25 best things to do in Branson (for families!)
If you’re visiting Branson with children, you’re probably looking for the best things to do in Branson with kids. This list is just for you. There are things to do in Branson with small kids, big kids, and kids at heart.
If you’re new around here, hi! I’m Amy. I’m a Branson photographer and I’ve been taking family photos in Branson for over 8 years. During that time, I’ve had plenty of clients ask about the best things to do in Branson, so I decided to start compiling some lists. I hope that you enjoy this list of the 25 best things to do in Branson.
1. Dolly Parton Stampede
If you see one show as a family while you’re in Branson, it should be this one! It’s the most fun at Christmas but it’s fun for the family at any time of the year. It’s both dinner and a show, so make sure you’re hungry. As a bonus, they are able to accommodate some special dietary requests, which is great for families with food allergies.
Don’t miss the pre-show, because it’s almost as good as the show itself!
2. Hike scenic trails
When it comes to hiking, there are a lot of options in Branson! My favorite is the Lakeside Wilderness Forest Area, which is located right in the heart of Branson. Another top pick is Dogwood Canyon, although it’s a little pricier starting at $15 per person.
3. Branson Scenic Railway
The Branson Scenic Railway departs from a historic depot in downtown Branson and operates in the scenic Ozark Mountains for an approximately 40-mile round trip. You don’t want to miss this activity during the holiday season, as you will see an appearance from Santa himself!
4. Amazing Acrobats of Shanghai
You might have heard that most of the shows in Branson are geared toward, well, older people. 😉 While that may be true, there are a few shows that the entire family can enjoy. The Amazing Acrobats of China is entertaining for all ages.
5. Visit the National Tiger Sanctuary
I’m not a fan of some of the animal attractions in Branson due to the obvious poor living conditions of the animals. I don’t think it’s fun to see animals being treated poorly, and I don’t want to support organizations that do this. That being said, the National Tiger Sanctuary is completely different! They are a non-profit rescue organization that provides care to exotic animals like tigers and regular animals like cats and dogs.
The National Tiger Sanctuary provides tours and educational programs and it’s a lot of fun for the entire family.
6. Xtreme Racing Center Branson
There are lots of go-kart options in Branson, but at the Xtreme Racing Center, you can go up to 40mph. This is great for older kids and those who are kids at heart.
7. Branson Ferris Wheel
The Branson Ferris Wheel came all the way from Navy Pier in Chicago. It’s right on highway 76, so you can’t miss it.
8. Mini golf at Dinosaur Canyon
Although it’s not the best mini golf in Branson, it’s definitely a top pick for kids! My youngest loves to go “Dino mini golfing” as often as possible.
9. Shop at the Branson Landing and check out the Water & Fire Show
If you love shopping, you’ll love the Branson Landing. Even if you aren’t into shopping, you should check out the free Water and Fire Show.
10. Canyon Trail at Top of the Rock
You can take a golf cart on a scenic trail including going through a cave at the Canyon Trail at Top of the Rock. Prices are about $28 for adults and $13 for children.
11. Adventure Ziplines of Branson
This is one of the highest rated ziplines in Branson, and it’s great for anyone who lives a little bit of adventure. The facility has several course options as well as some options for after dark!
12. Bigfoot on the Strip
Another can’t-miss activity right on highway 76 is Bigfoot Fun Park. Bigfoot Fun Park has an arcade, minigolf, a 200-foot freefall and more.
13. White Water
If you’re visiting Branson during the summer months, take a day to cool off at White Water. This water park has areas for little kids and big kids, so it’s fun for the whole family.
14. The Butterfly Palace
The Butterfly Palace is a great rainy day (or any day) activity in Branson for families. Tickets are about $20 for adults and $13 for children.
15. Shepherd of the Hills Fish Hatchery
If you’re looking for the best things to do in Branson that happen to be free, you’re in luck! The Shepherd of the Hills Fish Hatchery has a free conservation center, but bring quarters to feed the fish. 🙂
16. Table Rock Lake State Park
Whether you’re boating, swimming, or hiking the trails, you don’t want to miss Table Rock Lake. Table Rock Lake State Park has playgrounds, camping, hiking trails, and several areas that are good for swimming.
17. The Grand Country Fun Spot
The Grand Country Fun Spot is another great place to go on rainy days. This indoor amusement center has go-karts, mini golf, bowling, an arcade, pizza and more.
18. Fritz’s Adventure
I haven’t been here and the reviews are kind of mixed, so just keep that in mind! However, I’ve heard from many families that they had a great time here.
19. Dewey Short Visitor Center
You can learn about the dam with interactivities on the inside, or check out the hiking trails. Bonus, it’s completely free!
20. Sight and Sound Theater
While I haven’t been here myself, my mom has taken my kids to see a show at the Sight and Sound Theater and they loved it. I’ve had a few other families tell me that they loved it as well.
21. Castle Rock Resort Waterpark
If you have younger kids who love the water, this is a great affordable indoor waterpark. If you’re visiting Branson in the winter, this is a great way to spend some time in the water. We went often when my kids were younger and they loved it. Day passes are $15.
22. IMAX films
If it’s a cold or rainy day, you can check out the Branson IMAX Entertainment Complex. They show both regular shows and some educational movies too.
23. Shepherd of the Hills
Shepherd of the Hills offers a huge variety of fun for the whole family. They offer mini-golf, a ropes course, a petting zoo, a zip line, tours and even a drive-through lights display in the winter.
24. Silver Dollar City
No trip to Branson is complete without spending at least one day at Silver Dollar City. If you’re used to Disney, Universal, or Six Flags you will appreciate the reasonable ticket prices and free parking! Silver Dollar City has plenty of things to do for all ages, from rides to show and lots of great food. Seriously, the food is good for theme park food!
You should also check out Marvel Cave, which is about 60 degrees no matter what time of the year, great for winter or summer. Silver Dollar City wrote this post about 10 cool facts about Marvel Cave.
25. Take photos together as a family
Many, many families take advantage of spending time together by having photos taken in Branson. You should do it too! I offer packages for both immediate and extended families and can refer you to other talented photographers if I am booked during your stay. Feel free to check out some of the families below for examples:
I hope that this list of the top 25 things to do in Branson with kids will help you find some fun family activities. If you have any questions or want to book a photo session, feel free to contact me! You can use the contact form here.