This post is sponsored by the Branson Convention & Visitor’s Bureau and The Women Bloggers. All opinions are my own.
Right now W has the book that was written by Laura Bush and Jenna Bush Hager, Our Great Big Backyard, and has since become obsessed with geography and adventure. If you know me at all this is humorous because I’m horrible at geography (if I haven’t been somewhere then I have no idea where it actually is in the grand scheme of the world) and so my poor, unknowing little boy has been asking mommy where everything is.
So mommy keeps Google working overtime and is thankful for her iPhone education.
When we first started talking to our boys about our trip to Branson we told them all about the adventures we had planned for us – hot air balloons, race cars, Ferris wheels, rain forest adventures, famous people, trains, duck boats. You guys, this is the stuff that little boy’s dreams are made of! And since Nate and I had never been to Branson it was an adventure for us too!
The great thing about Branson is that while I have a long list of things you should check out, there are SO MANY other fun things that you could do there! Depending on the type of trip – family vacation, honeymoon, babymoon, girls’ weekend, you name it – there really is something for everyone. Listed below are the things we did from our itinerary and loved!
- Parakeet Pete’s Steampunk Balloon and Waterfront Zip Line. Our original itinerary only included the balloon ride but the manager, Linda, was so incredibly kind and let us try the waterfront zip line too. We loooooooved these attractions! The balloon was so fun – our guide Hunter was so knowledgeable about the balloon itself, the history of it, and about the area in general. The views were amazing, and it was so nice to breathe in the fresh cool air after a few hours in the car! W loved it and was so brave – I was so proud. The zip line was great too, and not something I thought W would like but you guys? HE RODE THE THING LIKE 5 TIMES! It was such a fun experience to see my little guy turn into an adrenaline junkie right in front of me!
- Tracks Family Fun Parks. I wasn’t exactly sure how much we were going to like this particular attraction but it ended up being really fun! See, with A being 17 months old he’s all over the place and busy all the time – but with no real direction. That means it can be hard to let him out of a stroller and participate sometimes, but I had nothing to worry about here! While he couldn’t ride in the cars with us, he really had a blast in the arcade! All the colored lights and buttons – he couldn’t get enough! At the end of our time there we hopped on the Ferris wheel and took in some incredible, beautiful views of the Branson area. It was stunning and really fun to watch the boys experience it.
- Butterfly Palace. I read a few reviews of the Butterfly Palace and was confident that the boys would like it, but wasn’t sure if it would be the best place for them of the weekend. Truth be told it wasn’t their favorite BUT they did really enjoy it – especially the maze and the science center. I loved seeing the butterflies and watching them land on the little flowers the boys carried around – and seeing W’s face when it first happened was magical! Even though it wasn’t the favorite of the weekend it was still a blast!
- Hollywood Wax Museum. Another thing I wasn’t so sure about but that ended up being really fun! I think Nate and I had a lot more fun at this than the boys, but W loved dressing up in the costumes they had next to the wax figures. They were super intrigued by the huge gorilla outside (King Kong) though! I think the thing that was most fun was learning how they actually create these wax figures by hand – such a craft! It was definitely time well spent!
- Branson Scenic Railway. I just knew this one was going to be a favorite for all of us, and I was right! The boys thought it was so cool to be on a real train, and since it was their first time we were really amped to just watch their reactions. After a while they both ended up falling asleep (rainy day, rocking motion, hum of engines…you know how it goes) but it was great to see so much of the gorgeous countryside and hear stories about old towns along the train tracks. They have several different times a day that the train runs, but for even more fun they also have a dinner train too! It was so beautiful and serene, and definitely kid-friendly. Highly recommend!
- Branson Ducks. I LOVED THIS. LOVED IT. Everything we did was a blast, but this was just such a great time for every single one of us. Well, except A – he fell asleep on my shoulder (not mad about it!) – but the rest of us had such fun. Everything we heard was that the jokes are a little cheesy, and they were, but I ate it up. It was a gorgeous day to drive through the area to Table Rock Lake, where we learned about military history before plunging into the water. The captain let the kids on the duck drive, and I have to say that it was really magical seeing my little guy drive the boat and talk to the captain. PRECIOUS. I really can’t say anything negative at all about this one – we had a blast!
OK so that’s the stuff that we got to do thanks to the Branson Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, but it’s not all we did. These are the things that we did outside of the itinerary that we loved doing too:
- Thousand Hills. This is where we stayed, in a 2-bedroom condo right by the golf course. There was a pool, a basketball court, and a playground right outside of our door. And the area was so perfectly centrally located by Walmart, gas stations, and about 2 minutes away from the main street with tons of attractions. It was clean, quiet, family-focused, easy to get to. Plus we got cookies when we checked out – win!
- Branson Landing. Located alongside Lake Taneycomo, Branson Landing has a ton of great shopping and restaurants. It was also filled with fountains, ducks swimming in the lake, and boats constantly going by which meant lots of entertainment for the boys. We also spent a decent amount of time at the Bass Pro Shops located at the end of the landing – always a good time with little boys!
- Branson Cafe. This was right on Main Street when we pulled into town and totally hit the spot. It’s a homey, yummy place that had great service and massive cinnamon rolls. So good!
- Table Rock Lake State Park. After the train on Saturday we made our way over to Table Rock Lake and wandered around by the marina. It was a beautiful evening, the first time we’d really seen the sun much over the weekend, and the boys had the best time just throwing rocks into the lake and seeing who could make the biggest splashes! Not to mention the marina itself was adorable with a great shop and super easy to rent from. Which leads me to…
- Renting a boat from the Table Rock State Park Marina. As huge water lovers we just had to take advantage of being so close to a gorgeous lake. We rented a pontoon boat for a couple hours and drove around the lake, enjoying time together as a family and soaking in the warm sun. The staff was super friendly and knowledgeable, and we loved our few hours out on the water!
We had the best weekend, exploring a new place in our own backyard, and ever since we got back W has been asking to go on our adventure again. Thankfully I can say that, without a doubt, we will be back!