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Intergenerational Ozarks Playtime: Music, Stories, Crafts and Games of Yesteryear

Program Number: 2549RJ
Start and End Dates:
6/23/2013 - 6/28/2013;
Duration: 5 nights
Location: Branson, Missouri
Price starting at: $684.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Intergenerational; Music Appreciation; Crafts
Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 14; 5 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 5 Dinners    
Meal Options: Low Salt    

Program intended for grandchildren from 8 - 12 years of age.

Discover the rich cultural heritage of the Ozarks while you enjoy a week of games from yesteryear, fascinating folksongs, and memorable storytelling. Instructors include Ozark balladeers, folklorists, storytellers, and educators. Enjoy an old fashion picnic with the games you grew up with. Step away from the electronic hectic world while grandparents rekindle memories, grandchildren build new ones, and learn about each other in the process!


• Build and decorate a sturdy cardboard mountain dulcimer and learn to play great old-time songs on this easy-to-play instrument.
• Play traditional Ozark games and learn lively folk dancing for all ages.
• Spark your creativity with soap carving, toy making, taffy pulling, and t-shirt painting.

Activity Particulars

Walking up to a few blocks; standing up to one hour; get on/off coach. Elevators and ramps available.

Coordinated by Ozark Adventures.


Located in the heart of the Ozark Mountains on the shores of Lake Taneycomo, Branson is a popular tourist destination, famous for its many live music theaters, clubs and other entertainment venues, as well as its historic downtown and surrounding natural beauty. The city proudly proclaims the importance of family, faith, and patriotism throughout its many attractions.

Ten minutes from Branson Airport, comfortable hotel in a setting convenient to all Branson has to offer; indoor pool.
Meals and Lodgings
   Branson Towers
  Branson, MO 5 nights
 Branson Towers
Type: Hotel
  Description: Fantastic View of the Branson valley with all the lights of the strip!
  Contact info: 236 Shepherd of the Hills Expressway
Branson, MO 65616 USA
phone: 417-336-4500
  Room amenities: Wi-Fi, Cable TV, Coffee/Tea Maker, Hair Dryer, Refrigerator (On Request), Microwave (On request with charge)
  Facility amenities: Indoor Pool / Hot Tub, Full Breakfast, Laundry, Game Room, Ice Cream Social Nightly
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Bathroom: Grab bars and shower seats if needed
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: Call 417-239-0203 Please contact provider at 417-239-0203 to ensure the best rate and room concerns.
  Check in time: 3:00 PM
  Additional nights after: Call 417-239-0203 Please contact provider at 417-239-0203 to ensure the best rate and room concerns.
  Check out time: 12:00 PM

Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Arrival/Check in time 3 PM. You will be staying at Branson Towers that night.
  End of Program:
Departure/Check out time 11 AM. You will be staying at Branson Towers the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. Parental Waivers
  Parking availability:
Plenty of parking is available at the motel.
To Start of Program
  Location:  Branson, MO
  Nearest highway: Highway 65
  Nearest airport:  Branson, Missouri
  From End of Program
  Location: Branson, MO
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details



From Airport




phone: 417-332-CABS x2227
Advanced Reservations Required


Per Person/One Way:


$8-10 per car on average
Prices are subject to change.


Travel Time:


15 minutes 




10 Miles


Please visit for information on this very close airport. While it is not required, we advise renting a car to help with travel during free time opportunities. Unfortunately the hotel does not offer a shuttle service for the airport.


Springfield, Missouri


From Airport




Commercial Van/Shuttle
Branson Coach
phone: 417-339-4888
Advanced Reservations Required


Per Person/One Way:


Check with shuttle service.
Prices are subject to change.


Travel Time:


1 hour from Springfield 


PLEASE CHECK WITH LOCAL BRANSON AIRPORT FOR TICKETS BEFORE CONSIDERING THE SPRINGFIELD-BRANSON AIRPORT! They can be found at In addition, while not required, we recommend to rent a car for your time here. This will assist you in getting around to other locations during free time. Normally, participants call when they make airline reservations, then confirm a day or two before flight.

Driving Directions
  Branson Towers Regardless of your direction of arrival, (from the north if from Springfield, or the south, if from Arkansas) exit from HIGHWAY 65 at the MO-248/RED ROUTE/SHEPHERD OF THE HILLS EXPY; Keep RIGHT at the fork to go on MO-248 N/RED ROUTE/SHEPHERD OF THE HILLS EXPY; Turn LEFT onto SHEPHERD OF THE HILLS EXPY/RED ROUTE; 236 SHEPHERD OF THE HILLS EXPY is on the RIGHT
Elevation Note: The highest elevation participants will experience is 1,000 feet.

The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Daily Schedule

Day 1: Register, Orientation, Dinner, and Get to Know Your Fellow Participants
(Sunday, June 23)
 Dinner: Arrival time for the program is 4:30 p.m. The first evening includes an introduction of the sponsoring personnel, an orientation to the program, dinner, and get-acquainted activities.--- Please be aware that program activities and schedule times could change due to local circumstances. In the event of any changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding!--- This program is designed for a high degree of participation by both grandparents and grandchildren. Both learn from each other while learning and reminiscing about the games, toys, songs, and customs during the days of the grandparents youth. (This was a time when families made many of their own toys and created their own fun.) Together grandchildren and grandparents construct a dulcimer which the grandchildren learn to play. Under the guidance of a competent staff, grandparents and children together play, dance, make some old-time candy, laugh, sing and participate in a talent show. Get rest tonight as it is an exciting educational journey ahead of you!---
Accommodations: Branson Towers
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Experience with your grandchild: Building your own Mountain Dulcimer, Old Fashioned Games, Making Ice Cream, and an evening of Story Telling
(Monday, June 24)
 Breakfast: Enjoy a fine breakfast
 Morning: Get a visit from Granny Dingle and discuss life on Growing up in the Ozarks: A cultural examination in what it is like to be raised in the Ozarks region. How does the lifestyle different from other areas? What are the 'rites of passage' for the youth? How are the traditions and lore passed from one generation to the next? Also, look at the idea of 'chores' - Daily or routine domestic tasks, especially a farmer's routine morning and evening tasks, such as feeding livestock.
 Morning: Workshop and Build your own Mountain Dulcimer: The Appalachian dulcimer (or mountain dulcimer) is a fretted string instrument of the zither family, typically with three or four strings. It is native to the Appalachian region of the United States. Work with seasoned musicians on building with your grandchild your very own dulcimer. The instrument is to lay it flat on the lap and pluck or strum the strings with one hand, while fretting with the other. The dulcimer may also be placed in a similar position on a piece of furniture such as a table or chest of drawers, to enhance the sound. Presenter: Judy Domeny, Folklorist and Performer
 Lunch: Great lunch will be served on site.
 Afternoon: Workshop on making Ice Cream: You scream, I scream, we all scream for ice cream! While ice cream has been reported to be around since 200 B.C. in China, ice cream recipes are relatively new. Ice cream recipes first appear in 18th century England and America. A recipe for ice cream was published in Mrs. Mary Eales's Receipts in London 1718. Learn some great ways of making old fashioned ice cream and then later you get to sample your handiwork!---After the fun there will be some free time until Supper. This would be a great opportunity to catch an afternoon show in Branson. Please visit for offerings.
 Afternoon: Workshop on working hard at playing games. All of the games you will learn or re-learn have no batteries and require little assembly but a lot of imagination! Revisit your childhood with your grandchild playing marbles, jacks, and all the games you played with string. Presenter: Judy Domeny, Folklorist and Performer
 Dinner: We will have a fantastic dinner (we call it ‘supper’) served on site.
 Evening: A night of fun with Ozark Storytelling: Storytelling is the conveying of events in words, images, and sounds often by improvisation or embellishment. Stories or narratives have been shared in every culture and in every land as a means of entertainment, education, preservation of culture and in order to instill moral values. Meet some of the best storytellers in the Ozarks and listen to them spin tales thru the night.
Accommodations: Branson Towers
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Experience with your grandchild: Folksongs, Learning ‘Spoons’, Bee Keeping, and enjoy an ol’ fashioned picnic!
(Tuesday, June 25)
 Breakfast: A great breakfast
 Morning: Spoons As a musical instrument, spoons are classified as an Idiophone or an instrument that produces noise when struck upon or shaken. Spoons have been associated with Western and American folk music as they provide easy and accessible accompaniment like the jug and washboard, to any variety of instruments such as fiddle and guitar. However, musical spoons can be seen in other cultures further back such as those of Russian Gypsies that improvised and created almost all of their music from what they had around them. Presenter: Judy Domeny, Folklorist and Performer
 Morning: Folksongs The term folk music originated in the 19th century as a term for musical folklore. Old-time music (folk music) is played using a wide variety of stringed instruments. The instrumentation of an old-time group is often determined solely by what instruments are available, as well as by tradition. The most common instruments are acoustic string instruments.
 Lunch: Another fantastic lunch will be served on site
 Afternoon: Lecture on Bee Keeping: Beekeeping (or apiculture) is the maintenance of honey bee colonies, commonly in hives, by humans. A beekeeper (or apiarist) keeps bees in order to collect honey and beeswax, to pollinate crops, or to produce bees for sale to other beekeepers. Our lecturer, a professional bee keeper, will discuss the history of this cash crop in the Ozarks and its role today. Presenter: Dr. Fred Pfister, Bee Keeper, Editor, and Local Historian
 Afternoon: For the rest of the afternoon, you will join your grandchild in painting your dulcimer in your own unique style. At this time you will also glue your fret board to the dulcimer. Staff will be onsite to help with this process to create a lifelong memory. Depending on the time needed for this project, you will have the rest of the afternoon to enjoy – perhaps a cool dip in the swimming hole (pool)!
 Dinner: Enjoy a good ol fashion picnic with all the fixins’!
 Evening: Enjoy watermelon spittin’ contests, relays, sing-a-longs, and everything that makes the summer so much fun!
Accommodations: Branson Towers
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Experience with your grandchild: The Adventure of ‘Ride the Ducks, Early Pioneers, and Animals of the Ozarks!
(Wednesday, June 26)
 Breakfast: Enjoy a fine continental breakfast.
 Morning: Take a trip on the adventurous 'Ride the Ducks' sightseeing tour! Your duck ride combines fun and music with history and sights aboard a one of a kind amphibious vehicle. You will Ride through the Ozarks, Splashdown into the Lake for a fun cruise. While on the lake you can drive the duck (if you want). Your Captain will en-tour-tain you with stories of past and present. Learn about Ozark Mountain history, the lakes, its famous personalities and its impact on the state and our nation. Find out about Branson's role in film, song and sports too!
 Morning: Presentation on Ozark Living: This presentation is chock full of information about America’s early pioneers. Based on the old saying “Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without,” Judy displays and discusses animal skulls and hides, quilts, a washboard, children’s toys, products made from antlers and corn, patterned feed sacks and more. Judy intersperses traditional American folksongs throughout the presentation, accompanying herself on the mountain dulcimer, banjo, and guitar.
 Lunch: A great Bar-B-Q lunch will be served!
 Afternoon: Presentation on Animals of the Ozarks: The goal is to introduce grandparents and grandchildren to the aspects of wildlife that might otherwise go unnoticed or misunderstood in their busy lives. They will learn the close connections between different aspects of the environment and how ecosystem shifts occurring in Missouri might be indicative of changes abroad. They will study the diversity of animal and plant life you find just by stepping onto your lawn and will learn how animals fulfill different roles in the ecosystem. Following the lecture there will be a Q&A session with focus on a particular group of animals designated to your grandchild
 Dinner: A great supper will be served on site.
 Evening: Free evening! Go out and explore Branson with its amazing shows, fantastic family centers, or take a walk on Lake Taneycomo! Please visit for great places to go.
Accommodations: Branson Towers
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Experience with your grandchild: The love of toys, Shirt Painting, Tuning and playing your Dulcimer, and end the day with the Spectacular show – Dixie Stampede!
(Thursday, June 27)
 Breakfast: A great breakfast
 Morning: Workshop on playing your dulcimer: The paint and glue have dried and it is time to learn how to play your dulcimer! The instrument is to lay it flat on the lap and pluck or strum the strings with one hand, while fretting with the other. You will also learn how to tune your dulcimer for years of enjoyment. Learn some new tunes in a fun and encouraging atmosphere while forming a lasting memory with your grandchild! A wonderful lunch will be served on site.
 Morning: Workshop on toys: Toys have been unearthed from the sites of ancient civilizations. They have been written about in some of our oldest literature. Toys like Marbles, jackstones, and balls serve similar functions in child development, allowing children to use their minds and bodies to learn about spatial relationships, cause and effect, and a wide range of other skills. We will journey back to a time when many toys were made out of natural or household items – rag dolls for example.
 Lunch: Enjoy a fantastic lunch
 Afternoon: Workshop on painting shirts: With brush in hand go back to a time when kids would paint their own unique shirts vs. just buying them at a store. Work with your grandchild to express yourself and then proudly wear your creation! Take as much time as you need and work with several seasoned art instructors to get that perfect image or style you want.
 Dinner: Please see below
 Evening: Participants eat a super fun-filled meal at the family-oriented Dixie Stampede dinner show followed by a beautiful and dynamic performance of entertainers and comedians singing, dancing, and riding majestic horses. With 32 horses, dozens of cast members, live buffalo, amazing ostrich races, magic and seating for 1,000 around a 35,000 square-foot arena at each facility. We will arrive early and take a stroll by the outdoor stable area where you can get a preview of the magnificent performers – the horses themselves!
Accommodations: Branson Towers
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Experience with your grandchild: More memorable folk songs, Coon Dogs, and say our goodbyes to new friends!
(Friday, June 28)
 Breakfast: Enjoy a great breakfast buffet
 Morning: Lecture on Coon Dogs: We'll see some real Ozark Hound dogs or ‘Coon Hounds’ and hear stories from a man who hunts with them. A Coonhound is a type of scent hound and a member of the hound group. The dogs are prized for hunting animals that didn't "go to ground", but instead took to the treetops to escape, such as raccoons, opossums, bobcats and even larger prey like cougars and bears. A good coonhound will bark and keep its prey treed until the hunters arrive. Presenter: Arnold Evans, Local Historian
 Morning: Another fun round of singing folksongs. This program is a mix of contemporary songs themed around Judy’s experiences of living on a farm. Her farm program is entertaining and always changing, depending on the latest escapade with her animals. Song topics include gardening, farm animals, cutting wood, auctions, love of the land, buying machinery, milking cows and more.
 Morning: Reminisce about the week’s activities while enjoying one last moment with new friends. Have a safe trip home!
Meals Included: Breakfast

Free Time Opportunities
  Branson, MO Branson Tourism Center
Please refer to the day to day listing for free time. For additional information, visit
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List

Insiders' Guide to Branson and the Ozark Mountains

Author: Dr. Fred Pfister

Description: For more than twenty years, the Insiders' Guide® series has been the essential source for in-depth travel and relocation information—from true insiders whose personal, practical perspective gives you everything you need to know. With more than forty theaters on and around its famous Strip, Branson is proudly called the Live Music Capital of the World. But there's more to this year-round vacation destination than its shows and stars: World-class golf, theme parks, and historic sites are all within easy reach. This authoritative guide shows you how to navigate the glitz and glitter of Branson as well as the natural beauty of the scenic Ozark Mountain country. • Countless details on how to live and thrive in the area, from the best fishing holes to the lowdown on real estate • The inside scoop on the top shopping, seasonal festivals, and live entertainment offerings • Comprehensive listings of restaurants and accommodations • Sections dedicated to children and retirement

The Bittersweet Ozarks at a Glance

Author: Ellen Grey Massey

Description: The Bittersweet Ozarks at a Glance is a beautiful and unique photograph collection that portrays the Bittersweet Ozarks, collected by Ellen Gray Massey and her students, more than thirty years ago. Had the students not researched and recorded, the information from the 494 men and women they captured in words and pictures most would be lost forever for most of them have died. From 1973 until 1983, the young people published 482 articles and features in 40 issues of Bittersweet, the Ozark Quarterly.

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