Cheap Things to Do With Kids in Branson, MO


Taking the kids to Branson, Missouri, can be an expensive proposition. It’s easy to go through vacation dollars quickly when so many popular attractions carry a steep admission charge. The trick is to balance activities in Branson that are free with those attractions charging moderate prices. In addition, you’ll want to take advantage of coupons and special offers.

Branson for Free

Start your visit to Branson with a nature adventure. For example, consider taking a hike along the 2.2-mile Table Rock Lakeshore Trail that runs from the south side of Table Rock Dam to the State Park Marina. The trail is 8-feet wide, so if you’ve brought bikes along you can ride them there; the trail is fairly flat, so both walking and biking are easy. Kids will enjoy running through the woods and over creeks, as well as sighting the occasional animal along the way. Picnic facilities are available. Find out about other free public hiking and nature areas by checking the official Branson website listed in the Resources section. Table Rock Lakeshore Trail Dewey Short Visitor Center Branson, MO 65616

Take the kids to see a real operating fish hatchery that produces more than a million trout a year. They will be able to see every phase of the process from egg incubation, early rearing and the outdoor concrete raceways at the Shepherd of the Hills Fish Hatchery. Located just six miles south of Branson, the hatchery has several access points to Lake Taneycomo, where trout fishing is allowed throughout the year. Shepherd Hills Fish Hatchery 483 Hatchery Road Branson, MO 65616 (417) 334-4865

Moderately Priced Activities

Kids will have fun browsing among the natural history items from all over the world, including an African animals section, weapons, dolls and other interesting items at the Ralph Foster Museum on the College of the Ozarks campus only two miles south of Branson. A small entry fee is charged for adults but children are admitted for free. Ralph Foster Museum College of the Ozarks Point Lookout, MO (417) 334-6411

In just over an hour, kids can have the fun of a land tour of Branson, along with an exciting boat ride–without changing vehicles, when they board the “Ducks.” The “Ride The Ducks” experience in Branson features amphibious vehicles designed especially for tourists. The captain will provide a running commentary about Ozark history and other area features. Children under 3 are free and special offers, such as buy three tickets/get one free, are available at times on their website. Ride the Ducks Branson 2320 W Hwy 76 Branson, MO 65616 (877) 887-8225

Try out a game of laser tag in a 3,000-square-foot arena or a round of glow-in-the-dark miniature golf at the Branson Family Fun Factory. Reasonably priced, it is entertaining for the entire family; special offers are also available on their website. Branson Family Fun Factory 2400 State Hwy. 165 Branson, MO 65616

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  • Welcome To Branson: A Visitor Guide to the Branson Area; Dennis Murphy; 2006
  • Insiders' Guide to Branson and the Ozark Mountains; Fred Pfister; 2006
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