Dallas Moms Blog was provided complimentary tickets to the attractions below in exchange for a review of Explore Branson Attractions.
When traveling, parents often have to compromise their trip to accommodate for their children. Spending hours in a car exploring the countryside or taking audio tours at a famous museum may no longer be an option. Instead, we settle for short and sweet (and hopefully something with a lot of noise, music, and color)!
Thankfully Branson, Missouri offers a multitude of (short) outings and attractions that are guaranteed to keep kids entertained without having to sacrifice your trip!
Ranked #1 on TripAdvisor.com, this 60-70 minute tour takes you both on land and off.
The Ducks are based on the American Military Vehicle DUKW from World War II. Their amphibious design has been inspected, tested, and certified by the US Coast Guard, so Moms, no need to panic that your babies are unsafe!
The Duck guides will take you on a short tour of Branson using the back routes to avoid traffic on 76. During that time you’ll be entertained through music and your captain’s whit.
As you approach Table Rock Lake, the Ducks will take you off-roading up to Baird Mountain to see a few American Military vehicles on display. (Most boys will find this pretty cool!) Before heading back down, the Ducks will stop to allow you to take photos and enjoy the breathtaking views of the Ozarks overlooking the Lake and Table Rock Dam.
Finally, the ride concludes with everyone favorite demonstration–the transformation of land vehicle to aquatic vehicle! Drivers make sure to provide a short safety demonstration before splashdown, and then take the tour on a short boat ride around Table Rock Lake where you’ll get to see a different side of the Showboat Branson Belle!
A Few Tips If You Ride the Ducks:
- Wacky Quackers: These cute yellow quacking toys are for sale when you walk up to the ticket counter. Once your child sees and hears others using them, it’ll be a hard souvenir to avoid. You can either plan ahead and purchase your tickets online to get a Wacky Quacker for free, OR you can purchase your tickets at the window, get a Wacky Quacker at full price, but know that your money is going towards a good cause (charity partners)!
- Wacky Quackers Partner Program: I would highly recommend Riding the Ducks first! If you do, when you show your Wacky Quacker at participating attractions, they’ll apply a discount. Discounts include $3 off admission to Silver Dollar City and White Water Park, $2 adult tickets to the Titanic Museum, $3 off regular admission on the Branson Belle, and more!
- There are no Bathrooms on the boat, so make sure your child goes ahead of time. The water can sometimes be a little persuading to children’s bladders!
It’s a little surprising that the “World’s Largest Museum Attraction” is in Branson, Missouri, but don’t let that fool you into thinking it’s a cheesy tourist trap.
The museum itself reminds me of something you’d see in Las Vegas–a replica of the Titanic’s bow right on the Branson Strip! Unfortunately, the museum didn’t allow you to take photos, so I can’t visually show you all that the museum offered, but just let me say that you don’t need to be a Titanic enthusiast to be moved by this place and our boys (both under the age of 4) loved their time inside.
When you arrive, they’ll provide you with a Boarding Pass, and on the back is the name of an actual Titanic passenger; complete with biography. At the end, you’ll be able to discover “your fate.”
Throughout the self-guided tour, the museum did an incredible job of providing opportunities to show you what it might have been like to have been aboard this impressive cruise ship. There’s a $1 million dollar replica of the first class staircase (made so famous in James Cameron’s Titanic) you’re allow to ascend up tohead into the first class living space . You’re able to see models of the 3rd class, 2nd class, and 1st class living quarters. You’re able to step out onto the deck of the Titanic and feel what the air would have been like that night, place your hand on an “iceburg,” and even dip your arm into 28 degree water. Not to mention stepping onto models of the ship’s sloping deck at various angles as it descended.
All of the kids on our tour were entertained by the facts about the pets on-board Titanic and although they weren’t there the Sunday we visited, the museum has two live pet mascots (Molly & Carter)!
While most of the content of the museum went over my boys’ heads, we found this museum to be conversation starter about what water is like in the ocean and how different the times were without technology. While I wish it was a place I could have gone and explore on my own, the significance and grandeur of the museum wasn’t lost during our tour simply because we brought our toddler and preschooler along!
If you’re looking for a way to take a break from the hustle and bustle of being a tourist, I would highly recommend heading over to The Butterfly Palace off of Highway 76! It’s a tropical getaway that children of all ages will love!
Of course the main attraction of The Butterfly Palace is the incredible tropical aviary filled with butterflies. Guests are invited to walk around (carefully) as hundreds of various types of butterflies float and fly over your head! As you’re walking around, it’s not uncommon for large, beautiful butterflies to land on you and hitch a ride. The Butterfly Palace also has a bridge just for children to go up and view the room from up high.
If you get a little humid, the Butterfly Palace has a Banyan Tree Bungee Adventure with bungee cords stretched from floor to ceiling. Your challenge is to get from start to finish avoiding the obstacles in the way! The Emerald Forest Mirror Room also provides a challenge as you try and make your way through without getting lost!
You’ll also want to make sure and stop in the Science Center downstairs and see some other tropical creatures like poison dart frogs and salamanders.
Admission is $18.95 for adults and $9.95 for children ages 4-12; however, coupons are available online. Your all-day admission includes access to the Banyan Tree Bungee Adventure and Mirror Maze, and admission into the Living Rainforest Science Center.
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Overall, my family and I had a GREAT experience in Branson, Missouri and we can’t wait to go back!
Although I’m by no means an expert, I’d be happy to help you with an questions you might have to help you plan your trip!
I’d love for you to leave COMMENTS and advice to help other readers Explore Branson!
**Disclosure: Dallas Moms Blog provided complimentary tickets to Ride the Ducks, The Butterfly Palace, and Titanic Museum in exchange for this review. All opinions are 100% my own!