Over the last several months I have spent some eight weeks in Branson at the behest of my wife who likes to be somewhere else more than at home. Initially I was a bit apprehensive and wondered what in the world will I ever do to maintain my sanity for so long a time living in a 5th wheel in a strange town,but what the heck. If my wife was so set on it I figured it would at least give me some brownie points to go along and keep my grumbling to a minimum. Besides we are retired so I didn’t have any really good argument to allow me to get out of it anyway.
For years we have purchased season passes to Silver Dollar City and always have a good time there. The “Homestead Pickers”over the years have become like close friends,and there are lots of other shows and things to do in “The City”so I knew it was at least good for one day a week without boredom. I wasn’t sure about the other six. TV where we were parked was rather poor,but I could at least get a good weather channel to help us plan our days. It turned out that we had little time for TV anyway. What I found in Branson was really a very pleasant surprise.
Since we are members there we stayed in our RV at Treasure Lakes park. Our lodging cost was more than paid for by what we saved in the electric bill at home! Almost every week they had one or more free or reduced price ticket offers for theater shows in the area. Then there were a number of local performers that had free shows at the RV park during our stay. The park includes both indoor and outdoor swimming pools,a lodge area for card playing,a couple dances a week,miniature golf,a Frisbee golf course and lots of wildlife to view. A friend at the park took us to a number of places in town that she liked to shop including thrift shops which I discovered can actually be fun. We enjoyed meals at various buffets around town,were serenaded while we ate at the “Hard Luck Diner”,and enjoyed a number of free shows at the Branson Mall and other locations.
Almost every day there was a different entertainment opportunity and many of them were either free (for tips/donations) or at very modest cost. The Branson Mall is fantastic. There are free shows going on in the center of the mall from about 10:00am til 9:00pm daily. These performers give great shows for tips and sell their CDs or DVDs as the only admission charge. At many of them I purchased CDs of the music I enjoyed and transferred the songs to my MP3 player to enjoy later. These are not the fabulous productions of the various theater shows,but the talent of these performers is really great. Likewise the servers at “Mels Hard Luck Diner”sing to you between serving tables and taking orders,and these folks are really good!! Food there is reasonable,ample servings,and we never had anything that wasn’t great.
There are many Theater Shows in Branson costing anywhere from $15 to $50. Just a few of the theater shows we really enjoyed were,“Noah”,“Hamner-Barber Show”,“Buck Trent Show”,and “The Allen Edwards Show”. There were several benefit performances that we also attended that requested only a donation for entrance. These had short performances by a number of the well-known Branson performers such as,Barbara Fairchild,Allen Edwards,Mike Walker,Martin Short,and others. One of the benefit shows we attended was actually a bit over four hours long and all of it was top notch. There were performances from about thirty different entertainers,many of them top name performers in Branson.
We were treated to some of the finest examples of Rock and Roll,Country,Bluegrass,and Comedy routines around. Elvis,John Denver,and Jerry Lee Lewis make daily appearances around town along with many of the other long gone entertainers via the talents of their modern impersonators. Some of these have improved on the originals,at least in my opinion. Likewise many of the current living music legends are assisted by a small Branson army of imitators that do a great job on their own.
The local convention center hosts a number of events that sometimes include shows that are open to the general public. A gospel music convention held there last month was a fabulous three day opportunity to view a number of the best gospel musical groups from around the country. There are also several golf courses,lakes,and other attractions to fit most any taste. Family oriented activities such as go carts,boats,and water parks and rides of various types are available to fill the time for kids of all ages.
The local senior citizen’s group has lunch five days a week and is a good place to visit with other seniors and enjoy an inexpensive luncheon. Branson’s choices of dining spots offers a variety that will match most any hunger. Choices go from the standard fast food places to country buffets to fine dining places. In general,the prices that are quite competitive with most anyplace I have visited. Lodging is readily available and relatively inexpensive throughout town. Whether you are three or eighty three there are fun and exciting things to do there and many of them are at very little actual cost.
No I am not an employee of the Branson Chamber of Commerce,nor do I have any investment there at all. Just seriously enjoyed the time I spent there and thought I would share my perspective a bit. The folks of the town of Branson treated my wife and I very nicely and I am sure will do the same for you and yours. If you are looking for a fun family get-away,you could do a lot worse than Branson,MO.