My in-laws happen to live right near Branson, Missouri. It’s quite a tourist destination… there are shows of every description… magic shows, country shows, dancing, live music, the Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede, Chinese Acrobats, the art of Kung Fu, blues, the Brady Bunch, a tribute to the Eagles, gospel music and on and on and on. Driving down the main thoroughfare there are fun places everywhere. It is a great family destination and has activities for anyone from the tiniest toddler to your great grandpa! Look at this amazing list of shows.
Our main purpose when we’re in Branson is, of course, to see Grams and Gramps and the kids’ great grandmother. They call her Vovó because Vovó grew up in Brazil. Still, we always manage to find time to spend at Silver Dollar City. It has tons of rides, craft shops, craftsmen who show off their skills, a petting zoo area, and more than 40 daily shows. We saw the Gazillion Bubbles Show while we were at Silver Dollar City. The kids loved it. And the rides, well let me just say that the kids had WAY more energy for them than I did!
This is a family vacation you might want to consider at some point. It really has a lot of fun things to do.
Also near Branson in Mansfield, Missouri (about 2 hours from Branson) was the place where Laura Ingalls Wilder wrote her Little House on the Prairie series. I was SO excited about this part of our trip since we had read two of her books in our of the American West Unit this year, but found it to be quite a let-down. After all the incredible hands-on museums we’ve been to lately from the Roanoke Island Festival Park we visited in May to the Toltec Indian Mounds and the Plantation Agriculture Museum a few days earlier this was a look-and-listen type experience for the kids. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but the kids didn’t get anywhere near as much from the museum. And while our guide through Wilder home was incredibly knowledgeable they packed us in like sardines (probably 20 in a room smaller than my kitchen) my kids could see nothing — not the things the guide was describing (like the dishes, clock, chair, etc.) nor the guide himself. It was a big let-down. The museum was really interesting (Pa’s fiddle, lots of photos of Laura, Mary, Carrie, Rose, Ma, Pa, clothes, furniture, etc.), but photos weren’t permitted so I can’t share any with you here. Anyway, it definitely didn’t warrant a post — just a footnote to the trip.
We had such a great time on our holiday, but it was just as wonderful pulling into our driveway and arriving home! This past week has been busy not only settling back in, but with summer camp (the kids do Junior Rangers at a local state park. They have such a wonderful time and it’s really affordable at $60 for the week. You should check to see if your local state park has programs on.) And, I’ve been trying to get in some planning and re-organizing of our homeschool room.
Stay tuned on Monday for a post about a free beginning reading program I came across; it looks like it’ll be a great resource for ED.
Have a great weekend!