Tips and tricks to know to make your day with young kids so much more enjoyable!
Sometimes even the thought of a theme park with younger children can be exhausting. Here are some insider tips and tricks to make memories that you’ll enjoy remembering-haha!
What is Silver Dollar City?
In the exact words of their website “Silver Dollar City, located in Branson, Missouri, combines the wholesome family fun of a major theme park with the timeless appeal of crafts and a dedication to preserving 1880s Ozarks culture. Over 100 craftsmen are on the park demonstrating glass blowing, blacksmithing, pottery, candy making, candle making, and many other disciplines.
Packed with over 40 rides and attractions, 60 unique shops and restaurants, and 40 dazzling shows a day, Silver Dollar City truly appeals to all ages. It also hosts 10 major festivals and special events per year and was named one of the Top Theme Parks in The World by the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions.” I thought this absolutely summed it up perfectly.
Hunter and I LOVE Silver Dollar City. We both grew up coming to this theme park in Missouri, so anytime we hear bluegrass music (Hunter’s favorite), or smell wood shavings (I think that’s what it is-lol) we think of SDC.
We knew we wanted to help create those same fun memories with our kiddos. Julia is 3, Jack is 10 months old, and we also brought our niece Emery, who is 2! Three kids under 3. IT’S DOABLE Y’ALL!
Tips to make your day at Silver Dollar City with kids easier:
- Bring a third person to help with kids
The first thing I HIGHLY suggest is to bring a third person to help with kids. I know, eye roll, who can afford a nanny? Not us, but thank the LORD our sweet Nana (Hunter’s mama) came with us. That third pair of hands helps so much, ESPECIALLY if you’d like to slip away to ride even one ride yourself somehow (we managed one!).
Even if it’s an older young kid that wants to come with y’all to have fun too, do it. It’s completely worth their ticket.
- Arrive early
As in, like for breakfast at 8:30am. Families start arriving at the park right around 9am. As in STREAMING IN. Parking begins to get hectic, and lines form at the entry to the park. But breakfast at Molly’s Mill Restaurant opens at 8:30am, which means you beat the crowd and you get a HUGE amazing breakfast.
Here’s their family breakfast servings:
Pork Sausage Links
Fluffy Scrambled Eggs
Silver Dollar Pancakes
Apple & Cherry Strudel Bites and Fresh Fruit
It’s a family-style type restaurant where you’re seated quickly and they bring out large portions for your table to share. Did I mention it’s unlimited?
A phenomenal start to the day; the kids get their bellies full, and you skip the lines. It’s right inside the park to the right in the square after coming through the hospitality house.
- Download the Silver Dollar City app
This app makes it SO MUCH easier to find your way around versus pulling out the wrinkled up, torn (thanks Jack) theme park paper map.
Go to the map, click list view, click filters (can filter to wait time, height requirement, etc), and search what you’re needing. SO CONVENIENT.
This app has the day-of schedule for shows, demonstrations, and eats. It truly has it all. MAJOR time saver.
- Get a Trail Blazers Pass
There aren’t many things worse than having to stand in a line with young kids. This pass is honestly a GENIUS idea. It’s seriously worth every single penny extra. It’s a pass that allows you to cut to the very front of any line for a ride. What’s also nice is, you don’t always have to tromp past all the people in line-haha.
They have specific entrances where they just allow you onto the ride first. What we do is buy the 8 uses/1 day pass and then use it amongst the group as needed (we’ve never had an issue using it amongst different people).
We definitely used ours on the Frisco Silver Dollar Line Steam Train. That line piles up FAST, so this was a dream to be able to walk on first and be able to pick the best seat, which is towards the middle of the train.
This is the best spot to see the skit midways through the train ride. We rode the train ride first to warm the kids up to rides after eating breakfast.
- Get a color coded height wristband
Julia and Emery just look teeny-lol. But they were RIGHT AT the height requirements for most of the kid’s rides (most are 36 inches tall to ride with an adult).
So to avoid the time spent on ride attendants asking to measure their height at each ride, you can get a color-coded wristband for them at the official ride measuring station in the Grand Exposition. There is also a spot to write your cell in case you guys get separated.
- Buy a Tasting Passport
This pass allows you to taste up to 5 different entrees from eateries around the park. They’re mini versions of the full entree, but my, my, we couldn’t even use up our full 5! And you’re talking about YUM.
This also helped keep my and Hunter’s marriage together considering we ALWAYS have different tastes on what we want to order-haha. This pass allowed us to sample multiple things and it was amazing.
This current pass was for the Bluegrass and BBQ Festival through May of 2021, but I’ve heard they will be doing a version of this for each different season. Below are some of the entrees that were available to sample.
My absolute favorite meal to get at Silver Dollar City is at Buckshot’s Skillet Cookery. I get half Family Feud (Succotash), half Harvest Skillet. SO GOOD.
My second favorite was the cheesy jalapeno sausage dog. Don’t tell Hunter, it was his idea to get it, and always says he orders the best thing. He kinda does. But I don’t want to admit it. And I definitely don’t want him to know I admitted that.
BBQ Brisket Kettle Chips Pulled Pork Pineapple Sandwich Cheesy BBQ Jalapeno Sausage Dog Peach Funnel Cake Pulled Pork Pizza
Make sure to save one of your passport stamps for a loaf of cinnamon bread heading out! It’s a WHOLE LOAF. No mini taste there! SO good.
What to do if it rains at Silver Dollar City:
- Get some ponchos! Each little shop has them for sale for $8. (or just check the weather before you go-haha and bring your own). But these came in handy when it was sprinkling pretty good but we still wanted to get around. We put them over the kid’s strollers with their heads out-lol. Worked great.
- Get an extra day free! Did you know if it rains for more than 90 minutes during your day at Silver Dollar City, you can go to Guest Relations and get a complimentary ticket valid for one day during that season? So nice! This park thought of everything.
Family Amenities at Silver Dollar City:
- Nursing Rooms
They truly thought of everything for parents. This was such a blessing to have. They provide a place for you to comfortably nurse away from the public. But here’s the thing. Even if you don’t nurse, they’re air-conditioned and have rocking chairs. It’s a perfect place to go give them their bottle and to let them de-stimulate for a minute-haha.
It was empty when I went in, so I turned the light off, nursed, and was even able to let Jack nap for a bit. It was a perfect place to recharge even for that short amount of time.
- Warming bottles
Ask any staff at Silver Dollar City, and they’ll fill your bottle with warm water free of charge. Just one other thing they thought of for parents.
Rides at Silver Dollar City for kids not to miss:
Jack on the Happy Frogs Emery was terrified on her first time on the Swings but LOVED it.
For the small kiddos (at least 36 inches tall):
Fire in the Hole
Frisco Silver Dollar Line Steam Train
Grand Exposition Coaster
Lucky’s Dizzy Dogs
Magnificent Wave Carousel (Swings)
Royal Tea Party
The Flooded Mine
Wings of Wonder
For the bigger kids at heart:
the NEW Mystic River Falls Time Traveler Mystic River Falls
The kiddos won’t be big enough to ride some of these, but when you can, DO IT. Hunter and I got away to ride Time Traveler and YESSSSS, it’s SO much fun. Talk about heart-dropping fun!
Right out the gate, you’re taken for an immediate tummy-getting DROP. Then it’s full of twists and turns you’re not expecting. Most think you would get dizzy from the turning car you’re in, but you don’t. It’s an absolute MUST.
Before you come to Silver Dollar City:
Here are some tips for planning your trip before you come.
There’s currently a special if you plan on attending the park on a Thursday. If you buy your ticket at a participating location in Kansas, or Arkansas (here’s a full list) your admission is cheaper than normal ($50).