Keep your money where it belongs when you try any of these 30 free things to do in Branson, Missouri! Penny pinch where you can afford and soak in family fun hot spots like the Branson Landing, outdoor picnic & hiking areas by the lake and FREE trolley rides in historic downtown. After much debate and research, these were the best 30 free things to do in Branson, Missouri.
Remember: You can always save money when you reserve with Branson Travel when searching for the perfect Branson Vacation Packages, Shows and Attractions. You can find that, and so much more here https://bransontravel.com/ !
Here Are the best FREE Things To Do in Branson, Missouri:
You don’t have to buy anything when you window shop here though you may be tempted! Browse through the year round Kringle’s Christmas store, Peter Engler wood, pottery and jewelry designs, Lori’s Soap Market, the Thomas Kinkade Art Gallery, Sunrise Leather Works, fudge and souvenirs at Dickens gift Shoppe, and FREE samples of select food and drinks at Mulberry Mill.
Take a leisurely stroll outside and soak in the adorable artisan themed atmosphere of the Grand Village during any and every season.
You might even feel like you’re in a Disney movie as you walk over cobblestone streets surrounded by picture perfect shops, outdoor pavilions, water fountains and cute park benches. There are unique photo opportunities as well including the supersized wooden chair pictured below! Grand Village is one of the great free things to do in Branson for sure!
2.Branson’s Historic Downtown
Explore the picturesque home of Mom & Pop shops, restaurants & select outdoor events at Branson’s Historic Downtown. Enjoy riding Sparky, the FREE downtown trolley or walk around the area to discover quaint breakfast cafes, antique shops, novelty stores, international food options, Bed & Breakfast joints and the photo savy wall murals.
Located just minutes from the Branson Landing, Starbucks, the Hilton Hotel and Branson’s Scenic Railway, Historic Downtown is the perfect place to spend time with family and friends while still being centrally located to other attractions, dining and shopping in Branson, Mo.
If you are an avid lover of donuts, you may want to stop by Dunkin Donuts in Branson, Missouri. No, not just to buy donuts but to take a picture in front of the large scale, chocolate glazed, rainbow sprinkled cake donut placed in the middle of the outdoor seating area!
It’s a quick and easy stop right off of Hwy 76 and truly a neat photo opportunity for the ole family vacation photo album. Or, if you’re more modern, this double frosted donut would be a neat post for Facebook and/or Instagram!
If you can’t resist temptation, you might get a donut or two on the way out!
There are many a number of hiking trails great to take in the Branson, Mo area during the morning, day or evening hours.
Revel in the natural beauty of the area during all seasons with scenic viewpoints, natural landscapes and even caves! Bring your best boots and even your bike for select trails when you drive to any of these memorable hiking spots in the Ozark Mountains.
Some popular hiking areas:Ruth & Paul Henning Conservation Area, Nature Trails, Waterfall Hiking Trail, White River Valley Trail System, Sunset Park, Chinquapin Trail, Lakeside Forrest, Stockstill Park & Northbeach Park
Get breakfast, lunch or dinner to-go and enjoy your meal up close with nature at any of the designated picnic areas in Branson, Mo!
You can eat at a table at any of the parks or— if you have a blanket— find a spot to sit in the grass. There are many pristine areas with a wide open view of the lake and the Ozark hills. So, sit back, munch a bunch, and enjoy the sound of chatty birds when you partake in this peaceful and enjoyable free activity!
Picnic Areas in Branson: Eiserman State Park, North Beach Park, Murphy Park, Indian Point Public Use Area, Caudill Park, Epps Park, Parnell Park & Alexander Park
Come see the statue depicting 50 bronze WWII era soldiers “Storming the Beach”. This statue can be seen in front of the Veterans Memorial Museum.
Additionally, there is a 12-man statue titled “Stay Low” on display at the Veteran’s Memorial Garden not far from the museum. Both statues are meant to be seen by the public so they can remember and honor our veterans whether they drive by or stop to take a closer look.
7.165 Scenic Overlook
A quick pull over area where individuals can see the stunning views of the lake, the Ozark mountains, and the Table Rock Dam is the Scenic Overlook off of 165. Really anytime of the day is great to visit but sunrise and sunset are of course perfect for pictures! The overlook is yet another one of the many FREE things to do in Branson and is a popular hot spot for visitors.
With 3 lakes all seclusive to the city of Branson, Missouri its triple the fun and entertainment for everyone who comes to visit! Get your fill of a family fun vacation with lake activities like swimming, fishing, picnics, camping, hiking/walking and much more! And, if you’re truly after a FREE experience, bring your own kayaks, boats, fishing gear and/or floaties before hitting Bull Shoals, Lake Taneycomo or Table Rock Lake in Branson!
Learn all about the history of Table Rock Lake and the dam being designed and built by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers when you visit the FREE Dewey Shore Visitor Center.
The Visitor Center includes an interactive map of the lake, artistic wall murals, Native American artifacts, Ozarks dioramas, interactive water safety exhibits and a model showing the inner workings of a hydroelectric dam! Great for kids and families interested in learning more about the area!
Just minutes away from the Branson Landing is another historic downtown area definitely worth a looksie.
The hidden gem of Downtown Hollister has its share of delectable Mom & Pop restaurants, coffee shops, a public park and even a Ye Old English Inn. Watch out for local events and festivals in downtown to see local craftsmen, artists and musicians display their talent for all to enjoy.
11.The Branson Landing
This unique and upscale shopping center attracts thousands every year for their diverse shopping selections, amazing restaurants, interactive attractions and FREE daily fountain shows & concerts!
Walk on the scenic boardwalk with the family while listening to music over the speakers and watch boats and kayaks pass by on Lake Taneycomo. Whether you buy anything or not, the Landing presents a great activity that will be sure to create a memorable experience!
One of the many flea markets around, the Apple Tree Mall stands out for its large selections, hundreds of booths, and hundreds more unique items all wrapped up for visitors in an inviting, friendly atmosphere.
Spend hours browsing one-of-a-kind collections and/or antiques or do a quick walk through to see if anything peeks your interest. There are both new and old items available for sale in well organized & themed booths.
A beautiful and inspiring dedication, the Shrine of the Holy Spirit offers a place of peace and tranquility for all who visit. Everything about the shrine from the location down to the blue stone materials were decided through the Holy Spirit according to designer, Gene Bickwell. People can come to see the structure, to pray and to host special events like Weddings, Vow Renewals and Military Ceremonies in the chapel (which can fit up to 80 people).
Come experience outdoor recreation at its finest! Get your fill of the lake at public swimming, picnic and hiking areas at Table Rock State Park. Open for day-use, take the family for a walk or bring your volleyball for the sandy volleyball pit on property. There is an open picnic shelter with grill areas free and up for grabs. You can host things like family cookouts, barbecues, and special events like birthdays anytime during park hours! There’s even open grassy areas perfect for Frisbee, football and for playing catch!
Where modern day and history meet in perfect harmony lies Branson’s original train depot right by the Hilton Hotel in Branson. The vintage depot is now home to the Branson Scenic Railway and holds a plethora of stories and whole store of deep history. The railway has offered easy access for tourists to come and visit Branson ever since the 1900s. The White River Railway played a part in the development of the Branson area and continues to operate and bring tourists on a nice ride through the Ozark wilderness. What a neat place to see!
Take a self-guided tour through one of the most unique college campus’ in the country: College of the Ozarks. This student run campus presents a plethora of things to see including Edwards Mill where students grind cornmeal and weave baskets and the College Dairy where you can see Holstein, Jersey and Guernsey cows.
Sit in the stunning Williams Memorial Chapel with breathtaking stained-glass windows, pay tribute to the “Lest We Forget” 9/11 Memorial Patriots Park or tour the Fruitcake and Jelly Factory on Campus and even try a sample of their fruitcake! Another great activity to add to the free things to do in Branson list!
All are FREE to visit to tour but there is a special Ralph Foster Museum on campus that is great for families, groups and couples to visit. The price is just right and you can see rare items on display like the original “ Beverly Hillbillies” truck from the 1960s/70s show! Wow!
Taking place every Tuesday April-October from 3-7 p.m. is the fan favorite Farmer’s Market of the Ozarks.
Conveniently located in the Branson Landing Parking Lot on the Belk side, Farmer’s Market is a nice FREE event where visitors can browse booths for fresh goodies and handcrafted goodies while surrounded by music, great smells and a nice atmosphere. All of the food products sold by vendors are made & grown by local producers.
Walk around indoor and outdoor areas to experience a fun shopping and/or browsing experience at Tanger Outlets! Again, paying for anything is optional though it might prove challenging to resist all of the great sales and shopping deals going on!
See cute shops like the Disney Store and name brand outlets like the Nike Factory Store and Old Navy. Pair hundreds of great shops with great amenities like free WIFI and mobile device charging options and you are good to go!
Park anywhere along 76 and take a stroll down the famous Branson Strip to see a collection of eye-catching sites, architecture, attractions and theaters. See King Kong on top a looming building at the Hollywood Wax Museum. Take pictures of the larger-than-life camera at Beyond the Lens Family Fun or be in awe as you gaze upon Branson’s Giant Spinning Ferris Wheel with over 16,000 Led lights & 40 gondolas!
Take part in the popular and well-loved sport of skating at Branson’s Stockstill Skate Park! The park is open and FREE to the public with plenty of ramps and rails for skaters to enjoy: new and experienced. Get your helmets on and bring your own skateboard and enjoy all this park has to offer!
21.Shepherd of the Hills Fish Hatchery
Being one of the largest trout-rearing facilities operated by the Missouri Department of Conservation, The Shepherd of the Hills Fish Hatchery is located right under Table Rock Dam. It’s an impressive operation to witness that is FREE and open to the public. You’ll see both rainbow and brown trout of all sizes, 80% of which goes to Lake Taneycomo. Overall a family friendly, educational experience!
Due to COVID-19, the dam may not be open. Check their website here https://nature.mdc.mo.gov/discover-nature/places/shepherd-hills-fish-hatchery for any and all updates on this matter.
*Effective March 19, MDC nature centers, visitor centers, and education centers around the state closed to visitors to help protect the public amid ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) concerns. These facilities, including the Shepherd of the Hills Conservation Center and Hatchery, remain temporarily closed as we work on a reopening plan to accommodate social distancing in our facilities to keep visitors and staff safe.
Better bring your camera for this stop! The impressive and functional dam that is known as the Table Rock Dam is not only 6,423 feet in length and 252 feet above the riverbed, it’s also the gracious provider of Table Rock Lake. What a gift! Definitely a must see for anyone interested in the history, technology and beauty behind the lake!
Beat the summer heat the right way and throw on those swimsuits! The Branson area has a number of public swimming spots complete with scenic views, picnic areas, public restrooms and BBQ pits. No worries, no stress, no hassle. Just fun, free swimming! Get the whole gang geared up and ready with a ‘Hakuna Matata’ mentality appropriate for vacation time!
Moonshine Beach is a fan favorite location that does charge an affordable fee per vehicle and has a sandy shore instead of a rocky one. So, what are you standing around for? It’s time to hit the lake!
Public Swim Areas include: Indian Point Public Use Area, North Beach State Park, Table Rock State Park and Murphy Park
See rotating exhibits at the Centennial Museum in Branson’s Historic Downtown for a very cheap admission…
Free. It’s free— though donations are definitely welcomed and appreciated! Spend 30 minutes or so looking at historical pictures and artifacts as you get more of a feel for the deep-rooted history and culture of the Branson area from the well-arranged displays and informative staff.
Meet the talented stars of Dolly’s Stampede up close and personal at the infamous pre-show! Walk along more than 30 stalls to see stunning steeds of all sizes, colors, personalities and talents! A truly great opportunity for memories and photos!
Blessed with visitors every week, the Lady of the Lake is the only Catholic Church in Branson and continues the long running tradition of reaching out and helping the community through frequent ministries and events. The doors are always open and is truly a nice, welcoming place to visit.
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If one craft mall doesn’t satisfy your quench for neat antiques, trinkets and thingy majiggers, don’t worry— Dickens Craft Mall has four stores in Branson alone! With four different locations, themes and styles each store presents its own share of unique collections and items.
Stores: Dickens Craft Mall, Vintage Marketplace Antiques, Whitney’s World of Crafts and Treasure Marketplace
28.Special Community Events & Festivals
No matter what time of year, the Branson area always has something going on! Nearly every holiday holds some promise of fun when in or near Branson. Everything from the spectacular Annual Liberty Light Up at the Branson Landing, the Annual Auto Auction, Veteran Homecoming Week, or the Autumn Daze Arts, Crafts & Musical Festival—there’s something for everyone. Check out the
Branson City Community Calendar so you are in the right time and place for upcoming events, parades and live entertainment.
Visit the lush and scenic Lindwedel Winery in Branson, MO where you feel like family and are offered free tastings of white and red vintage wine! Can’t get much better than that! People who have been here at least once say they continually come back for the large selections of wine, the welcoming atmosphere, the live music, and the picturesque views from the outdoor patio area.
If you are looking for a church home or would just like to visit one while in town, Branson has Episcopal, Methodist, Church of Christ, Assembly of God, Catholic and Non-Denominational churches. Spend time in worship, prayer and God’s word at any of the welcoming church families based in the Ozarks.
To name a few churches in the area: Branson Church of Christ, Branson First Baptist Church, Faith Life Church, Bloom Church, Woodland Hills Family Church, Branson Bible Church, Branson United Methodist Church, Branson Christian Church, Gateway Branson Church, First Presbyterian Church, Branson First Church of the Nazarene
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