Branson offers great things to explore and experience to visitors of all ages.
It’s a popular vacation spot for millions of people around the country every year because there are so many things to do that are free – like family activities, parks and gardens, tours and sightseeing and more.
Branson is the second name of the “Live Entertainment Capital” of the world, one of the nation’s most affordable & family-friendly vacation spots.
Discover the best and most fun activities and free things to do in Branson, MO:
Branson Skate Park
Branson’s Skate Park is a perfect venue for sports lover and specially designed for skateboards, roller skates, and roller blades.
Table Rock State Park
Table-Rock-State-Park is best for fun water activities. A perfect site for hiking, mountain biking, camping, SCUBA diving excursions.
Avenue of Freedom
Can you imagine a beautiful collection of 100 American flags wave in the spring, summer, and autumn breeze? Here, you can honor those who gave their lives in the September 11, 2001 attacks.
When you book your vacation package through Branson Travel Office you’ll receive FREE tickets to the Shepherd of the Hills’ Inspiration Tower – for everyone traveling with you!
Want to have an overview of some of Branson’s landmarks? The Trolley passes through Old Historic Downtown Branson, the Convention Center and the Branson Landing.
- Month & Time: March-December daily, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
- Two trollies running at the same time
The Branson Landing Fountain is a hotspot for both visitors and locals. This $7.5 million water shoots 120 feet straight into the air with a beautiful music and fire show for free every hour on the hour starting at noon.
College of the Ozarks
College of the Ozarks is one of the top colleges in the nation and has a beautiful campus worth exploring.
Moonshine beach is one of the best places to enjoy and do some fun activities in Branson. Enjoy the sunshine and the beauty of this man-made sand beach with the whole family.
Experience an entertaining, free tour of winemaking at the family-run Curling Vine Winery. Their knowledgeable and enthusiastic guides make the story and traditions of winemaking fun for all ages. After the tour, you have the chance to sample Missouri-made wines. For kids and designated drivers, the winery provides special homemade grape juices.
Lakeside Wilderness Area
Lakeside Wilderness Area offers plenty of great scenery to enjoy. Discover the beauty of forest and woodlands in the heart of Branson. This area features over four miles of hiking trails, a waterfall, a cave, and a picnic area.
Branson Centennial Museum
Take a look at the rich history of Branson at the town’s free Centennial Museum. Learn about the history and founding of Branson. This free museum features rotating exhibits on the Civil War, railroads, bridges.
Branson Festivals and Events
Branson is well-known for its colorful art shows, music festivals and other fun events that are always free and open to the public. Check city and park calendars for upcoming events and free programs.
The Shrine of the Holy Spirit
Enjoy a moment of peace in the Shrine of the holy spirit. This is a beautiful, wondrous structure. The Shrine also offers a courtyard, sparkling fountain and plenty of seating areas.
14. Table Rock Dam
Established in 1958, this massive engineering structure gave birth to Table Rock Lake. Crowds come to witness this powerful structure keep the waters of the White River at bay. Don’t forget to bring your camera with you so you can capture the beauty of this majestic place and it is best to visit early in the day if you want to avoid huge crowds.
The Dewey Short Center is located across the dam and on the shores of the Table Rock Lake. There are interactive displays and exhibits regarding the native wildlife and the construction of the dam. It offers swimming and fishing sites as well as picnic areas, which can be used for no cost at all. You will also find some hiking trails starting and ending at the Dewey Short Visitor Center.
Henning State Forest
Covering an area of about 1,534 acres, the Henning State Forest offers scenic views and spectacular trails. You can get some breathtaking views of the countryside from an incredible lookout area and there is also a naturalist available to answer any of your questions. Throughout the forest, there is lots of wildlife to be seen, including the native birds, so it is best to take your camera along with you!
Located just below the Table Rock Dam, the Shepherd of the Hills Fish Hatchery is one of the most popular tourist sites in Branson. There are a number of beautiful aquariums in the center that showcase the native fish in Missouri. Families can take a walk through the fish hatchery and learn more about the glorious and native fish.
18. Lake Taneycomo
Fishermen from all around the country come to visit this downtown Branson Lake. Even if you are not into fishing, there are a variety of other activities like scuba diving, boating, hiking and picnicking that you can enjoy here. Lake Taneycomo doesn’t just offer lots of recreational activities such as fishing and hiking, but is also easily accessible, as it is located near the Branson Landing and Historic Downtown Branson.
Located high on the hills in the Ozark Mountain, this winery overlooks scenic Branson. Guests can absorb the splendid views while they relax on the veranda or tour the winery where they can try out their delectable wines and signature cocktails! The good thing is that wine tasting is free of charge!
Starting from the Dewey Short Visitor Center, this beautiful trail goes on for 2.2 miles and ends at the Table Rock State Park Marina. You can hike or bike the trail in the spring season and you will come across a wide array of wildflower species and watch the serviceberry, redbud and dogwood trees in full bloom. If you decide to visit during the fall season, you will be able to see the colorful fall foliage of nature. Moreover, this place also offers stunning views of Table Rock Lake.
Go northeast of Branson and you get the opportunity to explore more than 1,500 acres of woodland, forest, and glade habitat. This preserve features a permanent stream called Roark Creek, the White River Balds Natural area, and some gorgeous hiking trails. It is also home to various locations that were mentioned in ‘Shepherd of the Hills’, the classic book written by Harold Bell Wright.
This award-winning distillery is a must-see for all whiskey fans and it specializes in vodka, molasses rum, and smooth corn whiskey (moonshine). You can take a free tour of the Copper Run Distillery where you‘ll learn the secrets of small-batch, handcrafted spirits.
Get some crackerjacks and peanuts and find a seat at the Ballparks of America facility for a thrilling baseball game! Here kids will be able to enjoy the best youth baseball tournament experience and you can attend and watch the games for free. The unique interior of the facility is designed to replicate the five American league baseball stadiums, which include the Detroit Stadium, Brooklyn Field, Chicago Field, Boston Park, and St. Louis Stadium.
Visit the most awarded and oldest winery in Missouri to take a firsthand look at how Spumante is made. The Stone Hill Winery has a vast complex and gives free hour-long tours. Guests can first see a film on the tradition of winemaking in Missouri before they learn how sherry is made and how wine bottling is done. The tour comes to an end in one of the six wine tasting rooms, where visitors can sample a wide array of wines of Stone Hill. The wines range from the fruity and sweet Pink Catawba and Concord to the full-bodied, dry Norton, which is a red wine that has garnered international recognition. As for the kids, there are plenty of juices available for them to enjoy.
25. Branson Theaters
There are numerous Branson theaters that open their doors every Sunday morning for old-time get-togethers. Everything is done Ozark style and you can see your favorite Branson musicians and entertainers performing traditional gospel music and mingle with the locals, tourists and some of the town’s celebrities. Worship services are also hosted by some theaters, complete with testimonies and preaching.
Since undergoing a transformation, the Historic Downtown Branson now drives heavy foot traffic. You can stroll and walk around freely through the beautiful streets and explore the new Liberty Plaza. There are some impressive historic buildings like the one that survived a huge fire in the 1990s and now houses a jewelry and bead shop called the Plum Bazaar, which opens seven days a week. Dick’s 5 & 10 is another must-see for anyone who visits Branson, as it is laden with everything you could possibly imagine!
For decades, this garden has honored American active duty personnel, veterans, and their families. It serves as a living tribute to the veterans and it has transformed into a spectacle of beauty under the expertise of Master Gardener Ben Kinel. Many other volunteers have put in considerable efforts and benefactors have also contributed money for this place. The beauty of the plantings and flowers changes with the season, but the honor and essence of what the garden represents remains constant.
There is a horde of activities that you can take part in at the Stockstill Park. It also has a creek that’s filled with fish and other forms of wildlife. Other than that, you can also find a skate park, tennis courts, and two large playground sets as well. If you are looking for a place that is perfect for families and offers fun activities and things to do in Branson MO, look no further than Stockstill Park!
The Super Summer Car Cruise boasts more than 400 vehicles on display that can be found in the Show ‘n Shine and it takes place in the second week of August. You can take part in a thrilling midnight night cruise across the Shepherd of the Hills Expressway that showcases more than 400 exotic vehicles! Find a place to fit in or sit by your favorite spot to enjoy the exciting show.
There are more than a dozen mini-golf courses that are spread out throughout Branson, which means visitors can find options for every skill level and age. However, the best deal that you will come across is the FREE round of mini-golf that you can get from Branson Travel Office when you use it for booking attractions, shows, lodgings, cabins and more.
This park is located on the north end of the Boardwalk and is a splendid city park with picnic tables, benches, old-growth trees, fishing docks and plenty of room where people can relax and unwind, play horseshoes and throw Frisbees. It is a wonderful spot for going fishing, taking a scenic walk or for walking your pets.
There is a community library in Branson that’s situated on the Pacific Street and is known to be quite an impressive one. To check out the movies and books, you will have to become a member, but you can freely browse the collections or take your children for spending some quality time in the Children’s wing.
33. Branson Parades
If there is one thing Branson knows how to do, it is how to put on a parade. Every year, they hold the massive Veterans Day Parade to support the nation’s military heroes during one of the largest celebrations in the country – the Veterans Week. In the first week of December, there is also a Christmas parade. This Adoration Parade is fully non-commercial because its purpose is to remind people of the ‘reason for the season’. There is another parade that’s held on the first of November for kicking off the Christmas season. The live entertainment industry of Branson is highlighted by the Most Wonderful Time of the Year Parade. This parade moves through Branson Landing whereas the other two take a route through Historic Downtown Branson.
Branson’s Strip is known all over the world and you can take a drive along the road to enjoy the glow of neon, the glitz, and glamor of the theaters and the multitude of restaurants and attractions. Presley’s theatre, the Titanic Museum Attraction, the World’s Largest Toy Museum, Lost Treasure Mini-Golf, Grand Country Resort, Great American Steak & Chicken, Pasghetti’s Italian Restaurant, the Ripley’s Believe It Or Not Odditorium that was seemingly damaged by an earthquake, and the Hollywood Wax Museum are just a couple of places that make for a fun sightseeing trip – making it one of the best things to do in Branson MO!
Located on the south side of the Lake Taneycomo, the White River Valley Trail System refers to a series of mountain-biking trails that were opened in 2011. The Coalition for Recreational Trails gave it a national award in the same year. It is a 6-mile hike, which includes the two trails that are called Red Trail and Blue Trail respectively. There is also a connector trail between them that stretches for half a mile. A tranquil pond can be found on the connector trail where you can take a break and have some quality food.
Established in 1921, Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Church has served Branson since day one. Even though it has changed its locations several times, it remains true to its purpose and more than 3,000 parishioners visit the church every Sunday for attending The Mass and they also welcome visitors and guests. The Mass schedule is as follows:
Saturday: 5:00 PM
Sunday: 8:00 AM and 10:30 AM
Monday, Tuesday and Thursday: 9:00 AM
Friday: 9:00 AM
The largest craft village in Branson is none other than the Branson Mill and it is every visitor’s dream destination for unique and handmade gifts. This craft mall is climate-controlled and is spread over 40,000 square feet. Here, the craftsmen and women of the city demonstrate their skills and talent and create one-of-a-kind gifts.
- Williams Memorial Chapel
Developed in 1956, the Chapel has an impressive structure that stands 150 feet tall and 80 feet wide. It is regarded as an exceptional example of neo-Gothic architecture and it boasts a vaulted ceiling that’s 80-foot high and has beautiful stained glass windows. It also has the Hyer Bell Tower that’s attached to the chapel. Sunday services start at 11 AM and can be attended by the public for free.
- The Gaetz Tractor Museum
There is a variety of antique farm equipment and tractors to be found at the Gaetz Tractor Museum and some noteworthy items that you should check out, including a reaper that was made in 1910 and a gray Wallis hailing from 1918.
This is a Bible-based museum that supports the history of the Bible through the use of science. This includes paleontology, anthropology, geology, biology, and archaeology. Special attention is given to the dinosaurs. Tours are conducted by trained tour guides from Wednesday through Saturday between 10:00 AM and 5:00 PM. As for tours of the nature trails, you can make an appointment for them. The admission is free of charge and families are welcomed and taken on guided tours where they witness the stunning artifacts, fossils, and artwork. There is also an extensive biblical store and the museum is open year-round to welcome visitors from all regions.
This is the first distillery in Branson that specializes in Whiskeys and Bourbons. Several tasting options are offered to the crowd and other than Whiskey, the visitors can also taste their wines, ciders, beers, and spirits – making it one of the most remarkable things to do in Branson, MO! The atmosphere is family friendly and the products made in Missouri such as the Big Bison Meat Products and the Country Folk craft soda line are showcased here. You can visit on Friday and Saturday from 11:00 AM to 8:00 PM and 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM on Sundays.