Although there are only around 12,000 residents, Branson has so much to do that nearly 8 million people visit annually. There are museums to explore, unique dining experiences, an 1880s-style theme park, outlet shopping, and so much more in the small city in the Ozarks.
Branson, Missouri, is a small town with big entertainment that the entire family will enjoy. We’ll show you some fun things to do in the Live Entertainment Capital of the World. Below is our mini-guide of some fun things to do in Branson, Missouri, that the entire family will enjoy.
1. Visit The Titanic Museum
Over 100 years ago, the ship that was deemed virtually indestructible collided with an iceberg five days into its voyage and met a watery grave. While survivors of the catastrophe numbered 705, there were 1,503 people who lost their lives.
The Titanic Museum in Branson pays honor to all of those who boarded the luxury ship on April 10, 1912. There are 20 galleries to explore, 2,208 stories to read, and over 400 actual artifacts from the Titanic, including an actual menu of the last meal that was served that fateful night.
If you have been to other Titanic museums, be sure to stop at the one in Branson, too. The museums are different and have different artifacts. At the Branson museum, I was able to experience what it was like to be a passenger on the Titanic by sitting in a life-size replica of one of its lifeboats, tried my go at staying upright on a mock deck of the ship at different stages of sinking, and placed my hand in frigid water.
The Titanic Museum is located at 3235 W 76 Country Boulevard. It is open from 9:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. Sunday through Friday and from 9:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. on Saturday. General admission tickets are $35 per adult when purchased at the box office (save $3 if you buy online), $15 per child for children ages 5-12, and free for children 4 and younger.
2. Eat at Mel’s Hard Luck Diner
Mel’s Hard Luck Diner is more than just a place to grab a bite to eat. It is a unique dining experience that you won’t find anywhere else. Throughout the day, the servers will pick up a microphone and sing to the diners. While there, I was lucky enough to have one of the servers join me in my chair while he sang.
The menu at Mel’s Hard Luck Diner consists of classic diner food such as burgers, fries, and shakes. Lighter fare can be had, too, such as the Groovin’ Grilled Chicken Salad or Southwest Grilled Chicken Wrap. I ordered a salad and saved room for dessert because Mel’s serves up a mean banana split.
Mel’s Hard Luck Diner is located at 2800 West Country Boulevard, Suite 103. It opens at 11:00 a.m. Monday through Saturday and is open until 8:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday and until 8:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.
3. Go to Silver Dollar City
Nestled in the woods of The Ozarks lies one of the most fun amusement parks you will ever encounter. Silver Dollar City is a 100-acre family-owned theme park that has more than 30 thrilling rides, 12 restaurants, and 60 shops with wares made by over 100 resident craftsmen.
I was in Branson at Christmas time and absolutely loved A Dickens’ Christmas Carol at Silver Dollar City. The amazing performance features 15 talented actors and actresses, uses special effects and a live band, and is sure to put you in the Christmas spirit. It is an incredible production that on its own would be worth the trip to the park.
Two other things to see during the Christmas season are the Light Spectacular on Main Street featuring a 5-story special effects Christmas tree and Rudolph’s Holly Jolly Christmas Light Parade led by Rudolph himself.
Park tickets begin at $79 (for ages 12-64). Be sure to check the park’s calendar for dates and hours of operation.
Silver Dollar City is located at 399 Silver Dollar City Parkway.
4. Board The Showboat Branson Belle
One of my favorite things that I got to do in Branson was to board the Showboat Branson Belle. The Branson Belle has been serving dinner and entertaining guests for 20 years.
While on board for the two-hour cruise, guests enjoy a 3-course meal while being entertained with singing and dancing, as well as magic and comedy performed by Christopher James. During the performance break, guests can make their way to the top of the boat and enjoy the beautiful views of Table Rock Lake.
The Showboat Branson Belle is docked at 4800 Historic Highway 165. It is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. and on Friday from 10:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m.
5. Shop at Tanger Outlet
There are loads of bargains and a lot of great shops at the Tanger Outlet in Branson, among them Ann Taylor, Banana Republic, Disney Store, Harry & David, OshKosh B’gosh, Tommy Hilfiger, and Under Armor.
Should you get hungry while you are shopping, you can grab a bite to eat at A&W Restaurant, Kings Subs & Deli, or The Fudgery. Be sure to get a coupon book to save money while you shop.
Tanger Outlets Branson is located at 300 Tanger Boulevard. Shops are open from 9:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 10:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. on Sunday.
6. Shop and Dine at Branson Landing
Another popular attraction is Branson Landing, a shopping and dining complex on the shores of Lake Taneycomo. The Landing features over 100 stores and 17 restaurants, as well as a boardwalk and amphitheater.
Among Branson Landing restaurants, you’ll find Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen, Guy Fieri’s Kitchen + Bar, and Level 2 Steakhouse.
Branson Landing is located at 100 Branson Landing. The complex opens daily at 10:00 a.m.
Got kids? If you are vacationing in Branson with the kiddos, be sure to check out the post for Things To Do in Branson at Travel in Missouri. They have 23 ideas of things that will make kids of all ages happy in Branson.
Branson is located in the Ozarks of southwest Missouri and is in the Central Time zone.
Ready to go?
I found Branson to be a fun little city with a lot to do, see, and explore. You can plan your own trip by visiting ExploreBranson.com. There you can order a free guide, get directions, search for deals, and start making plans.
Like to go on tours? Me, too! Check out these ideas from Get Your Guide (affiliate links):
What’s your favorite thing to do in Branson?