Thinking of exploring the Show-Me State? Be sure to include some of the best things to do in Branson, Missouri, in your itinerary. This charming town, surrounded by the Ozark Mountains, boasts a ton of family-friendly adventures. Named after local postmaster Reuben Branson in the 1880s, Branson’s beautiful landscapes make it a popular travel destination with vacationers from around the country.
Exploring the city’s top tourist attractions, you can catch a show at one of the many theaters set along 76 Country Boulevard, from country music concerts to the famous wild West-style Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede Dinner. Step back in time with a visit to the 1800s-themed amusement park Silver Dollar City. Or marvel at the curious upside-down house of WonderWorks or go behind the scenes of pop culture at Beyond the Lens!
Can’t decide on where to start on your vacation? Take a look at our complete guide to the best places to visit in Branson, Missouri!
Must-see places to visit in Branson, MO
Silver Dollar City
Start your holiday with some adrenaline-rushing family fun at Silver Dollar City! One of America’s best-loved theme parks, Silver Dollar City is a seasonal amusement park with an 1880s theme packed with fun rides and activities.
More than 40 rides will get your blood pumping at Silver Dollar City, from the wild American Plunge, the Fire Fall, and the Electro Spin. Younger visitors can enjoy Hugo and Mary’s Carousel, the Elephant March, and the Grand Exposition Coaster.
You can also watch live craft demonstrations or volunteer for the day at Fireman’s Landing. Don’t forget to grab a bite to eat at one of the many booths and restaurants dotted about the theme park.
TITANIC Museum Attraction
Step inside one of the most famous ships in the world at the Titanic Museum Attraction. Shaped like a ship and anchored in the water on Country Boulevard, the interactive museum is an unforgettable experience while in Branson, MO.
Enter the Titanic Museum Attraction through an artificial iceberg with a Titanic passenger ticket and climb the grand staircase to meet the crew. Take a step back in time on a self-guided tour of the ship and feel like you are part of the 1912 voyage.
Interact with hands-on displays and exhibits in one of the 20 galleries. Explore fascinating artifacts found on the actual ship and listen to stories from other passengers. Be sure to take a photo with a real iceberg and feel the frigid 28˚F water into which the ship sank!
The Butterfly Palace & Rainforest Adventure
Another great spot to spend the day in Branson, MO, with the kids is the Butterfly Palace and Rainforest Adventure. Located on Country Boulevard, the nature center is home to a walk-through butterfly exhibit and more than a thousand brightly colored tropical butterflies.
Begin the self-guided tour of the Butterfly Palace and Rainforest Adventure with a short film about butterflies and learn more about this amazing insect. Then meander through the 7,000-square-foot butterfly exhibit to marvel at hundreds of butterflies, bright tropical birds, and unusual plants.
Have some fun in the Emerald Forest Mirror Maze and the Great Banyan Tree Adventure and check out live rainforest amphibians and reptiles in The Living Rainforest Science Center. The kids will also enjoy interactive activities like feeding and petting animals.
Hollywood Wax Museum
Get up close and personal with all your favorite big-screen movie stars and celebrities at the Hollywood Wax Museum. Located on Highway 76, the museum was opened in 1996 and promises fun for the whole family.
Take snaps in front of the museum’s unique version a 150-foot-long Hollywood version of Mount Rushmore. Walk down the red carpet like a star and snap photos with your favorite celebrity. Dress up in a variety of costumes and get into character for a movie. Learn how the museum makes these fascinating replicas of famous people and find out all the nitty-gritty of the stars’ lives.
Once you have had enough of seeing stars, head to the nearby Castle of Chaos, Shoot for the Stars Mini-Golf, and Hannah’s Maze of Mirrors for some more fun.
Beyond the Lens!
Entertainment and technology collide at Beyond the Lens! to provide a fascinating journey into ‘technotainment.’ One of Branson’s most unique attractions, Beyond the Lens! will fascinate the whole family with a behind-the-scenes look at pop culture today. Interactive games, immersive exhibits, and exhilarating rides are just some of the adventures to enjoy here.
Take a heart-stopping ride on the Fly Ride simulator which takes you around the world with a bird’s eye view. Try the Flip Zone Bumper cars, which spin around in 360-degree circles, or attempt to get out of the Escape Room in under two minutes!
Younger visitors will love the Alien Egg Pit and hunting for Big Foot. And don’t forget to take photos – there are Instagram-worthy photo ops around every corner!
If you are at a loss as to what to do in Branson, MO, on a rainy day, head to Fritz’s Adventure for a world of indoor fun! Boasting over 80,000 square feet of indoor space, this multi-dimensional family attraction brings all the thrills of outdoor adventure inside.
Quell your fear of heights and try the four-story-high Sky Ropes Course which takes you along 40 different paths of varying obstacles. Zipline high above the ground on the Treetops Zipline Course and end in a crow’s nest with spectacular views. Explore underground tunnels, climb to the top of a tall water tower, and test your speed skills in the Lazer Maze.
All that adventure and excitement will surely work up an appetite. Grab a bite at Fritz’s restaurant, which has both healthy and hearty menu options for the whole family.
One of Branson’s newest and most curious attractions, WonderWorks promises to delight! Housed in what looks like a huge upside-down house from the outside, the indoor amusement park combines science and entertainment to provide a host of fun for the whole family.
Once inside the higgledy-piggledy house, wind your way through four floors of interactive exhibits, immersive activities, intriguing experiments, and more. Make enormous bubbles in the Bubble Lab or see how long you can last on the death-defying Bed of Nails.
Head to the Hurricane Shack to feel the power of hurricane-force gales of up to 84 miles per hour. Take to the virtual skies in the Astronaut Training Gyro and experience zero gravity like a NASA astronaut.
Located in the heart of Branson’s Entertainment District, WonderWorks is easy to get to and it’s a fantastic place to spend the day learning through play.
Aquarium at the Boardwalk
A visit to the Aquarium at the Boardwalk is a must if you love the ocean and its amazing creatures. A massive mosaic Giant Pacific Octopus will greet you at the door, setting the tone for your undersea adventure.
The Aquarium at the Boardwalk is home to more than 7,200 individual sea animals, housed in a variety of incredible displays, exhibits, pools, and tanks. Your journey through the aquarium begins in ten fishy zones. It winds its way through a watery tunnel to a sunken ancient city complete with sharks, sting rays, and turtles.
Head to the Coral Reef to see vibrant corals and sponges and a myriad of brightly colored reef fish and other small creatures that call the reef home.
But it’s not all about fish: There are other fun activities to enjoy in the aquarium. Kids can climb a 24-foot-high Kelp Forest structure, feed and feel sea creatures at the touch/petting pool, and marvel at a magical underwater Mermaid Palace.
Branson Ferris Wheel
There’s nothing like taking a ride on a classic Ferris wheel to feel on holiday. And the Branson Ferris Wheel doesn’t disappoint!
Formerly known as the Navy Pier Ferris Wheel, the Branson Ferris Wheel is set in the heart of Branson’s Entertainment District at Track 4. It’s the best place to marvel at spectacular views of the city.
In addition to being a fun stop on a sunny day, the Branson Ferris Wheel also comes alive at night with a music & light show every evening. The show, ELECTRIFY: A Music & Light Spectacular, presents a stunning display of light using 144,000 LED lights against a backdrop of music through the Track 4 sound system. This is one show you don’t want to miss!
Ripley’s Believe It or Not!
Weird, wacky, and wonderful—Ripley’s Believe It or Not! has it all. The world-renowned museum is packed to the hilt with kitsch oddities like authentic shrunken heads and two-headed animal skeletons. Located on Country Boulevard, the outlandish museum boasts an ever-changing collection of over 450 bizarre artifacts, mind-bending illusions, and peculiar art.
Enter the vast Odditorium and make your way through eight galleries of fascinating and freakish exhibits featuring strange and unusual objects. From a life-size gorilla made from recycled tires to a dog made from mops, you’ll experience artwork and visual illusions like none other at Ripley’s Believe It or Not!
Once you’ve survived the funny house, head outside to see the new military-themed exhibit of combat vehicles used throughout history. Mobile Military Marvels showcases some of the equipment used by the United States Armed Forces since World War II.
If you plan on visiting Branson in the summer, then a trip to White Water should be high on your list. The seasonal water park opens on Memorial Day and closes on Labor Day and promises fun in the sun for the whole family.
Voted as one of America’s best outdoor water parks, White Water doesn’t disappoint! The water park is packed with a ton of fun water-based activities from numerous water rides and slides to the huge Surf’s Up Wave Pool.
Take an adrenaline-rushing ride on the KaPau Plummet and drop 40 feet at a 70-degree angle or brave the freefall drop slides Kalani Towers. If you prefer something more peaceful, jump on a tube and float down the Aloha River or have some fun with the little ones at the splash pad in Coconut Cove.
BigFoot Fun Park
Another fantastic way to spend the day with the family is at the Bigfoot Fun Park. The vast amusement park has something for everyone with both indoor and outdoor adventures and attractions.
Try to find your way out of the extensive Adventure Maze or challenge your kids to a game of themed mini golf. Head indoors to continue the fun with a wide range of games in the Games & Entertainment Arcade. Catch a movie in the 8Di Theatre & Action Ride . Or take a heart-stopping ride on the 200-foot Super Sling ride.
There are several food concessions in Bigfoot Fun Park so you won’t go hungry! Don’t miss the fantastic light and sound show that happens every night; it’s the perfect way to end a thrilling day.
Dolly Parton’s Stampede
Yee-hah! Tighten your bootstraps, grab your cowboy hat, and get ready for some wild western fun! Dolly Parton’s Stampede is one of Branson’s top tourist attractions—and visitors flock from all over to see the show. The fun family dinner show is an extravaganza of incredible horsemanship, toe-tapping country music, and delicious country-style cuisine.
Be amazed by some incredible horsemanship as you watch talented trick riders pull off almost impossible stunts and daring moves. Add to that an array of special effects and a phenomenal musical production and you have an unforgettable experience at Dolly Parton’s Stampede.
After the show, visit the outdoor Horse Walk and meet the real stars of the show—the 32 horses that take part and steal the hearts of the audience!
The Shepherd of the Hills
Even if you haven’t read the famous namesake novel, The Shepherd of the Hills, this eponymous family entertainment park and farm promises a day of fun out for everyone. Voted as the “Best Aerial Park in America” by USA Today, Shepherd of the Hills is packed with a variety of fun and entertainment.
Take a scenic canopy zipline tour against a beautiful backdrop of the Ozark mountains. Try the brand-new heart-stopping Copperhead Mountain Coaster or the super-fast Vigilante Extreme ZipRider. Challenge yourself to the outdoor multi-level ropes course.
End the day at Shepherd of the Hills by climbing up the Inspiration Tower to take in some spectacular panoramic views of the Ozark mountains. Built on the place where Harold Bell Wright wrote The Shepherd of the Hills, the Inspiration Tower is the perfect place to watch the setting sun at the end of a fun day out.
Branson Scenic Railway
Soak up the spectacular beauty of the Ozarks with a trip on the vintage Branson Scenic Railway. Harking back to the time of romantic railroad travel in America, the Branson Scenic Railway offers a one-hour 45-minute trip that takes you through the bucolic countryside of southwest Missouri.
Your Branson Scenic Railway journey begins at the historic 1905 depot in downtown Branson. Here, you’ll also find the reservation and ticket office, and a train theme gift shop. Hop on one of the beautifully restored passenger cars and enjoy a first-class experience similar to that of 50 years ago.
Three dome cars have glass ceilings for superb panoramic views as you trundle along, and an elegant dinner car serves a four-course candlelight meal. A lively narration during the trip points out the landmarks, describes the landscapes, and details the role of the railroad in shaping the Ozarks as we know them today.
Table Rock State Park
Spend a day in the great outdoors hiking, swimming, and picnicking in the Table Rock State Park. Embracing the White River, the state park was created by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in the 1950s. It’s been one of Branson’s most popular tourist attractions ever since.
Located on the eastern side of Table Rock Lake, the park boasts 800 miles of shoreline with plenty of perfect spots for camping, picnicking, fishing, and swimming. Spend a few nights camping at one of the campgrounds around the lake or cast a line to hook some bass for lunch.
There are several marinas for launching boats and renting out equipment like WaveRunners. You can also learn how to scuba dive in the lake or enjoy scuba diving trips in crystal-clear water.
Veteran’s Memorial Museum
End your trip to Branson by paying tribute to the brave men and women who defended freedom during the 20th century at the Veteran’s Memorial Museum. One of the best things to do in Branson, MO, the museum is both fascinating and humbling. It features an outstanding collection of wartime exhibits and displays that’ll make you pause for reflection.
The privately-owned Veteran’s Memorial Museum features ten large halls housing dramatic exhibits that cover the conflicts and wars fought during the 20th century, from World War I to Desert Storm.
Each hall boasts intricate and intimate displays of artifacts, memorabilia, artworks, murals, photographs, and stories from all branches of the service.
Take some time to wander the vast halls of the Veteran’s Memorial Museum. Experience the prism of history through vivid and sometimes overwhelming displays of bravery and sacrifice by the men and women who served their country.