Top family friendly activities and shows in Branson

When planning your next Family Reunion in Branson, the choices of activities and shows can be overwhelming! Here are 10 quick links and ideas (in no particular order)
from Trip Advisor to help you plan for your best reunion ever!

Of course, this is just a sampling of things your family will enjoy. You’ll also find The Tracks go-carts with arcades and other fun activities, mountain coasters, a zoo, and museums for toys, veterans, and dinosaurs.

When you’re looking for large lodging accommodations, we’ve got you covered with units up to 28 guests! Book your Family Reunion today ~ and enjoy complimentary passes to some of these places!

9 Locally Owned Branson Restaurants

One of the most boring things you can do to ruin a perfectly good Ozarks vacation is eat at a chain restaurant that you eat at back home. While there’s nothing inherently wrong with going to a good chain, it’s always good to promote local businesses and get a taste of local cuisine when you’re somewhere new. Branson has some of the best local eateries in the area and cater to tastes of all kinds. You’ll even be able to please those picky eaters you have stuffed in the back seat of your minivan. If you want quality service from friendly Branson locals, here are nine restaurants that are locally owned and operated in the Branson area.

Billy Gail’s

Billy Gail’s is a classic Branson staple. The parking lot (recently expanded!) has been full ever since they opened their doors in 1995 by the Blong family, who fell in love with the local rolling hills and decided they didn’t want to live or work anywhere else. The log cabin-style gives off a downhome feel that is matched by the signs and trinkets that adorn the walls inside.

Their menu spans breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with classics that you would expect to see from a diner, but amped up. Their sloppy biscuit is some of the best biscuits and gravy you’ll ever have. And their tri-tip sandwich will have you begging for more of that smokey goodness. They also have staples such as chicken tender baskets and burgers (although the flavor is anything but basic).

The Keeter Center

The Keeter Center is a very unique restaurant on our list. While it is widely known as some of the best food in Branson, it isn’t located in a standard area that you would think to look for a restaurant. Instead, it’s nestled away on the beautiful College of the Ozarks campus. It still has that rustic Ozarks feel, but on a more upscale level.

You would expect the menu to have a higher price tag based on the quality and feel of the dining area. However, the meals are pleasantly affordable and have a spread ranging from fried chicken to locally sourced trout cakes. If you’re looking for a good twist on a classic, take a look at their barbecue mac and cheese.

Flat Creek

Flat Creek is not technically in the Branson borders. It is only a short drive out in Cape Fair (also with a location in Republic), but don’t let the drive deter you from a visit here. You will be greeted with a fantastic view of a local favorite, Flat Creek where it meets with Table Rock Lake. You may be greeted with a line, but that’s just how good the food is.

The menu at Flat Creek is vast and has some of the best fish and seafood offerings in the area. If you like good catfish and hushpuppies, this is your spot. They also have a really cool Thanksgiving meal that they do every Thanksgiving Day that has become a favorite of people from all over the area. I would venture to say that Flat Creek has the most generous meal portions out of any of the restaurants near Branson that aren’t a buffet.

Pickin’ Porch Grill

Do you like BBQ? Of course you do. There is no shortage of information about the BBQ at Pickin’ Porch Grill. This restaurant is also not in a classic sort of location. Instead, it is nestled away within the Branson Craft Mall. A fun aspect to Pickin’ Porch is that you can go in for dinner and watch some live local music!

The menu has everything you could hope for. BBQ. Po Boys. Even some incredible BBQ or fish tacos! If someone can look at the Pickin’ Porch menu and not find something they like, then they’re just being stubborn.

Thai Thai Cuisine

You know the old saying about food that it’s “so nice they named it twice?” That’s how I feel about Thai Thai Cuisine. When you think Branson, Missouri, you probably wouldn’t think of Thai food. But that’s a mistake. This isn’t just a restaurant someone opened to fill a niche flavor, Thai Thai is genuine Thai food at its best.

With food options on the menu some may not be familiar with, they do a fantastic job of communicating what is in the dish. Also, the staff is very knowledgeable and can help guide you to a good decision. They also have options to make it extra spicy if that’s your thing! Another way Thai Thai goes above and beyond on is offering vegan and gluten-free options.

Tequila’s & Tequila’s 2

Tequila’s started just a few minutes outside of Branson in the smaller Branson West, Missouri. It was so popular that they decided to expand into Branson itself and they haven’t looked back. It’s ran by some of the friendliest people you could imagine who make sure your dining experience is everything you hoped for.

The menu is pretty standard fare for Mexican food, with some deluxe burritos, quesadillas, and fajitas mixed in. The nice thing is that basically everything is under $10 besides some of those deluxe items mentioned, and they’re fajitas. However, the fajitas are fantastic and come in a very generous portion. You can also get some great margaritas mixed up!

Sugar Leaf Bakery, Café, and Espresso

Sugar Leaf is one of my family’s favorite locations. I feel like my sister-in-law posts pictures there weekly and each of my nephews have all of their birthday cakes made from there. While headed into Sugar Leaf, you can build your appetite by hopping into the other shops at the Grand Village Shops. All of the shops at the Grand Village are locally owned and operated, with that good Branson charm to them.

Sugar Leaf has some of the best bakery items in the business. I don’t think I’ve had a bad dessert item from there in all the years I’ve been going. The cakes, scones, and cookies are always prepared perfectly. Make sure to enjoy some of these excellent items after you have lunch there! That’s right, it isn’t just a bakery. They have great breakfast and lunch options, primarily consisting of several sandwich options.

Mel’s Hard Luck Diner

Since I’ve already taken you to the Grand Village Shops, I’ll mention another one of their local favorites: Mel’s Hard Luck Diner. This place has a truly unforgettable atmosphere that screams Branson. The inside decorations and menu take you back in time to a 1950’s diner… if it were set in a musical. That’s right, the wait staff sings to you as they serve. Fortunately for everyone, they do it well.

What sets Mel’s apart from other diner food is their absolutely massive dessert menu. Also, the desserts themselves are quite large. The food is classic, and you can’t go wrong with whatever you choose.

Branson Café

If you’re walking around in the downtown area of Branson just above the Branson Landing, make sure to visit Branson Café. While it doesn’t have any of the “gimmicks” you may expect from a show town like Branson, it does have great food and a convenient location.

The menu is everything you’d hope. Breakfast is filling and prepares you for the day, and the country fried steak will get you ready for your mid-day nap before you get back out for more shopping. Everything is well-crafted and affordable. You can’t go wrong here.

There are far more locally operated restaurants than these listed, but this will give you a pretty good start to the wonderful dining options that Branson offers! Is there a restaurant that you expected to see on this list, but didn’t? Let us know about it!

Better yet….come stay a while with us and find your favorite!

7 Must See Fall Events in Branson

People wonder how Branson can get any more beautiful than it is during the summer.
The rolling hills covered in a swaying canopy of green.
Table Rock Lake loaded with boats and warm water.
The rivers are perfectly floatable and filled with all the smallmouth bass you can catch. 

But in the Fall when the temperature begins to drop, Branson is even more colorful. The trees are peppered with yellows and oranges as the tall oaks change color. Décor begins to change. Pumpkin spice lattes are back!
Branson welcomes locals and tourists alike during the fall days. You may not be ready to jump in the cold water, but there are plenty of sights to see. Many local venues hold fall festivals, there are haunted houses, paranormal tours, and, of course, Silver Dollar City gets in on the action.

Fall Events for All Ages

Sycamore Creek’s Fall Roundup

Sycamore Creek is a venue that everyone in the Branson area should check out. They host weddings, barn dances, community events, and private events. The barn venue sits perfectly in the middle of the ranch’s main field and is a sight to behold on its own with a giant Sycamore tree as the main focus. Once the pumpkins come out, Sycamore Creek hosts their annual Fall Roundup every Saturday and Sunday in October (and continue on certain weekends through November). You’ll find all of your classic family-friendly fall activities: outdoor games, fire pits, sack races, corn mazes, and hayrides.

Still Water Resort Harvest Festival

 The views are magnificent, the marina is welcoming and has all you’ll need for a day out on the lake, and the location is perfect for getting to most of Branson’s most popular attractions. It’s just down Indian Point Road from Silver Dollar City! Starting September 10th, Still Water will start their annual Harvest Festival, which runs until Halloween. Still Water also has great outdoor games! They have giant inflatables, pumpkin chuckin’, pumpkin bowling, crafts, and live music.

Autumn Daze Arts, Crafts, and Music

Festival Autumn Daze is located right in downtown Branson! You can enjoy this festival while knocking out some shopping and enjoying the scenic, historic downtown of Branson. While not as long as other harvest/fall festivals mentioned, this one is just as unique and charming. This generally only lasts one weekend in September, so keep an eye out for dates! Autumn Daze has free live music every day of the event from local entertainers on stage. Enjoy crafts, a food court, and local sales.

Silver Dollar City Harvest Festival

Silver Dollar City is a name that everyone reading this list probably recognizes. During the summer, visitors are sent soaring on roller coasters and enjoying the best funnel cake out there. However, it doesn’t have to be blistering hot to enjoy everything Silver Dollar City can offer. When cooler days hit, the streets of SDC are lined with crafts, hay, and pumpkins. Each day is celebrated with new artisans showing off their crafting abilities. When the sun drops and the lights come on, get ready to enjoy a great light celebration! They just opened two entire acres of the park dedicated to lighting up pumpkins. Each pumpkin is carved and lit from the inside for a wonderful fall display.

Fall Activities for Those Looking to get

Branson, while primarily a family town, also has a spooky side come time for fall! While there are not as many attractions to choose from, you can still find a way to get scared…if you’re looking for it.

Branson Ghost and Haunt Tours

This guided tour is actually open other times than just the fall, but what better time to take it? This is a guided walking tour that focuses on events and history at certain Branson landmarks that may have caused those locations to be haunted.

Castle of Chaos

The Castle of Chaos is a unique version of a haunted house. Experience a 5D adventure where you’re seated with 3D goggles and a laser shooter. The seating is in constant movement while you battle hordes of monsters. It feels like you’ve been dropped right inside a real-life video game. The winner of each section is shown on the big screen!

Branson’s Haunted Scream Park

This haunted house is downright SCARY. It is located just outside of Branson in Branson West. The short trip will be well worth it. The second you pull into the parking lot you see the looming house, hear the tortured screams of patrons, and see giant ghouls roaming the area. It seems that every year they are rated as the scariest in the region and they make it a goal of theirs to keep upping that scare factor every year.

So…Don’t Skip Branson in the Fall!

Year-round there are things for the entire family in Branson. Make sure you’re not missing a season in Branson just because it’s too cold to jump in the lake or river! As you can see, there is an attraction for every member of the family whether they enjoy a nice laid back fall environment or want to be chased through a house by monsters.

We hope to see you this fall for any or all events!

Weather in the Ozarks can be surprising. You start out making outdoor activity plans for you and your kids and then here comes the rain / thunderstorm / or too hot or too cold temperatures depending on the season. Here’s some indoor fun ideas in Branson (alphabetically listed): 

Beyond the Lens

Try out a new experience in techno-tainment! Virtual reality rides (Fly Ride with multiple sensory effects). Hunt for Big Foot. Interactive games. Escape rooms. Pop culture walkthrough.

Big Air Branson

This trampoline park includes dodgeball, climbing walls, rope swings, ninja warrior courses, foam pits, freestyle area, and slam dunk courts. Fun for all ages. (Toddler Time for your wee ones – age 6 and younger only – available during the school year season.) 

Butterfly Palace

Kids love the exotic butterfly aviary where they can feed the butterflies. The Rainforest center has live reptiles (pet a lizard!), or find your way through the Emerald Forest Mirror Maze or Banyan Tree Adventure.  Wear bright colors for the best interactive experience!

Coral Reef Indoor Mini Golf

Head under the sea for a unique indoor mini golf experience, located right in the heart of Branson, Missouri. You’ll dolphin-itely have a whale of a time at Coral Reef Mini Golf. 

Fritz’s Adventure

With 80,000 square feet of explorable space, there will be plenty of ways to have fun indoors for all ages. Climb. Slide. Zipline. SkyTrail rope courses. Mazes. Warped wall. Rock walls.  

Grand Country Fun Spot

It’s Game-On at the Fun Spot. Enjoy indoor go-karts, laser tag, Hologate Virtual Reality games, XD Dark Ride, indoor mini golf and black light indoor mini golf, arcade, bumper cars, and mini bowling. 

Want to vacation in Branson, but don’t have enough time off? Take a Workation – enjoy Branson in your off time, and work when you need to.

Work a little… Play a little…

Workations, a blend of work and play, have continued to gain popularity in the past several years. Americans on average only have 10 days off per year. In Europe, vacation days range from 20-30! So, it’s no wonder that here in America, 94% of people who took a workation last year will do so again this year. 

The statistics for the benefits of taking a workation show increases in many areas. According to a Passport-Photo online survey: 

Short-term vacation rentals, previously 3-5 days on average, are seeing extended lengths of stay up to 8-9 days because more people can work remotely and enjoy more vacation time. A change of scenery can encourage creativity and reduce stress.  

While all Dreams2Reality properties have free wi-fi, some have workation stations: 

Of course, most of our properties also have a balcony, patio, or porch with a table and chairs to accommodate your workation with a view. Book your Branson workation today; work a little, play a little, and get refreshed! 

Perhaps “secret” is a bit of a strong word. But, how many visitors who come for Branson’s excellent outdoor activities, variety of entertainment, shopping galore, and tons of dining choices actually realize there may be “lesser known” festivals, events, and tournaments going on?  Maybe you’ll find something new here to enjoy.

Cornhole Tournaments

Similar to horseshoes except using cornbags and a slanted target, cornhole is an easy to learn game enjoyed worldwide by families. Yes, there are even professional cornhole players. Hosted by the American Cornhole Organization, BATTLE OF THE BADGES is coming to the Branson Convention Center in May. Can’t come for the BATTLE? ACO WORLDS is a five-day event in July for players, spectators and the entire family. This huge event includes fun Game Challenges, vendors, player meet & greets and more! Free for spectators.

Dancing Competition – National Finals

Coming June 13-19 to the Mansion Theater is Talent on Parade. This year the organization celebrates 25 years of fair and ethical competitions. After a year of local and regional events, the National Finals will culminate in Branson. Contact the Mansion Theater for more information.

Pickleball Tournament

The fast moving game of Pickleball has increased in popularity in the past several years. Membership in the USA Pickleball organization has reached over 50,000. Pickleball started as a game to end boredom by a congressman in Washington state in 1965. This team game has taken over tennis and indoor basketball courts alike. The Branson Championship Experience 2022 will be held this year in August utilizing indoor space at the Branson Convention Center. Come watch, or play!  (Registration ends in July.)

Powerboat Nationals

For some, a race around The Tracks in a go-kart is enough adrenaline. But for others, there’s nothing like watching, or driving in, a tunnel boat – otherwise known as a powerboat. Drivers race past while you watch from the Branson Landing sidewalks. Cheer them on as they zip around the buoys and fight for first place. Grand Prix and Championship events can be seen from May through September.

Softball and Baseball, too!

What was once known as the Red Roof Shopping Mall is now the Baseball Parks of America.  This unique facility houses stadiums 2/3 the size of the original iconic baseball fields along with replica locker rooms. Visiting baseball and softball teams don’t even have to leave the park since they can sleep in the adjoining bunkhouses. Visit the legendary ballparks from Kansas City, Boston, Chicago, Brooklyn, and St. Louis. Enjoy a day at the ballpark, or all 5, with tournaments and events from May through November.


while you’re enjoying all that Branson has to offer, experience the little “secrets” that Branson hosts, too!  We hope to see you out at one of these events. In between events, there’s always the hiking trails, golf courses, and everything Branson. Savor a meal at one of our locally owned favorite restaurants or pizza joints.  Either way, let Dreams2Reality help make your vacation memories even better.

So you just came off the lake and you don’t want to cook dinner? Yeah, nobody does! One of the best ways to fill up after a long day in the sun is pizza. Not much satisfies the soul more than delicious, melty cheese and piled toppings baked to perfection. Here are seven local pizza places to try if you’re in Branson and craving a hot pie!

Ozark Mountain Pizza – near Silver Dollar City

Ozark Mountain Pizza is a local joint that hits the spot every time. They, too, use fresh ingredients and have a diverse menu. Honestly, it’s probably one of the largest menus I’ve seen in a local pizza shop. Calzones. Pasta. Sandwiches. HOT WINGS! Do you want mac and cheese on a pizza? They’ve got it. What’s not to love here? If a member of your group doesn’t find something delicious here, they’re just not trying.

Mr. G’s Pizza & Pub – Downtown Branson

When you think of Branson you probably don’t think of Chicago-style deep-dish pizza – but you should. Mr. G’s nails that classic deep-dish pizza and serves up a plethora of other options. One of the local favorites is the Mr. G’s crab roll. Trust me, give it a shot! You can also pair your pizza with a number of great beers and cocktails here.

Altenhof Inn Restaurant & Pizzeria – Indian Point

The Altenhof Inn has the best view out of any of the previous options mentioned. From their spacious back patio, you have an absolutely incredible view of Table Rock Lake. Located down Indian Point, you can make a quick journey over after your day at Silver Dollar City. What’s even more unique about The Altenhof Inn is that they have a full menu of traditional German food offerings. They also have a full drink menu of domestic and specialty imported German beers to pair with!

Hook & Ladder Pizza Co. – Hollister

Hook & Ladder serves up some of the best traditional hand-tossed pizzas around the Branson area. All of their crust and sauce are also made in-house every morning! You know you’re always getting some of the freshest possible ingredients here. If you’re a fan of spice, the 3 Alarm pizza will hit the spot nicely! They also have great subs, pasta, and appetizers. Fun fact about Hook & Ladder: It’s owned and operated by volunteer firefighters!

Pizza by the Chef – Hollister

This one is near and dear to my heart. Pizza by the Chef was always a family favorite and I’ve eaten there for as long as I can remember. As with the others listed, the ingredients are always fresh and delicious. Their menu also has sandwiches, salads, and other appetizers. I don’t know if it’s just my own personal bias, but there’s something about biting into a hot slice of this pizza and you know it’s Pizza by the Chef pizza.

Papa Grand’s Pizza – Branson Strip

This pizza joint is nestled away within the Grand Country resort. This one is handy if you’re staying at the resort and don’t want to have to fight the traffic on the strip. You have standard pizza options, as well as a hot pizza bar that you can choose from!

Come stay with us, and make plans to enjoy a local slice…or two!