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LOCAL LIFE

Top Fall Activities for Families in Branson, MO

Missouri is a great location for families to visit and keep busy with fun adventures, but autumn in Branson is magical; there's no other word for it. The changing colors of the leaves are inspiring and the region offers a number of exciting events to enjoy with loved ones. If you're planning a trip to the area between late September and Thanksgiving, you'll definitely want to attend one or more of the following events. These top fall activities for families in Branson, MO and the surrounding area are kid-approved, unique, and loads of fun you won’t want to miss.

Ruth and Paul Henning Conservation Area

The Ruth and Paul Henning Conservation Area is a great local favorite that's appealing for a comfortable, relaxed nature stroll in every season—but the fall colors are especially stunning! Situated near the Shepherd of the Hills Expressway and Highway 76, it provides some of the Ozarks' most romantic views.

The Scenic Overlook is a great spot to visit because it offers amazing views of the valley and surrounding area. After you've soaked in the panoramas from this spot, you can mosey down a few of the preserve's nature trails, which total 200 miles in length.

Cider Days

Apple cider fans, unite! In nearby Springfield, MO, is a two-day festival that offers hot ciders, cold ciders, and time-honored recipes that make this event truly delicious. This occasion is fun for the whole family. It showcases a variety of crafts as well as masterpieces from regional artists. Additionally, comedians, dancers, and other performers take the stage. You'll find many lovely items you can purchase, including pieces of furniture or jewelry that were crafted by hand. Architecture fans can also enjoy this event because Cider Days takes place on Walnut Street, an avenue known for its ornate Victorian homes.

Annual Thanksgiving Turkey Trot

If your family likes to stay active together, you might take part in Branon’s Turkey Trot, a 5K race that thousands run in every year. This event takes place on Thanksgiving morning, which lets participants build up quite an appetite before the big meal. This contest isn't merely exciting; it also benefits worthy causes! Proceeds go toward the Developmental Center of the Ozarks and the Springfield-Greene County Park Board Scholarship Fund. On top of that, the Turkey Trot functions as a gigantic food drive. Whether you attend this race as a runner or as a spectator, it'll fill your heart with holiday spirit before you fill your stomach with holiday food.

Branson Scenic Railway

A must-do when it comes to fall activities for families in Branson, MO is the Branson Scenic Railway. It opened for business in 1993—but the train is made up of vintage railway cars from the early 1950s, and the track is much older! Because this railway crosses 40 miles of beautiful Missouri countryside, it's one of the most popular attractions in Branson throughout the year. However, in autumn, this old-fashioned train trip is just irresistible. Passengers can relax, and enjoy the changing colors of the hilly terrain that stretches for miles and miles.

With luxurious fixtures, plush antique seats, and well-appointed dining cars, the train has all the old-time charm you need for an exciting trip into the past. Kids and adults alike can feel the thrill every time the train passes through a tunnel during the trip, making your heart beat a little faster.

National Crafts and Cowboy Festival

Since 1960, Silver Dollar City has been beckoning visitors with exciting rides and down-home charm. It's one of the must-see attractions in Branson, and it brings the 1800s back to life with unique energy and excitement. Each autumn, this crafts festival has dozens of artisans set up shop in the park to show off their phenomenal crafts and wares.

But that’s not all: lots of cowboys come as well to show off their unique talents. Their riding and roping skills always leave visitors in awe. Making this event even more of a celebration, there's a massive barbecue to savor classic flavors and a rip-roaring barn dance to let loose. Roller coasters, woodlands, and barbecue sauce — there's a satisfying combination.

Pets and Pumpkins

It's easy to see why this event is one of our favorite fall activities for families in Branson. The idea behind this late-October event in Springfield is simple: children, dogs, and maybe a few other furry friends dress up and parade around historic Commercial Street in style. You might enter the C-Street costume contest where judges award prizes in several categories. Imagine taking home a trophy and bragging rights because you or someone in your family had the cutest, the funniest, or the most frightening outfit.

You can also take in live music and other kinds of performances at Pets and Pumpkins. Kids can trick-or-treat, and everyone gets scrumptious snacks. Yes, roasted marshmallows and mountains of candy round out this jubilant event.

Autumn Daze

You'll feel like you're in a happy daze when you spend a few days wandering around this massive festival in downtown Branson. Another great craft-focused example of the fall activities for families in Branson, Autumn Daze celebrates the work of gifted craftspeople, exhibiting their wares like quilts, toys, clothes, purses, and much more. Take time to appreciate the intricate detail and the uniqueness of each item on display.

After you've checked out these crafts, you might go to a live concert, browse the vast sidewalk sale, or ask a famous attendee for an autograph. Autumn Daze is one of the finest free fall activities in Branson. Even the live concerts taking place charge nothing for admission.

Apple Butter Makin' Days

In 1967, Apple Butter Makin' Days made its grand debut, and it's become one of the top fall activities for families in Branson ever since. While apple butter is definitely a delicacy, this festival is so much more! It takes place in the city of Mount Vernon and Apple Butter Makin' Days has a competitive spirit and loads of surprises. 

Sure, this event hosts familiar games like pie-eating contests. However, there are also unusual events like wiener dog races, a beard-growing contest, and an intense chewing gum competition. And those are just a few of the thrilling matches you can watch. There’s also great food options and fresh apple butter made throughout the day on the courthouse lawn.

If you love a parade, Saturday morning brings a procession with bands, floats, and horses. A smaller parade for pets is just as delightful and even more unique. And to make your attendance even better, proceeds from this festival go to charity.


If you’re planning to attend these great fall activities for families in Branson and the nearby area, you’ll need a place to stay. The Lodges at Timber Ridge by Welk Resorts in Branson offer a luxurious escape and place to call home while keeping near to all these fun attractions. While you're there, catch a live theatre show in between all the fall festivities. Book a stay today and start planning your autumn adventures!

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