Growing up in Southwest Missouri, I fell in love with Table Rock Lake at a young age. When I think back to my earliest memories of family vacations and weekends away, many of them include exploring our corner of the state and discovering the beauty that is found right here in my own backyard, in particular, the beauty and adventure that is found at Table Rock Lake. In fact, five of our favorite family adventures are found here!
There is fun to be had for everyone—from young kids to the young at heart.
Mother’s Day at my house means we do what Mimi (my mom) wants to do, which is lace up our tennis shoes, rent a bike, and enjoy a nature adventure at Dogwood Canyon. This has been a family tradition for several years, and the trails are the perfect place for unplugging and exploring the great outdoors together as a family. We spend several hours riding bikes, taking time to discover the wildlife, and enjoy the landscape. Having lunch outside overlooking Indian Creek with the stunning waterfall is the perfect end to our annual Mother’s Day outing at Dogwood Canyon.
Want to enjoy the beauty of Dogwood Canyon but biking and hiking are not your thing? You can explore this gem on horseback, a Segway, tram tour, a private tour, or opt to spend the day fishing. With so much to see and do, the types of adventures you can have at Dogwood Canyon are nearly limitless.
Table Rock Lake can be explored and discovered both above ground and underneath it! Talking Rocks Caverns in Branson West is just the place to make memories with those I love the most. Whether it be mining for that perfect gemstone, crawling through the speleo boxes while practicing our cave exploration skills, enjoying the nature trails, or of course, taking the hour-long walking cave tour, my family always discovers something new.
While on the cave tour, a guide explains all the sights and sounds of this underground treasure, highlighting the history of the cavern and pointing out wildlife such as bats, reptiles, and insects. The cave sheds light on a whole new world, and the kids weren’t shy to ask the questions we were all curious about. What is the difference between a stalactite and a stalagmite anyway?
After exploring the Ozarks underground, we like to take a look at beautiful Branson from a higher view—a much higher view with Branson Zipline Tours. But I don’t let the word “zipline” scare me off. There are courses for the adventurous and the cautious. As a ziplining newbie, I enjoyed the beginner lines on our first trip and took a stroll over the suspension bridges just to see what all the fuss was about. The beginner lines might be a great fit if you have small children. Let the kids try it and see if it is something they enjoy!
If you are feeling brave and are ready for a thrill, try the Blue Streak Fast Line and Free Fall Express where you’ll zip along on the Zipline’s longest (and fastest!) zipline and then freefall 100 feet. While this isn’t really my style, my husband and older brothers (even my sister-in-law!) are all about this thrilling adventure!
If you’re looking for more speed and adventure, then head to the Branson Coaster. For those seeking a little extra excitement, The Branson Coaster is a Double Alpine coaster that includes two drops and can be ridden at night. While the ride up the coaster may take a few minutes, the ride down sure does give us a rush.
Nothing ordinary about this rollercoaster – what makes it a must-ride is that you’re in control of your cart. Many Branson Coaster riders that don’t typically enjoy riding a roller coaster say they love riding this unique ride.
One of my favorite things to do is see my kiddos try new things. This adventure is the perfect opportunity to encourage them to step outside the box and try something different. They were so proud of themselves once they gave it a try.
While my family enjoys spending time outside, we also like to bring everyone together for fun games with a spirit of competition. Arcade City is just the place to do that!
Arcade City is a game lover’s paradise. With games for both adults and kids, the 8,000 square foot arcade features classics such as Pac-Man, skee ball and several different types of racing games. If you are lucky, you may even walk away with a prize. Prizes range from tootsie rolls, Yeti coolers and stuffed animals, to designer purses and tools, just to name a few.
How do you enjoy arcade games as a family? Whether you “get lost” together in the 1,300 square foot mirror maze, or strap on your glasses and take a thrill ride on the interactive 7-D dark ride, you are sure to enjoy lots of laughs together. The mirror maze is for kids of all ages. The 7-D dark ride is for older thrill seekers not afraid of light and wind while using an arcade gun to shoot at the desired target.
While Table Rock Lake offers adventure in every nook and cranny, the best part about an Ozark adventure is that there is something fun for everyone. From making memories while zipping over the tree line to exploring underground caverns, my family has created priceless memories in and around Table Rock Lake. Memories that I hope they cherish for years to come—I know I will!