The Branson Missouri Blog

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Get Ready For The National Kid’s Fest at SDC

Silver Dollar City in Branson, Missouri, is a place that everyone, both young and old, delights in. However, there is one annual festival that is centered just around children (although parents are welcome too!). That’s right, folks – it’s almost time for National Kid’s Fest at Silver Dollar City! Pack a camera and some sunscreen and get ready for some excitement – kiddie style.

What is National Kid’s Fest?

National Kids Fest at Silver Dollar CityWhat is National Kid’s Fest, you might ask? It is a national festival held yearly by Silver Dollar City Attractions celebrating the spirit (and fun) of children. This year’s festival dates are June 8 through July 21, 2013. 2013 will be the final year of this particular festival – so you won’t want to miss visiting Silver Dollar City with your kids this summer! The final year’s line-up of child sized fun includes: performances by championship cloggers, Cartoon Character Meet and Greets (Spongebob and Patrick, Scooby Doo and Shaggy, Yogi Bear and Booboo and many others will be on hand in the Carousel Barn to meet your kids and take pictures!), a fascinating crazy science experience with Professor David Willey (wacky and educational experiences galore!) and Chris Perondi’s Stunt Dog Experience, featuring canine athletes performing astounding displays of strength and agility that animal lovers won’t want to miss. On top of all of the shows and entertainment at Kid’s Fest, you and you children will also have the opportunity to check out all of the thrilling amusement park rides that Silver Dollar City has to offer visitors. Powder Keg, Wildfire, the GIANT Barn Swing, the American Plunge and the Lost River of the Ozarks are some popular fun rides that most kids love. This year, kids also have the opportunity to ride Silver Dollar City’s newest roller coaster, Outlaw Run! This $10 million wooden roller coaster is the world’s first and only wooden coaster to feature a double barrel roll. It is the world’s steepest wooden roller coaster and the second fastest wooden coaster in the world! For smaller children that may not meet certain height requirements or maybe aren’t up for a big adrenaline rush, little kid rides can be found at Half Dollar Holler and Geyser Gulch.

Tickets, Passes and Planning

Admission to Silver Dollar City’s National Kid’s Fest can be purchased in a couple of different ways. When purchasing your admission, you want to consider a couple of things in order to make the most efficient purchase. Are you from out of town and visiting only for the day? If so, a one day general admission ticket ($48 for children, $58 for adults, and $56 for seniors without tax) is probably the best option. Do you live in Branson or nearby and plan on visiting the park for more than just National Kid’s Fest? If you will be frequenting here, you will most likely want to buy a season pass. For less than the cost of two days’ worth of general admissions, you can purchase a pass that will get you into any festival on any day of your choice within the operating season. Will you be attending the park with a large group for a party or reunion? Be sure to call the park for group ticket rates and discounts.

As far as planning goes, you’ll want to make sure that you travel light while still having everything your kids need to make their day at Kid’s Fest enjoyable. Bottled water is a good thing to add to your travel backpack – encourage your kids to have a sip or two every time you stop so they stay hydrated. A few healthy snacks will also make life easier – or you can peruse the dining choices available throughout the park. Sunscreen and hats are a must during the summer – especially for little people! For older children, make sure they carry a cell phone and designate a check-in point with them before they run off to have fun. For small children, be sure that you point out what the park employees look like in case they get separated from you and need help – a wristband with your name, the child’s name and a cell phone number can come in handy here.

With a little planning and sunscreen, your trip to National Kid’s Fest at Silver Dollar City is sure to be a success! So get ready to create some great memories that will last a lifetime.

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Branson Vacation Sweepstakes - Dare to Share!

Branson SweepstakesDo you like vacations? Do you like free? If you answered yes to either of these questions then you'll want to be sure to enter the Dare to Share Branson Vacation Sweepstakes by clicking on this link. Enter to win a dream vacation to Branson, including a shopping spree and tickets to the best shows & attractions in Branson!

Thousand Hills has partnered with Silver Dollar City, Titanic Museum Branson, Dolly Parton's Dixie Stampede and Tanger Outlets to provide the ultimate sweepstakes giveaway. The Grand Prize inlcudes:

  • A 3 Night Stay For your Family at Thousand Hills Golf Resort
  • $500 Gift Card good for any of the shops at Tanger Outlets
  • 4 Tickets to Silver Dollar City
  • 4 Tickets to Dixie Stampede
  • 4 Tickets to The Titanic Museum

All this will go to one lucky winner who will be chosen at random after June 9, 2013. And don't forget the name of the contest, Dare to Share. The more you share this contest--on Facebook, Pinterest, Google Plus, Twitter & more the more free entries you will receive. So get out there, share this contest & get as many opportunities as you can for this dream Branson Vacation.

Dare to Share!

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The Pierce Arrow Show Brings Audiences To Their Feet

As you travel Highway 65 toward Branson, you’ll probably notice multiple billboards advertising Pierce Arrow as “Branson’s Hottest Show.” With six all-star performers with years of performing experience under their belts, Pierce Arrow is undoubtedly Branson’s Hottest Show.

Pierce Arrow Show in Branson MissouriThere’s little doubt as to Pierce Arrow’s popularity among show-goers in Branson. Reviews on TripAdvisor rave about the “…exceptional vocal ranges…” of the performers and the hilarious comedy contained in this show. For 13 years, Pierce Arrow has been entertaining audiences in Branson with their show that seems to have come off of the Las Vegas strip, but the entertainment here is top-notch.

Six cast members make up the talent of Pierce Arrow. Luke Menard, Scott Fraker, Tim Storms, Jimmy Fulbright, Jarrett Dougherty, and Michelle Wait bring multiple accomplishments and stellar talent to the stage at the Pierce Arrow Theater. Luke Menard appeared on American Idol in 2008, and was a finalist on the show. After his elimination, he was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma. After chemotherapy and radiation, Luke is cancer free. He joined the cast of Pierce Arrow in 2011.

Scott Fraker is a graduate of Missouri State University and has performed with accapella group The Wing Tips. The Wing Tips made appearances on The Today Show, Good Morning America, and the CBS Morning program. Scott has performed with Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Frankie Avalon. He has also performed for former President George Bush and performed in the gospel quartet Chosen Few at Silver Dollar City until 2001. Scott joined the Pierce Arrow family in 2010.

Tim Storms has been part of multiple accapella groups that gave him the opportunity to perform in seven countries, including Brazil, France, Switzerland, Jamaica, Fiji, Russia, and England, as well as all over the United States. Tim joined the crew in 2006 and has also set the Guinness World Record for the lowest note produced by a human.

Jimmy Fulbright is the newest member of the Pierce Arrow cast, having just joined in 2013. He has played keyboard and/or bass for multiple gospel and country acts that include Donna Fargo and Lee Greenwood. He plays piano, guitar, and drums and loves to sing. He spent 12 years working in theater productions in Branson, MO and Pigeon Forge, TN.

Jarrett Dougherty has made a name for himself in Branson has the funniest comedian in town. He moved to Branson in 1995 and spent time performing with Silver Dollar City’s Sons of the Pioneers. He joined the Pierce Arrow family shortly after ending his career with the Pioneers.

Michelle Wait is the only lady in the Pierce Arrow cast. She has been in Branson since 2004 and has been employed by multiple theaters in the area as a performer. She has even been featured as a vocalist on Carnival Cruise Lines. She’s excited to be part of the Pierce Arrow family in Branson.

Pierce Arrow performs two shows per day from May to December. The schedule is subject to change, so visit piercearrowtheater.com for this season’s schedule. Tickets for this fantastic show are $33.42 for adults, $16.72 for children, $31.19 for seniors and $28.96 for veterans. Pierce Arrow also offers a Family Pass, the Power Punch Program, and 2nd Show discount. Group rates are also available for groups of 20 people or more. You can buy tickets and get reservations by going online to piercearrowtheater.com, calling 1-877-687-4241, or going to the box office in person. Pierce Arrow Theater is located at 3069 Shepherd of the Hills Expressway, Branson MO, 65616.

When you’re passing those billboards along the highway, don’t be skeptical. Pierce Arrow is Branson’s Hottest Show.

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Branson Gift Shops and Novelties

Branson, Missouri, is well known for its shopping venues. We’ve got outlet malls, name-brand stores, more outlet malls, and even a Bass Pro. But if you are looking for some stand out products in some unique places, you may want to visit some of these groovy novelty stores and Branson gift shops!

Mulberry Mill

Mulberry Mill, located in Branson’s Grand Village Shops, is a locally owned and operated novelty store that you’ll want to be sure and stop by. A delightful array of fashion accessories and gourmet foods awaits you here – and what’s even better is that Mulberry Mill has a tasting room, where you can sample drink mixes and dips such as BLT dip and Pineapple Chicken Salad, and much more! Some of the gourmet foods available for purchase include: Bronco Bobs Roasted Raspberry Chipotle Sauce, The Beer Bread Company’s famed Beer Bread Mix, Savory Saltine Amazing Party Crackers, and The Resident Chef gourmet cheeseballs and soup mixes. On the fashion end of things, Mulberry Mill sells a lovely array of scarves, scarf charms, and jewelry. Items can also be purchased at Mulberry Mill’s online store, www.mulberrymill.shopfactory.com

Devo Olive Oil Co.

If you are a culinary whiz or you just want a REALLY unique present to give, Devo Olive Oil Co. on the Branson Landing is the place to stop. After all, who doesn’t love some crazy flavored olive oil? Devo offers flavors of olive oil such as Chipotle, Garlic, Wild Mushroom and Sage, and Blood Orange olive oil – and these are just a few. This unique Branson gift shop also carries specialty gourmet oils like Italian Grapeseed Oil, Roasted French Walnut Oil and White Truffle Oil. Aged Balsamics are another specialty item at Devo – Black Cherry Balsamic and Vanilla Balsamic are a couple of interesting choices. Oils and Balsamics are bottled at the store – you choose your flavor and employees will dispense your flavor of choice into a Devo Olive Oil Co. bottle. There is a taste testing opportunity for every flavor! Devo also stocks pasta – to pair nicely with your olive oil – and locally made lotions and body butters.

Dicks Five & Dime Shop in BransonDick’s Oldtime 5 & 10

For a nostalgic novelty store experience you won’t forget anytime soon, take a trip to Dick’s 5 & 10 in downtown Branson. Founded, owned and operated by Henry L. ‘Dick’ Hartley until his death in 2006, the store is run today by Dick’s wife, June, her son, Steve Hartley and son-in-law, Dave Montgomery. Voted Branson, Missouri’s Best Specialty Store in 2008, Dick’s Oldtime 5 & 10 has something for everyone, young and old alike. Many of the products carried here are the same merchandise lines that were carried by five and dime stores of old, such as linens, sewing notions, hardware and toys. Nostalgic sweet treats like Horehound Candy, BB Bats and candy cigarettes can be found in the candy aisle. Old timey puzzles and games line the shelves, along with household décor and classic TV memorabilia. Pilot-autographed aviation prints and sports memoranda fill the walls, giving the store a true five and dime feel. For a step back in time that will become a lasting memory, come visit this nationally known oldtime 5 & 10 – it’s ‘so much more than just another store!

With these and other fun novelty stores and Branson gift shops to visit, you are certain to find that perfect standout gift or souvenir – and make some memories along the way!

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Branson Memorial Day Celebrations

With Memorial Day weekend fast approaching, everyone known that summer is right around the corner. In Branson, it is the unofficial start of the busy summer tourist season. With visitors coming to enjoy not only the natural beauty but the night life as well, there’s no end to the fun and festivities this Memorial Day weekend in Branson.

There are numerous picnics, celebrations and fireworks displays around Branson in honor of those who have served and are serving our country.

In addition to the picnics going on in the area, tourists are visiting Branson during Memorial Day weekend to spend time on the lake to kick off summer. Water skiing, wakeboarding, tubing, fishing, boating, and so much more are available for you and your family to enjoy during your Memorial Day weekend getaway. The lake offers not only relaxation and enjoyment, but also offers numerous lodging options that keep you close to the water and within easy access to the lake and everything it has to offer. Cabins, campgrounds, cottages, condos, hotels, resorts, RV parks, and vacation homes are available for your convenience. Thousand Hills Golf Resort offers luxurious condos within minutes of the lake so you can easily enjoy its pristine waters. Plus, you’re still close to the night life on Highway 76, with all of its shows, attractions, and shops.

Branson is a great place to be Memorial Day weekend. The shows, attractions, lakeside entertainment, and much more are easily within your reach when visiting the Branson area during the holiday. Come and enjoy the natural beauty of the Ozark Mountains, or enjoy the excitement on Highway 76 and at the Branson Landing. You won’t want to miss it!

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Summer Means White Water Opens Soon!

Anybody in Southwest Missouri will tell you that summers here get HOT. The sun will bake, the humidity will set in, and unless you are a hardcore outdoors person, being out of the shade is not altogether pleasant. Unless you’re in a wave pool. Or on a water slide. Or floating down a lazy river. Where can you find all of these things in one place? Branson’s White Water, of course! With summertime and wicked heat just around the corner, you’ll want to plan your watery excursion as soon as the gates open. Read on for some White Water facts and planning tips!

Branson White WaterWhite Water in a Nutshell

White Water is Branson, Missouri’s one and only water based theme park. A division of Silver Dollar City attractions, this park was designed for fun in the sun – while staying cool! Thirteen acres of water rides and slides, White Water has a little something for everyone – whether you’re a thrill seeker, a beach bum, or a stay-in-the-water-till-your-fingers-wrinkle type. White Water offers a variety of water attractions with varying thrill levels: The Aloha River at Hula Hula Bay, a relaxing inner tube floating experience; Ohana Falls, a fast-paced raft ride down a giant water slide with friends; Surf’s Up Wave Pool, a wavy, watery adventure for all ages to enjoy as you float the waves on an inner tube, and Kalani Towers, a choice between freefalling seventy-five feet down the drop slides at forty miles per hour or slip sliding down the mat racer while trying to beat family and friends in the other lanes! These are just a handful of the fun rides you’ll find at White Water.

Your Passport to Fun – Tickets and Season Passes

White Water has a couple of different options as far as admission to enter the park goes. If you plan on frequenting White Water all summer long to beat the heat, you’ll want to consider purchasing a season pass. For less than the cost of two days’ worth of admissions, you can purchase a pass that will get you into the park for as many days as you want during the operating season. Season pass costs are: $79 plus tax for a child’s pass (4-11 years), $89 plus tax for an adult (12-61 years) and $83 plus tax for seniors (62 + years). If you plan on only spending the day at the park, a regular admission ticket will be the best way to go. One day general admission tickets to White Water cost $44.64 with tax for adults, $37.94 with tax for children and $32.36 with tax for seniors. Group tickets for, say, a reunion or a party can also be purchased – call the park for details.

Planning Your White Water Excursion

A day of waves and splashing at White Water can be great fun, but it requires a little planning to be a comfortable and safe experience. First, apply sunscreen heavily and continue to reapply throughout the day. Stay well hydrated and nourished – plenty of water and some light protein-rich snacks should be added to your beach bag. (Lockers are available for rent to keep your gear in) Several snack shacks and vending machines are also located throughout the park. Always designate a meeting place and have friends and family check in every couple of hours. And for parents with babies and toddlers, it is crucial that small swimmers have a hat, a drink and LOTS of sunscreen. And respect their limits – some small children find the noise and waves frightening, so the Lazy River may be all that they can handle.

A trip to White Water is one of the best ways to stay cool in Branson. With a little bit of prep and planning, it’s sure to be a day trip to remember.

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Tips for Staying in Shape on Your Branson Vacation

Staying fit and healthy is hard enough to do when you’re at home managing your daily life. When you’re on vacation, it can get even harder when you’re eating out more often. In Branson, it’s not as difficult as you think to get exercise and eat well while on vacation. Here are a few tips to help you stay fit and in shape during your Branson vacation.

1. Utilize facilities in or near your hotel. Many hotels, condos, and cabins have easy access to fitness centers. Using one of their treadmills or ellipticals in the evening for just 15 minutes can make a big difference in staying fit while you’re vacationing. Many hotels also have swimming pools on site for you to get some exercise, and everything in Branson is just minutes from great swimming in Table Rock Lake.

2. Have sit-down meals. By skipping fast food restaurants, you can save huge numbers of calories. Sit down restaurants have a variety of options that are filled with protein, vegetables, and other nutrition. Sitting down for a meal also allows you to talk with your family while you’re eating. Your brain has more time to register that you’re full, and you end up eating less when you’re concentrating on the conversation rather than wolfing down your food. Some chain restaurants like Red Lobster and Applebee’s have nutritional information printed right on the menu, making it easy for you to make good food choices.

3. Get some fun exercise. One of the greatest things about Branson is that there are a number of activities that allow you to stay fit and healthy and have fun with your family at the same time. During your Branson vacation, give one of these fun options a try!

One of your options for this family fun is the Branson Rec-Plex. This park features both indoor and outdoor facilities. The 44,000 square foot indoor facility houses two gymnasiums, a fitness center, and a three-lane indoor track. Locker rooms, community rooms, and a concession area are also available for guest convenience. The outdoor facilities at the Branson Rec-Plex offer a 12,000+ square foot aquatic center, soccer fields, baseball and softball fields, picnic pavilions, a large playground area for kids, and walking paths around the facilities. Hours at the Branson Rec-Plex are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday. For more information visit www.bransonparksandrecreation.com or call 417-335-2368.

Another option to help you stay fit on your Branson vacation is Bear Creek Trail Rides. Located just seven miles north of Branson on Highway 65, this locally owned and operated business offers affordable trail rides for young and old alike. Bear Creek offers a one-hour guided ride through shaded, beautiful trails in the Ozark Mountains. They have a variety of gentle, easy to ride horses for riders of every age. Cost is $25 per rider, and all riders must be seven years of age or older. Smaller children may be able to ride with a parent, and extra-large saddles are available for this purpose. The maximum weight limit is 250 lbs. Other horseback riding options include Uncle Ike’s Trail Rides, Cedar Mountain Stables, and Dogwood Canyon Horseback Rides.

No matter how you prefer to go about staying healthy on your Branson vacation, there are loads of ways for you to stay fit with your entire family while you’re staying in the Ozark Mountains.

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The Track Family Fun Parks

When traveling down Highway 76 and around Branson, you can see towering wooden tracks from the street. If this is your first Branson vacation, you may be wondering, “What is that?” The answer is The Track Family Fun Parks. The Track Family Fun Parks are an ideal location for families to have fun together. With five locations in Branson, go-karting fun is just minutes away.

Branson Track Family Fun ParkBetween the five locations, there are 14 different track styles for every age group. Kids and adults alike can have fantastic fun at a great price. However, go-karts aren’t the only thing that the Track Family Fun Parks have to offer. Mini golf, bumper boats, laser tag, arcades, batting cages, and the Skycoaster are also part of the fun at the Track. Three of the Track Family Fun Park locations feature a unique go-kart track. One of those tracks is the LumberJack, located at the Track 5. Built in 2001, this wooden track is three stories tall and 1,186 feet long! This track was the original wooden high-rise in Branson, and took the Track Family Fun Parks to new heights. The LumberJack continues to be a favorite among visitors.

Another of the unique tracks is Wild Woody. This track has two full spirals and a blind peak, making this riding experience feel like a wooden roller coaster. Located at the Track 3, WildWoody was built in 2002, and was even bigger than the LumberJack. At four stories high and 1,440 feet long, it’s hard to miss Wild Woody when you drive into town. With ups, downs, twists, and turns, your family will love riding Wild Woody!

The final of these unique tracks is the newest one to Branson. Located at the Track 4, Heavy Metal High Rise is a metal and concrete track (700 cubic yards of concrete and 200 tons of steel, to be exact). At four stories tall and 1200 feet long, kids and adults will be thrilled when four upward spirals bring them to the top, and a three tiered slope brings them back to the ground!

All of the go-karts, rides, and games at the Track Family Fun Parks require credits, which you can buy in person at any Track Family Fun Park or online. Prices for go-karts and rides vary. If you plan on coming back to the Track more than once during your stay in Branson, a 2013 GO-CARD is a great value.

The GO-CARD gives you all the same fun at all of the Track Family Fun Parks for half price. You get $40 in free credits ($50 if you buy online), and other freebies including free pizza at Pizza World, free custard at Andy’s Frozen Custard, and more. Your GO-CARD also gets you discounts and freebies at other local shows, attractions, and dining including Ride the Ducks, Dixie Stampede, SIX, Fall Creek Steak and Catfish House, and Outback Steak and Oyster Bar. If you’re bringing your family to Branson for a reunion or just for a vacation, group rates are also available at the Track Family Fun Parks. All-Day, 2 Hour, and 1 Hour Fast Pass options are available. All-Day Fast Pass gives you unlimited go-karts and mini golf at ALL of the Track locations ALL DAY LONG! A 2 Hour Fast Pass gives you unlimited go-karts and mini golf at a reserved Track location for two hours, and a 1 Hour Fast Pass gives you unlimited go-karts and mini-golf at a reserved Track location for one hour. For more information about groups and booking your event, call 417-334-1612 or visit www.bransontracks.com.

So, when considering what to do on your Branson vacation, give the Track Family Fun Parks a try. Everyone in your family will love thrilling speed of the go-karts, the splashing fun of bumper boats, and stealthy enjoyment of laser tag at the Track Family Fun Parks.

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Raising a Family in Branson

When you think of how you’re going to go about living the American dream, you want to do it in a place where you can raise a family in safe, friendly and quality environment, with good schools, room to play, and a solid community background. Want to start living your American dream? Perhaps you should consider raising your family in Branson. It has all of the ingredients that are vital to a family friendly community!

Branson Public Schools

Branson SchoolsThe schools within the Branson public school district are proud to proclaim that they are ‘a community committed to learning.’ With six different schools spread out over three different campuses, the administrators, faculty and staff are committed to your child’s education from preschool through high school. At Branson Primary School, little learners from preschool to first grade receive engaging instruction at their level along with social interaction important to their development. The next step in your child’s journey in education is second through fourth grade at Branson Elementary East or Elementary West, depending on the location of your home. Both locations encourage learning for life and striving for greatness. Branson Intermediate will be your child’s in between phase during fifth and sixth grade before entering Branson Junior High, where Principal Bryan Bronn’s mission is “student success.” Then it’s on to Branson High School, with top notch facilities and a staff committed to student growth and scholastic achievement. This great school district is truly dedicated to empowering young learners – you and your family will be proud to be a part of the Pirate community! For more information on the individual schools, programs and faculty, visit www.branson.k12.mo.us Branson Community Library

Branson Taneyhills Community Library is a wonderful family-oriented hotspot. Located in downtown Branson, this is a great place to take your little people for story-time, or your older children to research a school project. This library features a used bookstore, a thrift shop, free Wi-Fi, meeting room space, and much more. A variety of books for a variety of readers makes the Branson Community Library appealing to all ages. There are also community programs such as First Aid and Babysitting Training offered here. The library was first opened in 1933 and today, receives no state or Federal funds – it is funded instead by The Library Club and is run by a handful of paid employees and numerous volunteers. This is a great place to frequent for the reading family in Branson! For directions, hours and other information, visit www.bransoncommunitylibrary.org

Branson Parks

Parks are such an important part of a family friendly community. They provide the perfect backdrop for a play-date, a picnic, or a romantic evening walk. Luckily for those who want to raise their family in Branson, there are several great parks to visit! Alexander Park, located off of Hawthorn Street, is the home of a tennis court, two youth ball fields, a playground and a picnic area. Stockstill Park, situated along Roark Creek, has two large playgrounds, a walking trail, a lighted soccer field and a new skate park - there is something here for everyone. North Beach Park is a very scenic park right on the shores of Lake Taneycomo – it runs right up to the Branson Landing boardwalk. This quaint park features a walking trail, barbeque grills and two fishing docks. These are just a few of Branson’s fun and family friendly parks!

Why Branson?

Branson, Missouri, is a great place to live, work and play. With so many lakes, rivers and creeks, you and your family will never run out of places to explore. The area is serviced by three major hospitals. There are countless country churches and community events to attend here. (Plumb Nellie Days, anyone?) The crime rate is very low and Branson even has its own airport. What’s not to love about raising your family in Branson? For more detailed information about Branson or to order a relocation guide, visit the Branson Chamber of Commerce website at www.bransonchamber.com

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Riding in Branson – Ozarks Equestrian Venues

Many people long to feel the wind in their face and hear the hoofbeats of a valiant steed as they thunder through the woods and across open prairies. But for a lot of people, owning a horse to ride is just not practical. But if all you dream about is horses, come check out some of the great equine stables and opportunities for riding in Branson!

Branson Horse RidingShepherd of the Hills Baldknobber Trail Rides

For a real Ozarks adventure, come ride the historic trails atop a horse here at Shepherd of the Hills! It’s an authentic experience you won’t want to miss. The horses used for the trail rides are the very same horses used in the Shepherd of the Hills theater production – so in a way, you’ll be partnered with a star! Trail rides at Shepherd of the Hills last around half an hour; the trails you’ll ride on meanders through the historic homestead, wooded hollers and on some of the very same terrain the Baldknobbers rode. Riders must be at least seven years old, four feet tall and weigh no more than two hundred-fifty pounds. Riders age seventeen and under are required to wear a riding helmet – safety is a top priority on the Shepherd of the Hills Trail Rides! For more information or to book a ride call 417-334-4191

Bear Creek Trail Rides

Bear Creek Trail Rides, located seven miles north of Branson directly off of Highway 65, is a horse-centered, family owned and operated business nestled in the Ozark Mountain country. If you are looking for a quality horseback riding experience on beautiful trails, this operation is a prime choice for riding in Branson. The trails here wind through lush oak forests characteristic of the Ozarks, and offer riders lovely bluff views. Trail rides at Bear Creek last for one hour or two hours – one hour rides are $25 per person and two hour rides are $40 per person. (NOTE: two hour rides are for experienced riders only) All horses are equipped with Western tack, and Bear Creek prides themselves on providing gentle, well trained horses for guests to ride. Riders must be at least seven years old and weigh no more than two hundred-fifty pounds. You can find Bear Creek Trail Rides on Facebook or call 417-337-7708.

Dogwood Canyon Nature Park Trail Rides

For a variety of fun horseback experiences, come visit the stables at Dogwood Canyon Nature Park! Folks of all ages and riding levels will find something to enjoy here. The Straight Shooter Trail Ride is an excellent choice for novice riders. A leisurely, ‘nose to tail’ ramble through Dogwood Canyon will delight riders on this fun, nature packed trail ride. Riders on the Straight Shooter must be at least eight years old, forty-eight inches tall and less than two hundred-sixty pounds. The Little Indian Advanced Trail Ride is a challenging five to six hour ride that will take riders through forests, open pastures and across Little Indian Creek. Lunch is provided! Riders for this adventure must be at least twelve years old, forty-eight inches tall and less than two hundred-forty pounds. The Raw Hide! Cattle Drive provides riders with an authentic cattle drive experience moving Texas Longhorns across open fields to new pastures. After the herd has been driven to a new site, cowhands will receive a hearty chuckwagon meal! Cattle drivers must be at least ten years old, forty-eight inches tall and weigh less than two hundred-fifty pounds. Visit Dogwood Canyon on the web at www.dogwoodcanyon.org

If a thrilling (or leisurely!) ride across the Ozarks is what you seek, look no further than these great locations for riding in Branson!

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