Branson Gets Festive This Holiday Season

Starting November 1st, Branson starts to get festive for the upcoming holiday season!

From November 1st-December 24th, the Branson landing transforms into a beautiful Winter Wonderland.  You will be surrounded by trees trimmed with lights as you stroll along the Landing.  Placed in the middle of the landing at Town Square is the magnificent sight of the 50′ lighted tree.  You will want to see this with your own eyes and partake in the magical feel.  Under this spectacular tree you will find Santa and his helpers spreading holiday cheer.  Music, decorations, parades, and trains all add to help make visiting the Landing a magical trip during the holiday season!
Branson Landing Lighted Trees  Branson Landing Christmas Tree
Branson Landing Santa  Branson Lighted Town Square

Santa arrives November 15 and will call the Branson Landing home until December 24th.  Chat with Santa on his lap and smile for a keepsake picture.  You can even get a picture of your pet with Santa (see schedule below)!

Santa in Treehouse  Mrs Claus
Santa Hours:
Sunday-Thursday: 12:00 pm-7:00 pm
Friday and Saturday: 12:00 pm-8:00 pm
Thanksgiving Day: Closed
December 24: 12:00 pm-6:00 pm
Christmas Day: Closed
*Santa takes a break from 3:00-3:30 each day
Pet Pictures with Santa
December 4th: 3:30 pm-7:00 pm
December 11th: 3:30 pm-7:00 pm


During the time frame of November 1st-December 31st you can visit the Branson Area Festival of Lights.  We have made it a tradition in our family!  Every year our kids put on their jammies and slippers and grab their favorite stuffed animal and a warm blanket.  We bring popcorn and hot chocolate along to add to the fun as we drive through the spectacular one mile path that is lit up with close to 200 displays!  It is such a magical journey and really gets you in the holiday spirit!  If you haven’t already, I would encourage you to add this to your list of family traditions like we have!
Festival of Lights  Festival of Lights
Branson Area Festival of Lights
Located off Shepherd of the Hills Pkwy and Roark Valley Rd
Daily from November 1-December 31: Dusk till 11:00 pm
Family Vehicles: $15     Family Season Pass: $25
Limos, Church Vans, and Mini-Coaches (12-28 seats): $30
Full-Size Motorcoaches: $60


Don’t Miss A Top 5 Spot To Light Up The Holidays!-”Good Morning America”

Silver Dollar City Old Time Christmas
Silver Dollar City comes to life during their An Old Time Christmas being held November 1-December 30.  Bring your family to one of the best Christmas destinations around to immerse yourself among 5 million sparkling lights!  In addition to the lights, you will see 1,000 Christmas trees complete with decorations, two Broadway-style productions, and a 5-story special effects Christmas tree.  The magic doesn’t stop there!  This year they have added Holly Jolly Christmas Light Parade which features Rudolph and friends.

SDC Parade  SDC Lighted Trees
Silver Dollar City offers plenty of shopping opportunity in any of their dozens of unique shops.  There are stores stocked with Christmas trees and other holiday decorations, candy shops, and leather shops to name a few.  You are sure to find a treasure as you browse the many quaint shops!
Christmas shop  Leather Shop
Weather permitting, the rides remain open during the An Old Time Christmas celebration.  You can check their website for specifics about rides being shut down due to weather.  If you are ready for an adrenaline rush, hitch a ride on the Powder Keg or the new Outlaw Run!

Powder Keg  Outlaw Run
There is so much to do at Silver Dollar City that you are sure to work up an appetite!  Enjoy a variety of home-style Christmas feasts, including a prime rib buffet and plenty of sweets!
Branson Food  Sweet Treats
Silver Dollar City: An Old Time Christmas
November 1-December 30
399 Silver Dollar City Parkway
Branson, MO 65616
Check Website for Park Hours/Ticket Prices


Trail of Lights Sign  Trail of Lights Entrance
Yet another magical destination to visit this holiday season is the Shepherd of the Hills Trail of Lights.  Nothing gets my family and I in the holiday spirit more than driving through a light display.  It is one of the first things we do to get the holiday spirit going.  Feel the spirit for yourselves anytime between November 1st-December 31st.  The winding path of lights will take you through the historic 160-acre Shepherd of the Hills Homestead.  You will also travel down the famous “Trail that Nobody Knows How Old”.

TOL displays TOL Navity Scene
There are different themed lands complete with their own Christmas music for you to sing along.  The lands also have 3-dimensional characters inside houses and you are able to the see fun that is happening inside.  They also have a new Victorian Christmas display to add to your magical experience.

TOL Sleigh  Inspiration Tower
The trail is illuminated with millions of multi-colored lights and displays, as well as animated scenes.  End your journey with the amazing experience of a visit up the Inspiration Tower.  You will ride up 250 feet in a glass elevator to see the lights from above.  What a spectacular sight!!

Shepherd of the Hills Trail of Lights
5586 W. Hwy 76
November 1-December 31
Open 7 Days a Week-Dusk to After the Shows

It’s Halloween Time in Branson

Halloween time is such a fun, family time of the year!  For us, it starts months before as our kids go back and forth about the different costume possibilities.  Once the decision has been made, we head out to the Halloween store to purchase their costume of choice.  We usually pick up a decoration or two as well to help make our house look spooky!

Places to get Halloween costumes in Branson:
Spirit Halloween Sign Walmart
Located at 100 Branson Landing, #1005            Located at 2050 Missouri 76
417-334-4771                                                             417-334-5005
Monday-Saturday 10:00 am-9:00 pm                 Also located at 1101 Branson Hills Pkwy
Sunday 11:00 am-7:00 pm                                      417-334-2137

Target Sign
Located at 1200 Branson Hills Pkwy
Monday-Saturday 8:00 am-10:00 pm
Sunday 8:00 am-9:00 pm

The Red Garter shop offers adult costumes for both men and women to get you ready for that costume party you have coming up!
The Red Garter Ladies Aparell
3265 Falls Pkwy

Our family has a tradition of going to the pumpkin patch every year to pick our very own pumpkin from the patch.  We look forward to this outing each year and make sure it gets scheduled on our calendar so we don’t miss out on the fun.  When the day finally arrives, we are filled with excitement!  We even came up with a family pumpkin patch song that we sing :) Head on over to McKenna Family Farm to get your pumpkin and have some family fun!  Check out their website to see what all they have to offer!  It’s more than just pumpkins :)

Pumpkin Patches in Branson:
McKenna Family Farm Sign
3265 State Highway F
Branson, MO 65616

This Saturday, October 25th, my family and I are headed to the Branson RecPlex for some family fun at the Halloween Boonanza!  They will have inflatables, face painting, a “haunted” hayride, costume contests, a cake walk, mazes, craft areas, balloon animals, food, and more!  There will even be a monster mob performing Thriller.  We can’t wait!

Branson RecPlex
1500 Branson Hills Pkwy
Saturday, October 25 from 5:00 pm-8:00 pm
Ages 12 and under
Punch cards are $2 (Adults free)

If you like a good fright, make sure you visit the Branson Haunted House and Monster Asylum.  This creepy, hair rising experience will leave you terrified for days!  Feel the adrenaline kick in as you run from monsters, ghosts, goblins, and all things scary!
Haunted House and Monster Asylum
Located at 2206 West Hwy 76
Sunday-Thursday 9:00 am-9:00 pm
Friday & Saturday 9:00 am-11:00 pm

Whether you and your family partake in the traditional house to house Trick-or-Treating or prefer to Trick-or-Treat the more modern way of going store to store, Branson has you covered!  Of course, you can always do both like we do :)

Places offering store front Trick-or-Treating in Branson:
Tanger Outlets    Branson Landing
TangerStlye or Treat at Tanger Outlets                 Safe Trick-or-Treat at Branson Landing
300 Tanger Blvd.                                                       100 Branson Landing
October 31st from 5:00 pm-7:00 pm                     October 31st at 5:00 pm
Kids get treats, parents get coupons :)                  For kids 12 and under in costumes-only stores
It’s a win win!!                                                             with Pumpkins signs in their windows!

After the Trick-or-Treating is complete, head to the Town Square on the Branson Landing to witness the Monster Mash Street Dance!  This will be DJ’ed by SRM Productions and sure to be a hit!

We hope you get in the spirit of Halloween and take part in some of these exciting events with your family!  These times are so fun, especially if you have little ones :)  Happy  Halloween!

Zip Your Way Over To The Track Family Fun Parks

The Track in Branson
Race your family and friends as you zip along any of the 3 or 4 story high tracks that The Track Family Fun Parks offer.  Each track is located at different spots in the heart of Branson and offer a variety of activities to optimize family fun!

The Track Course in Branson  The Track Bumper Boats
Track 3 is located at 2505 W, 76 Country Blvd. and has three different tracks to pick from.  The Wild Woody Wooden Track (58 inches & up), the Road Course Track (54 inches & up), and the Sprint Track (54 inches & up AND a valid driver’s license is required).  They offer Classic Go-Karts (54 inches & up), Bumper Boats (44 inches AND 6 yrs. & up), Lost Mine Mini Golf, and an Arcade at this location.  Passengers are allowed on the Wild Woody Wooden Track, the Road Course Track, the Classic Go-Karts, and the Bumper Boats.

The Track Heavy Metal in Branson   The Track Bumper Cars in Branson
Track 4, located at 3345 W. 76 Country Blvd., has the Heavy Metal High Rise (58 inches & up), Classic Go-Karts (54 inches & up), Rookie Go-Karts (48 inches & up), Kiddie Go-Karts (38 inches AND 4 yrs. & up), Bumper Boats (44 inches AND 6 yrs. & up), Bumper Cars (54 inches & up), Skycoaster (42 inches & up), Gator Golf, Andy’s Frozen Custard, and Pizza World. Passengers are allowed on the Heavy Metal High Rise, the Classic Go-Karts, the Bumper Boats, and the Bumper Cars.

The Track Kiddie Go Karts  The Track Kid Boat Ride
Kiddie Go-Karts and a variety of kid-sized rides that your little child is sure to love are available at Track 3 and 4.
Driver/Rider  #3.00-$6.50
Rookie Go-Karts – 48″ & up
Kiddie Go-Karts – 38″ AND 4 yrs. & up
Kiddie Amusement Rides – Check at ride

The Track Track 5  The Track Batting Cages
Located at 3525 W. 76 Country Blvd. you will find Track 5.  Here you will find The LumberJack Wooden Track (58 inches & up), Classic Go-Karts (54 inches and up), Rookie Go-Karts (48 inches and up), Bumper Boats (44 inches AND 6 yrs. & up), Batting Cages, Laser Tag, G-Force-Drag Race Simulator (36 inches & up), and the Arcade.  Passengers are allowed on The LumberJack Wooden Track, the Classic Go-Karts, and the Bumper Boats.

Pirates Cove  The Track Passenger Go Karts
The final location is The Track at Pirate’s Cove.  Pirate’s Cove is located at 2911 Green Mountain Dr.  They Track offers the Classic Go-Karts (554 inches and up) at this location.  Passengers are allowed.

The Track Birthday Party Room  The Track Arcade
Every child loves arcades and birthday parties!  The Track has you covered.  Track 3, 4, and 5 all have arcades to add to the excitement and the family fun!  You might also want to consider booking one of their birthday party rooms if your child has a birthday coming up!

The Track Go Card
All of the attractions at each location and the arcade games require credits to ride or play. Credits cost $1 each, and you can receive free credits with the various credit packages that they offer.  You can visit their website for information on how many credits are needed for your favorite attractions or inquire directly at one of their 4 locations.  For the best value, you might consider The Track Go-Card.

Branson Tracks


Immerse Yourself Among Beautiful Butterflies and More at the Butterfly Palace

The Butterfly Palace Sign  Butterfly Palace

Nestled inside this majestic white building you will find over 1,000 live tropical butterflies.  Your journey at the Butterfly Palace and Rainforest Adventure will begin with a 3-D, educational film about the life of a butterfly.  You can also view a short video about the Monarch Migration!  Next, you are ready to travel through the 7,000 foot aviary where you can witness the beautiful butterflies fluttering all around you.  If you are lucky, one may even land on you!  Feel free to ask for an identification card if you wish to try to identify the type of butterflies you see and which native country they have been imported from.  In addition to the butterflies, you will see birds and tropical plants!  Don’t forget to bring your camera along so you can capture images of these exotic, flying beauties!  You may even choose to enter one of your pictures in their photo contests.

Butterfly on Hand  Butterfly on Leaf
After your peaceful walk through the beautiful aviary, test your skills at the Great Banyan Tree Adventure or get lost in the rainforest as you travel through the Emerald Forest Mirror Maze!  Can you and your family master the twists and turns?

Mirror Maze at Butterfly Palace  Mirror Maze at Butterfly Palace 2
Who said learning can’t be fun?  If so, they haven’t visited the Living Rainforest Science Center at the Butterfly Palace.  This interactive area will have you looking through they eyes of a frog or look and feel a model of how frogs catch their food at the Dinnertime in the Rainforest kiosk.  You can even get a glimpse of the inside of a frog by performing a virtual frog dissection.

Frog Head at Butterfly Palace  Frog Dissection at Butterfly Palace 2
Get an up close look at many of the creatures that call the rainforest home.  Giant cockroaches, colored tree frogs, geckos, salamanders, poison dart frogs, chameleons, and more make up the popular living collection!  You can even meet Harry, their blue-tongued skink.  There are scheduled feedings, pettings and more a few times a day!

Butterfly Palace Lizard  Frog at Butterfly Palace
The interactive activities continue while you look at specimens under a light microscope or play a game at the A Rainforest of Colors center.  Here visitors will learn the importance of all those beautiful colors these exotic critters possess.

Butterfly Palace Light Scorpion  A Rainforest of Colors
After you complete your adventure, don’t forget to stop in their gift shop complete with various butterfly items and more!  This is more than your average gift shop!  See for yourself!

Butterfly Palace Gift Shop  Butterfly Gift Shop

4106 W. Hwy 76
Branson, MO
Hours of Operation are 9:00 am-5:00 pm, daily

Experience Nature at Dogwood Canyon Nature Park

Dogwood Canyon Sign

If you are like me, you love to be outdoors and experience as much as possible and in as many ways possible.  Dogwood Canyon Nature Park covers over 10,000 acres of spectacular, pristine Ozark Mountain landscape and can fulfill many of your outdoor activity dreams!  The park offers tons of way to witness this wonderful environment that is be preserved and protected by the Dogwood Canyon Foundation.

Dogwood Canyon Trail  Dogwood Canyon Biking

Whether you like to experience the outdoors by walking, biking, fishing, on saddle, by guided tram or jeep tours, or riding on segways, Dogwood Canyon has got you covered.  Choose from one or more ways to witness the incredible waterfalls, bottomless, blue-green pools, crystal clear trout streams, ancient burial caves, and unique hand-build bridges.  Of course, you will see lots of Dogwoods if you visit in the spring.

Dogwood Canyon Horseback Riding  Dogwood Canyon Fishing

Say “I do” in the rustic Hope Wilderness Chapel, a replica of the churches from the 1800′s.  Being surrounded by the natural beauty of Dogwood Canyon offers a nice, peaceful venue for your special day!

Dogwood Canyon Wilderness Chapel  Dogwood Canyon Chapel Inside

Are you looking for a place to hold your next business conference, class or family reunions, group retreats, or any other function?  If so, Dogwood Canyon offers The Dogwood Outdoor Challenge, a Cattle Drive, and Ozark Olympics for your groups of 25 people or more!

Dogwood Canyon Cattle Drive

This beauty doesn’t come free.  There is a fee for the activities that Dogwood Canyon provides.  The activities have adult prices and child prices and start as low as $13.95 for an adult, $9.95 for a child, and $2.95 for dogs.  Yes, you can bring your furry friend along for the fun if you choose to walk the pedestrian friendly trails.  If you can’t decide, and want to do it all like I do, you might opt for a season pass.  Contact them for more information about the season pass and for specials and packages.  Prices are subject to change.

Dogwood Canyon Nature Park
2038 West State Highway 86
Lampe, MO 65681
1-800-225-6343 (to book any activity)
1-417-779-5983 (to inquire about season passes, book a group, or wedding)


Grand Country Fun Spot Offers Family Fun

Grand Country Fun Spot Sign

If you are like our family, you are always looking for fun activities to do with the kids.  If you are in the Branson Area, look no further than Grand Country Fun Spot.  They offer tons of fun, family friendly activities that the whole family is sure to love!

Fun Spot Laser Tag  Fun Spot Laser Tag

Test your balancing skills while you try to maneuver through the laser maze or step foot inside the two story, 3000 square foot laser tag arena.  Family members 7 years and older can make their way through the fog and compete to see who can score the most points.  Grand Country Fun Spot laser tag has all of the latest and greatest equipment to optimize your experience!  Enjoy the maze for $3 a person and the laser tag for $7.95 a person.

Fun Spot Glow Mini Golf  Fun Spot Farm Mini Golf

The interactive black light mini-golf course is sure to impress with its state of the art computer generated special effects and animations.  The course will take you through the sights and sounds of the old river towns.  Along the way you will witness riverboats, kids painting fences, and fishing.  Fairly new to the Grand Country Fun Spot is the Farm Mini-Golf and promises to make you feel like you are back home on the farm.  Life size animated farm animals will greet you along the path and other farm scenery adds to the feeling of being on the farm.   Sensors allow this course to come to life by setting off sound effects and animations while you play.  In addition to these two courses, feel free to test your golf skills at the award winning Grand Country Indoor Mini Golf course.  This 36 hole course is perfect for all ages!  Play all of these mini-golf courses for $8.95 (13+), $7.50 (5-12), and children 4 and under are free with a paying adult!

Fun Spot Bumper Cars Fun Spot Mini Bowling Glow

The fun continues with the opportunity to ride the Spin-Zone Bumper Cars or to bowl a strike at mini-bowling.  Chase your family and see which family member you can bump the hardest!  Cool lights allow the bowling lanes to glow, making it fun for children of all ages.  The kids can also get their dance on as they jam to the rockin’ music and videos as they play!  Ride the always fun bumper cars for just $5 (5 yrs and older and 36 inches tall) and enjoy the mini-bowling for a minimal $3 per game!

Fun Spot Arcade  Fun Spot Ballocity

The Fun Spot also offers an arcade with all of the latest, most popular video games.  Games range from $.25 to $2.00 per game.  Take your earned tickets to the ticket redemption center and trade them in for great prizes!  Kids also enjoy playing in the Fun Spot Play Area.  It offers multi-levels of play with blasters, vacuum cannons, and buckets that all deliver thousands of foam balls throughout the play area.  Ballocity is $3 per person.

Papa Grands Pizza  Pizza Buffet Papa Grands

All of this play will probably make you hungry!  When hunger strikes, head on over to Papa Grand’s Pizza, an all-you-can-eat pizza buffet located in the same building as Fun Spot!  Along with a pizza buffet (including dessert pizza), you will also find a soup and salad bar.


Grand Country Fun Spot also offers birthday party packages starting at $55.

Grand Country Fun Spot
1945 W. Hwy 76, Branson, MO

Mission Fulfilled: A Review of Sight & Sound Theater’s Jonah


 Jonah Sign

Branson has shows.  Lots and lots of shows – all with something different to offer.  But what if you only have the chance and the money to see just one show?  If you’re me, you opt for Jonah.  Now, for the hard part, convince other members of the family to see Jonah.  With a few members of the family with a bit less faith than others, husbands that would rather be out on the water, and kiddos that may not sit still for two hours in a dark theatre, this is no small task.

A couple of emails with some clips from the show and a personal endorsement from me of “Come on, it will be fun”… “The price is worth every penny” (hoping and praying that I am right), I convince most of the clan.  I mean, how bad can it be?  Jonah’s one the shortest books in the bible, right?

Sight and Sound Theatres

We arrive and the majesty of the Sight and Sound Theatre is mind blowing.  No detail left undone.  Gift shops, snack stands and murals abound.  With lots of room to spread out, the lobby gives you the feeling you are about to treat yourself to something special.

Jonah and Knight  Jonah in Boat

With two thousand seats in the theatre, and not a bad one in the house, Jonah starts strong with spectacular stage sets, special effects and a wonderful score.  The kids are hooked immediately.  Dads are saying they are glad they came.  Moms are happy everyone is resting indoors.  And for just two hours nobody’s tugging at your leg.  We’re off to a great start.

Village Scene at Jonah  Jonah and Actors

Jonah, set 700 years before the birth of Christ, depicts the story of a prophet’s flight from God’s direction.  The Sight and Sound does a terrific job portraying God’s love and compassion for a wicked city, lost souls and a disobedient prophet. It is an important account in the bible foreshadowing Christ’s death and resurrection.  This wonderful story illustrates perfectly God’s grace – the message that salvation is for all of us – even when we do not deserve God’s favor.

Jonah Boat  Jonah Overboard

The show is full of surprises that will keep you in awe, and includes a life-size whale (well, almost), cool sea life including jellyfish that come out of the ceiling, live animals, a super cool looking shark, and a very realistic storm. They even do this in a “non-hokey” way.  I mean this is Branson and one of the most far-reaching accounts of the good book.  I thought it would be hokey but it wasn’t.  Really.

Coral in Jonah  Live Animals in Jonah

Jonah is a delight and a must see for everyone. If you’re walking in faith, you’ll love it.  If you’re a skeptic, you’ll love it.  If you just plain don’t get into the “God thing” and hate musical theatre, you’ll still love it.   Check it out!  Even the skeptics in my group surprised themselves as to how much the message resonated in their hearts!

Sight and Sound Theatre
1001 Shepherd of the Hills Expy.
Branson, MO

Cruise on Over to Casa de Luz

Casa de Luz Sign

Nestled in the heart of downtown Branson you will find Casa de Luz.  Casa de Luz is a quaint family owned restaurant that serves both Mexican and traditional American foods, allowing for a nice variety.  It is know for its authentic Mexican breakfast, and boy is it good!

Casa De Luz Traditional Breakfast   Casa De Luz Mexican Food

It was the perfect place for our family to eat because my husband and I loved the opportunity to experience a breakfast other than the norm, and our children loved to be able to order the traditional pancakes and sausage.  All of our food was amazing and not a morsel of food was left on our plates!  The food is all made to order and you can tell they put their heart and soul into their dishes.  We especially loved the fresh tortillas!  The presentation of our dishes was spectacular as well!

Casa De Luz Mexican Lunch

Their menu, full of authentic Mexican foods and traditional American foods, offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner items, although they close at 3:00 p.m M-S and at 2:00 on Sunday.  Casa de Luz gets great reviews on tripadvisor for great food, great prices, fast and friendly service, and a good atmosphere.  They are a very family friendly restaurant as well and on the casual side.

If you find yourself in downtown Branson and are craving some amazing, tasteful food, stop on in to Casa de Luz.  I guarantee you you will not be disappointed and will probably return numerous times like we have.  Enjoy!

Mon – Sat: 6:00 am – 3:00 pm
Sun: 7:00 am – 2:00 pm

108 S Commercial St, Branson, MO 65616
(417) 334-5510

Branson Titanic Exhibit Honors All Pastors

Titanic Museum Sign

The Titanic exhibit is offering a free admission to all pastors during the month of October.  In addition, they are discounting tickets to $3 a piece for each additional guest you bring along.

Grand Staircase        Titanic Artifacts               

The Titanic exhibit offers self-guided audio tours of this magnificent ship.  When boarding the ship, you will obtain a boarding pass complete with the name of a real passenger of the Titanic.  Once aboard, tour the two floors complete with 400 artifacts and an exact replica of the Grand Staircase.  You will also get a glimpse of both First Class and Second Class cabins.

First Class Cabin       Second Class Cabin

Your time aboard the Titanic will be very interactive and allow you to experience first hand what it was like to be a passenger aboard the famous ship.  Feeling what it was like to be on the sloping decks, touching an iceberg, shoveling coal in the Broiler Room, and feeling the ice-cold 28 degree water are among some of the activities this venue offers.

Sloping Decks   Shoveling Coal

In addition, you can sit in an actual size lifeboat, hear real passenger stories, and learn how to send an SOS distress signal.  At the end of your tour, discover your passenger’s fate in the Titanic Memorial Room.

Memorial Room


Titanic-World’s Largest Museum Attraction
3235 76 Country Blvd & Hwy 165
For Ticket Information: 417-334-9500






Float Right Over to the Branson Balloon Festival

Branson Balloon Festival

The 4th annual Branson Balloon Festival is being held August 22, 2014-August 24, 2014 at the Branson RecPlex.  Come witness over 20 different hot air balloons travel the skies.  Balloons take flight each morning at sunrise.  Each evening, the balloons will glow.  Admission is free to watch these spectacular sights!

Make a day out of it and take part in many of the additional activities being offered.  Whether you are the curious type, the adventurous type, or the more daring type, there is an activity for you!

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