Where adults have Sin City, families have Branson, Mo., AKA the “family-friendly Las Vegas.” This flashy tourist town bustles with activities that kids love, from riding the roller coasters at Silver Dollar City to hanging out with the wolves and gators at Branson's Wild World. Still, narrowing it down to a few key activities can be tricky, so we created this guide to the best things to do in Branson, Mo., for kids.
Spend a day at Silver Dollar City: This 1880s-themed amusement park is one of the best places in Branson, Mo., for kids. It features roller coasters, water rides, and glimpses into what life was like in pioneer times.
Get to know the wildlife at Branson’s Wild World: Meet the sea turtle who got a second chance at life and the wolves who were hand-raised from tiny pups. Because everything is indoors, this is especially perfect for rainy days.
Feed the birds at Branson’s Promised Land Zoo: This conservation-focused zoo offers live animal shows where visitors can touch the wildlife and it provides parakeet sticks for visitors to feed to the birds in Parakeet Paradise.
Cruise Table Rock Lake in Showboat Branson Belle: Take in the beauty of The Ozarks on a two-hour cruise in a showboat modeled after the riverboats of the 1800s. Cruises include a three-course meal and entertainment.
Speed down an Ozark mountain on the Branson Coaster: Single and double riders zip down this alpine coaster, which boasts a double drop and pop music across the decades.
Step aboard the Titanic Museum: view actual Titanic artifacts, walk the Grand Staircase, touch an iceberg, and shovel coal, all while following the journey of your assigned Titanic passenger or crew member.
Enjoy a scoop at Mr. B's Ice Cream Parlor: The old-fashioned ice cream parlor filled with vintage Americana also serves up sundaes, malts, Nathan’s hot dogs, and old-fashioned sodas.
According to the president of Branson’s Wild World, zoos are limited in terms of what they can do with animal interactions. But Wild World doesn’t feel such limitations. For instance, during your visit you and your family can:
The close interactions and more than 300 animal species are the main draws to Wild World, but there are still plenty of other things to do there. After getting close to the animals, pop into the roller coaster simulator, challenge the kids to blacklight mini golf, or hang out in the free-play Jungle Arcade.
Like Wild World, Branson’s Promised Land Zoo lets you get closer to the animals than most zoos. This happens during the live animal shows and the bird feedings. The live animal shows allow visitors to touch and pet 5–6 animals not on display in the zoo. The bird feedings occur in Parakeet Paradise, where visitors use their complimentary parakeet stick to feed eager birds. Visitors can also:
Visiting the Branson Tourism Center can also help you narrow down which activities you want to try on your trip to Branson. The center lets visitors purchase tickets to a variety of activities, including shows, attractions, tours, and rides. Popular options include Million Dollar Quartet, the Amazing Acrobats of Shanghai, go-karts, and mini golf.
Branson may be known for its flashy activities, but there are plenty of laid-back outdoor activities for families to try. For instance, Table Rock Lake is popular for boating, waterskiing, and bass fishing, wherase Lake Taneycomo draws trout fishermen and kayakers.
There’s also a scenic waterfall trail for those who really want to escape in nature. The 30- to 60-minute hike (1 1/3 miles round-trip) follows the creek bed of a Roark Creek tributary to a little waterfall that’s several feet high.
Our customers really seem to love the alpine coaster, which can reach speeds up to 30 mph! Here’s what a few of them have to say:
Great ride and great for kids since you control the speed. – Mary C.
The coaster is a wonderful ride. The senior citizen and the 3-year-old in our family both adored it. He regulated the speed (fast) and she screamed with delight. The employees were all friendly and efficient, and their picture was delightful. – Carla S.
Awesome activity to start the trip off right!! My 3 teens even liked it! – Margie W.
There’s a lot to catch the eye in Branson, but nothing really intrigues people quite like the Titanic Museum. That’s because it’s a building that looks like the Titanic, complete with its own iceberg. It might seem like a schlocky tourist trap, but it’s a beloved museum, with a five-star rating and 2,722 reviews on our site.
It’s not surprising when you know the background of the founder, John Joslyn, who co-led an expedition to photograph the wreck at the bottom of the ocean and bring up artifacts. Those artifacts now reside in the museum and are valued at over $4 million. Here’s how it works: