Last year was not my first time going to Branson, Missouri for vacation. Honestly, I don't even think it was my fifth time. Almost every year growing up that's where we vacationed. Last year, however, was the first time experiencing all of what Branson really had to offer.
There are a number of really great lodging places there. From hotels, to condos, to rental houses, to camp spots. They have whatever you are in the mood for and at some pretty reasonable prices. It's where I went on my honeymoon and the first vacation I took my oldest son on. As a family just starting out, we weren't exactly financially stable but we could afford to stay there. Last year was the first time we stayed in a rental house, though. We had a great time!
This place had seven master suites, it's own kitchen (where we had most of our meals), a living room, family room, screened it porch, and seven bathrooms. It was very hard leaving this house when the week was over.
Did I mention it also had a skee-ball and foosball table? The kids had a blast playing each other and there was only minor finger smashing involved.
The neighborhood had it's own swimming pool too. We spent most of the week right there. The toddlers even went down the water slides (with anxious parents waiting below).
No Branson trip would be complete without a visit to Silver Dollar City. Not much has changed since I was there as a child...except for all the awesome new rides they've added. You can still tour the Marvel Cave, watch some great shows, and shop till you drop. Can I recommend a visit to Brown's Candy Factory for some yummy taffy or perhaps you'd rather watch the master craftsmen at work? Either way you are sure to have an excellent time.
They even have a little kid area with rides that are perfect for toddlers or kids too afraid to ride the bigger ones. We had to visit this area both days we were at the park.
While in Branson you have to make time to go to Dixie Stampede. They put on a fantastic show while you dine. Make sure you volunteer your kiddos to chase the chickens. My niece and daughter thought it was hilarious chasing those chickens around the field.
(My chicken chasing girl)
If a rodeo style show isn't for you, Branson has over a hundred more to choose from along with numerous more family activities!
We also had a great time riding the ducks. Everyone got their own "duck calls", which was kind of annoying when the kids wouldn't stop blowing them...(what are you going to do, it's part of the experience). The ride takes you up the mountain where you get an amazing view of Table Rock Lake.
Once you're in the water, the captain lets volunteers steer the duck. All of my kids wanted a turn. At the end of the ride you can print out certificates, with your child's name on them, making them honorary duck captains.
(My little captain)
Most of my family lives in the area, so we also had a little family reunion. I hadn't seen most of my family since I was a little kid. It was great getting reacquainted.
I forgot to mention that on the way to Branson you have to stop at Lambert's. They have the best southern family style food. Make sure to catch the flying rolls! (I believe this restaurant is about thirty minutes outside of Branson.)
On the way home we had to stop for some cheese. Jeremy just had to have the habanero one (which he used on everything for about a week after). We let the kids try whatever cheese they wanted from their tester bowls. Each one walked away with their favorites.
Overall it was an amazing vacation that we will never forget. In fact we have made it a point to go back every other year! Can't wait till next year!!
To read my day by day posts about our trip:
Rebecca Havener, My Little Devils With Wings