Dallas Moms Blog was invited to participate in a promotional tour of Branson, Missouri; however all opinions are 100% our own. Krystal is sharing her experience with you through a series of posts to help guide you through your next Branson experience!
I have to be honest. . . if you asked me a few weeks ago to make a bucket list of family vacation destinations Branson, Missouri would probably not have made my short list.
My very limited knowledge of this small midwestern town was all hearsay from folks who were generally thirty to forty years my senior. My conception was probably one many people have: Branson’s where seniors in motorcoaches go on vacation. It’s a town that’s all about the country and Christian music. The nicest restaurant is probably a line-style cafeteria.
So when Branson offered up a promotional tour of the city in exchange for an review, I didn’t immediately jump at the opportunity. If we were going to use my husband’s vacation time, I wanted to make sure this would at least be a trip the whole family could enjoy–including my 3 year old and 18 month old. Explore Branson provided me with some great promotional material (including a website dedicated to the common Branson misconceptions!) and what I saw got me excited!
After spending four days last weekend in Missouri, I would now recommend Branson to any young family as an easy, entertaining vacation spot and I can’t wait to take my family there again!
So clear your head of any preconceived notions, forget what you think you know, and let me help convince you why you should make that 6 1/2 hour drive up north.
Leave the RV at Home:
Branson is definitely a town that is rich in history and many of the hotels along Highway 76 give you that impression. But what I came to learn in a town like this is you can’t let first impressions fool you! If you’re looking to partake in an authentic Branson experience without feeling like you’re sleeping in 1965, give the The Grand Country Inn a try.
The Grand Country Inn sits on the west side of town, is extremely affordable for families, and is easily located near most of the major attractions; however, for families, this hotel is an attraction of its own.
Guests are provided access to Splash Country Waterpark which sits on property— an indoor and outdoor water park designed for children of all ages. Outdoors you’ll find small wading pools filled with easily-accessible water slides, water-filled bucks and rifles, and some great lounging areas.
But for my little ones, indoors is where we had the most fun! Most known for its 3 level treehouse, this is where you’ll find the tube slides, water play features, and the 1,000 gallon tipping bucket that dumps every 8 minutes. We however hung out in the Toddler Pool and (my 18 month old especially) couldn’t get enough of the the splash pad, miniature water slide, and bungee swings. There was also a 250 feet Lazy River which was just perfect for entertaining a 3 year old.
There were lifeguards station everywhere–including in the toddler areas, and even with the crowds, there was enough to play on that none of the features seemed overcrowded.
The Grand Country Inn also serves host to Grand Country Music Hall with a variety of shows, performances, and even animal entertainment, over 4 different food destinations, and the Fun Spot. The Fun Spot features Black-Light Mini-Golf, Mini-Bowling, Spin-Zone Bumper Cars, The Fun Spot Play Area, LaserMaze, Video Arcarde, and the Super Prize Redemption Center. While each activity in the Fun Spot is individually priced, nothing was inflated and often children under the age of 4 were free.
While we weren’t able to take advantage of the Grand Country’s newest rooms, I can’t wait to go back and try the new rooms with Kids’ Clubhouse amenities. Instead of a typical double queen or single king, the Clubhouse rooms have a single queen or king bed (for parents) and a twin bunk bed setup (for the kids)!
Grand Country Inn is open year round and offers GREAT vacation packages in the Summer, Fall, and Winter months. Most packages include lodging, passes to Splash Country for the family, show tickets, and Fun Spot discounts.
Make sure to visit Grand Country Inn’s website for more details on how to make a reservation: www.grandcountry.com
If you’re looking for something a little more modern or away from the main highway, here’s a few other choice you could give a try:
Seeing the Sights:
Before heading off on our trip, I shared with Dallas Moms Blog readers our itinerary for the trip. I’ll be sharing more detailed reviews of some of the great places you sent my family (and adding links as they go live), but here’s a few of the “Must Do’s” if you find yourself in Branson–Note, the lack of Country Music!:
Since the ages of our children (and desire to sneak in a few naps) heavily impacted our schedule, it’s important to know that Branson is filled with activities for kids of older ages too–attractions like Adventure Ziplines, Castle of Chaos, Ripley’s Believe it or Not, and White Water Park!
We were provided with tickets to White Water Park, and while our boys weren’t able to ride most of the rides, we still spent over 4 hours enjoying the sun in Splashaway Cay and in the Aloha River.
White Water Park is known for their daring tube slides like the newest Kapau Plummet and Kalani Towers, but what really makes White Water Park a great family destination is all the extra activities the park provides.
It’s open from 10am-5pm, but from July 5-August 30, 2014 guests of the park can enjoy Night Water from 5-10pm and Red, White, and Boom fireworks every Saturday starting at 10pm. Night Water also offers “Dive In Movies” and discounts on food, beverages, and tees!
For more information on White Water Park and how you can get discounted tickets by visiting multiple Silver Dollar City Attractions, visit http://www.silverdollarcity.com/white-water/
I can’t wait to share more of my trip with you!
Keep an eye out on Dallas Moms Blog for more information on how to #ExploreBranson!
**Disclosure: Dallas Moms Blog was invited to participate in a promotional tour of Branson, Missouri; however all opinions are 100% our own.