Whether you “believe it or not,” one of the wackiest museums ever has a home right here...that’s right, Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! has an unbelievably incredible Odditorium on the world-famous Branson Strip! Brimming with fascinating, bizarre, frightening, and even downright hilarious artifacts, Ripley’s is awe-inspiring before you even stop foot inside - the entire building appears to be cracked, making for one of the area’s most photographed facades. No worries though, the facility is perfectly sturdy and safe, they’ve just taken a cue from a series of rare Missouri earthquakes for their design, earthquakes with stats and facts that fit right into the Ripley’s story - they caused the Mississippi River to run backwards for several hours!
Here are the 10 things to know about visiting Ripley’s Believe It Or Not!:
1. It’s an easy find! Many things in Branson are quite noticeable and locals may just say things like “look for the giant chicken” (a local restaurant landmark,) or “it’s the one with the huge bronze sculpture of 50 soldiers” (in front of the Veteran’s Museum,) - the same goes for Ripley’s - “just look for the brightly colored building that’s cracked right down the middle!” Have that camera ready as soon as you step out of your car, those enormous Transformers guarding the building can’t wait to be in your selfie!
2. Bring your camera inside! Take lots of still photos and video to share with your friends and with Ripley’s - believe us, there is soooo much to capture and enjoy later...a lion made of tires...a bison made of nails...a stagecoach constructed entirely of toothpicks...a scrap metal dragon - and these are just the “unusual materials” oddities. Of course, who wouldn’t want their picture taken with a roll of Charmin toilet paper? Not just any roll, mind you, the world’s largest! (But don’t worry, if you need to use the restroom at Ripley’s, the toilet paper is regular-sized!)
3. The tour is self-guided! The museum includes signs with explanations of what you’re looking at, so it’s easy to learn about everything and spend as much time as you’d like with all the displays.
4. Set aside enough time! Although the tour is self-guided, allowing you to tour as leisurely or as quickly as you like, to truly enjoy everything Ripley’s has to offer, allow for about an hour-and-a-half (1.5 hours) for your tour. With 12,000 square feet filled with more than 450 exhibits in eight themed galleries, there’s a lot to see and do!
5. Not just for viewing only! This isn’t a typical museum that includes only “don’t touch” items - sure, there are things that can’t be handled (and trust us, there are some things you’d much rather look at than touch!) - Ripley’s includes fun interactive displays, too.
6. There’s an honest-to-goodness shrunken head! No joke, a genuine shrunken head is on display at Branson’s Ripley’s, along with the story behind this unusual ancient custom - it’s one of those “viewing only” exhibits because, well, because you don’t really want to hold an authentic shrunken head anyway, right?
7. Groups are welcome! Like many Branson attractions, groups are welcomed with open arms at Ripley’s - if you have a family, gang of friends, work gathering, or whatever, that involves fifteen (15) or more people, special group rates are available.
8. It’s open every single day! Yep, that means you can visit Ripley’s 365 days a year - it opens at 9:30 a.m. and admits the last guest at 8:00 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and at 10:00 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Christmas day hours are 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. (time of last admittance.)
9. There’s a very cool gift shop! Lots of fun merchandise and souvenirs can be found in the gift shop, and since you exit the museum through the shop, you can make your purchases without having to carry them during your tour. (Sorry, they don’t sell real shrunken heads.)
10. There really is a Mr. Ripley! Robert Ripley first became famous as a cartoonist - he travelled the world collecting anything unusual, odd, bizarre, and often shocking. Ripley was just a young man of 58 when he passed away in 1949, but his legacy of introducing us to some of the most interesting artifacts and customs found on earth lives on in his fascinating museums, so don’t miss the “cracked” one in Branson! (Speaking of Ripley’s legacy, a new show premieres soon on The Travel Channel - “Ripley’s Believe It Or Not!” will be hosted by popular cult movie actor, Bruce Campbell.)
Hopefully, this is just enough information to entice you to learn more about the sensational Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! Odditorium in Branson. If you want to add more kid-friendly things to your itinerary, check this out: “Branson - Where Animals Steal the Spotlight and Your Heart!”
Learn more about other wonderful Branson places…”Branson’s Best Attractions - Shepherd of the Hills - Top 10 Things to Know!” - “Branson’s Best Attractions - Dolly Parton’s Stampede - Top 10 Things to Know!” - “Branson’s Best Attractions - Showboat Branson Belle - Top 10 Things to Know!”