With Branson, MO, right in our backyard (technically a 30-40 minutes’ drive), I often forget just how popular a family destination it is. We tend to venture further away to places like Tulsa, Bentonville, KC, St. Louis, even Memphis, but when you really dig in to Branson…there is some super cool things for kiddos to do.
With a big vacation coming up for our family this summer (Hello London/France!), we stayed closer to home for our traditional birthday road trip for Sawyer’s 8th Birthday celebration.
John and I were worried to break the news to him that like years’ past, we wouldn’t be pulling out the map and picking a location for his birthday weekend. Rather, we would just load up the car and head down highway 65 for about the same amount of time as an episode of the Office (he has great taste). Much to our surprise, as soon as I pulled open the website for Grand Country and he saw Splash Country Indoors, he blurted out, “Yes, I want to do that!” Done.
We planned the whole trip on the car ride home from Christmas in St. Louis; it was the easiest decision ever and frankly cheaper than any trip we have ever taken. I googled resorts in Branson, found Grand Country Resort’s website and it just so happened they were offering a fantastic spring deal, like really fantastic…
Let me break down just how sweet a deal this was:
2 night’s stay
indoor water park access for 4
2 show tickets for 4
2 large pizzas
$10 arcade game card
mini-golf passes for 4
go-cart passes for 4
free coffee and tea anywhere on property
TOTAL – $250
Yes, you read that right.
We had an entire weekend for a family of four, with endless entertainment for the kids (and bottomless coffee for us) for $250. I am not even sure how that happened.
When we checked in, I was nervous as all get out when the line of families wrapped around the Lobby (president’s day weekend, yikes!), but the resort never seemed that busy after that. Even better, they saw it was Sawyer’s birthday and upgraded us for free to the Clubhouse room which includes a bunk beds in a small clubhouse with TV for the kids (normally $50 extra a night, but definitely worth it!). John and I had a king bed with privacy, what?!?
Saturday after we arrived, we spent the whole afternoon into evening in the Arcade with no lines for glow min-golf, go-karts, or Laser Tag (which they played twice). That night, there was an hour wait on ordering our two large pizzas, but they were so great and offered us the pizza buffet instead, which was way more food. John’s mom Donnetta, joined us for the arcade fun and pizza.
Sunday, we spent the day at the indoor waterpark, Splash Country Indoors, and it wasn’t busy at all. The boys could have lived there, they had an absolute blast! They have the option for non-resort guests to buy a day pass for $20 and this would be a great option during the winter for kids if you live nearby. We finished the evening at the Landing to celebrate Sawyer’s birthday and Joe’s Crab Shack with my parents.
We ended up only using one of our show tickets to go see their Amazing Pets show on Monday morning. It was super cute, interactive, and the kids enjoyed it. They also have a comedy show and a country jubilee, but we were too busy playing.
On property they have plenty of food options with the Papa Grands Pizza, Mining Company Grill, and the Grand Country Buffett. They also have a fudge shop and gift shop. Right by our building was another indoor pool and hot tub that we visited both evenings after dinner. You really could stay on property the entire time with no need to fight Branson traffic.
If you decide to venture out from Grand Country, we recommend eating breakfast at Farmhouse Restaurant downtown by the Branson Landing. We go there every time we are in town, even had breakfast there the morning after we were engaged 10 years ago! Billy Gail’s is also fantastic with pancakes the size of an entire large plate; but they were closed on Sunday. And of course, a visit to Branson isn’t compete without checking out Dick’s 5 and 10 downtown (right by Farmhouse). It is a trip back in time, with so many great old-timey gifts (especially white elephant).
Whether you are heading to Branson for a day or the weekend, we highly recommend staying at Grand Country for a fun kid’s weekend. It is affordable, entertaining and doesn’t take much planning. It made for the perfect birthday weekend for Sawyer!