Today, Branson may be famous for its shows.  But before this Midwestern town became an entertainment hotspot visitors from near and far frequented the area for its outdoor activities and pristine natural landscapes. This beauty has transcended time, and is still one of the best reasons to visit the Ozarks.  To see a lot of the outdoor appeal of the area in a small amount of time hop aboard the Branson Scenic Railway

Branson Scenic Railway_001

Conveniently located in Downtown Branson, across the street from the Branson Landing, The Branson Scenic Railway has been operating out of this original depot since 1905.  When you travel on this train, fondly known as the “Mainline through the Ozarks,” you’ll ride the rails on a true commercial railroad line.  The train’s direction of travel – north or south – is determined just prior to departure by the Missouri and Northern Arkansas Railroad.  On the northern tour you’ll travel to Galena, Missouri to the James River Valley while on the southern tour you’ll visit Arkansas and the Barren Fork Trestle.  As the train chugs along the rail line, you’ll see Ozark territory inaccessible by automobile and views unparalleled by other vantage points.  Adding to the scenic sights is a knowledgeable narrator, highlighting historic areas and landmarks, including tales of bygone towns such as Melva and Ruth. 

It’s easy to add a trip aboard the Branson Scenic Railway.  Generally, the train has three or four scheduled departures daily.  Each tour, which is 40 miles, lasts 1 hour and 45 minutes so you’ll have plenty of time to stroll through Downton or browse the paths of the Branson Landing afterwards. Seating is unassigned, but boarding numbers are issues in the order the reservation was made so it’s still recommended you reserve tickets in advance.  That said, it is encouraged for train guests to move about the cars and experience the views from every angle.  The wide windows of the lower level provide a decent expanse of the landscape, but the real views are found up top – in the panoramic dome cars. 

The train blows its whistle March to December.  Throughout their operating season they add special things to do aboard the train, which has been restored to its glory from fifty years ago.  April to October a dinner train is hosted each Saturday at 5pm. Four-courses over candlelight creates a retro night worth sharing.  In November and December guests take to the North Pole during The Polar Express Experience.  For fans of the class book, it’s a true treat.  Kids hitch a ride to the North Pole to pick up Santa Claus, enjoying live narration of the book, cookies and cocoa.  Once Old Saint Nick arrives, he visits each car and child presenting a special gift.  Festive calories and even a trip through a local light display add to the magic of The Polar Express.  Make reservations early for this one as it’s an extremely popular attraction and dates do sell out.  Note: The Polar Express ride lasts 1 hour and 45 minutes. 

Add one of the Branson Scenic Railway excursions to your itinerary.  Each offers a different experience, yet all are worth the journey!  All aboard!

Find out more about things to do in Branson »
Ashley is Reserve Direct’s travel expert, visiting Branson to find the best travel tips, money-saving deals and insider information. With over 10 years of experience in first-hand-travel adventures, she shares her stories, advice, and current events to help you stay in the know.
Dixie Stampede Christmas

Dixie Stampede Christmas

Celebrate Christmas in Branson by purchasing tickets to popular holiday shows.  Branson Christmas shows offer fun, family entertainment that will help make your holiday season one to remember. But these great Christmas shows in Branson will sell out fast, so be sure to get your tickets now!

Some of the best Christmas shows in Branson include:

Dixie Stampede Christmas: The Dixie Stampede transforms into a holiday celebration including a live Nativity, with three kings atop camels, holiday music, a visit from Santa and a four-course yuletide feast. 

Christmas Wonderland:  Come and join Santa, his elves, and the best singers and dancers in town for Branson’s number one all-singing, all-dancing Christmas Show. This festive musical holiday show celebrates Christmas in all its glory and features your favorite holiday classics.

Legends_in_Concert___Christmas_Show_(48612)

Legends in Concert Christmas

Legends in Concert Christmas: Legends in Concerts’ Christmas season brings back those magical memories of “the most wonderful time of the year”. Featuring songs such as “The Christmas Song” with Nat King Cole, “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” performed by Rod Stewart, “Blue Christmas” from Dean Z as Elvis, “Upon the Housetop” by Reba McEntire and the hilariously warm and fuzzy “Christmas Medley” performed by The Blues Brothers.

Andy Williams Christmas Variety Show:  The legacy of amazing Christmas shows continues at the Moon River Theatre. The 2014 show will star The Osmonds and The Lennon Sisters plus all the features that made Andy’s show so great – fantastic variety, singers, dancers, prancing reindeer, penguins plus the Moon River Orchestra, all performing your favorite holiday songs!

Christmas on the Trail:  Circle around the campfire as you create a Christmas memory complete with familiar carols, and unique cowboy reflections that will touch your heart and stir your memories!

Hughes Brothers Christmas: The Hughes Brothers and their families bring you the season’s best vocal harmonies, festive surprises, and treasured family traditions. From Santa to a living nativity scene this is the one Christmas show you’ll want to share with your family.

Hughes Brothers Christmas

Hughes Brothers Christmas

The Bretts Song of Christmas: Revel in the true spirit of Christmas at this family centric show. Listen to the collective harmonies of The Bretts on renditions of Christmas favorites, including “Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town” to “O Holy Night.”  A moving Christmas-themed veterans’ tribute will bring you to tears, yet make you smile with pride at America. 

With so many outstanding shows to choose from, Christmastime in Branson is one of the most entertaining seasons of the year.  Celebrate an Ozark Mountain Christmas and join in the festive cheer.  Choose your shows today to get the best seats available and guaranteed lowest prices on tickets. 

Find out more about experiencing Christmas in Branson »
Ashley is Reserve Direct’s travel expert, visiting Branson to find the best travel tips, money-saving deals and insider information. With over 10 years of experience in first-hand-travel adventures, she shares her stories, advice, and current events to help you stay in the know.

 

Branson, Missouri is the show capital of the Midwest. There are entertaining shows performed morning, afternoon and night. Plus, shows run the gamut of traditional to modern, with a good mix of comedy and storytelling added for good measure. At the heart of it all is family, with shows appealing to those of all ages. Browse our quick guide of Branson shows to get a head start on your ticket needs. Take a seat, sit back and enjoy the show in Branson!

Baldknobbers_Jamboree_Show_-027-The Shows That Started It All

Two Branson shows – Baldknobbers Jamboree and Shepherd of the Hills Outdoor Drama have been performing in Branson for more than 50 years. The Baldknobbers Jamboree continues to draw audiences due to its hee-haw style comedy and mix of classic country songs, today’s hits and patriotic favorites. To hear the true story of the Ozarks, attend the Shepherd of the Hills Outdoor Drama. The homestead is home to historic sites, while the play invokes the emotions of love, loss and hardship found in Harold Bell Wright’s renowned novel of the same name. Presleys’ Jubilee has been entertaining visitors for nearly 50 years, with four generations of the family continuing the legacy of Jubilee – the first show located on the famous “Hwy 76 Strip.” With tickets to this show you’re treated to a one-of-a-kind mix of country, gospel, bluegrass and hilarious comedy.

Dixie_FamilyBranson Dinner Shows

What do you get when you combine a delicious meal with on-stage entertainment? Branson dinner shows of course! Spending the evening at a Branson dinner show is the perfect way to end the night. Choose from interactive adventure to music and comedy – all served with a delicious meal. Perhaps the most popular is the Dixie Stampede Dinner Show. Watch lumberjacks battle for top of the mountain, horses stampede through equestrian feats and engage in family-friendly competitions. Bring your appetite for the four-course feast of rotisserie chicken, pork loin, creamy vegetable soup, and more. If you’d like to combine your dinner and show with the beauty of the outdoors make reservations for the Showboat Branson Belle. The paddlewheel boat has three grand decks, each offering breathtaking views of Table Rock Lake. Inside, guests are treated to an elegant three-course-feast and patriotic performance showcasing vocalists, an aerial violinist and live band.

Haygoods_-003-The New Playlist

Branson continues to appeal to show-goers because of its mix of classic and modern performances. Theaters have ushered in a new wave of entertainment, creating a new score for visitors to enjoy. The Haygoods are at the forefront of this movement; their show consists of five brothers and one sister, all who are incredible talented! Watch as they play 20 different musical instruments, energetically dance across the stage, and dazzle with song selections based on the best of today’s top hits. SIX, a family of six brothers, has a new style of performing too. Listen to their tight harmonies and astonishing vocal feats, all of which are so rich you’ll you’re hearing a full band. Their orchestra of human voices will have you clapping along to renditions of contemporary and doo-wop classics, as well as patriotic and gospel medleys. Sight & Sound Theatres Jonah is an outstanding production – the largest in Branson. Immersive special effects, elaborate staging and expressive original music orchestrate the retelling of the biblical story of Jonah. It’s a story kids can understand and families rejoice in sharing.

Dolly_Parton_s_Dixie_Stampede_Christmas_Dinner___Show_-2528010-2529Branson Christmas Shows

Perhaps the most magical time of the year to see shows in Branson is Christmastime. Celebrate an Ozark Mountain Christmas and join in the festive cheer with Branson Christmas shows. Themed on family traditions and the true reasons for the season, these programs are the perfect holiday treat. Dixie Stampede Christmas, Christmas Wonderland, Hughes Brothers Christmas Show, and Andy Williams Christmas Variety Show offer fun family entertainment that will help make your holiday season one to remember.

Audience 177421297Concerts in Branson

Throughout the year, special one-night-only performances are held at venues like The Oak Ridge Boys Theatre, Moon River Theater and RFD-TV Theater. Superstars like Wynonna Judd, Neal McCoy, Kenny Rogers, Bill Cosby, Martina McBride, Charlie Daniels, Randy Travis and Clint Black are just a few of the headliners to appear recently. Every season brings new names to the stage, so be sure to check our show schedule frequently for new headliners.

Planning a vacation? If so, you’ll find plenty of things to do in Branson making it an easy getaway choice for those of all ages. Entertaining shows? World-class theme parks? Outdoor adventures? Check, check and check! Branson truly has it all. Want to learn more about ways to play in Branson? Read on.

Haygoods_-2528017-2529Live Shows

Branson is known for its high-quality entertainment. With numerous theaters and more seats than Broadway, the show town has a variety of acts to see during your vacation. Traditional Branson shows like the Presley’s’ Jubilee, Baldknobbers Jamboree and Shepherd of the Hills Outdoor Drama still usher in big crowds, while more modern shows like The Haygoods and SIX bring a new appeal to the entertainment scene. Families are still at the center of it all, especially at shows like Jonah and the Dixie Stampede. Get your ticket to Branson shows to see why this Midwest town is truly an entertainment mecca.

rsz_sdc_outlaw_run_002Attractions

The fun doesn’t end at Branson shows! Got the need for speed? Race to one of the many go-kart tracks in Branson. Ready to shoot a hole-in-one? Play a round of putt-putt at the elaborately themed mini golf courses. Want to dive into aquatic activities? Head to the beach within reach – White Water. It’s Branson’s best waterpark, with splash-inducing attractions for little ones and high-thrill drop slides for wild ones! Of course, Branson’s most popular attraction is Silver Dollar City. The 1880’s themed park amuses millions with thrilling rides, unique shows, demonstrating craftsmen and seasonal festivals. The park is constantly adding new things to do, too, with attractions like the Outlaw Run Coaster continuing the Silver Dollar City tradition of top-notch rides.

Lake_iStock_000008545106XSmallOutdoor Adventures

Branson’s vacation appeal extends to the great outdoors. Set in the heart of the Ozarks, a lush, rolling landscape dotted with three pristine lakes welcomes you. Outdoor adventures include 200 miles of hiking, biking and horseback-riding trails, as well as trout and bass fishing, and spelunking in of the counties more than 800 caves. Guided cave tours are available at sites like Talking Rocks Cavern – an absolute must visit to get an up-close look at why Missouri is nicknamed “The Cave State.” The lakes of Branson – especially Table Rock Lake – are a top draw too. Bring your boat or rent one at the many marinas dotting the lake. Hundreds of miles of shoreline make for easy swimming access points, especially at Moonshine Beach. One of the newest things to do in Branson is zipline. Sail through the skies while you get a birds-eye-view of the Missouri landscape stretching out before you.

PayneStewartGolfCourseGolf Courses

Tee up and practice your swing on the greens of Branson. When you do, you’ll discover the area has award-winning courses touting some of the best names in the game. Golf greats like Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Payne Stewart all have courses in Branson, as does Tom Fazio. Playing experiences are varied, so everyone from novice to pro can test out their skills. Buffalo Ridge (previously known as Branson Creek), a Fazio design, is ranked as the Best Public Golf Course in Missouri, while the newly-reopened Nicklaus designed Top of the Rock course is on the fast-track to favorite status. Other choice golf courses in Branson include Thousand Hills, Pointe Royale, and Ledgestone at Stone Bridge Resort. One thing all of these golf courses have in common is a beautiful setting, highlighting the valleys, mountains and scenic splendor of the Ozarks.

Branson-Landing-Shopper_1Shopping

Bargain hunters and specialty shopper’s alike love browsing the stores of Branson. To stretch your dollar, visit deep discount outlet malls like Tanger Outlet Center. Labels like Ralph Loren, Nike, Old Navy, American Eagle, Coach and Chico’s appeal to not only one’s price point but also ones sense of style. At the Branson Landing you can enjoy shopping on the shores of Lake Taneycomo. The modern complex is flag shipped by Bass Pro Outdoor Center by Belk Department Store, with specialty shops, boutiques and brand name stores lining the sidewalks in between. Work up an appetite doing all that shopping? Dine at one of the many restaurants at Branson Landing. A few recommendations include Black Oak Grill, Cantina Laredo and Texas Land and Cattle Steakhouse. Arts, crafts and memorabilia are big sell in Branson, too. Stroll downtown Branson for a trip down memory lane, especially at the iconic Dick’s 5 & 10. Stop in at one of the many flea markets or galleries for handmade quilts, candles, carvings leather goods and one-of-a-kind home décor.

Cantina-Laredo-RSZBranson Restaurants

When you vacation in Branson be sure to bring your appetite! There are a variety of flavors found on menus located here, from home-style cooking to modern cuisine. Want a taste of southern specialties? Dine at Farmhouse Restaurant, Branson Café or Bob Evans Restaurant. On the hunt for barbeque? Get sauced at Famous Dave’s and Danna’s Bar-B-Q & Burger Shop. Searching for a taste of the Orient? Thai Thai and Wasabi Steak & Sushi serve bold selections at a reasonable price. For a classic burger, fries and shake, you can’t beat Billy Bob’s Dairyland or The Burger Shack. Breakfast in Branson doesn’t get any better than Billy Gail’s, located in a rustic cabin this hot spot usually has a wait but is well worth it! If you want an upscale dining experience make reservations for Level 2 Steakhouse, Osage Restaurant at Top of the Rock or Devil’s Pool Restaurant.

During your next vacation, discover all the things to do in Branson, Missouri. Located in the heart of the Midwest, it’s where outdoor adventure combines with family entertainment!

Check out these Branson events happening in December 2014:

December 1 – December 31:  The Trail of Lights
The Trail of Lights is open all December long. Festive holiday music plays as you make your way through the Shepherd of the Hills Homestead, decorated with millions of Christmas lights. Open 7 nights a week from dusk until the end of the shows.

December 1 – December 31:  Titanic Christmas and Winter Celebration
The Titanic Museum will be transformed during the holiday season with Christmas decorations and lights.

December 1 – December 31:  Branson Area Festival of Lights

Branson lights up for the holidays. The one-mile drive is illuminated with over 175 displays and is located off Shepherd of the Hills Expressway and Roark Valley Road. Open daily from dusk until 11pm. Family vehicles cost $12.

December 1 – December 30:  An Old Time Christmas at Silver Dollar City
Named one of the top 5 holiday events in the country by Good Morning America, An Old Time Christmas features 4 million lights, a 5-story special effects Christmas tree, a holiday lights parade, plus holiday shows and treats.

December 1-24: Branson Landing Winter Wonderlanding
Don’t miss your chance to visit Santa in his very own 50′ Christmas Treehouse, located in the middle of Branson Landing’s Town Square.

December 7:  Branson Adoration Parade & Lighting Ceremony
Celebrate the true meaning of Christmas with the Branson community beginning with the annual lighting of the largest nativity scene in the area, which overlooks Lake Taneycomo. Begins at dusk.

December 31:  New Year’s Eve Celebration at Chateau on the Lake
Ring in the New Year at Chateau on the Lake with a 3-course dinner, dancing, live entertainment, champagne toast, and fireworks display. Packages start at $445 per couple (including room). Call 888-333-5253 to reserve your spot.

December 31: New Year’s Eve Fireworks at Big Cedar Lodge

December 31: New Year’s Eve Fireworks at Top of the Rock