Branson Missouri is bursting with things to do for the whole family! We spent 5 days there and easily could have stayed longer with so much to do. We decided 5 days was enough though, because every activity comes with a cost. There are plenty of fun things to do in Branson with kids, but if you’re on a budget, check out the following FREE things to do in Branson for your next family vacation!
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1- Take a Waterfall Hike- free things to do in Branson
This is one of the fun free things to do in Branson with kids. This hike is fairly easy to find and a lot of fun to hike with kids. And it was one of our favorite things we did the week we visited!
To find Waterfall trail, head to the Westgate hotel. The entrance to the hike is just to the left of the entrance. You may see a sign or two, and there is a small parking area just across the street from the trailhead.
To enjoy this waterfall hike, I suggest wearing swim suits under your clothes, and water shoes. Again, the hike isn’t too hard, so water shoes with a good bottom will make for a comfortable hike where you can also hop in the water.
I would also take a day bag (we use this bag for short hikes as it compresses really small into itself for easy packing) to put all your clothes in for when you get to the waterfalls.
There are three waterfalls along this hike, so once you hit one or two, there is another just beyond!
My kids loved playing in the water area of waterfall 2 and 3 the best. We spent probably 20-30 minutes at each waterfall #s 2 and 3 and just a few minutes at the first one.
This is definitely one of the most fun, free things to do in Branson with kids.
You’ll definitely want water shoes as it’s a bit rocky!
2- Ride Sparky, the Free Branson Trolley
“Sparky”, the Branson Trolley is free for visitors. It provides transportation through the historic part of Branson and all the way down to Branson Landing.
It typically runs March through December with a schedule between 9am and 6pm and a various schedule January and February. Sparky makes 12 stops throughout Branson, getting you to restaurants and shopping at Branson Landing or Main Street in downtown Branson.
>> Check Sparky’s schedule <<
3- Search for the Branson Murals for free things to do in Branson
Murals are becoming a favorite in many cities. You can find many Branson murals along the street with this fun free thing to do in Branson.
You can check out the famous Branson postcard mural on the corner of Main and Sycamore. Look for Cadwell’s Downtown Flea Market and look on the side that faces the convention center.
The Star Spangled Banner mural was created by the same artist as the Postcard mural. It can be found at 215 W. Mainstreet on the Liberty Utilities building.
The 1913 Mural was painted by a local artist in 2007. It shows what Branson looked like 100 years ago! Find it on Commercial Street on the north-facing side of Aromatique outlet store.
Head to Branson Landing to check out the Missouri Map mural and other murals along the walls of the parking garage at 100 Branson Landing Blvd.
4- Watch the Beautiful Fire and Water Show- top free things to do in Branson
Find a spot on the grass or steps and enjoy a water fountain show every hour, on the hour, from noon until 10pm (9pm on Sunday). The fire show joins the fountains starting at 7pm each night.
This show is not to be missed! It is one of the best free things to do in Branson. Each fountain is synchronized to different songs throughout the night. The water shoots up to 120 feet in the air, providing a beautiful landscape along Lake Taneycomo.
Bring the kids to dance and play, or just relax and “listen to the music” (the 8pm song title 😉).
Bonus: While you are waiting for the show to start, take a stroll on the path behind the water features. You can run and play or walk as you take in Lake Taneycomo.
5- Get Some Fresh Air at Table Rock Lake State Park
Did you know that the state parks in Missouri are FREE to visit?
Table Rock Lake State Park is one of the perfect free things to do in Branson. It’s a bit removed from the hustle and bustle of downtown Branson, giving it a nice, peaceful feel.
We loved walking around on the trail near the lake which was covered in greenery and great views of Table Rock Lake. There is also a playground you could spend the morning at as you enter the park. Pack a picnic and eat at one of the many tables along the trail, or find a public swim area and jump in.
>>> Find more fun things to do at Table Rock Lake. <<<
🏠 Need a cool (and affordable!) place to stay? See my full review of the Tribesman, which gave us ample room for our large family as well as a beautiful setting on Table Rock Lake!
6- Admire Table Rock Dam – free things to do in Branson
The Table Rock Dam was completed in 1959 and led to the creation of Lake Taneycomo. It stands 252 feet high and changed the area to be a great place for fishing.
Be sure to stop at the Dewey Short visitor’s Center (temporarily closed because of COVID, check ahead!) and see exhibits, artifacts, a film, and get some great views.
7- Visit the Horses and Stars of Dolly Parton’s Stampede
While the Dolly Parton Stampede show itself costs a bit of money, you can visit before 10am for FREE outside to get closer with the horses and stars of the show. 32 horses greet and welcome you to say hello. This is a really fun, free thing to do in Branson, especially with kids!
8- Go on a Hunt for Unique Statues
From the historical “Storming the Beach” statue at the Veteran’s Memorial Garden, a huge Donut Statue at Dunkin’ Donuts and many eagle statues around Branson, you can go on a little scavenger hunt for statues in Branson.
9- Kringle’s Christmas Store– free things to do in Branson
Yes, it will cost if you actually buy something. But you can take the kids to browse around Kringle’s Christmas Store where it is Christmas all year long!
Kids (and adults) will instantly feel joy as they walk into the best Christmas store in the midwest. I use to love walking through Christmas stores we had growing up, even if it was April!
Check out details of location and hours on the Kringle’s Christmas Store website.
Make sure to check out the complete guide to Branson! Where to stay, play, and eat.
You’ll also love a visit to Dogwood Canyon Nature Park
Free Things to do in Branson with Kids!
Whether it’s a little scavenger hunt for statues or murals, or a fun day at the lake, there are plenty of FREE things to do in Branson with kids when your wallet needs a break!
I’d love to hear what free things in Branson you decide to do. Let me know in the comments!