Category Archives: Shopping

Is there a better place to enjoy Labor Day Weekend than Branson?

“Raiding the Country Vault,” Silver Dollar City’s Outlaw Run, Branson Landing Promenade, and the “Million Dollar Quartet.”

“Call us prejudiced, but we don’t think so!” said Preston Garrison, Director of Operations for the Branson Tourism Center. “Where else can you go for a long weekend, Labor Day or otherwise, that offers families more entertainment and excitement than Branson?”

Garrison points out that the long Labor Day Weekend, prior to the first Monday in September, is generally associated with the “informal” end of the summer season. It’s typically one of the last big “lake weekends,” but, in Branson, it’s so much more!”

Oh sure, there’ll be a lot of splashing and cruising going on in Branson’s three lakes over the weekend, but that’s the case at many tourist destinations near lakes, rivers, or oceans. What makes Branson unique is that all the water based activity will be going on just minutes away from everything else Branson offers; its natural beauty, live shows, great attractions, world class shopping, and so much more.

Although Labor Day Weekend might be one of the last big “lake weekends,” it also marks the beginning of Branson’s busiest season of the year. All of Branson’s live shows, attractions, shopping malls and retail stores, restaurants, and everything else that makes it the unique entertaining world class destination it is, will be open for visitors to enjoy.

Branson’s live shows will be open, offering Branson visitors a full schedule of some of the most unique and best live entertainment in the world. With shows as diverse as Million Dollar Quartet, Amazing Pets, Raiding the Country Vault, SIX, Legends in Concert, and over 120 more, there’s a show with something for just about everyone. Want to find the perfect show for you and your family? Here’s a list of our Most Popular Branson Shows including schedules, ticketing information, descriptions, and videos.

Whether it’s White Water, southwest Missouri’s largest water park; Silver Dollar City; a dinner cruise aboard Main Street Cruises’ Landing Princess; playing golf; or any of the dozens of other attractions Branson offers, there’s a fun filled adventure available for every member of the family. Here’s a list of Branson attractions including schedules, descriptions, ticketing information, pictures and, in most cases, videos.

Labor Day Weekend and every day, Branson offers a world class shopping experience unequalled by any other destination city anywhere near its size. Unique boutiques your style? Boutiques can be found everywhere in Branson. Like your shopping to be an experience; including dining and entertainment? Branson Landing is custom-made for you! Want a downtown shopping adventure? Don’t miss Historic Downtown Branson! Throughout Branson there’s locally owned stores featuring everything from hard to find shoe sizes to ladies wear, hand-made crafts, high end art, flea markets and more.

For more information on Branson’s Labor Day Weekend events or tickets for Branson’s shows and attractions or for lodging arrangements feel free to call one of Branson Tourism Center’s Branson based Vacation Specialists at 1-800-785-1550 or through their website

Five awesome things families can enjoy for free in Branson

Dick's 5 & 10 in hisotirc downtown Branson provides one of the most unique shopping "adventures" available anywhere.

Dick’s 5 & 10 in historic downtown Branson provides one of the most unique family shopping “adventures” available anywhere.

“From live shows, to great attractions, and other activities, Branson is just filled with wonderful ways for families to have the best vacation ever,” said Preston Garrison, the Director of Operations for the Branson Tourism Center, one of Branson’s largest providers of tourism services and information. “Although most of Branson’s great shows and exciting attractions involve a charge, there are many things that families can enjoy together that are free,” he added.

Here’s a list of five, from among many, free things available in Branson, that we have selected because they represent a broad variety of things that families can enjoy together, are multi-age inclusive, are fun, and are either of a short duration or permit the flexibility to easily fit in with other activities such as shows and attractions or the attention span of younger children. In addition, items 1 through 3 are within five minutes of each other as are items 4 and 5:

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

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

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

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

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

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

3. 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!”

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

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

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

A short, early morning walk along one of their extremely accessible lakeside trails, just five or ten minutes, can provide a unique sight that will not be soon forgotten. In the early morning, the fog rising off of lake Taneycomo, because of the difference in its cold temperature and the warm air, is a beautiful thing to see as it interacts with winds and the rising sun.

Table Rock Lake's Dewey Short Visitors Center on south end of Table Rock Dam.

Table Rock Lake’s Dewey Short Visitors Center on south end of Table Rock Dam.

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

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



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

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.

Branson visitors can count on the “big three” regardless of the weather

30,000 pound ship "sails" the stage and breaks up during the storm.

“Jonah’s” 30,000 pound ship “sails” the stage and breaks up in a storm during this spectacular production.

“As autumn fades into winter and weather has more of an impact on our outdoor activities one of the great things about Branson is that, regardless of the weather, there is always plenty of exciting and entertaining things to do” said Annette Wood, the Director of Sales and Marketing for the Branson Tourism Center. “Even from an outdoor perspective, the weather in Branson is often mild enough that people are able to enjoy golfing, hiking and fishing and other outdoor activities on a near year round basis, but Branson’s “big three,” its shows, attractions and shopping, are not weather dependent,” she continued.

Here’s a list of the “big three” and why Branson visitors can count on enjoying them regardless of the weather:

1. Branson Shows – With the exception of the Shepherd of the Hills Outdoor Play, whose last 2014 performance will be Oct. 25, Branson’s legendary live shows are held inside modern environmentally controlled theatres, with comfortable seating, the latest sound and lighting equipment and are performed by some of the best entertainers around. From shows such as Sight and Sounds spectacular production of Jonah, The Acrobats of China, Legends in Concert and Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede to the comedy and country music of shows such as Presleys’ Country Jubilee, Grand Jubilee, Billy Dean and Clay Cooper’s Country Express or the excitement of the Haygoods, Shoji Tabuchi, Dublin’s Irish Tenors and the Celtic Ladies and Mickey Gilley, Branson’s major entertainment offering, its live shows, goes on regardless of the weather.

The Titanic Museum Attraction boards passengers for a unique "voyage" regardless of the weather.

The Titanic Museum Attraction boards passengers for a unique “voyage” regardless of the weather.

2. Attractions – Cold or snow, heat or rain, the vast majority of Branson’s attractions are not impacted by weather. Regardless of the weather Branson visitors can take an exciting and entertaining voyage aboard the Titanic Museum Attraction or one of Branson’s other attractions such as the “Hollywood Wax Museum,” “Ripley’s Believe It or Not,” or the “Butterfly Palace & Rainforest Adventure” to mention a few. There’s indoor miniature golf at Grand Country or Laser Tag, G-Force drag race simulator and arcades at the Track Family Fun Parks that have the added advantage, weather permitting, of some of the coolest go-cart tracks around.

3. Shopping – Branson is noted for the quality and variety of its shopping. From outlet malls like “The Shoppes at Branson Meadows” and “Tanger Outlets” to the over 100 retail stores, restaurants and attractions at “Branson Landing” and the specialty shops and galleries of the historic downtown Branson shopping district, Branson offers a variety of shopping that is unmatched by any travel destination anywhere near its size. Factor in unique stores such as the “Copper Coin” and the unique “Dick’s 5 & 10,” along with dozens of specialty and gift stores, crafters and studios such as “Crain Creations” and it becomes a shoppers dream regardless of the weather.

Obviously there will be a few days of the year when ice, snow or some other weather condition might impact the total Branson area, but on a day to day basis, three of the major things Branson is noted for, its shows, attractions and shopping, are available for the enjoyment, fun and entertainment of its visitors regardless of the weather.

“Against All Odds” the Copper Coin serves Branson Shoppers

Susan Abar, author, artisan, entrepreneur and a living example of why "In God We Trust."

Susan Abar, author, artisan, entrepreneur and a living example of why “In God We Trust.”

That might seem like an odd headline, but along with “two pennies” and a trust in God, “Against All Odds” is not only the name of a book that Susan Abar wrote telling her remarkable story of courage, endurance and faith, but an accurate summary of what her chances were of living; let alone ever opening and operating a gift shop in historic downtown Branson or, for that matter, anywhere else. “The Copper Coin,” operated with her husband Ron, sells many gifts, but its spirit is based on our National Motto, “In God We Trust,” and the shop features a line of custom jewelry and other gift items incorporating a single copper penny into their design, delivering that message in an exclusive and beautiful way.

Perhaps the way I came across this story tells the message of why the Copper Coin is so special and helps make Branson the unique wonderful place it is, to not only live, but visit. I was talking with Annette Wood, Director of Sales and Marketing for the Branson Tourism Center, and she slid a key ring with a beautiful charm on it across her desk. The charm had a shiny cooper penny inlaid inside a rectangular case with an American Flag. She told me that two of her Group Mangers, Randi McCormick and Melissa McGowan, had received it from the owners of the “Copper Coin” while they were discussing the “2015 Branson.Com Honors Purple Heart Recipients” which will be held in Branson on April 23-25, 2015.

Wood pointed out that McCormick and McGowan were amazed to hear that the “Copper Coin,” which sells the key ring in their store, gives them away free to any Veteran who comes in and asks for one. As they talked with the owner and she shared her story of how the penny and “In God We Trust” became the focal point for her calling to design and market her exclusive jewelry line and gifts, they became even more amazed. When Wood told me the story, I decided that I just had to meet with this extraordinary woman, write a piece about what she and her husband were doing for Veterans and thank them.

The first day I went into the Copper Coin Susan and Ron were off, but when asked the lady that was there if it was true, that every Veteran who came into the store could get the patriotic “In God We Trust” key ring for free she said, “Yes, are you a Veteran?” I replied, “Yes” and with that she reached up on the wall, where the key rings were selling , took one down, handed it to me and, with a big smile on her face, said, “Thank you for your service.”

Two day later, when I went back into the shop to meet Susan and Ron, she was waiting on a customer. As I waited I saw that the book, “Against All Odds,” the story of “Two pennies, A Rainbow and a Woman Called Mercy” by Susan Abar was for sale in the shop. Initially I did not know that its author was the woman I was waiting to meet, but as I waited for her to finish chatting with the customer and ring up their order, I saw her autographing the book and kind of put two and two together.

When I got to meet her, she was kind enough to go with me to get a cup of coffee and chat. Although, I went to do the story about their gift to Veterans I would be remiss, it I did not point out that the gift started with a woman who, within about a six month period, lost her job, found out she had breast cancer, had a Mastectomy and then found out she also had Pancreatic Cancer. “Against All Odds,” she persevered  and, because of a surrender, two pennies, a rainbow and a woman named Mercy, became part of what most of us would call a miracle.

When I asked her about her gift to the Veterans she said, “We give them to our Veterans and Active Duty military personnel to show our appreciation for the sacrifices that they make for our country.” She pointed out, that from a personal perspective it honors the service of her father, husband and her son and daughter in law, both of whom are on active duty in the Army.

The “focal point” of the key ring, part of her exclusive line of jewelry, is the “charm” involving the penny, and the motto “In God We Trust,” which was designed by Susan. From the prepping of the penny and assembly to the application of the resin and its setup time, each piece, is processed by hand by Susan and her husband and takes about three hours to complete.

The Copper Coin is yet another example of unique variety that makes shopping in Branson such a wonderful experience. Open 9 a.m. through 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, it is located in Historic Downtown Branson at 109 N. Commercial St.

What is Branson’s most unique attraction?

Dick's 5 & 10 in historic downtown Branson provides one of the most unique shopping "adventures" available anywhere.

BRANSON, Mo., November 15, 2012 — A question commonly asked is along the lines of “What is Branson’s “most unique attraction? The one thing that I must see or do while in Branson?”

In a town like Branson, with so many exciting and fun things to do that is not an easy question to answer. First when one applies the common definition of Attraction, “something that attracts or is intended to attract people by appealing to their desires and tastes,” to the question, Branson itself is a unique attraction among family travel destinations. Where else can one go and enjoy all it has to offer from its live shows, “attractions,” lakes, natural beauty and shopping all located so closely together.

In terms of “attractions,” as most would use the word, the award winning 1880’s styled theme park Silver Dollar City, Branson’s oldest and most popular paid attraction certainly stands out. With its dozens of rides, shows, ongoing entertainment, world class festivals, virtually seamless integration into the surrounding Ozark Hills, demonstrating craftsmen and having a National Natural Landmark, Marvel Cave within the park it is not only one of Branson’s most unique attractions, but one of the most unique theme parks in the world.

Branson’s Titanic Museum Attraction, with the great ship towering above the Branson strip, its remarkable displays, the ability of the crew to bring the events of that fateful voyage to life and, of course, its two loveable mascots Molly and Carter make it another of Branson’s unique attractions. A sightseeing cruise aboard Main Street Cruise Lines Lake Queen on beautiful Lake Taneycomo to the amazing bluffs evidencing how the Ozark Mountains were formed and are still a work in progress is another unique adventure.

To the list of Branson Attractions however must be added an attraction of another kind, Branson’s live shows. In fact, a recent Branson CVB study showed that the number one thing people see when they come to Branson is live shows. A cursory examination of a list of Branson Shows, performing during its season, indicates a variety and number of shows that is amazing. When coupled with the quality of the shows it is easy to understand why some call Branson the”Live music show capital of the world” and why its live shows are such a unique Branson  attraction.

Many are attracted to Branson by its shopping. Sure, just about every travel destination offers shopping, but how many have an authentic 50 year old 5 & 10, a vibrant historic downtown shopping district and modern shopping attraction such as Branson Landing, with its 100 retail shops, restaurants and seven million dollar fire, water and synchronized music fountain show, located within three blocks of each other. Each of those is a unique attraction by itself, but in combination with each other offer one of the most unique shopping experiences available anywhere. And that’s not counting the hundreds of other retail, craft, fashion and specialty stores located throughout Branson.

These are just highlights of what “attracts” millions of visitors to Branson each year. What is Branson’s most unique attraction and what one thing should people see when they are in Branson? Well, in this writers opinion Branson’s most unique attraction is all that it has to offer and the one thing people should see or do while in Branson is experience as much of that uniqueness and what it has to offer as possible.

There’s more than turkey cooking for Thanksgiving in Branson

The "Andy Williams Christmas Show" is just one of the spectacular Branson shows that will be open on Thanksgiving Day.

BRANSON, Mo., November 10, 2012 — Oh there’s plenty of turkey to be had in Branson on Thanksgiving Day at one of its many fine restaurants or buffets. The neat thing about Branson however, is that after you eat, and perhaps catch a quick nap,or not, there is so much more to see and do.

“The celebration of Branson’s Ozark Mountain Christmas continues right through Thanksgiving Day and its long weekend to the end of the year” said Tammy Johnson, the Director of Operations for the Branson Tourism Center. “With drive through Christmas lighting displays; Silver Dollar City’s Old Time Christmas Festival; the majority of its attractions and live shows open, great shopping and the wide choice of exciting fun filled things it offers for the whole family, Branson is the ideal place to spend your Thanksgiving,” she continued.

From the wonders of Silver Dollar City’s An Old Time Christmas or an exciting “voyage” aboard the Titanic Museum Attraction with its “Fantasy Princess” bringing “new Holiday Magic to Branson,” butterflies to tigers, cruises to Go Karts, mini golf to 18 hole championship golf courses and much more, Thanksgiving in Branson is filled with exciting attractions and activities for the whole family to enjoy. Among others, these include the following which are sorted alphabetically:

Adventure Ziplines of Branson

Branson Limousine Christmas Light Tour

Butterfly Palace & Rainforest Adventure

Castle of Chaos

Hannah’s Maze of Mirrors

Hollywood Wax Museum

IMAX Adventure Films

Inspiration Tower

Main Street Lake Cruises Landing Princess

National Tiger Sanctuary

Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum

Shoot for the Stars Mini Golf

Silver Dollar City

The Track Family Fun Parks

Titanic Museum Attraction

Trail of Lights

Vigilante Ziprider

 Branson’s two major drive through Christmas Lighting displays, the Branson Area Festival of Lights and Shepherd of the Hills Trail of Lights will also be open for the enjoyment of Branson visitors. Each is filled with spectacular displays containing millions of sparkling Christmas lights.

As would be expected in the “Live music show capital of the world,” there will be a full slate of Branson’s live shows offering Branson famed live entertainment available on Thanksgiving day as well as over the Thanksgiving weekend. The following list of Branson shows scheduled to be open on Thanksgiving Day is sorted by time. The full schedule of Branson shows will resume on Friday, November 23. Click here for complete information, schedules, pictures, or tickets on any of Branson’s shows.

10:00 am

A Tribute to John Denver

Cat’s Pajamas – Vocal Band

Christmas in Hollywood

Fountains of Faith

Hughes Brothers Christmas Show

10:30 am

A Neil Diamond Tribute

1:00 pm

Fountains of Faith

2:00 pm

A Tribute to Marty Robbins

Doo Wop and Chico Vega Drifters

Lennon Sisters Christmas Show

Paul Harris & The Cleverlys

Tribute to Four Seasons and The Beach Boys

3:00 pm

Acrobats of China featuring New Shanghai Circus

Amazing Pets

Dixie Stampede

Legends in Concert

4:00 pm

Showboat Branson Belle

5:00 pm

Absolutely Patsy

Johnny Cash Songbook

Yakov’s Dinner Adventure

5:15 pm

Christmas on the Trail

6:00 pm

Comedy Hypnosis Dinner Show

7:00 pm

Motown Downtown

7:30 pm

3 Redneck Tenors

Andy Williams Christmas Show

Grand Jubilee


Legend of Kung Fu

Pierce Arrow

Shoji Tabuchi

8:00 pm

Clay Cooper’s Country Music Express

Dixie Stampede


Hamner Barber Variety Show

Jim Stafford

Kirby VanBurch

Legends in Concert

Sanders Family Christmas

Tony Orlando Christmas

Twelve Irish Tenors

Anchored by its two major outlet malls, Tanger Outlets, and The Shoppes at Branson Meadows, Branson Landing and featuring a variety of specialty stores, Branson provides an unique unrivaled shopping experience. From the specialty stores, shops and galleries of historic downtown Branson and surrounding areas to specialty gifts made by the craftsmen at Silver Dollar City and from stores as unique as Dick’s Old Time 5 & 10 to the national chains at Branson Landing it’s hard to imagine a more exciting and unique shopping experience than in Branson, particularly during Ozark Mountain Christmas.

Branson Tourism Center’s Johnson suggests advance reservations for shows and lodging over the Thanksgiving weekend pointing out that Ozark Mountain Christmas is one of the busiest time of the year in Branson. For additional information on any of Branson’s shows, attractions activities or for lodging arrangements please feel free to contact the Branson Tourism Center,one of Branson’s largest and most respected vacation planning services by either calling their toll free number 1-800-785-1550 or through their website


Related article: 12 Restaurants for Thanksgiving Dinner in Branson without reservations


Historic Downtown Branson presents a unique shopping opportunity

Dick's 5 & 10 in historic downtown Branson provides one of the most unique shopping "adventures" available anywhere.

BRANSON, Mo., October 18, 2012 — Branson is called the “Live music show capital of world” because of the number and quality of its live shows, but it is also a shopper’s dream. From small specialty shops to the $400 million Branson Landing, located on the shores of beautiful Lake Taneycomo, with its 100 specialty retail stores, shops and services, Branson offers one of the broadest selections of stores, values and merchandise available in any travel destination of a similar size..

Interestingly, as thousands of people each day go to Branson Landing they either drive through or around Historic Downtown Branson and some of the most best and easily accessed shopping opportunities in Branson. Cris Bohinc, executive director of the Downtown Branson Main Street Association points out that the Historic District has about 80 specialty retail stores, shops and services. She said, “If people want a great selection, unique specialty items and a great value, all offered in a comfortable laid back down home environment, Historic Downtown Branson is a place that should be on their ‘Branson Shopping Bucket List.'”

“Dick’s 5 & 10,” one of Branson’s most popular shopping attractions and easily the anchor of Historic Downtown Branson’s shopping, illustrates the uniqueness and excitement that shopping in downtown Branson offers. Steve Hartley, the son of the stores original founders, Dick and June Hartley, points out that it’s not just the number of items they have in the nostalgic “5 & 10,” over 175,000, or their low prices, it’s the breadth of their selection that makes the shopping experience in Dick’s so unique. He said, “In candy alone we have one of, if not, the largest selections of candy in Branson. We specialize in Old Time and hard to find candies such as ‘Rocky Road,’ ‘Big Hunk Candy Bars,’ and ‘Abba-Zaba;’ novelty candies such as ‘Wax Lips’ and ‘Nickle Nips’ and a full selection of regular candy.”

There is a local saying, “”If you can’t find what you want in Dick’s then you don’t need it.” When asked about the saying in connection with the celebration of Dick’s 50 Anniversary Hartley said, “Well, we do have over 175,000 items, from basics, toys, novelties, gifts, souvenirs and just about anything most people would expect in a variety store and more.”

Another unique downtown experience, is available at “Crain Creations Gallery” located at 214 S. Main Street just a few doors west of Dicks. T.(Tom) Morgan Crain, is Branson’s preeminent wildlife, bird, western, outdoor and nostalgia painter who can be found painting, most Mondays through Saturdays, in his downtown studio, located just inside the window of the gallery. The gallery and studio, are as warm, comfortable and inviting as are the artist and his wife Susan.

The Burlington Annex is another store featuring artist and gift lines that are unique and not available anywhere else in Branson. Its wide selection of unique gifts, glassware and jewelry coupled with the expertise, friendliness and helpfulness of their employees make shopping at the Burlington Annex a special shopping experience only available in downtown Branson.

The “Hollywood Studio Store & More” located at 109 S Commercial Street is yet another example of the unique and fun filled shopping experience available in the historic downtown shopping district. Its selection of Hollywood collectibles, jewelry, gifts, art glass, wind chimes, and much more is as phenomenal and interesting as it is value priced.

“Branson is filled with so much great shopping,” said Tammy Johnson, the Director of Operations for the Branson Tourism Center, one of Branson’s largest and most respected vacation planning services, “but these and the dozens of other stores in the downtown shopping district, coupled with the ambiance, variety and uniqueness of the shopping they offer creates and exciting, unusual one of a kind shopping experience.” For additional information on downtown Branson’s shopping and everything else it has to offer please call either the Branson Tourism Center at 1-800-785-1550 or the Downtown Branson Main Street Association at 866-523-1190.