It’s something parents often struggle with when they are planning a trip for the family – how do you make sure that your kids are actually learning something while you travel? Yes, having a good time is usually the main focus, but you want your family trips to be memorable and something that they can hold onto for years to come. Sure, there are a lot of fun places you can visit on the road, but our family has always made sure they slide in some educational parts to our trips. Why? Because the world is a fascinating place that will keep you learning no matter how old you are.
Traveling is one of the most enriching things, and stopping off for an educational attraction or two can help you learn more as you go. But where can you find educational attractions in a city like Branson that is filled with over 100 shows playing daily? We have a couple that your kids will enjoy and they may even have a good time while learning (and not knowing they’re actually learning!) Step away from the classroom and make learning just a bit more fun.
Teach Them About The World’s Fair with a Ride on a Ferris Wheel!
Ferris Wheels are something the whole family loves, and what you usually only get to ride at a carnival. Cities throughout the world are starting to permanently attach them to their city sky line to show off the views and city around them. In 2015, Branson added a new Ferris wheel to the entertainment corridor. Not only does the Ferris Wheel show off the area, is an actual attraction of it’s own but it has a deep history of it’s own. Built as a commemorative Ferris Wheel to celebrate the 100 anniversary of the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago, the Ferris Wheel use to sit on the shores of Lake Michigan on Navy Pier.
A ride on the Branson Ferris Wheel lasts about seven minutes and slowly reveals the beautiful hills of the Ozarks. While the Ferris Wheel provides a beautiful ride for you and your family, stop by the signs on your way in and learn more about the journey of the Branson Ferris Wheel. It’s part of Americana history and a fun way to enjoy a bit of the past.
Don’t forget to stop by the Branson Ferris Wheel at night to watch it turn into it’s own show with lights and music as well!
The history of the Branson Ferris Wheel:
George Washington Gale Ferris, Jr. designed a revolving steel observation wheel for the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago. It debuted on June 21, 1893. This engineering feat became America’s answer to the recently completed Eiffel Tower in Paris. That original Ferris wheel was 264 feet tall and was illuminated by 2,500 Edison incandescent lamps. The 36 passenger cars held 60 people each and had 40 revolving chairs, allowing for a total capacity of 2,160 passengers. This wheel’s legacy has lived on to make the Ferris wheel one of the world’s most beloved attractions.
Chicago’s Navy Pier Ferris Wheel was inspired by the original Ferris wheel. It opened on July 1, 1995 as the focal point of the newly renovated Navy Pier. It was 150 feet tall and displayed 16,000 lights. Its 40 gondolas held 6 people each, allowing for a total capacity of 240 riders. It took its last spin there on September 27, 2015 to make room for a bigger wheel. Providing nearly 17 million rides, it was an iconic landmark and part of Chicago’s skyline for 20 years. With its move to Branson, Missouri in 2016, this Ferris wheel serves as an icon in a very different setting. The Branson Ferris Wheel offers spectacular views of the famed entertainment corridor and the Ozark Mountains.
Learn a bit more about the Branson Ferris Wheel and what else you can experience at the Branson Tracks:
Check out the views from the Branson Ferris Wheel here, inside the arcade and more:
The Branson Ferris Wheel is located at:
3335 W 76 Country Blvd, Branson, MO 65616
Find out more about the Branson Ferris Wheel and Tracks
Hear Personal Stories From the Titanic and more at the Titanic Museum
From elementary school on, kids are taught about the tragic night that the Titanic sunk. But for a lot of kids, the night the Titanic sunk is just a far off event they read about. It’s hard to put it into a context that kids can relate to, and a visit to the Titanic Museum can help with just that. With not only one of the largest selections of artifacts from the actual Titanic, but stories from actual passengers and their families after the fact.
The Titanic Museum experience in Branson is one of the largest collections of the Titanic artifacts in the world, and the collection puts it in a family friendly format. The purpose of the attraction is to feed the desire of the history buff, peak the interest of younger generations and tell the stories of both the victims and survivors that we often do not hear about. Throughout the museum there are over 400 different artifacts, from menus, deck chairs, china from the different decks and personal belongings of passengers.
Touring the Titanic can be self guided, or you can have a guided tour if you schedule it ahead of time. A guided tour offers more depth to the experience because they are able to tell you more of the stories of the people that were on the ship the night it sank.
Your tour of the Titanic takes you through different areas of the museum that allows you to experience what passengers may have experienced over 100 years ago. From rooms recreated to show what first, second and third class accommodations would have been, to replicas of the life boats you can climb in. You’re able to climb up the deck at steep angles that the ship was at at different points of the night as it sunk, as well as stick your hand into 28 degree water like passengers were put into as the ship sank. Step on the deck and take your turn seeing if you can see the iceberg in your path. And walk up the recreation of the grand staircase when you move into the first class quarters.
Guests will be given a passenger card with the story of an actual person who was on the Titanic, and you can follow them throughout the experience. See what their rooms would have been like, what they may have experienced and more. And for kids, the museum has interactive displays for them to learn more about kid friendly things like the pets that were on board, experience shoveling coal into the boiler and even finding small facts for kids throughout the museum.
A tour through the Titanic Museum helps bring the story of the Titanic and that fateful night to life, and brings the story off the page of their textbooks.
Here’s our reaction to our tour at the Titanic Museum:
The Titanic Museum is located at:
3235 76 Country Blvd & Hwy 165, 65616
For ticket information, special events and more visit the Titanic Museum Website
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