Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Silver Dollar City: For Thrills in the Ozarks

Jenny from 867-5309Today'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.


Silver Dollar City, MissouriI 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!

Wildfire in Silver Dollar City, MissouriMom'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.

Silver Dollar City, Missouri* 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.

Sponsored by Enzie Shamiri for beautiful portraits and by Wedding Paper Divas for wedding invitations.


Edi said...

We all love SDC! We try to go every other year...there really is something for every age. Our kids are 6 & 9 and it's one of their favorite places to go.

We find the best time of yr to go is early fall - warm enough that you can still have fun on the wet rides but not so hot that you get heat stroke walking around or standing in line. Also by going in early fall you skip the long lines.

One thing on the souvenir cups - we have one and used it just this fall and I'm pretty sure to refill it cost a lot more than 50 cents - but still considerably cheaper than the regular high price.

Write From Karen said...

Hey, you're talking about MY country, now! SDC is only 45 minutes from me (Springfield, MO). SDC is a great place for families, highly recommend it!

Write From Karen

Anonymous said...

Hello Jen!

Thanks for the terrific tour of Silver Dollar City. I've always wanted to go, but reading your post has made SDC even more inviting.

Take Care,


Scribbit said...

She's completely sold me on SDC--my grandparents always wanted to go to Branson and I kind of snickered at it mostly because I thought it was only about country music or something :) (sorry folks)

After reading Jenny's post I totally wanted to go! Amusement parks? BBQ? Warm weather? Fun shops? Sounds so fun, especially right now with all the snow . . .

Libby's Library said...

Wow - that pic with ALL THE FOOD. Can't get that off my mind!

Cagey (Kelli Oliver George) said...

Great post! I LOVE Redneck Vegas - I have been going since I was a little kid. Last year, I took my own kids there for the first time (well, if you don't count the time I waddled my way through while 7 months pregnant with my son. Heh.) My sister and I take our families with my dad and step-mom along with our younger brother and sister. I look forward to many years of family vacations there.

For a good family time, SDC cannot come more highly recommended.

Cagey (Kelli Oliver George) said...

Oops, meant to mention - while the Kid's Fest is cool, it is incredibly CROWDED. I really prefer the Bluegrass Festival, personally. A little more low-key and the BBQ sampling is awesome.

Jenny86753oh9 said...

It's great to see so many people that love SDC!

Edi - That's too bad they had to raise the price of the refills a bit.

Michelle, thanks again for letting me share a bit of my world with you and your readers!

Bonnie said...

I love this article~ My grandparents live in Tulsa and during annual "kid week" in which they took all grandkids for a week and let us run amuck their farm and took us on outings we made a trip to silver dollar city every year. Reading this took me back. Thanks!

Steph said...

Oh man, we love SDC... we buy season passes each year. I have a couple of super funny posts on my blog about that place!!

Alison Kerr said...

Silver Dollar City, it's practically in my back yard too! I've only been there once, but I loved it. You can watch glass being blown, wood being turned, and a blacksmith at work. And my kids still talk about Powder Keg and that other ride you mentioned Jen. And, yes, we got thoroughly wet on the water ride.

The other place we took in was Ripley's Believe It or Not. It was fun, though rather pricey.

We stayed at a low-key campground nearby in a basic cabin, which was cost-effective. If anyone wants to know the name, drop me a note and I'll look it up for you.

Fun place, thanks for the memory trigger :-)

Stacey said...

JenGi this is a great tribute to the funnest place! I can't wait to meet you there this summer and get another picture in the coffin with you. Fantastic article.