BRANSON – Very little defines “wonder” better than the look on a 6-year-old’s face. With a fixed gaze and hands cupping her mouth, my daughter watched as a man balanced himself roughly 10 feet above the ground, standing on several stacked platforms that wobbled on top of a hollow cylinder rolling to and fro on a narrow table. After this man accomplished his feat of wonder, my daughter clapped and my 4-year-old son turned to my wife. Astonished, he asked her, “How did he do that?”
This opportunity to see genuine amazement in my children’s eyes made our recent trip to Silver Dollar City, a well-known Branson theme park, worthwhile. If I remember aright, the late Christian author C.S. Lewis said occasionally that the fleeting joys of this life should point us to the only One who can give us true joy. And I suppose that the same could be said of the fleeting moments of wonder that we experience in this life: They should give us a craving for the One who will leave us in an eternal state of awe and amazement.
And, of course, plenty of opportunities to experience such anticipatory feelings of wonder present themselves at Silver Dollar City’s new “Festival of Wonders.” Among other attractions, guests can watch the Balancing Wonders to see gravity-defying performances that—as my children repeatedly remind me—we must not try at home. They can also see the Flamenco Kings, starring seven world-renowned flamenco dance artists. And music lovers can hear some of the world’s largest instruments made of glassware.
Guests can also experience an assortment of awe-inspiring eatables cooked at the park as part of Silver Dollar City’s Year of Food and Crafts. There’s no shortage of bacon on the menu (including chocolate covered bacon), and meat lovers can find hot dogs wrapped in hamburger or a grilled hamburger on a donut. The brownies, cakes and milk shakes are great. And adventurous souls can eat the “Curious Kabobs” with shark or alligator on a stick.
And alongside its new “Festival of Wonders,” Silver Dollar City still has all the old attractions that have drawn families to Branson for decades: rides for children and adults, restaurants and shows, and a family friendly environment. At Silver Dollar City, alcohol is off-limits, and parents don’t need to worry about their children being introduced to the modern culture’s unbiblical sexual propaganda. And most importantly, especially during the Christmas season, Silver Dollar City doesn’t shy away from telling its guests about the only One who can truly fill us with wonder.