14 Fun and Cheap Things to Do in Branson MO

November 18, 2022

Experience the most of the heart of the Ozarks without breaking the bank! Here are fun and cheap things to do in Branson right now.

The adventure of a lifetime in the Ozark Mountains doesn’t have to be expensive. When in Branson, Missouri, take advantage of cheap things to do in Branson, like museums and nature parks, that are either free or have affordable admission fees.

In addition, there are free guided tours of many of the Branson attractions below so you can immerse yourself in experiences unique to the Ozarks without spending a dime.

Follow along as we share some of the best fun and cheap things to do in Branson!

1. Visit the College of the Ozarks

Aerial View of the College of the Ozarks Chapel - Branson, Missouri, USA

photo credit: Buddy Chronister via Facebook

College of the Ozarks, one of the top colleges in the nation, has a beautiful campus worth exploring. For those who want to do so, the good news is that this is one of the cheapest things to do in Branson, MO!

For one, you can visit the Ralph Foster Museum, which is focused on the history and heritage of the Ozarks ($6 for adults; free for students). Other fan-favorite free spots include the Edwards Mill, a working grist mill, and the Williams Memorial Chapel, an outstanding example of neo-Gothic architecture.

Point Lookout is a scenic overlook known for stunning views of the Ozarks. The Dairy Farm, where you can see an operating dairy farm and even taste fresh milk, is another must-visit.

After all that exploring, be sure to stop by the Keeter Center for a delicious lunch!

2. Take the Kids to the Shepherd of the Hills Fish Hatchery

As far as activities in Branson go, this one appeals both to those that love the outdoors and the kiddos!

The Shepherd of the Hills Fish Hatchery is one of the best things to do for free in Branson, MO. Parents can’t beat the price, as it’s a totally free activity that kids enjoy too! Rainbow and brown trout are raised at the hatchery. Visitors can also hand-feed fish and learn about the trout production process.

Guests are welcome to bring a rod 'n' reel and cast a line in nearby Lake Taneycomo for a leisurely afternoon. In addition, there are four hiking trails in the area that is ideal for sightseeing with the kids.

Since you’re already in the area, why not visit the Shepherd of the Hills Inspiration Tower as well? It's one of the best cheap activities in Branson, MO!

Open year-round from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., guests are welcome to explore this iconic 230-foot structure with two glass elevators, an enclosed observation deck, a gift shop, and a snack bar. Enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding hills while you’re at it!

3. Ride the Copperhead Mountain Coaster

The most popular theme park in Branson is, arguably, Silver Dollar City. However, for guests who just want to experience a fun mountain coaster ride without shelling out too much money, the Copperhead Mountain Coaster is a great option.

Located at Shepherd’s Adventure Park, this relatively new attraction is considered to be Branson’s longest downhill Mountain Coaster. This exciting ride snakes through riveting loops, drops, and curves in the beautiful Ozark Mountains.

Kids as young as three years old and at least 38 inches tall can ride the Copperhead Mountain Coaster!

4. Tour the Mount Pleasant Winery

flight of red wine on top of a barrel

photo credit: Maksym Kaharlytskyi via Unsplash

For cheap or free things to do in Branson, MO, stop by the award-winning Mt. Pleasant Winery Branson, located in the heart of the Ozarks, for free guided tours.

The wine tour includes an inside look at the step-by-step wine-making and bottling process. At the end of the tour, you’ll find yourself in a tasting room where you can taste all of Mount Pleasant Winery’s delicious wines.

Planning to make it a family trip? Don’t worry—there are juices for the kids. Before you head home, pick up a bottle of your favorite as a souvenir from Branson, MO! We suggest the Cabernet Sauvignon.

5. Spend the Day at the Beach

Moonshine Beach with swimmers in water in Branson, Missouri, USA

photo credit: Hailey Se via Facebook

One of the best budget-friendly activities in Branson is also one of the most fun! On the shores of Table Rock Lake sits Moonshine Beach, a man-made sand beach perfect for swimming. There’s a minimal parking fee per car, making this one of the cheap things to do in Branson for couples.

Enjoy the warm sunshine and beauty of this local-approved lake spot. The lake is framed by the rolling hills of the Ozarks, which makes it picture-perfect. Of course, don’t forget to pack a lunch and make a day of it! Also, bring sunscreen, towels, and plenty of water.

6. Watch the Branson Landing Fountain Show

Branson Landing Fountains at night - Branson, Missouri, USA

photo credit: Branson Landing via Facebook

Looking for cheap things to do in Branson, Missouri? Since opening in 2006, Branson Landing has been a hotspot for both visitors and locals alike.

There are several low-cost activities at the complex, like Parakeet Pete’s Waterfront Balloon, as well as street performers. Best of all, though, is the $7.5 million water, light and fire show set to choice music that you’ll love.

The water and fire spectacle is a creation of internationally-renowned Wet Design, the producers of world-class shows for Disney Springs in Orlando, Universal City Walk in California, and the Bellagio in Las Vegas.

7. Explore Branson’s Dinosaur Museum

For inexpensive things to do in Branson, Missouri, with the kids, spend a few hours exploring the artifacts in Branson’s Dinosaur Museum. Admire over 50 life-sized dinosaur replicas, take a closer look at the fossil exhibit, and join a scavenger hunt that is fun for all ages!

Parents who bring along their very own budding paleontologists (aka dinosaur lovers) will also enjoy learning about each dinosaur’s habits, name origin, and more, including the four-winged Microraptor and the iconic Tyrannosaurus rex.

8. Stroll Around Historic Downtown Branson

close up of two red trolley's downtown in Branson, Missouri, USA

photo credit: Downtown Branson via Facebook

Much of Branson consists of commercialized and developed areas, so there is always something to see when you walk around. Exploring Historic Downtown Branson on foot is totally free. The best part is that you’ll be able to go sightseeing without paying a dime.

Take out your camera and shoot away, from portraits of people to majestic shots of the thriving community. If you’re lucky, you might get to experience free live shows during festivals and special events!

9. Honor the American Soldiers at the Veterans Memorial Museum

Looking for fun things to do in Branson, MO, on a budget? Explore the Veterans Memorial Museum, for a start! This 18,000-square-foot museum offers a captivating, powerful, and emotional experience for guests of all ages.

Visitors have the privilege of exploring the museum’s 10 halls and 2,000 exhibits featuring a collection of real wartime letters, weapons, medals, and other historic artifacts on display. Take time admiring sculptures, murals, historical artifacts, objects d'art, and much more authentic memorabilia.

In addition, the walls of the museum are covered with the names of those killed in action in WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Desert Storm, and other recent conflicts of the 20th century. Aside from being a fun learning experience, a visit to the Veterans Memorial Museum is also a way to honor our brave American soldiers.

10. Embark on an Adventure at the Talking Rocks Cavern

Wide shot of very large and very old rock formation inside of a cave at Natural Bridge Caverns in San Antonio, TexasAn Ozark parents' guide for cheap family things to do in Branson, MO, is not complete without mentioning the Talking Rocks Cavern. This exciting family adventure is open year-round and offers guests of all ages tons of activities and spaces to explore.

The hour-long tour of Talking Rocks Cavern, aptly called “Edutainment”, focuses on sharing knowledge about cave discovery and related history in a fun and exciting way. Check out a spectacular vertical cave, two SpeleoBox crawl mazes, nature trails, a lookout tower, picnic areas, gemstone mining, and much more!

After the cave tour, enjoy above-ground activities such as Cave Country Miniature Golf and gemstone panning. The 4,000-square-foot Rock & Gift Shop is also available for all your souvenir needs.

11. Admire the Natural Beauty of Table Rock Lake

pathway surrounded by greenery with view of lake and sun shining at Table Rock Lakeshore Trail in Branson, Missouri, USA

photo credit: Sonia Harvey via Facebook

Being at the heart of the Ozarks means being surrounded by stunning nature. One of the cheap, fun things to do in Branson, MO, is to visit Table Rock Lake and admire its natural beauty, as well as the Table Rock Dam that continues to tame the dangers of White River to this day.

While you’re at it, enjoy water activities with the family such as boating, fishing, sailing, and waterskiing in this beautiful Ozarks vacation spot.

12. Visit the World’s Largest Toy Museum

If you’re planning to explore Branson’s Dinosaur Museum with the kids, make it a whole day of fun by visiting the World’s Largest Toy Museum next door! It's one of the best cheap Branson activities and one of the best things to do in Branson on a budget for a family trip.

Inside the World’s Largest Toy Museum, vintage toys dating back to the 1800s are a blast from the past. Enjoy memories of your childhood playing with beloved toys in the museum complex, including the National BB Gun Museum, the Stearnsy Bear Museum, and the World of Checkers Museum.

Show the kids the toys you used to play with and relive some of your favorite memories!

13. Hike at the Lakeside Forest Wilderness Area

ground view of Lakeside Forest Wilderness Area in the autumn with orange leaves in Branson, Missouri, USAThe cost to explore Lakeside Forest Wilderness Area in Branson is zero! Take an Ozark adventure hike and visit natural attractions such as The Old Soldier’s Cave, which served as the home to Mr. Calvin Gayler for many months during the Civil War.

In addition, there is a small kids' play area and a few picnic tables to enjoy after a short hike.

14. Stop By the Branson Centennial Museum

The Branson Centennial Museum is here to stay, and it’s absolutely one of the best cheap things to do in Branson, MO! This quaint, free museum located in a historic downtown space was built after a 1912 fire and features rotating exhibits that celebrate the history of Branson.

Enjoy going over a showcase of over 100 years of the people, culture, and entertainment that made Branson’s identity what it is today.

Live it Up at a Discount With These Cheap Things to Do in Branson! 

Branson, MO, is a place where families and friends can always find a place to explore. Whether you’re game for thrill rides, looking for new hikes, or eager to see world-class live entertainment, there’s no shortage of great things to do in Branson. The best part is that many of the things to do in Branson are affordable!

On Tripster, check out Branson vacation packages, ticket combos, and special deals. This allows you to save more while seeing more of this beautiful Ozarks town in Southwest Missouri.

Which of These Budget-Friendly Activities Will You Try First?

Tell us about your Branson plans in the comments!


Nicole sitting on rocks with waves in background

Written By Nicole

There are only two things that make Nicole really happy–books and travel! When her head’s not buried in a book, she’s most likely exploring the great o ...

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