MoMak's, voted 19th best burger in Texas in 2009 by Texas Monthly magazine, quells carnivorous cravings with its bucket of mini burgers and other selections from its extensive menu. The Mo mushroom swiss burger nestles under a blanket of ranch, melty swiss cheese, and sautéed mushrooms ($6.99), and Mo's ground turkey burger, dressed with lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, onions, and creamy cranberry mayo dressing, delivers a taste of Thanksgiving in burger format ($6.49). Pay homage to the eponymous earl with the philly steak sub ($8.99), or buffalo chicken kaiser sandwich ($7.99), or douse hunger fires with bucketfuls of fries and onion rings ($3.99–$8.99).
With 3,400 square feet devoted to the fine art of mud molding, Springfield Pottery hosts the works of well-known clay shapers from across the country. Customers can stop in and peruse a selection of handcrafted ceramics, such as a Nathan Falter mug ($35), a set of Nena Potts earrings ($42), and a John Preus earthen cereal bowl ($28) pilfered from the footlocker of a terra-cotta soldier. Pottery jars from Brent Skinner ($125) fashionably fill empty corners, and a wooden bowl from Brad McCullum ($225) outfits miniature dollhouses with makeshift hot tubs. Serving dishes and containers by Sherri Alexander brighten rooms with a delicious lemon-lime glaze and come with the disclaimer that guests may not know when to stop eating once the plate is clean.
Outside the World’s Largest Toy Museum, two larger-than-life toy soldiers flank the entranceway, which leads to a collection of more than one million toys from the 19th century to today. The proprietors have neatly organized their eclectic memorabilia on wooden and glass shelving, and bigger items hang from the ceilings. Visitors experience fascination and nostalgia while browsing antique tin fire trucks, a 1959 British Embassy Rolls-Royce, superhero action figures, and retro lunchboxes, a more compact version of the dinner trays kids used to carry to school.
The Harold Bell Wright Museum is a special area of the World’s Largest Toy Museum dedicated to a local hero and scribe. Learn about the author’s life and dedication to penning articles, screenplays, and novels, including 1907’s The Shepherd of the Hills. This story, which was once a staple of required classroom reading, helped make Branson, Missouri, a popular spot for tourists.
In 1987—75 years after the RMS Titanic sank—John Joslyn helped lead an expedition to the bottom of the sea to photograph the wreck and bring up artifacts. Today, the gigantic museum he founded holds authentic items from the Titanic numbering in the thousands and valued at $4.5 million. Accoutrements of Edwardian life that range from cutlery to deck chairs fill meticulously accurate reproductions of the million-dollar grand staircase, the third-class sleeping rooms, and the cozy second-class space between the floorboards. Families make their way through the museum at their own pace as they sit in a full-size lifeboat, feel exactly how cold 28-degree water is, learn to send an SOS signal, and perhaps even meet the museum’s pair of dog mascots.
A replica of Mount Rushmore reigns over the Hollywood Wax Museum—but instead of bearing faces of American presidents, the mugs of John Wayne, Charlie Chaplin, Marilyn Monroe, and Elvis welcome visitors into the museum's collection of celebrity wax figures. Each lifelike figure is meticulously crafted over the course of three months, resulting in uncanny stand-ins for stars such as Lucille Ball, Samuel L. Jackson, Willie Nelson, and Will Smith. Counter to the velvet ropes and glass cases of most museums, guests of the Hollywood Wax Museum can walk right up and touch their favorite figures, getting a taste of fame as they share the spotlight with them for unique photo ops. Celebrity trivia accompanies each figure across the two-level, multi-million-dollar facility, such as stars' accomplishments, the names of their pets, or which moon of Jupiter they own a resort on. After patrons max out on wax, they can head next door to Hannah's Maze of Mirrors, where reflective surfaces obfuscate players' paths as they rescue Princess Hannah from a wicked spell.
Busts of Stan Musial, Lou Brock, Ozzie Smith, and Jack Buck line the Legends Walkway outside the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame. But the museum spotlights more than just baseball history. Its inductees hail from the high school, collegiate, and professional ranks, including players and coaches from the Rams, Chiefs, Royals, and Blues. Highlights of the many exhibits and articles of sports memorabilia include the Budweiser NASCAR car, the wing dedicated to the Missouri Valley Conference, and the pole that Paul Bunyan used to vault over the St. Louis Arch.
In their native environments, tropical butterflies flutter among the rainforest’s palm trees and blooming orchids. The Butterfly Palace & Rainforest Adventure adds humans to that equation, permitting visitors to walk through a tropical aviary designed to be a living rainforest. Here, thousands of butterflies imported from rainforests the world over, including Costa Rica and Australia, freely roam alongside tropical birds and exotic plants.
Other rainforest inhabitants such as red eyed tree frogs and chameleons reside inside The Butterfly Palace’s Living Rainforest Science Center. A nearby screening room hosts a documentary on the Monarch migration and a 3D movie of the butterfly life cycle. The facility's other immersive attractions include the Emerald Forest Mirror Maze and the Great Banyan Tree Bungee Adventure, simulating a real Banyan Tree from the rainforest.