**RECEIVED 2018 BLOGGING BRANSON AWARD OF EXCELLENCE**
Family vacations are about having fun with each other ~ finding ways to make memories that will last a lifetime. Some families enjoy relaxing trips by the pool, while others look for the most spirited adventures. Well, if you’re looking to climb new heights, speed past your friends on the race track or bump into them as many times as you can (while laughing both hysterically and deviously), then I have the perfect place for you to visit in Branson, Missouri. You will find ALL kinds of the action at The Track Family Fun Parks!
Disclaimer: I attended a media event as the guest of Niccole from The Creative SAHM. While this was an event sponsored by the Stone Castle Hotel and Conference Center, all opinions listed below are 100% authentic and mine alone.
Branson is home to a plethora of fun and entertainment. If you have been following my #BloggingBranson series, you have heard about the fabulous shows and the fantastic food, as well as the amazing southern hospitality. Today, I want to focus on sharing with you the action-packed adventure to be found at The Track Family Fun Parks, where guests can spend hours climbing new heights, “bumping” into friends and racing around heavy metal high rises!
The Track Family Fun Parks
Within the Branson city limits, there are three Track Family Fun Parks. Most of them have similar attractions, but there are those that are home to a few of the more unique rides. For instance, during our visit back in April, we spent some time visiting Track 4, which is home to the Branson Ferris Wheel and the Heavy Metal High Rise Go-Kart Track. Some of the other parks have batting cages and laser tag options. Needless to say, no matter what kind of fun you crave, The Track Family Fun Parks have something for everyone!
**Did I hear you correctly, T? Did you say ‘Track 4’? But I thought you said there were only THREE fun parks in Branson!** Yes, I did! Tracks 1 and 2 are simply no longer in operation, but why change the names if you don’t have to…am I right?
The day we visited, the weather was nice and sunny, a lot warmer than when we had arrived to the area. It was actually a beautiful afternoon to enjoy some excitement. Above, I had mentioned that we spent our time at Track 4. This meant that we had access to the famous Branson Ferris Wheel and some kickin’ go-kart racing, but the experience wasn’t limited to just those two activities. Let me take some time to share with you a little more about the park we enjoyed that April afternoon. We’ll just start with the big round thing that towers over Branson ~ just because.
The Branson Ferris Wheel
A little personal history: Hubby, our oldest son and I lived in the Chicago area from 1999 until 2002. I fondly remember our jaunts down to Navy Pier and vividly recall the Ferris wheel that stood at its center. I never had the desire to ride it then. This I kind of blame on my fear of heights. However, having a little one at the time didn’t help. The Ferris wheel itself, however, still made an imprint on my heart. It’s one of the beautiful things I remember about Chicago.
Well, fast forward to 2016! That 150 foot tall structure has now been relocated and towers over Branson, Missouri. With its 40 gondolas, the Branson Ferris Wheel can carry up to 240 riders at a time and provides some tremendous aerial views of the area, including the picturesque Ozark Mountains. At night, the wheel is illuminated with 16,000 LED fixtures (that’s 144,000 individual lights!!!) and features a spectacular music and light show, called, “Electrify.”
So, did I ride the Ferris wheel this time? You bet I did!!! Twice!!! The first time, I joined a group of my blogger friends (some of them facing their own fear of heights right alongside me) and our wonderful host, Jay Wilson from the Stone Castle Hotel & Conference Center. I don’t think Jay knew what he was getting himself into when he climbed into that gondola with so much estrogen trapped inside!
The second time around, Jay accompanied me so I could grab some more coverage of the views and just quietly take in Branson myself. Take it from a girl who is usually terrified of being so high up ~ this is totally worth facing your fears and doing at least once. I’m actually kicking myself now for not having done it in Chicago.
Aside from checking the Ferris wheel off my bucket list, I have to say that my favorite part of the afternoon was our time racing around the Heavy Metal High Rise! As the mother of boys, I love me some Go-Kart racing. I also enjoyed putting my knowledge of physics to the test (wink, wink).
A good portion of the group enjoyed riding this over and over…and over again. Once strapped into the Go-Kart and given the “clear to go” signal, we all put the pedal to the metal in a race for first place! We climbed a four story spiral high rise and sped down a three tiered slope with tons of curves! Was there some competition in the group? You bet there was, but it was all in good fun and gave us all a great memory and a lot to laugh about.
Now, there are those out there who are not ready to endure the “intensity” (clears throat) of the Heavy Metal High Rise. For those individuals, Track 4 also has three more Go-Kart track options. If you’re just getting your feet wet or learning how to maneuver a vehicle like this, there are classic and rookie tracks, as well as a kiddie version of the ride for the littles.
Bumper Rides (Boats and Cars!)
Get this! At Track 4, “bumping things” is allowed and actually encouraged! Visitors have a choice between enjoying bumper boats (which is a great way to cool off on a hot summer’s day) or bumper cars (which is a much drier option to choose). Unfortunately, since we were still in a cooler part of the season during our visit, bumper boats were not an option for us. Just keep in mind that temperature does play a major role in what may or may not be operating (we saw this at Silver Dollar City, as well). Nonetheless, we had some in our group who were determined to take their turn at bumping into everything and everyone they could on this ride!
So that you know, all three of The Track Family Fun Parks have the bumper boat option. Some of the parks, however, have boats with water cannons attached for a more “saturated” experience. My boys would be ALL OVER THAT!! However, Track 4 does not have this option and is the likely choice for those looking for the lesser of the “soaked” attractions.
Arcades have been a favorite place to visit for generations! I can remember visiting them when I was younger. Some of my favorites included air hockey, pinball and some of the ol’ classics. The Track Family Fun Parks, understanding the popularity of these styles of games, made sure that their fun parks included them in the design. From skee-ball, driving games and video games, as well as sporting and hunting games, guests can keep the competitive spirit going on indoors, as well as outdoors.
Oh, and don’t forget those redemption games that dispense tickets based on skill level. When done playing, guests can exchange their accrued tickets for a prize. This is something a lot of our group members did in order to bring something home for the littles. If local, guests can even save them up to use at a later date when they have accrued more tickets.
In total, the three tracks have 250 inside games to enjoy! Wow!
Other attractions at Track 4 and More!
So, I’ve told you about the amazing activities we encountered during our time at Track 4. There are still so many other notable attractions and activities to experience there. For instance, there are:
And with TWO other parks in the area, guests can also enjoy the following:
They Take The “Credit”
One of the best things about The Track Family Fun Parks is that there is no gate admission charge! All of the attractions and arcade games at all three Track locations take “credits” to ride or play. Each credit costs $1 and guests can receive free credits with the various credit packages the Parks offer (here’s the link to the handy chart that breaks down packages and costs for guests)!
Of course, a day at Track 4 is not complete without a hop, skip and a jump over to Andy’s Frozen Custard. Branson natives and visitors alike both rave about their signature dessert!!! To make sure I experienced this delight, I did take a few bites (dietary restrictions keep me from eating the whole thing ~ though, trust me, I was tempted to endure the consequences). Without a doubt, I completely concur ~ IT’S FABULOUS!!! So rich and creamy ~ true satisfaction for the palette.
Ready To Go Back
I can only imagine how busy The Track Family Fun Parks get when the weather is warmer! I’ve heard that it is THE place to be during the summer months. Not to mention, I’ve heard it is absolutely beautiful to see lit up at night during any time of the year.
We all had a blast seeing Branson from the highest of heights and speeding around corners as fast as we could. Not to mention accruing all those tickets just to pick a prize or two for the littles back home. You’re going to hear me say it again, so don’t be too surprised. It’s just another one of those, “I can’t wait to take my family there,” places. I sincerely mean that with my whole heart!
How about you? If adventure and fun are always on the vacation agenda and you’re heading towards Branson, be sure to check out the Track Family Fun Parks!
**Huge thanks to Julie Wilson, with Tracks Family Fun Parks, for arranging our afternoon and to Stone Castle Hotel & Conference Center for hosting us during our trip!**
“Your Branson, Missouri, Family Vacation AWAITS!”
Location and Contact Information:
- 3388 Green Mountain Drive
- Branson, MO 65616
- (417) 334-1612
- [email protected]
You can follow the Track Family Fun Parks on:
For a chance to win a Branson Getaway package ~ click here for more details!!! (offer ends May 26th)
The Track Family Fun Parks is more than just a fun place to work and play. It’s a family environment both in the park and behind the scenes. Take a look at this awesome YouTube video to understand the family behind the machines!!
For more information about Branson (and because this piece is already soooo long), feel free to visit my Blogging Branson page on the website. There you can find restaurants and more entertainment options you may want to include in your own Branson travel plans!