9 Things to Do in Branson, MO Area for Free or Cheap

Today I am sharing at Homemakers Challenge on how our family vacations for less!  I share a bit of our tips and tricks that we use along the way, so we don’t spend too much money.  Head on over there to read it for yourself  and share any tips that you may have that I haven’t listed!

Things to Do in Branson MO

In keeping with the vacationing for less theme, I thought I’d share what our family does in the Branson and Springfield, Missouri area if we’re trying to save money.  As you all probably know, Branson is full of plenty of ways to spend money.  There are about 50 different shows in town, full of family comedy and music.  Then there’s the theme park, Silver Dollar City as well as the water park, White Water.  Yes…there’s lots of money to be spent in Branson.  There’s lots of fun to be had as well!

Free and Cheap Things to do in Branson MO (and Springfield, too!)

  • Bass Pro Shops – This is a really awesome store!  Their headquarters is located in Springfield, so their main store is there and it is absolutely beautiful!  There are lots of mounted animals (including a standing bear that is great for picture opportunities!), waterfalls, a large fish tank, a turtle tank and many other things to see while there.  There’s also a much smaller store in Branson at the Branson Landing, but it is still beautiful and has a nice, large fish tank inside, making it worth a stop inside.
  • Dewey Short Visitor Center, Branson, MO – “The Visitor Center features nature displays and activities, movies, educational programs, walking and biking trails, as well as fish and wildlife exhibits.”
  • Shepherd of the Hills Fish Hatchery – The facility raises trout.  It shows you the different stages of a trout’s growth.  Kids big and small love to go here and just see the HUGE amounts of fish.  You can feed them, too!  It says on their website, that there are trails to utilize here, as well, but we’ve never tried them.
  • The Branson Landing Fountain show – We go here each time we’re in town to see the lovely fountain show.  The makers of this fountain are the same ones who made one of the famous ones in Las Vegas.  They spent several million dollars constructing this masterpiece that puts on a free show every hour from 1 until 10, most days.  It is a show that has fire and water dancing and shooting up to the music that is playing.  Your family is sure to believe that the experience was worthwhile!
  • Timeshare and/or Hotel Amenities – We often stay at a timeshare and when we do, we save money by using the amenities that they have on site.  They usually have mini golf, swimming, shuffleboard, board games, volleyball, basketball, a playground, hot tub, etc.  We have all kinds of fun when we stay “home” rather than being out on the town.  It’s super relaxing, too!
  • Fishing – There are many fishing docks along Lake Taneycomo where you can throw your line in and have a blast catching some fish.  There are even some right there at the Branson Landing.  Keep in mind that depending on your age, you may need a license to fish!  Check this site to see where the docks you’re interested in may be.
  • Springfield Conservation Nature Center – We love visiting this nature center.  It has lots of hands on opportunites for the kids along with a beautiful nature trail where you can walk down and around the water.  If you’ve got the time and don’t mind being in Springfield part of the time, you should definitely see this!
  • Battle of Springfield Driving Tour – Follow each of the 12 markers along the drive to see what happened in each location in January of 1863.  You get a good dose of history by following this driving tour.
  • Shopping – While I understand that you can’t shop for free exactly, there are tons of outlet stores in Branson where you can shop for cheaper in a lot of cases.  We like to shop for clothes and shoes while we’re in town.  You can get some amazing buys!  Our favorite outlet shopping center is the Tanger Outlet mall.

Do you have more to add?  Leave me a comment and I’ll consider adding them to the list!

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  1. Lynn says

    College of the Ozarks is a great place to visit in Branson. You can tour the Dairy and see the cows being milked. There is a free tractor museum. Edwards Mill has basket weaving and loom weaving. And the museum on campus is HUGE, inexpensive and full of lots of good history and more. They also have a great view of Lake Taneycomo.

    • Sidetracked Sarah says

      Oh yeah, thanks Lynn. I should've consulted you beore compiling my list, lol. I totally forogt about Hard Work U. :)

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