Branson 2012-Spring Update

May 6, 2012

Branson 2012-Spring: New Restaurants and moves:

Table 22 opened last year but since we failed to include it on our website, we offer that information now. The restaurant is located in Downtown Branson at 114 East Main St. just up the hill from Branson Landing. From their website, A contemporary American bistro serving locally grown products with an extensive wine list. Menus are updated weekly to reflect the changing seasons.

Branson Landing has a new restaurant called Black Oak Grill. The description from the Branson Tri-Lakes News  tells us the new restaurant "serves traditional comfort food with an upscale, fusion twist".  I have no idea what that means, but I have heard that they serve good food so you might want to try it when you're in town.

The Level 2 Steakhouse which has been located in the Hilton has temporarily moved to the Branson Landing in the spot where the "San Francisco Oven" resided. It is planned that Level 2 will move back to the Hilton when the hotel re-opens. The "San Francisco Oven" and "Romano's Macaroni Grill" have closed their Branson Landing locations presumably due to the bankruptcy filing of the parent company "Swisshelm Group, Inc."

Regrettably the Garden Restaurant at the "Shoppes at Branson Meadows" has closed after 4 years.

The Burger Shack located next to the Wal-Mart on the strip offers burgers and homemade fries. The Burger Shack had just opened when the tornado hit, but repairs and remodeling are complete and they are open for business.

Blue Man Grill opened this spring in the small center across from the entrance to Tanger Mall. The name comes from the Ozarks version of Big Foot, "The Blue Man of the Ozarks" dating as far back as 1865. The restaurant offers a wide variety of burgers, salads and other specialties. Also on the menu are milkshakes and a "colossal cheesecake".

Branson 2012-Spring: Show and Entertainer news

New Branson 2012-Spring news at the Andy Williams Moon River Theater

It was reported that the Swedish Rhythm group Jeerk would not be returning in 2012. It has now been announced that they will be in Branson during the months of June and July at the Andy Williams Theater. Schedule includes a Sunday night show and 3 morning shows during that time frame.

Another group reported to be away from Branson in 2012 will return for a limited engagement.The Osmond's will perform at the Andy Williams Theater during Andy's 75th year in show business celebration.

New Branson 2012-Spring news at Black Oak Amphitheater

The Rock band Boston will headline a concert at the Black Oak Amphitheater on September 1, 2012 with Survivor and Starship. Also announced is an August 29 concert with rock bands Def Leppard and Poison. Also featured is Lita Ford.

New Branson 2012-Spring news at the Branson Central Theater

Bill Chrastil who was planning performances at the Branson Mall Theater has found a new home at the Branson Central Theater. He will perform thru mid November at 1 PM on selected dates.

The Circle B Supper Show has moved to the Branson Central Theater on Hwy 165 next to the Shanghai circus. The Branson Central Theater also hosts the "Ozark Murder Mysteries Theater". Both shows are dinner shows.

New Branson 2012-Spring news at the Hughes Brothers Theater

The  "Miracle of America—Birth of a Nation Concert and Making of America Seminar" will open at the Hughes Brothers Theater for a two-day event May 18-19, 2012. An art exhibit and show will be Friday night with doors opening at 7 PM and show starting at 7:30 PM. Ticket prices are : Adults $20.00, Children $15.00.

The Making of America Constitution Seminar is from 8:30-5:00 Saturday. Registration is at 8:00 AM. Ticket price is $25.00 including lunch. A combination ticket for both the concert and seminar is $35.00.

New Branson 2012-Spring news at the Jim Stafford Theater

Keith Allyn's "A Neil Diamond Tribute" has moved from the Branson Star Theater to the Jim Stafford Theater for 2012. Keith will have a the 10:30 AM slot at Jim's Theater.

New Branson 2012-Spring news at The Mansion Theater

Three Dog Night will perform one night only at the Mansion Theater on July 14, 2012 at 8 PM.

New Branson 2012-Spring news at the Music City Centre

Joey Riley who has been Mickey Gilley's sidekick for years as well as hosting his own show at Gilley's Theater has moved to the Music City Center for 2012.

The Comets who return this year to Music City Center were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on April 14 in Cleveland, Ohio. Bill Haley and the Comets helped ignite the rock n' roll craze in 1955 with their huge hit "Rock around the Clock".

New Branson 2012-Spring news at the Oak Ridge Boys Theater.

Neal McCoy who played multiple dates last year at Clay Cooper Theater will return in 2012 to the Oak Ridge Boys theater. Shows are scheduled in July, August, September, October and November.

New Branson 2012-Spring news at the Sight and Sound Theater.

Sight and Sound Theater presents a new show for 2012. The Biblical story in Genesis of Joseph features more than 40 characters and live exotic animals.

New Branson 2012-Spring news at the Tri-Lakes Center

Merle Haggard will perform June 23 at 7 PM at Tri-lakes Center.

Dino and Cheryl will be performing a limited engagement of  "A Tribute to the Titanic" at the Tri-lakes Center in April & May.

Branson 2012-Spring: Theater news:

As of May 1 all theaters are on schedule except for the Americana Theater, Branson Mall Theater (Hall of Fame) and Branson Variety Theater.

The Americana Theater hosts The "3 Redneck Tenors", "Todd Oliver and his Talking Dogs"," Cassandre Haygood and Friends", and "Joseph Hall's 'Elvis' Rock 'N' Remember". Scheduled opening is May 22, 2012.

The Branson Variety Theater sustained more damage than earlier thought and will likely not open till September 1, 2012. The theater hosts "Hooray for Hollywood", "The Twelve Tenors", "Shake, Rattle & Roll", "The Songs of the Four Seasons and The Beach Boys " and "Christmas in Hollywood".

To date, we only know of two entertainers at the Branson Mall Theater that have found a new home. Legendary singer/songwriter Jim Owen can be seen at the Music City Centre Monday's at 8 PM and Wednesday at 10 AM. Bill Chrastill has a 1 PM show at the Branson Central Theater. No word on re-opening of the Branson Mall Theater.

Branson 2012-Spring: Festivals

Organizers say that the 2012 Plumb Nellie Arts & Crafts Festival will be bigger than ever. The festival includes 140-150 vendors, demonstrating craftsman, entertainers and a street dance on Friday night. Festival dates are May 17-19. The Downtown Merchants host a Traditional Sidewalk Sale May 17-27. Check for more details.

The 2012 Branson Motorcycle Rally kicks off May 31 and runs through June 3, 2012. The event is being held at the "Outback" located on the strip. Live bands, Vendors, shows, races, contests, rides, prizes, food and more highlight the gathering. Check out for more information.

Branson 2012-Spring: New Attractions and other news

The Gone with The Wind: A Book and Film Museum opened in late 2011 at 109 Main in Downtown Branson. From their website showcases the collection of Dr. Novella Perrin who has been collecting Gone with the Wind memorabilia for over 25 years.  Original costumes, props, autographs, costume sketches, foreign and domestic posters, research materials, lobby cards, and art are on display for all to see.  The museum also hosts a large display of Gone with the Wind dolls and other memorabilia based on the movie.

Open 9 AM-5 PM Mon-Sat or other times by appointment. Admission is: $10 for adults 18-55, $9 for seniors 56+, students, and active and retired military, $7 for children 12-17 and Free for children 11 and under! has named Silver Dollar City as the top theme park. This from the website:" <i>Branson has a well-established reputation as one of the premier family-friendly destinations in the Midwest, and in large part this is thanks to Silver Dollar City, one of the country's most unique (and fun!) theme parks. The park achieves a one-of-a-kind synthesis of history and excitement"…..

Branson's Wild World has opened in the building that formerly housed Branson's Dinosaur Museum and Haunted House. The Dinosaur Museum was to relocate at the Branson Mall next door but that location was severely damaged by the tornado and I have not heard of their future plans for re-opening.

Branson's Wild World is part aquarium and part zoo with interactive aspects. The attraction will also offer a black light miniature golf and arcade section though they will be opened in stages.

Chelsea Kliethermes writes in the Branson Tri-Lakes News that the publication "Rural Missouri" in their Reader's Choice contest has named the Ralph Foster Museum at the College of the Ozarks as the "Best Museum" of Missouri.

The museum is dedicated to the history of the Ozarks and is named for the radio pioneer. The museum houses items representing archaeology, history, firearms, antiques, numismatics, natural history, fine arts, geology and mineralogy. I had to look it up but numismatics is the study of currency, coins or related objects.

The Ralph Foster Museum is open Monday-Saturday, 9 AM-4:30 PM. Admittance is $6 for adults, $5 for senior citizens. Ages 18 and under are free. This is truly one of the best bargains in the area. All ages will enjoy this museum.

The Branson Centennial Museum opened April 1 on the northwest corner of Main St. and Veterans Blvd (Business 65) Downtown. The exhibits will change throughout the year and admission is free, for more information go to

Bass Pro Shops has a new project planned calling it the Outdoor Academy at Big Cedar Lodge. The 1100 acre project will include hiking trails, horse stables, fishing ponds, a main lodge, visitors center, clay and archery course, docks and a children's camp. As many as 33 different outdoor activities will be offered including ATV's, backpacking, canoeing/kayaking, paintball, stargazing, mountain biking. Quail and pheasant hunting and swimming.

The project would host events such as weddings, reunions, board meetings, retreats and festivals.

The new 15,000 sq ft. Dewey Short Visitors Center opened Friday 4/27/12. The new center has 4000 sq. ft. of exhibit space, interactive exhibits, a native garden, a theater and a outside deck overlooking Table Rock Lake. Also on site is a picnic area, a hiking trail along the lake and a boat dock.

Admission to the Center is free as is the picnic area, fishing and hiking trail. Kids will love the area and activities and will provide a free or inexpensive day of fun.

The Center is located on Hwy 165 just south of the Table Rock Dam. It is also located near the Shepherd of the Hills Fish Hatchery, State Park Marina, Table Rock State Park and campground, Moonshine Beach and The Table Rock Dam.

The National Tiger Sanctuary opened last year on 33 acres near Saddlebrook just north of Branson. A temporary center is open with educational instruction and tours are available where people can get within 3 feet of the cats, though protected by double fencing. A permanent educational and visitors center is planned. Located about 10 miles north of Branson and west ¼ mile on BB Hwy.

Branson 2012-Spring-Lodging news:

The historic Branson Hotel  at 214 West Main St. in Downtown Branson was completely remodeled in 2011 and offers a unique and luxurious stay while in Branson. The hotel was built in 1903 and hosted Harold Bell Wright while writing his famed, best-selling novel The Shepherd of the Hills.

From their website Prepare to make memories that will last a lifetime at The Branson Hotel. From the Egyptian cotton sheets to the smell of wisteria and honeysuckle in the garden. All of your senses will experience the unforgettable charm of The Branson Hotel. Be surrounded by the rich history of the 1900's but fully rested in the luxury of the 21st century……….With 9 completely different designed rooms, we guarantee something for everyone.

JR's Motel on the strip (just across from the Grand Country complex) has been demolished due to tornado damage. No information is available yet on future plans for the site.

The Branson Garden Inn has opened on the southeast corner of Hwy 76 and Fall Creek Road. This is just across from Dick Clark's American Bandstand Theater and Dixie Stampede.

The Southern Country Inn is open on Shepherd of the Hills Expressway. This location is the former Ramada Limited.

Although not yet open, a new sign is up for the Brickhouse Hotel, featuring Jacuzzi's and executive suites. This location was formerly the Welcome Inn and before that Motel 6.

Return from Branson 2012-Spring to Branson 2013