The Branson Missouri Blog

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Bluegrass and BBQ at Silver Dollar City

Long known as the “Home of American Craftsmanship”, Silver Dollar City brings together some of the best craftsmen and entertainers throughout the year for its six festivals. One of those festivals is Bluegrass and BBQ. Dubbed the “World’s Top Bluegrass Event” by the International Bluegrass Music Association, the Bluegrass and BBQ Festival at Silver Dollar City attracts music enthusiasts and BBQ lovers from all across the United States and the world. Families can enjoy the park for hours, and it is easy to find a little something for everyone.

During the festival, Silver Dollar City sets the stage for artists like The HillBenders and Darin and Brooke Aldridge to wow audiences with their talents. Many different Hundreds of thousands of people come from all over the United States to see some of the best live bluegrass music in the world.

Bluegrass & BBQ at Silver Dollar CitySome of the bands that were featured in the festival this year were The HillBenders, The Grascals, Rhonda Vincent and the Rage, and Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver. Each year, Silver Dollar City hosts a Single Microphone Competition, which is a revival of a style made popular in the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s. According to Silver Dollar City’s website, this style used only a single microphone, and band members would balance their sound by moving toward it or away from it. The winners of the 2012 competition, Brightwater Junction, are performing in the festival in 2013. This year the competition took place on May 18th, and the band Lonsome Meadow took home the first place prize. During Bluegrass and BBQ, Silver Dollar City also hosts the KSMU Youth in Bluegrass Contest. On May 25th, musicians 21 years of age or younger wowed audiences with their budding talents, and WMD Band took home the coveted first place honor.

New to Bluegrass and BBQ this year is the opportunity to experience bluegrass music by land and by lake. Showboat Branson Belle offered bluegrass cruises on May 24th and 26th at noon. This cruise featured performances by Monroe Crossing on May 24th, the Larry Stephenson Band on May 25th, and The Special Consensus on May 26th.

Last but definitely not least is The House of BBQ. This eatery serves St. Louis style ribs, smoked chicken, roasted corn on the cob, and many other dishes that come straight from outdoor charcoal grills and a custom built nine-foot long smoker. An all-you-can-eat BBQ rib feast is also back to Bluegrass and BBQ. This feast happens each afternoon on the Square, and smoked ribs and smoked brisket are on the menu. A variety of different sauces are also available for sampling, and can enhance the flavor of any of your BBQ dishes.

When you’re in the Branson area in the spring, make sure to check out Silver Dollar City’s Bluegrass and BBQ festival for the best of the best in bluegrass and the best of the best in BBQ experiences. You and your whole family can find something to enjoy, whether it is the bluegrass music, the fabulous food, or the opportunity to cruise the lake and experience the ambiance of bluegrass from the water. Before you go on vacation, take a look at Silver Dollar City for your family. For more information about tickets, season passes, and events going on in the park, visit silverdollarcity.com.

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Branson Rentals – When You Want More Than A Hotel

Branson RentalsA perfect vacation spot would normally mean a breathtaking resort coupled with a touch of nature and a relaxing place to get some sleep afterwards. You can now add a little twist to your perfect vacation with Branson’s vacation rentals. There a variety of vacation lodging options that Branson can offer you.

You can opt for Branson cabin rentals if you prefer a more secluded feel for your dream vacation. Rest and relaxation, not to mention privacy, is in your hands with the Branson log cabins. Situated in the luscious greens of Branson, Missouri, these cabins will surely give you a memorable vacation experience. Cabin rentals include fireplaces, fully furnished kitchens, wireless internet and many more. Also, a swimming pool and a jacuzzi tub are available to ensure that you totally enjoy your stay in Branson. Surely, renting a cabin in Branson will take nature within arm’s reach and give you that much needed breath of fresh air.

Rentals of Branson condominiums are also available if you prefer larger bedrooms and ample space and if you come in large groups. Thousand Hills Golf Resort in Branson, Missouri offers five-star amenities and luxurious facilities along with the exemplary service that you will get from the staff. Kids and kids at heart are sure to enjoy the indoor and outdoor pools of the condominium. Just like the rentals for the log cabins, you can also choose from the pristine views that surround the Branson condominiums. With peace and serenity at hand, it’s like living life away from the busy city with everything still accessible to you. Condominium rentals in Branson offers fully furnished kitchens and bedrooms, wireless internet, cable television and many more. For the visitors who need to squeeze a workout in their getaway, a gym is also available for use. Now here comes the best part. It is absolutely free. Condo rentals in Branson definitely allow you to get more than what you paid for.

Branson rentals offer you first-class amenities and service at an unbelievably low price. So if you want a classic twist in your usual vacation routine, don’t forget about the simple yet elegant cabins and condominiums available for you to rent in Thousand Hills Golf Resort.

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Get a Slice at a Branson Pizza Place

Pizza is one of those classic dishes that nearly everybody loves. You might say that it’s All-American – but historically, pizza was brought to America by Italians who discovered this loaded flatbread in China. Go figure! Regardless of its origins, pizza has worked its way into the hearts of many. And everyone has their favorites: thin crust, thick crust, stuffed crust, pepperoni, vegetarian, macaroni and cheese, spicy, mild, white sauce, red sauce – if you can dream it, it has probably been on a pizza. If you are in the Branson/Tri-Lakes area and you are in the mood for a slice of goodness, you’ll want to check out some of the great Branson pizza joints around town – you are sure to find a pizza that will fit your style!

Hook and Ladder Pizza Co.

Hook and Ladder Pizza, located off of the main drag in downtown Hollister, MO, is by far one of the most unique pizza places around. The first thing that you’ll probably notice is that there are antique fire trucks parked outside the door advertising the restaurant. The second thing you’ll probably notice is that the inside décor is all firehouse themed. And the third thing that you’ll probably notice is that the cooks, waiters and waitresses are all volunteer firemen and women! This locally owned and operated firehouse-centered pizza restaurant does more than make pizza – they work hard to promote paid and volunteer fire stations and to raise awareness about everything that firefighters do and how you can help. When the employees at Hook and Ladder are not busy fighting fires or responding to other local emergencies in the area, they are making pizza – delicious pizza! (And a few other things too) Upon entering Hook and Ladder, you can peruse the menu and place your order at the front counter. Then you continue into the dining room, where you can learn a lot about local fire districts just by looking at the memorabilia hanging on the walls. Then comes the pizza! The crust here is made from scratch, and so is the sauce. Only fresh, high quality ingredients top these pizzas. Some of their specialty pizzas include: the Super, which is a combination of everything good on a pizza, such as pepperoni, black olives, green pepper, pork sausage, mushrooms and more, and the Alfredo, which is a superb pizza topped with chicken, mushrooms, onions and a special cheese blend and slathered in Alfredo sauce. Hook and Ladder also serves sub sandwiches, salads, seasonal soups and desserts – a BIG slice of Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Pie is a great way to round off your firehouse pizza experience!

Old Chicago Pizza

Old Chicago Pizza, located on the Branson Landing, is a nice place to have a slice of Branson pizza while people watching on The Landing and getting a view of the lake. Old Chicago has been serving pizza and beer for three decades – customers love the food and keep coming back for more. Some of Old Chicago’s menu items that are up for grabs include: Pub Pizzas, Sicilian Pepperoni Rolls, wings with varying degrees of spiciness, and Mozzarella Sticks, just to name a few. Old Chicago is also well known for its draft beers, some of which include Blue Moon, Boulevard, New Belgium and 1554. Old Chicago also offers a kids menu – so with something for everyone, it’s a great place to eat after a day of family fun, a girls day shopping trip or a night with the guys.

Mr. Gilberti’s Place

Mr. Gilberti’s Place, an authentic Chicago style pizza experience, is another wonderful hidden pizza place near Branson. Located just off of Acacia Club Road in Hollister, just up the road from College of the Ozarks (lunch after touring campus, anyone?), Mr. G’s Place is famous for their old family recipes that are cooked, baked and served at the restaurant. Start off with an appetizer like Toasted Ravioli, Crab Bites or Tomato Bread. Then choose from entrees such as a Chicago Style Pan Pizza, Mostaccoili Ala Gilberti pasta dish, or some Minestrone Soup, which was rumored to be Al Capone’s favorite dish. Desserts such as Cannoli, Gelato and Dino’s Carrot Cake can be purchased here as a sweet ending to an authentic Chicago/Italian meal!

Branson pizza (or near Branson pizza!) is always a delicious treat. If it’s a slice you’re after, you’ll have no trouble finding a place here to satisfy your hunger!

 

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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.

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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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