Head to downtown Branson’s historic 1905 depot to board this old-fashioned form of fun, featuring refurbished vintage passenger coaches and Vista Dome railcars from the 1940s and ’50s. Seats are not assigned, allowing visitors to roam the train. The 2-hour Branson Scenic Railway provides panoramic views of the Ozarks as it travels through tunnels and over trestles on its 40 miles round trip, pulled by a 1951 engine. When my sons were teenagers, I took them on this ride, and they loved it. I’ve also ridden with my parents and 99-year-old aunt, who enjoyed the scenery.
In addition to the regular excursions, Saturday dinner rides are also available (not recommended for passengers younger than 13) that provide a choice of beef, chicken or fish. And on selected dates in November and daily in December, families are encouraged to wear pajamas to board the Polar Express to the North Pole, meet Santa and more.