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A Branson, MO Holiday Getaway


Article by Mindy Hargesheimer

Photography by Mindy Hargesheimer

There is so much more than meets the eye in this Ozark Mountains destination that is a mere 3.5-hour drive from Kansas City! From the rolling hills and glistening lake views to the holiday charm and events, the exhilarating rides, and the food, this Midwest road trip continues to up its travel destination game no matter the season!

I curated my Top Ten List of the BEST things to do in Branson, Missouri as inspiration for your next regional getaway!!

Drum roll, please…

  1. Silver Dollar City Attractions
  2. The Haygoods Immersive Special Effects Show
  3. Chateau on the Lake Resort & Convention Center
  4. Snowflex Park Tube Run
  5. Top of the Rock Ozarks Heritage Preserve
  6. Branson Aquarium at the Boardwalk
  7. Branson Landing x Parakeet Pete’s Steampunk Balloon
  8. Fritz’s Adventure Indoor Park
  9. Branson Ferris Wheel Music & Light Spectacular
  10. Copperhead Mountain Coaster

THANK YOU @ExploreBranson and @McGuckinPR for showing us the joy and thrill of the Ozarks over the Thanksgiving holiday which was a cozy and charmed time to visit! Thank you for your expert insights into creating the best Branson family experience inside and out!

Related: Explore Branson on @KansasCityBucketList x Glamping at Big Cedar Lodge

Silver Dollar City | @sdcattractions

This 1880s-style theme park has over 40 rides & attractions, live shows & concerts, 18 restaurants, and 60 shops. World-class festivals and events are showcased from spring through Christmas - during which the park is illuminated with over 6.5 million lights at 'An Old Time Christmas,' including musicals like A Dickens' Christmas Carol and Coming Home For Christmas as well as live bands and interactive experiences amongst an 8 story animated Christmas tree!

For a limited time during the holiday season (check the website for dates), you can purchase the 'Tasting Passport.' in which you can choose five items from an exclusive menu, available only during Christmas, featuring special offerings at eateries throughout the park.

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The Haygoods | @thehaygoods

This group of six siblings, (5 brothers and 1 sister), brings an all-new show to the Branson stage EVERY YEAR, including in November and December when they perform a Christmas Extravaganza! All your favorite Christmas songs are presented with the Joy and Magic of the Season as only the Haygoods can perform them! 

The Haygoods perform the hits of today's Country, Rock, and Pop artists along with the music of the last 5 decades. You will catch upside-down flying guitar players and tap dancing, triple laser systems, massive pyrotechnics and fire effects, a jetpack flying banjo picker, an immersive projection screen, 5 people playing 1 harp, instruments and clothes that light up, stomp mountain boot tap dancing, spark and fire tap dancing, 3d projection imaging on instruments, an unmatched state-of-the-art light show! 

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Chateau on the Lake | @chateauonthelake

This "castle on the hill' lakeside destination overlooks the shores of Table Rock Lake with rooms furnished in class French country decor and a full-service, 14,000-square-foot spa. Plus, it’s a dog-friendly property! Feast amongst four on-site eateries including the elevated Chateau Grille, casual Atrium Cafe, treats from the Sweet Shoppe, and cocktails at the Library Lounge.

November and December are filled with exceptional holiday decor and events, including Thanksgiving buffets, Brunch with Santa, Christmas Eve Dinner, and Ringing in the New Year amongst more ongoing happenings!

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Snowflex Park | @TheWolfeMountain

Snowflex Park is SO. Much. FUN! It is the country’s largest synthetic tubing run that is open YEAR ROUND!! Grab your crew; up to 8 tubes can run down the 400 x 60 ft slope together at this adventurous hidden gem in the Ozark Mountains! Book your tickets online for a reserved time slot and ride the “magic carpet” to the top before running down the slope as many times as you want during that timeframe!!

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Top of the Rock | @topoftherockmo

With adventurous and stunning recreation and nature attractions, Top of the Rock is situated at the highest point in Taney County near Branson, MO, and offers everything from Top of the Rock Lost Canyon Cave and Nature Trail and the Ancient Ozarks Natural History Museum, nature walks, shopping, golf, exquisite dining, and the most picturesque view into the Ozarks. 

Top of the Rock Golf Course, Jack Nicklaus Signature Course, is the first-ever par-3 course to be included in a professional championship. Arnie’s Barn which honors Arnold Palmer, offers Mexican-inspired cuisine paired with magnificent views of the Cathedral of Nature. Osage Restaurant, Buffalo Bar, and End of the Trail All-American Wine Cellar also offer unique hospitality experiences with views that do not disappoint.

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Branson Aquarium | @bransonaquarium

Easily one of my favorite entrances as of late with its GIANT Octopus sculpture greeting you! Favorite Highlights include the GIANT Octopus entrance which is the perfect photo opp, the Jelly Infinity Room, the 5D Submarine Ride, Ocean Kaleidoscope, Glowing Waters, Mermaid Palace, and Kelp Forest!

Buy the FIVE'r Pass which ALSO includes admission to the Hollywood Wax Museum, Hannah’s Maze of Mirrors, Castle of Chaos, and Shoot for the Stars Mini-Golf. Check the site for discounts!

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Branson Landing | @bransonlanding

Branson Landing and its boardwalk along the Taneycomo Lakefront is a town square lined with dozens of restaurants and shops as well as activities and the renowned $7.5 million spectacular Fountains water attraction (from the creator of the Bellagio in Las Vegas!) featuring 120-foot geysers and fire cannons blasting, choreographed to light and music. 

Additionally, don’t miss out on the Parakeet Pete’s Steampunk Ballon ride with 360-degree views of Lake Taneycomo and Branson as it rises above Branson Landing. And, their Winter Wonderland Season begins in early November and continues through late December, including the display of the HUGE Synchronized Christmas Tree you absolutely cannot miss.

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Fritz’s Adventure | @fritzsadventure 

Fritz’s offers 80,000 square feet of explorable space for all ages, all day. This includes the only indoor/outdoor TreeTops course in the world featuring 45 obstacles, including 17 high-flying ziplines, 8 suspension bridges, 2 free falls, and a crow’s nest with a view for miles. Other activities include a multi-story ropes course, underground tunnels, a laser maze, a City Wall (48' climbing wall), rappelling, giant treehouses, multi-story slides, warped walls, and more!s are good all day,

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Branson Ferris Wheel | @bransontracks

The Branson Ferris Wheel has 40 gondolas, 240 passengers, 6 passengers per gondola, 16,000 LED lights, and each ticket includes a complimentary digital photo! Every hour on the hour after dark ‘A Music and Light Spectacular’ (weather permitting) takes place!

Fun Fact: Providing nearly 17 million rides, Chicago’s Navy Pier Ferris Wheel made its move to Branson in 2016 to continue sharing fun and entertainment with families everywhere!

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Copperhead Mountain Coaster | @shepardofthehills

Branson’s 3,350-ft-long roller coaster ride is the longest downhill ride in Branson. The uphill is 1,450 ft making the total coaster nearly a mile long and offers loops, drops, and curves amidst the beautiful Ozark Mountains. The course is open year-round at night is illuminated with thousands of LED lights for an even more extreme experience!

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And that's a wrap on our chance to #ExploreBranson!

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