Meet the Cats at Branson’s National Tiger Sanctuary

A tiger’s body temperature is 102 degrees so it’s safe to say that a tiger stays a lot warmer in the winter than we do! And with lots of shelter and comfortable habitats, the large cats that call the National Tiger Sanctuary home are up and at ’em and waiting to interact with the groups of visitors that stop by.

Most people spend an hour to two hours at the sanctuary so on a warmer winter day, it’s the perfect way to spend some family time. The sanctuary offers several different guided tours that allow visitors the once-in-a-lifetime chance to meet more than a dozen large, wild cats, learn about their habitats, eating habits, personalities and even watch them crunch through bones while they enjoy lunch!

Your knowledgeable guide will lead you through the sanctuary after you watch a brief, informative video at the visitor center near the front entrance. As you travel from habitat to habitat, you’ll be amazed at how intricate this animal species is and how important it is for us to take care of them.

A trip to the National Tiger Sanctuary is truly an eye-opening experience that you and the whole family will talk about for years to come.

The sanctuary is open Wednesday-Sunday with tours at 10 a.m., noon, 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. and is located just 10 minutes north of Branson and 20 minutes south of Springfield.

For tickets or more information, please visit www.bransonshows.com.

See the Celebrity Cars of Hollywood in Branson

Stop by Branson’s Celebrity Car Museum anytime this winter and see some of the most well-known automobiles used in the production of dozens of popular Hollywood films.

Whether you’re a car fanatic or a movie lover, the Celebrity Car Museum is a fun way to spend a dreary, cold winter day.

Step through the doors and discover a large display of unique vehicles that have been featured on the big screen like Bumblebee and Barricade from the Transformers, K.I.T.T. the talking car from the Knight Rider TV series from the 80s and the 1988 Ford Taurus featured in “Robocop 3.”

Knowledgeable staff are available throughout the museum and they love to tell interesting stories about the vehicles and how the museum acquired them.

There’s always something new to see inside Branson’s Celebrity Car Museum so stop by and check it out!

The museum is located in the lower level of Dick Clark’s American  Bandstand Theater, across the road from Dixie Stampede.

For tickets or more information, please visit www.bransonshows.com.

Visit the Creatures of the Promised Land Zoo

Yes, it’s officially winter, but that doesn’t mean all of the animals have gone into hibernation. In fact, at Branson’s Promised Land Zoo, there are quite a few furry creatures still wanting to see you!

During the months of January and February, the Promised Land Zoo may have limited hours, leaving visitors with a choice of either Saturday or Sunday to come by and hang out with these fascinating creatures but it’s still just as much fun!

Pick a warmer winter day to head out to the zoo and experience some of the world’s most amazing creatures while teaching your kids all about the wildlife of the world.

Friendly, helpful staff will always be available to answer questions, guide you through a bottle feeding or just to make sure you don’t miss out on anything fun while you’re there.

A trip to the Promised Land Zoo is a great time for both the kids and adults in your group, so plan to stop by one of these upcoming weekends and let us know how your trip was.

The Promised Land Zoo is at 2751 Shepherd of the Hills Expwy., just down the street from the Pierce Arrow Theater.

For tickets or more information, please visit www.bransonshows.com.

 

 

9 of Branson’s Most Quirky Attractions

The definition of the word “quirky” is: “characterized by peculiar or unexpected traits” and it’s safe to say that the city of Branson has a handful of attractions that fit that description. So whether you’ve been to Branson a million times or you’re planning your first trip to the area, be on the lookout for these ten particularly interesting attractions around town.

1. The largest rooster in the world

The rooster in front of Branson’s Great American Steak and Chicken House snags the title of “largest rooster in the world.” Located on the north side of Highway 76, this big guy stands 43-feet tall and his closest competition is a 37-foot rooster in France.

 

2. Goliath’s rocking chair

rocking chairOk, this giant wooden rocking chair isn’t really Goliath’s, but it’s definitely huge. Located in the Grand Village Shops just off Highway 76, photos are always encouraged and there’s even a little stepping stool for kids or those of us adults who might need a little help getting up into the chair.

 

3. Mount Celebritymore and King Kong

Hollywood-Wax-Museum-in-Branson-Missouri

While driving along Highway 76, you may end up passing the rock-carved celebrity faces of John Wayne, Elvis Presley, Charlie Chaplan and Marilyn Monroe outside the Hollywood Wax Museum. The King Kong climbing the Empire State Building atop the museum is pretty awesome too. After all, it’s not everyday King Kong shows up in Branson. Oh, wait.

 

4. Mini Hollywood

Hollywood

Who needs the heavy traffic of Hollywood when you can make your way around the glitz and glamour of Tinseltown right here in Branson! Shoot for the Stars Mini Golf on Highway 76 features all the popular sights and locations like Rodeo Drive, the Capitol Records building, Beverly Hills Hotel, the white sands of Santa Monica Pier and of course, lots of paparazzi.

 

5. The Titanic

Titanic Edwardian Christmas Celebration

The great Unsinkable Ship is docked in the Ozarks right near the intersection of Gretna Road and Highway 76, iceberg in all. Anchored in water, the Branson Titanic Museum is a half scale model of the original and houses more than 400 artifacts, a real iceberg and a $1 million exact replica of the Grand Staircase.

 

6. A gigantic ball of twine

Ripley's Believe It or Not! - Branson Odditorium

Amid a host of other really strange artifacts, one of the world’s largest balls of twine sits inside Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Museum on Highway 76. In fact, it’s so large that the building was actually built around it! I hope they don’t plan on moving that thing anytime soon because it’s a little too big to fit through the front door.

 

7. Missouri’s deepest cave

marvel cave

This photo was taken in Branson — I promise. It might look like it was taken on some strange extrasolar planet, but it’s actually a view from inside Marvel Cave. Not only is this cave at Silver Dollar City Missouri’s deepest cave at 505 feet, but it’s also home to the third largest entrance room in North America and brags the first and only cable train inside a cave.

 

8. The world’s largest bronze memorial

veterans sculpture

Weighing in at 15 tons and measuring 70-feet long, this Veterans Memorial Sculpture is truly a sight to see. Located inside the Veterans Memorial Museum on the Branson strip, the artistic depiction of 50 life-size soldiers storming a beach is valued at three million dollars and was created by museum owner and sculptor Fred Hoppe.

 

9. Larger-than-life musical instruments

photo (4)

The entrance of Grand Country Music Hall on Highway 76 is adorned by one of the largest fiddles you’ve likely ever seen and right next door at Grand Country’s Fun Spot is a 47-foot-long Gibson banjo that will make anyone look tiny in comparison. Oddly enough, these huge instruments are easily missed from the road if you’re not looking for them so head inside Grand Country for the most impressive views.

Big Cedar Lodge Gets a Shout Out in Men’s Journal

While Men’s Journal isn’t the first place you’d expect to come across an article featuring Big Cedar Lodge, the luxury resort was indeed featured in the publication’s article “20 Old Hotels That Are Completely New Again.”

Oh, so you didn’t know that Big Cedar Lodge wasn’t always a lavish outdoor resort? Me neither! As you’ll read in the article from Men’s Journal, the beautiful Devil’s Pool Ranch Resort began as two separate homes that were built in the 1920s. The two homes were merged into one and a stable, swimming pool and hunting lodge were added. Johnny Morris picked up the property years later and as we all know, he excels at making things look absolutely gorgeous. So that’s just what he did.

Today, Big Cedar Lodge and the new Top of the Rock expansion provide visitors with endless amenities including a brand new spa, wedding chapel and honeymoon cabin, a history museum, nature trail and a state-of-the-art golf course.

Looking at the luxurious outdoor resort today, it’s hard to believe that Big Cedar Lodge began as just two homes and later, an old hotel from the 1940s.

Want to read more about 19 other beautifully restored hotels? Check out the article from Men’s Journal here.

For more about Big Cedar Lodge, visit www.bransonshows.com.

 

A Peek Inside Copper Run Distillery

Last week I spent some time at Copper Run Distillery, a unique small batch craft distillery tucked away in the Ozark mountains.

Just off of Highway 65 in Walnut Shade, Missouri, you’ll find a small, rustic building that may look unassuming at first glance, but it actually houses the first legal distillery in the Ozark mountains since prohibition ended in 1933.

Copper Run Distillery prides itself on the handcrafted small batches of spirits it produces, a tireless work ethic and a dedication to long-time tradition. The fruits of their labor prove to be an entirely unique experience for alcohol drinkers yielding high quality Ozark Mountain Moonshine, Small Batch Spirit Whiskey and the “Overproof” Ozark Mountain Moonshine, a 120 proof white whiskey.

The small staff is friendly and knowledgeable and they offer free samples of the spirits as well as daily tours of the distillery at noon, 2 p.m., 4 p.m. and 6 p.m.

My friend tagged along to the distillery with me and we both took a tour, hoping to learn more about the traditional process of making moonshine, whiskey and rum. It was extremely short — just about 10 minutes — but within that brief time, our tour guide managed to walk us through the traditional Copper Run Method.

This award-winning distillery makes all its spirits using a 140-gallon copper pot filled with the freshest ingredients, mixed with nutrient-rich Ozark water and then aged in barrels made from locally grown white oaks.

Although the tour was short, it gave us plenty of time to explore the property and browse the gift shop.

Definitely make an effort to stop by Copper Run Distillery just north of Branson and enjoy an educating and unique experience right here in the Ozark mountains. The building is also available for private event rental so visit www.copperrundistillery.com or call 417-587-3456.

 

5 Ways to Stay Warm and Still Have Fun in Branson This Winter

It’s true that Branson is somewhat quieter during the winter months, but there are still a host of ways for you and your family to have fun while avoiding the winter cold and staying warm. Try one of these five fun and family oriented activities out for size.

1. Go to a museum

Ripley's Believe It or Not! - Branson Odditorium

Branson is full of interesting museums that appeal to visitors of all ages. Take your pick from the Hollywood Wax Museum, The World’s Largest Toy Museum, the Veterans Memorial Museum, Celebrity Car Museum or check out the Dinosaur Museum or Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Museum if you have younger kids.

 

2. Explore the skies over Branson

Chopper Charters Helicopter Tour

Head for the skies with Chopper Charters and take in the bird’s eye view of the city. Instead of being cooped up all winter, enjoy an exciting outdoor adventure while still keeping warm in the cockpit of the helicopter.

3. Go caving

Talking Rocks Cavern

 

Located in nearby Branson West, Talking Rocks Cavern is the perfect underground family adventure for a warm winter day. Learn all about the rock formations, minerals and wildlife that populate this deep cavern beneath the earth and explore the rest of the 400-acre nature preserve.

 

4. Shop till you drop

Branson Landing

The Branson Landing is the perfect place to get your shop on. With more than 100 retail shops and restaurants, you could easily spend an entire day browsing, dining and picking up new apparel, home decor, gifts and more.

 

5. Head to the IMAX

Branson IMAX

Many of the shows in Branson are closed during the months of January and February but you can still catch some great entertainment at the Branson IMAX Entertainment Complex. With more than 15 different indoor shops, a restaurant and snack area and both independent and main stream movies, you’re bound to find something fun to do here!