Any city that doesn’t require being followed by the name of its state is definitely a city with a reputation. In the case of Branson, (Missouri, just in case you don’t know) that reputation is being a world-famous hotspot of music and theatre that annually attracts millions of visitors. Yet Branson is much more than its showy entertainment side and is home to many unexpected things. Like a little slice of a tropical rainforest, for example.

The Butterfly Palace and Rainforest Adventure, perched high on a hill on the west end of the Branson Strip, is truly a one-of-a-kind experience. The beautiful rotunda-shaped building is home to an amazing aviary, where thousands of live butterflies from rainforests all over the world fly freely around visitors. Children can get outfitted in explorer’s gear for an adventurous feel, while the aviary’s many walkways offer lots of great photo opportunities for young and old alike.

Not just home to butterflies, visitors can get up-close and personal with frogs, insects, salamanders and many more critters in the Living Rainforest Science Center. The rainforest experience continues in two other fantastic activities: The Emerald Forest Mirror Maze and the Banyan Tree Adventure. The Maze simulates the twists and turns of a rainforest and is equally fun to explore and get lost in. In the Banyan Tree Adventure, visitors must navigate through the many hanging “bungee” vines and roots to reach their goal.

If all of that wasn’t enough, the Palace hosts many daily events, including live butterfly releases, critter encounters and film showings. For those who will be disappointed that you can’t take the butterflies with you, there is also the Base Camp Gift Shop, filled with lots of souvenirs and unique gifts perfect for insect-lovers.

Once again proving that fun and educational can co-exist, (as long as no one tells the kids), the Butterfly Palace and Rainforest Adventure is definitely one of Branson’s hidden gems. Best of all, your visit not only supports the Palace for future visitors, but helps support rainforest conservation efforts as well. So if you’re looking for something a little different to do in Branson, try it out!

Recommended Tour to Branson

Music Cities – Experience the best Music Cities of the south: Nashville, Memphis, Pigeon Forge and Branson. Enjoy a finger-snapping, toe-tapping time in this Music Cities Combo Tour of Branson, Memphis and Nashville where you’ll revel in the sounds of blues, country and good old rock and roll! Highlights include Country Music Hall of Fame, Dollywood, Loretta Lynn’s Ranch and Graceland.