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We are on a mission to take the kids to all 50 states! I know what you may be thinking – but Mandi, I thought you only travel with your husband and leave the kids at home all the time?!
While the hubs and I are passionate about traveling together without our children (and encouraging others to do the same), most of our vacays are as a family. The most recent road trip was special for our big kids as they got to have mom & dad to themselves. We got to do all the “big kid” things, while little Peanut (our 3yr old) stayed back in Texas with Nana.
We checked off 31 states with our first road trip a few summers ago, which gave us a huge head start to visiting all 50. This road trip we checked off states #32, 33, and 34. (Missouri, Kentucky, and Tennessee)
My grandparents took me and my cousins to Branson, Missouri when I was a little girl, and I was to happy to bring the bigs and hubs here! Since we were on a tight schedule, we only had 48 hours to spend in Branson.
Upon arriving in Branson, our first stop was to Mel’s Hard Luck Diner for lunch.
I’ve had a love for singing since I was little, so a stop at this cute 1950s themed diner with singing servers was a must!
The brightly colored decor and comfy booths take you back in time. While we would have loved to have more of a selection of healthy food options, we still had a great time! If you’re a clean eating family like us, this stop will be more for the entertainment than the food.
After lunch, we walked around the Grand Village Shops, which is where the diner is located. The kids loved the ginormous rocking chair. My daughter found a painted rock! We love leaving painted rocks in our neighborhood in Dallas, so it was fun for her to find one to keep!
I have a hard time saying no to Christmas shops, so I ducked into Kringles Christmas Shop to have a look around.
Our next stop was a surprise for the family – the show Reza, Edge of Illusion!
The hubs and I have enjoyed going to magic/illusionist shows for many years now, but this was the first time taking the kids.
It’s hard to explain to a child what an illusionist is, so we didn’t tell them much before the show.
The kids were on the edge of their seats the whole show, as were the hubs and I.
This is a must-see if you’re into illusion or magic. Your kids will love it (us parents loved it too!)! Head over to Save on Branson and get your tickets to Reza next time you’re in Branson. Save on Branson can also help you with other show tickets, lodging, and attractions!
After the show, the kids thought it would be fun to cook dinner for the family! Our little man wanted to make something yummy, while our girl wanted to make us something gross. Ha!
One of the perks of having a full kitchen while on vacay is your kids can cook for you! We went to the grocery store where the kids picked out the ingredients (with only a little help from mom). They went to work preparing dinner for us and wouldn’t let me in the kitchen to help.
Dinner was dairy-free and gluten-free nachos, with veggie burgers, a side of mango, and some Nada Moo chocolate dairy-free ice cream. The hubs and I were impressed! I think these two should start cooking more at home. 🙂
The next morning we were up and ready to go for a full day at Silver Dollar City! I planned the rides we were going to ride ahead of time, which made for a fun-filled day of roller coaster after roller coaster.
While we (mainly just me and the hubs?!) missed our toddler so much, it was fun to ride the bigger rides as a family of four and not have to swap out. I loved the special time with our bigs and seeing their big smiles all day!
No one wanted to cook after walking all day & riding all the fun rides at Silver Dollar City. That evening we went to Guy Fieri’s Kitchen and Bar in Branson Landing for dinner! It is a newer restaurant and you need reservations ahead of time (no walk-ins).
It was SO GOOD.
Branson Landing is a really cute area to walk around – with restaurants, shops, and accommodation – and it’s right on the river! You could easily spend half a day here.
Make sure you walk down to the river after dinner. My bigs enjoyed watching people zip-line across the river.
The next morning we made a stop at Revive Juice and Coffee Bar on our way out of town. It was the best meal (remember, we like to nourish our body when we eat, so healthy food is our jam) we had in Branson by far!
My Revive Juice and Coffee Bar post goes into a lot more detail with more pictures about this delicious spot. Make sure you check it out so you know what to order when you visit! And even if you don’t normally make healthy food choices, you’ll like this place.
We had such a great couple days in Branson. Hopefully you got some good ideas for your next trip!
How many states have you visited?!