It’s A Wonder!

It’s A Wonder!

New Branson fun spot filled with ‘edutainment’


“You’re not going to believe how much fun it is! The team is so innovative, so creative, it’s amazing.”

Of course Brenda Dent is going to brag about WonderWorks, the newest addition to the Branson family “edutainment” offerings. She’s the general manager of the new history and science museum/indoor amusement park. She’s watched it come together over the past few months in a new building where the Baldknobbers Theater used to be at 2835 W. 76 Country Blvd.

But Dent also has the best interest of Branson in mind; she’s lived there — off and on — since 1981, when her family built a hotel in the community.

“We are so fortunate that even as Branson has grown, that sense of community had grown stronger,” she says. “And now, WonderWorks gets to bring something new to it.”

The sixth WonderWorks location is scheduled to open later this spring, with a unique “Branson flair” that she enumerates happily:

• An exploration of the history of Branson. “Since outdoor activities are revered, this exhibit space brings the outdoors inside and includes interactive exhibits on a favorite local pastime — fishing!”

• A military section that honors those who protect and serve the United States. “This space highlights STEM-related job opportunities in the military and showcases some of the technology,” Dent says. This section also includes interactive exhibits, military artifacts and a theater showing of a short film titled “American Pride,” which Dent says always brings her to tears.

• The Mother Road. Because Springfield, Mo., was the birthplace of Route 66, WonderWorks will offer a look at the historic route. “There will be a Route 66 exhibit on each of the three floors, including a memory board where guests can share their own Route 66 experience,” Dent says.

And while all WonderWorks locations feature an illusion art galley, the Branson location will devote space to local artists as well as featuring the OZART Gallery showcasing the work of young artists from local schools.

Dent also speaks proudly of the WonderWorks outreach to schools, including those across the state line in Arkansas, and says she’ll be opening early for field trips during the school year.

Of course, it’s not all about learning at WonderWorks. The fun begins with the outside of the building, which appears to be upside down.

“You will see Professor Wonder’s lab turned upside down on top of a fishing lodge in the Ozark Mountains, then come in and see the lobby and everything upside down,” Dent enthuses. “Then you go through the ‘conversion tunnel’ and learn the story of Professor Wonder and his lab and how we ended up upside down in the middle of the Ozark Mountains.”

There’s also a Bubble Room, when kids of all ages can create bubbles the size of basketballs, blow bubbles through a bubble sheet, or make a bubble big enough for the creator — or a parent — to fit inside; Xtreme 360 Bikes where the movement of the bike depends on how fast and hard guests pedal; and the Interactive Sandbox, through which explorers can use light projections, hand motion and sand movement to produce unique environments for guests to explore.

“Visitors to the area and residents alike are going to love all that WonderWorks has to offer,” promises Dent. “We are excited about offering so many unique opportunities at this location and can’t wait to share it with everyone.”

Dent hopes WonderWorks will open in April.




WHEN —10 a.m.-9 p.m.; opening sometime in April

WHERE — 2835 W. 76 Country Blvd. in Branson

COST — Admission for ages 5 to 12 is $19.99; senior citizen admission is $14.99; and adult admission is $28.99; tickets are good for an entire day


Categories: 'Tis the Season