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!

Take a Walk Through History at The Veterans Memorial Museum in Branson

The Veterans Memorial Museum is hard to miss, with a full-size World War II P-51 Mustang Fighter Plane displayed right off Highway 76 in Branson. But what’s inside is even better.

The Veterans Memorial Museum is an incredible collection of more than 2,000 exhibits featuring historical artifacts, real photographs and the life stories of those who sacrificed everything for their country.

Walking through this museum is really bitter sweet, especially if you take the time to stop and read all the personal stories of the people who spent years away from their families or gave their lives to earn the freedom that we all so enjoy here in America.

The museum takes visitors on a tour through history, with ten different rooms dedicated to World War I, World War II, the Korean War, Vietnam and the Persian Gulf War. The artifacts in each room range from field kits and guns to uniforms, musical instruments, equipment worn by carrier pigeons and so much more.

While I was walking through the museum, two older gentleman approached me with curiosity, asking if I was interested in all this “war stuff.” I laughed and told them I was interested as well as on the clock. They visited with me for a good 30 minutes and told me all about their experiences at war. Both were veterans and one had served in Vietnam, where he was critically injured and sent home after treatment.

It was fascinating to talk to two men who had been in their early 20s when they took up arms to fight for America and had lived through many of the things that some of the exhibits in the museum detailed. Talking to someone who had lived through all that made the stories of tragedy, triumph and courage that lined the walls even more personal.

The highlight of my visit was probably the huge bronze memorial sculpture surrounded by more than 500,000 names of all those who perished in the wars that spanned the 73 years between 1918-1991.

It was an awe-inspiring experience and if you haven’t taken the time to stop by the Branson Veterans Memorial Museum I would definitely do so.

The museum is at 1250 W. Hwy. 76, Branson, next to Branson United Methodist Church and just a quarter mile from Dick Clark’s American Bandstand Theater. Hours of operation are Sunday-Monday 9 a.m.- 5 p.m.

For more information, visit www.veteransmemorialbranson.com.

Take Time to Explore the “Smithsonian of the Ozarks” near Branson

Ralph Foster MuseumBranson may a number one travel destination for live entertainment but it is also home to a rich, cultural history and several museums and art galleries. With limited vacation time, sometimes it’s hard to know which museum to spend the day exploring but one museum that’s worth taking the time to visit is the Ralph Foster Museum.

Known locally as “the Smithsonian of the Ozarks,” Ralph Foster Museum is located on College of the Ozarks‘ campus, just two miles south of Branson. The museum gets its name from Ralph Foster, one of the pioneers of radio who collected Indian artifacts and then donated them to the school. The museum was later named after him in honor of his generosity.Ralph Foster Museum

The Ralph Foster Museum is a vast collection of interesting artifacts, firearms, historic recreations and more detailing the history and culture of the Ozarks Mountain region. It’s easy to lose yourself amongst the museum’s three levels that are packed with fascinating things to look at and read about, so a visit here could easily last an hour or two.Ralph Foster Museum

One current exhibit to check out, “At Home in the Kitchen” will continue through October 2014 and is featured in Edwards Art Gallery. The exhibits takes visitors back to the time of early settlers in the Ozarks, before the days of modern conveniences when families would handcraft their own wooden bowls, forge iron utensils for eating, weave baskets for storage and many more inventive creations in an effort to make life a little easier.Ralph Foster Museum

The Ralph Foster Museum also offers a hands on children’s Discovery Room that allows kids ages 4-9 to explore nature, history and more with all five of their senses. It’s free open Monday-Friday.

Understandably, if you can’t make it through the whole museum in one visit, the staff will allow you to return the following day after 3 p.m. for free! Just make sure to bring your ticket receipt.

The Ralph Foster Museum is one of Branson’s must see educational and historical attractions and is more than worth the time to check it out. So on your next vacation to Branson, make sure to stop by!

The Ralph Foster Museum is open Monday-Saturday 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. and is located on campus at College of the Ozarks. For a map and directions, visit http://www.rfostermuseum.com/Page/Hours.672.html.

 

Branson’s Slow Season is Perfect for Shoppers and Museum Visitors

When December ends, many of Branson’s hottest shows will be closed for the season until they re-open in March. This is the perfect time for visitors who are more interested in shopping and museum attractions than shows to come to Branson.

Outlet malls like Tanger and Factory Merchants will still be offering name brand buys at low outlet prices, so bargain hunters can come in and get some great deals. As an added plus, Branson isn’t as crowded during this time, so there won’t be as much traffic to deal with while shopping. Some of the brands offered at these outlet malls include Coach Factory, Liz Clairborne New York, Gap Outlet, Banana Republic Factory Store, and Bath & Body Works. There is something for everyone’s tastes, so a trip with the whole family for more clothing and accessories will be time well spent.

In addition, several of the area’s popular museum attractions like Titanic, Hollywood Wax Museum, and The World’s Largest Toy Museum will still be available. Guests who can spend hours exploring each museum will find that this is the perfect time to visit. Fewer people will be a the museum, so visitors can take their time looking at each exhibit in peace.

If you plan on visiting Branson during the slower season to do some shopping or check out the museum attractions, visit BransonShows.com to compare prices and book lodging or get your museum tickets in advance.