Located in the Ozark Mountains, Branson, Missouri has so many things to experience. Everyone can find something to love in Branson. There are outdoor activities, shopping, restaurants, and entertainment. Branson is a family fun location you will visit again and again. You can do something new each time or visit tried and true options.
My family and I were recently invited to Branson, to attend all the shows and activities we could possibly fit into 2.5 days! A special thanks to Angie and Blogging Branson for the invitation and arrangements for our fun-filled visit.
We are not newbies to Branson owning a timeshare with a few locations in Branson and only a day’s car ride away, we have made the trip a few or more times over the years. Plus, we enjoy the shows and often travel to see a specific group.
Stone Castle Hotel & Conference Center
For this trip, we were hosted at the StonecasStone Castle Hotel & Conference Center. The location is right in the heart of Branson making everything accessible and a short car ride away. What a great home base. Our favorite thing about Stone Castle Hotel & Conference Center was the free hot breakfast buffet each morning. If you would like to see what is included, you can view the video tour below.
Clay Cooper’s Country Express
Our first evening and the first show was Clay Cooper’s Country Express. Can I just say, this man has a smooth voice that is enjoyable to listen to. Pair that with his humor and ability to engage the audience makes for one enjoyable evening. Clay is no stranger to the stage beginning his singing career at the young age of 14. He moved to Branson in 1986 and worked his way around Branson’s stage circuit. Clay now owns and performs at his own place the Clay Cooper Theatre.
Clay’s show is enhanced with additional performers, including his wife and sons.
Track Family Fun Park
Our second day was full of activity as we began our day at the Track Family Fun Park. We were a bit confused but finally realized there are actually three different Track locations, #3, #4, and #5. Our confusion came from the first one we visited was currently closed (late March).
Reliving our childhood playing video games inside and then venturing outside to ride the Ferris Wheel and gain a beautiful view of Branson. We didn’t partake but there were bumper boats and go-karts too.
Track #4 has the Ferris Wheel (originally from Chicago Pier) and the location that was open.
The afternoon show we attended was Legends. You might have heard of this performing group before as there are 6 different locations around the United States. We attended the show in Dick Clark’s American Bandstand Theater. Legends is a live tribute show and the acts change over time. During our visit, we saw impersonators of Waylon Jennings, the Temptations, the Blues Brothers, and Elvis.
Illusionist Rick Thomas
The evening wrapped up with Illusionist Rick Thomas. This was an amazing show, one not to be missed. Rick’s show is in the Andy Williams Moon River Theatre which is a beautiful venue and worth a visit for the sculptures and architecture alone. As other shows do, Rick includes his wife in the act, has dancers, and music, and includes his two dogs. He tells a story throughout his performance linking each segment to the next and truly keeps you amazed the entire evening. Mr. Thomas is world-renowned having had a show in Las Vegas for 15 years and has traveled to 50 different countries to perform. Catch him in Branson while he is in town if you can, he does travel quite a bit.
Beyond the Lens
One of the newer additions to Branson is Beyond the Lens. This is an experience in what they call techno-tainment. There are interactive games, exhibits, and pop culture. This venue also has the Fly Ride where you soar around the US’s most known landmarks. It is an additional ticket price, but well worth the experience. What a great place to expel some energy or visit on a not-so-great weather day in Branson. A really nice thing about this ticket is you can use it all day long, so leave and come back as you desire. My daughters thoroughly enjoyed themselves here (so did I!).
The Hughes Brothers Country Show and BBQ
We are very familiar with our afternoon show stop to see The Hughes Brothers Country Show and BBQ. It kind of felt like coming home. We have seen the Hughes Brothers before and our eldest daughter attended their Song and Stage Bootcamp a few years back where she spent an intense week at the theatre and we attended great shows and meals with them as well. The Country Show was new to us and a bit more intimate than their big evening shows. It included a BBQ lunch of pork BBQ sandwiches, baked beans, coleslaw, and bottled water. While there, we bought forever tickets so we will be back again. The forever tickets are a great deal at half price and can be used for any show whenever you’d like. We’d like to see their Christmas show or the Hughes kids show called Re-Vibe.
PS – don’t forget to buy some fudge – it is fantastic!
Sadly our trip was coming to an end but not without one more show. We went back to the Clay Cooper Theatre to see The Haygoods. A performing group of 5 brothers and 1 sister who rock the house. This incredibly talented family plays all sorts of instruments, of course, they sing, they dance, (and tap dance), and include amazing special effects throughout the show. It is no wonder that they often sell out. The buzz begins outside the theatre with the hum of the crowd even an hour before the performance begins so get there early to grab a parking spot. This show is a fantastic way to end your visit to Branson, actually, it is fantastic anytime you can get a ticket!
You might ask which was our favorite. Well, that’s hard to answer. Although there are some similarities, each show is different enough and hard to compare. We discussed this on our drive home and each family member had a different preference. So there was no one real winner. I would say they were all winners and worth your time to visit and enjoy.
Thanks, Branson – we’ll be back!