The Branson Missouri Blog

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Christmas Shopping in Branson

As anyone who has participated in the upcoming holiday season knows, it is never too early to start your Christmas shopping. Waiting until the last minute can be stressful and involves higher prices, standing in long lines inside crowded stores, and the risk of not being able to purchase what you really want. Getting your shopping started ahead of the curve is sure to improve your Christmas spirit – but even with starting early, the question is ‘where should I shop?’ Not to worry, holiday shoppers – Branson has you covered! Doing your Christmas shopping in Branson will be one of the merriest experiences you will ever have. Read on for some shopping tips that will fit any style this season!

Shop Local: With a recent big push for local goods, your shopping style may be to keep your dollars local this Christmas. If so, you are in luck! Shopping in Branson provides you with a great selection of locally owned stores featuring Ozarks goods. Silver Dollar City is a great place to find locally crafted items for holiday gifts. Blacksmiths, potters, jewelry makers and wood crafters are all on site to make you the perfect custom gift! There is something for everyone on your list in the shops at Silver Dollar City. If you still want to buy local, but prefer to avoid the big crowds, check out the Branson Craft Mall! Here you will find quilts, hand woven baskets, local honey and soup mixes, handmade chocolates, and more! The Keeter Center Gift Shop at College of the Ozarks is another great place to purchase local gifts – and you will be supporting the students that make them!

Shop Big: Some folks prefer to do their Christmas shopping at larger retail stores – Branson has its fair share of these as well! If someone on your list wants some new clothes for Christmas, head over to the Branson Khol’s store for a huge selection of name brand clothing and shoes at low prices. If you have a technology guru to shop for, Best Buy will have the latest and greatest gadgets to put under the tree. If you have a do-it yourselfer to buy a gift for, you are sure to find the perfect item at Lowes or Home Depot. And if you are buying for a bookworm, Books A Million has thousands of books to choose from!

Shop Unique: If your style is to find the craziest, most out there gift possible to put under the tree or in a stocking, Branson has no shortage of unique stores to shop at! Dicks 5 and 10 in downtown Branson has the area’s biggest selection of all things unique. Young and old alike will find the perfect gifts to give when shopping in Branson’s favorite 5 and 10! Bass Pro Shops is another place to find a real ‘out there’ gift – who wouldn’t love to get a kayak or perhaps some hunting themed dinnerware for Christmas?

These are just a handful of the great options you have for Christmas shopping in Branson. Check them out and find some other shops as well – who knows, Santa may hire you as his newest helper!

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Vacation Lodging Tips & Tricks

As travelers are continually shopping for the lowest lodging rates there is one statement you should consider. “You get what you pay for”. This does not always translate into the quality of lodging or location. Often times it pertains to support services that you may need during your stay such as maintenance and housekeeping.

1-bedroom-condos-branson-livingAs owners are becoming more comfortable in renting out their own condo or cabin through owner owned listing sites many travelers are attracted by the lower nightly rates offered at the same resorts they typically stay out. They are renting directly through the property owner versus the rental management company.

There are a few things to consider when securing these reservations that are your, “what if” questions. What are the check-in, check-out procedures? How do I get my key or access code? What if they key or code doesn’t work? What if I get locked out of my condo or cabin in the middle of the night? What if I can’t find the condo or cabin? What if I have a maintenance issue” What if there aren’t enough housekeeping supplies? What are the cancellation or rebooking policies? What if I have a noise complaint? What if I have an emergency? Is anyone available for after-hour calls? Are all of the resort amenities available during my stay? What is my recourse in an unsatisfactory stay?

Your accommodations and location may be fabulous, however let there be an after-hour maintenance issue with no one is to be found, then the lower lodging rate suddenly don’t seem to be such a bargain. Your support services are as integral to a successful stay as the location and quality of your accommodations. You expect responsive customer service that is available 24/7 for all of your “what if’s”.

One recent vacationer was trying to check-in to a condo that was rented directly through the owner. They came to the Thousand Hills Clubhouse thinking that this would be the check-in location since there was signage everywhere designating it as the check-in location. However, it soon became apparent that they had not made their reservation directly through the rental management company. They tried to find their confirmation number provided by the owner with no luck. They were able to finally remember a piece of information that allowed the front desk to find the website that they booked through. The guest was not able to reach anyone at their customer service number until quite some time later that evening. Definitely not the way to begin your vacation experience.

Thousand Hills Golf Resort is your official rental company for condos at Thousand Hills Golf Course, The Majestic and Cabins at Grand Mountain. We offer full-support services during your stay to include maintenance and housekeeping. Additional supplies, towels, linens, pool towels are available at our front desk at the Thousand Hills Clubhouse. A manager is available for after-hour calls 24/7. Access to all on-site amenities are only available through the Thousand Hills Golf Resort with equipment available to check-out at our front desk. We are here to serve you in providing fabulous accommodations, and provide responsive customer service for all of those “what if” questions. So, relax enjoy your stay. We have you covered. Your only question is now, “Why didn’t I do this sooner?”! Please call us at 855-353-0886 or visit us at for your official Thousand Hills Golf Resort, The Majestic, or Cabins at Grand Mountain experience.

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Fireman’s Landing at Silver Dollar City – Fun for the Whole Family

Firemans Landing at SDCAnyone who has been to Silver Dollar City, located in the heart of Branson, Missouri, the Live Entertainment Capital of the Midwest, knows that this world famous theme park is a ton of fun! Silver Dollar City started out way back in the day as a replica frontier town and show that handed out silver dollars to folks waiting in line to tour Marvel Cave. What once started out as a distraction from a long wait has grown into one of the biggest attractions in Branson, complete with festivals, real craftsmen and thrill rides like Wildfire and Outlaw Run. Silver Dollar City is constantly striving to come up with new and fun ways to bring people to the park – and they have done it again with Fireman’s Landing, an all-new family adventure for 2015!

Fireman’s Landing is a throwback to times gone by (like a lot of Silver Dollar City’s attractions – that’s part of what makes it so fun!). This great, family friendly part of the park is designed to replicate an old fashioned volunteer fireman recruiting fair, where young firemen to be recruits could test their strength and skill to ensure that they could hold up to the tasks that lay ahead! Now you and your family can test your own abilities at Fireman’s Landing with four interactive play areas and six thrilling new rides!

Are ready to test your eyesight to spot forest fires? Take a ride on the Fire Spotter – you will soar high into the air in a balloon to look for orange flames! Think you can hold on to your stomach long enough to ride the wagon to the bucket brigade? Get in line for Fire Wagon Frenzy. Firefall is an 8 story free fall drop from the Fire Tower – can you handle heights well enough to stop the flames?

When you’re ready to help train up the youngest of the recruits, head over to Firefighter’s Fire Drill and practice hosing out fires, our figure out your way down the Fire Escape, or even fly through the air on the Fireman’s Flyer! And if you have a little one who is looking for a drop (but maybe not 8 stories!), send them over to Up the Ladder, where they can build up the skills to climb high. Don’t forget about the firemen’s best friend – the loyal Dalmatian! Lucky’s Dizzy Dogs takes kids on a racing ride around a classic bright red fire hydrant – be on the lookout for Lucky himself throughout Fireman’s Landing! And when you are all done, cool off at the Firehouse Splash Yard with some soaker hoses.

There is no doubt, Fireman’s Landing is a ‘surefire’ way to have loads of great family fun, and learn about fire safety as well! Be prepared to get recruited for fireman style adventures in one of the world’s most famous and most visited theme parks – Silver Dollar City!

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A Star Studded 2015 Lineup at the Moon River Theater

Branson has long been known for attracting stars and celebrities to its live entertainment and theater district. Every time you turn around, it seems like a theater or show in Branson is hosting another famous face! Moon River Theater, started by the late Andy Williams, is certainly no exception to playing host to stardom. Andy Williams himself was quite famous, and this year, 2015, is one of the most chock full of celeb lineups that the Moon River Theater has ever seen! Don’t miss your chance to get tickets for one or more of these great shows…

Illusionist Rick Thomas:

moon-river-christmasFor a show at the Moon River Theater this will really ‘wow’ you and your family, don’t miss the Illusionist Rick Thomas! Rick Thomas has completed five world tours during his career in magic, and is now proud to be hosted right here in Branson for your enjoyment. This talented performer has won Magician of the Year from the Academy of Magical Arts and Stage Magician of the Year from the World Magic Awards, and has performed his awe inspiring art in over 50 countries. You’ll get your fill of magic, music and dance with this great show.

Loretta Lynn:

If you have ever wanted to see ‘The Coal Miner’s Daughter,’ Loretta Lynn, Sunday October 4 is your chance! This grass-roots, hard-working American Icon has been a symbol of the American Dream for years, and for one night only for an Up Close Concert, Loretta Lynn is coming to Branson!

Trace Adkins:

For lovers of the newer country music genre, book your tickets now to see Trace Adkins at the Moon River Theater for an Up Close Concert on Sunday, July 5. This popular country music star has had more than 30 Top 40 Hits to date, and this will be his first appearance in Branson.

The Hits Staring Mary Wilson:

Mary Wilson is best known for being part of the famous trio, The Supremes. And now, she’s coming to Branson! They recorded 12 No.1 hits from 1964 to 1969. With number one hits “Where Did Our Love Go,” “Baby Love,” “Come See About Me,” “Stop In the Name of Love,” and “Back in My Arms Again,” The Supremes are the only group to have five consecutive number one hits in their career. Mary Wilson was a founding member of this beloved group. Mary also recorded two solo albums while she was raising a family – talk about talented!

This is just a small offering of the celebrity shows that Moon River Theater is offering for the 2015 season. Tanya Tucker, Terry Factor, Ronnie Milsap, and many more will be performing here as well! Book your tickets now to see the stars!

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A Romantic Date in the Showboat Branson Belle



Running out of unique ideas to impress your date? Lucky for you because Branson has the answer! Branson is not just about the live music shows and theater plays. There are a lot more entertainment that Branson can give you. For your precious time with your special someone, make it memorable and fun at the same time by spending in Branson.

Join the fun in Branson with your sweetheart by having the Showboat Branson Belle Experience. The Showboat Branson Belle is also known to be America’s Most Entertaining Dinner Cruise. For more than 20 years of providing entertainment to its guests, it gives you a new show to watch out for and an even better musical and dining experience while cruising Table Rock Lake.

Experience the marvel of Table Rock Lake, one of Branson’s most beautiful lakes, aboard the Showboat Branson Belle. This is a 2-hour cruise and it also includes a sumptuous 3-course meal, freshly prepared in the ship’s galley. Everything you love is already on board! From live music shows, comedy, magic, great food, and a breathtaking backdrop of the Ozarks and Table Rock Lake. All these can sum up to the perfect romantic date for you and your loved one.

The Showboat Branson Belle was made to mimic the showboats of the 1800s, an era when riverboat adventures wee pretty much a fad. Bring back those good ol’ showboat days with the Showboat Branson Belle now. Aside from the entertainment, you can also treat you and your date to a fun shopping experience. White River Landing brings you unique shops. Layton Mercantile is where you can find ladies’ apparel, jewelries, accessories, and other décor items. You can also find specialty coffees and candies, Silver Dollar City jams, jellies, and a lot more. It is also in Layton Mercantile where you can find the Showboat Box Office. Reserve your tickets for the showboat here. McAdoo’s Boatworks and the On Board Boutique  are shops that are akin to a pirate’s treasure box. You can find logo t-shirts and jackets, collectible spoons, bells, mugs, and pens. Have yourself a patriotic and nautical souvenirs here, with children’s shirts, pirate ships, and stuffed animals. If you have forgotten something for your Showboat trip, you can also find it in the On Board Boutique. For your wants and needs, Showboat Branson Belle got it all for you!

Your stay in Branson can be made even more memorable by staying in Thousand Hills Golf Resort. Thousand Hills is located near Branson’s entertainment district so it would be more convenient for you. The Branson cabins and condos in Thousand Hills are also situated far from the city so you can have a nice rest away from the city noise. Reserve now for your vacation. Just call 1-877-262-0430.

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Save Money and Stay in a Condo in Branson

2-bedroom-branson-condosEveryone is all about saving money these days. Whether you have had to tighten your spending belt due to an unexpected job loss or bill, or you are just simply thinking about putting money back for the future, saving money is something that almost everyone has experience with. But saving money doesn’t mean that you have to miss out on a fun family vacation or weekend getaway – when you come to Branson, Missouri, there are lots of ways to have an enjoyable time on a budget! The biggest expense on a trip is usually lodging – but luckily for those who are pinching pennies, you can save money when you stay in a condo in Branson!

The best option for condos in Branson is Thousand Hills Hotel and Golf Resort – not only do they offer a classy hotel, awesome guest cabins and an award winning golf course, they have condos too! You won’t regret choosing one for a low cost stay.

Condo rates range from $74 per night for a condo that sleeps three to $524 per night for a condo that sleeps twelve. Rates change depending on the season, which you may want to factor into your budget – Branson is fun no matter what season it is! For such great low prices, the condos at Thousand Hills sure come with plenty of amenities – all major appliances, fully equipped kitchens, TVs and DVD players, whirlpool tubs and Jacuzzis, free Wi-Fi, private porches, swimming pool access, and more! What a deal! Not to mention your condo will provide peace and quiet away from the traffic noise of town. And you can choose your panoramic view as well – some condos feature a grand view of the golf course, and others sport a rustic, wooded scenic view!

Most people don’t think of cooking when they are on vacation, but if you want to save money, fixing your own meals is the way to go. With the fully equipped kitchen that the condos in Branson offer, mealtimes can be a real treat! Cooking with family is a great way to spend quality time together; your condo will be within walking or biking distance of several local grocery stores, where you can get all the ingredients you need to make inexpensive, savory local cuisine!

Your condo won’t just be close to a grocery store, it will be close to everything else Branson has to offer too! So you can save even more money by walking, or just not driving too far. Your condo in Branson has it all – great amenities, ways to spend time with close family or friends, great views, close proximity to town – AND ways to help you save money. Vacations don’t get any better than that!

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Learn the Ins & Outs of Branson Straight From The Locals

Whenever you are taking a vacation in an unfamiliar place, it is always a good idea to try and pick up some tips from the locals. Local people can be an invaluable information source for the tourist and vacationer – the locals are the ones who know how to get around town, where the best diners and hotels are, what to avoid, and what hidden treasures are tucked away around town. Wherever you are, the locals can be key to a good trip, and Branson, Missouri, is no different. Read on to see what Branson tourist tips the locals have in store for you!

Rainy day in BransonCheck The Weather: Branson is situated in the heart of the Missouri Ozarks. While it is a beautiful place to be, the weather in the Ozarks can be EXTRMEMLY volatile – which is why most locals suggest checking the weather before and during your trip activities. This can be done by simply watching the local news channel or, if you are on the go, downloading a local weather app onto your smartphone (the KY3 Weather App is a good choice – it is free to download and features an up to the minute live weather radar). Be sure to always have a sweatshirt and a raincoat with you, as the weather can go from hot to cold and dry to wet in a matter of minutes. Having a backup plan of activities in case of weather is always one of many solid Branson tourist tips.

Take The Backroads: As any local knows, the traffic on the main Branson thoroughfare, Highway 76, can be horrific. Luckily for those trying to get to work or basketball practice on time, there are some alternate back routes that can be a huge time saver for tourists and locals alike! Any tourists coming to Branson should be sure to familiarize themselves with Branson’s color coded alternate routes – each one will still get you to any Branson destination of your choosing and will save you time and stress. Pick up a Branson roadmap at any of the area welcome centers to help get you around town.

Go Out of Your Way: As any local will tell you, there are dozens of hidden treasures around Branson if you just know where to look. So check out TripAdvisor, browse the Branson papers, and talk to some locals! Chances are you will find fantastic out of the way eateries, hidden craft shops, beautiful secluded hiking trails, and fun, family oriented attractions. You never know what you can find in Branson with the help of a local!

These are just a few of the helpful Branson tourist tips you can get from the locals around town. But don’t forget the most important tip of all when taking a trip to Branson: have fun!

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Enjoy Your Vacation in a Branson Golf Home





Branson is always a popular choice for tourists because of the live music shows, theme parks, and a lot more activities and attractions. You can come to Branson with the whole family, with your groups of friends, workmates, special someone, or you can even go alone because there are endless possibilities of adventure in this place. Known as the live entertainment capital of the world, you get world-class entertainment without the hefty price tag.


When in Branson, you just can’t miss seeing a live music show in the area. For the best shows, your go-to place is in Highway 76, or more popularly known as The Strip. Catch shows by The Presleys, The Baldknobbers, Mickey Gilley, and a lot more. For more daring adventures, visit Silver Dollar City – the most famous theme park in Branson. Silver Dollar City is home to the world’s most daring wood coaster, the Outlaw Run. This year, Silver Dollar City also gives you new rides to enjoy. Visit Silver Dollar City to find out more about the new rides. For more outdoor adventures, Branson also has nature parks such as Table Rock Lake Park Marina. The TriLakes Area in Branson is also a great spot for more water activities and for picnic.


Your stay in Branson can be made more memorable with your choice of lodging. Choose only Branson’s leader in the real estate offerings. Choose Thousand Hills Hotel and Golf Resort. Thousand Hills is just minutes away from Highway 76, and is a short drive away from the best of Branson malls, restaurants, theme parks, and museums. The lodging options in Branson’s Thousand Hills also gives you what you need. For your Branson vacation, choose to stay in a Branson golf home for convenience and comfort. Staying in a golf home in Thousand Hills lets you stay right in the vicinity of the award-winning golf course in Thousand Hills. Whether you are a golf enthusiast or not, you will surely love the laid-back ambiance of the golf homes’ location. It is situated far away from the city noise so you can get the privacy and the tranquility that you need for a precious time of rest and relaxation.


The amenities that come with renting a golf home in Thousand Hills are fully furnished bedrooms and bathrooms, fully equipped kitchen, a spacious living room, cable TVs, a DVD player, and free high-speed wireless internet. These will surely make you feel like you have never left the comforts of your home. After a whole day of adventure in Branson, you can take a much-needed rest in your golf home.


Reserve your golf home in Thousand Hills now by calling 1-877-262-0430. Branson is waiting to have the best adventures and memories with you!

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Conservation and Education – A Bass Pro Legacy

If you have spent any time in the Ozarks, chances are that you have heard of Bass Pro Shops. Bass Pro, and founder Johnny Morris, have helped to make the Ozarks famous. The store is known for its museum-like experience and selection of outdoor goods for fishing, rifle and archery hunting, camping, hiking, boating and more – but perhaps the best part of the Bass Pro legacy is one that is a little less well known: the company’s emphasis on conservation and education of the outdoors. Through Bass Pro Shops and other affiliated venues, founder Johnny Morris hopes to leave the world better than he found it through his conservation efforts. Read on to see where you can learn about doing your part for the Great Outdoors!

Bass Pro Shops: The next time you head to a Bass Pro Shops to pick up a new fishing pole or a pair of hiking boots, take a few moments to really look around the store – there is a lot to learn about conservation from simply walking around the store. At the Bass Pro Headquarters in Springfield, MO, for example, you can visit the turtle pond to observe several species of native turtles; a detailed book featuring each turtle species in the pond can provide further information. The Springfield Bass Pro also boats the NRA National Sporting Arms Museum, where you can see almost 1,000 firearms and The Archery Hall of Fame and Museum. Other displays with record breaking mounts and live animals provide a further look into conservation in the Ozarks. And don’t forget to check out the educational underwater fish show!

WOLF School: WOLF School (Wonders of the Ozarks Learning Facility) is a unique school opportunity through the Wonders of Wildlife Museum and the Springfield Public Schools system. At WOLF School, 46 5th graders have the opportunity to go through an entire year of traditional curriculum with a huge emphasis on conservation and natural sciences. Teachers are provided through the SPS system, and students will spend plenty of time engaging in activities like kayaking, animal handling, hunting education and more!

dogwood-canyonDogwood Canyon: Dogwood Canyon, located in Lampe, MO, is ten thousand acres of conservation paradise that is open to the public so that folks like you can get a good look at just what it is that needs to be preserved in our world. In fact, the mission statement of Dogwood Canyon is "Preserve, promote, and protect the natural environment of the canyon’s wildlife and plant life." At Dogwood Canyon, visitors have the opportunity to experience the breathtaking beauty of the Ozarks wilderness in multiple different ways. Your conservation experience can include hiking, fly fishing, horseback riding (including a REAL cattle drive!), biking and more. And for a truly unique experience, consider holding a wedding or special event at Dogwood Canyon – then your guests can get a look at Conservation in action too!

Through Johnny Morris and his many outdoor venues, you and your family can learn to truly appreciate what it is that we have to preserve and protect in the outdoors. Let the conservation movement begin!

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Hunting in the Ozarks

branson-deer-huntingHunting is an age old pastime in the Ozarks. Grandparents that have fond memories of deer and turkey hunting on the family farm share hunting experiences with their grandchildren, who then make their own hunting memories with THEIR kids and grandkids. The Ozarks is a prime hunting area – the challenging terrain and volatile weather can often hide big deer and turkey for those who are patient enough to find them. With hunting season in full swing, there is no reason for you to be left out of the chase. So read on to find out what you need, where to go, and how to stay safe this hunting season!

What to Get: Obviously, in order to go hunting, you will need a weapon of some kind. You can choose between hunting with a firearm, and hunting with a bow and arrow – each one has different season dates, and different pros and cons. What you choose all comes down to personal preference – some people like the power of a rifle, and some people prefer the added skill and patience of a bow and arrow. Once you have chosen your weapon, you will need to purchase hunting tags in order to legally hunt – these can be purchased at a sport/outdoors store, many gas stations, and Walmart. Rifle tags require that you have a Hunters Safety License; archery tags do not. You will also want to get some camo for your hunting collection – camouflage clothing breaks up your outline and makes it harder for your prey to spot you. A hunter orange article of clothing is required for rifle hunting deer in Missouri; while it is not required, it is a good idea for archery hunters too.

Where to Hunt: In Missouri, you have two kinds of land to hunt on – public or private. Before you do either, make sure you know the rules and regulations for wherever you intend to be hunting. Hunting on public land usually requires some extra precautions. Below are a couple of options for hunting on both public and private land here in the Ozarks: Busiek State Park and Wildlife Area: Hunting for all major game species is allowed at Busiek State Park in season, provided the hunter complies with the rules and regulations set forth by the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC). There is a good population of deer and turkey within the park, and squirrels too, if that appeals to you! Download the Annual Fall Deer and Turkey Hunting Regulations and Information booklet from the MDC website for more information. Elkhead Ranch: Elkhead Ranch is a privately owned hunting retreat in Southwest Missouri that offers seasonal deer and turkey hunting. Hunters have the opportunity to hunt with a rifle or a bow out of one of the ranch’s many deer stands and hunting blinds, including two ‘deer condos’ (enclosed and windowed elevated deer stands complete with comfy chairs) that overlook one of several food plots. Food plots and Game Cameras are maintained to draw in and observe the deer. Hunters at Elkhead Ranch can stay in a special hunter’s cabin and are fed a home cooked supper made by the ranch family.

Staying Safe: Safety should always be your top priority when hunting. Be familiar with the MDC’s hunting regulations, and always wear a hunter orange article of clothing. Know your weapon, and always treat it as if it were loaded; for rifles, keep the safety on until you are safely aimed to shoot. Always let someone know where you will be hunting and what time you plan to return. Be aware, be observant, and you can make great hunting memories for years to come!

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