Are you planning to visit the Silver Dollar City theme park in Branson, Missouri?
Forget everything you knew about theme parks, as Silver Dollar City rewrites the definition, offering activities to suit all interests.
So, where should you start your planning to make the most out of your time there?
Silver Dollar City was first opened in the 1800s and has grown to become one of the top Branson activities. It was a World pioneer for many rides and theme park attractions, but it also has many other activities to keep you busy.
Read on for everything you need to know to have fun at this park.
What Is Silver Dollar City?
If you’ve come across this article while looking at going to Branson, you are in luck! Silver Dollar City should be at the top of your Branson activities list. Named after one of the original ideas to give silver dollars as change as a way to market the park, Silver Dollar City has evolved to become one of the most popular theme parks in the US.
Even if you are not a fan of traditional theme parks, you should consider Silver Dollar City. Here are eleven fun things to do, which include ten that are not theme park rides!
1. Enjoy the Rides
One of the top reasons people visit theme parks is for the rides, and Silver Dollar City certainly delivers, with over 40 rides to enjoy and many theme park attractions. The 2023 season is also the final opportunity to enjoy the World’s most iconic indoor rollercoaster, called the Fire of the Hole.
As you can imagine by the name, this ride has long entertained people attending the theme park in Branson, Missouri, with it rounding off its service in its 51st year. It is also based on a real-life story of the town of Marmaros, which adds a nice historical element as you enjoy speeds of around 30 miles per hour in darkness.
Other popular Silver Dollar City rides include:
- American Plunge
- Time Traveller
- Electro Spin
- Elephant March
- Fire Wagon Frenzy
- The Frisco Silver Dollar Line Steam Train
There are also plenty of theme park attractions to explore, such as Grandfather’s Mansion, the Homestead Animal Barnyard, and the FireHouse Play Place. The park caters to all ages, so if you are in a group, you can easily find the rides that appeal, whether you are a thrill-seeker or prefer a tranquil ride on a steam train.
2. Tour the Marvel Cave
Did you know that one of Missouri’s largest caves is below Silver Dollar City at around 500 feet? Silver Dollar City was actually built around this cave, which also has the name Marble Cave. The limestone cave has long operated as a tourist attraction, wowing visitors who visit this natural wonder.
This cave is even more amazing because it is one of Silver Dollar City’s theme park attractions. A tour of this cave is included as part of your entry fee, so you can travel to adrenaline-filled heights on many of the rides, then descend to explore the cave. One of the main points of this cave is the Cathedral Room, sitting around 300 feet underground.
It is important to note it is more of a strenuous fun activity at the theme park in Branson, Missouri. You should check the park’s medical recommendations before entering. On average, this tour lasts around 60 minutes, combining geographical, historical, and anecdotal stories of the cave.
3. Watch a Silver Dollar City Show
There are a wide variety of daily live shows and performance venues, which helps you understand why this theme park is called a ‘city.’ Some of these shows are seasonal, such as the Rainmaker Street Performances and an ABBA tribute with fireworks. Other shows run throughout the year but check the schedule beforehand to avoid disappointment.
Current signature shows include ‘Hot Time in Rivertown,’ which features some song favorites with surprising twists. The Frontier Follies are also putting on a special 50th celebration, currently running until the end of October.
For live music fans, you can see a range of talented and popular musicians. Many notable musicians grace Silver Dollar City, including playing Bluegrass, Folk, Country, and Gospel music. There are also many popular and dynamic entertainers, so you can spend days enjoying the shows on offer.
4. Learn Some Crafts
What other theme park seamlessly combines entertainment and education? One of the fun Branson activities you can enjoy here is learning from the artisans, which is another reason Silver Dollar City stands out from other theme parks you can visit. Silver Dollar City combines the old with the new, evolving to appeal to changing interests but honoring the many arts from the area.
Some of the crafts you can learn about include:
- Milling at Sullivan’s Mill
- Brown’s Candy Craftsmen
- Carries Candles, Craftsmen
- Hazel’s Blown Glass Craftsmen
- Mountain Leather Craftsmen
- Hillcreek Pottery Craftsmen
Silver Dollar City is the perfect place to come and learn something new. There are a range of craftsmen specializing in various arts. Check schedules to see who is around when you plan to visit.
5. Make It a Whole Weekend
As you can probably tell by now, you can visit Silver Dollar City over several days. So, why not make it a fun vacation and stay in a resort to fully enjoy your time at this theme park?
There are two nice resorts in Branson to consider. They offer the perfect gateway to discovering Silver Dollar City and getting some rest between all the fun activities on offer.
Both of the Westgate hotels are pet friendly, along with having swimming pools and fitness centers. Rates vary depending on the hotel you choose. For example, you can enjoy discovering more about this historic area, enjoying the lakeside views, and fishing on offer at the Lakes Resort.
Alternatively, choose the Woods Resort, which is close to some of the best outdoor Branson activities. Both resorts offer different room options, including studio villas and two-bedroom villas, so you can pick how to unwind after a busy day enjoying Silver Dollar City.
6. Attend a Festival
The fun activities at Silver Dollar City also include the many festivals that happen throughout the year. Some highlights for 2023 include Country Music Days in September, with live music legends. The Gospel Picnic starting August 24th is also featuring many award-winning artists.
There are also other seasonal festivals, such as the Harvest Festival between September 15th- October 28th and the annual Christmas festival between November 4th-December 30th. These festivals are popular choices for the whole family.
At the Harvest Festival, enjoy seasonal entertainment, illuminated pumpkins, and other fun for the whole family. Enjoy millions of lights, seasonal treats, holiday productions, traditional buffets, and more to get you into the full holiday spirit at Christmas.
7. Fill Your Stomach With Hearty Food
Going to Branson would not be complete without experiencing some of the culinary delights on offer. You can go all out and try the Dinner Cruise, which includes enjoying one of the top US lakes, Table Rock Lake, along with a 3-course meal and a live show.
You can also stay on dry land and enjoy the many eateries at Silver Dollar City. If you’re looking for a sweet treat, you can enjoy one of the spots serving up funnel cakes, including Fanny’s Famous Funnel Cakes and Cakes & Cones. Cokes And Floats is also a popular choice for fountain drinks and other fun snacks.
If you are indecisive about what you want to eat, head to the Farmer’s Market, which features fried Oreos and other snacks. Along with plenty of kiosks, you can enjoy traditional sit-down meals, watching the chefs cook up a storm on one of the enormous skillets.
Start your day with a hearty breakfast at Molly’s Mill Restaurant. For a more filling meal later on in the day, you have an array of options, including Crossroads Pizza, Wagon Works Grill, or the Rivertown Smokehouse.
8. Take a Cooking Class
Your culinary exploration of Silver Dollar City doesn’t have to stop at eating. You can also take a cooking class at Silver Dollar City’s Midwest Living Culinary and Craft School.
You can see what is on the menu to make, which includes a wide variety of dishes and in-depth, step-by-step instructions to allow you to recreate the recipe as many times as you like. If you are a spectator, you also get to take home a copy of the recipe and taste some of what is cooked up.
9. Visit the Waterpark
A trip to Silver Dollar City is not complete without a trip to its waterpark, which is often voted in the top ten best waterparks in the US. It boasts over 2 million gallons of water fun, with activities to suit all ages. It is also wheelchair accessible, with chairs provided by the park able to be taken into the pools, but check about this possibility in advance.
One of the highlights is the Surf’s Up Wave Pool, which includes 500,000 gallons of water for maximum fun.
There are also racing slides, where you can reach speeds of up to 25 mph. Try the Kalani Towers Drop Slides if you want a faster adrenaline rush. They offer a 75-foot fall at over 40 mph! You can also try the KaPau Plummet, which includes a 240-foot plunge.
Families can also enjoy raft adventures or the Aloha River, which aims to recreate the South Pacific jungles. It is a waterpark that is designed to be relaxing or adrenaline-filled, depending on your preference!
10. Go Shopping and Dress Up
Shopping can be at the top of some people’s lists of fun and a lot further down on others. This is why going to Branson is perfect for the whole family, as it caters to a range of interests. Plus, the shopping isn’t your standard mall; Silver Dollar City offers a range of unique shops and even more interactive experiences.
You can capture a unique photo in Ashley’s Nostalgia- Old Time Photo. There are many different historical costumes to choose from, along with all the props you need for a photo shoot that captures your fun experience at Silver Dollar City. Children often enjoy Emmaline’s Dress Up Emporium, which is for all youngsters excited to try different costumes.
Alternatively, stick to browsing shops such as Bee-Transformed Honey, the Candy Factory, or Candle Shop. Many of these shops are where the craft demonstrations take place. It is great to be able to view the process of your purchase and see where your support is going.
You can also create your own teddy bear, get some new clothing apparel, or find some of the best Western art at Cowboy Jepps.
11. Start Singing
One of the best fun activities to enjoy at the theme park in Branson, Missouri, is the music. Along with joining one of the shows, watching a musical act, or attending a music event or festival, you will also find music elsewhere in Silver Dollar City.
For example, you can visit the unique log chapel, aptly named ‘the Wilderness Church.’ Created in 1849 by a local creek, it was moved to Silver Dollar City. It offers a peaceful respite and the opportunity to join in with some hymns!
Every day there are old-fashioned sing-alongs, usually throughout the months of March to October. You can also attend church services here on Sundays or choose to get married here.
Discover the Theme Park in Branson, Missouri
There are theme parks, and then there is the Silver Dollar City theme park in Branson, Missouri. Follow this guide to find all the fun activities on offer. It is a theme park that should not be underestimated, so give yourself enough time to enjoy it to the fullest.
While there are other popular theme parks in the US, this theme park in Branson, Missouri, offers a unique experience full of nostalgia, history, and excitement. It is also constantly evolving, so keep an eye on new events and rides it introduces.