For Part 1 of this series: Branson: Planning Your Trip
Shows: The shows in Branson are family friendly; as long as you choose something that fits your personal taste, you will be happy. This is a list of the ones we have seen and liked….though NOT an exhaustive list of all the good shows.
- Acrobats of China: This is a good show, but don’t expect to find discounts for them. They don’t exist! Paying full price IS worth it. www.acrobatsofchina.com
- Baldknobbers: www.baldknobbers.com This is a family show – they claim to be the “First Branson Show”…along with the Presley’s; It’s a country and folk music variety show. I emphasize the words ‘country folk’ as this is NOT the modern country music of the “stars”. It’s a good show! 🙂
- Presley’s: www.presleys.com Claims to be the “First Branson Show”….along with Baldknobbers; There is a ‘friendly battle’ going on between these 2 families as to who was ‘first’. They’re very similar – country and folk music variety show.
- Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede Dinner and Show : www.dixiestampede.com VERY good meal and show about the story of the Civil War.
- Jim Stafford: www.jimstafford.com This is a classic Branson show….Jim is quite a talented guitarist and he plays quite a bit, but this is also a variety show with other acts.
- Haygoods: The Haygoods are a family who got their start at Silver Dollar City. As their popularity grew they bought a theater on the 76 strip and have been voted Branson’s #1 Show for several years. Tickets are reasonably priced and they have Family Passes that make it economical for families. Highly recommended
- Yakov Smirnoff: www.yakov.com Yakov is from Russia and does a comedy variety show. He also has a dinner theater.
Shoji Tabuchi: www.shoji.com Excellent show, but don’t expect to find a discount or have this show included in any of the “free tickets” for attending a Timeshare presentation. Shoji is a violinist and INCREDIBLE!
- Twelve Irish Tenors: If you love the harmonies, you’ll LOVE this show!!
- Sight and Sound Theater: http://www.sight-sound.com/ This is Christian theater – Bible stories with incredible sets and live animals!!! They have a continually changing fare, including – Noah, Jonah, Moses et al – and of course, the Christmas story every Nov/Dec. (Our favorite is probably Noah and the Ark 🙂 )There is a backstage tour during the afternoon — a nice addition if you’re going to the show that evening. 🙂
NOTE: Shows are the reason most people go to Branson…however, don’t think that’s all this town has to offer. If you’re not interested in shows…or if your budget just won’t allow for them, there are still MANY fun, family activities to keep everyone busy and happy while you’re there.
Other Things To Do:
- Silver Dollar City: www.SilverDollarCity.com LOVE IT!!! There are discounts for admission to SDC; just look for them. The added advantage to a day in Silver Dollar City is the number of shows in the park – all included in the price of your admission ticket. If you enter the park after 3 pm, the next day is free. This is a great way to plan your days there. You can either have 1 1/2 days for the price of 1…or divide your visit into 2 partial days to suit the needs of young children or those with limited mobility or energy. TIP: I HIGHLY recommend the “grill meals” at Skillet Cookery. (pictured) The meal of veggies and meat are cooked on this 5′ grill. It’s the best meal in the park!!! (imho) 🙂 This year, they are opening a new roller coaster that is the largest, wildest wooden coaster anywhere. If your family likes these, it promises to be quite the experience.
- Butterfly Place & Rainforest Adventure: www.butterflyplace.com This is one of several around the country. This is a good way to spend a few hours with the kids. My kids really enjoyed it. Coupons available; find them in the coupon booklets at hotels, restaurants, etc…
- IMAX Theater: www.Bransonimax.com Shows run all day long, replaying on a regular schedule. 🙂 Buy tickets for the first show, then purchase tickets for a later show that day at half-price with your ticket stub. Check the website for coupons for the IMAX and food items. This is a great activity if the day is cold or rainy.
- Hollywood Wax Museum:
- Ripley’s “Believe it or Not: www.ripleysbranson.com
- Branson Landing Cruise or Dinner Cruise: This is fairly new, but looks to be a nice experience for a couple looking for a romantic evening. We haven’t done this, but are wanting to on our next trip to town.
- Mini-Golf: Branson has quite a few mini-golf courses in every theme imaginable. This is a great family activity as the temps typically go down in the evenings. This was often the highlight of our trip…we ‘bargained’ with the kids. They tolerate our day of shopping (when they were young and didn’t yet appreciate a day of shopping. haha) and we’d take them to their choice of miniature golf that evening. Of course, eventually, they appreciated a ‘Shop Til You Drop’ day and bargaining was no longer necessary, but that worked well during those ‘early years’. 🙂
Get Outta Town: There are some wonderful activities just outside of town…in addition to Silver Dollar City (which is out-of-town too). Check out the area around Table Rock Lake and Tanneycomo. There’s the regular lake activities and lake cruises and dinner cruises as well.
Outlet Shopping: We often go to Branson in the Fall to do our Christmas shopping. Bargains galore!! When we first began going, there were 3 outlet malls. Tanger is the only one left. www.Tangeroutlet.com They are extremely busy during ‘back to school’ shopping as well as the Christmas shopping season, so be prepared for crowds at those times. Stop by the Lounge in the corner of the mall for a coupon book…free to AAA members; $5 for everyone else. They will allow you to look through it before purchasing to see if you can get your $5 value from it.
Branson Landing: www.bransonlanding.com This is the newest shopping mecca – an outdoor mall flanked by Bass Pro Shops and Belk. It’s NOT Outlet shopping but it’s very nice… make plans to spend a little time there. NOTE: The parking is quite a walk if you arrive late in the day. There are shuttles to transport visitors – for a tip. Nighttime is a GREAT time to go as well – especially during the Christmas season. It’s beautifully decorated for the Holidays!!
Coupon Books: Branson is the Place for Coupons. Don’t go anywhere without at least looking to see if there’s one available! 🙂 The coupon books/brochures are at the entrances to most motels, restaurants and shopping areas. Pick up one of each (there is more than one company printing these) when you FIRST arrive in town so you have time to look through them before spending any money. As I mentioned above, the Tanger coupon book is available at the Tanger Lounge in the corner of the mall -$5 or free for AAA members. If you will do a LOT of shopping, this may save you some money even if you have to pay for it.