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My family and I recently spent a week in the Branson, Missouri area and took part in several things to do in Branson. While I won’t write about all the things we did, like the 40 counties I visited in my quest to visit every county in the United States, here are a few of the things to do in Branson that we did in our week there
Baldknobbers Jamboree show
Branson like many similar cities is a bit of a “show town”, and there are different types of shows happening nearly every night. Our first of the things to do in Branson that we did was that we took our family to see the Baldknobbers Jamboree show (Disclosure: they provided us with tickets)
Baldknobbers runs Monday through Saturday at 8pm. Tickets are $40 for adults and $20 for kids. It’s located right on the famous Branson Strip – Highway 76 Country Boulevard. There is a pre-show that starts at 7:15 featuring some comedians as well as Elvis’s cousin Jerry Presley who does an Elvis show.
The Baldknobbers show is your typical variety show. There is country music mixed along with a bit of a comedy routine. Baldknobbers bills itself as one of the original Branson shows, and is run by the Mabe family. Brandon Mabe is a 3rd generation Baldknobber and serves as the MC for the show. His wife (pictured below), mother, father and several other family members are also in the show. I’m not a huge country music fan, but the songs were enjoyable, and the comedy was pretty funny (think hillbilly style). The joke about how 14 times 5 was 25 was the favorite one in our family. There is a 1 hour opening act, then a 15-20 minute intermission. During the intermission, the whole cast is out on the stage and you can go up and get autographs and take pictures. My daughter wanted some pictures with some of the cast members.
There was another hour or so after intermission, so the show went till about 10pm. That was a little late for some of our little ones. I’d say most of the jokes were over the head of my 4 and 7 year old, but I caught even my cranky 14 year old teenage boy laughing and having a good time (as much as he grumbled about going beforehand…)
There is also a Titanic Museum in the area, which was one of our things to do in Branson. We were provided a family pass and went in the morning on one of our days in Branson. From the website, tickets run $25 for adults, $10 for children, or you can buy a family pass for 2 adults and 4 children for $75. When you arrive at the Titanic Museum, you are given a “boarding pass” with the name and story of a specific Titanic passenger. I thought that was a nice touch, and all of my kids really enjoyed going through the museum trying to find “their character”.
As is typical with any museum type attraction, we probably could have spent more time and learned a bit more without the kids. There weren’t really any “hands-on” exhibits, though you are given one of those devices that lets you listen to pre-recorded audio at various points. My kids actually all really enjoyed and used those. We ended up spending about 2 hours going through the museum, though without younger kids, you could definitely spend longer
Unfortunately, there are no cameras or cell phone pictures allowed in the museum, so we weren’t able to take pictures.
Things to do in Branson: Table Rock Lake
The White River is dammed near Branson, creating Table Rock Lake. We rented a pontoon boat one morning and went out on the lake. The 15 person pontoon boat comes with a canopy and a 2-story slide. We also rented an innertube, and the total came to about $480. That’s a lot of money, but if you’re dividing it among 15 people it doesn’t end up being quite as much. We all had a lot of fun taking turns going on the innertube and going down the slide. Here are my wife and son on the innertube
Table Rock Lake also has a spot where you can park the boat and swim over to some cliffs. Several of us went out to the cliffs to jump. One of my sons was really nervous about jumping off, so my uncle tried to encourage him. It….. didn’t end well 🙂
The SIX show (Disclosure: they provided us tickets) was another of our things to do in Branson. It features six brothers who make all their music without any musical instruments. Out front of their theater, they even have matching colored Camaros
It was pretty amazing to see them beatboxing and “playing” their various instruments to a wide variety of different tunes. They showed some of their “older” clips (they got their start 30+ years ago on the Donny and Marie variety show). The songs were varied and well done, though the comedy routine was not nearly as good as the Baldknobbers show. Both Carolyn and I felt like there were moments where we weren’t sure if the joke was supposed to be funny or not….
Shepherd of the Hills
The Shepherd of the Hills was where the Branson area first came into prominence – it was featured in a 1907 novel called The Shepherd of the Hills. The Shepherd of the Hills now contains historical artifacts including the original cabin featured in the novel that is featured in their Historic Homestead Tour, as well as the Vigilante Extreme ZipRider, Observation Tower and a variety dinner show. We were provided ZipRider tickets and would have also gone on the Homestead Tour but it was closed the day we happened to visit.
The ZipRider was fun and fairly long, though it wasn’t quite as fast as some other ziplines I’ve ridden. While most of my kids chickened out, I think it would definitely be doable even if your thrill quotient is low.
Some other things to do include the Dixie Stampede, the Silver Dollar City amusement park, many natural caves and caverns, the Showboat Branson Belle, a Ride the Ducks tour, many many more shows than the 2 I mentioned as well as the Laura Ingalls Wilder home is about 90 minutes away in Mansfield, Missouri.
Have you been to Branson? What was your favorite thing to do?