Memorial Day Weekend is the official start to summer. If you’re still searching for where to go on your summer vacation, take a second look at Branson, Missouri. Outdoor activities, family-friendly attractions and entertaining shows make this vacation destination one to remember.

Silver Dollar City is making it easier than ever to travel to Branson on a budget with Silver Dollar City Vacation Packages. They feature Branson attractions like Ride the Ducks, Showboat Branson Belle, White Water, Titanic Museum and Dixie Stampede and a variety of approved area lodging. The combination of Silver Dollar City’s theme park with Branson shows and Branson hotels allow customers to book Branson vacation packages in one convenient, money saving package.

The all-inclusive design of the Silver Dollar City packages makes creating and reserving a Branson vacation package easier than ever.

Visitors can choose from seven different packages:

Package 1: 2 Days of Play Vacation Package featuring Silver Dollar City
Package 2: Cruise and Play Vacation Package featuring Silver Dollar City and Showboat Branson Belle
Package 3: Silver Dollar City and White Water Combo Vacation Package
Package 4: Stomp and Play Vacation Package featuring Silver Dollar City and Dixie Stampede
Package 5: Quack and Play Vacation Package featuring Silver Dollar City and Ride the Ducks
Package 6: Cruise, Quack and Play Vacation Package featuring Silver Dollar City, Showboat Branson Belle and Ride the Ducks
Package 7: Cruise, Stomp and Play Vacation Package featuring Silver Dollar city, Showboat Branson Belle and Dixie Stampede

Reserve your Branson vacation today to see all the ways you can play in Branson!

The Showboat Branson Belle brings southern gospel to Table Rock Lake during their Southern Gospel Cruises, scheduled for August 26-31, 2012. These special cruises, with noon show times, will feature the stars of Made in the USA as well as southern gospel greats singing some of your favorite gospel songs.  Take a look at who’s taking the stage during Southern Gospel Cruises and purchase Showboat Branson Belle tickets to enjoy your favorite gospel group.

Dixie Melody Boys  
More Than 20 Top 40 Hits
August 26
Gold City 
60 Singing New Fan Awards
August 27

Stamps Quartet
Grammy & Dove Award-winners who toured with Elvis
August 28

The Kingsmen 
Dove Award-winners and Gospel Music Hall of Famers
August 29
The Florida Boys
100 Recorded Gospel Albums
August 30
The Blackwood Brothers Quartet
Eight-time Grammy Award-winners
Five-time Dove Award-winners
August 31

Batman is coming to Branson!  That’s right, a new Branson auto museum is bringing not one but two Batmobiles to the area.  The still-to-be named museum will be located on the lower level of the Dick Clark American Bandstand Theater and will feature famous cars from television and movies. 

Photo by Jennifer Graylock/Ford Motor Company
The new attraction will have a rotating cast of cars and they will all be for sale.  So, if you like the Batmobile you see you can buy it and drive home with a very special souvenir!  The two Batmobiles on display will be the 1960s vintage Batmobile and the 1989 version from the Michael Keaton Batman movie.
Cars from The Fast & The Furious, Men in Black, Herbie the Love Bug, RoboCop, Cars, Inception and many others are also going to be on display at the museum.
Classic hot rods and costumes also add to the things to see.
An opening date has yet to be set, but planned operating hours are 9am-9pm.
More details will be released as they become available. 

Drop your whisks, grab your friends, and join us for a night of fun at the Taste of Home Cooking School show, presented live at the Welk Resort Theatre in Branson on May 22, 2012 at 7:00pm. 

During this interactive event, you’ll watch top culinary expert, Jamie Dunn, demonstrate ten new recipes you can easily recreate in your home.  Armed with new culinary tips and techniques, you’ll be sure to impress your family and friends with these sophisticated yet surprisingly easy-to-make dishes.
Not only will you leave the event with new recipe ideas, you’ll also go home with a valuable gift bag. Our ever-popular gift bags include an assortment of products and coupons, including two Taste of Home magazines. And while you’re there, remember to enter for a chance to win one of many exciting door prizes.
Start your evening out right by visiting the expo from 4:00pm-7:00pm. You will have the opportunity to visit with many great businesses and learn more about their products and services.

The Taste of Home Cooking School is an event you won’t want to miss. Let’s get cooking!

Tickets are NOW on sale by calling 1-800-505-9355 or 1-417-337-SHOW (7469) or by logging on to www.welkresortbranson.com.

The new Dewey Visitor Center has opened on the shores of Table Rock Lake in Branson.  The new 16,500 square-foot center is located near Table Rock Dam on Hwy 165, in clear view of both the lake and land.  The center’s focus is educating visitors on the lake and Missouri’s environment.

Table Rock Dam

The center features interactive exhibits designed to educate visitors about the dam, the White River Watershed, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and sustainability.  Conference rooms, a video viewing area, a gift shop and a lab area for children to test out science experiments add to the Dewy Short Visitor Center.   Throughout the center, visitors are encouraged to participate in a “green” scavenger hunt during which they hunt for items relating to sustainability.

Environmentally friendly inside and out, the building is Gold Leadership in Energy and Design, or LEED, certified, meaning it is among the most environmentally friendly buildings that can be built.  Plus, the state-of-the-art facility is designed to be part of the natural landscape, with rain gardens and dry streams winding their way through the site.
Editor’s Note: This concert has been cancelled due to an unforseen contract dispute. The Black Oak Amphitheater is bringing major music acts to the Ozarks in 2012.  The Country Throwdown Tour, featuring Gary Allen, Justin Moore and Josh Thompson, is set for May 19.  The festival will have various artists taking one of three stages throughout the day.  Then, August 29, Def Leppard and Poison bring the Rock of Ages Tour to the Black Oak Stage.  Now, adding to the exciting entertainment lined-up for the year, the amphitheater has announced Boston will perform on September 1.

Boston is one of the most innovative rock bands of the 1970s and 80s.  The stop near Branson, Missouri is part of their first tour since 2008.  A classic rock staple, Boston is known for their hit songs “More Than a Feeling,” “Peace of Mind,” “Long Time,” “Rock and Roll Band,” “Don’t Look Back” and “Amanda.”  Tom Scholz is still the center of the group’s line-up.  He is the band’s founder, guitarists, keyboardist and songwriter.
Survivor and Starship will also take the stage of the Black Oak Amphitheater on September 1.  Survivor is best known for its hit “Eye of the Tiger,” while Starship is best known for the single “We Built this City.” 
Tickets for the shows can be purchased at the Black Oak Amphitheater website.

Located on the banks of Lake Taneycomo, the Branson Landingoffers dining, shopping and entertainment to visitors and locals alike.  There are over 100 shops and eateries to explore as well as 7.5 million water fountain spectacular synchronized to music, fire, light and sound.  It is also hosting a variety of events and concerts in 2012. 

Take a look at what’s planned:
Country Showdown: June 8 at 4:30pm
The Country Showdown is America’s largest country music talent search.  The competition gives aspiring country music artists a chance to launch their career and get a head start in the music industry. 
Exile LIVE in Concert: June 9 at 8pm
Jake Simpson and the 4 Jax LIVE in Concert: June 16 at 8pm
Late Show with David Letterman Casting Call for Stupid Human Tricks & Pet Tricks: June 16 at 4pm
Members Only LIVE in Concert: June 29 at 8pm
5th Annual Liberty Light Up: July 3 at 8p
Featuring Chain Reaction – A Tribute to Journey

The Mark Chapman Band: August 10

Sweet Tea & Distortion: August 24
Show of Strength Labor Day Concert Series: September 2
Featuring music from Members Only at 5:30pm and Chain Reaction – A Tribute to Journey – at 8pm.
KSWISS Ironman Block Party: September 21 at 8pm
Featuring music from The Nashvegas All Stars
Members Only LIVE in Concert: September 28
More concerts and events will be announced.
Are you a fan of classic rock?  Then you’re in for a treat in Branson, Missouri as the Black Oak Amphitheater is hosting two iconic classic rock groups on August 29, 2012.  Who might the headliners be?  The one and only Def Leppard and Poison.  Part of the Rock of Ages Tour, the show will also feature Lita Ford. 
Def Leppard, who has had the same line-up for 30 years, is best known for their song “Photograph,” from the Pyromania album, and the string of hits from the 12-time platinum album Hysteria, which included “Love Bites,” “Pour Some Sugar on Me,” “Animal,” “Rocket,” and “Armageddon It.”  Poison has sold more than 30 million albums and charted 12 Top 10 singles, but they are best known for the song “Every Rose Has Its Thorn.”  Lita Ford was lead guitarist for The Runaways before the group disbanded.  Her most successful solo single was “Hungry.
To purchase tickets for the Rock of Ages tour, call the Black Oak Amphitheater at 417-779-1222 or visit their online site.
June 3-8:  Spring Woodcarving Rendezvous Seminar
This 28th annual woodcarving seminar will be held in the convention center of Compton Ridge Campground from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Beginners as well as experts are welcome. The cost is $185. Call 800-233-8648 for reservations.
June 8-9:  MasterCraft Pro Wakeboard Tour
Moonshine Beach at Table Rock Lake will host the Pro Wakeboard Tour where competitors will go against each other to earn the most points during this third stop of the tour.
June 9 – July 22:  Silver Dollar City KidsFest
Be part of the biggest national KidsFest at Silver Dollar City. See family-friendly shows, meet your favorite cartoon characters, and have fun on over 30 rides and attractions in the park.
June 17:  Father’s Day Brunch and Car Show
The Keeter Center at College of the Ozarks will be hosting a special brunch for Father’s Day from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Reservations are recommended, call 417-690-2146.
June 24:  Honor America Day
College of the Ozarks will be honoring America with an All-American Barbeque from 5-8 p.m. at The Keeter Center. There will be live music, kids’ activities, a special patriotic program, and a fireworks display at dark. $26.95 for adults, $9.95 for children 6-12. Call 417-690-2146 for reservations.

Plumb Nellie Days returns to Branson May 17-19, 2012.The 52nd annual festival has special meaning this year as it is also part of the Branson Centennial Celebration.Located in historic downtown Branson, Plumb Nellie Days features more than 100 crafters and artists from throughout the Midwest.

Jewelry, wood crafts, quilts, clothing, crocheted and knitted items, toys, floral arrangements, hats, purses, ironworks, and collectible art work will all be on display and for sale.A food court with everything from fried Twinkies to steak sandwiches will be serving up tasty treats all day long.
The Plumb Nellie Days stage hosts a full line-up of entertainers.As an added bonus, a special celebrity booth where performers meet and greet their fans is planned.This year’s festival also has a Reuben Branson look-a-like contest paying homage to the man who gave the city its namesake.It will take place Friday. 
Thursday’s entertainment line-up includes:
  • A Tribute to Marty Robbins with Leroy New
  • American Idol finalist Chris Jones
  • Gong Show winner Michelle Lappin
  • Doo Wop with the Drifters
  • Versatile tribute artist Jason Gordon
  • America’s Got Talent Joseph Hall’s Rock N Remember Elvis Presley Tribute
  • Midwest Dance Revolution
Friday’s entertainment line-up includes:
  • George Strait Show stars Gordy & Debbie Kay
  • America’s Got Talent Finalists The Voices of Glory
  • A Capella artists from “Sing Off” The Cats Pajamas
  • Recording artist Brittany Bortvit
  • Branson’s cowboy singer Sheldon Tucker
  • Recording artist Teri Berry
  • Tribute artists Motown Downtown
PLUS: Friday Night’s Street Dance with the band “Lindsay With Issues,” 6:30-9:30 p.m.
Saturday’s entertainment line-up includes:
  • A Centennial Tribute to Woodie Guthrie with David Greathouse
  • Season 8 American Idol Finalist Jason Yeager
  • Award Doowop and Chico Varga’s Drifters
  • Stringfield (dulcimers)
  • At noon there will be an Armed Forces Day Tribute with Grammy Award winner Barbara Fairchild and Roy Morris, America’s Got Talent Finalists The Voices of Glory, The Fair Family. The Army National Guard will be represented and display two Humvees
American Idol Finalists from the show “The Finalists Live” Lee DeWyze, Blake Lewis, Elliott Yamin, Kimberly Caldwell and Thia Megia will be at the Plumb Nellie Days Festival daily.
The three day event is in downtown Branson at the corners of Commercial and Main streets, an entire city block.