‘Tis the Season: Christmastime in Branson

Christmas kicks off early here in Branson: the lights are already twinkling around town, and holiday shows and parades have begun.

Here’s the best of the season’s fun that’s already starting.

 

Let There Be Lights Drive Thru

Photo: ExploreBranson.com

Promised Land Zoo

2751 Shepherd of the Hills Expressway, Branson MO 65616

November 1st – December 31st

Every evening from 5 – 11 p.m., the Promised Land Zoo is transformed into a Christmas world, with a 2 mile drive-thru of lights. At the end is the Candy Lane Courtyard, complete with displays, Santa along with his reindeer, a live nativity petting zoo, and hot chocolate.

Take the tram tour for a chance to meet and feed animals as well as Santa’s reindeer!

 

North Pole Adventure

Photo: Shepherd of the Hills

Shepherd of the Hills Homestead

5586 W Hwy 76, Branson MO 65616

November 1st – December 30th

A new event at Shepherd of the Hills this year has thousands of lights sparkling from the streets, buildings and trees of the homestead. Young and old can enjoy Jingle Junction, with miniature golf, a barn hay maze, a petting zoo, Christmas crafts and more, followed by a visit with Santa.

Two new shows are also presented at the Homestead: a dinner show, A Shepherd’s Christmas Carol, and a breakfast show, Santa and Pancakes.

For more info, visit the Homestead’s events page.

 

The Polar Express

Photo: Bailiwick Studios

Branson Scenic Railway

206 E Main Street, Branson MO 65616

November 2nd – December 23rd

The Polar Express comes to Branson! On a trip to the North Pole to pick up Santa, hot chocolate and cookies are served while the book, “The Polar Express” is read aloud. When Santa joins the ride, he visits each car, giving all the passengers a special gift. Christmas carolers and the Hobo also make appearances aboard the train.

A complete schedule of departures can be found on the Scenic Railway’s website.

 

Branson’s Festival of Trees

Branson Landing

100 Branson Landing, Suite 219, Branson, MO 65616 (across from H & M)

November 10th – December 9th

Beautiful, one-of-a-kind twinkling Christmas trees and wreaths will be on display for all to enjoy. Sales of the trees, donated by area businesses, benefit Christian Action Ministries (CAM), which operates food pantries all across Taney County.

Special events, like cookies and milk with Mrs. Claus, and cookie decorating are scheduled as well. Check out the website for a complete list of activities.

 

Santa’s Wonderland

Photo: MishMish

Bass Pro Shops

1 Bass Pro Lane, Branson MO 65616 (Branson Landing)

November 10th – December 24th

A portion of Branson’s Bass Pro is transformed each Christmas season into a magical winter wonderland.

Santa arrives Saturday, November 10th at 5 p.m. for a tree lighting and Wonderland unveiling. Free cookies and hot chocolate will be offered, as well as a free craft project (decorating a Santa stocking). A $25 Bass Pro gift card will be given away every half hour.

Free games, crafts, and activities will be offered every day of the Wonderland. You can also have your photo taken with Santa and receive a complimentary print.

Check out a complete schedule of activities at the Bass Pro website.

 

Title Photo: ExploreBranson.com

Outdoor Fall Fun in Branson

The air is getting crisper and the days are getting shorter. Now is the time to take advantage of the spectacular autumn days ahead to enjoy the great outdoors.

Here are some of the best outdoor activities that the area has to offer!

 

Play at a Fall Festival

Photo: Sycamore Creek Family Ranch

Harvest Festival at Still Waters Resort

Monday – Thursday, September 13th – October 31st

Ages 13 and up: $10.00 – Children 4 to 12: $5.00 – Children 3 and under: Free

Open to the public, Still Waters Resort on Indian Point hosts their first ever Harvest Festival, open to the public during the week. Admission gets you access to harvest eats and drinks, as well as inflatables, live music, hayrides, pumpkin chunkin’ and pumpkin bowling, and crafts for the kids to enjoy.

 

McKenna Family Farm Pumpkin Patch

Tuesday – Sunday, September 15th – November 10th

Ages 3 – 65: $7.50 – Seniors 66 and over: $3.75 – Children 2 and under: Free

With a spook-tacular hay ride through the woods, a giant bounce pillow, a two-acre maze, gigantic gerbil wheels, hay bale maze and tire walls to climb on, the McKenna’s farm offers plenty of seasonal fun for the whole family. Lots of photo-ops abound with farm animals and a variety of unique pumpkins to pick from. 7 miles from Branson on F Highway, the Pumpkin Patch is open every day of the week except Monday.

 

Fall Roundup at Sycamore Creek Family Ranch

Every Saturday & Sunday, September 29th – November 4th

Ages 3 and up: $7.50 – Children 2 and under: Free

Head out to Sycamore Creek Family ranch for some good old-fashioned fun! Hayrides, a giant Branson-themed corn maze, farm-style Frisbee golf, a hay bale fort and more await. Roast s’mores at the bonfire pit and visit the farm animals.

Sycamore Creek is located just 6 miles northeast of Branson, on Sunset Inn Drive off of T Highway.

 

Take an Autumn Hike

Photo: Dino Vitale

What better time to hike the great outdoors than when the autumn colors start changing? There are multiple trails in the area, offering a chance to enjoy the Ozarks’ splendid beauty.

 

Lakeside Forest Wilderness Area

Tucked right in the heart of town off Fall Creek Road is the Lakeside Forest Wilderness Area. With 5.3 miles of trails to pick from, you can take short jaunt or hike the entire area. Walk down 315 hand-laid stone steps to reach the Grotto, a large rock cutout which forms a waterfall during rainy periods. At the end of your hike, stop at the old Owen Homestead and rest in the big porch swing that overlooking a spectacular view.

 

Ruth and Paul Henning Conservation Area

Accessible from north Highway 248 off Sycamore Log Church Road, and also from Highway 76 just north of the 376 intersection, this area has three trails to choose. A .4 mile asphalt paved trail leads to the viewing tower that you can climb on Dewey Bald. The 3.4 mile Henning Homesteaders Trail leads past several homestead sites.

 

Waterfall Trail

If you’re just up for a short walk, the Waterfall Trail is a delightful 2/3 mile long trail running across a creek and ending at a miniature waterfall. The entrance is located at the intersection of Roark Valley Road and Shepherd of the Hills Expressway.

 

Enjoy Apple Picking

Bear Creek Farms

Nothing says “autumn” like picking your own apples! Bear Creek Farms is located 10 minutes north of Branson off Highway 65. With several varieties to choose from, pick a quarter peck, half peck, or whole peck.

 

Go on a Fall Bike Ride

Photo: ExploreBranson.com

Dogwood Canyon Nature Park

Park admission: $10 / Children 3 – 11: $5

Bike rentals:  Adults: $15 / Children: $10

Dogwood Canyon, south of Branson on Highway 86, offers absolutely stunning views of nature whenever fall colors peak. You can bring your own bikes or rent bikes, including kiddie carts, and enjoy the scenery along the 6.5 mile paved trail.

 

White River Valley Trail

The best spot for off-road mountain biking, the White River Valley Trail includes four loops with a total of 11.75 miles’ worth of trails. Small waterfalls, views of both Table Rock and Taneycomo lakes, and the remains of a farmstead are some of the scenic highlights along the trails, which are also great for hiking. The main trailhead opens on Highway 265, across from Table Rock State Park.

If you don’t own a mountain bike, Downhill Bikes & Accessories  just off Highway 248 offers bike rentals from Tuesday – Saturday.

 

Float Down the Lake

Photo: drubuntu

Kayak Branson

Why not enjoy fall’s splendor on a relaxing float trip along the lake? Kayak Branson is located on Highway 165 and provides kayak and canoe rentals. You pick the spot for your float trip – Taneycomo or Table Rock Lake.

 

*Title Photo courtesy of Sycamore Creek Family Ranch

Where to Buy Local, Farm Fresh Food in Branson

Buying locally produced food is an option many people are choosing nowadays.

It means supporting your local farmer and local economy, knowing what’s in the food you buy, and making an environmentally sound choice, as your food hasn’t traveled thousands of miles to get to you, the consumer.  On top of all this, fresh, local food simply tastes amazing!

There are more spots around the Branson area than you might think, to find straight-from-the-farmer food. Here’s a list to get you started:

 

1) Branson Farmers Market

Photo: Branson Farmers Market

Branson Landing (north side parking lot)

April – October / Tuesdays, 3 – 7 p.m.

Centrally located at Branson Landing, the Branson Farmer’s Market is located on the north end of the parking lot, near Belk.

Under a row of canopies in a sectioned off portion of the parking lot, area farmers offer their fresh seasonal produce and meats. You can also sample yummy treats and food truck favorites, enjoy live music, and shop the wares offered by local crafters.

 

2)  Hollister Farm to Table Market

Photo: Hollister Farm to Table Market

118 Symington Place, Hollister, MO 65672

June – October / Saturdays, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Stationed in downtown Hollister, you can take a break from the heat, and do your shopping inside! Every type of produce imaginable, from watermelons, peppers and tomatoes, to potatoes, squash and okra can be found here during the height of the growing season, as well as honey and eggs.  You can also expect to find high quality products such as hand-poured soy candles and handmade soaps.

 

3) Good Heart Soil Farm

(formerly known as “The Tomato House”)

254 Wilson Rd, Branson, MO 65616

Monday – Saturday, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Your friendly neighborhood produce stand is tucked right in town off of Bee Creek Road.  While not certified organic, owner Sherri follows organic growing practices and opts to use as environmentally-friendly methods as possible.

When you stop by, you’ll likely find a variety of tomatoes, blackberries, okra, peppers, zucchini, and more!

 

4) McKenna Family Farm

Photo: McKenna Family Farm

3265 Hwy F, Branson, MO 65616

May – November (extended store hours during pumpkin patch season)

Monday – Friday, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. / Saturdays, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Run by three generations of the McKenna family, this business is truly a family operation. During the fall, the farm is open for fun at the pumpkin patch, but the produce barn is always full of offerings from spring through autumn. The family’s zucchini, cucumbers, green beans, tomatoes, onions and other veggies are all grown without the use of synthetic pesticides. They even offer pork cuts and nitrate-free bacon, raised naturally on property free of growth additives.

 

5) Bear Creek Farm

932 Keithley Rd, Walnut Shade, MO 65771

July – December / Friday – Saturday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Located just 10 minutes north of Branson, Bear Creek is a step into the past. Drop by the farm to find fresh honey and pesticide-free seasonal fruits and veggies. Come autumn, enjoy picking your own apples and sampling fresh apple cider. Don’t forget to grab a jar of tantalizing apple butter, created with a top-secret family recipe.

 

6) Brittain Farm

Photo: Lacy Tomlinson, compliments of Brittain Farm

Kirbyville, MO

The Brittain family has operated a farm in Taney County for over 100 years.

They offer beef, pork, poultry and eggs. All their animals are pasture raised with plenty of space to roam freely and enjoy the sunshine.  No antibiotics or hormones are ever administered, and their beef is completely grass fed and grass-finished.

You can find them every other week at the Branson Farmer’s market, or contact them directly through their website to inquire about special orders. Their beef can also be found at Harter House and Sunfest Market.

 

7) Persimmon Hill Farm

367 Persimmon Hill Lane, Lampe, MO 65681

Hours vary by season; check the website for details

Situated just southwest of Branson, Persimmon Hill has been a family operation for over 30 years. During the summer, you can stop by to pick your own berries or just purchase some that are pre-picked. While there, check out all the mouth-watering jams and berry syrups made on site, then stop by the restaurant/bakery to enjoy a delectable blueberry muffin or shiitake mushroom quesadilla, with mushrooms grown right on the farm.

Spring Garage-Saling in Branson

Looking for some bargains? Spring is the perfect time to check out the community garage and rummage sales around town. Here are some can’t-miss upcoming big sales in Branson and the surrounding Taney County area.

 

Our Lady of the Ozarks Bake & Rummage Sale

Photo: Flickr

Thursday, April 26th – Saturday, April 28th

951 Swan Valley Drive, Forsyth, MO 65653

The entire lower level of the building will be full of furniture, antiques, household items and clothing, as well as yummy baked goods.

The sale runs from 7 a.m. – 4 p.m. on Thursday, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. on Friday, and 8 a.m. – noon on Saturday.

 

Twin Island Estates Annual Multi-Family Garage Sale

Photo: Flickr

Saturday, April 28th – 7 a.m. – 2 p.m.

102 South Maple Street, Blue Eye, MO 65611

Maps highlighting all the garage sale spots will be passed out at Twin Islands entrance. Everything from antiques, collectibles and furniture to tools, fishing gear and scrapbooking supplies will be represented in the neighborhood sales.

Make sure to stop by the Community Center to buy some beautiful plants, baked goods, or concessions.

 

Shepherd of the Lakes Lutheran Church Annual Bake & Rummage Sale

Photo: Flickr

Friday, May 4th – Saturday, May 5th

13904 US Hwy 160, Forsyth, MO 65653

Just east of Branson, this annual sale takes place from 7 a.m. – 4 p.m. on Friday and 7 a.m. to noon on Saturday.

 

Savannah Place Neighborhood Sale

Photo: Flickr

Friday, May 4th – Saturday, May 5th

Located in Savannah Place (off Rinehart Rd which is just off Bee Creek Road in Branson), this big neighborhood sale is not to be missed!

 

Branson Community Garage Sale

Photo: Flickr

Saturday, May 5th – 7 a.m. – 2 p.m.

1501 Branson Hills Parkway, Branson, MO 65616

Find some great deals at this popular sale put on in the parking lot of the Branson Rec Plex! Need to get rid of extra belongings? Register now – a spot for sellers is just $15.

This bi-annual sale is held rain or shine.

 

Shepherd of the Hills Garden Club Plant Sale

Saturday, May 5th – 8 a.m – 1 p.m.

1830 W Hwy 76, Branson, MO 65616

More than just plants, the Garden Club hosts this sale in the parking lot of the Appletree Mall. Annuals and perennials, as well as gardening and flea-market finds will be offered. Proceeds go towards a scholarship for a C of O horticulture student.

The sale takes place rain or shine!

 

Spring Garage Sale at Pointe Royale Golf Village

Photo: Flickr

Saturday, May 5th – 8 a.m. – 2 p.m.

142 Clubhouse Drive, Branson, MO 65616

Dozens of families open their garages at this community sale off Highway 165.

The Best Museums to Visit in Branson

Has a rainy day cancelled outdoor weekend plans? Why not check out one of the many great museums offered in the Branson area? Spend an afternoon immersing yourself in some nostalgia or local history.

Here are some of the best museums the area has to offer:

Titanic Museum

Photo: ExploreBranson.com

3235 Highway 76, Branson, MO 65616 (at the corner of Hwy 165)

As soon as you enter the “Titanic,” you are given a boarding pass with the name of an actual passenger, and welcomed by a costumed, in-character crew. It’s like experiencing a bit of what the original Titanic was like! View hundreds of artifacts from the actual ship, and walk up the grand staircase. Interactive displays throughout immerse you in life aboard the ship. At the end you have a chance to see if the person on your boarding pass survived the tragedy.

The Titanic Museum is open 9 a.m. – 7 p.m. Sunday – Thursday, and 9 a.m. – 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, with extended hours beginning Memorial Day.

 

World’s Largest Toy Museum

Photo: ExploreBranson.com

3609 West Highway 76, Branson MO 65616

Boasting over a million toys, the name given to this museum is no exaggeration. It features something to delight every age: everything from cast iron figures, to Barbie and Disney collections, to Western toys, spanning from the 1800’s to the present day. Not just a toy museum, however, the complex also features the Paul Harvey Museum and the Harold Bell Wright museum.

The Toy Museum is open 9 a.m. – 8 p.m. Monday – Saturday.

 

Ralph Foster Museum

Photo: Flicker, Colin McMillen

237 Christian St, Point Lookout, MO 65672

Called “The Smithsonian of the Ozarks,” this treasure is just a few minutes south of Branson, located inside the College of the Ozarks campus. Outside, a turn of the century schoolhouse greets visitors; inside, three floors of fascinating exhibits await.

Displays include the vehicle used in the Beverly Hillbillies TV show, a 19th century pioneer cabin, historical tools, a display of antique firearms, glassware and textiles, as well as scientific displays filled with gems, butterflies, and animals from around the world.  For the younger set, make sure you stop by the Discovery Room, created just for kids ages 4 – 9.

Ralph Foster Museum is open Monday – Saturday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

 

Gaetz Tractor Museum & Edwards Mill

Photo: Flickr, Jerry & Pat Donaho

100 Opportunity Ave, Hollister, MO 65672

Also located at College of the Ozarks, this museum may be small, but is free to visit. Children and adults alike will enjoy viewing the restored farm equipment. Afterwards, stop at Edwards Mill just up the street, to experience a working grist mill, where students mill flour and cornmeal available for sale. Upstairs is an old fashioned weaving studio where students demonstrate their work; check out the display of antique milling equipment downstairs in the basement.

 

History of Fishing Museum

225 N. Wildwood Drive, Branson, MO 65616

Located just off Highway 76, this museum is reviewed as fun even for those who aren’t into fishing. Filled with all kinds of boats, rods, and lures, and even some interesting contraptions people have used over the centuries for catching fish. The collection was gathered by one man, Karl White, and contains over 40,000 items – make sure you allow at least a couple hours to browse it all!

Hours of operation: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Monday – Saturday, and noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday.

 

Celebrity Car Museum

Photo: Flickr, Thad Zajdowicz

1600 W 76 Country Blvd, Suite A, Branson MO 65616

Located across from Fritz’s Adventure on Highway 76, this is one of Branson’s best kept secrets. From Jurassic Park to Back to the Future to Fast and Furious, the museum is chock-full of cars used on well-known movie sets (many of them for sale, should you be so inclined.)

Open daily from 9 a.m. – 8 p.m (closes at 10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.)

 

Branson Auto & Farm Museum

Photo: ExploreBranson.com

1335 West Highway 76

Featuring two acres of classic vehicles and farm equipment from the earliest days of the 20th century up through the present, this museum is a fun walk (make that ride) down memory lane.

The museum is located right on Highway 76, and is open daily from 9 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

 

Bonniebrook

Photo: ExploreBranson.com

Rose O’Neill Rd, Walnut Shade, MO 65771

Bonniebrook was the home of artist Rose O’ Neill, memorialized for creating the Kewpie doll. Hers was the first home in Taney County to ever have a telephone, indoor bathroom, and electricity. You can tour the 14-room house, stroll through the grounds, and view Rose’s artwork in the gallery. There is also a Kewpie museum containing hundreds of Kewpie items from the early 20th century during the height of the doll’s popularity.

Bonniebrook, just north of Branson off Highway 65 in Walnut Shade, is open from April to October, Wednesday – Saturday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

 

Title Photo: ExploreBranson.com

Eastertime in Branson

Spring has sprung and Easter is just around the corner! This will be the first time in 62 years that April Fool’s Day (April 1) and Easter happen to fall on the same day.

Everything from savory Easter Sunday brunch to a musical on the life of Jesus, as well as plenty of Easter egg hunts, can be found happening around town. How will you spend you Easter weekend?

 

Glow in the Dark Egg Hunt

Wednesday, March 28 – 6 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Tri-Lakes Christian Church, 116 Pathway Rd, Branson

More than 3,000 glow-in-the-dark eggs will be hidden around the church. Hot dogs will be grilled before the hunt starts.

 

Jesus: the Experience

Photo: JesusTheExperience.com

Friday, March 30 – Sunday, April 1

Yakov Theater, 470 Hwy 248, Branson

Ovr 50 singers, dancers and actors present this Broadway-style musical, depicting the life of Jesus, from his birth to the resurrection. Tickets can be purchased at jesustheexperience.com.

 

Branson RecPlex Community Easter Egg Hunt

Photo: Barney Moss, Flickr

Saturday, March 31 – starts at 8:30 a.m.

1501 Branson Hills Pkwy, Branson

At this free event for the community, there will be multiple fun events for the whole family out in the RecPlex ballfield, like inflatables and photo-ops with the Easter bunny. The Easter egg hunt for ages 0 – 3 starts at 9:00 a.m. Ages  4 – 7 begin at 9:30 a.m., and ages 8 – 10 hunt at 10:00 a.m.

 

Hollister Easter Egg Hunt

Saturday, March 31 – 12 p.m. – 2 p.m.

2112 State Hwy BB Hollister, MO 65672

Join other egg-hunters on the Hollister High School football field for an afternoon of face painting, inflatables, a duck pond, and much more. Festivities will take place inside in case of rain.

 

Bear Creek Farms Easter Egg Hunt

Saturday, March 31 – 2 p.m.  –  5 p.m.

932 Keithley Rd, Walnut Shade, MO 65771

There’s nothing like a good old-fashioned Easter egg hunt on the farm! There will be plenty of time to enjoy crafts, stories, games and all the farm animals following the egg hunt.

 

Level 2 Steakhouse’s Easter Brunch

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Photo: ExploreBranson.com

Sunday, April 1 – 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

200 East Main Street, Branson (in the Hilton Convention Center Hotel)

Level 2 offers a dizzying array of delights for Easter, from sushi and cold seafood to salads and breakfast pastries and breads. Beef tenderloin, baked ham, and rosemary roasted leg of lamb take center stage.

 

Easter Brunch at the Keeter Center

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Photo: Florador, Flickr

Sunday, April 1 – 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

1 Opportunity Ave, Point Lookout, MO 65726

The Keeter Center’s resident Chef creates a gorgeous ice sculpture just for Easter, which overlooks a spread of fresh fruit, cheeses, crudités and salads. Treat yourself to personalized omelets and waffles, along with seafood, prime rib, and smoked ham.

 

Easter Brunch at Chateau on the Lake

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Photo: ExploreBranson.com

Sunday, April 1 – 10:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.

415 State Hwy 265, Branson

Spend a beautiful Easter Sunday morning at the Chateau Grille, feasting on scrumptious breakfast favorites, cut meats, salads, fruits, desserts and more.

 

Title Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Branson’s Luckiest Spots for St. Patrick’s Day

Don your best green digs and get ready for some fun this St. Patrick’s Day, which falls on Saturday, March 17 this year. Here are some of the most exciting spots around town to spend the day.

 

St Patrick’s Weekend at the Paddlewheel

Photo: ExploreBranson.com

Serving up generous portions and featuring regular local talent, The Paddwheel restaurant rests on beautiful Lake Taneycomo.

St Patrick’s Day weekend lasts from Friday, March 16 – Saturday, March 17, with live bands playing both nights at 8:30 p.m. and meal and drink specials offered. No cover charge.

 

Hughes Brothers “Luck of the Irish” Show

Photo: ExploreBranson.com

Enjoy music, dancing and Irish heritage at the Hughes Brother’s “it” Show for a very lucky celebration.  Don your St. Patrick’s best and place your ticket in the “pot of gold” for a chance to win $1000 worth of gold coins and other great prizes.  Dinner is at 6:30 p.m.  with the show starting at 8 p.m.

 

Waxy O’Shea’s Irish Pub

Photo: Facebook

What could be a more perfect way to spend St. Paddy’s Day than at an Irish style pub? Grab some corned beef and cabbage and enjoy the live Celtic music from local band Eire & Brimstone, from 2 p.m. on through the evening.

Waxy O’ Shea’s is located at Branson Landing  (facing Main Street.)

 

Sycamore Creek St. Patrick’s Day Barn Dance

Photo: Facebook

Bring the whole family and kick up your heels Western style (with a Saint Patrick’s twist!) Dance instruction is provided – come with or without a partner.

Admission is $10 per person, or $5 for ages 3 – 11. If you wear green, you get $1 off admission.

The barn at Sycamore Creek is located on Sunset Inn Road (off of T Highway.)

 

Title Photo: ExploreBranson.com

Where to Spend Valentine’s Day in Branson

Make this Valentine’s Day memorable for you and your sweetie. Whether you choose a quiet dinner for two, or an energetic show, you can’t go wrong with one of the many options around town for an unforgettable evening out.

 

Branson’s Center Stage Grill

Photo: ExploreBranson.com

Branson’s Center Stage Grill offers a scrumptious array of options for dinner on February 14.
The classic Valentine’s favorite, Chocolate Covered Strawberries, is on the menu, followed by an appetizer of Crab and Smoked Salmon Stuffed Mushrooms.

You get a choice of three entrées: Smoked Prime Rib with Mushroom Onion Jam and Yorkshire Pudding, Pancetta Stuffed Chicken Breast with Mornay Sauce, or Poached Salmon with Hollandaise Sauce. Dessert is guest’s choice.

$40 per person, or $75 per couple. Dinner is served from 4 – 8 p.m. Reservations recommended.

 

The Landing Princess

Photo: ExploreBranson.com

Main Street Lake Cruises at the Landing offers a 2 hour cruise on lovely Lake Taneycomo. You and your Valentine will enjoy a three course dinner: Mixed Greens with Raspberry Vinaigrette, Balsamic Braised Short Ribs, Seared Scallops and sides of Baked Potato and Roasted Brussels Sprouts, followed by dessert –Passion Fruit Custard, Mango Compote, and Raspberry Coulis.

$56.09 per person. Window seats, roses, champagne or wine are available as additional add-ons. Dinner is at 5:45 p.m. on February 14 and February 17. Reservations recommended.

 

The Keeter Center

What could be more romantic than a candle-lit dinner at the beautiful Keeter Center? Enjoy a special chef-prepared meal, live music, and dancing in a rose petal setting. $49.50 per person before tax, gratuity and drinks. Reservations are required for the February 14 dinner.

 

 Florentina’s

Photo: ExploreBranson.com

What better choice for a sweethearts’ retreat than charming Italy? If a trip across the ocean just isn’t in your budget, local Florentina’s (on Green Mountain Drive) can bring a bit of old world charm within easy reach. From chicken Marsala to seafood offerings to brick oven-fired pizzas, there’s an option for every taste.

Re-opening February 9, Florentina’s winter hours of operation are  Friday – Sunday 11 a.m. – 8:30 p.m..

 

“Love Is” Cabaret at Historic Owen Theatre

Photo Source

Local Forte Theatrical Productions will be performing from 8 – 11 p.m. on February 16 at the Historic Owen Theatre in the downtown area, offering a series of musical duets and solos on the theme of love.

This event is fitting for couples and families alike. Adult tickets are $10 and must be purchased in advance on the Branson Regional Art’s Council’s website.

 

 A Hillbilly Valentine’s Dinner

Photo: Facebook

For a Valentine’s date with an authentic Ozarks flair, look no further than a night featuring the music and comedy of Bob and Alta Faye Courtney. Bob is a retired rodeo clown and he and his wife share their country-style humor and gospel songs at First Church of the Nazarene (at 1st and Hensley) on Friday, February 9, at 6 p.m.

$30 per couple includes dinner with dessert. Make reservations at the Facebook page.

 

 Chateau Grille at Chateau on the Lake

Photo: ExploreBranson.com

The Chateau Grille at Chateau on the Lake, Branson’s ultimate romantic getaway spot,  won’t disappoint for Valentine’s. The menu offers a wealth of fresh options, including Filet Mignon and Mushroom & Shallot Stuffed Chicken Breast, with locally- and sustainably-sourced ingredients taking center stage. Plan your dinner to arrive in time to watch the gorgeous sunset over Table Rock Lake.

The Chateau Grille is open daily until 9 p.m. Reservations recommended.

 

Level 2 Steak House

Photo: ExploreBranson.com

Located at the Hilton Hotel Convention Center, Level 2 provides an elegant and modern ambience.

Choose from the regular dinner menu or the Valentine’s Day specials available February 9 – 17. The three course dinner (includes roses for the ladies!) is $125: Appetizers of House-made Sausage, Grilled Vegetable Terrine, Goat Cheese & Grilled Bread, followed by Filet of Beef Chateaubriand and Cinnamon Gelato Baked Alaska, with a choice of two drinks each.

Lunch is served 11 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. and dinner from 5:00 – 10 p.m. Reservations recommended.

Wintertime Fun in Branson

It may be winter, and tourist season in Branson is officially over, but there’s no need to stay home and let cold weather doldrums get to you. There is still plenty of fun to be had around town.  Here are some ideas to get you started.

 

 Visit an Arcade

Photo: ExploreBranson.com

Grand Country Fun Spot on Hwy 76 has a mini arcade as well as laser tag, indoor go-karts, mini golf and much more.  Their winter hours: Weekdays 11:30 a.m. – 8 p.m., Friday, 11:30 a.m. – midnight, Saturday 9 a.m. – midnight, Sundays 9 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Arcade City at the Branson Landing is open every day from 9 a.m. – 10 p.m. They offer plenty of games for all ages and skill levels.

Track 4 on west 76 by the Branson Ferris Wheel is open 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday, depending on weather and foot traffic.

Fun Mountain down at Big Cedar Lodge won’t disappoint. Offering an arcade as well as a bowling area, billiards, climbing wall, laser tag, bumper cars and a golf simulator, there is something here for everyone!  Winter hours of operation are 4 – 8 p.m. weekdays and noon – 8 p.m. on weekends.

For indoor amusement, Bigfoot on the Strip offers both an arcade and an 8D adventure ride, complete with laser guns and 3D glasses. Open daily from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. weekdays, and noon – 6 p.m. on Saturday/Sunday.

 

Join a Virtual Shooting League

Photo: Perfect Shot Branson

Perfect Shot (located on west 76) lets you pick your adventure of choice, with multiple virtual realms, challenges and gun simulators offered for the whole family.

From January 22nd – February 24th, you can join a men’s or women’s shooting league, with $500 in cash prizes offered. Enrollment is $35 per person, plus $5 each week that you chose to come in to score – you can enroll on their website.

 

Watch a Branson Show

Photo: ExploreBranson.com

While most shows in Branson take an off-season, there are a couple spots in town that offer year-round entertainment.

Grand Country Jubilee runs the entire winter season. They offer $5 area appreciation to local residents from January 19th – 27th (entry fee with local ID.)

The Little Opry Theatre at the IMAX Complex features George Jones & Friends Friday – Sunday evenings at 5 p.m., and the Peterson Family bluegrass band on Saturdays at 7 p.m. In February, Sons of Britches return to the stage as well.

 

Try SnowFlex Tubing

Photo: ExploreBranson.com

Winter weather means it’s perfect for snow tubing! The SnowFlex Tubing Hill at Wolfe Creek (7 miles north of town off Hwy 65) is open during winter season on Fridays and Saturdays, from 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. and on Sundays from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. The 400 foot synthetic snow hill allows up to six people to tube down at a time.

 

Explore the Backwoods Off-Road

Photo: ExploreBranson.com

During the quiet season, Shepherd of the Hills brings it up a notch, with self-driven off-road ATV adventures. Instruction for operating the ATV is given, then you’re ready to head out on the backwoods trails, with up to four people in a vehicle. One hour and 1 ½ hour excursions are available Thursday – Sunday.

 

Test Your Skills on a Ropes Course

Photo: ExploreBranson.com

Fritz’s Adventure offers all the thrills of outdoor activities – inside. Designed for the whole family, an entire afternoon or even he whole day can be spent testing your agility on the ropes course obstacles, exploring the underground tunnels, wall rock climbing or trying out the warped walls challenge.

During January and February, Fritz’s is open from 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. Fridays & Saturdays, and from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m on Thursdays and Sundays.

 

Attend a Barn Dance

Photo: Sycamore Creek Ranch

Sycamore Creek Family Ranch (just east of town on Sunset Inn Road) hosts regular family-friendly, multi-generational barn dances. The large barn is warm and cozy, refreshments are available for purchase, and there’s always a dance expert to provide a bit of instruction – no dance experience required!  Check out their Facebook page for upcoming dates.

 

Make a Splash

Photo: ExploreBranson.com

Why limit enjoying a waterpark to the summer season? Splash Country at Grand Country Resort  features a three-story treehouse, multiple slides, a lazy river and hot tubs, all in the comfort of the indoors away from the weather.

Area residents get admission for only $5 with local ID until March 8th.

 

Escape from a Locked Room

Gather friends and family and spend an hour in a team-building escape room.  Work together against the clock to discover the clues needed to solve the mystery to unlock the door.

Escape Code at the Shoppes at Branson Meadows (off Gretna Road) offers five different themed rooms with 2 – 10 players per room. They are open Friday evenings and Saturdays all day. Mid-February, they extend their hours with escape rooms open six days a week (Tuesday – Sunday.)

The Escape Branson, downtown on Commercial Street, is open every day during the winter, 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. (9 a.m. – 6 p.m. on Sunday.) They have 3 room themes, with up to 6 players to in a room.

Cryptex, on west 76, offers four different scenarios with 2 – 8 players each. Their winter hours are Fridays and Saturdays from noon – 8 p.m.

 

*Title Photo: ExploreBranson.com

Where to Spend New Year’s Eve in Branson

It’s almost 2018! There are plenty of options around town for ringing in the New Year in style. Here’s a list of places to bid 2017 goodbye and say, “Hello, 2018.”

 

The Keeter Center – New Year’s Celebration

 

The evening of Saturday, December 30th, enjoy a delectable four-course meal prepared by student chefs, a sparkling cider toast and live music, with plenty of opportunity for dancing the evening away. Reservations required.

 

The Hughes Brothers Show

Photo: ExploreBranson.com

Celebrate New Year’s Eve with the Hughes Brothers “it” show, 8 p.m. on Saturday, December 30th. Admission includes dinner, party favors, and the classic midnight balloon drop. After midnight, everyone is invited to come up on the stage and boogie the night away!

 

Silver Dollar City

Photo: ExploreBranson.com

Silver Dollar City is open December 31st from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. and on January 1st from noon – 8 p.m. The New Year’s special line-up of entertainers includes Disciple, comedian/juggler Albert Lucas, and Branson’s very own AYO: Voices of Glory. 80’s tribute band Members Only also performs with a dance party in the Red Gold Heritage Hall.

 

Big Cedar Lodge

 

Big Cedar celebrates the New Year in a big way, with a fireworks display at midnight to welcome 2018!

The Worman House offers a six-course meal and plenty of time to dance the night away with a live band, until midnight, when a complimentary champagne toast will be offered, along with the best view of the fireworks. Reservations recommended. Open 7 p.m. – 1 a.m.

Buffalo Bar at Top of the Rock is open from 5 p.m. – 1 a.m. and features live entertainment from 8 p.m. – midnight.

For an earlier dinner out, Devil’s Pool Restaurant and Osage Restaurant at Top of the Rock are both open from 5 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. with special chef creations offered just for the holiday. Reservations recommended.

 

Chateau on the Lake

 

Starting at 7 p.m., feast on hors d’oeuvres, followed by a special dinner menu prepared by the Chateau’s executive chef. Kelsie & Santino along with the All Stars provide favorite songs with the dance floor open. At midnight, a fireworks show begins! Reservations must be made by December 17th.

 

Clay Cooper Theatre – The Clay-Good’s Jambor-Eve

Photo: ExploreBranson.com

Clay Cooper and the Haygoods team up to create an unforgettable, show-stopping night for the whole family. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. and the show begins at 8:30. A massive balloon drop and non-alcoholic toast take place at midnight. Refreshments are available with hors d’oeuvres & a cash bar.

 

New Year’s Eve at the Historic Owen Theatre

 

Support our local Branson Regional Arts Council while participating in a spectacular evening of refreshments and entertainment. The theme is the 1930’s Golden Age of Hollywood, with period costume encouraged but optional. Forte Theatre Company will be performing and hors d’oeuvres and beverages will be served.

The party starts at 8 p.m. and after midnight, the keys to the downtown theatre will be handed over to the BRAC, who will be moving in to the building to make it a Community Theater. Tickets must be purchased through Branson Arts Council’s website.

 

Showboat Branson BelleNew Year’s Eve Cruise

Photo: ExploreBranson.com

Take a cruise on beautiful Table Rock Lake for New Year’s Eve! The cruise lasts from 8 p.m. – 12:30 a.m. and includes a 3-course dinner, a musical variety show, “Celebrate,” and music and dancing! At midnight there will be a sparkling grape juice toast and party favors handed out.

 

Hamner’s Variety Theatre – New Year’s Eve Fiesta Party

Photo: ExploreBranson.com

Dinner is catered by Mexican Villa at 8 p.m. and family-friendly beverages are offered. Watch a special New Year’s version of the Hamner’s Unbelievable Variety Show, enjoy dancing, and at midnight feast your eyes on a laser countdown to 2018!

 

Sycamore Creek Family Ranch – New Year’s Eve Barn Bash

Sycamore Creek Family Ranch country Barn Dance Branson MO
Photo: Sycamore Creek Family Ranch

Yeehaw! Put on your dancing boots and get ready to kick up your heels with a good old-fashioned Barn Dance for the New Year!

Sycamore Creek Family Ranch hosts a family-friendly dance in the giant barn, with emceeing and instruction given by Adam & Katlyn. Each attendee receives a party favor, light snacks, and champagne/sparkling cider for the midnight toast.  In addition to the dancing, games in the barn loft will be offered, as well as a fire pit lit outside, and a spot for photo-taking fun. The dance lasts from 8:30 p.m. until 12:30 a.m.

Sycamore Creek is situated just northeast of the center of Branson, on Sunset Inn Road off T Hwy.

 

Title image of New Year’s Celebration courtesy of ExploreBranson.com