Branson with Kids: 50 Best Things To Do in Branson, MO

Take a family ride down Mystic River Falls Channel at Silver Dollar City. Photo courtesy of Silver Dollar City
Take a family ride down Mystic River Falls Channel at Silver Dollar City. Photo courtesy of Silver Dollar City
4/13/24 - By Jody Mercier

Nestled in the Ozark Mountains, Branson, Missouri, is a charming destination for a family vacation. It's filled with natural beauty and wonders and is home to world-class entertainment that makes for a fun-filled getaway. Whether you want to go spelunking, set sail on a showboat, or explore the old-timey fun at Silver Dollar City, there are so many fun, family-friendly things to do in Branson, MO.

Here are our top picks for things to do in Branson, MO with kids. Find more fun midwestern cities to explore, including Columbus, Ohio and Fargo, North Dakota, in our Midwest Family Travel Guide.


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Silver Dollar City in Branson is home to the Time Traveler: Branson with Kids: 50 Best Things To Do in Branson, MO
Silver Dollar City is home to the Time Traveler, the world's steepest, tallest and fastest-spinning roller coaster. Photo courtesy of the Branson Convention and Visitors Bureau

Best Things To Do in Branson, MO with Kids

1. Silver Dollar City

Step back in time at this theme park, where period costumes and architecture take you back to the 1880s. There's plenty of new-age tech where it counts, too, and that's in more than 40 rides and attractions catering to everyone from little ones to major thrill seekers. Silver Dollar City prides itself on its food, festivals, and family-friendly atmosphere. It also sits atop the Marvel Cave, which you can tour while you're there for a glimpse at the 300-foot-tall Cathedral Room.

2. Branson Jet Boats

Enjoy a wild motorboat ride on Lake Taneycomo courtesy of this tour company. You're practically guaranteed to get wet thanks to its spinouts, bow dunks, and power slides.

3. White Water

This 13-acre water park from Silver Dollar City is open seasonally and includes tons of water slides, wave pools, and the little-kid-friendly Coconut Cove. Parents can take a break on the (lazy) Aloha River.

RELATED: 100 Best Things To Do in Chicago with Kids Before They Grow Up

The Branson Ferris Wheel: Branson with Kids: 50 Best Things To Do in Branson, MO
The Branson Ferris Wheel presents ELECTRIFY: A Music & Light Spectacular every night at 9pm, 10pm, and 10:55pm.

4. The Branson Ferris Wheel

Take in the scene as far as the eyes can see on this towering Ferris wheel, transported to Branson from Chicago's Navy Pier. Sit in one of 40 gondolas and marvel at the glow of 16,000 LED lights, which put on a nightly light show every hour on the hour once the sun sets.

5. Fantastic Caverns

Go underground to explore this geological wonder, one of many in the region. On a Fantastic Caverns tour, guests climb aboard a Jeep-pulled tram to marvel at the rock formations hollowed out by ancient underground rivers.

The Butterfly Palace: Branson with Kids: 50 Best Things To Do in Branson, MO
The Butterfly Palace takes you on an adventure through the rainforest to explore over 1,000 live exotic butterflies Photo courtesy of the Branson Convention and Visitors Bureau

6. The Butterfly Palace

Step into a rainforest-inspired butterfly aviary to meet and feed more than 1,100 free-flying butterflies. Beyond the fluttering beauties, there's an educational movie about monarch migrations, a science center with more than 25 live reptiles, and a pair of interactive mazes to explore.

7. Branson Mountain Coasters

Take advantage of the area's geography and geology with one of three mountain coasters in Branson. They include the first mountain coaster in the Ozarks, the Runaway at Branson Mountain Adventure Park, The Branson Coaster, and The Copperhead Mountain Coaster, which boasts the longest downhill drop!

8. Shepherd of the Hills Adventure Park

Home to the aforementioned Copperhead Mountain Coaster, this adventure park features a variety of action-packed attractions, including a TreeTop Sky Trail, mini golf, zip lines, ropes courses, and an observation tower. A word to the wise: Most attractions are pay-to-play, so a day here can add up quickly!

9. Aquarium at the Boardwalk

Book your tickets in advance to visit this eye-catching attraction. The giant mirrored octopus on the building's exterior might draw you in, but you'll have a hard time pulling the kids away from the 250 animal species inside, plus fun, kid-friendly attractions like a kelp forest playground, a 5-D submarine ride, a mermaid palace, and more. There are multiple touch pools and awe-inspiring underwater views.

10. WonderWorks

Edu-tainment is the name of the game at this hands-on museum, which is meant to make the whole family think. Learn about everything from local history to STEAM concepts and more.

Table Rock Lake State Park:Branson with Kids: 50 Best Things To Do in Branson, MO
Dare to try this high jump at Table Rock Memorial. Photo courtesy of the Branson Convention and Visitors Bureau

Fun, Free Things to Do in Branson, MO with Kids

11. Branson Landing Fountain Show

Located in the vibrant town square, this fountain is the brainchild of Wet Design, a firm best known for the Bellagio fountain in Las Vegas. See the water erupt daily with choreographed shows at the top of the hour from noon to 10pm (9pm on Sundays).

12. RideSparky

Enjoy a free ride through town aboard the charming RideSparky trolley system, which whisks visitors through the top sights with 12 different stops ranging from Branson Landing to the downtown district.

13. Table Rock Lake State Park

Consider this fee-free state park your gateway to outdoor recreation in the region. Rent ski boats and paddleboards at the marina, go for a hike, conquer a mountain bike course, or pack a picnic and take a dip.

14. Dewey Short Visitor Center

Learn about the history and topography of Table Rock Lake at this visitor center, which offers three floors of interactive displays that detail the White River watershed, Native American artifacts, Ozark history, water safety, and a history of the US Army Corps of Engineers. Step outside to the decks to take in the sprawling lake views and enjoy a picnic.

15. Branson Centennial Museum

Christened in 2012 to celebrate the town's centennial, this museum hosts a rotating array of exhibits dedicated to town history.

Showboat Branson Belle: Branson with Kids: 50 Best Things To Do in Branson, MO
The Showboat serves up an awesome variety show along with a tasty lunch or dinner.

Top Attractions in Branson, MO for Families

16. Showboat Branson Belle

Enjoy a cruise, meal, and live entertainment all aboard this stunning riverboat, which sails Table Rock Lake while guests are wined and dined with a three-course, Southern-style meal. Up to three sailings happen daily during high season.

17. Titanic Museum Branson

This towering recreation of the Titanic is an eye-popping sight. Walk past the iceberg, and step through the doors to walk the grand staircase as you embark on a trip through history exploring more than 400 artifacts from the ill-fated steamship.

18. Shipwrecked Treasure Museum

If the Titanic leaves you wanting more, the Shipwrecked Treasure Museum takes you underwater to explore relics from shipwrecks throughout history. There's plenty of interactive fun for kids, including touch screens, hurricane simulators, and more.

Fritz's Adventure: Branson with Kids: 50 Best Things To Do in Branson, MO
Investigate secret passages waiting to be discovered at Fritz's Adventure. Photo courtesy of the Branson Convention and Visitors Bureau

19. Tracks Family Fun Parks

With a trio of family fun parks under its umbrella, there's something to please everyone at Tracks Family Fun Parks. Ride the aforementioned Branson Ferris Wheel, get behind the wheel of a go-kart, man the bumper boats, hit the arcade, stage a family laser tag or bumper car battle, or ride the soaring Skycoaster. It's easy to please all ages here.

20. Fritz's Adventure

A bad-weather day is the perfect reason to head inside this action-packed, 80,000-square-foot adventure park. There are 19 different attractions to explore, including towering slides, aerial bridges, underground tunnels, climbing challenges, a laser maze, a scavenger hunt, ropes courses, and even a 1959 Beechcraft Super 18 airplane suspended above it all for you to explore.

21. Branson's Promised Land Zoo

Meet and get close to hundreds of rare and endangered species at this family-run zoo. Several admissions options allow you to customize your experience by enjoying a drive-through safari in your own car, a guided RTV tour, or even small animal encounters.

22. Beyond the Lens

Photo ops and technology meet in this Branson attraction, where you can peep cool optical illusions and pose with eye-popping backgrounds sure to wow your social media followers. You can also enjoy virtual reality, an escape room, and FlyRide, a full-motion movie experience in a theater with a four-story-tall curved screen.

23. 1984 Arcade

Leave the quarters at home and visit this pay-one-price arcade filled with retro '80s arcade games. It's one of the best things to do in Branson, MO on a rainy day. 

24. The Mirror Maize

You've never seen a corn maze like this before! Get lost in Branson's indoor cornfield, which mashes up the fun seasonal pastime with the magic of funhouse mirrors to mess with your mind.

25. Outlaw Old Time Photos

Round up your gang and get gussied up in some old-fashioned frocks to pose for one of these classic black-and-white pictures.

26. Dinosaur Museum

See more than 50 life-sized dinosaurs at this local museum, ranging in size from the 1-foot-tall microrapter to the towering T. Rex. Explore the detailed dioramas—complete with educational descriptions—and nab your "I Survived the Branson Dinosaur Museum" sticker at the exit!

27. Veterans Memorial Museum

This heartland town shows its love for America's troops in many ways, and this museum pays homage to 20th-century veterans, honoring heroes ranging from World War I through Desert Storm.

28. Wolfe Mountain

Go snow tubing no matter the weather at Wolfe Mountan's Snowflex Park, which employs a synthetic polymer surface to mimic the feeling of snow. You can also take to the skies and soar over the tubing hill on one of four zip line experiences.

29. Skate World

Grab some quad skates and kick it old-school at this classic roller rink. It's been a Branson mainstay since 1976!

30. Parakeet Pete's Waterfront Zipline

Take flight above Lake Taneycomo on a zip line and enjoy the sweeping views of Branson Landing at Parakeet Pete's. If you prefer your views a little more slow-paced, the neighboring Steampunk Balloon sends you nearly 200 feet high in a vintage hot air balloon as you take in a 360-degree view of town.

31. Branson Scenic Railway

Travel the Ozark scenery aboard a vintage train that rides the rails laid by the White River Railway in the early 1900s. Book a dinner train for one of the most classic things to do in Branson, MO. 

32. World's Largest Toy Museum

Why settle for one museum when you can visit six? That's what you'll find at the World's Largest Toy Museum, plus a collection of toys ranging from the 19th century to the present. More than 1 million toys are housed here, sure to stir a sense of nostalgia in all who pass through.

RELATED: Visiting Dollywood with Kids: Everything You Need to Know

Dolly Parton's Stampede: Branson with Kids: 50 Best Things To Do in Branson, MO
Enjoy Dolly Parton's Stampede dinner show with its magnificent horses and a cast of top-notch riders.

Things To Do in Branson, MO: Live Entertainment

33. Dolly Parton's Stampede

For a rip-roaring good time and a dinner party with the energy to match, no trip to Branson is complete without a visit to Dolly Parton's Stampede. Imagine Medieval Times with a country twang, beautiful horses, and wholesome entertainment, and that's what you'll get with this dinner-and-a-show extravaganza.

34. Shanghai Circus

Celebrating more than 20 years of production in Branson, the Shanghai Circus celebrates Chinese culture with a circus variety show featuring acrobats, dancers, comedy, magic, and aerial artists sure to keep kids and adults alike mesmerized.

35. Presleys' Country Jubilee

One of the original performing families of Branson, the Presleys are still making toes tap with a variety show that features country, gospel, and bluegrass music, plus a healthy side of comedic relief.

36. Reza Live: Edge of Illusion

You won't believe your eyes at this illusion show that mashes up cutting-edge technology and original illusions with the mesmerizing personality of Reza.

37. The Haygoods

This all-sibling brand has been wowing audiences for decades and remakes its show annually, so there's always something new to see. Expect an array of musical genres to be represented and accompanied by a special-effects-infused backdrop.

RELATED: Visit a Christmas Town or Santa's Village Near You: 25 Christmas Villages That Absolutely Sparkle

Silver Dollar City's Old Time Christmas: Branson with Kids: 50 Best Things To Do in Branson, MO
Celebrate Christmas at Silver Dollar City, with over 6.5 million twinkling lights and live holiday shows.

Christmas Attractions in Branson, Missouri

38. Silver Dollar City's Old Time Christmas

The aforementioned Silver Dollar City gets lit for the holidays—literally—with more than 6.5 million twinkling lights adorning the park. A Christmas parade takes place twice nightly, and an eight-story-tall Christmas tree is a scene stealer. Seasonal eats and sweets fill the air, and live entertainment abounds.

39. America's Christmas Tree City Trail

Branson is known as America's Christmas Tree City, and with good reason: More than 700 unique, decorated Christmas trees call the town home. See how many you can spot during your holiday visit!

40. Chateau on the Lake's Gingerbread Village

Wander through a supersized gingerbread village at this local hotel. In 2023, pastry chefs used 300 pounds of powdered sugar, more than 120 pounds of egg whites, and 600 pounds of candy, cookies, crackers, and other decorations to bring their vision to life.

41. Polar Express Train Ride

Come Christmas, the Branson Scenic Railway transforms into the Polar Express, one of the coolest things to do in Branson, MO with young kids. This ride is so popular, tickets go on sale on April 1 annually!

42. Drive-Through Christmas Lights

Looking at Christmas lights is one of the most popular things to do in Branson, MO during the holidays. Load the kids in the car to check out one of the multiple holiday lights displays that illuminate Branson from October to January.

Billy Gail's Restaurant: Branson with Kids: 50 Best Things To Do in Branson, MO
Billy Gail's generous-sized eats will fill you up for hours.

Best Restaurants for Kids in Branson, Missouri

43. Billy Gail's Restaurant

Home of the Billion Dollar Bacon, this comfort-food hot spot slings eye-popping, pizza-sized pancakes and classic American breakfast in oversized portions, perfect for fueling a day of adventure.

44. Guy Fieri's Branson Kitchen & Bar

It's classic American eats at this Branson Landing restaurant. Don't sleep on the Trash Can Nachos. We love the boisterous atmosphere where excited kids won't be shushed and the dedicated menu for the little ones.

45. Andy's Frozen Custard

A regional specialty, Andy's Frozen Custard serves its trademark dessert in everything from malts and shakes to sundaes, concretes, and old-fashioned freezes. (Think: a soda float blended to perfection!)

46. Mel's Hard Luck Diner

Singing servers sling comfort-food classics at this local diner. No reservations are taken, but take heart: The supersized desserts are worth the wait.

47. Gettin' Basted

Barbecue is crafted hot and fast at this local championship-winning restaurant, which provides the self-described flavor of the Ozarks. Brisket, ribs, chicken, sausage, and more are served with all the fixins.

Westgate Branson Woods Resort: Branson with Kids: 50 Best Things To Do in Branson, MO
Nestled in the woods in the heart of the Ozark Mountains, Westgate Branson Woods Resort is close to the action in Branson.

Kid-Friendly Hotels in Branson, MO

48. Westgate Branson Woods Resort

We loved our stay at the suite-style Westgate Branson Woods Resort. Set on a sprawling 145-acre property, it's got an action-packed activity schedule, plus pools, hiking trails, and on-site eats (even a Starbucks!). Each suite has a kitchen, laundry, and plenty of room for the whole family to spread out. Read our full review here, and book online.

49. Still Waters Resort

Located on the shores of Table Rock Lake, Still Waters Resort is convenient to some of Branson's top family-friendly attractions, but you don't have to leave the property to have a good time. Enjoy paddleboards, paddle boats, inner tubes, and aqua cycles to use on the lake, plus on-site pools and water slides, mini golf, a playground, hiking trails, and sports courts.

50. Best Western Music Capital Inn

If you're more interested in hitting the town than hanging at the hotel, the Best Western Music Capital Inn offers basic, comfortable rooms, daily breakfast, and an indoor pool, plus a concierge who is happy to help you book your tickets and attractions to get the most out of your vacation.

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Unless noted, photos by the author

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