Branson, MO for Christmas? Indoor Water Park

Updated on July 12, 2013
S.C. asks from Midland, TX
6 answers

The inlaws offered all of us a vacation in Branson, MO. Which hotel would have an indoor pool or waterpark and comfy, clean rooms? Tripadvisor has many unsatisfied customers so I am concerned. Also, which road is best to stay on if we want to do a show every day? I bet December is cold there and maybe snowy. Are there things for kids ages 4-12?

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answers from St. Louis on

One place we've stayed that we all loved was Marriots Willow Ridge Lodge in Branson.
It is near the main street with shows, etc but not on it directly, so we found it easy to get in and out of without a lot of traffic. We've only been in the summer, so no experience in Dec.

The room we stayed in was a condo like set up had their own room and they loved it! The outdoor pool was beautiful and clean.

They did have a nice basic indoor pool and a game room that could work in Dec.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

Here's the deal: I've been taking the kids to Branson & Silver Dollar City for 25+ years now! I enjoyed it myself as a child. & my entire family attended the 50th anniversary.....with great delight! 2 more weeks until our next visit.....

The older kids are 25, the younger ones are 16. We buy season passes to Silver Dollar City for 1/2 of us, & the other 1/2 go when we have free passes (at least 4 times each year!). Typically, we're in Branson 4-6 times each year. It's slowing down now as the kids create their own lives, but we know it'll pick up again when grandkids enter our lives. :)

Soooo, waterpark hotels: there are 3. & in NO way are they anything like Great Wolf Lodge. Bummer, bummer, bummer! I have been spoiled by Great Wolf.
Castle Rock: never stayed there. Do not plan to do so. Presents nicely, but small scale.
Welk Resort: we know several families who've stayed there & will not do it again. Small scale, more for the very young.
Grand Country Inn: we have stayed there. The kids were about 10-12, & were bored. They enjoyed the arcade building more than the waterpark. The glow-in-the-dark mini golf is a blast!

We regularly use Carriage House (showing its age a little, but always clean). My older son stays at the Hilton on Branson Landing when he's working car shows. & for the most part, we rarely have a "bad" stay.

The road: Hwy 76 is the main drag thru town. You will sit in traffic, both directions. We use the alternate routes. The tourist centers will have maps showing these roads. Basically, they run linear to Hwy 76.....just a block off that main drag. & in peak times, even the back roads are slow!

The entire 76 Strip is lined with shows, hotels, restaurants, shopping, & entertainment. 76 crosses Hwy 65 (which runs from Arkansas to Springfield, Mo) & runs thru the old section of Branson....& continues to Branson Landing (a shopping & restaurant venue) on Lake Taneycomo.

Weather: you'll just have to watch the forecast. We feel blessed when it snows & we're in Silver Dollar City! It is rare not to need a coat, gloves, & extra layers under it all. :) In 25+ years, I think I wore a light jacket just once in December! Oh, & the rollercoasters do not run when the temp drops below 45.

Things to do: the possibilities are endless. Silver Dollar City always tops our list. While in the park, you can fill an entire day & want more! Please try to see some of the plays...."The Christmas Carol" is adorable & they now also do "It's a Wonderful Life". The Living Nativity is also uplifting, as is Carol/Hymn Singing in the Wilderness Church! ALL of the food is fantastic, & it's offered all over the park. During Christmas, I shop my way through the park! AND the train ride is a must during the Christmas season!

Back in Branson, Dixie Stampede is a joy, as is The Shepherd of the Hills play (spring-fall only). The Haygoods put on a good show. The kids love touring The Titanic & Ripleys. & seasonally, Ride the Ducks is always fun. We've taken the Branson Scenic Railway, & shopping is always great on Branson Landing. So much to do!

Wishing you a wonderful visit in Branson! Can you tell I really enjoy it? :)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

All my friends that go regularly stay at the Welk hotel. They just won't stay at the others. They are on the "strip" and are always busy. The Welk is more out of the way. Not everyone will even look at it because it's not on the strip.

Their water park is just as nice as any.

My friends that just got back Monday from staying at the Welk got to do the Price is Right show there. They said it was the most fun they'd ever had! For reservations....
We have been to Grand Country. The indoor park is very fun. The kids love it and my friends in Branson go here during the winter months when they want to go swimming.

The have a package deal for most seasons. It's a great deal!

At Christmas they have the same deal as now. 2 nights, passes to "their" shows, pizza meal, passes to "their" game room, and passes to their water park. It's actually not a bad price at all and their game room is fun. The hotel is centrally located and nice.

Family fun

Here's a link to their water park information.
Castle Rock is nice too. BUT when you really look at it there are 2 slides, a small lazy river, and a splash area. It's nice and bright and it is fun too.

They also do some specials like 4th night free.

When we went in September we chose to stay at Boxcar Willies and took the Silver Dollar City package. It was so worth it for us. Since it was the Off Season for SDC we could stay on the rides time after time and not get off.

We could sit at the end of the kids section of the park in the shade and let the kids run amok through that whole section. There were so few kids we could see them no matter what ride they were on or what part of the playground they were on. It was nice and relaxing to have that security. We enjoyed the 2 days there.

We also did Dixie Stampede and enjoyed the show.

Going to Branson can be a nice family time. It can also be stressful if you get stuck in the horrible. traffic over and over. There are sheer drop offs in many places, people go off the curves into ravines and die quite often. SO driving in Branson is not to be taken lightly. It is dangerous. It's a little mountain town that has shape curves and steep hills. In the winter I won't drive there at all. We take alternative routes to keep us off the main strip too. Looking at maps and making plans to find your way around town without being on that main street as much as possible is smart too.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

We're going in October, I wish we were going for Christmas! It seems like a magical time to be there for kids and adults alike. - Christmas attractions. Silver Dollar City is here, as well as others, I think the Polar Express would be fun. - a list of holiday activities by date and Christmas shows.

Weather I would expect to be cold, the average 36°, highs around 46°, lows around 26° (these are cold temps for me, I'm in SoCal.) Rainfall/snowfall average is about 3" for the month. But, my friend in AR who goes every few years said to plan on bringing shorts and clothes for layering for my grandson as the weather can go either way. I imagine that could ring true for December as well, and it could turn out to be not so cold.



answers from Kansas City on

During the off season there isn't a lot to do for younger kids but with it being Christmas its probably better. You absolutely must go to the Dixie Stampede. It's Dolly Parton's dinner theatre and its super fun. Yes it's cheesy but even my 2 year old sat riveted through the entire show.

We didn't stay ata place with a water park because I also saw poor reviews. There is an arcade near though and we also did that.



answers from Tulsa on

We used to go to Branson when I was a kid, but we would stay outside Branson on the lake and go to Silver Dollar City (an old timey amusement park). We had a great time as kids, it's got things for little ones up to adults and is decorated and lit beautifully at Christmas. Honestly we avoided going into Branson as the shows were mainly for older people. A tornado went through a few years ago and now there are so many closed theaters and malls that it's kind of sad. Bundle up and to the amusement park is my best advice to you!

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