20 Best Free Things to Do in Branson

May 23, 2024

20 Free Things to Do in Branson
By Westgate Resorts

20 Best Free Things to Do in Branson, MO

Looking for free family fun in Branson? No problem! This city may be known for its restaurants, shows and tourist attractions, but there are plenty of other Branson attractions at no cost to visitors.

Even when you’re staying at one of the many Branson resorts, you can often take advantage of free amenities and other activities that let you get outside and have fun without spending any money.

Cheap Things to Do in Branson, MO, for Couples

There are many budget-friendly Branson date spots that make for a fun excursion.

Whether you’re into nature, art or shopping, you’ll be able to have a blast seeing a new side of Branson that doesn’t cost a fortune.

Our free things to do in Branson guide will offer plenty of activities for families, couples and solo travelers to soak up all the fun the city has to offer, even when they’re on a budget!

1 | Take a Picture at the Explore Branson Mural | This beautiful mural was completed in 2016 and makes for a fantastic family or solo photo.

You can also spend the rest of your day wandering around the flea market and exploring Historic Downtown Branson.

You can easily spend hours window-shopping, admiring the architecture and enjoying the scenery. Plus, there are plenty of bakeries and cafes around that offer cheap bites and great coffee.

WHERE: 114 East Main Street, on the corner of Main Street and Sycamore | WHO: N/A



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2 | Spend a Day at Table Rock Lake | Table Rock Lake is a beautiful lake formed by the Table Rock Dam. It’s free to visit, and you can enjoy hiking along the shoreline, stopping for a picnic and watching the sunset. There are also plenty of fishing spots and swimming areas to enjoy.

Table Rock Lake has over 800 miles of shoreline and free picnic areas with outdoor grills, restrooms and playground equipment for the kiddos.

WHERE: Branson, MO | WHO: 417-739-2564


3 | Visit the Dewey Short Visitor Center | This vibrant visitor center is completely free and offers an interactive boat and water safety exhibit.

There are plenty of interesting sights to behold inside, like a Native American artifact exhibit, Ozarks diorama, wall murals and two levels of outdoor decks with amazing views of the lake and Table Rock Dam.

WHERE: 4500 Historic Hwy 165, Branson, MO 65616 | WHO: 417-213-4812


4 | Walk the Table Rock Lakeshore Trail | Looking for free hiking in Branson, MO? You’ll love the views and scenery on the Table Rock Lakeshore Trail.

This family-friendly hiking trail in Branson is 2.2 miles and open daily from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. The path is paved, wheelchair-accessible and great for taking the whole family along.

You can also bring along your bike, skateboard or scooter and enjoy spotting plenty of lake views, wildlife and rock formations. For parents with little ones, a day on the trail is a great educational moment to learn more about nature!

WHERE: 4600 Historic Hwy 165, Branson, MO 65616 | WHO: 501-340-1950


5 | Drive to the Branson Scenic Overlook | Also known as the 165 Scenic Overlook, this observation spot makes the perfect backdrop for photos, a meditation session or painting landscapes.

You can also head across the street to the Vintage Paris Cafe and enjoy a fresh coffee while the little ones play in the free kids’ corner.

WHERE: 5329 Historic Hwy 165, Hollister, MO 65672 | WHO: N/A


6 | Feed Fish at the Shepherd of the Hills Fish Hatchery | This trout conservation center is the largest facility in the Missouri Department of Conservation Trout Production Program.

Stop by to learn more about these interesting fish and feed them for free!

WHERE: 483 Hatchery Rd, Branson, MO 65616 | WHO: 417-334-4865


7 | Ride the Trolley in Historic Downtown Branson | The free Downtown Branson trolley, named Sparky, makes 12 stops throughout the district, including Main Street, Branson Landing and the Branson Convention Center.

The drivers are all friendly and love chatting with visitors, so be sure to strike up a conversation and learn more about the city from a local!

WHERE: Historic Downtown Branson Information Center - 101 S Commercial St, Branson, MO 65616 | WHO: N/A


8 | Visit Ozark Hills Winery | The Ozark Hills Winery offers free self-guided tours every day. Stop by and appreciate the beautiful grounds as you tour the cellars and see what goes into making wine.

The winery is known for kitschy wine names, like “Three-Day Weekend White” and “Cheat Day Chardonnay.”

If you fall in love with the winery, you can also book a wine tasting that includes delectable cheese pairings and live music.

WHERE: 601 Historic Hwy 165, Branson, MO 65616 | WHO: 417-334-1897


9 | Explore the Branson Centennial Museum | Discover the history of Branson, Missouri, and Taney County at the free Branson Centennial Museum.

You’ll learn about exciting moments throughout the city’s history, from its founding in 1903 to the publication of Shepherd of the Hills in 1907.

With such a colorful, musical history, it’s easy to get swept up in the story of Branson as you enjoy this free museum.

WHERE: 120 S Commercial St, Branson, MO 65616 | WHO: 417-239-1912


10 | Browse Vintage Items at Dick’s 5 & 10 | Step into the past at this old-time inspired vintage store featuring interesting souvenirs and classic candies from decades past.

Marvel at the Soda Pop Shoppe, tour the Candy Emporium, explore superhero merchandise and more.

It’s easy to spend an afternoon touring the shop, which first opened its doors in 1961. Today, there are over 75,000 items tucked inside!

Hot Tip: The free Downtown Branson trolley stops right near the shop!

WHERE: 103 W Main St, Branson, MO 65616 | WHO: 417-334-2410


11 | Catch the Fountain Show at Branson Landing | Take a scenic walk along Branson Landing. The 1.5-mile boardwalk in front of the lakeside mall features beautiful views of Lake Taneycomo.

Think of the fountain show as if you’re watching fireworks. There are changing lights, special effects and music that changes depending on when you visit.

Hot Tip: On Mondays and Fridays, you can catch a special double show featuring two songs at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m.

WHERE: 100 Branson Landing Blvd, Branson, MO 65616 | WHO: 417-239-3002


12 | Swim and Hike at Waterfall Hiking Trail | Enjoy a leisurely, kid-friendly hiking trail that spans 2/3 mile before reaching Roark Creek. There are unpaved foot paths and rugged terrain in some parts, as well as several creek crossings.

After your walk, cool off by taking a dip in one of the many swimming holes along the trail.

WHERE: 1902 Roark Valley Rd, Branson, MO 65616 | WHO: N/A


13 | Tour College of the Ozarks | This private Christian college is home to the Ralph Foster Museum that’s free to visit. Enjoy uncovering exciting Ozark history and unique culture facts as you wander through the exhibits.

Afterward, check out Edwards Mill and enjoy beautiful views of Lake Taneycomo!

If you’re hungry, you can also grab an affordable lunch at the Keeter Center. The restaurant serves farm-to-table cuisine from produce grown on campus by students.

WHERE: 100 Opportunity Ave, Point Lookout, MO 65726 | WHO: 417-334-6411


14 | Tour the Stone Hill Winery | Missouri’s oldest winery offers free tours of its cellars, allowing you to explore history and see how the winery stores its wine.

There are free 30-minute guided tours throughout the day, and you might even get to try some free samples!

Hot Tip: The wine cellars are naturally chilly at around 45-55 degrees, so you might want to bring a jacket!

WHERE: 601 Historic Hwy 165, Branson, MO 65616 | WHO: 417-334-1897


15 | Spend a Day at Lake Taneycomo | Lake Taneycomo is one of Branson’s biggest outdoor attractions and it’s free to experience! Enjoy clear blue skies, sparkling water and amazing views of the Ozarks.

This spot is excellent for swimming and boating, as well as other watersport activities.

Anglers, grab your rods because Lake Taneycomo is known for the best trout fishing Branson has to offer.

WHERE: Branson, MO | WHO: N/A


16 | Watch the Train at the Branson Scenic Railway | While it costs money to go for a ride, watching the bright red Ozark Zephyr arrive and leave is completely free. Even if you just stop by to tour the tiny station, seeing the train up close is a wonderful experience.

You can take a one-way or round-trip journey that winds through the Ozarks and highlights its beautiful scenery.

WHERE: 206 E Main St, Branson, MO 65616 | WHO: 417-334-6110


17 | Browse Specialty Goods at Grand Village Shops | The adorable boutiques and scenic pathway make a stop at the Grand Village Shops a great free activity.

You’ll also find shops like Lori's Soap Market, Jocks and Socks, TeaMaze and the year-round Christmas store, Kringles.

Hot Tip: Don’t forget to take a photo on the giant rocking chair!

WHERE: 2800 W 76 Country Blvd, Branson, MO 65616 | WHO: 417-336-4300


18 | Meet the Horses at Dolly’s Stampede | Everyone knows Dolly Parton’s Stampede is one of the best shows in Branson, MO. But did you know that you can meet the dazzling horses in the show for free?

Arrive about 30 minutes before the show to walk the “Horse Walk” and see all 32 equine beauties in their stables!

WHERE: 1525 W 76 Country Blvd, Branson, MO 65616 | WHO: 417-336-3000


19 | Marvel at the Shrine of the Holy Spirit | This beautiful monument was dedicated on April 11, 2010. Designer Gene Bicknell says that the entire vision came to him from God and outlined the entire construction.

The walls feature Bible verses on the exterior, and there is even a replica of the 10 Commandments on stone tablets.

WHERE: 179 Expressway Ln, Branson, MO 65616 | WHO: 417-337-7888


20 | Visit the Branson Farmers Market | Farm-fresh produce, handcrafted goods and beautiful stalls abound at this family-friendly farmers market. You can bring a few bucks to take home some souvenirs or just enjoy the atmosphere!

The farmers market takes place from May-October. You can easily find it in the Branson Landing parking lot near the south end by the Bass Pro Shops and bridge.

WHERE: 100 Branson Landing Blvd, Branson, MO 65616 | WHO: N/A


Use Our Handy Map to Find Your Way Around!

Frequently Asked Questions About the Best Free Things to Do in Branson
  • Table Rock Lake: Enjoy the scenic beauty and hiking trails around the lake. There are also spots for picnicking and fishing.

  • Lakeside Forest Wilderness Area: Explore the 140-acre park with hiking trails, a waterfall and a historic homestead.

  • Branson Landing Fountain Show: Watch the spectacular fountain show featuring water, fire, light and music.

  • Ralph Foster Museum: While the museum at College of the Ozarks charges a small fee, there are free exhibits in the lobby and around the college campus.

  • Historic Downtown Branson: Walk around downtown to see historic buildings and enjoy the quaint atmosphere.

  • Branson Landing: During the summer and holiday seasons, free concerts and performances are often held at Branson Landing's town square.

  • Historic Downtown Branson: You might catch free live music at some of the local shops and cafes, especially during special events or festivals.

  • Shepherd of the Hills Fish Hatchery: Visit the hatchery to learn about fish breeding and conservation. There are also trails and picnic areas.

  • Dewey Short Visitor Center: Located near Table Rock Dam, this center offers educational exhibits and interactive displays about the area’s natural and cultural history.

  • Autumn Daze Arts, Crafts, and Music Festival: Held in September, this festival features crafts, live music and food.

  • Veterans Homecoming Week: In November, Branson hosts a variety of free events to honor veterans, including parades and memorial ceremonies.

  • Adoration Parade and Lighting Ceremony: A Christmas parade held in December, featuring floats, music and festive lights.

  • Stockstill Park: A large park with playgrounds, walking trails and sports fields.

  • Ruth and Paul Henning Conservation Area: Offers hiking trails with scenic overlooks and opportunities for wildlife viewing.

  • Branson Centennial Museum: Learn about the history and culture of Branson and the surrounding area. Admission is free.

  • Historic Owen Theatre: Occasionally hosts free community events and performances.

Historic Downtown Walking Tour: Explore downtown Branson on your own using a self-guided walking tour map available at the Branson/Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce.

  • Table Rock Lake Scenic Overlook: Enjoy panoramic views of Table Rock Lake and the dam.

  • The Butterfly Garden: Located near the College of the Ozarks, this garden is open to the public and free to visit.

  • Branson Landing Fitness Classes: During the summer, free yoga and fitness classes are sometimes offered at Branson Landing.

  • Hiking Trails: Many trails in the area, such as those in Lakeside Forest Wilderness Area and Ruth and Paul Henning Conservation Area, provide a great way to stay active and enjoy nature.


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Branson, Missouri, Free Entertainment

It doesn’t cost money to have fun in Branson. From scenic hiking trails to beautiful lakes and shops to browse, the city has something for everyone!

Don’t hesitate to explore and appreciate all the exciting sights and attractions the city has to offer.

For more travel tips, foodie guides and fun facts about Branson, visit our Westgate Resorts Travel Blog.


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At Westgate Resorts, when you Check-In, there’s a LOT to Check-Out! Your Branson vacation awaits! Explore our Branson resorts today or talk with a vacation planner at 888-852-2959 or 407-355-2690.

* Westgate Resorts is in no way affiliated with the attractions featured in this article. Items or places listed are current as of the publishing date of this article. Please call or visit the respective website for the most up-to-date offerings and details.

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