Round Out Your Plans
Fill in the days between your big adventures with some small mini-excursions to local outdoors attractions and events.
July 24 to August 8
Moonlight Madness at Silver Dollar City
$47 kids, $74 adults; 9:10 a.m.–10 p.m.; 399 Silver Dollar City Pkwy., Branson,
Imagine experiencing your favorite thrill ride in the dark as you ride under the moonlight. Take our word for it; it’s extra thrilling! We love that Silver Dollar City stays open late during this stretch of summer because less sun means cooler weather and a summer nights vibe that we just can’t get enough of.
Sunset Drive-In Theater
1601 Church St., Aurora
Step into the past at one of the handful of drive-in movie theaters left in the state. Open only during the warm months, Sunset Drive-In shows double features every weekend, starting with a more kid-friendly option and followed by something for the older among us. A recent rivalry-themed lineup included Tom and Jerry and then Godzilla vs. Kong.
Night Water at White Water
$28 kids, $47 adults; 3505 State Highway 76, Branson
This annual event keeps White Water open later than the usual park hours, which means you can zip over waterslides, bob around in the wave pool and fall down the KaPau Plummet plunge well into the night. It provides a cooler experience both in terms of temperature and the overall vibe. Plus, you can use less sunscreen.
$69.99, 501 N. Wildwood Dr., Branson
With close proximity to Highway 76, it’s easy to find a thrill here during a day in Branson. There are seven zipline tracks to soar down and three rope bridges to teeter across while you’re there. While the lines are definitely fun for daring adults, small kids as young as 3 can join the adventure too when they ride tandem with their grown-up.
Tubing at Wolfe Mountain Snowflex Park
$29.99 kids, $34.99 adults; 2339 Highway 65, Walnut Shade
The Snowflex synthetic snow tubing run looks innocuous enough—until you’re flying down it at a much faster clip than you expect, heart pumping and shrieking with glee. This is seriously fun! And it’s great for both kids and adults. While you’re there, don’t miss Branson Zipline, also located at Wolfe Mountain.
July 29 to August 7
Ozark Empire Fair
$3–10 admission plus ticket prices, 3001 N. Grant Ave., Springfield
Thrill is the name of the game with this particular adventurous outing. The thrill of a carnival ride. The thrill of winning a midway game. And the thrill of challenging your body to consume all the fried things served on sticks. This annual fair is great for blazing hot daytime fun and the twinkling lights of a summer night.
Golf at Ozarks National
various locations, Branson
Just one of several scenic and challenging golf courses that have sprung up in Branson in recent years, Ozarks National at Big Cedar Lodge offers sprawling views across 18 holes. You’ll see rolling hills, dense woods, a 400-foot bridge and the rippling water of a nearby creek. The appeal is as much in the scenery as the golf.
Runaway Mountain Coaster
$10–16; 935 State Highway 165, Branson
This hillside Alpine-style roller coaster uses gravity to propel you along a tree-lined track at speeds of up to 30 miles per hour. You control how fast you go, though, using hand brakes inside the car. There’s a small four-track zipline on site as well, in case you need more thrills.
37 North Expeditions Horseback Riding + Winery
$83; start at Farmers Park, 2144 E. Republic Road, Springfield
This popular trip takes place a few times a month and includes a two-part adventure. Guests start by embarking on a trail ride on horseback that’s suitable for all skill levels. Then, the group visits Bear Creek Winery to wind down with red and white wine tasting and great eats like freshly made pizza.
Branson Ferris Wheel
$6.95 kids, $10.95 adults; The Track Family Fun Parks, Track 4, 3345 Highway 76, Branson
Tamp down that niggling fear of heights because you won’t want to miss this view. The historic (it used to reside at Chicago’s Navy Pier) 150-foot-tall Branson Ferris Wheel overlooks the city and its surrounding hills and is lit spectacularly at night with 16,000 choreographed LED lights.
$9–55, Hammons Field, 955 E. Trafficway St., Springfield
Instead of heading forth on your own adventure, grab a stadium hot dog and watch the Springfield Cardinals take on their own challenge. Watch your favorite minor league team face off at home all summer long. You can find game days and times as well as promotions and specific ticket prices on the team’s website.