example of the artists whose music will be included?
NG: Sure, Billy Joel, Elton John, The Beatles and others. The songs will be songs, that you grew up listening to and will get your toes tapping.

BTC: Is magic and comedy still part of CELEBRATE?
NG: Absolutely and in a big way! Christopher James, our emcee is fabulous with his ultra-sharp improvisation, magic and humor.

BTC: The Branson Belle is featuring a new noon show for 2017 called Country on the Lake. What lead to the decision to change to the new country format?
NG: Our guest research told us that there is a real love for country music and specifically, 1990’s country music.

BTC: What type of music will it feature?
NG: It will be a musical journey through some of the most popular country music of the 90s along with some of the southern classic rock hits that influenced that music.

BTC: Will the menu for that show be different than the CELEBRATE! menu?
NG: Yes. It has been designed to enhance the overall country experience of our guests. It includes slow smoked pork, smoked at Silver Dollar City and delivered fresh to the boat each day; BBQ Chicken, loaded baked potatoes; roasted corn; homemade rolls; a great spring mix salad and ice cream pie for dessert. It’s also made at Silver Dollar City and transported to the boat.

BTC: So the CELEBRATE! and Country On the Lake shows will have different casts, a different show, and a different meal?
NG: They are two entirely different experiences resulting in one thing. An extremely enjoyable and entertaining experience providing “Memories worth repeating.”

If you’d like more information on the Showboat Branson Belle please call the Branson Tourism Center at 1-800-785-1550. A Branson based Vacation Specialist will answer any questions you have about Branson lodging, shows, or attractions. They can also help with ticketing, reservations and getting the best available show seats and lodging. There is no charge for this service and they are available daily, except Christmas Day, from 8:00 AM to 9:30 PM.

 

Lake Queen cruise shares a unique part of the Ozarks missed by Millions each year!


 

Main Street Lake Cruises’ Lake Queen coming through the early morning mist on Lake Taneycomo.

“A scenic cruise aboard the Lake Queen is a nostalgic adventure,” said Melissa McGowan, Marketing Manager and Groups Sales Coordinator for Main Street Lakes Cruises. “Cruising aboard the Lake Queen is a unique adventure. It offers sights and a closeness with the beauty, nature and history of the Ozarks that few of the millions of annual visitors to Branson will ever experience.”

This Bald Eagle is just one of the different types of birds and wildlife commonly seen on cruises.

McGowan said the 2017 Cruise season for the Lake Queen will start on March 3*. When asked, “What can passengers expect to see, she answered, “That depends. Each cruise is like a snowflake. You can’t plan for a Bald Eagle to soar over head or be sitting in a tree, a mink scurrying along the shoreline, or many of the unique things that happen daily. They either happen or they don’t, but when they do you couldn’t have a better seat to see the show!”

Passengers get a unique mid-lake view of Branson Landing and its $7.5 million fountain. Its spectacular synchronized fire, water, light, and music show is a popular feature of every cruise. Another passenger favorite is a close up view of one of Missouri’s largest Blue Heron Rookeries. All this while cruising by amazing bluffs carved by Mother Nature over the centuries surrounded by spectacular Ozark vistas that change with the season.

Throughout the cruise the Captain points out sights of interest and provides an entertaining and informative account about each.  Did you know that Lake Taneycomo is one of the finest places to fish for Rainbow and Brown Trout in the United States? Where and when did the term “Hacker” originate? How did Lake Taneycomo get its name. The timing of the comments allows plenty of time to relax and enjoy the peaceful beauty of the Ozarks.

On every cruise children and others can go up to the “wheelhouse” and meet the Captain. If the weather and currents allow, under the watchful eye of the Captain, they can take the wheel and “drive” the boat.

The 90-foot long paddlewheel river boat replica has full sized rest rooms and two decks. The lower deck is climate controlled while the top deck is open. She cruises twice a day, 11:45 AM and 4:45 PM with boarding available 30 minutes prior to departure. Both cruises offer the option of a light meal. It consists of a Jumbo Ham or Turkey Croissant, homemade chips, a sugar cookie and unlimited tea, coffee, or water. Meals must be ordered prior to boarding. The Lake Queen has a full cash bar offering alcoholic drinks and soft drinks.

The Lake Queen and her crew is U.S. Coast Guard certified.  The Coast Guard inspects the ship yearly. Every five years it has to be taken out of the water for inspection. “This was the year. While she was out we gave her a ‘2017 Makeover’ including a new coat of paint.’ She’s just beautiful!” McGowan said.

For more information about a cruise aboard the Lake Queen please feel free to contact the Branson Tourism Center by calling 1-800-785-1550 or visiting www.BransonTourismCenter.com.

 

* Cruises on March 3 & 4 will be aboard the 100 foot luxury yacht Landing Princess

For best Branson vacations one call takes care of it all!

Just a few of the many choices Branson visitors have.

“There’s good news and bad news for those planning to vacation in Branson,” said Preston Garrison, Director of Operations for the Branson Tourism Center. “The good news is that there’s so much to see and do. The bad news is there’s so much to see and do.”

How can “good news” also be “bad news?” Garrison says there’s more excitement, fun, live entertainment, and adventure for families in Branson than any similar sized travel destination in America. So much so, that planning a vacation to Branson can be challenging, for first time visitors. “But one call to the Branson Tourism Center, at 1-800-785-1550, can take care of it all.”

The Branson Tourism Center has been helping Branson Visitors plan exceptional vacations since 2002. “‘Helping people have the best possible Branson experience,’ is not just a trite phrase. It describes the passion and commitment of our 100 Branson based employees as they share all Branson has to offer each day,” Preston adds.

One call to 1-800-785-1550 puts you in contact with one of Branson Tourism Center’s Branson-based Vacation Specialists. They’ll help you to narrow all the choices Branson has to offer into the perfect vacation for you and your family. There is absolutely no fee or charge for this service.

The Vacation Specialist will guide through the 20,100 hotel rooms, condos, and cabins available to come up with the one that is ideal for you and your family. Do you want a lake side cabin, condo, or room? Do you want to be near Silver Dollar City? On a golf course? Pet friendly or not? Are there particular amenities or services wanted? What price range?

Want the lowest guaranteed price on your lodging? No problem, just select lodging that is part of the Branson Tourism Center’s Lowest Rate Lock Guarantee Program. These include properties such as the Welk Resort, Dutton Inn, Pointe Royale Resort, and others. Subject to a few conditions, if you find a lower price for the same room on the same dates, between when you book and arrive in Branson, the Branson Tourism Center will match it.

Branson’s shows are famous! From over 120 shows, as varied as Moses, Million Dollar Quartet, Presleys’ Country Jubilee, and Amazing Pets, the Vacation Specialist will help boil it down to those that most interest you and your family. They will also show you how to save money by bundling lodging and shows and using Family Passes.

“And that’s just shows and lodging! As with them, there are similar choices within each of the general categories of things to do in Branson. It’s not just a “lake” there is a choice of three. Do you want to fish for warm water fish like bass and crappie or cold water species like Rainbow and Brown Trout? How about zip lines? Do you want a full guided eco canopy tour across many zip lines, platforms, and skywalks like that offered by Branson Zipline. Or would you prefer the unique thrill of zipping across Lake Taneycomo to the top of Mount Branson for a spectacular view of Branson Landing and Historic Downtown Branson on Parakeet Pete’s zip line?

From rooms, to shows, attractions and other activities, your Branson based Branson Tourism Center Vacation Specialist will help custom design the perfect Branson vacation for you and your family. At the very least they will save you valuable time and, in most cases, money. Most  important of all however, is that they’ll help plan a Branson vacation that could make memories lasting a lifetime!

The words of Peggy Barthel, the purchaser of our three millionth ticket, said it all! “I had spent most of that day on the internet spinning my wheels trying to decide where to go, what we were going to do, and that kind of thing.” Then she found the Branson Tourism Center and called 1-800-875-1550. “One call, that’s all! They just took care of everything. We just came and had fun.” Doesn’t that sound like great advice? “One call takes care of it all!”

Best Branson Insider Highlights for February 2017

The Hughes Brothers from our Featured Show of the Month, “It starring the Hughes Brothers.”

“Valentine’s Day and President’s Day Weekend provide February’s focus for romance, fun, shopping, and entertainment,” said Annette Wood, Director of Sales and Marketing for the Branson Tourism Center. “It’s hard to imagine a more romantic spot for Valentine’s Day or a better shopping destination during President’s Day Weekend. And it just gets better, as many of Branson’s most popular shows open their 2017 Season,” she added.

Here’s our Featured Show and Event of the Month, with a list of Special Event Highlights you can enjoy in Branson during February, 2017:

Featured Show of the Month: As words go, “it” is a short word. The show it Starring the Hughes Brothers, shows how big “it” can be, with music, fun, inspiration, and entertainment for every member of the family!

It’s one thing to be “world’s largest performing family.” It’s entirely something else when that performance results in a show listed on Branson Tourism Center’s Most Popular and Highly Recommended Show List. The majority seeing “it,” hearing “it,” and experiencing “it,” as I did, know why. From the opening curtain to the finale, “it” is one of the most energetic, unique, colorful, and inspirational shows in Branson, entertaining all ages simultaneously.

Featured Event of the Month: The beginning blush of Branson’s 2017 live show season with the opening of some of its most popular shows including:

Amazing Pets
Branson Country USA
Comedy Jamboree
Dublin’s Irish Tenors and The Celtic Ladies
Grand Jubilee
The Haygoods
it starring the Hughes Brothers
Legends in Concert
New Jersey Nights

Special Event Highlights (Sorted by starting date.)

Feb 4:     Father/Daughter Valentine Dance
Feb 5:     Super Bowl LI at The Paddlewheel
Feb 7-14:  Tanger Outlets Share the LOVE Event
Feb 10-14: Valentine’s at Chateau Grille
Feb 11:    Hot Winter Fun at Trophy Run
Feb 12:    2017 Branson Bridal Show
Feb 14:    Valentine’s Day
Feb 14:    Valentine’s Weekend in Branson
Feb 14:    Valentine’s Day Dinner at Keeter Center
Feb 15:    The Massacre at Ledgestone Country Club
Feb 17-19: Tri Lakes Building & Home Show
Feb 17-20: President’s Day Weekend Sale – Tanger Outlets
Feb 23-26: VisionCon – Gaming, Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Anime Convention
Feb 25:    Vince Elfrink Memorial Tournament – Lilleys’ Landing

Branson Tourism Center’s Wood said that weather and seasonal show, attraction and lodging availability are important when planning a trip to Branson during the winter months. She suggests calling the Branson Tourism Center, toll-free at 1-800-785-1550, and talking with one of its Branson-based Vacation Planning specialists. They’ll answer any questions and help with show reservations, ticketing and lodging. There’s no charge for this service.

How about an awesome Spring Break in Branson?

Gliding high above the Ozarks on Silver Dollar City’s WildFire coaster, Main Street Lakes Cruises Lake Queen, and the fascinating Branson Titanic Museum Attraction.

“In the middle of winter and on many days, cold weather, the promise of Spring seems like an illusionary dream,” said Annette Wood, the Director of Sales and Marketing for the Branson Tourism Center. “For many however, that dream is tempered with the knowledge that there’s, but a few short weeks until the start of ‘Spring Break’ and all the fun and excitement that promises,” she added.

Wood points out that Branson probably isn’t the place to come for Spring Break for those looking for the alcohol dominated, scantily clad women, and raucous Spring Breaks commonly shown on TV from other destinations. “It does however, offer an amazing opportunity to have a recharging Spring Break, amid the spring beauty of the Ozarks, while enjoying all the fun and excitement that Branson is known for and the wholesome spirit of family, God, and country that defines Branson.

No matter where one is in Branson, they are virtually surrounded by the awesome natural beauty and wonder of the Ozark Mountains. That is especially so during the spring, as the Ozarks awakens to the freshness, promise, and beauty of a new year. Whether seen from the deck of the river boat replica Lake Queen while cruising on Lake Taneycomo, the top of one of Silver Dollar City’s roller coasters, or just driving around Branson, it’s a beautiful one of a kind show produced by “Mother Nature.”

And speaking of shows, even as spring blossoms throughout the Ozarks, Branson’s 2017 show schedule will come into full bloom offering over 100 live shows. From Branson’s first show on its famed “Branson Strip,” celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2017, Presleys’ Country Jubilee, to the Grand Jubilee, it starring the Hughes Brothers, and The Haygoods; pure country music shows such as Clay Cooper’s Country Express and Raiding the Country Vault, the biblical spectacular Moses, the amazing story of the most famous rock-n-roll jam session of all time, the Million Dollar Quartet; and so many more, there’s a show just right for everyone.

Fun and adventure is around every turn in Branson! There’s no better example of that than Silver Dollar City, Branson’s international award winning 1880s styled theme park. Whether it’s riding one of its over 40 exciting rides, including its world class coasters such as “Outlaw Run®” or its iconic WildFire®. Coaster; watching dozens of practicing crafters demonstrate their crafts; going hundreds of feet beneath the ground on a guided tour of Branson’s original attraction, “Marvel Cave; a day at Silver Dollar City, is pretty hard to beat for adventure, fun and excitement!

That’s just the beginning! Whether it’s the Ralph Foster Museum at College of the Ozarks; an exciting eco-adventure on Branson Zip Line; getting a spectacular view of the beauty of spring in the Ozarks from the deck of the river boat replica Lake Queen while cruising on Lake Taneycomo; Riding the Ducks; great golfing; hiking; fishing; boating; a “voyage aboard” the Titanic Museum Attraction; or anyone of dozens of other attractions and activities, it’s hard to imagine a Spring Break Destination that has more to offer than Branson.

Compared to other Spring Break destinations, Branson is a great value in terms of its prices for lodging, shows, attractions and other activities. Branson Tourism Center’s Wood points out that it becomes even a better value when lodging is packaged, “bundled,” with shows and attractions. For more information on saving money by “packaging” or personal assistance in planning the perfect Spring Break, please call one of BTC’s Branson based Travel Planners at 1-800-785-1550 or through their web site, www.BransonTourismCenter.Com. They will be delighted to assist and answer any questions you might have about Branson shows, hotels, or attractions. There is no charge for this service and they are available daily from 9:00 AM to 8.00 PM.

 

How about three of Branson’s most exclusive attractions?

White Kite and Orange Tipped Butterflies in aviary of Butterfly Palace and Rain Forest Adventure, candy aisle of Dick’s 5 & 10, and entrance to World’s Largest Toy Museum Complex.

“With the 1880s styled, award winning, Silver Dollar City, the majestic Titanic Museum Attraction, and dozens of other attractions, Branson offers a choice of exciting activities that would be the envy of any family travel destination, let alone one its size,” said Annette Wood, Director of Sales and Marketing for the Branson Tourism Center. “Although its mix of attractions contains “national brands” and others not exclusive to Branson, many Branson attractions, including The World’s Largest Toy Museum Complex, Dicks 5 & 10, and The Butterfly Palace & Rainforest Adventure can only be seen in Branson,” she added.

The World’s Largest Toy Museum Complex is a combination of six museums and other collections, occupying two buildings, and over 26,000 square feet of exhibit space. The “World’s Largest Toy Museum,” is just one of those museums and has over 1 million toys from the 1800’s to the present, including model trains, planes, cars, dolls, superhero figures, Disney and much more.

The complexes’ other museums include “The National BB Gun Museum” containing hundreds of BB Guns; “The Harold B. Wright Museum” displaying the original manuscript of the best-selling book, “The Shepherd of the Hills,” along with his personal collection of furniture and paintings; “The Stearnsy Bear Museum;” and “The World of Checkers Museum.” Recently added is the “Paul Harvey Museum,” dedicated to the memories of the much –loved newscaster which was put together by his son, Paul Harvey, Jr. It’s contained in a replica of their 1950’s home featuring many of the actual toys, furniture, and personal items owned by the family.

Dicks 5 & 10, is like walking back in time into the old time “5 & 10” with an important difference. It’s not just the 175,000 plus items in the store and the fact that you will find things that you can’t find anywhere else. The store is set up to make a nostalgic shopping experience part of a unique, memorable, and exciting adventure not available anywhere else in the world!

Throughout the store, there are various displays and collections including among other things, the area’s largest arrowhead collection, World War II aviation prints, large scale model airplanes hanging from the ceiling, a baseball ‘Wall of Fame’ containing 60 feet of original autographed pictures of players like Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, and Cy Young, a suspended train track with a train that is “running” around the main part of the store plus much more. It also has one of the largest assortments of “Old Time” candy in Branson including such goodies and oldies as “‘Big Hunk Candy Bars,” “Abba-Zaba,” “Rocky Road,” and novelty candies such as “Wax Lips” and “Nickle Nips,” along with a full selection of regular candy.

As its name implies, the Butterfly Palace & Rainforest Adventure offers much more than just butterflies. Oh, its aviary is filled with thousands of beautifully colored butterflies from tropical rain forests all over the world, fluttering about in an environment of lush greenery and beautiful flower beds, but that’s just the beginning.

In the “Living Rain Forest Science Center” you will get a close-up look at some of the inhabitants of the rain forest including geckos, poison dart frogs, giant cockroaches, salamanders, chameleons, and “Harry,” the Butterfly Palace’s blue-tongued skink! The adventure continues with the twists, turns, and illusions of the “Emerald Forest Mirror Maze;” weaving through the “the tangled web of rope ‘vines’ while navigating around rocks and fallen pillars under a giant “Banyan Tree;” educational videos in the “Rain Forest Theatre,” and more.

For more information about these and other Branson Attractions, please call one of Branson Tourism Center’s Branson based Travel Planners at 1-866-593-9740. They will be delighted to answer any questions you might have about Branson as well as assisting with reservations and tickets. There is no charge for this service and they are available daily, except Christmas Day.

Branson Entertainers Unite to Create a “Showstopping” Mannequin Challenge

BTC Videographer, Chris Canote, shooting Shoji Tabuchi during Mannequin Challengee.

BTC Videographer, Chris Canote, “shooting” Shoji Tabuchi during Mannequin Challenge.

Over 40 entertainers from some of Branson’s most popular and iconic live shows gathered at the Yakov Theater to create a truly showstopping Mannequin Challenge video that embodies the immense talent that graces the Branson stage on a daily basis.

The Mannequin Challenge is a viral internet trend that attempts to mimic the dynamic sequences in movies like “The Matrix” with individuals frozen in place throughout the entire filming process.

“Branson’s filled with unparalleled performers,” says Tammy Johnson, Vice President and General Manager of Branson Tourism Center. “We have world-class dancers, aerial acrobats, comedians, beautiful costuming, the greatest musicians and attractions…what could possibly make a more engaging video?”

Entertainers from Branson shows,  attractions, and theaters participating in the Mannequin Challenge included Shoji Tabuchi, The Baldknobbers, The Acrobats of China at the Yakov Theater, “it” starring The Hughes Brothers, Branson Zipline, The Duttons, Patsy Cline Remembered at the Americana Theatre, Down Home Country at Grand Country, Dublin’s Irish Tenors & Celtic Ladies at King’s Castle Theatre, Parakeet Pete’s Steampunk Balloon, Legends in Concert and The Bretts at Dick Clark’s American Bandstand Theater, and The Petersen’s at the Little Opry Theatre.

Branson’s Showstopping Mannequin Challenge, created by Branson Tourism Center and the Branson Show League, can be found on:

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The Best of Branson Insider Highlights for December 2016

The Titanic Museum's "Christmas and Winter Celebration" is just one of the many inspirational and entertaining events in Branson during December.

The Titanic Museum’s “Christmas and Winter Celebration” is just one of the many inspirational and entertaining events in Branson during December.

“From the stages of its famous live shows, to the magnificently lit Silver Dollar City, and its Adoration Parade, December in Branson is filled with the special spirit of celebrating the traditional American Christmas,” said Preston Garrison, Director of Operations for the Branson Tourism Center. “Then, during the week between Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve, Branson is abuzz with fun and excitement leading up to a celebration of New Year’s Eve as only Branson can do it,” he added.

Here’s our Featured Show, Event, and Limited Engagement of the Month, along with a list of the major, special limited engagement performances and events you can enjoy in Branson during December, 2016:

Featured Show: The Grand Jubilee Christmas show has it all, including amazing vocals by Branson’s award winning quartet, New South and Female Vocalist of the Year Jackie Brown; hilarious comedy with Jamie Haage, a.k.a. “Jim Dandy,” and his sidekick Mike Patrick, who is also the show’s emcee and producer; and the “Grand Band,” one of the best bands in Branson. From the preshow to the final curtain, this awesome production will entertain and inspire you with “grand” music, comedy, and the spirit of a traditional American Christmas.

“I love the show for the fact that Christmas is built on tradition and that we sing the traditional favorite Christmas songs that people sing every year,” said Mike Patrick, the shows emcee and producer. “To me our show is like taking out your favorite Christmas ornament each year and hanging it on the tree.” When asked what his personal favorite part of the show was he said, without hesitation, “When we get to read the Christmas story from the Bible and see how it resonates with our audience.” His two favorite numbers in the show are New South’s rendition of a Gatlin Brothers’ song “Santa Are You Going To Atlanta” and Jackie Brown’s beautiful performance of “I’ll Be Home For Christmas.”

 Featured Limited Engagement of the Month: No doubt about it, there’s not a more “Limited Engagement” than the spectacular unique ways available in Branson to ring in the New Year. How about  cruising Lake Taneycomo aboard Main Street Lake Cruises Landing Princess, a 100 foot luxury yacht, while enjoying a live DJ, dancing, games, prizes, party favors, full-service cash bar, hors d’oeuvres, a dessert bar, and a complimentary champagne toast at midnight? Cruising not your thing, how about an entertaining and exciting evening with some of Branson’s most popular shows as they welcome in 2017 with unique awesome New Year’s Eve celebrations including:

Clay-Goods Jambor-Eve (Clay Cooper and Haygoods joint celebration)
Grand Jubilee
Legends in Concert
Million Dollar Quartet
Hamners’ Unbelievable Variety Show
Pierce Arrow

Featured Event of the Month: The Branson Titanic Museum Attraction closes out its tenth year in Branson with its beautiful Christmas and Winter Celebration as magically, inside and out, she hails the sights, sounds and joy of the season. In addition to everything else the ship offers daily, it will be aglow with glittering lights, festive decorations, and the spirit of the Holidays, including free public access to hundreds of unique Titanic Christmas gift ideas and collectibles.

LIMITED ENGAGEMENT PERFORMANCES (Sorted by starting date)

Dec. 1:   The Urban Cowboy Reunion
Dec 1-3: Boot Daddy Presents Gene Watson
Dec 31: NEW YEAR’S EVE BRANSON Style

SPECIAL EVENT HIGHLIGHTS (Sorted by starting date.)

Dec 1-30: An Old Time Christmas Festival at Silver Dollar City
Dec 4: Carols on the Belle aboard the Showboat Branson Belle
Dec 4: 68th Annual Adoration Parade and Lighting Ceremony
Dec 10: Breakfast with Santa – Branson RecPlex
Dec 11: Carols on the Belle aboard the Showboat Branson Belle
Dec 11: Tanger Club Member Exclusive Event at Tanger Mall
Dec 18: Carols on the Belle aboard the Showboat Branson Belle
Dec 18: Chateau on the Lake Breakfast with Santa
Dec 25: MERRY CHRISTMAS!
Dec 25: Christmas Day Champagne Brunch at Chateau on the Lake
Dec 31: New Years Eve Celebration at Keeter Center
Dec 31: Grand Jubilee New Years Eve Show
Dec 31: Clay-Goods Jambor-Eve New Year’s Eve Show
Dec 31: Million Dollar Quartet New Year’s Eve
Dec 31: Hamners Unbelievable Variety New Years Eve Fiesta
Dec 31: Legends in Concert New Year’s Eve Show
Dec 31: New Year’s Eve Cruise Aboard the Landing Princess
Dec 31-Jan 1, 2017: HAPPY NEW YEAR!

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 through their website www.BransonTourismCenter.com