Best Branson Insider Highlights for February 2016

Grand Jubilee's award wining quartet, "New South."

Grand Jubilee’s award wining quartet, “New South.”

“The four-day combined Valentine’s Day/President’s Day weekend in the middle of the month highlights both the romance of Branson and its signature live shows,” said Annette Wood, Director of Sales and Marketing for the Branson Tourism Center. Romance is in the air as Branson celebrates Valentine’s day; a time when many of our most popular shows are opening for their 2016 Season,” she added.

Wouldn’t your sweetheart absolutely love an awesome Valentine’s Day in Branson? From the Titanic Museum Attraction’s celebration of Romance Month, to the Keeter Center’s Valentine’s Day Dinner and Dancing, to special Valentine’s Day menus at restaurants, the answer to that rhetorical question just has to be, “Yes!” In addition, many of Branson’s Most Popular Shows are welcoming the 2016 season that weekend.

Here’s our Featured Show and Event of the Month, along with a list of the major events you can enjoy in Branson during February, 2016:

Featured Show of the Month is Grand Jubilee, which has been performing its 2016 show since premiering on New Year’s Eve. Remarkably, this talented cast of producers, vocalists, musicians, and technicians develop and rehearse the next year’s show, at the same time they are performing their Christmas Show, so that it can be presented on New Year’s Eve. Branson’s “Grand Jubilee” boasts tight harmonies and a variety of musical styles; a show custom-made for all ages! Enjoy the dynamic performance of the quartet New South, female vocalist Jackie Brown, and the sound of the Grand Band as they perform it all, from country and gospel, to rock & roll favorites! Jamie Haage, aka “Jim Dandy,” and emcee extraordinaire, Mike Patrick, will keep you in stitches!

Event of the Month: The four-day combined Valentine’s/Day President’s Day weekend presents an ideal time for a winter getaway to Branson, where the feeling of romance will be in the air along with everything else Branson is noted for, including live shows, attractions, shopping and much more.

SPECIAL EVENT HIGHLIGHTS (Sorted by starting date.)

Feb 1                           Hot Winter Fun Big Show
Feb 1 – Feb 29            Sweetheart Month at Titanic Museum Attraction
Feb 8 – Feb 21            Tanger Outlets Share the LOVE Event
Feb 12 – Feb 14          The 20th Annual Branson Tri-Lakes Building & Home Show
Feb 12 – Feb 14          Valentines at Chateau Grille
Feb 12 – Feb 15          Presidents Day Weekend Sale – Tanger Outlets
Feb 12 – Feb 15         Valentine’s Weekend in Branson
Feb 14                         Valentine’s Day Dinner & Dancing – Keeter Center
Feb 26 – Feb 28          25th Ann.VisionCon – Gaming, Science Fiction…Convention
Feb 27                         Vince Elfrink Memorial Tournament – Lilleys’ Landing

Due to the possibility of winter weather, seasonal show and attraction schedules, and the fact that some Branson lodging facilities are just opening for their 2016 season, Branson Tourism Center’s Wood suggests that that an easy way to avoid problems; save time and, in many cases, money, as well as making sure you have the most current information, is by simply 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 be delighted to answer any questions and assist you with show or lodging reservations. There is absolutely no charge for this service.

What is the best winter thing to do in Branson?

Winter or summer, there's always lots of fun things to do in Branson.

Winter or summer, there’s always lots of fun things to do in Branson.

“Having lots of fun in Branson is neither seasonal nor weather dependent; spring, summer, fall, or winter; rain or shine; 17 degrees or 90 degrees, there’s always a wide choice of attractions, shopping, entertainment, and other things to do in Branson that provides visitors with an exciting, fun-filled experience,” said Annette Wood, Director of Sales and Marketing for the Branson Tourism Center. “The ‘best thing’ to do in Branson, winter or any other time of the year, is whatever gives you and your family the most enjoyment,” she continued.

Even though many of Branson’s shows, as well as Silver Dollar City, are closed for the season, there are always shows open. The vast majority of Branson’s shopping opportunities, attractions, and other activities are not weather-dependent; they remain open year round. On a day-to-day basis, the weather – even in January and February – is comparatively mild, permitting the enjoyment of an exciting range of outdoor activities that are typically weather-dependent, such as golf, hiking, biking, fishing, and other outdoor activities.

Here’s a list of five very different and specific things, selected from among many other fun things, for you and your family to do in Branson during the winter months:

  1. Indoor Water Parks: Although many of Branson’s lodging facilities have indoor pools, if your family loves water activities, it’s hard to beat staying at a facility that has its own indoor water park. Branson has three to pick from: The Welk Resort with its fantastic 10,000 square foot Splash-A-Torium, featuring a 100 foot water slide, a kid’s splash-zone, and an indoor/outdoor pool, and hot tub; Grand Country Inn’s Splash Country, an elaborate water-soaked wonderland including a lazy river, toddler pool, a three-level tree house, and an indoor basketball play pool, the Eureka Mine waterslide, and the Froggie Bog jumping water play area; and Castle Rock Resort & Waterpark’s expansive water park that measures an impressive 40,000 square feet with numerous features, like large tipping buckets, kiddie pools, waterfalls, an indoor lap pool, and thrill slides.
  1. Titanic Museum Attraction: Celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, the Titanic Museum Attraction is a Branson favorite; it’s so much more than simply a museum! It’s a fun-filled, exciting, and interactive attraction that honors and shares the stories of those who were onboard for its fateful, tragic, and famous maiden voyage that has fascinated the world for more than a century.
  1. See A Show at the Grand Country Music Hall: With shows such as Amazing Pets, Comedy Jamboree, and its signature Grand Jubilee, starring the award-winning New South Quartet and female vocalist of the year, the amazing Jackie Brown, the phenomenal comedy of Jamie Haage, aka Jim Dandy, and the sound of the Grand Band, this is a show with something for every member of the family!
  1. Dicks Oldtime 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!”
  1. Butterflies, Lemurs, and Tigers: From the thousands of butterflies, mirror maze, and much more at the Butterfly Palace and Rain Forest Adventure, to the zebras, lemurs, and other cuddly and not so cuddly creatures of Branson’s Promised Land Zoo, and the lions and tigers of the National Tiger Sanctuary, Branson has a wonderful and exciting variety of animal experiences to delight every member of the family.

“And we haven’t even touched on shopping, indoor mini-golf, go-karts, arcades, and the dozens of other fun things there are to do in Branson,” Wood said. She suggests that, for additional information on these or any of the things there are to do in Branson, you contact BTC and talk with one of their Branson-based Travel Planners. They’ll be delighted to assist you! BTC can be reached by calling 1-800-785-1550 from 8:00 AM to 9:30 PM seven days a week, or through its website


Did you know this about the 2016 version of Hamners’ Unbelievable Variety Show?

Dave and Denise Hamner with some of their winged friends during their astonishing bird illusion.

Dave and Denise Hamner with some of their winged friends during their astonishing bird illusion.

Branson has a number of fabulous magic shows, but only one offers a variety of high quality entertainment along with world class illusions, sleight-of-hand, and a Veterans salute that is truly as monumental as it is magical, Hamners’ Unbelievable Variety Show,” said Annette Wood, Director of Sales and Marketing for the Branson Tourism Center. Dave Hamner who, along with his lovely wife Denise, not only produces the show, but stars in it, said, “The show is magically reminiscent of the format of the current NBC prime time hit show, America’s Got Talent, and also of one of the greatest variety shows to ever appear on TV, The Ed Sullivan Show. From magic to great vocals, to comedy, and more, the constantly changing mixture of different types of entertainment, color, and action provides a magical and exciting experience that will have our audience sitting on the edge of their seats anticipating what’s coming next.”

Hamner is really excited about the changes in the show this year, saying that both the award-winning vocalist, Tamera Tinoco, and impressionist Jeff Brandt, are working on some great new material for the show. “We might even see a little Journey,” he chuckled.

Everyone’s favorite, the loveable Gakita the gorilla, will be returning, as will dancers AJ Heard, Ken Brown, and Mariya Serykh. The father-daughter team of Vadim & Mariya will again amaze audiences with their strength, balancing adagio, and high-flying silk act. New this year will be the comedy of Ken Brown, featured in various ways throughout the show.

The magic and illusions of Dave and Denise Hamner will be the focal point of the show. Their signature, one-of-a-kind bird act, with flaming swords, coins, and beautiful Macaws and Cockatoos appearing and flying out over the audience; seeing the transformation of a beautiful woman into “Gakita” the gorilla, and their award-winning Veterans Finale, are just a part of the “magic” that these two masters of illusion perform throughout the show.

Although he wouldn’t reveal what it was, Hamner said that he can’t wait to perform the new comedic illusion they are preparing for this season in cooperation with Don Wayne, a brilliant designer of magic illusions, who has worked with David Copperfield. And that’s just one of the new illusions being added to the show including the resurrection of a favorite from the past, Stargate.

Hamner said that from little kids, to grandma and grandpa, this is a show that the whole family will enjoy, one where they’ll have a great time together. Hamners’ Unbelievable Variety Show premiers its 2016 Branson season on March 8. For more information, or tickets please contact the Branson Tourism Center by calling 1-800-785-1550 from 8:00 AM to 9:30 PM seven days a week, or through its website

Wouldn’t your sweetheart absolutely love an awesome Valentine’s Day in Branson?

The full scale replica of the Titanic's Grand Stair Case has been the site of many romantic moments.

The full scale replica of the Titanic’s Grand Staircase has been the site of many romantic moments.

Thomas Hood said, “Oh, if it be to choose and call thee mine, love, thou art every day my Valentine?” What better place than Branson to show that precious someone that they “Art every day my Valentine!”

With Valentine’s Day, February 14, falling on Sunday this year, it affords a special opportunity to share a romantic getaway for Valentine’s Weekend in Branson with your Valentine. Branson, with its shows, attractions, restaurants, shopping, wide choice of lodging, and other activities provides the perfect canvas upon which to create the perfect Valentine for your sweetheart.

For many, the celebration of Valentine’s Day involves a special meal. Whether it’s the romance and elegance of dinner at a table for two, overlooking Table Rock Lake in the Chateau Grille at the Chateau on the Lake Resort, an evening of fine dining and dancing with live music amid a rose petal and candlelight setting at the College of the Ozarks’ Keeter Center, the simple Ozark’s fare of McFarlain’s Family Restaurant, or any of the many other fine Branson restaurants, Branson is sure to have the perfect Valentine’s meal for you to share with your sweetheart.

Many of Branson’s Most Popular Shows will be open providing a wide variety of live entertainment to share with your special Valentine, including:

And that’s just a partial list of the shows that will be open Valentine’s Weekend. For a full list of open shows, please go to Branson Shows and select the date(s) that interest you.

Branson’s Titanic Museum Attraction and the romance of Valentine’s Day are a perfect fit as the museum celebrates Sweetheart Month. The Titanic’s elegant, full-sized replica of the “Titanic’s Grand Staircase” is a unique and beautiful spot for a wedding or to renew Wedding Vows on Valentine’s Day or any other special day.

If shopping is in your Valentine’s plans, Branson is the perfect place to do it. With more than 250 different boutiques, national chain stores, flea markets, craft malls, famous-name outlet stores, and specialty shops all over Branson, the historic downtown Branson shopping district, the entertainment-style shopping at Branson Landing, and much more, Branson offers a unique world-class shopping experience for your Valentine.

“In addition to everything else Branson offers to make Valentine’s Day special, you can save money by combining your lodging, shows, and other activities together in one a package,” said Annette Wood, Director of Sales and Marketing for the Branson Tourism Center (BTC). She points out that for Valentine’s Weekend, BTC is offering a number of packages, such as the Titanic Valentine’s Special and Cupid’s Romantic Getaway Package, that include lodging, show tickets, and more at considerable savings over purchasing them separately.

Why not give the gift of Branson to your special Valentine? Branson Tourism Center’s Wood suggests that for additional information on Branson, or help with planning the perfect Branson Valentine for your sweetheart, please contact BTC and talk with one of their Branson-based Travel Planners who will be delighted to assist you. BTC can be reached by calling 1-800-785-1550 from 8:00 AM to 9:30 PM seven days a week, or through its website


Bigfoot reaches iconic heights with its gigantic 200-foot adventure attraction

Artist's conception of Bigfoot, its iconic 200 foot tower, and its rides.

Artist’s conception of Bigfoot’s 200 foot tower.

The skyline of the famed Branson Strip will soon include “Bigfoot,” featuring what’s sure to become an iconic sight…a 200-foot high tower containing three electrifying high-flying rides, as part of the new Bigfoot Attraction. The attraction, approved by the Branson Board of Alderman at its January 12 meeting, will be located about .8 miles west of the Titanic Museum Attraction on Highway 76 on the site currently occupied by the $1 Shop, and diagonally across Highway 76 from Track Family Fun Parks #5 and its exciting, three-story LumberJack high-rise go-kart track.

Bigfoot’s centerpiece will be a multi-ride adventure tower, approximately 25 feet by 25 feet and rising about 200 feet above the Branson Strip. It will have three different action rides – two thrill rides, and a more sedate scenic ride – with all three having one thing in common; riders will have an exciting experience high above the Branson Strip! They’ll see the Strip and the beauty of the surrounding Ozark Mountains from a unique and constantly changing perspective.

Bigfoot’s three rides are:

Drop Ride: Passengers are strapped into seats outside the tower and travel up its side to the top; there they’ll have a breathtaking view of the Branson Strip and the surrounding scenic wonder of the Ozarks before being released for a thrilling “free fall” back down the side of the tower.

Saddle Sling Ride: Passengers are launched from the ground into the air, accelerating upward until they reach a max vertical height of about 150 feet; where they begin an exciting descent back to earth.

Aerial View Ride: Riders are seated in an enclosed gondola that gently rotates and rises to the top of the tower. At the top, it slowly rotates giving passengers that amazing view mentioned above, one that’s both unique and constantly changing, before being slowly lowered back to its starting point.

For the first time ever, outside of certain special-permitted events, Branson is permitting the operation of food trucks as part of Bigfoot’s Food Court which will have a variety of high quality food trucks near a covered patio area with tables. Diners can sit in comfort and enjoy their food while watching the Branson Strip and people enjoying the various rides of Bigfoot.

The building housing the $1 Shop will be remodeled and contain shops, a public restroom, and other facilities. A spokesperson for the project said that they are shooting for an opening in June, but that is dependent on weather and the manufacturing of the tower and its rides.

“Bigfoot is yet another thrilling and unique adventure that Branson visitors are able to choose from and, pun intended, it certainly is taking the attractions on the Branson Strip to ‘new heights,’” said Annette Wood, Director of Sales and Marketing for the Branson Tourism Center.



A Baker’s Dozen list of the top reasons people chose Branson for their vacations


The three top reasons people gave for visiting Branson.

“Branson, Missouri, nestled in the heart of the Ozark Mountains, has become a premier vacation destination because of its unique combination of live entertainment, attractions, pristine lakes, world class shopping, natural beauty, and other activities,” said Annette Wood, Director of Sales and Marketing for the Branson Tourism Center. “The2014 Branson Visitor Profile, compiled by the Branson Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce and CVB, based on a survey of 2014 Branson visitors, provides an interesting insight into which of those activities were the primary reasons they chose to visit Branson,” she added.

Here is a Baker’s Dozen list of the top activities sorted in the order of the highest percentages for each:

  1. Live Shows (Branson shows) 59.70%
  2. Silver Dollar City 20.60%
  3. Shopping 18.00%
  4. Excursions (Ride the Ducks, Branson Railways, Down Town Trolley, etc.)18.00%
  5. Go to Branson Landing 13.10%
  6. Downtown Branson/Main Street 11.90%
  7. Unique Local Restaurants 6.60%
  8. Museum attractions 6.50%
  9. Rural Sightseeing 4.30%
  10. Wine Tasting/Winery Tours 3.00%
  11. Outdoor activities 2.60%
  12. Fishing 2.60%
  13. Special Events/Festivals 2.30%

Let’s explore the top three in a little more detail. With the reputation for the number, breadth, and quality of Branson’s shows, it’s no surprise that it would be Number 1 on the list. When Branson’s lineup of its resident shows, that includes a variety such as Presleys’ Country Jubilee, SIX, The Million Dollar Quartet, Grand Jubilee, Shoji Tabuchi, Clay Cooper’s Country Music Express, The Haygoods, Legends in Concert, Dixie Stampede, Billy Dean in Concert with Jarrett, and dozens more, is combined with an outstanding lineup of national touring artists such as The Oak Ridge Boys, The Texas Tenors, The Osmond Brothers, LeAnn Rimes, Ray Stevens, Daniel O’Donnell, Jennifer Nettles, and dozens more, it’s hard to imagine a travel destination offering a more amazing array of live entertainment options.

Number 2 on the list is Branson’s oldest and most popular paid attraction, the international award-winning, Silver Dollar City. This 1880’s style theme park is Branson’s oldest continually operated attraction, and easily its most popular. It features dozens of rides, including the record setting wood coaster, Outlaw Run, and the Wildfire coaster; practicing craftsmen; live shows; six world-class festivals that include An Old Time Christmas; and everything else one would expect from a popular, high quality theme park. And it’s just one from a long list of exciting and fun-filled Branson attractions that includes the Titanic Museum Attraction, celebrating its tenth anniversary in Branson during 2016, and many other exciting activities like go karts, ziplines, indoor and outdoor water parks, zoos, and so much more.

Shopping was the Number 3 reason on the list of why people chose to come to Branson, and for good reason. You’ll find more than 250 different boutiques, national chain stores, flea markets, craft malls, famous-name outlet stores, and specialty shops all over Branson, making it easy to find that long sought after item, unique gift, or big bargain! Whether you stroll along the streets of historic downtown Branson, cruise along the Strip, hop around to the craft malls, or seek entertainment-style shopping at Branson Landing; Branson offers a thrilling shopping experience unrivaled by any national travel destination anywhere near its size.

That’s just the first three items on the list! There are pristine lakes, the natural beauty of the Ozark Mountains, and so much more that makes Branson the ideal place for a short getaway, a great family vacation, or a reunion of any kind. For additional information on all that Branson has to offer, please contact the Branson Tourism Center, and talk with one of their Branson-based Travel Planners who will be delighted to assist you. BTC can be reached by calling 1-800-785-1550 from 8:00 AM to 9:30 PM seven days a week, or through its website

Three fascinating ways you’ll conquer the winter blues in Branson!

Branson's Hilton Convention Center Hotel is just one of the many ways you can pamper yourself and escape the Winter Blues in Branson.

Branson’s Hilton Convention Center Hotel is just one of the many ways you can pamper yourself and escape the Winter Blues in Branson.

“Call it what you will, post-Christmas blues, holiday blues, or one of the many other names for feeling melancholy this time of year, but many suffer a bout with the blues soon after the Christmas holiday season,” said Annette Wood, Director of Sales and Marketing for the Branson Tourism Center. “An article entitled Got The Post-Holiday Blues? Here’s How To Beat ‘Em by Catherine Pearson, published in the Huffington Post on January 3, 2016, suggests that one thing people can do to help beat the blues is to ‘Get their pamper on’ by giving themselves a break,” she added. What better way to pamper yourself and take a break than an enjoyable getaway to Branson, Missouri? Let’s take a look at three ways Branson can help you relax, have fun, and ease those winter blues:

1. Relaxing Accommodations: From the quiet and soothing comfort of the Welk Resort, with its award-winning landscaped grounds, and its separate 10,000-square-foot Splash-A-Torium, to the luxury of the Branson’s Hilton Convention Center Hotel overlooking Branson Landing and Lake Taneycomo, to the dozens of other hotels, motels, cabins, and condos, Branson offers a wide choice and variety of accommodations in which to relax and pamper yourself to your heart’s delight.

2.Shopping: How about easing those winter blues with a little shopping therapy? With hundreds of places to shop, Branson is a shopper’s paradise just about any time of year, but even more so during the slower-paced winter season. It’s hard to beat the reduced prices on clothing, housewares, designer shoes, gifts, luggage, and other unique merchandise at Tanger Outlets or The Shoppes at Branson Meadows. Add a unique assortment of flea markets, craft shops, boutiques, art galleries, local eateries, and other specialty shops, including the famous Dick’s 5 & 10, and Branson Landing’s department stores, galleries, and shops, along with lakefront dining establishments, and it’s hard to imagine a better shopping experience than that available in Branson!

3. Fun, Adventure, and Entertainment: Whether in the chill of winter or the heat of summer, Branson offers an unrivaled choice of activities and entertainment, like shows, attractions, museums, scenic walking trails, and so much more. An evening at Grand Jubilee, with the vocals of Jackie Brown, the harmonies of the New South Quartet, the sound of the Grand Band, and comedy courtesy of the multi-talented Jamie Haage, aka Jim Dandy, or an exciting “voyage” aboard the Titanic Museum Attraction as it celebrates its tenth year in Branson, are just a couple of the many fun, adventurous, and entertaining ways to escape the winter blues in Branson.

All it takes to plan your Branson escape is one toll-free phone call to the Branson Tourism Center, and talking with one of their Branson-based Travel Planners who will be delighted to assist you in planning the perfect Branson getaway. BTC can be reached by calling 1-800-785-1550 from 8:00 AM to 9:30 PM seven days a week, or through its website

It’s an awesome amazing tourism truth, Branson is not and was not flooded!

Even with a record 73,000 plus cfs of water going through Table Rock Dam into Lake Taneycomo, there was no impact on the shopping along the Branson Landing Promenade.

Even with a record 73,000 plus cfs of water going through Table Rock Dam into Lake Taneycomo, there was no impact on the shopping along the Branson Landing Promenade.

Current media reports about flooding throughout Missouri and in Branson has caused some concern about traveling to Branson for fear that it might be flooded. The media did the same thing in 2008 and 2011. The simple truth is this; the Branson that millions of tourists enjoy year round was not flooded in 2008 or 2011, and is not flooded this week!

What happens is that a relatively small number of homes and businesses, located in low-lying areas along Lake Taneycomo and its tributaries, are susceptible to flooding and can become flooded following periods of high rain. This risk becomes a virtual certainty when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers releases water through the spillways of Table Rock Dam into Lake Taneycomo as part of its White River flood control plan. As regrettable and unfortunate as the damage to those relatively few structures is, one assumes a certain amount of risk when living in the shadow of a flood control dam or near creeks and other water sources. The good news for about 99% of Branson visitors is that the high water in these areas doesn’t impact one iota on the experience they will have in Branson.

“Even during this week, where there were record releases of 72,000 plus cubic feet of water per second (cfs) through Table Rock Dam, with the exception of the White River Fish House, the Branson Landing boardwalk, and the Branson Landing Fountain, all of which are located right on the Lake Taneycomo shoreline at Branson Landing, Branson’s shows, attractions, shopping, restaurants, and other activities were not impacted at all by the water in Lake Taneycomo,” said Annette Wood, Director of Sales and Marketing for the Branson Tourism Center. “The vast majority of Branson’s visitors continued enjoying the fun, adventure, and excitement that makes Branson such a wonderful place, not only to visit, but to live,” she added.

Some will say, “But we saw pictures and videos of Branson Landing and Branson flooding.” If you look at the pictures and videos of Branson Landing, they will invariably show the docks, boats, fountains, and low-lying parking spots, as well as the White River Fish House along the Lake Taneycomo shoreline. These images ignore the fact that there are plenty of parking spaces not covered with water, and that all the stores and restaurants along the famed Branson Landing Promenade had not been impacted at all by the high water.

As heart wrenching as it is to see the damage caused to the homes and businesses impacted by the water, they are located in areas not visited by 99% of Branson tourists when the weather is sunny, dry, and perfect. From Branson Landing to Silver Dollar City, and from Dick’s 5 & 10 in historic downtown Branson, to Clay Cooper’s Country Express, The Haygoods, The Million Dollar Quartet, Grand Jubilee and the rest of Branson’s shows and attractions, the high water in Lake Taneycomo has no impact on the experience enjoyed by the typical Branson visitor!

If you have any questions about the current conditions in Branson, or questions about Branson’s incredible shows, attractions, or lodging, please don’t hesitate to contact the Branson Tourism Center (BTC). BTC can be reached by calling 1-800-785-1550 from 8:00 AM to 9:30 PM seven days a week, or through its website


Amazing moments hidden in plain sight in Silver Dollar City’s authentic Harvey Water Clock

Silver Dollar City's unique Harvey Water Clock

Silver Dollar City’s unique Harvey Water Clock

Sometimes amazing things are “hidden” in plain sight. Each day that Silver Dollar City, Branson’s award winning 1880s styled theme park, is open, literally thousands of people entering the park walk within 50 feet of one of its most unique items without even noticing that it’s there.

At first glance it appears to be a large water wheel, but upon closer examination it becomes apparent that it’s much more. According to the sign near the wheel, it’s a unique “Harvey Water Clock,” patented in 1798.The clock requires no winding, batteries, or solar power. It operates as water flows down a trough through its unique “Fly Ball Governor,” which controls the movement of the hands on its display as the water passes through and goes on to the water wheel.

In addition, the water clock displays the Year, Month, Day, and Hour. The picture of the clock displayed was taken at 9:53 AM on May 30, 2012. At first glance, it appears that the year is wrong because the Year is displayed as 1882, when it’s actually 2012. The clock only displays the last digit of the current year, which is the last digit of the year the hand is on; in this case the hand is on 2, the last digit in the year displayed 1882, and the current year, 2012.

The Harvey Water Clock is located in front of Guest Services, located on your right as you walk through the main entrance into the park and approach the turnstiles. Not only is it unique to see, it’s also a wonderful spot to take a one-of-a-kind photo as a remembrance of a special day at Silver Dollar City.

“It’s just one of many things to experience and share as part of a wonderful day of fun, exploration, adventure, and excitement at Silver Dollar City,” said Annette Wood, Director of Sales and Marketing for the Branson Tourism Center. Wood reminds potential Branson visitors that, although the last day of its 2015 season is December 30, it reopens for its 2016 season on March 12.

For more information about Silver Dollar City or any of Branson’s other shows, attractions, or lodging, please contact the Branson Tourism Center (BTC), one of Branson’s largest and most respected vacation planning services and sellers of over 4.5 million Branson show and attraction tickets. BTC can be reached by calling 1-800-785-1550, or through its web site


Some fascinating Branson Landing stores your kids will absolutely love

RidemakerZ is one of Branson Landing's stores that has a special appeal to kids.

RidemakerZ is one of Branson Landing’s stores that has a special appeal to kids.

Branson Landing, anchored by Bass Pro Shops and Belk, features dozens upon dozens of local and national retailers and specialty shops; is well known as one of Branson’s most popular shopping destinations, and it’s visited by millions every year. What is not as well-known and publicized is some of the shops in Branson Landing that your kids will absolutely love.

In many cases, shops that have a specific interest to children can be used to help hold their attention and create anticipation, especially when mixed in with a shopping itinerary involving other things that may not interest them at all. Here are four Branson Landing stores that have a special appeal to most children:

RidemakerZ: Kids of all ages can create their own custom vehicle or, as RidemakerZ calls it, “Ridez,” in an atmosphere specifically designed to “provide choice, unleash creativity, foster confidence, encourage collaboration, and instill a sense of community.” Each Ridez is about 12-inches in length, roughly the size of a football, and is customized just the way its “builder” wants it to be. Although they may be purchased as a kit and assembled at home, the full RidemakerZ experience is most enjoyed when the Ridez is assembled in the store as a cooperative effort with the store’s team members.

Kilwins: Their slogan, “Sweet in every Sense since 1947,” conveys what to expect from this store, and will definitely appeal to the taste buds of most kids. From the time they enter the door, they will be surrounded by a unique sensory experience…sight, touch, smell, sound, and taste…it’s like nothing most kids have ever experienced. They’ll actually be able to see the in-store craftsmanship of Kilwins friendly staff demonstrated as they make fudge, chocolate, toffee, caramel, and other candies that they sell. Oh, and did we mention that they also have Kilwins Ice cream? Although it’s not made in the store, it is made by the Kilwins company and shipped to the store.

Build-A-Bear Workshop: It’s a great place for families with kids to spend quality time together making the perfect “bear” or one of the many other cuddly furry characters. There’s a “basic bear,” and the opportunity to make it into whatever your child is inspired to create, from a fancy teddy bear to “Star Wars” characters,” “Sponge Bob,” and many more. You will not only build-a-bear, but possibly create a keepsake and memory that will last for a lifetime.

Bass Pro Shops: Known primarily as a fishing, hunting and outdoor store, the Bass Pro Shops store in Branson Landing appeals to children because of its aquarium and the wildlife exhibits throughout the store. The 20,000-gallon aquarium, with its own waterfall, mill, and waterwheel, is stocked with fish native to the Ozarks, such as large and smallmouth bass, blue gill, crappie, and catfish, as well as rainbow and brown trout. Throughout the store, children will be excited to see museum quality wildlife exhibits like turkeys, native waterfowl, quail, and full body whitetail mounts, including a large diorama by the aquarium that features deer running down a hillside.

That’s just some of the stores available, without considering the other activities that Branson Landing has that kids, as well as everyone else, will enjoy. Imagine floating 188 feet above Branson Landing in a balloon; seeing the $7.5 million water fountain attraction, with water shooting 120-foot geysers, and fire cannons blasting fireballs into the air, a zipline ride across Lake Taneycomo, or a leisurely walk along the 1.5 mile Branson Landing Boardwalk along the Lake Taneycomo lakefront.

For more information about what Branson Landing has to offer, lodging convenient to Branson Landing, or information on other Branson shows, attractions, and lodging, please call the Branson Tourism Center, one of Branson’s largest and most respected vacation planning services, at 1-800-785-1550.