Category Archives: Attractions

Is Mother Nature’s “Fall Foliage Show” Branson’s greatest show?

View from Taney County 165 Lookout looking up Lake Taneycomo toward Table Rock Dam.

“Don’t know about that; Branson has some awesome live shows,” said Preston Garrison, Director of Operations for the Branson Tourism Center, with a big grin. “But it’s a spectacular sight as ‘Mother Nature’ turns the foliage surrounding Branson into a kaleidoscope of beautiful colors.”

One of the most common questions we’re asked is, “When does the Fall foliage season start and end?” “It generally starts in the middle of September and peaks during the last two weeks of October,” said Greg Cassell, Research Forester, with the Missouri Department of Conservation. He points out that the leaves will turn and fall during that period, but that their color depends on the type of tree and, most of all, the weather.

Cassell feels like the moisture we have been getting throughout the summer is setting the Ozarks up for a great fall foliage season. If that continues through the middle of September, without a lot of persistently hot dry weather, all that’s left is some warm sunny days followed by cool nights to bring out those beautiful fall colors everyone delights in seeing.

He said that, assuming Mother Nature cooperates, the colors people will see will vary with the type of trees currently changing color. Typically, the Sassafras, and Sumac are the first to start changing color. They’re followed the Black Gum, Bittersweet, and Dogwood with the Ashes, Oaks, Hickories, and Maples later in the season. He said the best color will be in the older more mature trees with the colors on the Maple being particularly vibrant and beautiful.

Another question commonly asked is, “Where’s the best place to view the fall foliage?” “Simply put, wherever you are!” Sure, there’s many scenic vistas where you see large areas of color, but chances are you are within sight of beautiful fall foliage just about anywhere in Branson. The fall foliage in and around Silver Dollar City, the bluffs across from Branson Landing, and just driving around Branson are beautiful. That said, here are some specific suggestions for viewing and enjoying Branson’s fall foliage:

Main Street Lake Cruises Lake Queen – A sightseeing cruise aboard Lake Queen is a great experience any time of the year. As you relax aboard the paddle-wheel river boat replica, Lake Queen, and cruise beautiful Lake Taneycomo, opportunities will abound to see Bald Eagles, Blue Herons, and wildlife; amazing natural bluffs carved out by the White River over the eons of time; and spectacular Ozarks’ vistas that the vast majority of the millions of visitors who come to Branson each year never get to see. Each trip is a show produced by Mother Nature that’s unlike anything else available in Branson. That’s even more so when you factor in the spectacular vibrancy and beauty of the fall foliage. The narrowness of Lake Taneycomo lets you see it up close, while at the same time providing scenic panoramic views around just about every “bend.”

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

Point Lookout – Located on the campus of the College of the Ozarks on top of a bluff overlooking Lake Taneycomo, “Point Lookout” provides a breath taking and unique view of Branson’s fall foliage with Lake Taneycomo winding through it. It also has a number of mature Maples that are really spectacular. While at the college you might want to plan to eat at the Keeter Center and visit the “Edwards Grist Mill” and the Ralph Foster Museum.

Ozark Mountain Highroad – Greg Cassell suggests that the entire length of the Ozark Mountain Highroad, State Route 465, is an excellent way to experience the beauty of our Ozarks’ fall foliage. That experience can be extended if you exit west off the Highroad onto Highway 76, follow it west and turn south onto Highway 265, and follow it across Table Rock Dam to the Table Rock Dam Overlook.

Branson Tourism Center’s Garrison also points out that a cruise on the Showboat Branson Belle, on Table Rock Lake, or a ride on the Branson Scenic Railway also provide unique views of Branson’s fall foliage. He says that the fall foliage season, coupled with Silver Dollar City’s National Craft & Cowboy Festival, is a busy time and recommends that advanced reservations be made for shows, attractions and lodging.

For more information on the fall foliage in Branson or assistance with information or tickets for any of Branson’s shows and attractions or for lodging arrangements, please contact the Branson Tourism Center by calling 1-800-785-1550 or through its website,


Best Branson Insider Highlights for July 2017

Families will enjoy the spectacular magic of “Illusionist Rick Thomas.”

“One of the greatest joys of July in Branson is to see so many families creating wonderful vacation memories. Branson overflows with the vibrancy of families together, experiencing the unique fun, excitement, and spirit of Branson,” said Annette Wood, Director of Sales and Marketing for the Branson Tourism Center. “From spectacular firework displays, to lakes, over 120 live shows, rides, water parks, golf, and more, there’s just so much to see and do in Branson.” She added.

Along with our Highlight List, containing some of the best of what’s going on in Branson during July, here’s our Featured Show, Limited Engagement, and Event of the Month:

Featured Show of the Month: If your family wants to have a great time together, enjoys magic, stunning illusions and spectacular beauty, you don’t want to miss the Illusionist Rick Thomas Show. With headline shows in Las Vegas, years of successful tours around the world, and the honor of the Academy of Magical Arts awarding him its “Stage Magician of the Year Award,” he’s at the top of the magic game. His unique ability to keep audiences of all ages and walks of life simultaneously spellbound throughout his performance is “magical.”

Hit Las Vegas show, “Raiding the Rock Vault,” comes to Branson for a limited engagement.

Featured Limited Engagement of the Month: Raiding the Rock Vault goes back in time on a magical musical journey. That journey takes you from 1960 to 1990, with classics from The Rolling Stones, The Who, The Doors, Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, The Eagles, Queen, AC/DC, Deep Purple, Van Halen, Journey, Heart, Free, Aerosmith and others. Experience history of rock ‘n’ roll as it comes to life in this live rock and roll concert featuring a stunning light show, video screen, dancers and high-quality concert sound production.

Featured Event of the Month: Silver Dollar City’s Star-Spangled Summer Festival offers family fun and entertainment you won’t find anywhere else. See the world famous Harlem Globetrotters perform their one of a kind show for their final season at Silver Dollar City, your favorite cartoon characters, Chris Perondi’s Stunt Dog Experience, and much more! And that’s beside everything else Silver Dollar City offers. The 1880s styled them park has over 40 thrilling rides and attractions including “The World’s Most Daring Wood Coaster,” Outlaw Run, demonstrating craftsmen, shows, and other activities.

Limited Engagement Highlights (Sorted by starting date)

Jul 5: T. G. Sheppard & Kelly Lang
Jul 6-22: Raiding the Rock Vault

Special Event Highlights (Sorted by starting date.)

Jul 1-Sep 4: Branson Landing’s Annual School Shoes For Kids
Jul 1-16: Silver Dollar City Star-Spangled Summer
Jul 1: Rockaway Beach Centennial Car & Bike Show
Jul 1: 30th Annual Fireburst Fireworks Celebration
Jul 1-4: Tanger 4th of July Weekend Sale
Jul 1-7: Ballparks of America – Week 6 Independence Day Boomer 10U-13U
Jul 1-3: Rockaway Beach 4th of July Weekend
Jul 2: Independence Day Celebration – Galena, MO
Jul 2: Chateau on the Lake Fourth of July Celebration
Jul 3: Branson Landing’s Annual Liberty Light Up Fireworks Show
Jul 3-4:
Main Street Lake Cruises – July 3rd & 4th Fireworks Cruises
Jul 4: Rockin’ Rockaway Beach 4th of July Celebration
Jul 4: Firecracker 5000 Run
Jul 4: Hollister’s Annual 4th of July Celebration
Jul 4: 4th of July Celebration at Branson Auto & Farm Museum
Jul 6-22: Limited Engagement – Raiding the Rock Vault
Jul 8-14: Ballparks of America – Week 7 Mid-Summer Classic 10U-13U
Jul 14: The Dan Benton Band – Live in Concert
Jul 15-21: Ballparks of America – Week 8 The 76 Strip Sizzle 10U-13U
Jul 15-Jul 30: Silver Dollar City Moonlight Madness
Jul 22-Jul 23: Branson in July! Antique Festival of the Ozarks
Jul 22-Jul 28: Ballparks of America – Week 9 Missouri Heat Classic 10U-13U
Jul 28: The Mark Chapman Band – Live in Concert
Jul 28-Aug 12: Summer Movies in the Park at the Branson RecPlex
Jul 29-Aug 4: Ballparks of America – Week 10 Back to School Bash 12U-13U

For additional information on these events, Branson’s shows and attractions, or lodging please contact the Branson Tourism Center by visiting, 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.


Branson’s lesser known attractions provide big family fun!

From dinosaurs and tigers to…

How neat is it that many of them are unique to Branson! Let’s take a closer look at a few.

Main Street Lake Cruises Lake Queen is a modern-day replica of the grand riverboats that once traversed the White River. It offers sightseeing cruises with spectacular panoramas, sights, and a closeness with the beauty, nature and history of the Ozarks that few of the millions of annual visitors to Branson experience. Each cruise is different. You can’t plan for a Bald Eagle to soar overhead or to be sitting in a tree, a mink scurrying along the shoreline, or many of the interesting 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! It offers full beverage service and delicious lunch options.

Branson Auto & Farm Museum is 90,000 square feet of vintage chrome, modern designs, high performance and legendary styling in the form of 200 classic and collectible cars and trucks. It also has 180 farm tractors, implements, and buggies. What a great way to experience the history of classic and antique cars and farming tractors and equipment in one exciting attraction. Another neat feature is that many of the vehicles on display are also for sale.

The Branson Dinosaur Museum features a wide variety of enormous animals that once roamed the earth. The life-sized sculptures of these delightfully frightening and lovable creatures, from the “Micro Raptor,” one of the smallest dinosaurs to the two and a half story “T-Rex,” provide an educational and entertaining experience for kids of all ages!

Trains, boats, and more, Branson has it all!

The Branson Scenic Railway lets you step back in time and experience the beauty of the Ozarks aboard a vintage passenger train!  With unique and lovingly restored cars, dating from the late 1930’s to the early 1960’s, tunnels, trestles, and beautiful scenery, there’s no other experience like it in the Ozarks.

Wolfe Creek Preserve just north of Branson is home to the Ozark’s premier Eco-Adventure zip line experience, Branson Zipline. Enjoy the thrilling experience of zipping over the Preserve’s canopy. Pick from a range of options with guided canopy tours across numerous zip lines, platforms, and sky bridges. These include the 3-hr Ozarks Xplorer, 2-hr Flying Prospector, 1-hr Ridge Runner, and the Blue Streak Fast Line & Freefall Xpress, a thrilling zip from the top of the mountain to the base of the property with an incredible 100-foot freefall dismount.”

Branson’s National Tiger Sanctuary is an excellent educational and entertainment experience for young and old alike! The size, strength, and agility of many of the Sanctuary’s big cats will awe you. Their playful antics will amuse you even as the stories of how many came to live in this magnificent haven in the Ozarks touches your heart.

For more information on these attractions or other great Branson shows or lodging, please contact the Branson Tourism Center by calling 1-800-785-1550 or through their website


Wouldn’t your family enjoy Memorial Day Weekend in Branson?

Silver Dollar City’s “Wildfire”, the Branson Ferris Wheel, Ride the Ducks, and the Million Dollar Quartet are just a few of the many ways to have fun in Branson.

“Memorial Day Weekend in Branson is a unique exciting experience,” said Preston Garrison, Director of Operations for the Branson Tourism Center. “Oh, there’s other places with world-class theme parks, natural outdoor beauty, lakes, live shows, and attractions, but there’s few, if any, that have them all so conveniently located. Branson does!” he added.

Garrison says that not only is it the first “long summer weekend,” but it’s the “official” beginning of Branson’s summer outdoor season. Its spectacular lakes and natural outdoor beauty are in their full splendor. All Branson’s live shows and attractions are open, and ready to provide its visitors with a special experience not available anywhere else.

The proof’s in the pudding! From its oldest and most popular attraction, the 1880s styled Silver Dollar City, to its world-class live shows, and lakeside shopping and entertainment venue, Branson Landing, Branson is unique. What other tourist destination offers everything Branson does? All amid the natural wonder and beauty of a place like the Ozarks, and less than five minutes from a pristine 43,000 acre lake?

All of Branson’s most popular live shows are performing over the Memorial Day Weekend. * These include:

Acrobats of China
Amazing Pets
Broadway’s Greatest Hits
Clay Cooper’s Country Express
Comedy Jamboree
Dublin’s Irish Tenors and The Celtic Ladies
Grand Jubilee
The Haygoods
Illusionist Rick Thomas
it starring the Hughes Brothers
Legends in Concert
Main Street Lake Cruises Landing Princess
Main Street Lake Cruises Lake Queen
Million Dollar Quartet
New Jersey Nights
Ozarks Country
Ozarks Gospel
Pierce Arrow
Presleys’ Country Jubilee
Puttin On The Ritz
Raiding the Country Vault
Shoji Tabuchi

“Few world-class theme parks in the world have become part of the natural beauty surrounding them,” said Garrison. “Silver Dollar City has!” The view from the top of the loops of its world class coaster “Wildfire” spectacularly illustrates this remarkable achievement.

Silver Dollar City’s Bluegrass and BBQ Festival, features over 50 Bluegrass bands and groups. These groups present hundreds of performances throughout the park. Performers appearing over the Memorial Day Weekend include 14-time Grammy Award-winner Ricky Skaggs; Blue Highway; and many more.* The festival’s House of BBQ and Pitmaster’s Court offer a variety of mouthwatering BBQ. There’s demonstrations from grilling experts and an impressive selection of BBQ sauces, and more, to browse. As well as the Festival, Silver Dollar City offers all the shows, rides, craft demonstrations, and more, that makes it one of the top theme parks in the nation.

Table Rock Lake offers 43,000 surface acres of potential aquatic fun, excitement, and adventure. Memorial Day Weekend is the unofficial kick off a summer of fun on the lake including sunbathing, swimming, boating, water skiing, scuba diving, and just about any other summer water activity a person would want.

Branson’s biggest water park, White Water, opens for its 2017 season on May 27. Its 12 acres and over 7,000 feet of water slides, offer more than two million gallons of water excitement and fun to enjoy. There’s an adventure for every member of the family. There’s “Splashaway Cay” and “Coconut Grove” for the smaller children and toddlers. The more adventurous will enjoy the seven story “Kalani Towers and ” the drops and speed of rides such as “KaPau Plummet,” “Pipeline Plunge” or the “Raging River Rapids.”

“If it’s outdoors, golfing, ziplines, hiking, boating, fishing, biking and more, the chances are that Branson has it,” Branson Tourism Center’s Garrison said.  “It’s really neat how all the outdoor activities conveniently combine with Branson’s live shows, attractions, and everything else into a virtually seamless vacation experience.

There’s two major firework displays at dusk on Sunday evening, May 28. One is at the Chateau on the Lake, as part of its Memorial Day Celebration, and the other at Big Cedar Lodge, as part of its Patriotic Picnic and Fireworks event. The public is invited to both; with the best views from Table Rock Lake, the property’s grounds or, in the case of the Chateau on the Lake, the peninsula area located just north of the Table Rock Dam to the west of its auxiliary spillways on State Highway 165.

Garrison stresses that Memorial Day Weekend is one of Branson’s busiest. He suggests advance reservations to ensure availability of the best lodging and show seating. For more information or tickets for any of Branson’s shows and attractions, or for lodging arrangements, please contact the Branson Tourism Center by either calling their toll-free number 1-800-785-1550 or through their website

* Schedules subject to change and not all artists are appearing every day.

Branson’s indoor water parks take the “Brr” out of winter

Castle Rock’s yellow multi-story waterslide and Welk’s Splash-A-Torium.

“Winter weather curtails most outdoor swimming and aquatic activities,” said Annette Wood, Director of Sales and Marketing for the Branson Tourism Center (BTC). “However, Branson is blessed with not one, but three indoor water parks as well as many hotels that have heated indoor pools providing Branson visitors with a wide variety of choices to enjoy swimming and aquatic fun under ideal climate controlled conditions,” she added.

All three of the indoor water parks are directly associated with lodging facilities and offer the opportunity to enjoy swimming and other aquatic fun regardless of the temperature or weather outside. Here’s a brief description of each:

Welk Resort’s “Splash-A-Torium” is 10,000 square feet of indoor/outdoor water fun featuring “an outrageous 100 foot” plus indoor water slide, kid’s splash-zone, indoor/outdoor pool, and hot tub.” BTC’s Wood points out that the Resort has recently been redecorated and updated with deluxe and premier traditional rooms that include plush amenities, high-end finishes, and a decor reflecting the unique charm of the Ozarks with its vibrant colors and interesting textures. In room amenities include complimentary WiFi, 32-inch LCD widescreen televisions, coffee makers with high quality coffees and teas, high speed wireless internet and many other exceptional features.

The Resort even has its own theatre! The Welk Resort Theatre is not only home to one of Branson’s most popular new shows, Million Dollar Quartet, but features limited engagement performances by stars such Daniel O’Donnell, Kris Kristofferson and others throughout the year.

Castle Rock Resort and Water Park provides “a truly weather-proof vacation destination for the whole family” where they “can splash & play in the climate controlled 84 degree temperature of its indoor water park. Its 40,000 square feet of waterpark wonderland features two 500-gallon tipping buckets, indoor and outdoor kiddie pools, waterfalls, two three-story thrill slides, themed water statues, and a multi-level sun deck. The resort’s water park provides fun for everyone, from tiny tots to adults, as well as tastefully appointed comfortable rooms.

Grand Country Inn, has Missouri’s first indoor water park, “Splash Country Indoors.” Open 365 days a year, it offers 20,000 square feet “of squirting, falling and tumbling water fun, including a three-level treehouse with interactive water play features on each level, two winding tube tunnels, a 1,000 gallon tipping bucket which tips every eight minutes, doing you know what to all those below, and much more. The Grand Country Complex, includes the Inn; Grand Country Buffett; The Grand Country Music Hall, home of the Grand Jubilee, Amazing Pets, Comedy Jamboree, Down Home Country, and other great shows; indoor and outdoor mini golf courses, and the Fun Spot Arcade.

These are the indoor water parks in Branson, but many Branson Hotels and Lodging facilities such as the Barrington Hotel & Suites, Grand Plaza, Honeysuckle Inn and Conference Center, Quality Inn Branson, Quality Inn on the Strip, Radisson Hotel, Residence Inn Marriott, and others have heated indoor pools. In addition, the hotels listed above are participants in Branson Tourism Center’s (BTC) Lowest Rate Lock Guarantee Program.

Book your reservation through BTC, and subject to the programs minimal conditions, the price you pay for your lodging is guaranteed to be the lowest rate available. If you find a lower price offered for the same room on the same dates, anytime between when you book your room and when you arrive in Branson, BTC will match the lower rate.

BTC’s Wood also points out that during the winter months, especially on the weekends, the demand for rooms at these facilities often outstrips availability. She recommends advance reservations and offers the assistance of one of BTC’s locally based Travel Planners to assist in helping to find the ideal facility to fit your family’s wants and budget and make reservations. There is no charge for this service and they may be reached by calling 1-800-785-1550.


Six awesome reasons why you don’t want to miss Branson’s Christmas Week!

Silver Dollar City's Old Time Christmas, New Year's Eve with Legends in Concert, the Amazing Pets Show ,and Tanger Outlet.

Silver Dollar City’s Old Time Christmas, New Year’s Eve with Legends in Concert, the Amazing Pets Show ,and Tanger Outlets are just a few of the almost infinite choices awaiting Branson visitors during Branson’s Christmas Week.

Branson’s Christmas Week, the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day, offers Branson visitors the same world class shopping and entertainment experience that makes Branson one of the premier vacation destinations in America,” said Preston Garrison, Director of Operations for the Branson Tourism Center. “From tigers and butterflies, to acrobats, drive through Christmas lighting displays, museums, world class shopping, New Year’s Eve celebrations second to none, and so much more; if you’re looking for fun, entertainment, excitement and adventure as part of your Christmas vacation then Branson’s Christmas Week in Branson is the place for you!” he added.

Here’s a list of six reasons why:

1.Silver Dollar City’s Old Time Christmas Festival: Silver Dollar City’s Old Time Christmas Festival is one of the Nation’s top Christmas events. Its spectacular display of five million Christmas lights throughout the park, entertainment, parade, Broadway style shows, and much more has been recognized and featured nationally by USA Today, CNN Travel, The Travel Channel, Good Morning America and many others.

Although the award winning 1880s styled theme park, lit with over 5 million sparkling Christmas lights, is filled with shows; crafts; unique shopping; food; weather permitting, dozens of exciting rides and demonstrating craftsmen; and other activities, something special begins to happen each evening at dusk, in the Square on Main Street. First, the 5-Story Special Effects Christmas Tree comes to life, with its 350,000 colorful sparkling LED lights, choreographed to Christmas music, and making over 100 light changes per second. In its glow, “the most famous reindeer of all” leads Rudolph’s Holly Jolly™ Christmas Light Parade with its nine musical floats, illuminated with 200,000 ultra-bright LED lights; 33 colorful costumed characters, including Bumble the Abominable Snowman, 14-foot moose characters, 12-foot tall elves and 10-foot candy canes, plus penguins, elves and a troupe of marching wooden soldiers.”

2. Branson Shows: Although many of Branson’s shows are closed for the season, some of its most popular shows will be open during Branson’s Christmas Week presenting the live entertainment for which Branson is noted. This includes, in alphabetical order, The Acrobats of China, Amazing Pets, Clay Cooper’s Country Music Express, Comedy Jamboree, Dixie Stampede, Grand Jubilee, Hamner’s Unbelievable Variety, The Haygoods, Hughes Brothers Christmas Show, Legends in Concert, Million Dollar Quartet, Moses, Pierce Arrow and the Showboat Branson Belle along with many more.

3. Branson Attractions: In addition to Silver Dollar City, the majority of Branson’s other attractions will be open offering visitors a range of exciting adventures and activities. How about an up close encounter with the tigers and other big cats at the National Tiger Sanctuary; a ziplining adventure on Branson Zip Lines, or an entertaining interactive experience aboard Branson’s Titanic Museum attraction. In addition to everything else the Titanic offers its passengers on a daily basis, it’s celebrating its spectacular Christmas and Winter Celebration, as magically, inside and out, the ship “hails the sights, sounds, and joy of the season” and is aglow with glittering lights, festive decorations, and the spirit of the Holidays.

And that’s just the beginning! With museums as varied at the Branson Dinosaur Museum and the World Largest Toy Museum, the unique “White Flight” exhibit at the Butterfly Palace & Rainforest Adventure; the Promised Land Zoo, hiking on one of our beautiful Ozark trails, golf, fishing, and so much more, it’s hard to imagine a travel destination, anywhere near Branson’s size that could offer more.

4. Spectacular Christmas Lighting Displays: Although Christmas Day is past, all the major drive through Christmas lighting displays will remain open through December 31. This includes the Shepherd of the Hills Trail of Lights, Ozark Mountain Christmas Lights & Village, Branson’s Gift of Lights and the giant 30 foot nativity scene on top of Mount Branson overlooking Lake Taneycomo and historic downtown Branson.

5. Branson Shopping: Shopping is an important part of the Branson experience and Branson’s Christmas Week is no exception. From the quaint specialty shops offering arts and crafts and one of a kind items; to the shops of Historic Downtown Branson, featuring “Dicks 5 & 10,” the unique “Branson Landing,” with its 100 retail stores, and outlet malls such as “Tanger Outlets” and “The Meadows,” Branson’s Christmas Week shopping will satisfy the most avid shopper.

6. New Year’s Eve: From the midnight fireworks at the Chateau on the Lake to a New Year’s Eve party while cruising Lake Taneycomo aboard Main Street Lake Cruises Landing Princess, a 100 foot luxury yacht, or one of the unique celebrations by one of Branson’s shows, both 2016 and Branson’s Christmas Week fade away and 2017 emerges as only Branson can do it. It’s hard to imagine a more unique, entertaining or exciting New Year’s Eve than one spent with some of Branson’s most popular shows as they welcome in 2017 with their unique New Year’s Eve celebrations including:

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

Branson Tourism Center’s Garrison advises advanced planning and reservations for any trip to Branson during the Christmas Season because of the off season scheduling of shows, limited seating, and the fact that some Branson lodging facilities are closed. He suggests that an easy way to avoid problems, save time and, in many cases, money, is by simply calling the Branson Tourism Center, toll free at 1-800-785-1550 and talking with one of their Branson based Travel Planners who will be delighted to answer any questions and assist in making any show or lodging reservations. There is absolutely no charge for this service.


Shouldn’t one of these fantastic museums be part of your Branson experience?

Titanic Museum's full sized Grand Staircase, two story high T-Rex from Dinosaur Museum, and the entrance to the Worlds Biggest Toy Museum Complex.

Titanic Museum’s full sized Grand Staircase, two story high T-Rex at the  Dinosaur Museum, and the entrance to the Worlds Biggest Toy Museum Complex.

“It has been said that Branson has something for everyone, and that’s true not only in terms of general categories of things to do, but with choices within each category,” said Annette Wood, Director of Sales and Marketing for the Branson Tourism Center. “For instance, within the general category of Branson shows there is a wide variety of choices ranging from Sight & Sound’s biblical spectacular Moses to the Million Dollar Quartet, Haygoods and almost 100 more,” she added.

Wood goes on to point out that it’s the same thing with Branson Attractions, lakes, shopping, and many other categories of activities that Branson offers including one that many Branson visitors overlook, “Museums.” Some, such as Branson’s most popular museum, the amazing Titanic Museum Attraction, are hard to miss, but others are not as obvious. Here’s a list of six Branson Museums that can add excitement and adventure to your Branson experience:

Bransons Titanic Museum Attraction: This one half size scale replica of the “R.M.S. Titanic,” towering high above the Branson strip, is one of Branson’s most popular attractions! More than simply a museum, it’s an interactive adventure that shares the stories of those who were onboard for the famous ocean voyage that has fascinated the world for more than a century with hundreds of artifacts, a crew that interacts with passengers, many interactive activities, and so much more. From beginning to end it’s a special experience. Here’s a neat article entitled 13 Things “kids” should know about the Branson Titanic Museum Attraction that describes this unique Branson experience. This museum is open year-round and is not weather dependent.

Branson Auto & Farm Museum: At any given time, this beautiful 90,000 square foot museum provides an opportunity to take a unique stroll through the vintage chrome, modern designs, high performance, and legendary styling of about 200 classic and collectible vehicles and 180 farm tractors, implements and buggies on display. Its 5,000 square foot gift shop offers a unique selection of apparel, books, pedal cars, vintage toys, and other items. With inventory changing regularly, every visit to the museum is a unique adventure! This museum is open year-round and is not weather dependent.

The Ralph Foster Museum: Located at the College this museum has the mission of collecting, preserving, interpreting, and exhibiting items related to the Ozarks region, its history and culture. Probably, the most well-known of the museum’s displays is an original truck from the Beverly Hillbillies’ 1960’s television show. Other displays include an intact, antique dental office to a display of Rose O’Neill’s world-famous Kewpie Dolls. The museum is not weather dependent and is open year-round except for the month of January, Thanksgiving week, including the weekend before and after Thanksgiving, and mid December through the end of December.

Veterans Memorial Museum: This museum pays heartfelt tribute to the men and women who bravely served our country.  It features more than 2,000 exhibits commemorating the American soldier in WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, the Persian Gulf, and more recent conflicts, including historical artifacts, murals, and sculptures in touching tribute to American soldiers, veterans, and especially those who made the ultimate sacrifice to protect our freedoms. This museum is open year-round and is not weather dependent.

World’s Largest Toy Museum Complex: Give the family a break from computers, tablets, video games, and cell phones and bring them to 25,000 square feet of the most unique and interesting museum experiences available anywhere! In fact, it’s five different museums in one where “Memories unfold and imagination abounds.” The Worlds Largest Toy Museum contains more than 1,000,000 toys. See cast iron fire trucks, slot cars, Hot Wheels, tin toys, the very first Barbie Doll, and hundreds of other historical toys like Power Rangers and Howdy Doody, and baseballs autographed by sports heroes like Joe DiMaggio and Cal Ripken. The complexes’ other museums include “The National BB Gun Museum” and a special GI Joe display; The Harold B. Wright Museum containing the original manuscript of the best-selling book, “The Shepherd of the Hills” along with Wrights personal collection of furniture and paintings; “The Stearnsy Bear Museum;” and “The World of Checkers Museum.” This museum is open year-round and is not weather dependent.

Branson Dinosaur Museum: Experience dinosaurs up close and personal, from everyone’s favorite, the enormous “Tyrannosaurus Rex,” fondly referred to as “T Rex,” to the “tiny,” comparatively speaking, Four-Winged Microraptor, measuring only one-foot-tall. Thanks to the talented paleo-artists, who used actual dinosaur bones to mold the incredible bodies of these dinosaurs, you will almost expect them to come to life at any moment. See the article entitled Branson Dinosaur Museum home to T- Rex and his dinosaur pals for more information. This museum is open year-round and is not weather dependent.

For more information on these and other amazing Branson attractions, shows, or lodging, please call one of Branson Tourism Center’s Branson based Travel Planners at 1-800-875-1550. They will be delighted to answer any questions you might have about Branson, its shows, hotels, or attractions and assist you with reservations to help ensure that you obtain the best available seating at shows and the accommodations you desire. There is no charge for this service and they are available daily, except Christmas Day, from 8:00 AM to 9:30 PM.

Just how good are you at Dixie Stampede Trivia?

The beautiful horses, color, pageantry of Dixie Stampede's Finale Finale .*

The beautiful horses, color, and pageantry of Dixie Stampede’s Finale .*

Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede is easily Branson’s most visited dinner attraction,” said Preston Garrison, the Director of Operations for the Branson Tourism Center. With a twinkle in his eye, he added, “No surprise there, after all it’s billed as ‘The World’s Most Visited Dinner Attraction,’ but I’ve always wondered, just how many horseshoes do all those horses use each year?”

That got me thinking, outside of the fact that the answer to that question would make a great trivia question, that there’s an awful lot that goes into creating the fun, adventure, pageantry, and excitement that those attending Dixie Stampede get to experience. Who better to turn to for answers and information about that than John Richardson, Director of Sales and Marketing for the Dixie Stampede Dinner Attraction?

Richardson shared a list of facts that was developed by Dixie Stampede, in response to questions that guests have asked about the show and its animals, that “illustrates the scope and scale of its production.” We thought it would be fun to take that information and present it in a Question and Answer (Q&A) format, and hope that you find it as interesting and fascinating as we did:

Q: Where does the white sand for the arena floor come from and how much is used each year?
A: Over 200 tons of white sand is “imported” from South Carolina for the arena floor each year.

Q: Why is that sand used and not some other material?
A: It creates a surface that is dust-free and gentler for the horses’ legs.

Q: How many yards of lace and ribbon are used on each Dixie Stampede Southern Belle costume?
A: Twenty yards.

Q: What are the dimensions of the “Conestoga Wagons” used in the show?
A: Each measures 25’8” long by 9’ high and is a true replica of those that carried settlers westward on the great wagon trains.

Q: What kind of horses are pulling the Wagons?
A: Each is pulled by teams of 2000-pound Belgian draft horses, known for their intelligence, size and strength.

Q: How many white doves of peace are released during the Patriotic Finale?
A: More than 50 which are raised and cared for on the Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede premises. Doves are always born in pairs; the female hatches first followed by the more aggressive male.

Q: How much grain do the stars of Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede, the 32 magnificent horses, consume each year?
A: 104,000 pounds of grain per year.

Q: How many bales of hay do they consume?
A: The horses consume 3,500 bales of hay per year, weighing approximately 262,500 pounds.

Q: How many horseshoes do the Dixie Stampede horses go through each year?
A: Over 1,152.

Q: What are the horses bedded on?
A: 13,200 bales of hay and approximately 528,000 pounds of pine shavings each year which is kept clean and dry by round-the-clock stable hands.

Q: How much does the Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede’s buffalo herd weigh?
A: It weighs in at more than four tons.

The "Roman Ride" through a ring of fire.

The “Roman Ride” through a ring of fire.*

Q: What is the “Roman Ride?”
A: It’s an historic type of trick riding, featuring a team of two horses moving side-by-side with one rider standing astride them with one foot on each horse. Dixie Stampede’s Roman Riders have the added degrees of difficulty of splitting columns of fire, being surrounded by firefly torches, and ultimately jumping through the Hoop of Fire.

Q: What does its “signature four-course feast include?
A: Original creamy vegetable soup and a hot homemade biscuit; a tender whole rotisserie chicken; hickory-smoked barbequed pork loin; buttery corn on the cob; herb-basted potatoes; Dixie Stampede’s very own specialty dessert, and unlimited beverages, including Pepsi products. [Author’s Note: Having eaten it a number of times over the years, I can testify that it’s delicious and I have never left hungry!]

For more information or tickets for Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede please feel free to contact the Branson Tourism Center, one of Branson’s largest and most respected vacation planning services at 1-800-785-1550 or through its website

* Courtesy of Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede

Grand Country is the place for grand shows, food and fun!



The quartet "New South," Luke Menard, left, David Ragan, Jon Drockelman; and Mark McCauley.

The quartet “New South,” Luke Menard, left, David Ragan, Jon Drockelman; and Mark McCauley.

“Regardless of the weather or the time of the year, if you’re looking for grand live entertainment, food, and fun in one place, the Grand Country Complex is hard to beat,” said Preston Garrison, the Director of Operations for the Branson Tourism Center. “With all it offers, Grand Country is virtually a ‘one stop’ vacation’ destination,” he continued.

Branson is noted for its shows and, from country and comedy to pets and gospel, the Grand Country complex’s “Grand Country Music Hall” offers a variety of shows sure to entertain just about every member of the family. A great way for families with children to start their day is by seeing Amazing Pets, a show that delights children and the young of heart. Along with many other magical surprises, a loveable troupe of cats and dogs, many which have been rescued from dog pounds and humane societies across the country, light up the faces of their audience with excitement, awe, and anticipation as they perform their amazing feats.

The award winning  Grand Jubilee performs the evening show in the Music Hall. Produced by Mike Patrick, and featuring one of Branson’s most rewarded quartets, “New South,” the vocals of Jackie Brown, along with the comedy and talents of Jamie Haage as “Jim Dandy,” this show is perennially listed on BTC’s Most Popular Shows List.

In a recent review of the Grand Jubilee I said, “It might seem like a cliché, but the Grand Jubilee is truly ‘grand’ entertainment. I laughed until I hurt, listened to some of the most talented musicians and vocalists I have ever heard, in Branson or anywhere else, and was thoroughly entertained by a fast moving production that held my interest throughout. It was over all too quickly.”

And that’s just two of the many shows that perform in the Music Hall. In addition, it is the home of Down Home Country, Comedy Jamboree, New South Gospel, Branson Country USA, Sunday Gospel Jubilee and Ozark Mountain Jubilee.

The Grand Country Inn.

The Grand Country Inn.

The “Grand Country Inn” offers a variety of clean, relaxing and spacious rooms with full amenities. “Splash Country Indoors,” Missouri’s first indoor water park, is connected to the Inn offering its guests 20,000 square feet of spraying, tumbling, and falling, watery fun, 365 days a year, regardless of what the weather is like outside.

Its “Grand Country Buffet” is one of Branson’s most popular buffets offering a bewildering selection of items for breakfast, lunch and dinner. “Pappa Grand’s Pizza” and “Glenn’s Frozen Custard” are also located within the complex and there are a number of restaurants within walking distance including, one of Branson’s most popular, “Billy Bob’s Dairyland.”

Grand Country also offers many other exciting things for families to enjoy. This includes a candy and fudge shop, huge gift shop, both indoor and outdoor miniature golf, and the “Fun Spot,” featuring a state of the art video arcade game facility that has the most popular video and arcade games of every style. From motocross racing to space exploring, it has all the latest arcade attractions including the “White River Black Light Mini-Golf Course” in 3D; Mini-Bowling with cool lights illuminating the bowling lanes along with rockin’ videos and music and much more

For additional information on the Grand Country Complex, its shows, lodging, or entertainment, please contact the Branson Tourism Center (BTC), one of Branson’s largest and most respected vacation planning services by calling their toll free number 1-800-785-1550 or through its website

Five awesome reasons to be in Branson for the Memorial Day Weekend

"KaPau Plummet" at White Water, Silver Dollar City's "Outlaw Run," Sight and Sound's "Moses" and Fireworks are just part of the fun and excitement in Branson over Memorial Day Weekend!

“KaPau Plummet” at White Water, Silver Dollar City’s “Outlaw Run,” Sight and Sound’s “Moses” and Fireworks are just part of the fun and excitement in Branson over Memorial Day Weekend!

“Summer doesn’t officially start until June 21st, but in terms of Branson’s Summer Season, it starts over Memorial Day Weekend,” said Preston Garrison, the Director of Operations for the Branson Tourism Center, one of Branson’s largest providers of tourism services and information. “From its pristine lakes and beautiful Ozarks scenery, to its shows, attractions, and dozens upon dozens of other activities Branson is ready to share the fun, adventure, and excitement of summer with its visitors,” he added.

Although there’s literally hundreds of awesome reasons to plan to spend any summer weekend or vacation in Branson, here’s a list of five that specifically focus on Memorial Day Weekend:

1. White Water, Southwest Missouri’s largest water park, opens with two million gallons of cool wet fun ensconced in a 13 acre Polynesian themed “island” in the middle of the Ozarks. Its $1.7 million thrill ride, KaPau Plummet, launches riders from a drop-floor four stories in the air into a 70-degree plunge into a thrilling 240-foot spiraling loop slide to the bottom, and that’s just one ride! When you add in the iconic seven story multiple slide Kalani Towers; Aloha River at Hula Bay, with “over 800 feet of unexpected twists and turns, fountains, misters, bubblers, geysers, and a 30-foot tall tiki water tower; and so much more, it’s easy to understand why White Water is sometimes referred to as “Mid-America’s Nearby Island Adventure.”

2. Branson’s Pristine Lakes, Table Rock Lake, Bull Shoals Lake, and Lake Taneycomo are a virtual aquatic paradise offering boating, swimming and a wide range of other water sports and activities, along with some of the finest bass and trout fishing anywhere. There are many opportunities to experience the beauty and relaxation of Branson’s lakes such as by boat, canoe or kayak; walking along the Branson Landing Boardwalk; hiking one of the many lakes trails; sitting on a sandy beach, or while cruising aboard cruise boats such as the Showboat Branson Belle, Main Street Lake Cruises Lake Queen or Landing Princess.

3. Fireworks will light up the Memorial Day Weekend sky over the Ozarks in two major firework displays at dusk on Sunday evening, May 29. One display will be at the Chateau on the Lake, as part of its Memorial Day Celebration, and the other at Big Cedar Lodge, as part of its Patriotic Picnic and Fireworks event. The public is invited to both; with the best views from Table Rock Lake, the property’s grounds or, in the case of the Chateau on the Lake, the peninsula area located just north of the Table Rock Dam to the west of its auxiliary spillways.

4. Moses, Sight and Sounds newest spectacular biblical production to perform in Branson, “is the most spectacular, technologically advanced, show that Sight & Sound Theaters has ever put on stage,” said Mike Pitman, the Business Development Manager for the theatre. This powerful and epic biblical story follows Moses on his quest for personal identity that would change the course of human history. Journey back to that time with your family and witness some of the greatest moments in biblical history; experience the exhilaration and celebration of the Israelites as they brush past you on their path to freedom; feel God’s awe-inspiring power as you sit in the midst of the parted Red Sea, and the moment He first speaks to Moses at the burning bush, all presented as only Sight and Sound can depict.

The iconic violin played by bandmaster Wallace Hartley as the Titanic sank.

The iconic $1.7 million dollar Titanic violin, played by bandmaster Wallace Hartley as the Titanic sank, on exclusive exhibit at the Titanic Museum Attraction through May 29.

5. The Titanic Museum Attraction’s exclusive Branson presentation of the $1.7 Million Dollar Bandmaster Titanic Violin through May 29. RMS Titanic bandleader, Wallace Hartley’s violin has become the iconic symbol of the Titanic saga. Found strapped to his body after the sinking, it was returned to his wife-to-be, only to be lost to the world until it resurfaced almost a century later. Now, for the first time since an unnamed owner took possession of the violin, visitors to the Titanic Museum Attractions will be able to experience for themselves, the overwhelming sense of emotion it evokes,” says Mary Kellogg-Joslyn, co-owner of the Titanic Attractions.

And that doesn’t include all the rest of the fun, excitement, adventure and live shows that Branson is noted for. BTC’s Garrison points out that Memorial Day Weekend is not only the start of Branson’s Summer Season, but one of the busiest weekends of the year. He suggests advance reservations for shows and lodging to ensure not only availability, but the best seating and accommodations. For additional information on Branson’s Memorial Day Weekend activities or information on tickets for any of Branson’s shows and attractions or for lodging arrangements please contact the Branson Tourism Center by either calling their toll free number 1-800-785-1550 or through their website