Photo courtesy of the Branson/Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce A trained rider delights audiences at a Branson dinner theatre.

Missouri is as rich in vacation options as it is steeped in history. The state's famous Gateway Arch is not only a breathtaking American monument, but also houses a museum chock-full of information about our country's history of westward expansion. Likewise, Branson is not only billed as "The Live Music Show Capital of the World," but offers historic and fun live entertainment and 1950s-style music revues.

If you're seeking a fun and relaxing family vacation with options that every family member is sure to enjoy, look no further than Missouri. Check below for just a few of this state's family vacation options.

Branson

This city is billed as "The Live Music Show Capital of the World." With daily performances from all genres, music-lovers would be hard-pressed to find a city that offers a wider variety of concerts. And the fun doesn't end there! With rollicking dinner theatre shows, amusement parks, go-cart tracks, train rides, and festivals, Branson is a one-stop-shop for all your family vacation needs.

The Magic House

The Magic House in St. Louis is a mystical mansion jam-packed with educational activities disguised as fun. Kids can learn about science and technology in a whimsical atmosphere that provides them with hundreds of opportunities to poke, push, prod and play their way to knowledge about how their world works.

The Gateway Arch

This is one of America's tallest national monuments, towering high over the St. Louis skyline and offering a spectacular view of the surrounding plains. At its base lies the Museum of Westward Expansion, where families can learn about the pioneering spirit that drove American settlers west to find their fortune. Don't miss this breathtaking and historical monument.

The St. Louis Zoo

The St. Louis Zoo is home to hundreds of different species of animals, and separates itself from other zoos by offering lots of kid-themed activities. From the acrylic tube that slides down into the Otter Pool to a giant spiderweb kids can crawl along, there are lots of exhibits that combine education and fun in a way that all kids will enjoy. And with the indoor penguin habitat and 4-acre River's Edge exhibit, there's plenty of ground for the whole family to cover.

Kaleidoscope

Kaleidoscope, an art studio right next door to the Hallmark visitor's center, uses cast-offs from the card manufacturer's factories to provide a fun and creative playland for children. Using scraps of ribbon, glitter, glue, and some imagination, kids visiting this craft center can create and showcase unique works of art. With daily activities and multiple rooms, each sporting a different theme, kids are allowed to go wild and create their own masterpieces.

Continue on to the next page to learn more about the Live Music Show Capital of the World, Branson.

To learn more about family vacation destinations, see:
  • Family Vacations: Learn about hundreds of family vacations in destinations all over North America.
  • Missouri State Guide: Learn about Mobil Travel Guide-rated hotels and restaurants in Missouri, as well as other recreational activities.
  • Scenic Drives: For those who think that getting there is half the fun, we have compiled more than 100 of the most scenic drives throughout the country.