Looking for a fun family getaway over Labor Day? Consider Branson!
Branson, Missouri is one of our family’s favorite places to visit. In fact, after spending at TON of money going to Disneyworld earlier in the year my husband and I agreed, “Why did we spend all that money in Orlando when we could have just gone to Branson?”
There are a few reasons why we love Branson:
1. Old fashioned values.
Everywhere you go in Branson there is wholesome, family fun. Most of the shows are great for families. The service people there are friendly and courteous. And there’s a special, patriotic flare to the city that I haven’t seen anywhere else.
2. Awesome activities.
In Branson the question isn’t, “Is there anything to do?” Instead, we always ask ourselves, “What should we do this trip?” We previously enjoyed the Titanic Museum, shopping at Dicks Old Time 5 & 10, and visiting the Amish Country Store. Most of the time we just visit Silver Dollar City and then head back to Little Rock, but on our most recent trip we decided to enjoy a few more attractions. We also chose to stay in the hotel we’ve been looking at with longing since our first trip to Branson. (More below!)
3. Amazing lodging.
We’ve never had a bad stay in Branson. There are many places to stay at reasonable prices. We’ve enjoyed the The Suites at Fall Creek, and most recently we stayed at our new favorite place: Chateau on the Lake.
The hotels and attractions at Branson are a lot cheaper than Disneyworld, and personally we find them just as much fun!
Want to go for Labor Day? (Or anytime?) Here are my recommendations:
Chateau on the Lake
We fell in love with this Cinderella castle the first time we drove by Table Lake. The kids were so excited when they found out we were finally going to stay there!
We stayed for two nights and spent one whole evening in the pool. The water was perfect and the view was amazing.
The resort is just as beautiful in the inside as it is on the outside. The room with the double beds had plenty of room for us and our three little kids. (We had one bed and they had the other!)
My kids’ favorite part was the cookies and milk that was waiting for us in the room. We weren’t there when Mr. Teddy visited, but the kids were so excited about the treats!
We had a busy day ahead of us in Branson, but with a view like this I found myself dawdling just a little. If only I could wake up to this every day!
Our family highly recommends Chateau on the Lake. We didn’t get to enjoy the kids play area or the spa (yet!), but we want to make sure we do that next time we return.
Silver Dollar City
Silver Dollar City is an amazing theme park. To me it’s Mayberry come to life, with some thrill rides thrown in for fun!
Silver Dollar City is comparable to Knots Berry Farm, but it has more unique details such as artisans who blow glass and who demonstrate how to make a log house. SDC has the same level of darling details as Walt Disney World, and it also has some amazing roller coasters that my husband and older kids love. (I love them, too, but I’m usually hanging out with the little ones.)
The lines at Silver Dollar City are FAR shorter than Disneyworld, especially if your visit starts in the morning. There is free parking and a shuttle, but we pay the minimal cost to park closer. (It’s a short walk from the paid lot.)
There are a half-dozen areas around the park that have kids rides and play areas, and we’ve never been able to do them all in one day. This is perfect place for those with kids of varied ages, like us. Our favorite things to eat are the ice cream with strawberries and the Barbecue was great, too!
At Silver Dollar city the big ones don’t get bored either! They have some amazing roller coasters. There is even an app that you can download for your phone that will give you the wait times for the rides before you get in line.
We bought season passes to the park. Branson is a three hour drive from where we live in Little Rock, and we’ve discovered that if we go twice it pays for the passes!
Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede
Have a group? Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede is a great place to visit! It’s a dinner theater full of great food, exciting action, humor and fun!
I have to admit I was blown away by the amazing horsemen and women at the Dixieland Stampede. I was expecting some prancing and dancing, but it turned out to be so much more! (Rings of fire! Aerobatics!)
For days (weeks!) after going to the Dixie Stampede my kids talked about the horses, the fire, and the races. They waved their flags and cheered on their favorites during the show and mimicked that when they got home. I was impressed by how much of an impression the show made!
Of course while we were watching the show we were also EATING. Below is a picture of all the food you get! There is far more than one person can eat, and they do pass our doggie bags for you to take your leftovers home.
Also, if you’re on a limited budget, small children can sit on their parents laps. With our group we had 5 adults and 5 lap sitters and everyone was happy and full!
Also, before you go in to the show, you get your family photo photo taken. I love ours! I was also pleasantly surprised that the photo package wasn’t too expensive ($30). I gladly bought ours.
Even though we’ve been to the Dixie Stampede twice already, our kids can’t wait to go back!
Ride the Ducks – Branson
Our last trip, we wanted to do an attraction that we’d never done before. We picked Ride the Ducks. I like the idea that we’d be riding in an old WWII vehicle, and I knew my kids would love that their “bus” could go into the water.
Starting off, we bought all the kids a duck whistle ($3 each), and they loved them.
The kids smiles were huge as we rode through town. They loved waving and “quacking” at all the cars that we passed. They felt like we were in a parade.
Before we went to the water, we went to a special exhibit of WWII vehicles. I’ve only included a few photos here, but they were cool! There were at least two dozen types of old military vehicles. Our driver was fantastic, too. He shared a lot of history about the various vehicles, with a touch of humor. No one was bored!
After seeing the military vehicles it was time to head to the lake.
The view of Table Lake on our trip down to the water was amazing!
But as pretty as the view was, the best part was seeing my daughter’s glow as she drove the Duck in the water. In fact each of the children had a chance to be “captain” of the vehicle during our ride. That was a nice touch! And they were even able to print up a Captain’s certificate at the end of the ride.
There was also an awesome museum of military history when you disembarked. Because I had the little ones I didn’t get to look around as much as I would have liked. I’d love to go back!
If you’re looking for a place to go on Labor Day weekend–or another time during the year–I highly recommend Branson. In fact … we’re planning on heading up there over Labor Day weekend. Maybe we’ll see you!
For more information:
Visit the Explore Branson website
and like them on Facebook.
Labor Day Weekend Specials
See you there!
*This post was sponsored by Explore Branson, and I was provided compensation for this blog post. Thank you for supporting all my blog collaborations.
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