Last week we took our family vacation. We had originally hoped to head east to visit family this summer, but when those plans fell through we knew we needed to do something fun and close to home. Last summer headed 3 hours north and went to Omaha, this summer we headed about 3 hours south and went to Branson!
In early June I found a sweet deal to Branson that included a 2 bedroom condo on Table Rock Lake (details about that later this week) and two day passes to Silver Dollar City. Know what made it even cheaper? Kids under 4 are free, which means the boys were all free!
We’d never taken the boys to an amusement park and really weren’t sure what they would think of the rides or all of the walking. We figured we’d last about 3 hours there and then head back to the condo to swim at the pool and that would be that. Boy, were we wrong! We stayed about 5.5 hours both days and if it wasn’t for a very tired and sweaty Lily I think we would have stayed longer! Did I mention it was 100 (at least) both days?
We started the boys off on some nice, tame swings in the new Half Dollar Holler section of Silver Dollar City. Half Dollar Holler was great because not only was everything just right for small kids (the swings, a small carousel and some very cool netted climbing structures), but there was only one way in and one way out. One of us camped out at the entrance to make sure no one escaped and the boys could just run wild.
We moved on to some more exciting rides, like flying elephants (I promise, I wasn’t riding this by myself! Ty was with me, you just can’t see him) and some frogs, lady bugs and caterpillars that the boys could ride by themselves. They loved the independence of being able to wait in line by themselves, climb into the ride, buckle themselves and ride without Nick or me. Nick and I commented to each other how cool it was to see them be so independent too!
Chase (in front here) spent a lot of time looking serious on the rides, but he would smile after and say it was fun.
You can see a little smile there!
The boys also went on the tea cups, and considering I like to keep my breakfast inside my body, I sent Nick on that one. Know what else he took them on? One of those giant, swinging boats. You know, the ones that swing 30ish feet in the air one way and then the other… Nick asked me if I thought he should (the boys kept asking to) and I told him I thought he would have crying kids by the end of it, but to go ahead if he wanted to.
Turns out I was wrong! The boys loved the boat, even thought Chase said it made his tummy feel weird. I was impressed my almost-4 year old boys loved that thing – I’m petrified of it! I missed watching them on the boat (or taking pictures of it) because I took the opportunity to take Lily into one of the Nursing Mother’s Stations.
I was told three different times by a Silver Dollar City employee (a very nice man, who obviously didn’t remember talking to me the other two times- ha!) about the Nursing Mother’s Stations. SDC has 4 of them through out the park and they’re nice, quiet, clean, air conditioned buildings! Woohoo for AC! The first time I went into one of the stations, Lily was already asleep but the sweat was dripping off her head so I knew she needed a break from the heat. I sat in a rocking chair, while Lily cooled off for 20 minutes and it was wonderful. The second time I used it to change a lovely blow out. Nothing like a blow out at an amusement park. Thanks, Lily. Anyway, kudos to Silver Dollar City for having these stations and educating your employees to mention them to each mom they see with a stroller!
I think the boys (and Nick and me) most enjoyed the water based rides! Nothing like getting soaked on a 100 degree day!
I just had to crop in on this one so you could see the looks on their faces. Nick’s makes me giggle every time!
You can’t really tell here, but Chase (on the left in the blue) looks bored again. Crazy kid!
Chase! You just went down some wicked awesome rapids and got wet… look like you’re having fun!
There are some smiles!
Speaking of smiles, this one handled the heat and long days in her stroller like a champ! She dozed off and on, cried maybe once and just took everything in stride. Way to go, Lily!
Jackson and Tyler patiently waiting for their turn to ride the small roller coaster with Nick.
Nick wanted to ride it by himself first… Kidding! Chase is hiding in there somewhere.
This picture is courtesy of Nick. We’ll give him the benefit of the doubt and say he was trying to be artsy with the composition… 🙂
One last thing that we enjoyed while there was a show! Branson is known for family friendly shows and Silver Dollar City is no exception. Included in your ticket are all of the shows that happen throughout the park. On our second day we took a break from the heat and sat in a dark, air conditioned theater and watched a 30 minute show of stunt dogs! Perfect way to escape the heat and still have some fun! Plus, it bought us another hour and a half at the park because we’d all had the chance to sit and cool off.
Silver Dollar City Bottom Line:
- If you live within a days drive of Branson, MO you need to go! You’ll have a ball, even with young kids! We can’t wait to go back.
- Buy tickets for two days. It’s nice to just wander on day 1 and then make a list of things you want to repeat or missed and want to do on day 2.
- You can bring in a soft sided cooler of water and snacks, and if you’re there on a 100 degree day you’ll want lots of water!
- Silver Dollar City is very hilly, so wear good shoes!
- The employees at Silver Dollar City are some of the nicest employees we’ve seen anywhere. I commented to Nick on our way out on the last day how nice they all were and he agreed. You know the employees are superb when you actually notice how good they are.
It should be noted that Silver Dollar City doesn’t know who I am. All of these experiences and opinions are true and my own. I have not been compensated for them.