Headed to Branson, MO and hope to find some allergy-friendly entertainment and food while you’re there?
We recently took our teens and enjoyed some good dairy and nut free fun.
So we thought we’d share the food finds and activities with our food allergy friends!
PLEASE NOTE: Here at Milk Allergy Mom, we simply share products that work for our family. Please consult your own doctor before trying food, supplements, or other products. Also read all labels and call companies for the latest, most accurate product information.
ALSO PLEASE NOTE: Our son with milk and nut allergy is doing milk desensitization treatment but still strictly avoids nuts. Before starting his treatment, we always brought his own food everywhere…including a few trips to Branson. Talk to your allergist about how strict you need to be with eating out per your own food allergy situation.
BEST WESTERN PLUS
To start, we stayed at a Best Western Plus halfway to Branson.
Free continental breakfast is always a plus, but we make sure our kiddo with food allergies has safe breakfast food from home.
We can never fully count on safe food to be around for him.
However, this time, the hotel offered some legitimate breakfast options so we decided to take advantage.
The muffin shown above was prepackaged with a label.
Here are the ingredients on our package. Always check labels as ingredients can change.
There’s also a number so you can call the company right then and there.
Kiddo thought the muffin was tasty, and it was a great alternative for the waffles everyone else was eating.
Next up at the hotel, kiddo could have his usual instant oatmeal made with hot water.
Not all flavors are dairy-free so make sure you know which ones work for your allergies.
Again, always a food allergy bonus when food comes pre-packaged with an ingredient label.
The hotel also had some of the cereals safe for our kiddo.
PLUS, they had dairy-free milk for the cereal. Amazing!
I also wanted to show how they had our favorite chocolate syrup, kiddo could have made himself chocolate soy milk.
Or he could have heated up a chocolate soy milk in the microwave for hot cocoa.
Of course, hotel continental breakfasts often have fresh fruit like bananas, apples, and oranges, too.
We like grabbing a few pieces for the rest of the road trip, and kiddo with food allergies can, as well.
SWEET SUSIE’S FROZEN TREATS
When we landed in Branson hours later, we started scouring online for potential dairy and nut free treats.
And it was super exciting to learn about this ice cream shop just down the road from our resort.
On Facebook, they touted dairy-free machines and toppings so we decided to check it out.
When we walked in, the owner’s daughter greeted us and asked if we’d been there before.
She was more than happy to go over the dairy-free options, to let us know the ingredients, and to show us the different toppings.
Let’s just say kiddo ended up with all four dairy-free flavors topped with gummy bears and Nerds.
The dairy-free flavors rotate, but four at a time was more than we could have asked for!
Next up was the Dixie Stampede.
For this meal, we actually made reservations ahead of time before leaving home.
It’s a meal and show in one, and the meal is pre-set for all the guests.
But on their website, we were able to choose from a few special diets.
Dairy-free was an option but nut-free was not.
So we knew we’d need to talk to the server when we got there.
The server was decently versed in food allergy.
After telling him we also had a nut allergy, he knew the dessert would need to be altered.
First up at Dixie Stampede, while everyone else got creamy soup, kiddo received dairy-free steamed vegetables.
For the main dish, kiddo got to enjoy chicken and pork with everyone else.
In addition, the whole fam also could enjoy the never-ending lemonade.
Corn on the cob was ok for kiddo to eat. It was actually delicious.
But his potato had to come plain while ours were seasoned.
The server thought the potato everyone received would be dairy-free, but we had to let him know that online it said dairy-free would be plain.
Our server was happy to double check with the kitchen, and we were right.
I wish we had packed our own butter and salt. Kiddo had a very plain potato and didn’t eat much of it.
For dessert, instead of an apple pastry, kiddo got a prepackaged fruit cup like you’d pack in school lunch.
Not the most amazing dessert. But he didn’t complain.
Overall, Dixie Stampede was a fun experience.
We had never gone because of food allergies, knowing it wouldn’t be worth the cost to pack our son’s own food.
But with milk allergy treatment a few years under our belt, it was a good time to give this show a try.
I’d say the dairy-free meal was a little lackluster. Wish kiddo had more flavorful alternatives to enjoy.
And I think we all agreed that now that we’ve done it, there’s no need to do it again.
The chicken, pork, and corn were good.
In hindsight, I should have packed some extra food and especially a yummy allergy-friendly dessert.
Although, I only took a couple bites out of my own puffed pastry.
THE LANDING IN BRANSON
When we go to Branson, we always make time for shopping and fun at The Landing.
And this time, we tried a few more places…specifically for food.
Right along the river, there’s a great little water show.
This place is fun at day and night, we did both.
While chocolate and fudge shops are never easy for milk and nut allergy,
this candy store is a dream for our food allergy family.
We always spend way too much time in there finding safe treats.
Essentially, most everything is just sugar and food coloring, ha! Check labels.
I’m simplifying, but you know what I mean.
There’s even fun and unique candy merchandise that I had to splurge on for upcoming Christmas presents.
Got my younger son some Sour Patch Kids socks.
And got our older son Oreo socks!
Check out all these fun goodies for all you Oreo fans.
In the middle of the day, we found ourselves hungry.
And smoothies sounded just right.
So we headed over to this smoothie shop that said to have dairy-free options when I looked them up on my phone.
Sure enough, they did have dairy and nut free options.
But I asked a ton of questions about ingredients and protein powders and all that stuff.
We settled on the simplest dairy and nut free smoothie we could find. No powders. No milk. Just fruit and juice.
And I stalked the open counter as they made it. Watching for contamination or mistakes had me hovering like a hawk.
In hindsight, I wish we had ordered our son’s separate from ours.
It was hard to keep track of my son’s smoothie while they were making our three others at the same time.
However, all turned out ok, and kiddo really did like his orange colored smoothie.
Mine was delicious, too!
On another evening, we found ourselves back at The Landing along the river for arcade fun and pizza.
We’d never had Mellow Mushroom pizza but knew families in our membership speak of eating dairy-free pizza there.
Sure enough, they can use Follow Your Heart cheese for dairy-free pizza.
We let them know we were ordering for a milk and nut allergy, and the waiter said yes, they would hold the parmesan as well.
When we got both my son’s dairy-free pizza and our dairy pizza, we could see ours had parmesan and his didn’t.
It was also obvious our cheeses were different, too.
Now that we eat out, we do a lot of visual inspection before taking a bite.
You can never be careful enough or double, triple check too many times.
Kiddo did enjoy his dairy-free pizza!
At the arcade, kiddo wanted me to point out that there are many fun prizes including non-food and dairy and nut free candies.
We’ve always done arcades with our kids.
But when my son was still reacting to touch contamination, I took baby wipes to wipe down games and remove allergens before he played them.
That worked well, and we never had a problem.
SIGHTS AND SOUNDS THEATER
One show that we always must see when in Branson is whatever Bible story is showing at the Sights and Sounds Theater.
Their productions are unbelievable.
Typically, we don’t eat at this show.
But this time hubby got the boys a soda and their favorite allergy-safe candy.
My biggest tip about this place is that they DO roast almonds as one of their specialty treats.
And you can smell the nuts through the entire lobby.
While kiddo is allergic to almost all tree nuts, almonds are ok for him and he drinks almond milk daily.
So this has never been an issue for us.
But if my kiddo were allergic to almonds, I would definitely look into allergy-safety options before booking this show.
Following the afternoon Sights and Sounds Show, we found ourselves hungry and in the mood for some home cooking.
With that, we decided it was a good time for our son to try Cracker Barrel.
Again, only because of his milk allergy treatment are we comfortable eating out and trying a few new dairy-free things on vacation.
We also always make sure we know how far the hospital is while away from home.
Cracker Barrel looked to have a helpful allergy menu online.
So here’s what kiddo ordered….
ham, coleslaw, and cooked apples.
Always double-check menus and talk to a chef if need be. Ingredients can change.
SILVER DOLLAR CITY
Another place we always hit while in Branson is Silver Dollar City.
My family is rollercoaster insane.
And at Christmas time, the theme park is decked in more holiday lights than I have ever seen in my life.
See the video in this post!
Soon after we got there and rope dropped the best roller coaster,
we were hungry for lunch.
And while I’ve packed MANY meals for Silver Dollar City in years past,
this year kiddo got to eat out!
At Buckshots, the boys got a pork sandwich.
Barbecue sauce was on the side and the package is shown for you.
Hubby referred to Silver Dollar City’s allergen menu to help choose this dish.
Right next door, I got the tater skillet at the Tater Patch stand.
It included sweet potato, potato, and sausage and was seasoned so deliciously.
It’s also listed as dairy-free on the online allergen menu, but be sure to double-check. Ingredients can change.
In the evening while looking at ALL the Christmas lights, we got hungry for a little snack.
So we hit a stand where kiddo could get a giant pretzel safe for him.
He said it was the best big soft pretzel he’s ever had, including Disney’s Mickey pretzels. Wow!
This was from the Cokes and Floats stand.
Back at the resort condo, we barely made any of our meals for the first time ever.
We just made one run to Price Chopper for a few essentials.
Since our kiddo with no food allergies was able to enjoy the resort hot chocolate machine at the lobby,
I had hubby grab our safe chocolate syrup and dairy-free milk to make our other kiddo hot chocolate whenever he wanted it.
Turns out, we made a lot of hot cocoa on this trip!
Allergy moms always make it work, don’t we?
A couple other places my kiddo ate dairy-free were Sonic and Steak-N-Shake during our Branson trip.
Even though he’s doing milk oralimmunotherapy, he eats dairy-free when away from home.
We are grateful to have that extra protection for kitchen mistakes or contamination when eating out.
Again, talk to your allergist before you try to eat out with severe food allergies.
Our son didn’t eat out until he started food allergy treatment at age eleven.
But we’ve taken road trips with him for sixteen years.
Even if you need to pack all your own food, Branson, MO is still a really fun place to visit as a family.
We did it that way many times.
And if you CAN eat out safely, we hope our trip gives you some good ideas to start researching.
Check menus, check with cooks, check labels, always carry at least two epinephrine injectors, and have fun.
Let us know if you’ve been to Branson and what your favorite activities or eateries were.
We’d love to hear in the comments!