7 Delightful Things to do in Branson MO

Visitors have been flocking to Branson, Missouri, since 1959 when the Mabe Brothers began producing the Baldnobbers Jamboree. This city in the Ozark Mountains, however, was already popular with many visitors dating back to when Ruben S. Branson opened the first general store there in 1882. When trains arrived in Branson in 1902, the city’s popularity grew immensely. Five years later, Harold Bell Wright used the city as a setting for his Shepherd of the Hills book, and interest in the city increased dramatically. Today, over 100,000 visitors come as there are so many things to do in Branson MO.

1. Ride the Historic Train

Learning about the history of this part of the Ozarks at the Branson Scenic Railway is one of the fun things to do in Branson MO. Climb aboard the beautifully restored passenger cars dating from the 1930s through the early 1960s for a 105-minute ride through the Ozark Mountains. Hear the guide tell you about the ghost towns while you view impressive railroad trestles and century-old bridges. Three bubble-top cars offer the best scenic views. Make your Saturday extra special by riding on the dinner train featuring a four-course dinner served by candlelight. Come early or stay late allowing you to explore the historic trains on display along with the immense beauty of the 1905 train depot.

  • Best for: Couples and families
  • Season: Open year-round. Be sure to check the event calendar for hours and availability as it varies by the season. The dinner train is only available on Saturday.
  • Address: 206 East Main Street, Branson, Missouri 65616

2. Laugh at the Presleys’ Country Jubilee

While Branson has more than 50 theaters, the oldest is Presleys’ Theatre constructed in 1967. When they opened their theater, West Highway 76 was nothing more than a two-lane country road. This theater is largely responsible for Branson becoming the live entertainment capital of the world and taking in the show at this theater is among the fun things to do in Branson MO. The show features many country, gospel and bluegrass tunes along with hilarious comedy skits performed by the family members who have been pleasing audiences for more than 50 years. Leave time to visit the unique gift store featuring many joke books and dolls resembling cast members along with shows on video.

  • Best for: Couples and families
  • Season: Shows Monday through Saturday begin at 8 PM year round. No shows are available on Sundays.
  • Address: 2920 West 76 Country Boulevard, Branson, Missouri 65616

3. Explore Silver Dollar City

Since May 1, 1960, visitors have been coming to Silver Dollar City because there are so many different things to do at this Branson landmark. Listen to a variety of musicians and actors perform on the park’s 12 stage venues, ride on the 30 rides and attractions, dine in the 12 restaurants and shop in over 60 shops offering handcrafted items from resident artists. Leave time to walk through Marble Cave which was first discovered in the 1500s. Try to time your visit to this park to coincide with its many large festivals including National Crafts & Cowboy Festival, Country Music Weekend or An Old Time Christmas. Alternatively, taking a cooking class at the park featuring seasonal creations is one of the tastiest things to do in Branson MO.

  • Best for: Couples and families
  • Season: This park is open year round with normal operating hours being from 9:30 AM to 7:00 PM.
  • Address: 399 Silver Dollar City Parkway, Branson, Missouri 65616

4. Go Fishing at Table Rock Lake

There are many outstanding places to fish in the area making it one of the most rewarding things to do in Branson MO. Largemouth bass, spotted bass, white bass, crappie, channel cat, bream and other panfish are plentiful at Table Rock Lake. Crappie fishing should be exceptionally good on the James, Kings, and Long Creek arms of Table Rock Lake. This lake serves as the headwaters to Lake Taneycomo which is well known for its rainbow and brown trout. Early spring fishing on King’s River is often fantastic for largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass and walleye. The Missouri Department of Conservation requires all fishers ages 16 to 64 have a fishing permit. However, they do offer free fishing days across the year, making fishing also one of the free things to do in Branson MO.

  • Best for: Couples and families
  • Season: Check regulations with the Missouri Department of Conservation.
  • Address: 226 Claremont Drive, Branson, Missouri 65616

5. Imagine Riding the Titanic

A stop at the Titanic Museum is a chance to step back in time. You will receive the boarding pass of a passenger or crew member when you stop at this museum. As you make your way through this museum containing over $4.5 million Titanic artifacts you will continue to fulfill the role that you have received. Guests can walk the Titanic’s Grand Staircase, shovel coal in the boiler room, learn to send an SOS, and sit in a lifeboat after the ship has hit an iceberg in 28 degree water. At the end of your journey through the museum, you will learn if you survived the crash of the Titanic on her maiden journey. The Branson Titanic Museum is one of the two Titanic-themes museums, the other one being one of the main attractions in Pigeon Forge, Tenessee.

  • Best for: Couples and families
  • Season: This museum is open year round with usual operating hours being from 9:00 AM to at least 5:00 PM most days.
  • Address: 3235 76 Country Blvd & Hwy 165, Branson , Missouri 65616

6. Explore the Butterfly Palace and Rainforest

Stop at the Butterfly Palace and Rainforest Adventure to explore a rainforest without ever leaving Branson, Missouri. Become a scientist at the Exotic Butterfly Aviary, studying butterflies from around the world while wearing a pith helmet and using binoculars. Use the microscope and other scientific tools at the Living Rainforest Science Center to learn more about poison dart frogs, salamanders, geckos and giant cockroaches. Watch the 15-minute video in the Rainforest Theater to learn more about the lifecycle of a butterfly. See if you can find your way out of the Emerald Forest Mirror Maze. Weave your way through the Banyan Tree Adventure.

  • Best for: Couples and families
  • Season: All facilities are open throughout the year from 9 AM to 5 PM.
  • Address: 4106 West Hwy 76 Branson, Missouri 65616

7. Feed the Lemurs at the Promise Land Zoo

Unlike most zoos where animals are kept in locked cages, visitors to the Promise Land Zoo have many opportunities for hands-on adventures making it one of the most interactive things to do in Branson MO. Some of the animals that visitors can interact with include porcupines, lynxes, Kinkajous, pythons, tegus, rabbits and New Guinea singing dogs. Splurge for the VIP pass allowing you to see at least three animals not on display to the general public along with helping to feed them. Every two hours, zookeepers and their animal friends perform in special shows with different animals featured throughout the day.

  • Best for: Couples and families
  • Season: This zoo is open from 9 AM to 6 PM year round. Last admission, however, is at 5 PM.
  • Address: 2751 Shepherd of the Hills Expressway Branson, MO 65616

Everyone will want to come to this city often with so many fun things to do. The best things to do include riding on a historic train, seeing a live performance, exploring Silver Dollar City and a rainforest, pretending to be a guest on the Titanic and petting the animals at the Promise Land Zoo. If you have been to this Ozark city, then we would love to hear about your favorite fun things to do in Branson MO.

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