Family-Friendly Destination Resort on Table Rock Lake
In a city known for its legendary entertainment venues, Silver Dollar City stands out. It features one of the world’s fastest wooden roller coasters, a culinary-and-craft school, a $1 million children’s play area, and more than 40 live shows daily. Frommer’s calls the 1880s-themed amusement park the “biggest and best” in the area. Located about 2 miles from here is Stillwaters Lakefront Resort, situated right on the gorgeous Table Rock Lake.
Stillwaters is also just a short drive away from Branson’s theater district, famed for its country-music concerts and magic shows. Private balconies are attached to the resort’s condominiums; from here you can see the lake and the rolling hills that surround the property. The one-, two-, and three-bedroom units are ideal for larger groups—they have kitchenettes or full kitchens and spacious living rooms. In some condos, you can settle in for a movie by the fireplace or unwind in a two-person whirlpool tub.
There’s plenty to do outside, as well. Rent one of the resort’s bikes and you can explore the peninsula’s scenic terrain. Or feel free to take a stroll along the onsite hiking trails. In warmer months, three outdoor swimming pools and a marina open up, too.
Branson, Missouri: Family-Friendly Theaters and Concert Halls in the Ozarks
If you take a drive through the Ozarks in Missouri, it might seem like an unlikely place to find glittering lights and stage shows—for the most part, it’s a rolling plateau of wooded hills, snaking rivers, and limestone bluffs. But follow down Route 76 and you’ll find Branson, which looks like a miniature, more family-friendly version of Las Vegas.
Dozens of stages and music halls line Branson’s main strip, some of which are owned by stars such as Dolly Parton. On any given night you can watch anything from country music performances to circus acrobatics to magic shows.
If you’re traveling with kids, Silver Dollar City is a safe bet; it’s located about 5 miles west of the strip. The popular theme park is built around Marvel Cave and modeled after an 18th-century frontier town. Here you can hop on a mine-car roller coaster, take a tour by lantern through limestone caverns, or watch as blacksmiths hand-forge mailboxes for the mayor’s private collection.
If you want to duck away from the lights, it’s worth it to explore the surrounding countryside. Within about 30 miles, there are two large lakes—Table Rock and Taneycomo. Each is stocked with trout and has boats available for rent. Or head to Ruth and Paul Henning Conservation Area, where you can bike or hike along Roark Creek and through dense oak forests. Paul Henning, who was inspired to create the Beverly Hillbillies after a Boy Scout trip to the Ozarks, donated the 1,534-acre reserve.