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Cheap Things to do in Branson with Kids

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Nestled deep in the heart of the gorgeous Ozark mountains, Branson Missouri is an amazing place to visit. It’s got lights, it’s got fun and it’s got lots of expensive entertainment. But Branson is still the perfect spot to go, even if you’re on a budget. In fact, despite all the pricey tickets to elaborate shows, there’s still plenty of cheap things to do in Branson with kids.

Living just a few hours from Branson means I’ve spent hundreds of weekends there over my lifetime. I guess that’s why I’m always so shocked when people tell me they can’t afford a quick weekend getaway. The truth is, just like anything else in life, a fun stay in Branson can cost as little or as much as you’d like. If you opt to visit every theater, of course you will spend a bundle. But you can also experience Branson for only a couple of hundred dollars.  And when you’re dragging the whole family along, you have to make good choices or your trip will cost you more than you’re prepared for.

Today, I’m sharing my favorite 25 cheap things to do in Branson with kids.

FINALLY found some cheap things to do in Branson with kids! We are so doing #9 next time we're there! #branson #travelwithkids #minivacation

First, I have a quick and easy way to ensure that you’re not filling your days with expensive entertainment. I like to make a list of the days we will be there and then fill them in with places we’d like to see and do. Although I’m not a super organized person, I’ve found that a little extra planning on trips saves us BIG bucks! For instance, if we are having a day full of free entertainment, I splurge and go out for a nice dinner. If we’re spending the day at an expensive amusement park, I pack a lunch and we head out to the car to eat a sandwich.

Having a daily budget also helps keep costs from getting out of hand.

We also like to save money by eating one big meal out each day and making something cheap (like PB&J) for the other meal.  I prefer to eat out for lunch since it’s generally cheaper. We also take advantage of our hotel’s free breakfast! You can save nearly $100 by eating the continental breakfast instead of swinging by Krispy Kreme.

If you’re a homeschooler, you’ll want to check out Branson’s annual Homeschool Weekend. Many attractions give amazing discounts for one weekend only. It’s the perfect way to save some serious cash!

Now, on to our favorite cheap things to do in Branson with kids:

Free & Cheap Things to do in Branson with Kids


FINALLY found some cheap things to do in Branson with kids! We are so doing #9 next time we're there! #branson #travelwithkids #minivacationOld Time Photos:

If you’re looking for cheap things to do in Branson with kids, you HAVE to get an Old Time Photo. From dressing up to posing with hilarious props, the experience is as much fun as the photo. Not to mention, you’ll be cracking up over the photos for years to come! I ALWAYS check Groupon for discounts and coupons on old time photos! I’ve gotten them as low as $6 each before!!! Not bad for a couple of hours entertainment, plus a printed 8×10 photo to laugh at for the next 50 years!

COST:
Branson’s Famous Old Time Photos: $19.99 for 8×10 with up to 3 people
Shooters Old Time Photos: $35 for 1-2 people
TNT Old Time Photos: $20 for 1 8×10 for 1-2 people


Shepherd of the Hills Inspiration Tower:

If you’re looking for cheap things to do in Branson with kids, this is it! The Ozarks are a sight to be seen and there’s no better way to view it than from the 230′ Inspiration Tower. On a clear day, you can see over 90 miles! The glass elevators make the ride to the top as much fun as the spacious observation deck. The tower is also the launching point for the Vigilante Extreme ZipRider, which you can imagine is terrifying!

COST:
$8 per person


Moonshine Beach:FINALLY found some cheap things to do in Branson with kids! We are so doing #9 next time we're there! #branson #travelwithkids #minivacation

Want to be at the beach, but instead you’re stuck in the Ozarks? You can have your own beach days at Branson’s very own Moonshine Beach. Spend a few hours or spend the day on the beaches of Table Rock Lake! Either way, it’s cheap, it’s wet and it’s full of memory-making potential, perfect for when you’re looking for cheap things to do in Branson with kids.

COST:
$5 per car


Imax:

Enjoy some of your favorite movies on the big screen or pick one of Imax’s own creations. Either way, you’ll fall in love with the massive screen, high-tech graphics and incredibly comfy seats. Bigger isn’t always better, but it is when you’re at the Imax Theater!

COST:
$9.50


College of the Ozarks:FINALLY found some cheap things to do in Branson with kids! We are so doing #9 next time we're there! #branson #travelwithkids #minivacation

If you’ve ever dreamed of a simpler life, you will definitely want to check out College of the Ozarks. Here, students pay their way through college and graduate debt free, by working for the college. From the fruitcake kitchen to the hog barn, there’s a ton of opportunity in this little college. We never miss a chance to swing by and buy a scoop of homemade ice cream and admire the well-kept lawns and handmade wooden furnishings.

COST:
FREE!


Shepherd of the Hills Fish Hatchery:

Learn all about the hatchery, feed the fish and take a short tour, just beneath the massive Table Rock Dam! Be sure to catch the short film that explains exactly what they do here, so you can really appreciate the hard work and effort it takes to run the free hatchery. If you’re looking to fill the whole day with free and cheap things to do in Branson with kids, head to the Hatchery and other surrounding areas. There’s plenty of free things to do nearby!

COST:
FREE!

 


 

Mini Golf:

With so many different Mini-Golf courses to choose from, you’re sure to find one that your whole family will enjoy! Whether you want to be surrounded by dinosaurs or movie stars, mini-golf has never been so fun!

COST:
Pirates Cove Mini Golf: $9.50 for adults and $8.95 for kids (18 holes)
Shoot for the Stars Mini Golf: $13.99 for ages 12+ and $9.99 for ages 4-11 (18 holes)
Greatest Adventures Mini Golf: $9.85 for ages 12+, $8.85 for ages 5-11 and $3.00 for ages 2-4 (18 holes)


The Dewey Short Visitor Center is the perfect cheap things to do in Branson with kids!

Runaway Mountain Coaster:

 

If you like adventure, you don’t want to miss the Runaway Mountain Coaster. It’s the first Alpine Coaster in Branson and is a whole lot of fun! The coaster uses the lay of the land to propel you down the hills! You can choose your own speed so whether you’re looking for a thrill or just want to enjoy the scenic Ozark Mountains, this ride is hard to beat!

COST:
$16 for the driver
$10 for each additional rider
$10 for each re-ride


Dewey Short Visitor Center:

This fun little museum is a great place to spend a couple of hours. It’s free and educational. Best of all, the hands-on exhibits hold everyone’s attention, no matter their age. My kids are obsessed with playing with the different furs on display and it’s a great place to check out the lake.

COST:
FREE!


 

Affordable Things to do in Branson with Kids


The Butterfly Palace & Rainforest Adventure:

Enjoy an entertaining, interactive and hands-on experience with thousands of butterflies when you visit this fun attraction. You can feed the butterflies, walk among thousands of imported species and learn all about rainforests and butterflies.

COST:
$19.99 for ages 13+
$12.95 for ages 4-12
$17.95 for ages 55+
FREE for ages 4 and under


Ripley’s Believe it or Not:

If you’re looking to fill a few hours with some weird and unexpected items, Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum is exactly where you need to go! They have everything from Hollywood memorabilia, giant balls of yard, old cars, world record holders and so much more. One tip, you kiddos WILL get tired of standing and walking around, so spend time on what you like and pass quickly by the things that don’t intrigue you.

Ripley’s offers an AMAZING homeschool discount. Simply drop them an email asking what their current homeschool discount is, as it changes frequently. (When we went, it was 50% off!)

COST:
$22.99 for ages 12+
$13.99 for ages 4-11
FREE for ages 3 and under


Hollywood Wax Museum:

Get up close and personal with your favorite stars. From Bruce Lee to Michael Jackson, there’s someone for everyone. Take pictures, learn more about the stars and even see how wax figures are created! The most exciting thing you’ll see on the Branson strip is the huge King Kong gripping the Hollywood Wax Museum sign!

COST:
$22.99 for ages 12+
$12.99 for ages 4-11
FREE for ages 3 and under

*All Access Pass (Includes access to Hollywood Wax Museum, Hannah’s Maze of Mirrors, Castle of Chaos and Shoot for the Stars Mini Golf): $29.99 for ages 12+ and $19.99 for ages 4-11


Promised Land Zoo:

FINALLY found some cheap things to do in Branson with kids! We are so doing #9 next time we're there! #branson #travelwithkids #minivacation

Voted one of the top 25 zoos in America, this hands-on experience is nestled in the heart of Branson. It’s a self-guided tour that you won’t forget anytime soon. My kids are obsessed with Parakeet Paradise, where you can feed birds from your hand and they flutter all around you!

COST:
$21.95 for ages 13+
$14.95 for ages 2-12


Talking Rocks Cavern:

Once known as “Fairy Cave,” due to the gorgeous subterranean-like land, Talking Rocks Cavern is a must-see while in Branson. The hour-long tour will not only entertain you but also educate, as well! There’s plenty of things to do here besides the cave tour: hike to the lookout tour, enjoy a round of mini golf, grab a slice of pizza or bring your own lunch to one of the many picnic areas.

COST:
$21.95 for ages 13+
$11.95 for ages 4-12
FREE for ages 3 and under


Hannah’s Maze of Mirrors:

Twist and wind your way through what appears to be unending corridors and hallways. The goal is to find Princess Hannah before time runs out but the bright lights and music keep the challenge fun and exciting!

COST:

$12.99 for ages 12+
$9.99 for ages 4-11
FREE for ages 3 and under

*All Access Pass (Includes access to Hollywood Wax Museum, Hannah’s Maze of Mirrors, Castle of Chaos and Shoot for the Stars Mini Golf): $29.99 for ages 12+ and $19.99 for ages 4-11


 

Expensive but Worth the Money


 

Reza: Edge of Illusion:

Audience members young and old will fall in love with Reza’s jaw-dropping illusions! While the tickets to the Reza show are a bit pricey, they’ll leave an impact on your kiddos that they won’t soon forget. When looking at the quality of show you recieve for the price, I think Reza is definitely worth mentioning.

COST:
$35.99 for ages 12+
$13 for ages 4-11
FREE for ages 3 and under, lap seats only


Dolly Parton’s Stampede:FINALLY found some cheap things to do in Branson with kids! We are so doing #9 next time we're there! #branson #travelwithkids #minivacation

Enjoy a scrumptious dinner of cornish hen, pork loin, taters, corn on the cob, lip-smackin’ soup and a yummy dessert! Best of all, while you stuff your face, the amazing horse show will entertain and keep you hoopin’ and hollerin’. There’s a reason Dolly Parton guarantees this is the most fun place to eat in Branson: it is!

In case you didn’t know, Dolly Parton is a HUGE advocate for education, especially reading! She provides 4 days each year, dedicated to the youth of the area. You can get a ticket on “youth days” for about $30 each! That’s a heck of a price for the show AND dinner! For that price, we tend to go to a show in the spring and then head back in the fall for the Christmas show! Even if you don’t go to the show, swing by the parking lot, hop out and go pet the horses! The kids will love it.

COST:
$54.99 for ages 12+
$29.99 for ages 3-11
FREE for ages 2 and under free, if sitting on lap and sharing a plate


Amazing Acrobats of Shanghai:

People of all ages and walks of life will be mesmerized by the Amazing Acrobats of Shanghai. Gorgeous outfits, exciting stunts and enough pizazz for the whole family, it’ll quickly become a family favorite!

COST:
$40 for ages 16+
$20 for ages 5-15
$35 for Military men and women


 

Silver Dollar City:

Hear me out on this one: It’s not that cheap, I know. I’ll admit, we haven’t been to Silver Dollar City in a few years simply because of the cost. But, if you’re coming from out of town, it’s something you need to experience, at least once in your life. The old-time setting, live demonstrations and exhilarating rides make it a must-see. From glass blowing to woodcarving, the demonstrations are mesmerizing. Your ticket also allows you to tour Marvel Cave, Silver Dollar City’s own amazing cave. It’s the perfect spot to cool off on hot summer days! And don’t miss the train ride! Your kids will laugh at the hilarious robbers and enjoy the short train ride. All in all, Silver Dollar City is worth its price, at least once in your life!

COST:
$68 for ages 12-64
$58 for ages 11-4
$66 for ages 65+


Fritz’s Adventure:FINALLY found some cheap things to do in Branson with kids! We are so doing #9 next time we're there! #branson #travelwithkids #minivacation

Fly, climb, tunnel and walk the high ropes all day long when you visit Fritz’s Adventures. It’s a one-of-a-kind experience, with rock walls, tight ropes walking, massive slides and so much more. Kids will fall in love and wear themselves out completely when visiting this attraction.

I love a company who cares about families and Fritz’s sure does! They offer homeschool days a few times a year and always offer a 50% military discount. Best of all, the offer FREE admission to foster and adopted kids, all day, everyday!

COST:
$29.99 for ages 12+
$21.95 for ages 4-11
$14.95 for ages 55+

$11.95 for Non-Adventurers


White Water:

Splash around in the wave pool or take a ride down one of the huge water slides. Either way, you’ll have a fun-filled day when you head to White Water’s 13 acres of slides and rides. It’s like your local water park on steroids! Plan to spend all day at the park and bring your own cooler for lunch!

COST:
$45 for ages 12-64
$25 for ages 4-11
$ 33 for ages 65+


Titanic Museum:

Take a step back in time aboard the Titanic Museum. Folks young and old enjoy the tour of this “unsinkable ship.” The museum boasts interactive experiences, thousands of artifacts and replica of the freezing 28° water.

What if I told you that you could visit the Titanic Museum for only $9? That’s right, they offer an amazing homeschool discount to homeschoolers! And not just on Branson’s Homeschool Weekend. All you need is proof of homeschooling, which could be as simple as a Homeschool ID Card. You can print your own for free here.

COST:
$27 for ages 13+
$14 for ages 5-12
FREE for ages 4 and under
Family Pass: $95 (Includes 2 adults and up to 4 children, age 18 and younger)


 

Good Food & Good Times


Cici’s:FINALLY found some cheap things to do in Branson with kids! We are so doing #9 next time we're there! #branson #travelwithkids #minivacation

Sure, you’ve eaten at the best buffet in town before but until you’ve visited the World’s Largest Cici’s in Branson, you haven’t experienced it all yet. Imagine Cici’s Pizza smashing into a Chuck E. Cheese and that’s exactly what you’ll find at this massive pizza buffet. Kids will fall in love with the huge game room and you can keep you tummies full of all the pizza, salad and desserts you can eat while you play!

COST:
$7.99 for ages 13+
$3.99 for ages 5-12
Plus the cost of games!


ShoGun:

If your kids have never enjoyed a hibachi dinner, this is the time to take them. Being the frugal folks that we are, we would rarely ever take our kids to such an expensive meal but ShoGun in Branson makes it much more affordable! They are open for lunch and have great prices during the day. You can get a full meal of salad, rice or noodles, veggies and chicken for under $10! We always leave with a to-go box full of food (our dinner!) so it’s definitely worth the money.

COST:
$8-$14 per person


McFarlain’s:

The restaurant boasts that it “feels like going home” when you step inside their restaurant and they aren’t joking! From the simple decorations to the home cooked meals, this place will have you reminiscing of Grandma’s kitchen. But, beware, there are pranks being pulled right before your very eyes! 😉

COST:
$8-$16


There you have it, our top favorite cheap things to do in Branson with kids!
If you have anything you’d like to add, leave a comment below!

FINALLY found some cheap things to do in Branson with kids! We are so doing #9 next time we're there! #branson #travelwithkids #minivacation

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