Today's guest travel blogger is taking us to the Ozark Mountains (where my grandfather was born) to introduce us to the fun waiting at Silver Dollar City. If you've heard of Branson, Missouri Silver Dollar City is a theme park in the area with rides, attractions, festivals and shopping that sound like a week's worth of fun. She's sold me!
When Jen's not working at her real job as an Ecommerce Techie, then you can find her either writing at 867-5309 or Twittering. She and her family love to find adventures in the beautiful hills of Missouri.
I can't hear banjo's playing without automatically thinking about Silver Dollar City. From the moment you get off the trolleys that bring you up from your car, you can hear the music playing.
The smells are those of home cooking: grilled chicken, ribs, and corn on the cob; homemade rolls, cinnamon buns, and funnel cakes the size of your face. You name it--they probably make it from scratch just for you to stuff yourself.
Everywhere you look, you're greeted by someone who looks like they've been time-warped from the days of Little House on the Prairie. My favorite people are the older folks that take your tickets, they're a hoot and make your wait in line go so fast.
Just about the time your teenager starts to moan over their lack of hillbilly-thrill, they'll start to hear the screams and before they know it they're surrounded by some of the most insane roller coaster rides. The Wildfire and Powder Keg are a couple of my family's favorites (okay, so my boys refuse to get back on the Powder Keg because they swear their hearts stopped!)
If you start to get too hot (even though there's tons of shade from the trees), head on over to the water rides. We love all of them, but don't forget . . . you do get wet. Go figure! If you've got little ones, you'll never get them to leave Geyser Gulch. I was pouting when I had to leave!
Mom's, want some peace and quiet while Dad joins the fun with the kids? Silver Dollar City has 60 craft shops that are so quaint. Best of all is their Culinary and Craft School, it's fairly new and a favorite of mine!
You'll want to plan 2 days just for SDC . . . there's just so much to see. I haven't even told you about all the different shows that are going on while you're there or about Marvel Cave!
A few local tips before you plan your trip:
* Check out their website to see which festival is going on. My kids' favorite festivals are the World-Fest (American's Largest Int'l Festival! April 4 - May 3) and the National Kid's Fest (June 6 - August 9).
* Unless you absolutely have to, avoid driving to SDC by way of Hwy 76. It's a great street to cruise (I definitely recommend that at night!), but not to get to an activity. Check out Silver Dollar City's map and use the Hwy 65 to 465 to 76, then go west to SDC. It looks like it's out of the way, but I can guarantee that it will cut your time in half (at a minimum). Besides, the drive is beautiful! Also, you'll be turning left to get into SDC's parking area, so be sure to get ready to get into a long left turning lane.
* Bring good walking shoes. They're not called the Ozark Mountains for nothin'!
* Buy their souvenir mugs. It only costs 50 cents for refills (for life!) See? They care about your budget too.
* Lastly, SDC has a Mom blog that is ran by Moms that also know the in's and out's of what to do at Silver Dollar City. I highly recommend checking them out!
I hope this helps if you're planning on vacationing this way. Of course there are so many more attractions in Branson to fill the rest of your vacation. If you have questions, please feel free to ask!
Congratulations to Jill of Shippensburg, Pennsylvania for winning the gift certificate from 77Kids and Little Alouette this past weekend. Talk about your hip kids.
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