Las Vegas of the Midwest: Branson, Missouri
Our final day in Branson, Missouri is a culmination of all things fun and exciting (you can read Part 1 of our Branson trip here). We will definitely be returning to what I like to call the Las Vegas of the Midwest, but without the sin and vice. This is pure wholesome family FUNtainment!
After grabbing a quick bite at one of our favorite places to eat on the road (shout out to Chick fil A) we’re off and headed to Silver Dollar City Attractions. This is a big amusement park which is built thematically of a 1880’s mining town and it works beautifully, merging the antiquities of old with the modernity of today. Here you’ll find working black-smithies, a general store, an ice cream parlor, a doll shop, and reproductions inspired by 1800’s log structures. Even park employees are garbed in old-timey clothes. We’re looking forward to exploring this step into the past.
It is another beautiful day, the sun is shining and not a cloud in the sky. This is ideal amusement park weather. But wait, those things are huge, what are they?! Now, we’re hypnotized by some of the biggest and yummiest looking cinnamon rolls we’ve ever seen. Soon we’re polishing off these delicious cinnamony creations and washing them down with orange juice. See, its kinda a healthy second breakfast, right?
Alright, no more treats until lunch, promise. It’s not too long before we walk into one of the nation’s most popular and legendary feuds. The quarrelsome Hatfields and their blood-sworn enemies the McCoys are having it out on park walkways. This is a comedic take of the real life gruesome family feud. Every hour on the hour the actors interact and entertain tourists with storytelling, games and mock disdain for each other. How not-dangerously cute? Moving on, we walk past a glass blowing shop, and since there is a live demonstration in progress we step inside. We watch as a glassblower demonstrates his trade. It is cool watching the orange-hot glass being stretched, pulled and twisted into all kinds of cool shapes. It is amazing how these craftsmen and craftswomen have made so many intricate design out of glass; there are rings, goblets, earrings, figurines and every sort of knick-knack you can imagine.
Soon we find ourselves playing tic-tac-toe on giant sized games boards. The twins play each other, the wife and I play, then our youngest takes on everybody. I haven’t played this game in forever, but it turns out to be a lot more fun than I remember. But maybe it is because I am here with my own family; the boys and my wonderful wife. Maybe that’s why a simple game of tic-tac-toe is ranking up there with Halo 5. But isn’t this what its all about, building memories with the beloved family?
Up next we find ourselves standing in line for the Harlem Globetrotters show. Then a cool thing happens. There is a vendor selling potatoes on a stick (no lie) and she asks if anyone wants any water. No one answers. Then she comes out of her booth and tells people not to be shy in her southern drawl. Several people raise their hands, me included. Then she turns around and goes into her booth, gets a tray and fills it with cold cups of ice water. She returns and passes them out. Telling folks to, ” Drink up, ya’ll know its hot out here. Now, ya’ll just ask if you won’t some more.” This is just a super cool gesture (no pun intended) and it was very thoughtful. Major points for Silver Dollar City Attractions.
It isn’t too long before we’re entering the complex and seated. The lights go out and an announcer comes on. There is a brief light-show and soon the lights come all the way up and the Harlem Globetrotters are doing their warm up drills; shooting layups, jump shots and every shot goes in, these guys (and one lady) have amazing ball handling skills, but DUH right?
What else would one expect from the legendary world famous and beyond talented Harlem Globetrotters? This team is on their A-game and proceed to amuse and make everyone laugh and smile. This show is all about audience participation; they are pulling kids out of the crowd and showing them an amazing time. Each kid and adult who comes down on the ball court gets a sweatband as a memento. After the show we purchase a Harlem Globetrotter basketball, and stand in line so the team members can sign it and the boys get their picture taken with them. Very cool.
Okay, who’s up for some fun rides? Soon the boys are taking their turn on all kinds of fantastic rides and having a blast. But the king of rides at Silver Dollar City Attractions is the Outlaw Run. It is billed as the World’s Most Daring Wood Coaster, and although I haven’t been on every wooden coaster in the world this one delivers, not for the faint of heart.
After this thrilling ride I take a slight detour. The wife takes the boys off on more adventures, as I take in a cooking class. Yes, a cooking class. I signed up earlier to learn how to make flawless Lemon Meringue Pie at Midwest Living® Culinary & Craft School with the Master Craftsman of Culinary Arts Debbie Dance Uhrig. Why this wonderful woman doesn’t have her own show on the Food Network is anybody’s guess. But I’ve taken a few cooking classes in the past and this is one of the best. This lady rocks! The class clocks in at just around an hour and you get to eat pie! The cost is $15 per person and you get a complimentary copy of Midwest Living Magazine and a recipe print out of the dish. Also, you can check out the yummy stuff they have in the gift shop area as well as other beautiful wares.
After a few more rides we’re all too pooped to pop, and we head back to our room for a little rest and relaxation.
Okay, we’re rested and refueled for the Amaze Show, featuring the Acrobats of Shanghai. This 2 hour show starts and ends with so many amazing mind bending feats. My favorite was a phalanx of guys juggling hats, it sounds mundane but its a long way from boring. Promise. You’ll have to see it for yourself to find out why I was so impressed. Also worth mentioning is the young man doing a balancing act whilst throwing porcelain bowls atop his head, this was quite impressive too. There are 15 acts packed into this show, and it seems they segue way into even more daring and unimaginable acts as the show progresses. This is without a doubt a show that will leave you scratching your head in disbelief.
All in all, we had a wonderful time in Branson, Missouri. We definitely couldn’t cover every single inch of Branson, so we’re already making plans to head back.
To recap some of our favorite things to do in Branson:
- Seeing the Harlem Globetrotter show
- Dinner show at The Branson Belle
- Ziplining together as a family
- Dixie Stampede Show
Love to travel? Looking for tips on what to do in Branson? Be sure to check out the travel section of the blog!
Here on A Worthey Read you can get more in-depth of our travel adventures and more travel tips!
You can then head over to A Mitten Full Of Savings, which covers ways to save on travel, budget-friendly hotel ideas, and things to do.
Two blogs to cover all of your travel needs.