[dropcap]Someone[/dropcap] you love is always playing in Branson… that’s the promotional slogan on ExploreBranson.com, the official website for Branson tourism. Although it’s most likely referring to the many musical acts that play in this vacation Mecca, it could very well refer to your play-loving kids. With the many family-friendly entertainment options in Branson, your children can play to their hearts content. The city boasts plenty of options for youth — and the young at heart. Here are a few of the must-see spots in this nearby vacation destination.
1. Half Dollar Holler
This Silver Dollar City attraction is an imaginative playground designed for kids, 7 and younger. Described as a “woodland wonderland,” Half Dollar Holler will appeal to the adventurous with its Treetop Fun Houses, mazes and climbing nests as well as the artistic with creative sand tables, and the entire family will enjoy riding Hugo and Mary’s Carousel, which features hand-carved horses and bears.
Half Dollar Holler gives parents a break from the chaotic theme-park experience that occurs when you are toting around little ones. There is a single entrance/exit to the play area, so parents don’t have to worry about children wandering off. Parents can take a breather and watch while children explore in the enclosed space. There is plenty to run through, climb on and discover in this ultimate “tree house”-inspired playground.
Stop in Bears at the Holler, where you and your little ones can design and build your own stuffed animal. Choose your animal, fill it with stuffing and dress it in a wide variety of clothes and costumes made to fit your new furry friend — the prefect souvenir from Silver Dollar City. For more information, visit bransonsilverdollarcity.com.
2. White Water
Every parent knows there are two magic words that bring shrieks of joy from their children — “WATER PARK.” White Water is the premier outdoor water park in Branson. While older kids will likely seek out the adrenaline rush of the huge, scream-inducing water slides, younger water fans will like Splash Island, a smaller, but still splashy play structure designed just for them. Be sure to check out the new Aloha River at Hula Hula Bay, featuring calm waters, twists, turns and a 30-foot tiki water tower. Reserve a poolside cabana, a great spot to put your feet up, enjoy snacks and re-energize. For more information, visit bransonwhitewater.com.
3. The Track Family Fun Parks
If you want to trade water for wheels, The Track Family Fun Parks, with five locations in Branson, offer go-kart tracks for all ages — even your 4-year-old can join in the fun at the Kiddie Go-Carts. For older kids, and kids at heart, the park has two multi-level wooden tracks called Wild Woody and The Lumberjack … for those who feel the need for speed, try the G-Force Drag Racing Simulator. You and your family could spend hours there racing go-karts, playing mini-golf and challenging each other to laser tag. For more information, visit bransontracks.com.
4. Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede Dinner & Show
Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede Dinner Show has long been a family favorite in Branson. Children love the opportunity to view the horses on their way into the theater before the show and enjoy the high-energy production involving dancing, elaborate costumes, horses, lights and more. The show caters to all ages with exhilarating horse riding stunts, entertaining musical performances, and a hearty four-course feast that you eat with your hands (wet napkins included). For more information, log onto dixiestampede.com and click on “Branson, MO.”
5. Acrobats of China featuring the New Shanghai Circus
If you’re looking to be awestruck, look no further than Branson’s New Shanghai Theatre and the Acrobats of China. This show is full of dynamic costumes, lights, and acrobatic feats that will leave children and adults wowed. The troupe’s more than 40 acrobats perform carefully-orchestrated, skillful stunts and will dazzle you with their death-defying feats of “strength, endurance, flexibility, balance, contortion and magic.” For more information, visit acrobatsofchina.com.
Remember as you plan your family vacation to Branson, there are a number of special packages and discounts offered by many of these attractions. Be sure to ask about special pricing options when buying your tickets. For general information about Branson, visit explorebranson.com or call (800) 296-0463.