June 17, 2009 Edition

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Special benches provided a place for Gretchen Hunt and sons, Colter and Conley, to relax and watch the butterflies at the Butterfly Palace and Rainforest Adventure.

Branson offers fun
for the whole family

Gretchen Hunt

A recent media trip to Branson gave me a chance to see a different side of the popular tourist destination.

Jason and I had been to Branson on several occasions before becoming parents, but this was the first time for us to take our sons, Conley and Colter. Before we even completed our first day it was obvious that Branson definitely does offer fun for the whole family.

During the trip we were able to enjoy three shows, one of which was on the Showboat Branson Bell. An amazing performance by the Acrobats of China captivated adults and children alike, and we also enjoyed a performance of Peter Pan.

The production of Peter Pan, which came to Branson from Broadway, was made extra special when Conley had a chance to meet Cathy Rigby (AKA Peter Pan) after the show.

We also toured the Dinosaur Museum, the Butterfly Palace & Rainforest Adventure and the Titanic Museum.

Colter was a little taken aback at the size of the dinosaur models, but Conley was fascinated with each one and told me facts about the different species.

A love of anything to do with animals made the Butterfly Palace a must. Conley quickly befriended a guide and began talking with her about butterflies, as well as other animals that live in the rain forest. While we were there Conley was able to release one of the butterflies, which was a real highlight of the trip for him.

A trip to White Water gave Conley his first taste of a "real water slide," though I balked at the 60-footer and we settled for one more his size. Colter loved the splash park and a much smaller water slide, as well.

A trip on the Branson Scenic Railway, a visit to Branson Landing and some time at one of several Track Family Fun Parks rounded out the trip.

We had a wonderful time and barely scratched the surface of the things there are to do in Branson. I'm sure a return trip is in our future.

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