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Every summer as a child, my parents would drive all of us kids up to the Ozarks to spend two weeks on one of the lakes outside of the Branson area. The family vacation highlighted my early elementary years. A trip to Silver Dollar City, a walk through Branson, and a float trip on Table Rock Lake seemed like a vacation indulgent in the wineries of life. In retrospect, the trip worked because it was fun, but it was far from the expensive adventure that I once thought that it was.
Visiting Branson, or the Branson area, offers a "cheap" vacation that, for children, rivals visiting a place like Disney World. Branson works as the ultimate in family vacations because of the vast variety of family oriented activities (like Silver Dollar City, miniature golf parks, or one of the many magic shows). When you start looking for shows that offer family passes, you can save big bucks, too.
For meals, Donovan's Hillbilly Inn Restaurant boasts "Branson's Best Breakfast." Their Meat and Egg Breakfast will be sure to stick with you throughout the day. They also specialize in smoked meats, so consider taking some along for a late-afternoon snack. For a country atmosphere and over-abundant portions for dinner, try BT Bones Steakhouse (get a coupon book for a coupon).
Finally, for nature lovers, old and young, the Butterfly Place will surround you with one of nature's most beautiful creatures. The 9,000 sq. ft. glass building houses a up to 2,000 butterflies from around the world, as well as a gorgeous garden. Be sure to bring your camera.