As a mom who travels often with her child, it is very important for me to make sure to find things that both my son and I will enjoy. Springfield and Branson are the epitome of FUN for the entire family to enjoy.  


Day 1:  

Upon arriving to Springfield, we grabbed our rental car and made our way to our first stop at the Johnny Morris Wonders of Wildlife National Museum and Aquarium. Spanning over 350,000 square feet, the Wonders of Wildlife takes you on a journey through immersive habitats that entertain and educate your family. If you love animals, fish, hunting, fishing, etc., then this is the PERFECT place for you.  

We were able to feed stingrays, touch starfish, learn about deer, and so much more.  

After exploring Johnny Wonders, it was time for us to grab some lunch at Druffs which is a diner known for their stunning sandwiches and delicious soups. I had the Father Schlink which had mac and cheese and pulled pork on it, and let me tell you, it was AMAZING and so cheesy.  

We needed a little break after lunch, so it was time to head to our hotel to relax and explore. We stayed at Hotel Vandivort and this is definitely one of the best hotels that I have stayed in. Hotel Vandivort is a boutique hotel nestled in downtown Springfield. Its historic design, large rooms, rooftop bar, and modern amenities, make its the perfect destination for your family.  

After relaxing, we went to dinner to grab my sons favorite food… PIZZA. PaPPos Pizzeria is well known for their stone oven baked pizzas made with fresh and natural ingredients. The mouthwatering end result will delight all diners.

After grabbing dinner, it was time to head back to the hotel to rest before starting our next adventure in the morning.  

Day 2:  

After waking up early in the morning, we made our way to Gaileys Breakfast Café to grab some coffee and pancakes. Gaileys was formerly fountain drugstore. Patrons used to purchase essentials as well as grab a bite to eat while reading the newspaper or enjoying a conversation with friends. It has now been refurbished into a full-service café offering a unique diner experience while celebrating its history.  

After grabbing breakfast, we made the one-hour journey to Branson to explore some more. Our first stop upon our arrival was to WonderWorks, science-focused indoor amusement park that combines education and entertainment. We had so much fun playing digital baseball, competing in digital air hockey, learning about hurricanes and gravity, riding a virtual roller coaster and more. There is something in WonderWorks for EVERYONE to enjoy.  

After having to literally pull my son out of WonderWorks, we went across the street to the Aquarium at the Boardwalk. Although this aquarium was much smaller than the one in Springfield, we loved how interactive it was. We fed sharks, climbed through a Kelp Forest, walked through the Jelly Bloom, and, one of our personal favorites, creating our own sea animals to put in the digital aquarium.  

For lunch we went to Mels Hard Luck Diner to enjoy some live music from the singing servers. The diner had a 1950s vibe and was decorated with pictures from all of our favorite music stars. It was truly a unique experience.  

Afterwards, we went to the Residence Inn by Marriott to check in and played a game of one-onone on their outdoor basketball court before heading to play mini-golf at one of the many golf establishments in Branson. Being that my son is infatuated with dinosaurs, we played at Dinosaur Canyon Golf. We loved the robotic dinosaurs throughout the property, the volcano, and how interactive the course was. Plus, the weather made our game even better.  

After playing two games of golf, we were ready to eat and went to grab some BBQ at a local family restaurant, Danna’s Bar-BQue and Burger Shop. They are known for their award-winning catfish, so I definitely had to try some, while my son had mac and cheese, chicken tenders and French fries. 

After dinner, we made our way back to the hotel to relax in the heated pool before heading to bed. 

Day 3: 

Day 3 was another day filled with fun activities. We started our morning off by having breakfast at Billy Gails, which is known for their oversized pancakes and signature homestyle dinners. We loved spotting all the street signs that were used as wall décor, as well as other random items throughout the restaurant.  

After having breakfast, we made our way to Beyond the Lens! to enjoy some Instagram-worthy photo ops, virtual reality rides, interactive games, and more. Our favorite was the Flyride, which allows you to soar over some of the worlds most famous landmarks. It feels so real, especially when you get splashed with water while soaring over the ocean. You could easily spend hours here, we sure did.  

Our next activity was probably our favorite. We went to the hotel to freshen up before heading to the Dolly Parton Stampede dinner and show. Being from Texas, my son has the cowboy blood in him. We loved being able to tighten up our bootstraps and watch a powerful performance full of horses, cattle, musical productions and more while enjoying an amazing cowboy meal. This was more than just a dinner and show, it was an experience.  

We were tired from all the dancing and clapping at the stampede, so we made our way back to the hotel to relax in the jacuzzi before heading to bed.  

Day 4:  

Our final day started out with breakfast at the Farmhouse Restaurant, which is a cute little diner in downtown Branson. You have to try their sweet teaI even took some to go.  

We didn’t want our fun in Branson to end, so we went to Branson’s Wild World, which is an adventure park featuring animals, an aquarium, mini golf and more. I seen read about how many hands-on animal encounters they had, so I knew we had to go and experience the fun. We were able to watch the morning feeding of all the animals, feed sharks and sting rays, pet an armadillo, sing with dingoes, and my favorite, have play time with the lemurs. This is a must for animal lovers in your family.  

It was time for us to make our one-hour journey back to Springfield to relax before taking our flight home. To waster some time, we decided to go on a search for the many murals that they have throughout Springfield. We loved seeing all the colorful artwork, and it made for great photo ops.  

Springfield and Branson are the perfect location for you and your family. I cant wait to return so that we can have fun at Silver Dollar City and explore these amazing family friendly cities some more.