The Branson Missouri Blog

Blogging Branson Missouri to Keep You Up To Date!

Find Out Where to Buy Local & Organic Groceries Near Branson

Most people are familiar with the weekly ritual of grocery shopping. Checking the cupboards, making a list, heading to the store and loading up the cart – most people can do that in their sleep. But what if you mixed up your grocery routine? What if, instead of throwing a prepackaged food item into your cart and merely nodding to the clerk who checks you out, you held the food in your hands, admired its uniqueness and actually spoke to the farmer who grew it? Well, with some of these locally grown grocery options in and around Branson, now you can!

College of the Ozarks: If you have spent any time in the Branson/Tri-Lakes area, chances are you have probably heard of College of the Ozarks. It is a small, local work college where students work for their tuition – and if that is not cool enough, they also have some locally grown goodies for you to enjoy! During the months of May through November, the college holds a weekly farmers market on Fridays where visitors can buy student grown and made products. You can purchase everything from green beans, to potatoes, to peppers, to fruitcake, milk and meat – and best of all, the proceeds benefit the college. Now, if you aren’t in Branson during the summer months, have no fear – Edwards Mill carries milk and meat products from the campus dairy, beef farm, and hog farm all year round as well as stone ground grain products and baking mixes, and the Fruitcake and Jelly Kitchen is open year round as well for you to purchase fruitcake, apple butter, jams and jellies, and summer sausage.

Farmers Market of the Ozarks: For a huge variety of locally grown, raised and made products all year round, head to Springfield on a Thursday from 4pm to 8pm or a Saturday from 8am to 1pm to check out the Farmers Market of the Ozarks in Farmers Park! Farmers Market of the Ozarks was created to bring together the community by providing local food and products while educating people about where their food comes from, and why living a sustainable lifestyle is both important and necessary, on a local and global level. With over one hundred vendors, there is something here for everyone’s weekly grocery list. Vendors like PT Gardens and Milsap Farms offer herbs, veggies and other fresh produce. Springhill Dairy and Terrell Creek Farm offer great selections of cheeses and dairy products. You’ll also find a wide array of meats, breads and sweet treats here too!

Amish Country Store: To support a great local business that has a variety of unique groceries in Branson, check out the Amish Country Store on Gretna Road. Here you will find a great selection of spinach noodles, pickled eggs, biscuit mix and more to fill your shopping basket with!

So grab your list and your reusable shopping bag and get some great local groceries in Branson and beyond!

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A Drive Down Branson’s Most Famous Road – Country 76

One of the most famous roads in Missouri is Branson’s 76 Country Boulevard. Along this road are a variety of shows, attractions, hotels, and other adventures for you to take while on vacation in Branson.

Start your vacation with a tropical adventure at the Butterfly Palace and Rainforest Adventure, where you can step into the rainforest with thousands of tropical butterflies. You get all-day admission to the palace, which includes a video about the monarch migration, along with interactive exhibits in the Living Rainforest Science Center. You get unlimited access to all of the exhibits and attractions in the Butterfly Palace. For more information, visit thebutterflypalace.com.

As you travel down the historic Country Boulevard, you’ll also find multiple Track Family Fun Parks, including the Track 4 featuring the Heavy Metal Highrise. All of the Track Family Fun Parks feature go-kart tracks, but some of the locations also include bumper boats, the Skycoaster, batting cages, and kiddie rides for the little ones. The Track Family Fun Parks allow you to purchase go-kart rides as well as Go-Cards, which can help you save money on your vacation. If you’re looking to have some family fun, visit bransontracks.com.

Aside from these attractions, White Water, the Presleys, the Baldknobbers, and Andy Williams’ Moon River Theatre. But while you’re out, don’t miss some of Branson’s amazing scenery. The rolling hills of the Ozarks surround Branson, so you’ll never miss out on the beauty of the Ozarks. Although it’s off the beaten path, you can see the beauty of Table Rock Lake while on your trip and experience it firsthand through boating, fishing, and swimming.

At the opposite end of the famous road is the historic downtown area of Branson on Lake Taneycomo, another one of the Branson area’s amazing lakes. In downtown Branson, you’ll find the perfect quaint atmosphere among the antique shops and homey cafés scattered throughout the area. Locally owned shops line the main street, and you’re not far from big city life at Branson Landing. With a fiery water feature, you can enjoy top-notch cuisine and excellent shopping at this open air mall.

So if you’re in Branson, take a cruise down the famous 76 Country Boulevard and enjoy seeing all that Branson has to offer you and your family!

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Have A Romantic Moment this February in Branson

 

Are you looking for that perfect vacation date with your sweetheart this February? The place that you should consider for the ultimate fun and romantic vacation experience is Branson Missouri. Known as the Live Entertainment Capital of the World, Branson has also become of the most popular and thrilling vacation places in the Midwest. For this month of February, Branson is the perfect place if you want some laid back and romantic date with your special someone.

During February in Branson, the crowd and traffic is at its minimum, so you can enjoy more time to shop, dine, and enjoy the sights and activities in Branson. No need to endure long lines as you can breeze through the whole city anytime you like. Branson still remains to be a family friendly place, with activities and attractions for people of all ages. But Branson also becomes a haven for couples during February. You can celebrate the month of romance and Valentine’s Day in Branson. the place has the best theme parks if you both want a thrilling date, or you can go to the nature parks in Branson if you both want a relaxing date with the breathtaking view. And why not take your date out to a nice dinner in a Branson restaurant after watching one of the famous live music shows in Highway 76?

Branson also offers you affordable and romantic lodging options especially for your celebration of the love month in Branson. The perfect lodging place in Branson is one that is close to restaurants, theme parks, theaters, and malls. For your vacation, choose to stay in Thousand Hills Hotel and Golf Resort. Thousand Hills gives couples a very romantic time in Branson by offering them King suites and log cabins with huge Jacuzzi tubs. Staying in Thousand Hills lets you stay minutes away from Highway 76, Branson’s entertainment district. You are also very near Silver Dollar City, which is Branson’s world-famous theme park. These lodging options in Thousand Hills exclusively for your sweetheart already have top-of-the-line amenities ready for you to use. You also get to have a very dreamy view no matter what Branson lodging you choose in Thousand Hills. Choosing a Branson log cabin gives you the view of the Ozark woods; a golf front condo unit gives you the view of the award-winning golf course of Thousand Hills; a lakefront condo gives you a very peaceful and calming ambiance with the view of Table Rock Lake, one of the pristine lakes of Branson.

February in Branson may be a bit cold, but the activities and attractions in the place makes this one a hot month to be in Branson. Make Branson your romantic getaway this February. For reservations and inquiries on lodging reservation in Thousand Hills, dial 1-877-262-0430.

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Stay in a Four Bedroom Branson Cabin for a Big Family Vacation

 

Going to Branson with a large group of people? If you are, then you are in for the best time of your life with your loved ones. Bring along your entire family and friends for a grand, fun time in Branson. With a wide variety of things to do and sights to see in the area, a Branson vacation will truly be a memorable and exciting experience for everyone.

Known as the Live Entertainment Capital of the World and the premier vacation destination in the Midwest, Branson promises you fun family moments with its live music shows, theme parks, theater plays, museums, outlet malls, restaurants, and a lot more. With all these things to enjoy and with a big group of people with you, you might think that it would be difficult to find a lodging place in Branson where all of you can be together. Renting multiple hotel rooms can be really expensive, not to mention inconvenient for everyone. Branson’s leading lodging place, Thousand Hills Hotel and Golf Resort, gives you a homier place for your stay in Branson. A Branson cabin is cozy enough to make you feel like you have never left home at all.

A four bedroom Branson cabin is one of the largest individual lodging options that you can find in Missouri. The size of this four bedroom Branson cabin makes it the best choice for family gatherings, or bonding with a large group of friends. These big Branson cabins are also ideal for a meeting place with your colleagues at work. Each cabin also has a unique decoration to give you a memorable experience for the duration of your stay in Branson. This lodging place has more than 2000 square feet of space and can accommodate up to 12 people.

This Branson cabin in Thousand Hills has four private bedrooms, and three to four bathrooms. If you need more sleeping space, there are also two sofa sleepers in the cabin. The cabin’s spacious living room is also very ideal for family bonding activities, meetings, and the likes. The living area is fully furnished with a large TV and a DVD player for your movie nights. There is also free high-speed wireless internet so you can stay connected with your social media accounts and for you not to miss on an important email. Screened porches in the four bedroom Branson cabin lets you see the beauty of the surrounding Ozark woods, too. Thousand Hills is located near the best restaurants in Branson, but if you want to give your family their favorite home-cooked meals, the fully equipped kitchen in the Branson cabin will let you do just that.

Staying in Thousand Hills is being near Branson’s entertainment district, so you can all enjoy your favorite shows and be in the comforts of your Branson cabin in just a matter of minutes. This is the perfect addition for your grand family vacation in Branson. Book your stay now at Thousand Hills by calling 1-877-262-0430.

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A Unique Musical Experience with the Presley’s Country Jubilee

 

One thing that is very notable about Branson Missouri is its live music shows. The live music shows in Branson has been very much popular that Branson is now known as the Live Entertainment Capital of the World. Tourists flock to Branson not only because of the music shows, but also because of the variety of activities and attractions.

People from all over the world see Branson as a place that could offer world-class entertainment for them. Some Branson guests even have their own favorite shows. One show that has become the people’s all-time favorite in Branson is the Presleys Country Jubilee. There’s no way that you will not love the Presleys as they fuse comedy and music all in one show.

The Presleys were the first family to open a theater in Highway 76, which is now known as the entertainment district of Branson. It was Lloyd Presley, who learned playing the guitar at age 10, who started the legend of the Presleys in the Branson entertainment scene. Lloyd Presley shared his musical talent in downtown Branson and Branson Beacon during the 50s. Then, his son Gary created the comedy character in the name of Herkimer, who still plays that character up to the present times. The father and son duo of Lloyd and Gary proved to be successful enough as they were able to buy a piece of land that would become the site where the Presley’s theater is now. The birth of the Presley’s theater also became the birth of Highway 76 as Branson’s main entertainment area. From then on, other theaters have begun popping up in the area. The Highway 76 strip has been home to Branson talents such as The Baldknobbers, The Haygoods, and Shoji Tabuchi.

The Presleys Country Jubilee is now known as the “Original Show on the Strip.” This show has also been getting a lot of features and accolades for their decades of service to the Branson entertainment scene. Four generations of Presleys are onstage to entertain their audiences. They perform a variety of music from country, gospel, and bluegrass music. Aside from good music, there are also comedy antics from Herkimer and Cecil. When you watch the show, watch out for the adorable young Presleys, as they, too, share their own talents at a very young age.

A show by the Presleys is a great reward for yourself and for the whole family, too. The laughter and the smiles that you will have after watching the show is truly priceless. When you plan for your vacation in Branson, make sure that you make the Presley’s Country Jubilee a must-watch. The Presleys hold their shows from March to December. Make sure you have your tickets as early as you can to have the best chance of seeing them perform. For tickets, visit www.presleys.com or you may call the theater box office at 417-334-4874. 

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Get A Jacuzzi Branson Suite For An Intimate Vacation

 

Branson Missouri is known as the top vacation destination in the Midwest because of its spectacular live music shows and exciting theme parks and nature parks.  It is also known to have the best festivals all year round. There is not one dull moment when you are in Branson since there are lots of activities and attractions that you can do in anytime of the year.

Your time in Branson is not only spent for recreational purposes. As much as Branson promises you a fun time throughout your stay,  you are also guaranteed a good time as you rest after a long day of thrills. There are lots of Branson lodging options for you. If you are having a family vacation in Branson Missouri, head on to Thousand Hills Hotel and Golf Resort for the best vacation homes for your family. Thousand Hills offers you the Jacuzzi Branson Suite to be your home away from home.  A Jacuzzi Suite in Branson is the perfect option for a small family, or a couple who wishes to have an intimate time with each other. This budget-friendly option in Thousand Hills is also popular since it offers hotel-like amenities for everyone. Get the best out of your budget when you book your stay in a Jacuzzi Branson Suite.

The Jacuzzi Suite has a comfortable bed with luxury linens and pillows. Its bathroom also has a Jacuzzi tub with complete toiletries for you. If you want to have some home cooked meals served to your family or special someone, there is also a fully equipped kitchen in the suite. Along with these, you get to enjoy a spacious living room, cable TV with premium cable channels like ESPN and HBO, free high-speed wireless internet, and a private deck. Keep yourselves cozy in the Branson Jacuzzi Suite and have a great time with the suite’s modern interior and rustic façade. Have the most breathtaking view for your vacation as you live right in the woods of the Ozarks.

Living in Thousand Hills gives you lots of advantages. You are just minutes away from Branson’s entertainment district because Thousand Hills is located near 76 Music Boulevard. Watch your favorite music artists and plays, and be in the comforts of your home right after. There is also Silver Dollar City within striking distance from Thousand Hills. Enjoy a different adventure each day, and have a nice, long rest in your Jacuzzi Suite when you’re done.

Make your vacation more memorable with the perfect intimate suite in Thousand Hills. Reserve a unit now by calling 1-877-262-0430. 

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What To Expect From a January in Branson

 

For some people, January may not be a good month to do some traveling because of the post-holiday feels. But spending your January in Branson is not a bad thing at all, since this month still gives off that festive feeling that people get during the holidays. A January in Branson still offers you the best attractions and activities in the area, and you might even be just in time to catch the new ones. Any time of the year would be a good time to be in Branson. If you are one to avoid the winter crowds in Branson, the visiting in January may just be perfect for you.

Branson is known to celebrate events to honor our modern day heroes. During January, one of the popular events that you can attend is the commemoration of the signing of the Vietnam Peace Accord and the heroism of the American war veterans. The celebration includes a ceremony and dinner. The war is known to be the longest and the most controversial war in the history of America, which is why this Branson tradition is one that remains to be sacred for everyone and especially for those who fought in the war. Branson also considers a serious matter the celebration for the veterans, for it is not everyday that they take the spotlight for their heroic deeds.

Winter season in Branson is also filled with exciting events. Every year, an ice sculpting event is held in the Branson Titanic Museum. The world’s largest Titanic museum is in Branson, and this museum is also a great venue to learn more about the history of the ship and the people who were once aboard it. The month of January is when the annual ice sculpting event is held. This event features the best ice sculptors from all over the world, and it’s for free!

When you are in Branson, visit the other museums too, so you can find a lot of interesting information. You can go to the Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum to see odd facts and artifacts from around the world, which are what made the name Ripley very famous.

Who wouldn’t love shopping without large crowds? During a January in Branson, the crowds are pretty much chill, so you can shop flawlessly and you don’t have to wait in long lines. Branson has also become a shopper’s paradise with the outlet malls such as Branson Landing, Tanger Outler Center, IMAX Shopping Complex, and The Shoppes at Branson Meadows.

January is still an exciting time to be in Branson. To make it even more memorable for you, book your stay in Thousand Hills Golf Resort where you can have various lodging options, and you also get to stay near Branson’s entertainment district. For reservations and inquiries, call 1-877-262-0430.

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The Keeter Center – Elegance and Education

If you have ever had the pleasure of visiting the College of the Ozarks campus in Point Lookout, Missouri, just a few miles south of Branson, chances are you might have noticed the giant log sided building that is perched on top of the hill. That building has become a landmark in the area, for students and guests alike. What is this building, you might ask? It is none other than the famous Keeter Center, where students combine hard work with a touch of class to create the perfect combination of elegance and education.

The Keeter Center at College of the OzarksCollege of the Ozarks, a small, unique institution where students work on campus to pay for their tuition and graduate debt free, was founded as school of the Ozarks in 1906. Originally a high school, it became a four year college in the 1960s. The Keeter Center was built in 2004 with the help of C of O students. ‘Keeter,’ as it is fondly referred to by students and faculty, is a large, log and wood panel sided facility that houses a lodge, restaurant, gift shop, meeting rooms, a theater forum, an ice cream counter and a large dining parlor. Named after some longtime friends of the college, The Keeter Center is one of the largest work stations on campus, utilizing more than 200 students. The students are responsible for the housekeeping of the lodge, the cooking, serving, seating and washing up of the restaurant, Dobyns Dining Room, running the gift shop, building maintenance and assistance with special events, and more. The center also houses the college’s Hotel and Restaurant Management Program – so students with that major will actually have class inside of Keeter.

The design of The Keeter Center is reminiscent of the State of Maine Building from the 1904 World's Fair in St. Louis. This building was purchased by a group of businessmen who moved the entire building to Point Lookout for use as a weekend retreat. The State of Maine Building was eventually purchased by the school, renamed Dobyn’s Hall after the current Board of Trustees President, and was used as a multipurpose structure until it burned on February 1, 1930. Today’s Keeter Center is based on the same design concepts as Dobyn’s Hall. Guests who enter the lobby will notice the actual hewn logs that are used as part of the buildings inner structure that really add to the lodge ‘feel.’

Dobyns Dining Room is one of the most popular places to eat in the area – but don’t worry if there happens to be a line. While you wait, you can browse the gift shop (featuring student made products like baskets and stained glass), sample some ice cream (made with milk from the on campus dairy), take a look at the Veteran’s Museum, or simply sit in one of the many comfortable leather chairs and enjoy the view, inside and out.

The Keeter Center is a great place to host a meeting, a special dinner, or even a wedding! When you visit The Keeter Center, you are not only touring a piece of Ozarks history, you are also supporting the students at Hard Work U on their journey to a debt free college education – and nothing is classier than that!

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Therapy in the Ozarks - Connecting People with Equines

Think about all of the different things you take for granted every day. There are probably lots of them – things like driving a car, speaking aloud to a loved one, or even sitting up at the dinner table. There are many adults and children living with disabilities who do not always have these privileges. However, thanks to organizations like Equi-Librium Therapy Center in Rogersville, Missouri, about an hour north of Branson, there is something that those with disabilities can have – horseback riding.

Eequitherapyqui-Librium Therapy Center (ETC) was originally a therapeutic riding program that was operated out of the MSU Darr Agricultural Center located in Springfield, MO. After the program was released by the agency it operated under, Kent Crumpley, the current program director of ETC, found that many of the parents whose children participated in the therapeutic riding sessions wanted the program to continue. “I decided to carry it on,” said Kent. So four years ago, he rebranded the program, founded the not-for-profit organization, started from scratch with new therapeutic riding horses, and ETC was born.

ETC is located on thirty-seven acres, and is complete with a 220x100 square foot indoor riding arena with a spacious viewing room for parents and guests. The facilities were donated to the program by John and Carol Courtney. The mission statement of ETC is ‘to provide exceptional, accredited, equine therapy services, improving the quality of life for those in the Ozarks.’ ETC is not just a riding stables – it is the home of a true medical profession. They are the only PATH Intl’ (Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International) Premier Accredited Center in the Southwest Missouri area, and they are also a member of the American Hippotherapy Association. Kent employs twelve full time staff members at ETC, including speech, occupational and physical therapists, and over two hundred volunteers. The center offers therapeutic riding, hippotherapy, and multiple programs that introduce troubled teens to horses. Hippotherapy is often used with patients that have cerebral palsy or other severe disabilities – a physical therapist will do an evaluation on the individual, and will then implement a program with them to work on improving balance and muscle strength while using a horse as a therapy tool. Another unique program at ETC is the Warriors Walk On program. ETC partners with the Wounded Warrior Project so that returning servicemen and women can benefit from mental and physical therapy with horses. The program is free – “It gives you a sense of giving back,” Kent said.

The horses at ETC undergo a fairly intense training process – Kent introduces them to various props and evaluates their behavior, gait, and health at this time. Not all horses make the cut – those who aren’t quite cut out to be in the ETC program are sold or adopted, and the proceeds benefit the program. ETC currently has fourteen therapy horses, including Quarter Horses, a Halflinger, and ponies for smaller children.

ETC serves 600 individuals living with disabilities annually. No one is turned away if they cannot afford to pay for the program. Through grants and donations, everyone is given a chance to ride. “It’s their sport,” said Kent. He went on to say that for children who are not physically able to play sports like basketball or soccer, therapeutic riding gives them an outlet to be active and involved – it’s not therapy to them. The positive impact of ETC on its riders and program participants is huge – for example, one child who had never spoken a day in his life spoke his first words to encourage his horse to trot. Another child was able to join her family for Thanksgiving dinner at the table sitting by herself for the first time because of the balance and muscle strength she gained from her riding therapy.

In the future, ETC plans to expand by adding therapy rooms, indoor classrooms, and a Century Trail, the latter with the help of the Wounded Warrior Project. ETC will also be providing the volunteers for the 5K Color Run in Springfield – they are the only charity to benefit from the run. Kent encourages the public to get involved with ETC by volunteering at the center, adopting a horse, donating funds, or sponsoring a rider. He says there is nothing more gratifying than helping people heal with horses. “It’s my time to give back,” he said. “It’s therapy for everyone.”

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See The Stars in Branson – Legends in Concert

Have you ever wished you could shake Elvis Presley’s hand or sing along with Johnny Cash? You might not get to with the real men, but Legends in Concert brings you up close and personal with some of the biggest stars in entertainment.

Legends in Concert began in 1983 as a limited six week engagement in Las Vegas. Since then, the show has expanded into more theatres and done tours around the world. Legends has performed in fifteen countries and five continents, and is still going strong. The year 2013 marked the 30th year for the show, and there’s no end in sight.

Legends in Concert in Branson has a variety of rotating performers each year. As the original and best live tribute show in Branson, you’ll get to see some of the best performers on-stage looking almost exactly like the real deal! Care is taken to perfect the mannerisms, hair and make-up of each performer so you get the most realistic experience.

Some of the stars you might see on stage are Alan Jackson, Aretha Franklin, the Blues Brothers, Dolly Parton, Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Johnny Cash, Ray Charles, Roy Orbison, Tim McGraw and more. Shows are Thursday – Tuesday, with show times varying.

Don’t wait! Get your tickets for the fantastic Legends in Concert show! Meet the stars and get up close without going too far from home.

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