Win a trip to Washington DC during Hot Winter Fun in Branson

One of the newest trends in travel is “edu-tainment”, a blend of educational and entertainment activities that appeal to curiosity-seekers of all ages. In Branson, you’ll find just the right mix of museums, attractions, historical sites, live shows, lake and outdoor recreation, golf, and shopping to satisfy your desire to be entertained and informed. Plus, you can even sign up to win a free trip for a family of four to Washington D.C., during Branson’s Hot Winter Fun Museum Crawl.

All you have to do to enter is visit any one of Branson’s participating area museums now through March 31. The trip includes airfare for four and three night’s accommodations in Washington D.C. All names will be entered into a random drawing held during BransonFest April 5-9, 2005. You don’t have to be present to win. The winner will be notified by phone.

The Branson/Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce and Convention & Visitors Bureau has organized the 11th annual Hot Winter Fun marketing cooperative to help visitors learn about activities available during January, February and March.

The following is a list of area museums and attractions participating in the Hot Winter Fun Museum Crawl. Each paid admission qualifies you to sign up for the Washington D.C. trip give-away.

Veteran’s Memorial Museum – A powerful and emotional experience for everyone, Veteran’s Memorial Museum features 10 great halls that tell the stories of the great conflicts of the 20th century. The centerpiece is the world’s largest war memorial bronze sculpture with 50 life-sized soldiers storming a beach. Don’t miss this powerful experience during your visit.

American Presidential Museum – Explore the history of our nation’s leaders. Several displays recently returned from Democracy Plaza in New York City during NBC’s election coverage, and were featured on the Today Show in the two weeks prior to the 2004 election. Democracy Plaza was on display from Oct. 20 – Nov. 5th, 2004. See a replica of Air Force One under President Richard Nixon, the Oval office and an infamous Florida voting booth from 2000. The museum opens in late January.

Ralph Foster Museum – Fondly called “The Smithsonian of the Ozarks” by Ozark residents, the Ralph Foster Museum is located on the campus of College of the Ozarks. Visit all three floors to fully discover the history and culture of the Ozarks. The museum features the original truck used by the Beverly Hillbillies during their popular 1960s television show.

Kewpie dolls designed by Rose O’Neill (a native of the Ozarks), a restored one-room schoolhouse, and the Discovery Room, a special room for children are highlights of the museum. The museum opens in late January.

Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Museum – Explore the unique and unusual! Do you know why The Ripley’s building looks the way it does? Most people think California has had the worst earthquake in history, when actually Missouri holds the record. In 1812 an earthquake measuring more than 8.0 on the Richter scale occurred at New Madrid, Missouri. This earthquake made the Mississippi River run backwards for three days. Stop by and see why Ripley’s is “The Most Photographed Building In Branson”!

Stone Hill Winery – During the free tours, you can get an entertaining look at the history of wine making and the sherry-making process. Watch as cream sherry is produced. Experience yesteryear’s winemaking heritage at Missouri’s #1 winery.

IMAX – Explore the history of the Ozarks with a movie! Exclusively at the Branson IMAX Entertainment Complex visitors can take a powerful journey through the rich history and heritage of the region with the giant-screen IMAX adventure, “Legacy and Legend”. Experience life through the eyes of the McFarlain family in this beautifully told story.

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Branson’s Hot Winter Fun is packed with special events and activities

Experience the best of Branson’s world-famous Ozarks hospitality during Hot Winter Fun in January, February and March. You can shop, enjoy a variety of dining options, tour a museum, play golf, reel in a record-sized trout on Lake Taneycomo, and choose from among more than 50 show times each week, all during Hot Winter Fun!

Visit one of the Branson/Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce Welcome Centers located just off Highway 65 at the intersection of Highway 160 and at the intersection of Hwy. 65 and Highway 248 to pick up a free guide to all the exciting things going on in the Branson area during Hot Winter Fun.

Here are some of the special events and activities happening in the Branson/Lakes area during Hot Winter Fun:

Hot Winter Fun Museum Crawl – Win a vacation for four to Washington DC! Catch up on the history of the past or discover the hidden wonders of the present and register for a chance to win a 3-day, 2-night trip including airfare and lodging for a family of four. The winner will be drawn during BransonFest April 5-9, 2005 and need not be present to win. Going on now through March 31.

On Friday evenings in February, some museums will feature special surprises as guests visit the museums. Visitors can enjoy refreshments, special pricing and visit with special celebrity guests as they tour museums like Ripley’s Believe It or Not! or the American Presidential Museum.

Shopping Extravaganza – From the outlet malls to individual specialty stores, Branson is a perfect shopping destination, especially during this relaxed time of year. You can shop till you drop at places like Tanger Outlet Center. They’re open in January, February and March from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sundays.

Golfing in Branson – Branson boasts 10 championship golf courses and 363 days a year in which to improve your game. You can play golf in Branson every day of the year except Christmas and New Year’s Day. Hot Winter Fun is a great time to get some one-on-one instruction from one of the area’s pros. Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Museum – On Friday evenings in February guests can enjoy refreshments and visit with special celebrity guests as they tour the museum.

Tri-Lakes Community Theatre – What do Branson area residents do in their spare time? Some of them perform in the Tri-Lakes Community Theatre. Productions star both professional Branson music industry folks and traditional community theater enthusiasts alike.

Three plays are presented each year during January and February. This year, come see: “Big River,” Feb. 4th-6th; “Bus Stop,” Feb. 18th-20th and Feb. 25th-27th.

9th Annual Tri-Lakes Building & Home Show – Visit with area building and remodeling experts. Hosted by the Vacation Channel at Chateau on the Lake. Friday, February 11, 2 p.m. – 8 p.m., Saturday, February 12, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., and Sunday, February 13, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Hot Winter Fun Big Show – See many of the entertainers of Hot Winter Fun on one stage, for one night only, on Monday, Feb. 14th at 7 p.m. at the Jim Stafford Theatre.

NAIA Hoops Fest 2005 – Don’t miss the excitement of the NAIA Division II Men’s Basketball Tournament, as College of the Ozarks and Branson welcome 32 teams from across the country, March 9th-15th, 2005. For details and ticket information, call (417) 334-6411.

IMAX Film Festival – Don’t miss the 12th Annual Film Festival in March and April. Complete dates and movies will be announced in early 2005.

Branson Business Expo – Sponsored by the Branson/Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce & CVB. March 24th at Lodge of the Ozarks. Luncheon and keynote Speaker at 12 noon. Expo begins at 2 p.m. Special Business After Hours begins at 5:30 p.m.

BransonFest – Held April 5th – 9th at the Welk Resort Theatre, BransonFest has been named a “Top-100” event in North America for the second year in a row by the American Bus Association! Don’t miss the fun and excitement of Branson’s premiere festival for food, fun and entertainment.

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Ozark Mountains beckon, golfers, anglers & outdoor enthusiasts during Hot Winter Fun

The Branson/Lakes Area offers a multitude of wintertime experiences for anglers, golfers and outdoor enthusiasts alike. With three pristine lakes: Table Rock, Taneycomo and Bull Shoals; 100,000-acres of parks, forests and conservation areas; 10 championship golf courses; mild winter climate and a variety of lodging, dining and live entertainment options, the Branson/Lakes Area offers a diverse vacation experience in January, February and March.

The Branson/Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce and Convention & Visitors Bureau has organized the 11th annual Hot Winter Fun marketing cooperative to help visitors learn about activities available during the winter.

Golfers can play 363 days a year in Branson and choose from among 10 championship courses. These courses offer both scenic and challenging design with sweeping mountain vistas and scenic hillside terrain. Some of the holes have actually been chiseled right out of the rocks. Pointe Royale Golf Resort and Thousand Hills Golf Resort are two of the courses open during Hot Winter Fun. Golf pros are standing by to offer private instructions during Hot Winter Fun.

The winter months offer some of the best trout fishing of the year on Lake Taneycomo. Several area outfitters, marinas and fishing guides provide the supplies, equipment and know-how to make a wintertime fishing trip one to remember. Anglers can enjoy many peaceful 55-degree days of catfish, bass and crappie fishing on Table Rock Lake between January and March.

Outdoor adventurers can enjoy the GPS sport of geocaching in the Branson/Lakes Area. Log on to for the coordinates to dozens of cache locations in the area. In addition to all the terrain and wildlife you’ll see while geocaching, you can take advantage of more than 220-acres of Branson city parks, 2,000 miles of hiking, biking and horseback riding trails and 3,000 miles of canoe/kayak accessible rivers, streams and creeks.

From November through March, bald eagles nest on the soaring bluffs overlooking Table Rock Lake. Turkey vultures, unique to the Table Rock Lake area, are often photographed by visitors as well.

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Shows & attractions wow audiences during Branson’s Hot Winter Fun

Variety and diversity provide ideal entertainment experience!

Branson is a truly exhilarating family entertainment experience all year long. The Hot Winter Fun months of January, February, and March offer guests more than 20 shows to choose from with more than 50 show times each week. From 50’s music to swing, comedy to country, magic to musical icons, guests can have it all during Hot Winter Fun. Branson is home to nationally-known entertainers, production shows, museums, dozens of shops, fine dining, and world-class attractions. Plus, in Branson, guests can take advantage of 10 championship golf courses, three pristine lakes and over 100,000-acres of private and government parks and recreation areas all within minutes of the bright-lights of town. So, no matter what your definition of family fun and entertainment, the Branson/Lakes Area delivers it all in great style, all year long.

There’s more to do and see in the Branson area this winter than ever before. Many area shows and attractions have teamed up with the Branson/Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce Convention and Convention & Visitors Bureau to get the word out that they are open during January, February and March.

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Shopping deals abound during Branson’s Hot Winter Fun

Dozens of shops, restaurants stay open during January, February, March.

Branson is a shopper’s paradise and during the winter months, prices at outlet shops, gift boutiques, antique stores, arts and crafts studios, and name brand chains are the lowest of the year. During Hot Winter Fun, January through March, shoppers in Branson will find dozens of stores open seven days a week offering great deals on name brand clothing, house wares, electronics, home décor, gourmet food, jewelry, furniture, novelty gift items and hand-crafted art.

Merchants in the Branson area want shoppers and diners to know they’re open this time of year, so many of them have joined forces with the Branson/Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce Convention and Convention & Visitors Bureau to get the word out by participating in special events, advertising and other promotional activities.

Branson’s three outlet malls offer guests name brand merchandise at discounts of 25-65% off regular retail prices. All three malls are open seven days a week. Tanger Outlet Center features stores such as Bombay Gift Outlet, Mikasa, Old Navy, Dress Barn and many more. In 2005, shoppers have the added advantage of convenient Monday through Saturday hours of 9a.m. to 9p.m. and Sunday hours of 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Tanger.

Engler Block is an ideal destination for shoppers looking for one-of-a-kind hand-made items. Visitors can even watch craftsmen blow glass, paint or carve wood right on site. Engler Block features several shops all under one roof, including a restaurant.

No trip to Branson is complete without a visit to the historic downtown area. Be sure to visit Dick’s Old Time 5 & 10. It’s a trip back in time at this popular shopping destination filled with a variety of items you haven’t seen since you were a kid.

At Alaska Down South, shoppers will find Alaskan and African art, décor, jewelry, furniture and textiles. Many of the items are hand-made, one-of-a-kind heirloom-quality.

Artists and woodworking hobbyists can find a wide-range of raw materials at Art & Woodcrafters Supply. Shop for numerous wood patterns, paints, tools and more. The knowledgeable staff is there to help bring your ideas to life.

Whether you’re a novice photographer eager to see those vacation photos, or an experienced professional, Flash Photo, located on Highway 76 has the supplies, equipment and staff to help with your one hour processing, framing and equipment needs.

The Branson Wal-Mart is conveniently located on the Hwy. 76 Strip adjacent to the Branson Mall and is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

While you’re shopping, enjoy a meal at one of Branson’s great restaurants or eateries to relax and refuel for the next round. From fine dining to fast food, Branson boasts a wide variety of choices, even during the winter months.

Start off your day with a mouth-watering Krispy Kreme donut. Located on the Strip, near Tanger Outlet Center, Krispy Kreme opened in 2004 and has quickly become a local hot spot.

Enjoy a great breakfast, lunch or dinner buffet at Branson’s Golden Corral, the largest one in the world!

For family fun, don’t miss the new Playtime Pizza, which opened in 2004, and features great games and activities for kids of all ages. Located on Gretna Road, between Branson’s three outlet malls, Playtime Pizza is an excellent choice for birthday parties, and other special events.

Branson has a great mix of cuisine styles to choose from at places like Pasta House, Lone Star Steak House, California Bar & Grill, Bob Evans, Luigi’s Pizza Kitchen, McFarlain’s Family Restaurant, Candlestick Inn, B.T. Bones and Rib Crib. The atmosphere and service are fantastic and with all the calories you burn shopping, you’ll definitely want to order dessert!

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