My kids and I finally went to Branson, MO, for a summer weekend getaway. I’ve lived here in Tulsa for 17 years and have heard a lot about Branson but have never made it, until this past weekend. More about that experience and the charity I have decided to support this month, SPCA below.
Thanks to my friends at Route 66 RVs in Claremore, I could do what I’ve wanted to do for years: tow an RV to campgrounds in the Branson area and go to Silver Dollar City and White Water. I was concerned since the weather was supposed to be over 100 degrees all weekend. I have been to many amusement parks across the country (I even worked at Cedar Point for my college internship!), so I am aware you are basically walking around on concrete all day. But not at Silver Dollar City! There are lots of beautiful trees and water mists around the park to beat the heat.
Still, I almost postponed the excursion till later in the summer in hopes we might get a break from the record-breaking temps. I’m glad I didn’t! Have you seen the extended forecast for Tulsa? Not to mention every weekend till the kids start back to school I have something on my to-do list that would be difficult to reschedule, so we went for it!
I have never been to Branson, but MANY people around here have. So I had lots of friends to ask for advice on what to do and where to go on a budget.
I decided to stay at Silver Dollar City Campgrounds since they have a free shuttle to the amusement park and nice pool. My kids are all about swimming, so I figured when it got too hot at the park we had a great backup plan, which is exactly what we did. And it worked like a charm.
I also had never towed anything behind my vehicle, which is a later-model Lincoln SUV. Not the first car you think of when towing something. But Bobby and Jeremy at Hitch It on 169 and 61st are the ones that installed my new trailer hitch. They are experts and assured me my vehicle had the cohones to pull a small camper. Brad and Ryan at Route 66 RVs concurred, and they were right! I’m so proud of my car for getting us there and back safely! I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous driving that contraption to a place I had never been to before. Luckily, my dad taught me well during the countless road trips he took us on as a family. We have driven back and forth from Ohio to Texas many times, and you pick up some great hacks even as a kid.
Backing up a vehicle with towed cargo is another story. When we finally got to the campgrounds it was after dark, and I was a bit worried about positioning the camper just right in our reserved camping spot. Luckily, our new “neighbors in the woods” were still awake and sitting around their campfire when they noticed me having trouble parking the camper. “Ross” came over and helped us park safely and even hook up the water and electricity. If you’ve ever been camping you know how communal all the campers can be. He was not only a big help to this first-time RV guy but was super friendly all weekend and made our trip the best it could be.
The park was fun but honestly, we didn’t ride many rides. My daughter is still a bit intimidated by the bigger rollercoasters, and my son didn’t want to stand in line and ride many by himself. That is one challenge you have when going to an amusement park with an odd number of people.
We enjoyed White Water the most. That is Silver Dollar City’s water park located a few miles away from the amusement park. We did the amusement park, pool, and Ozark Mountain Pizza on Thursday and White Water and Thor Love and Thunder at the IMAX on Friday.
We also enjoyed just driving around and seeing the beautiful Ozark mountains. I’m thinking a Fall Foliage trip is next.
We all agreed that we are definitely going back for round two as soon as possible! If you have never made the 3 1/2 hour, 225-mile trip to Branson, I highly recommend it! Next time we are definitely going on the Showboat Branson Belle Dinner Cruise. You have to make your reservations well in advance. My kids have never been on a paddle-powered double-decker boat so this will be a big treat! If you go in the fall let me know, maybe we can meet up on the boat! We did not see much of Table Rock Lake this time, so next time I want to spend lots of time on the water.
Saturday, July 30th is a day-long dodgeball tournament at BOK Center. It is free to spectate but the entry fee is $40 per person. You pick a charity and if you win a category such as Best Team Name or Best Uniform, then your charity wins a cash donation.
Contact me if you have the eye of the Tiger and are ready to Dodge, Duck, Dip, Dive, and Dodge! Contact me on my Facebook Event page: https://fb.me/e/