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Springfield/Branson trip next week!

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Midwest
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Springfield/Branson trip next week!

I'd love to hear any experiences/suggestions you have regarding the following plans we have for our trip since we've never been to the Branson area. Our children are 7, 3, and 15 mos. Also looking for dining suggestions. We've got Lambert's on the list as well as the Hard Luck Diner. Would love to get some more ideas! Do you have suggestions about how/where to get tickets for shows since we are getting "free" tickets from Festiva after the "90-minute" presentation? Is it best to wait til then to try to get tickets or do you have a better suggestion?

Springfield: Dickerson Zoo, Wonders of Wildlife Museum & Aquarium, Fantastic Caverns, Exotic Animal Paradise, Bass Pro Shops. Staying at Krystal-Aire Hotel.

Branson: Festiva Resorts, Settle Inn. Shows: Darren Romeo and Dixie Stampede. Ride the Ducks, Wings of the World, Butterfly Palace, The Track/Kids Kountry.

Thanks so much for your help!

Beebe, Arkansas
Destination Expert
for Little Rock
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1. Re: Springfield/Branson trip next week!

I hope your stay with the settle inn turns out ok.. They have had some bad reviews , and I have had a bad experience with them as well. You can go to the branson 2 for 1 ticket outlet and look at their list of shows.. They are located across the road from the new Titanic museum.

Here is their web site

www.branson2for1tickets.com/about_us.html

You might want to take them to celebration city, It is a nice theme park located on the main 76 strip. It opens at three in the sfternoon and has a wonderful lazer firework show.

It is like more like a fair, with games, shows, rides..And they play 50's type music all thu the park. and they are not very expensive..I enjoyed it a lot when we were there in June.

http://www.bransoncelebrationcity.com/ And they also have a meal deal where they can dine with the veggie tales charactors, Bob and Larry..

Treat your kids to a very special meal with those lovable VeggieTales® characters, Bob & Larry! Your admission price includes a full day of fun and games with over 20 rides, new shows, and a very special meal at Mickey's Pizza with Bob the Tomato and Larry the Cucumber. Meal includes pizza, pasta, and salad.

Plus, enjoy free Coke fountain drinks all day long!

Adults (ages 12 and over) $24.99 plus tax

Child (ages 4 to 11) $17.99 plus tax

Child (ages 3 and under) $3.99 plus tax (Meal only)

One Great Price Includes Admission and Meal!

bransoncelebrationcity.com/offers-packages/…

Hope this helps a bit..

Webb City MO
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2. Re: Springfield/Branson trip next week!

If you can find a Kum & Go convenience store, they have coupons for free chilrens admission with a paid adult admission. The price is $19.99 for adults and $15.99 for children 4-11.

Springfield, MO
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3. Re: Springfield/Branson trip next week!

Your Springfield stops sound great - I just hope you aren't planning to do them all in one day! You have at least two days worth of activities listed. Enjoy EAP - they are closing October 1st. If you have time, you could also check into getting tickets for a Springfield Cardinals game (the AA affiliates of the St. Louis Cards). Hammons Stadium is a beautiful facility and they have lots of activities for kids.

Dining in Springfield - we have basically every chain restaurant in existence, except PF Chang's (which makes me sad). My best suggestion would be to go to Andy's Frozen Custard for a cool treat. Ted Drewes has nothing on Andy's. If you are looking for specific kinds of foods, let me know and I'll make some suggestions.

I have never stayed at the Krystal Aire, but I know others who travel to Springfield frequently and really like staying there.

Have fun!

Linn, Missouri
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4. Re: Springfield/Branson trip next week!

I think you've got some great things planned.

I would suggest Celebration City as well for kids those ages.

Last time we were in Branson we took our son (2 1/2) to the #1 Hits of the 60's and he loved it! He had a blast dancing along to the music and recongized a lot of the songs from movies and tv. We enjoyed and it was small enough that it felt very relaxed.

Maybe Ripley's Believe it or not or the Hollywood Wax Museum might be fun for that age. I know our lil' boy really liked the wax musuem.

Noticed someone said that EAP is closing, is this for good or is someone going to come in and remodel and reopen. We went last fall and was disappointed in the way the place had started to age, as well as some of the animals not looking the best. I was hoping someone new would come in and take this over...

Midwest
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5. Re: Springfield/Branson trip next week!

Thanks so much for your responses so far!

I wondered about Celebration City. We knew we did not want to spend the money on SDC because, although we've heard it's great, we are planning another amusement park trip in Aug and felt it would be better to wait til all of the kids were a little older to go to SDC anyway.

No we are definitely not doing this all in 1 day! lol We're spending 1 1/2 days in Springfield and 2 days in Branson. Glad to hear Krystal-Aire should be ok. I have read the reviews about Festiva and Settle Inn and am now super-paranoid about having to stay in a dirty, roach-infested hotel and then go listen to a 3 hour, high-pressure schpeel in order to get our tickets. I sure hope that, by my thinking the worst, it won't be as bad as I think it will be. I have no problem being assertive, especially when it comes to my family's well-being, and we've already prepped the kids by telling them to be absolutely awful during the presentation! lol

We aren't picky about "types" of food, just places. We want places that are kid-friendly, not outrageously expensive, clean with good service. I'd also like to try some "local" places rather than chains if possible. You know, some "unique" dining experiences.

So is EAP not a good place to go, do you think? It's pricey, so let me know if it's not worthwhile.

Keep the input coming--2 days and counting! Thanks for all your help thus far!

SE Missouri
2 posts
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6. Re: Springfield/Branson trip next week!

Nakoto's Japanese Steakhouse in Springfield is a great place to eat. The kids will be facinated by the chef's antics as he prepares the food. It is located on the Battlefield Mall parking lot off Glenstone.

SE Missouri
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7. Re: Springfield/Branson trip next week!

Nakoto's Japanese Steakhouse in Springfield is a great place to eat. The kids will be facinated by the chef's antics as he prepares the food. It is located on the Battlefield Mall parking lot off Glenstone.

Springfield, MO
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8. Re: Springfield/Branson trip next week!

When are you coming? The Ozark Empire Fair is coming up next week and that could also be a fun thing to include in your plans.

EAP is closing for good, to be replaced by a golf course and more homes. Here's a link to an article that was in the Springfield News-Leader:

www.news-leader.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article…

There are lots of good places to eat in Springfield. Nakato's is good, but can be expensive, especially for dinner. Lunch probably isn't that bad though. There is a Steak and Shake close to your hotel, on Glenstone - classic burgers, fries and a milkshake kind of place. If you are looking for "local flavor", eat cashew chicken, which was invented right here in Springfield. There is a Chinese place on practically every corner.

Good to hear you're not going to attempt all of that in one day. Bass Pro is open until 10 pm, so that would make a good after-dinner stop. Wonders of Wildlife closes relatively early, though, so keep that in mind.

I would do Dickerson Park Zoo as early in the morning as possible because the animals are more active before it gets hot. Something you might not know - DPZ has one of the premiere elephant breeding programs in the nation. And they just had a new elephant baby a few weeks ago. I don't think she is where people can see her right now - not sure when her debut will be. Plan to spend about 3 hours.

SW Missouri
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9. Re: Springfield/Branson trip next week!

In Springfield:

We went to EAP over the 4th of July weekend -- yes, it's getting run down and they don't have nearly the amount or variety of animals they used to. But my boys (ages 3 and 6) had an absolute ball. It takes a long time to get through, though -- if you do the drive, the petting zoo, the go carts and the play area, you can spend 3 -4 hours there.

Fantastic Caverns, IMO, is a little over-priced for what you get. Don't go expecting a "natural" cave. By that I mean people have been using this cave for 75+ years and it shows -- there are structures built inside, you're allowed to touch the cave, there is a movie screen at the end where you watch a little film. It's sort of neat, can be a little scary for the little ones (at one point they shut off all the lights and it's completely dark), and I think it's hey-day has passed.

Bass Pro is neat -- try to time your visit for 10 a.m. or 3 p.m. to catch the free fish feeding show.

We all always have a good time at Wonders of Wildlife. There are a lot of interactive things for the kiddos to do, so it holds there interest.

In Branson:

The Dixie Stampede is a lot of fun, and your kids will enjoy it. You do eat the entire meal with your fingers, so take along some extra baby wipes or something.

The Track is also a lot of fun. One of them (sorry I can't remember which) has a pretty good sized section of rides for little kids, too.

As other posters have suggested, I'd add in Celebration City. A ton of fun, and if you go in the evening you can catch the fireworks show.

Kansas City
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10. Re: Springfield/Branson trip next week!

I plan to travel from KC to Branson starting Sunday through Springfield and then onto Branson until Wed. I am looking for a nice clean hotel with an indoor pool, free internet access, a good free breakfast in the AM or a local place to eat, and a place to get a good deal on SDC and WW. I am reading posts about Celebration City. My kids are 7 & 11. Is SDC too much for them? I know that they will love WW. Any suggestions on a hotel and tickets would be great. We also plan to ride the ducks and do the Dixie Stampede ...