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Branson's entertainers spend time enjoying local summer attractions

What do Branson’s entertainers do in their free time? Enjoy Branson attractions, of course! Local lures include lakes, amusement parks, resorts, restaurants, stupendous Ozarks sunsets and stage shows galore.  

Most Branson entertainers will tell you their favorite activity is bringing joy to everyone who attends their performances. But when they’re not gracing stages in the city now officially labeled “America’s top live music show destination,” they like to take advantage of the area’s many attractions — and watching their friends perform, too. With amusement options ranging from golf and mini golf to theme parks, water parks, hiking, kayaking, museums, shopping or just kicking back, choosing can be a challenge. 


Banjo player Ellen Haygood and her husband, Michael, like to keep it simple. When she’s not performing with her siblings and parents in the Petersens’ family band and he’s not onstage with his siblings in the Haygoods, she says, “We love hanging out on the lake, catching a show and ending the night with some Andy's custard.”When veteran Branson performer Rick McEwen isn’t appearing in “The Gambler,” his popular Kenny Rogers tribute show, he fills his time with a long list of activities.


“I enjoy golf, fishing, dancing at Wranglers Honky Tonk, Silver Dollar City, hiking the edge of Table Rock Lake, finding an elevated view of the Ozark sunsets at Chateau on the Lake or Top of the Rock, and trying to enjoy one of the incredible shows that our buddies perform in,” he says.


Let’s unpack some of those references, shall we?


Branson is fortunate to be surrounded by three popular lakes: Table Rock, Taneycomo and Bull Shoals. Water sports enthusiasts will love the wide variety of options they offer, including water skiing, wakeboarding, tubing, diving and parasailing, in addition to swimming, fishing and boating (bring your own or rent). Food and lodging options range from picnicking to fine dining and camping to luxury resorts, making them perfect summer destinations.

At Silver Dollar City, Branson’s internationally renowned theme park, visitors can find 1880s-themed thrills galore. The park features one of the world’s fastest wooden roller coasters, a steam train ride, old-time crafts demonstrations, historical exhibits and even a cave tour, not to mention the performance-filled Summer Celebration festival.

Branson’s theaters are also filled with summer shows. In addition to McEwen’s tribute, visitors can hear musical tributes to Abba and the Beach Boys, as well as “Anthems of Rock,” featuring classics from bands including the Beatles, Rolling Stones, Queen, Bon Jovi, Led Zeppelin and Journey. Elvis fans can hear the King’s greatest hits, along with those of Rod Stewart, Reba McEntire and many other favorites, at the “Legends in Concert” tribute.

Two-steppers and line dancers will love Wranglers, but even non-dancers are welcome to enjoy events like the July 13-14 Branson Steel Guitar Showcase, featuring some of the instrument’s finest players.

As for Andy’s Frozen Custard, that local institution has been dishing up creamy desserts for over 30 years. With summer hours from 11 a.m. till 11 p.m. — 11:30 p.m. on weekends — it’s the perfect way to end any Branson activity. Who knows … maybe you’ll find yourself standing in line with Ellen Haygood!

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