Silver Dollar City is a moderately sized mountain-themed amusement park. Although there are plenty of thrill rides, little ones will enjoy taking a spin on the flying Elephant March, the Silver Dollar Line Steam Train, winding Ladybugs and whirling Happy Frogs. Other attractions for youngsters include Half Dollar Holler, with a carousel, swings and sand play area, and McHaffie's Homestead, which hosts a petting zoo. Silver Dollar City is connected to White Water, a water park, but a separate admission fee is required. Coconut Cove has small slides and sprays situated in a shallow pool. A large wall aquarium holds youngsters' interest, as well. Toddlers can play here while older family members enjoy other water attractions.
Dolly Parton's Dixie Stampede is a dinner show for the entire family. Guests take in musical numbers, animal acts and pyrotechnic effects while enjoying a four-course meal. Toddlers who sit on laps and eat off parents’ plates are admitted free. At Clay Cooper’s Country Express, dancers, singers and comedians put on a show featuring country, rock ‘n’ roll, patriotic and gospel music. Depending upon your vacation plans, you can work around your toddler’s sleep schedule. Some months have early shows -- 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. -- in addition to the usual 8 p.m. offering.
Ride the Ducks is a sightseeing tour of Branson landmarks, including the entertainment district, Table Rock Dam and Baird Mountain. The highlight of the tour is the vehicle: a land-cruising boat. The driving tour ends with a splashdown into a lake, where visitors have the opportunity to drive the boat. The Branson Lake Queen is a replica of an old-fashioned riverboat. Morning and afternoon cruises lasting 1 1/2 to 2 hours are offered. Guests see historical and natural landmarks, as well as wildlife, such as eagles, herons, foxes, coyotes and mink.
The Butterfly Palace has created an environment for tropical butterflies. Families can walk throughout the rainforest setting to spot the beautiful insects. Kid-sized pith helmets, binoculars and magnifying glasses are available for adventurous toddlers. Parents can also accompany their youngsters into a forest mirror maze, an exploration area and the Rainforest Theater. Although shopping with a toddler may usually seem more of a chore, Dick’s 5 & 10 is a family-friendly, old-time store that also boasts two “G” Gauge Trains running on tracks above customers’ heads. Toddlers might enjoy the classic toy section and the old-fashioned candy aisle.
Fun Places to Stay
If you're looking for a fun place to stay in Branson with your kids, check out Castle Rock Resort and Waterpark. Your stay includes admission to a climate-controlled indoor water park. Your family can relax on the lazy river, zip down a water slide or play with the interactive water features. Alternatively, enjoy a stay at Grand Country Inn with your kids. This resort also features a huge indoor water park, as well as an outdoor water park for the summer months. In addition, there is the Grand Country Fun Spot on-site, with black light mini-golf, laser tag, arcade games, bumper cars and a laser maze.
A visit to Branson isn't complete without taking in one of the amazing shows available. Your family can enjoy the Acrobats of China at the New Shanghai Circus, with group contortion, the oldest form of acrobatics in China. Attend one of the special events, like the Chinese Children Association Reunion with games, crafts and a private show. Your family could also take in the Kirby VanBurch Magic Show, the world's largest magic show, with amazing illusions and exotic animals, including leopards and royal white tigers.
Mealtime can even be exciting in Branson. You and your children can enjoy dinner and a show at the Dixie Stampede. Along with a full four-course feast of choices like chicken, pork loin, homemade biscuits, corn on the cob and dessert, you'll enjoy an action packed show with special effects, horse riding stunts and some friendly North and South competition. Or, plan to have your meal at the Showboat Branson Belle. You'll receive a three-course meal, freshly prepared by on-board chefs, as well as a show, such as the "Made in the USA" show or a bluegrass music show.
During your Branson vacation, you can take your family to Ride the Ducks. This duck tour gives you a unique way to see the area. You and your family will climb aboard a Duck, a vehicle that goes on both land and in water, to make your way through the scenic Ozark Mountains and splash into Table Rock Lake for a cruise. Your kids might even get to help drive the boat. Or, take your children for a zip-line adventure at Adventure Ziplines of Branson. You'll go through seven zip lines, over three rope bridges and on an ATV ride. You could also go play some miniature golf at the Greatest Adventures Miniature Golf. Choose from two themed courses and play 18 holes on the Jungle/Egyptian course or the Medieval course.
Dolly Parton's Dixie Stampede (branson.dixiestampede.com) is a dinner attraction ideal for kids. A four-course meal is served while horse stunts, special effects and music are performed. Included in the admission is the Carriage Room opening act in which kids can meet the performers and horses. Acrobats of China (acrobatsofchina.com) feature incredible contortion acts and circus flying stunts. The Hamner Barber Show (hamnerbarber.com) will entertain with comedy routines, magic illusion shows, music and dance. It is a family friendly attraction that all can enjoy.
Museums and History
The Titanic Museum Attraction (titanicbranson.com) will take visitors into the stories of the legendary ship with artifacts from the ship, simulating boarding the ship, feel the 28-degree Fahrenheit water and touch a real iceberg. Ripley's Believe It Or Not (ripleys.com) has an "Odditorium" in Branson showcasing oddities such as an aircraft carrier made out of 48,000 matchsticks or a playing-card replica of the Roman Colosseum. The Historic Homestead Tour (no website; 5586 W. 76 Country Blvd.; 800-987-6298) features a 60-minute jeep-drawn tour of the area, making stops at an old grist mill and "Old Matt's Cabin."
The Track Family Fun Park (bransontracks.com) is home to several go-kart tracks suitable for kids ages 4 and older. It also has miniature golf, arcade games, laser tag, batting cages, bumper cars, kiddie rides, a skycoaster and lots of food. The Family Fun Factory (familyfunfactorybranson.com) offers laser tag and an enchanted miniature golf course. Silver Dollar City (silverdollarcity.com) has 30 rides with something for everyone. Some of the attractions include upside down roller coasters, a giant tree house playground, water rides and a steam train.
Table Rock State Park (mostateparks.com) is a large park area around Table Rock Lake providing outdoor activities such as fishing, boating and swimming. The park includes a playground, campsites, picnic grounds and open grass areas. North Beach Park (no website; 50 N. Boardwalk; 417-335-2368) is along Lake Taneycomo, and has picnic tables, horseshoe pits and walking trails. Alexander Park (no website; 901 Hawthorn St.; 417-335-2368) provides playing fields, a playground, horseshoes and tennis courts.