By: Michael Ayo
Summer in Branson has officially ended and the colors and flavors of fall are starting to take over. Pumpkin-spiced everything has hit store shelves and cold fronts are starting to appear on weather forecasts. It’s always exciting when seasons change, and the best way to celebrate is to try a few activities that are different than what you have normally been doing. Get in the seasonal spirit by trying out some of the following festivities during fall in the Ozarks.
Some of the best fall activities are the ones you couldn’t do in summer because it was too hot. One in particular would be taking a stroll on your favorite Branson hiking trail. There are plenty of places to go hiking around town, from small waterfall trails to large state parks with miles and miles of scenery. Dogwood Canyon is always a favorite among visitors to the Branson area. With its six and a half mile trail, combined with the beautiful wildlife and entertaining amenities, hiking here should be at the top of anyone’s fall to-do list. If you want to hike inside the Branson city limits, check out trails at the Lakeside Forest Wilderness Area or the Ruth and Paul Henning Conservation Area.
Sycamore Creek Family Ranch
If your fall vacation to Branson takes place during the month of October, be sure to take a trip out to the Sycamore Creek Family Ranch for their Fall Roundup at the Ranch. This festival takes place each Sunday during the month of October from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission is free and there will be plenty to see and do such as family games, a gunny sack slide, farm animals and a hay bale fort. For purchase, you can pick your own pumpkin, take a ride in a tethered hot air balloon and go on a hay ride. There will also be bonfires, s’mores, concessions and fall décor to shop through.
McKenna Family Farm
You wouldn’t fully be engulfed in the fall spirit if you didn’t visit the McKenna Family Farm to see a fall harvest up close and personal. However, there is so much more than just pumpkins, tomatoes and cucumbers to sift through here. For a small admission fee you can visit the McKenna Family Farm that is basically a fall-themed amusement park. There are pumpkin patches, hay mazes, bounce houses, baby farm animals, a tricycle race track, hay rides and so much more. If you’re not interested in the attractions, there is also produce, pumpkins, baked goods and fall decorations available for purchase.
There is much to celebrate during the fall season, and that is especially the case for Halloween. There are plenty of things going on during this spooky time of year and it’s highly recommended to experience as much of it as possible. If you’re vacationing to Branson at the end of October, but still want to take the kids trick-or-treating, try making your way to either the Branson Landing or Tanger Outlets. The Landing will be hosting their 10th annual Safe Street Trick or Treat where kids 12 and under can safely stroll down the waterfront boardwalk in costume while interacting with businesses giving out candy. There will also be a Monster Mash Street Dance beginning at 6:30 p.m. that day.
Similar to the Landing’s event, Tanger Outlets will be hosting their Trick-or-Treat TangerStyle. Select Tanger stores will be passing out candy to children 12 and under dressed in costumes from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. For adults, TangerStyle coupons will be given out so they can shop after the Halloween festivities have concluded.
Keeping with the Halloween spirit, one fascinating activity to try out this fall is the Paintball Zombie Hunt. Located at the Branson Cedars Resort in Ridgedale, this interactive and slightly spooky attraction allows you to hunt the undead with a paintball gun mounted on a customized zombie assault vehicle. No protection or eyewear is necessary, and you won’t be getting shot back at. All you do is sit down in the vehicle and shoot some zombies with their “flesh eating” paintballs. Branson Cedars Resort hosts this event each weekend in October from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., and the cost is $22 for ages 13 and up and $18 for kids 12 and under.
One other fall activity you can’t try anywhere else but Branson is seeing all the fall-themed and customized shows. TheHughes Brothers Theatre and their “It Show” have shows that cater toward Halloween and Thanksgiving during the fall season. Taking place on Oct. 22 and 26 and Nov. 23 and 24, the Hughes brothers will give Branson visitors incredible shows customized to the holidays. Their “Howling Fun Show” will give attendees a $5 discount if they wear a costume to the show and prizes will be given out for the best costumes. Bags of treats will be given out as well. For the “We’re Thankful for You Show,” the cast will put on a special 10 a.m. show that combines a Thanksgiving theme with their popular Christmas show.
Veterans Day Festivities
Veterans Day is one of the most celebrated holidays in Branson. A great number of visitors come from all over the country to get together and honor those who have served in the armed forces. From Nov. 5 through 11, various events will be held to celebrate veterans and all their sacrifices made in the past. Those events include special shows from the “Baldknobbers Jamboree,” “Golden Sounds of the Platters” and so much more. The events will conclude at 11 a.m. on Nov. 11 with the 83rd annual Veterans Day Parade through downtown Branson. If you are a military veteran or just someone wanting to show appreciation, the beginning of November is a great time to check out what’s happening around the Ozarks.
There is so much to do from September through November in Branson, and the beautiful fall foliage can be seen everywhere around the Ozarks. Those two reasons make fall the perfect time of year to take a Branson vacation. No matter what you decide to do, there is always plenty of fun to be had and memories to be made.
Article courtesy of ChooseBranson.com.