You didn’t have to look far to see the impact of BallParks of America on the guys who oiled up baseball gloves in their youth and spent hours in the sun playing catch. Just look at the twinkle in their eyes as toured the complex.
I’ll admit to being one of them. To this day I can close my eyes and conjure up images of the myriad of baseball fields I played on as a kid. But nothing comes close to the dreams of getting to play in a place like this.
Heck, even the hardcore BMX dude in the group got caught up in the dreamy world of what ifs. “OK,” he said, “Maybe if I got to play on a field like that when I was little I might have stuck with baseball longer.”
So, yeah, the baseball parks inspired me. I had never been to Branson before, or even got a taste of the Ozarks. But an action-packed weekend in Branson hosted by the folks at Explore Branson got me thinking what a great place this is for a family visit.
Everyone in the family doesn’t have to get starry-eyed looking at replicas of old baseball stadiums to enjoy Branson. So here are my top 5 reasons to dream about Branson, and check out ExploreBranson.com to see other options
- BallParks of America, of course. If Junior’s team gets an invite to a tournament here, well, it will be one of those unforgettable experiences on the field, and between games off the field there are too many options for the family hit in one weekend, so you’ll probably have to come back.
- I’m not much of a daredevil, really. Not a big fan of roller coasters. So I had to take more than one deep breath to talk myself into trying out The Runaway Mountain Coaster, especially knowing you soar down the mountain alone. Then again, learning I had the ability to control my speed proved to be the deciding factor in taking the plunge. It was a super blast, and I barely touched the brakes. Honest!
- My apprehension with heights (is it denial that keeps me from calling it a fear?) most definitely rates higher on my No Thank You List than even roller coasters. So getting on Parakeet Pete’s Waterfront Zipline took more than a couple deep breaths. While my stomach let me know it wasn’t excited about making this a regular outing it’s something you shouldn’t pass up for a one-time experience. The view of Branson is amazing. (The Branson Ferris Wheel took a close second in amazing views and butterflies in my stomach)
- You shouldn’t go to Branson without taking in a show or two, and while everyone’s tastes differ, we enjoyed two experiences that are perfect for the family: The Million Dollar Quartet and the Showboat Branson Belle. It’s tough to beat good ol’ rock ‘n’ roll that the Million Dollar Quartet plays. And on the Showboat? Magic acts never get old, do they?
- From learning about Branson’s history as you roll through downtown to the fresh splash of cold water from floating in Table Rock Lake to show you the beauty of the Ozarks, Ride the Ducks gives your visit to Branson some real depth and variety. We lucked out with Captain Dan, a true character and great entertainer. And I got a duck quacker, which comes in handy since I do live in Oregon, home of the University of Oregon Ducks.
By John Rezell, Executive Editor, SportsEvents Magazine