If you haven’t been to Shepherd of the Hills lately, then you really haven’t been at all! Don’t panic, the outdoor drama you know and love still takes the stage, the Inspiration Tower is still inspiring those who appreciate a magnificent view, the sensational holiday lights drive-through is still make Christmas merrier, and the Vigilante Extreme ZipRider is still soaring...but this already fun-filled destination has even more to offer now! We’ll share a bit of information on each of the new activities in this must-save list, as well as offer a few more tips on getting the most out of your visit to one of Branson’s iconic attractions. Follow links to listings for more information, rules, and guidelines for each attraction at Shepherd of the Hills.
Here are the 10 things to know about visiting Shepherd of the Hills Homestead & Adventure Park:
1. Don’t miss the outdoor drama! This entertaining, live telling of the legendary story from the best-selling Harold Bell Wright novel, The Shepherd of the Hills, should be on everyone’s Branson bucket list. Touching, inspiring, funny, and filled with talented actors, including lots of animals, there’s something truly special about witnessing the show in the outdoor amphitheatre - a memorable experience for your entire family!
2. Bring the little ones along! Sure, they might be too young for some of the activities, but did you know that Shepherd of the Hills has an attraction designed just for them? Lil’ Pete’s Playland offers rope bridges, a petting zoo, a mini-golf course, an obstacle course, and more.
3. You can ride ATVs - prepare to get dirty! That’s right, this beautiful property can be explored a bit more, courtesy of the Off Road Ozark ATV Adventures - you can ride for one or one and a half hour trips. Top-notch, CanAm Commander and CanAm Maverick vehicles are available and basic instructions will get everyone comfortable with the vehicle and the terrain you’ll encounter. Remember to dress appropriately and don’t wear anything you can’t get dirty!
4. Home to two live holiday shows! Even if you knew about the outdoor drama, did you know that, this coming Christmas season, Dino Karsonakis returns to Branson? The Homestead will be hosting Merry Christmas with Dino & Cheryl, a highly anticipated lunch and dinner show features Dino on his million dollar Austrian crystal piano, accompanied by the lovely vocals of his wife, Cheryl. You can also experience A Shepherd’s Christmas Carol Dinner Show, another fascinating look at characters from the legendary and beloved Outdoor Drama - you can join the clan for holiday festivities, complete with all the hilarity, friendship, and affection that follows!
5. You can see Branson from a 230-foot vantage point! Yep, sitting atop Inspiration Point is Shepherd of the Hills’ Inspiration Tower - built sturdy with steel, stone, and concrete, the stunning structure contains more than 4,400 square feet of glass for 360 degree views. There’s an observation deck that affords views of the gorgeous Ozarks’ countryside up to 90 miles away on a clear day.
6. A classic has returned! Once upon a time, there was a vaudeville-style traveling tent show, and in early 60s Branson, the “Toby Show” could be seen at the Corncrib Theater. Shepherd of the Hill’s legend and co-author of the novel, Shad Heller, was instrumental in establishing that show, and now it’s only fitting the The Toby Show can, once again, be enjoyed in all it’s down-home laughter-filled glory at the Homestead, with dinner! Experience this blast-from-the-simpler-past!
7. Two Christmas “through” experiences are offered! You may be familiar with the much-loved drive-through, Trail of Lights, and it’s still entertaining thousands during the holidays, but now there’s a walk-through - North Pole Adventure. You’ll enjoy a holiday landscape complete with thousands upon thousands of glittering lights, artisan craft vendors, hot chocolate stands, and several of Santa’s Elves in the “Stardust Stables” and the “Wishlist Workshop.” There’s also a “Tree Top Lot-A-Maze-ing Fun” and a visit to Santa Claus when you take the “Ho Ho Ho 200 Feet Up We Go” trip up Inspiration Tower!
8. There’s more than one zipline adventure! The Adventure Park offers three zipline canopy tours - one that includes four (4) short lines, another with four (4) long lines, and a third that offers all eight (8) lines. The Shepherd of the Hills Homestead offers some of the most beautiful countryside in the Ozarks, and canopy tours are a fun and exciting way to experience it! In addition to the canopy tours, the first zipline at the property is still one of Branson’s most popular - the Vigilante Extreme ZipRider launches you from atop Inspiration Point! It’s fast enough - reaching speeds up to 50mph - to be thrilling, yet it zips along at a pace that allows you to enjoy the view while comfortably seated.
9. You can get roped in! Well, not exactly...we’re talking about making an energetic climb through the ropes course - enjoy a variety of swinging bridges, rope walls, and wonderful views. The course is available for all ages, on your own or with a group, and there’s a neighboring Little Tykes course for those under 48 inches tall.
10. You can tour the Homestead! You’ll tour behind-the-scenes of the Shepherd of the Hills stage, Inspiration Point, the Morgan Community Church, similar to the churches that hosted minister and author, Harold Bell Wright, and the historic Old Matt’s Cabin, still standing on its original site, it’s been placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Shepherd of the Hills has even more to offer than what we’ve shared here, just in case you need more than 10 reasons to visit!
For more help with planning your trip…”Branson - 11 Good Things to Know Before You Go!” -- “A Branson Trip in the Works? Let’s Find the Lodging That Fits You Best!” For the first in this series: “Branson’s Best Attractions - Dolly Parton’s Stampede - Top 10 Things to Know!”