5 Family-friendly Attractions in Branson, Missouri

One of the country’s most family-friendly vacation destinations, Branson, Missouri, is surrounded by the Ozark Mountains, and its frontier town culture has long attracted visitors. With theme parks, museums, water parks, and tours and cruises on the lake, there are numerous draws for both family vacations and romantic getaways. Branson trip ideas range from epic outdoor adventures to leisurely outings suitable for the family, all set against Missouri’s backcountry. Ready for some wholesome fun? Check out the top five attractions in Branson.

Top 5 Attractions in Branson Appeal to All Ages

attractions in branson family

Photo: LWYang

Ride Branson Scenic Railway

The classic 40-mile Branson Scenic Railway not only offers a way to see the countryside, it is also a fun way to learn about the area’s natural history and see abandoned mining towns. This two-hour trip takes guests through tunnels, over trestles and through wilderness in two states: Missouri and Arkansas. For a fun holiday activity, they also host a Polar Express for those visiting in the winter.

Watch Shepherd of the Hills Outdoor Drama

If looking for open-air nighttime entertainment, catch the historical show based on Harold Bell Wright’s legendary novel, Shepherd of the Hills. This Great American Cowboy story features comedy, romance and music. The open-air theater allows spectators to enjoy this classic performance under the stars. While attending, guests can also take a Homestead Tour and see what life on the ranch used to be like.

Find Thrills in Silver Dollar City

This 1880s-style theme park is modeled after a frontier mining city and known as the Home of American Craftsmanship. Silver Dollar City ranks as a hit with a variety of rides, craftsmen demonstrations and live shows. Families praise the friendly staff and rides for all ages (even youngsters), and many say this is a classic must-see attraction in Branson. Don’t miss Marvel Cave, the tourable cavern that started it all.

Family Attractions Branson

Photo: Branson CVB

Explore White River

Many businesses in the area offer packages and deals for a day on the White River, which snakes through the center of Branson and the wilderness around it. White River Kayaking and Outdoors has kayak, canoe, and paddleboard rentals, allowing families to explore the river and enjoy easy access to Lake Taneycomo. For those who’d rather explore rugged terrain and trails, they also offer bike rentals.

Cool Off at White Water Park

With 13 acres of water rides and slides, this water park ranks high on the family-fun scale. Online reviewers say this is a perfect way to spend a half or full day, and kids will have a blast. The KaPau Plummet, a dual slide with a 70-degree plunge, welcomes daredevils to fall 26 feet per second. Little ones can splash at Coconut Grove, while older kids and adults can race on the Raging River Rapids.

These are just a few attractions in Branson. Discover more outdoor recreation and things to do in Branson.