Have a Cowboy Christmas with Christmas on the Trail

Shows at The Shepherd of the Hills Historic Homestead are always great and the Christmas on the Trail Dinner Show is no exception!

You’re in for a rowdy, cowboy holiday celebration complete with a delicious authentic chuck wagon dinner of three-bean trail chili, dutch oven taters, roasted chicken breast, a flame-roasted ear of corn, cornbread with honey butter and a dutch oven sweet apple cobbler. Delicious!

The dinner entertainment is just as great, with a cozy, heartwarming display of Christmas cheer from a talented cast of musicians. You’ll all gather around the stage set as a warm campfire in the Ozarks forest as the cast sings all your favorite Christmas songs with a little bit of a country twang.

Invoke the true meaning of Christmas with an 1800s style Christmas celebration before heading up to Inspiration Tower after the show, where you’ll find the bird’s eye view of twinkling Christmas lights across Branson simply irreplaceable.

Once you soaked up all those beautiful panoramic sights from the tower, head back down to drive through the Trail of Lights, an amazing two and a half miles of animated Christmas light displays.

Spend an evening celebrating the true meaning of Christmas with family and friends and experience a true cowboy Christmas with Christmas on the Trail Dinner Show, Inspiration Tower and the Trail of Lights.

To get your tickets to the show, click here. If you just want to check out the Trail of Lights, click here. If Inspiration Tower is more you’re thing, get your tickets here.

The Shepherd of the Hills Historic Homestead is at 5586 W. 76 Country Blvd., about two and a half miles north of White Water on the strip.


Discover the History, Fun and Beauty of the Shepherd of the Hills Homestead Tour

This week I decided to go on the Shepherd of the Hills Homestead Tour. It’s something I’ve been wanting to do for a while now and I’m glad I finally did it! Even if you’ve been to Branson hundreds of times already, the homestead tour is one of those things you just need to experience in order to get a well-rounded experience of Branson and all that it encompasses.

The Shepherd of the Hills Homestead Tour takes you back to the late 1800’s when Branson was just hill after hill of natural wildlife, breathtaking views and a few settlers who had decided to call the Ozarks home.

Two such settlers, John and Anna Ross were considered wealthy in their time, as they made $365 a year (or $1 a day) and were the owners of a “large” log cabin and piece of land in the backwoods of Mutton Hollow. The first stop of the hour-long tram tour was the Ross’s cabin, also known as “Old Matt’s Cabin” which stands in its original location on the homestead. My tour guide, Jacob lead the way through each room of the home while detailing the significance of each historical artifact contained within those walls. It was really interesting to see that the kitchen was built entirely with Anna’s 4’11” frame in mind, featuring a low-standing stove and a short door frame that would result in headaches for anyone over five feet tall. Even cooler, was the kitchen’s original decorative flooring which had been worn away by the shuffling of shoes in certain areas.

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Next Jacob took us to the Morgan Community Church, which had been saved from demolition and relocated to the Shepherd of the Hills Homestead in 1991. It was built in 1901 and was very much like many of the other churches in the area where Harold Bell Wright traveled around preaching. Today, the beautiful and historical church can be rented out for various events and weddings.

Inspiration Tower is another highlight of the tour. Jacob stopped the tram so I could strain my neck to see to the top of the gigantic tower that stands 230 feet above the ground. I also got to snap some photos of an amazing view that stretches 65 miles across the limestone, tree-covered hills of Mutton Hollow on a clear day. I really enjoyed hearing about about the rumors of a “haint” (or ghost) that roamed that stretch of land and was mentioned in Wright’s novel Shepherd of the Hills.

The homestead tour also included stops at the pavilion where Wright pitched his tent to write the infamous Shepherd of the Hills novel, the outdoor theater that has been hosting the Shepherd of the Hills Outdoor Drama for 55 years now, an old moonshine still and Little Pete’s Cave.

In my opinion, the tour was over too soon and I could have sat there all day listening to the stories about the Baldknobbers, Harold Bell Wright and what the homestead was like more than 100 years ago.

If you haven’t had the chance to go on the Shepherd of the Hills Historic Homestead tour, I would highly suggest you try it out. It’s enjoyable for all members of the family, especially those history buffs and it will give you a renewed appreciation for the entire Branson area.

For tickets or more information, visit http://www.bransonshows.com/activity/HistoricHomesteadTour.cfm.

The Shepherd of the Hills Homestead is located at 5586 W. 76 Country Blvd., Branson, MO 65616, just a half mile north of White Water.

Experience the Thrill of the Vigilante Extreme ZipRider at the Shepherd of the Hills

Vigilante Extreme ZipriderMy dad has always told me that I’m an adrenaline junkie and I have to agree with him. So when I was presented with the opportunity to try out the Vigilante Extreme ZipRider at the Shepherd of the Hills, there’s no way I was turning it down!

I’ve been ziplining before, but this time was different. There was no harness fitting, no 10 minute orientation, no worrying about what would happen if I suddenly panicked and forgot how to use the brake — instead, it was a relatively worry-free experience. The ziprider is different in that all you have to do is sit in a seat, wait for the experienced staff to securely strap you in, and then you’re ready to fly.

When I signed up for this adventure, I was dressed in business casual attire and heels … clearly not prepared at all, but the staff was friendly and more than welcome to answer any questions I had and offered to store my heels in the small pocket attached to the back of my ziprider seat. This little pocket is a lifesaver for any sunglasses, shoes, cameras or phones that you don’t want to lose during your ride, so make sure to utilize it.

Vigilante Extreme ZipriderOnce you’re situated you’ll launch your flight from the top of Inspiration Tower, 170 feet up in the air, and soar through the sky above the trees where you can enjoy the magnificent views of the beautiful Ozarks terrain. You’ll reach speeds of up to 50 mph as you zip down the line towards your landing point a half mile away.

The Vigilante Extreme ZipRider features an automatic braking system at the end that not only stops you from flying off into the forest, but also adds an extra little “kick” to the conclusion of your flight, so I rode carefree, with my hands and legs outstretched instead of clutching a brake as I neared my landing.

To all my fellow adrenaline junkies out there, or just those who want to try something exciting and new, the Vigilante Extreme ZipRider is a fun way to start off a visit to the Shepherd of the Hills Homestead. So definitely stop by next time you’re in Branson!

Inspiration Tower is located at 5586 W. 76 Country Blvd., Branson, MO 65616, just a three minute drive up the road from Cracker Barrel.

For more information or to get your tickets, visit http://www.bransonshows.com/activity/buyVigilanteZipRiderTickets.cfm.



Capture the Natural Beauty of the Ozarks at The Shepherd of the Hills Inspiration Tower

Shepherd of the Hills Inspiration TowerInspiration Tower is by far one of my favorite places to go in Branson.

Although I haven’t worked up the nerve to try the Vigilante Extreme Ziprider yet, I just can’t get enough of the absolutely breathtaking views from the tower on a clear, sunny day in Branson.

Whether you’re an Ozarks native or just visiting for a few days, getting the bird’s eye view of the landscape’s rolling hills, lush foliage and the beautiful lakes is something worth taking the time to do. You can even see out to Arkansas mountain ranges on the horizon. Bringing a camera is a must.Shepherd of the Hills Inspiration Tower

If you haven’t already, I would encourage you to read the “Shepherd of the Hills” novel by Harold Bell Wright so you are able to fully appreciate everything you see across the Ozarks mountains.

His novel highlights the mountain folklore and seamlessly blends fiction with non-fiction to captivate readers with the Ozarks lifestyle of the 1900s and a tale of the outdoors, God and human nature.

Inspiration Tower is a fun way to learn more about the history of the Branson area, and it will deepen your understanding of local landmarks and attractions for the entirety of your vacation!Shepherd of the Hills Inspiration Tower

For more information or tickets, visit http://www.bransonshows.com/activity/buyInspirationTowerTickets.cfm.


10 Of Branson’s Best Photo Ops

Ripley’s Believe it Or Not!Branson isn’t just one of the best places to vacation with family, it’s also one of the best places to take a selfie! So grab your camera because we’ve compiled some of the best photo ops in the area for you to snap fantastic keepsake photos of you and your family while you’re having the time of your lives in Branson, Missouri.

1. The 22-ft. tall transformer at Ripley’s Believe it Or Not!

Why wouldn’t you take a photo with that? Plus, what a great opportunity to get creative with your status updates on Facebook. “Oh, just taking a stroll with my intergalactic body guard, Optimus Prime.”

2. The 360 view from Inspiration tower

Snap some fantastic pictures of the lush Ozarks landscape from this 230-foot-tall structure. This view would make for a breathtaking panorama or a backdrop unlike any other for your family photo.

3. Celebrities at the Hollywood Wax Museum

Now you can finally get a picture with Elvis Presley, Gwyneth Paltrow and Johnny Depp. You can use them to make fun homemade postcards and they also serve as great ammo for April Fool’s jokes in the office.Hollywood Wax Museum

4. One of Branson’s REAL Celebrities

OK, so the Wax Museum April Fool’s joke didn’t go over well. Next time you’re in Branson, get a photo with one of the area’s talented stars and entertainers that aren’t made of wax. Get your tickets to one of the many shows and hang around after it’s over to request a photo with the stars. Many of them are more than willing to, including Yakov Smirnoff!

5. White Water’s KaPau Plummet: the before and after

Get a shot both before and after your kids experience this 26 feet-per-second free fall for an all too telling scrapbook entry.

6. A bird’s eye view from a Chopper Charters Helicopter TourChopper Charters Helicopter Tour

Chances are you haven’t had the chance to ride in a helicopter very often, so document this special occasion with a photo from the cockpit as you soar above the Branson skyline.

7. Countless twinkling lights at Silver Dollar City’s An Old Time Christmas

You’ll have to wait until November for this one, but the dazzling photos you will get are worth every minute! Think of all the sweet family Christmas photos you will get. There are way too many photo ops with this event alone.

8. Inside the caverns of Marvel Cave

Pose inside Missouri’s deepest cave with the rock formations that are still growing today.

9. Flying through the canopy on a Branson Zipline Tour

Have one of the staff snap a photo of your family harnessed in and ready to go on your zipline tour before you embark on an adventure through the trees.

10. Capture the natural wildlife of Branson’s three lakes

Table Rock Lake, Bull Shoals Lake and Lake Taneycomo make up what’s known as the Tri-lakes area. You just might be able to spot some amazing wildlife here like red and gray foxes, wild turkeys and tarantulas. These creatures in their natural habitat make for great photos every time you visit.

Shepherd of the Hills Homestead: An Educational and Entertaining Experience

Shepherd of the Hills HomesteadImmerse yourself in the culture of the Ozarks while you’re in Branson with these exciting activities!

Branson’s Inspiration Tower is both a fun and educational experience for the whole family. Savor the view of the Ozarks from this 230′ tower located in the Shepherd of the Hills Homestead. You’ll be taken up to the enclosed observation deck in one of the two glass elevators, where you can snap some fantastic photos of the Branson area from above or simply enjoy the view.

While you’re there, visit the gift shop on the ground level or take the time to go on the 60-minute Historic Homestead Tour. You’ll have the chance to learn about all the history that framed Harold Bell Wright’s famous novel Shepherd of the Hills and visit historic locations like Old Matt’s Cabin, Little Pete’s Cave, the Harold Bell Wright Museum and more!

For more history and fun, check out the Shepherd of the Hills Outdoor Drama for the theatrical version of the Shepherd of the Hills novel and learn even more about the culture of the Ozarks area.

For dinner, be transported back to the Wild West with the comedy and music of the Roundup on the Trail Chuckwagon Dinner Show while you feast on a Western-style meal.

If you’re visiting the area for the first time or if you just enjoy the entertaining and informative outdoor drama that has been performed in Branson for 55 years now, Shepherd of the Hills Homestead is one of those places that you must visit! You’re bound to appreciate Branson and all it has to offer even more after you take the time to learn about its historic value.

For more information and tickets to Inspiration Tower or other Shepherd of the Hills Homestead attractions, visit http://www.bransonshows.com/activity/InspirationTower.cfm.