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MISSOURI
Please be sure to call and verify times and rates as they are subject to change

ACTIVITIES     RESTAURANTS     LODGINGMissouri Free Activities List


ACTIVITIES:

BRANSON-  DIXIE STAMPEDE
1525 SR 76 W, Branson
   417.336.3000
www.dixiestampede.com
COST:  Call for cost
HOURS:  Call for show times
Pair an amazing show with good home cooking for an evening enjoyed by the whole family.  The show features horseback riding, dancing and singing.  The audience even gets into the act.  All the fun while enjoying a scrumptious meal eaten with no silverware.   Get to the show early to see the opening act in the Carriage Room.  Don't forget to visit the open air stables to see the beautiful horses.
FAMILY FRIENDLY PROS-   The children loved it all;  the horses, singing, dancing, and the competition between the audience area designated North and the audience area designated South.  They were thrilled at being able to eat their entire meal with their hands as well.
FAMILY FRIENDLY CONS-  Not very many bathroom facilities so there were some long lines.   Traffic leaving the shows if very heavy so expect for it to take you quite a long time to even get out of your parking spot.
 

BRANSON-  GRAND COUNTRY INDOOR MINI GOLF
1945 SR 76 W, Branson
   417.335.3535
COST: $8.95 Adult (over age 12) / $7.50 Age 5 - 12 / Under age 4 Free with paying adult
HOURS:  Daily 7 am - 11 pm (last admission is about 10:30 pm)
Climate controlled, indoor mini-golf.  36 hole course surrounded by streams and waterfalls.  Great for a hot or rainy day!
FAMILY FRIENDLY PROS-   Many of the holes were fairly easy;  even our 4 year old got a 'hole in one'.   Nice break on a hot day when everyone needs to get out of the sun.


BRANSON-  HOLLYWOOD WAX MUSEUM
3030 SR 76 W, Branson
   417.337.8277
www.hollywoodwax.com
COST:  $17.95 Adult / $8.95 Child ages 4 - 11 / $15.95 over age 55 / Under age 4 Free
HOURS:  Open daily at 8 am
Walk amongst likenesses of some of your favorite celebrities.  There are over 170 figures.   They are so lifelike!  Displays include favorites from Titanic and Wizard of Oz.
FAMILY FRIENDLY PROS-   The museum is toured at your own pace (no guide) so it's easy to take your time or rush through as dictated by your children.   The children were amazed at how realistic the faces are!
FAMILY FRIENDLY CONS-  There were a couple of displays (from some movies) that scared the younger children but we were able to move through those areas quickly.


BRANSON-  IMAX
3562 Shepherd of the Hills Expressway, Branson
   800.419.4832
www.bransonimax.com
COST:  Check website for ticket prices
HOURS:  Call for show hours
Enjoy a favorite movie on the enormous screen.  They have a good variety of different shows playing daily.  Shopping in the mall area and restaurants besides the usual movie fare.
FAMILY FRIENDLY PROS-  Good variety of movies so there should be something to suit any age range.  Comfortable seating. 


BRANSON-  RIPLEY'S BELIEVE IT OR NOT
On Hwy 76 W, Branson
   417.337.5300
www.ripleysbranson.com
COST:  $17.99 Adult / $9.99 Child ages 4 - 12 /  Under age 4 Free
HOURS:  Sun - Thurs 9:30 am - 7 pm, Fri - Sat 9:30 am - 9 pm
A museum of the strange and unusual.  Walk through themed rooms that will amaze you.   The kids will be talking about all of the neat stuff they see for a long time!
FAMILY FRIENDLY PROS-   The children were talking about all of the oddities for months after.   Self guided so you can move at your own pace.
FAMILY FRIENDLY CONS-  Some of the displays (and the reading involved) were boring for the younger children so they wanted to rush through areas that parents and older children would have liked to have had more time in.

BRANSON-  SHOWBOAT BRANSON BELLE
Located on SR 165
   800.227.8587
www.showboatbransonbelle.com
COST:  Visit website or call for pricing
HOURS:  Visit website or call for show times;  depending on the day there are lunch and dinner cruises available
Take a cruise a paddle boat on Table Rock Lake.  Enjoy lunch or dinner and an entertaining show full of singing, dancing, comedy and magic.      The cruise is about two hours long. 
FAMILY FRIENDLY PROS-   All ages were entertained by the performance.  There is only one meal served for children but it had a good variety of food and plenty was served.
FAMILY FRIENDLY CONS-  Watch the little ones near the railing.


BRANSON-  SILVER DOLLAR CITY
On SR 76 W, Branson
   800.831.4381
COST:  Call for cost
HOURS:  Call for times
Theme park centered around an 1880s Ozark theme.  Fun roller coasters, rides, water rides, music and comedy shows, and Splash Harbor water play area.  Throughout are shops, restaurants and artisans who show their skills in traditional crafts.  The park offers different themed celebrations throughout the year.
FAMILY FRIENDLY PROS-   Rides for all ages plus many rides that a family of varied ages can ride together.   Splash Harbor was a favorite because it wasn't overly busy and the kids loved shooting the water cannons.  Family friendly live performances offer a nice break from the exciting rides.
FAMILY FRIENDLY CONS- Some ride lines are very long during the busy season.


CARTHAGE-  CIVIL WAR BATTLEFIELD-  BATTLE OF CARTHAGE
East Chestnut, Carthage
   
COST:  FREE
HOURS: 
The Battle of Carthage Battlefield is a large open space with an informational display.  Walk through the green fields and you can't help but think of the raging battle that the land once witnessed.
FAMILY FRIENDLY PROS-   The children were amazed at the idea that they were walking on land that played a part in history that they have studied.
FAMILY FRIENDLY CONS-   It doesn't take long for the kids to be tired of running around.
 

CARTHAGE-  CIVIL WAR MUSEUM
205 Grant St,  Carthage
    417.237.7060
COST:  FREE
HOURS:  Tues - Sat- 8:30 am - 5 pm, Sun- 1 pm - 5 pm
Museum with educational displays regarding the Civil War.
FAMILY FRIENDLY PROS-   The children were interested in most of the displays.  They learned a lot about the Civil War.
FAMILY FRIENDLY CONS-   There isn't much hands-on so younger children do get bored.
 

CARTHAGE-  PRECIOUS MOMENTS INSPIRATION PARK
4321 Chapel Rd, Carthage
   800.543.7975
COST:  Call for cost
HOURS:  Daily 9 am - 5 pm
This park is built around the charming Precious Moments figurines.  The peaceful gardens have benches and statues;   perfect to sit for some quite time.  The chapel is full of amazing artwork and murals.  If you visit between March and December be sure to work in a performance of the Fountain of Angels.  This display of water effects with lights and inspirational music is in a ten story building and the water shoots nearly 80 feet into the air!  Restaurant on site.
FAMILY FRIENDLY PROS-   The children really enjoyed looking at the statues and artwork since it is done in a whimsical way.   They thought the large Precious Moments characters who walk around the property were fun too.
FAMILY FRIENDLY CONS-   The Chapel tour can be a little too long for young children.


KANSAS CITY AREA-  DEANNE ROSE CHILDREN'S FARMSTEAD
13800 Switzer Rd, Overland Park   913.897.2360

COST:  Mon - Thurs free, Fri - Sun and holidays $2 per person
HOURS:  April 1 - October 31 - 9 am - 5 pm
This park, built on 12 acres, depicts a typical turn-of-the-century farm.  There is a petting zoo, playground, indian camp and historical buildings.
FAMILY FRIENDLY PROS-   The children loved the animals and walking around to see the different areas.


KANSAS CITY AREA, MO-  MISSOURI TOWN 1855
8010 E. Park Rd., Lee's Summit, MO
   816.524.8770
COST:  $5 Adult / $3 Over age 60 and age 5 - 13
HOURS:  Mar 1 - Nov 15:  Tues - Sun- 9 am - 4:30 pm,  Nov. 16 - Feb 28:  9 am - 4:30 pm
Original 19th century buildings have been moved to this location to depict a typical small Missouri town of the mid-1800s.   Wandering around the property are costumed staff who go about life as village residents would have.  They are happy to answer questions and talk about the historical period.
FAMILY FRIENDLY PROS-   The kids liked that it was laid out as a town would have been with scattered buildings.  They especially liked the one room schoolhouse and the general store.  
FAMILY FRIENDLY CONS- The path is very ruddy so it is not stroller friendly.

KANSAS CITY-  NATIONAL AIRLINE HISTORY MUSEUM
201 NW Lou Holland Dr., Kansas City  816.421.3401

COST:  $8 Adult / $5 Senior (age 65+) / $4 Child (age 12 - 18) / Under age 12 FREE
HOURS:  Wednesday - Saturday 10 am - 4 pm (last tour at 3 pm)
Learn all about the history of the airline industry in the U.S. with this guided tour.  The tour starts with a short movie, then moves into a small museum area.  The guided tour ends with a walk through the hanger to see the aircraft.  Gift shop on-site.
FAMILY FRIENDLY PROS-  The kids loved to sit in the airline-style seats in the movie theatre area.  The tour through the hanger included a walk through several of the old aircraft which was a lot of fun for the kids.  The tour guide was very informative and happy to answer questions.

KANSAS CITY AREA, MO-  NATIONAL FRONTIER TRAILS MUSEUM
318 W. Pacifc Ave., Independence, MO
   816.325.7575
COST:  $6 Adult / $5 Over age 62 / $3 Age 6 - 17 / 5 and under Free
HOURS:  Mon - Sat- 9 am - 4:30 pm,  Sun-  12:30 pm - 4:30 pm
This museum depicts the history of three of the westward trails that began near Independence Missouri--   the Santa Fe, Oregon and California Trails.  The museum experience starts with a 17 minute movie that is full of interesting facts.  The museum displays are well designed, educational and comprehensive.  There is a hands-on children's area where the kids can try to load a wagon with just the right stuff to head west.
FAMILY FRIENDLY PROS-   The children spent a long time in the small children's section;  it was well kept and interesting.  Even the younger ones enjoyed the displays.
FAMILY FRIENDLY CONS- The movie was a little too long for the younger children.


KANSAS CITY AREA-  LANESFIELD SCHOOL HISTORIC SITE
187th Street and Dillie Road, Edgerton
   913.893.6645
COST:  FREE
HOURS:  Friday and Saturday - 1 pm - 5 pm
This one room schoolhouse taught grades 1 - 8 from 1869 until 1963.  A 'teacher' dressed in early 1900s attire leads the tour through the school building and even teaches a little lesson to the children.
FAMILY FRIENDLY PROS-   The children really enjoyed sitting at the desks and learning as pioneer children would have.  The teacher was very friendly and answered the children's questions.
 

KANSAS CITY-  Zoo
6700 Zoo Dr., Kansas City
   816.513.5700
www.kansascityzoo.org
COST:  $11.50 adult/ $10.50 senior (55 +)/ $8.50 children (3 - 11)
HOURS: 9:30 am - 4 pm weekdays, 9:30 am - 5 pm weekends
Spread over 202 acres, the Kansas City Zoo offers an amazing array of animals representing six continents.    Among the favorites with children are the petting zoo, Discovery Barn (get up close to many exotic animals and learn about them through interactive activities) and the Peek-A-Boo Tree (safe and fun play place to get some energy out).   Be sure to stop and see one of the interesting shows such as the Sea Lion Show or the Lorikeet Feeding.  At the entrance is the IMAX theater (an additional fee....see pricing above).   Take an exciting, educational journey through the movies on this 6 1/2 story screen.
FAMILY FRIENDLY PROS-   Such a great variety of animals that the kids all saw exactly what they wanted to.  There were many learning opportunities that encouraged the children to learn in fun ways.
FAMILY FRIENDLY CONS-  The zoo is really large and some areas took about 20 minutes to get to....a really long walk for little ones.
 

MANSFIELD-  LAURA INGALLS WILDER-ROSE WILDER LANE HOME AND MUSEUM
3068 Highway A, Mansfield 
   417.924.3626
COST:  $10 Adult / $8 Over age 65 / $6 Age 6 - 17 / 6 and under Free
HOURS:  March 1 - November 15, Mon - Sat 9 am - 5 pm, Sun 12:30 pm - 5 pm
In 1894 Laura Ingalls Wilder, her husband Almanzo and daughter Rose settled on a piece of land outside of Mansfield, Missouri.  They named it Rocky Ridge and it would become Almanzo and Laura's final home.  It is here that the Little House books were written.  The main part of the tour is the original 1894 farm house.  Also, stop by the museum to see an extensive collection of Ingalls and Wilder family memorabilia.  
FAMILY FRIENDLY PROS-   The girls especially were amazed to be walking through Laura's house as they could identify with her from her books. 
FAMILY FRIENDLY CONS- Everything is hands off so you have to really watch the little ones.


ST. LOUIS-  GATEWAY ARCH
100 Washington Ave., St. Louis  63102   877.982.1410

COST:  Free to visit, but fees for tram to the top.  There is a parking fee.
HOURS:  Memorial Day - Labor  Day:  Daily 8 am -10  pm / Labor Day - Memorial Day:  Daily 9 am - 6 pm
We had driven by the Gateway Arch many times through the years, but that doesn't compare with actually walking up and standing next to it.  It looks big driving by, but looks enormous right up next to it.  For a fee, you can take a tram to the top for an amazing view of the area.  If you plan to wander into the nearby Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, be prepared for a security checkpoint.
FAMILY FRIENDLY PROS-   The kids (and parents too!) were amazed at the size of the structure and enjoyed walking around the area.  The kids especially loved to watch the boats pass by on the river.  It seems they were almost more interested in that than the actual Arch.  Stroller friendly.


ST. LOUIS-  MUSEUM OF WESTWARD EXPANSION
100 Washington Ave., St. Louis  63102   877.982.1410
  (located in Jefferson National Expansion Memorial at the Gateway Arch)
COST:  Free to visit.  There is a parking fee.
HOURS:  Memorial Day - Labor  Day:  Daily 8 am -10  pm / Labor Day - Memorial Day:  Daily 9 am - 6 pm
Located in the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial (next to the St. Louis Arch), this museum displays artifacts and elaborate displays from the days of Lewis & Clark as they made their 19th Century exploration of the unknown West.  Very interesting information was presented in vivid presentations.  The museum is small and younger kids will likely move through quickly.  Everything is hands-off but my kids enjoyed the interactive exhibits.
FAMILY FRIENDLY PROS-   Educational, interactive displays.  Well laid out.  Stroller friendly.
FAMILY FRIENDLY CONS-   Hands-off.  Younger children seemed to lose interest quickly.
 

RESTAURANTS:

BRANSON-  HARD LUCK DINER
2800 W Hwy 76, Branson
   417.336.7217
50's style diner conveniently located on the Strip.   Menu has good variety of diner fare and a children's menu.  There is a soda fountain and ice cream available.  The wait staff are all aspiring musicians, actors or such who will often begin singing while they fill your order.  Great fun for the whole family and the food is tasty!
FAMILY FRIENDLY PROS-   The children's menu has a good variety and the food was enjoyed by everyone.  The children thought it was great when the waitress started singing.  This is one of their all time favorite places in Branson.
 

LODGING:

BRANSON-  INDIAN POINT LODGE
71 Dogwood Park Trail, Branson
   800.888.1891
www.indianpointresort.com
This lodge is divided into three sections on beautiful Table Rock Lake.  Lodging choices include condos, cabins and cottages.  The units range in size from 1 - 4 bedrooms and many include kitchens.  The facility includes 3 pools, a gameroom, playground and a marina to rent boats.  We rented one of the new condo units in the Eagle View Cottages area.  This area is a little further from the water (though still within view) but the condo was beautiful and spacious. 
FAMILY FRIENDLY PROS-   A variety of room types to fit all sizes of families.  The room was clean and well cared for.  
 

CARTHAGE-  BEST WESTERN PRECIOUS MOMENTS
2701 Hazel Street
   800.511.7676
Perfect place to stay if you are planning a visit to the Precious Moments Park.  There is a combo package available that includes your room and park tickets.  The rooms are clean and modern.  There are adjoining rooms available as well as a loft style room that would be perfect for a family.  Amenities include an indoor pool and continental breakfast.
FAMILY FRIENDLY PROS-   Clean rooms at an affordable price.  Complimentary continental breakfast had a good variety and was well stocked. 

 

 
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Family Friendly Travel Tip:
Give each child a disposable camera for the trip.  Make extra copies of each child's prints for siblings to have as well.  Each child can put together a scrapbook using the variety of photos-- what fun for each child to have a momento through the eyes of themselves and siblings.

 

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Familyfriendlyamerica.com is dedicated to providing reviews and information aimed at families.  The reviews are primarily travel based;  such as hotels, restaurants and activities.  We have a variety of activities depending upon the state requested;  from historical to theme parks and everything in between.  Each state also includes an information page.  This  page displays fun facts about each state.   Each state also includes a listing of Kids Eat Free (or at a discount) restaurants.  Our database is continually growing and changing.