34+ Fun (and Free) Things to do in Branson
Each year millions of people from around the world make their way to the Midwest to visit Branson, MO – the “Live Entertainment Capital” of the world, one of the country’s most affordable vacation spots, and one of the most family-friendly tourist towns in the nation.
Travel site Trivago named Branson, Missouri as its “2016’s Best Value In US Travel.”
Being blessed with two majestic lakes and miles of wilderness, there are outdoor excursions and activities everywhere – you just have to know where to look (and we can help you find them).
Branson’s bright lights and variety of shows help complete the ultimate vacation getaway.
Working within a budget is no problem when you’re traveling to Branson, but we all want to make the most of our trips and stretch our vacation dollars – so, we’ve gathered some of the most fun and popular free things to do in Branson to help you make the most of your next visit!
Also, be sure to check out our free Branson attractions list for even more things to see and do!
1. Downtown Branson Discovery Trolley Trolley information
Check out all of the downtown area and everything it has to offer by taking a ride on “Sparky” – the downtown Branson Discovery Trolley!
The old-fashioned trolley rides run from 10:00 am – 6:00 pm 7 days a week, with two trolleys running at a time in a constant loop.
The pick up/drop off spots are located at both ends of the Branson Landing and at several other popular downtown locations.
2. Copper Run Distillery Visit Copper Run Distillery
The Ozark Mountains’ very first legal distillery since the end of Prohibition, Copper Run offers tastings, tours, music, and more!
3. Shepherd of the Hills Fish Hatchery Fish Hatchery Information
The Shepherd of the Hills Fish Hatchery is a large property run by the Missouri Department of Conservation, with plenty of walking areas and viewing spots. There is a cool, air conditioned building that has informative display charts and fish tanks. Learn about the life cycle of Rainbow and Brown Trout.
There are large concrete tanks that hold the fish that allow for up-close viewing, and quarter dispensaries with fish food. As the feeding frenzy begins, the water comes to life!
4. Free Sunday Gospel Services See Gospel Shows Playing in Branson
There are a wide variety of worship shows and free services in Branson on Sundays.
Many of Branson’s entertainers come alive during worship and their voices carry in hearts throughout the week. Barbara Fairchild, Dave Hamner, Steve Anthony, and Ron Boldman all hold Sunday services at various theaters. Jim Bakker also holds his live televangelist broadcast on Sundays at 10:30 am at Morningside in Blue Eye, MO.
5. Historic Downtown Branson
Take a walk back in time as you visit some of the oldest establishments in Branson’s history. The famous general store Dick’s 5 & 10, mom and pop cafes, and old fashioned ice cream around almost every corner!
6. Amazing Architecture
Branson is home to many world records and record holders and some of the most unique and intriguing architectural pieces to be seen anywhere.
The world’s largest banjo can be seen shooting out of Grand Country, the world’s largest rooster is located at the Great American Chicken House restaurant, Snap a picture while on the strip at the world’s largest rocking chair next to the Outback Pub and Motel, the Titanic Museum Attraction is a replica of the famous ship, Ripley’s Believe it or Not! Odditorium is the most photographed building in Branson, and dozens of other sights and unique features adorn the town.
7. Curling Vine Winery Branson winery tours & tastings
Tour Branson’s original winery and sample a variety of wines, and there’s even grape juice for the kids. Tour the facility by educated professionals who will explain the different varietals, and answer any other questions you might have.
8. Mount Pleasant Winery Branson winery tours & tastings
Guide yourself through this tasting of award-winning wines while the expert staff will help explain the locally-made wines.
9. Autumn Daze Arts & Crafts Festival Autumn Daze
People from around the country gather with their handmade crafts and foods for downtown Branson’s Autumn Daze arts and crafts festival. There is local Ozark cuisine and music performances. Downtown Branson hosts this festival every September.
10. Scenic Overlook on Hwy 165
This outstanding viewing spot overlooks Table Rock Dam, Lake Taneycomo, and the Branson city lights.
This is the perfect backdrop for family photos, “selfies,” or a romantic way to remember a special occasion. Lovers bring locks and “lock in” their love at this gorgeous overlook.
Driving around town from this vantage point is a also a great way to get to know and see the area.
11. Lakeside Forest Wilderness Area
This nature trail park is located off Fall Creek Road just south of Highway 76. It features 5.3 miles of trails and 140 acres of wooded terrain.
At the beginning of the trail there are picnic tables and a cave at the end. The property includes the Lyle Owen homestead, originally built in 1911, as well as a barn and almost 2,000 feet of hand-built stone walls . A set of 315 stone steps lead toward Lake Taneycomo along a path that features a waterfall and cave.
12. Chinquapin Trail at State Park Marina
This trail sits inside State Park Marina, on Highway 165 off of Business Route 65 south of Branson. Take in the beautiful sights, scents and sounds of Branson wilderness, or catch a glimpse of the Showboat Branson Belle.
13. North Beach Walking Path
This water front walking path has picnic tables and is a great place to watch fireworks on the 4th of July.
This trail provides a cool breeze from the crisp Taneycomo Lake. North Beach Walking Path is a sweet green oasis right in the middle of all the action.
14. Murder Rock Trail
Located inside the beautiful planned community of Branson Creek, just south of Hollister. This history-rich community is also home to the Branson Airport.
15. Waterfall Trail
This nature trail one of the newest trails recently developed within the city. The trail runs along an un-named tributary of Roark Creek and features rock formations, a waterfall and a dense tree canopy. The 2/3 -mile long trail is an unpaved footpath and can be rugged in some areas.
16. White River Valley Trail System
this trail consists of 2.7 miles of beautiful wild flowers and native foliage and is appropriate for all skill levels.
Dogs kept on a leash are welcome as well.
17. Roark Creek Trail
This approximately 3.2- mile trail connects the Branson Landing, North Beach and Stockstill Parks. The last 1/2 -mile of trail is unpaved and ends at a bluff overlooking the creek.
18. Rec Plex Walking Path
Located at 1500 Branson Hills Parkway on the north side of town, this 1- mile walking path is paved for easy walking. As you walk by, catch an adult or youth ball game.
19. Table Rock Dam
Built 60+ years ago, Table Rock Dam offers a beautiful sightseeing opportunity.
Watch the waters from Table Rock Lake flow into Lake Taneycomo, experience the nearby fish hatchery, and bring your camera and take pictures of this jaw-dropping modern marvel.
20. State Park Marina State Park Marina
State Park Marina offers hiking and biking trails, sand volleyball, charcoal pits, boat & pontoon rentals, and picnic tables to enjoy fun in the sun right on the lake.
21. Dewey Short Visitor Center Dewey Short Visitor Center
This popular visitor center has interactive maps, an educational video, information on the construction of the dam, Native American exhibits, and exquisite wall murals.
Kick back on the veranda and relax or take a walk and get your feet wet.
The Dewey Short Visitor Center is a multi-million dollar facility that you won’t want to miss when you’re near the Table Rock Dam area.
22. Branson Landing Fountain Shows The Fountains at Branson Landing
The spectacular fountains at Branson Landing are located in the town square, between Texas Land and Cattle and Cantina Laredo Restaurants. The water shoots 120- feet straight into the air, and is beautifully choreographed along side a music and fire show. Watch this water and fire show for free every hour on the hour starting at noon.
23. Stockstill Park
This park has many different activities to take part in. The creek is filled with fish, craw fish and other creek wildlife. There are also tennis courts, a skate park, and two large play ground sets.
24. Sunset Park
Sunset park offers easy fishing access right under the bridge on Lake Taneycomo.
There are also tennis courts, a playground, and baseball fields. At the end of the park is a a disc golf course that has many trees that create low window shots for a challenging course.
25. Moonshine Beach
This is a man-made, sandy beach that brings locals and tourists from all over. While technically not free – at only $4 a car, this swimming, sun-bathing, volleyball, and picnic spot is paradise.
26. Branson Centennial Museum Branson Centennial Museum
History enthusiasts will love taking a look at the rich history of Branson at the town’s free Centennial Museum.
There are exhibits and stories about the history and founding of Branson, as well as the horrendous fire that almost completely destroyed Branson forever.
This is a great way to spend some time indoors, and there is parking on premise so there is not a long walk.
27. Super Summer Car Cruise Branson Summer Car Cruise
Branson’s midnight car cruise takes place the second week in August, with over 400 vehicles on display at the Show ‘n Shine.
The best spot for watching classic or tricked out cars is any spot on the “Strip” or Shepherd of the Hills Expressway.
This premiere event kicks off in the evening as lawn chairs begin lining the sidewalk. Take a seat by your favorite attractions or get in where you fit in.
28. Skate Park
Located at Stockstill Park ,this skating park has been a great addition to the community. This extreme sports venue is designed for skateboards, roller skates, and roller blades. Bicycles are not allowed for safety purposes, but Stockstill Park does allow biking.
29. Veterans Memorial Garden
Built to honor America’s Veterans and active military and their families, this free memorial garden is open to the public 365 days a year.
30. Avenue of Freedom
This beautiful collection of around 100 American flags wave along Gretna road, 3 out of the 4 months of the year.
The stretch of 1.5 miles of flying flags is a beautifully laid out tribute designed in honor of the September 11, 2001 attack on America and those that lost their lives.
31. Ruth & Paul Henning Conservation Area
On over 1,500 acres of lush forest, there is a 40-foot observation tower and hiking trails. Climb to the top and prepare to be amazed. The view will take your breath away. There are hiking and walking trails that are frequented with deer and small forest critters. There are education and information boards that help identify local plants and animals. The waterfall along the trail freezes in the winter and is a sight to be remembered forever. This location is the setting of many stories from Harold Bell Wright’s book, Shepherd of the Hills.
32. Edwards Mill
Located on the campus of the prestigious College of the Ozarks, this working mill is powered by a twelve-foot water wheel.
Students can be seen running the mill and processing the whole-grain meal and flour.The students work their way through their college career, and they can also be seen performing tasks on other parts of the campus.
33. College of the Ozarks
One of the country’s most honored, distinguished, and recognized universities – College of the Ozarks offers beautiful grounds, on-site dining, historical information, and more.
34. Shrine of the Holy Spirit Shrine of the Holy Spirit
The spiritual sanctuary Shrine of the Holy Spirit is constructed of blue granite and features a 100′ tall spire at the top. It was created and built from a vision that local entrepreneur Gene Bicknell says he received.
Weddings, reunions, and other ceremonies are held here. People come from all over to pray and meditate. The courtyard at the Shrine has a seating area and is a peaceful retreat.
Enjoy every second of your next Branson Adventure, and don’t worry about breaking the bank because these great destinations don’t cost a thing!