Well, back in MAY I was a chaperone for Autumn’s class trip to Branson, MO. I’ve been so busy this summer that I haven’t had a chance to blog about it. Now, of course I took a lot of photos on the trip, but I’m not going to share any photos of her classmates on here. I shared all that on my personal Facebook page, so if you follow me over there I’m sure you saw them. However, I still had A LOT of fun on the trip and I wanted to blog about it over on here so that I can look back on it and remember it. And, the mom that planned the entire trip really picked out some COOL activities to do, so if you’re ever in Branson you may be interested in checking some of these activities out.
So, we made a couple stops on our way to Branson from St. Louis to break up the drive. A boy mom planned the trip, so OF COURSE we stopped at the new Bass Pro in Springfield, MO. I’m not the fishing or outdoorsy type, so I just spent the time taking photos of myself. Ha, ha!
Another stop in Springfield, MO was a ninja gym! One of the boy’s has a relative that owns it. The name of the gym was Republic Warrior Sports and it had a lot of neat obstacles and exercise equipment in it that was perfect for their ages. Since I couldn’t take photos of all of the kids running around, I’ll share a photo of Autumn running up a steep ramp. If you’re looking for another idea on an activity in Springfield, MO there is a newish aquarium called Wonders of Wildlife.
And, after the ninja gym we had some sweaty teenagers on our hands and WHEW the church van I was in was a little smelly. So, off to a Pineapple Whip stand we went and it was OH so yummy!!! It reminded me of the Disney Dole Whips!
Once we got to Branson, MO we headed straight to our house. For the trip we rented two houses next to each other. One house was the girl house and the other house was the boy house. Here is a view from the top of the house of the neighborhood with all of the houses and you can see Table Rock Lake in the distance.
Here is a photo of the outside of the house and it doesn’t do it just, because the house was HUGEEE! The name of the house was Green Gables Lodge and the theme was cute inside the house(especially in the kitchen!). I took a ton of photos of the house, such as the kitchen and this cute staircase that went downstairs and they had makers for you to write on the walls. However, I didn’t want to bore you with a bunch of house photos! The house was so big that there were signs in the kitchen that if you set off any of the fire alarms, the fire department would be called right away. One of the dad chaperones on the trip was a fire fighter and he said the reason for that was because the house was so big it was considered a commercial building. So, even a small fire could do a lot of damage quickly. We were careful not to set off any fire alarms while cooking! Lol! In the photo on the right you can see the room I stayed in. The girl house had 10 bedrooms and 2 of those bedrooms had bunkbeds for the girls. Each adult chaperone got their own bedroom and bath/shower, which was really nice!!
The backyard of the house was really fun! They had a fire pit area with swings, hot tubs, a basketball court, etc. The boy house was next door and had a lot of other things to do… so the teens kind of went back and forth from one yard to the next. There was an indoor pool, but the girls checked out the outdoor pool while the boys went fishing.
All of the boys came over to the girl house for breakfast (or lunch/dinner) whenever we ate at the houses. We pretty much ate at the houses for the majority of our meals. Two of the moms volunteered to cook (and the rest of us pitched in to help) and it went amazingly well! And, they brought most of the food down in coolers!
The first night there, we took the kids to The Track Family Fun Parks to burn some energy out of them. They mostly went on the three story go-karts the entire time while there and Autumn had a blast!
The next morning we woke up bright and early and headed out to Dogwood Canyon Nature Park, which was about 40 minutes from our house. I was excited to visit Dogwood Canyon, because it is a new nature park that Big Cedar just built. We have stayed at Big Cedar a couple of times HERE in 2016 and HERE in 2020. The park is named Dogwood Canyon, because they have dogwoods planted all over the park. You can take hikes, a tram or bike throughout the park… it is just beautiful there! In the photo on the right I’m sitting inside an eagles nest!
Our group did a nature tour and we stopped at Hope Wilderness Chapel. This hand-crafted chapel was made with local materials and has floor-to-ceiling windows that you can look out and see a waterfall in the distance.
On the right you’ll see a photo of a caterpillar from Dogwood Canyon. The entire place was serene and lush and full of wildlife. After our hike at Dogwood Canyon, we headed up to Top of the Rock at Big Cedar to do a golf cart adventure through the cave and then we checked out the Ancient Ozarks Natural History Museum. I took some photos from the golf cart adventure, but I can’t share any on here since it has the girls in the photos.
The Sight & Sound Theater has been in Branson forever and I’ve never been there. It was REALLY neat because the show had a stage that surrounded you on your left and right sides (not just the center) and there were live animals in it. We saw the story of Queen Esther and it was really good!
The next morning we headed over to Shepherd’s of the Hills Adventure Park for the Zip-line Canopy Tour. Autumn and I opted out, so we checked out the coffee, candy and general store. I got the White Chocolate and Lavender latte and it didn’t disappoint!
There was a huge chair outside and I got a photo of Autumn on it. All the girls got on it later and let me record a video for Nathan where they sang “Happy Birthday” to him. I was away on his birthday during the trip and the video made him laugh. It was really cute! The Shepherd of the Hills has a mountain coaster that Autumn enjoyed.
Next we went to the Titanic Museum and it was really interesting. When you first entered, you got a boarding pass from one of the original passengers on the Titanic. The boarding pass told you what on the ship, your age and if you had any other family on board. At the end you got to see if you survived and it gave a little info about the person if they did survive.
We spent the evening at the Dixie Stampede, which is a dinner and show. This was my second time seeing this in Branson. It is always a good time!
After the Dixie Stampede, we drove over to the Branson Landing and did a little shopping (or browsing for me!) and we saw the light/water show.
And, back at the house we had an ice cream bar waiting for us! I went back with some others the next morning and then some of the group stayed for an additional half day to see Silver Dollar City. It was such a nice trip and the teens were all really well behaved. I can’t believe her 8th grade year is over, but we are getting pumped for high school and I can’t wait to see her dance with the Lancerettes at their first home football game!