Friday, October 5, 2012

Branson Vacation 2012

Our family got to get away for 2 nights and 3 days on a little getaway to Branson, MO. We had a blast and I realized when we got home I took almost 550 pictures! So, while this post is very picture heavy please keep in mind... it could be worse! Ha!

Day 1: We left bright and early in the morning and headed out. 

We upgraded Jack to Max's bigger car seat so that he would have a cup holder for the trip! (And he can climb in and out of this one by himself which will really help my back!) I thought he looked so little in his big boy seat!

We got to stay at Big Cedar Lodge (ah-mazing!) but check-in wasn't until 4. So, we decided to stop first at Fantastic Caverns in Springfield, MO. Nick had been as a kid and thought our group would enjoy it. And we did! It is a ride through cave which was great for having little kiddos with us. 

Of course we had to check out some cool stuff at the gift shop first.

The kids did great going through the cave and we really enjoyed it. Obviously, I think our little scientist, Max, enjoyed it the most. But, Jack thought he was riding a train so he had a pretty great time too.

Afterwards we went on a little nature hike around the cave and then we got in the car and headed to Big Cedar. We have stayed there in the past and always have the best time. Everything is so nice and there is so much to do at the resort too. After arriving and getting settled we went on a little nature hike and then grabbed dinner at the Devil's Pool Restaurant at the resort. 

When we got to the restaurant I was a little nervous because they advertised themselves as "casual dining" but it was super nice! I was hoping the kiddos would do well after such a big day. Thankfully, they were on their best behavior and we had a wonderful time.

After dinner we took the kiddos swimming (I forgot to take my camera) and then it was time to enjoy the delicious cookies delivered to our room and watch a movie we rented from the front desk. J fell asleep pretty quickly!

The next morning we got out early and headed to the Branson Scenic Railway. We knew our little guy who loves trains so much would love it. The train runs out to Arkansas and back. It was about an hour and 45 minute train ride. I think we chose a great time of year to go because all of the fall leaves were gorgeous. We started out in the dome car and then switched to the dining car where we bought some snacks and sat at tables which the kids thought was really cool. We had the only little kiddos on the train so they got a lot of special attention which was fun.

The train depot is right next to Branson Landing so after our ride we grabbed lunch and then walked around by the waterfront. We had some Cheeze-it crumbs we fed to the ducks.

After we got back to the hotel we let the kids rest for a little bit and then it was back to the pool! They had a great little kiddie pool that was heated and the kids had a ball!

After swimming we decided to walk around the resort some more and let the kiddos play (read: wear themselves out so they would sleep well again!)

I think this giant fish on the putt-putt course at Big Cedar is too cool.

Everything was so beautiful!

After playtime we went back to the room and I made dinner. We had a kitchenette in our room which was awesome. We were able to save quite a bit of money by having breakfast in our room every morning and dinner one night. During our trip we only ate out one meal everyday which was awesome. 

Although, we did go out for ice-cream after dinner Tuesday night. I remembered an ice-cream place Nick and I went to with friends when we were engaged. I didn't know what it was called but I remembered it being cute and a super fun atmosphere. Nick found it! So, we got to take our kids there which was neat!

The next morning we got packed up and ready to head to Silver Dollar City! This is a picture of Jack in a hand towel after taking a shower. I thought he looked cute!

We were so excited to go to Silver Dollar City. We parked and rode the tram into the park. Sophie and Max got to sit right up front next to the driver so they thought they were really big stuff. (They did on the way back too and it ended up being the same driver and he remembered them from the morning so that was cute)

We got to Silver Dollar City before it opened and stayed until 4:30! And the kids did great! We had so much fun! I couldn't believe Jack did so well considering he hadn't napped in a few days and was so busy all day but he was a champ! The weather was absolutely perfect and we never had to wait in line.

Max's favorite ride was the Flooded Mine. Actually, everyone liked it! And Max loved hearing about how it was Daddy's favorite ride when he was little too!  So, we ended up riding on it 7 times that day!

We also ate REALLY well! Oh my goodness... I would go back just for the food alone...

After we left Silver Dollar City we headed to Springfield to have dinner with some of our very dearest friends who life in North Africa and are home for a few months. They made us a wonderful dinner and our kiddos all got to play together. It was such a wonderful evening being with friends. Even though we hadn't seen them in a long time it felt like no time had passed at all! It was such a sweet time and the perfect way to top off our trip...unfortunately I left my camera in the car :-( We left around 8 and headed home.

We could not have asked for a better family getaway. It was so good to be together as a family and just be able to play! I feel so refreshed coming home. I think it was just what our little fam needed!


  1. Looks like a lot of fun! Nice pics too!

  2. Branson is the BEST family vacation spot. We feel so blessed to live there! Glad you enjoyed it. I have never seen that fish at the Big Cedar. Pretty cool. That ice cream place is my sister's favorite too. So glad you all had a nice time.

    1. You are definitely blessed to get to live in Branson! Such a wonderful, family friendly place!