This content is courtesy of LakeExpo.com and Sara Halverson. The original article can be viewed here.
Besides hopping on a boat, there's so much for families to do at Lake of the Ozarks, the Midwest's playground! Here are 8 family-friendly ways to enjoy the Lake area...
1. Helicopter Tour of Lake of the Ozarks
2101 Bagnell Dam Blvd, Lake Ozark, MO 65049 (573) 302-0022
See the Lake from a whole new perspective. Lake Ozark Helicopters offers several different tours with affordable pricing to make it easy for the whole family to go flying.
2. Ha Ha Tonka
1491 Missouri D, Camdenton, MO 65020 (573) 346-2986
Ha Ha Tonka State Park is free to get into, like all Missouri State Parks, and offers more than a dozen hiking trails that cater to different skill levels. Two popular paths are the Castle Trail to the castle ruins which looks out over the Lake and the Spring Trail which leads to the Ha Ha Tonka Spring.
3. Grand Auglaize Swinging Bridge
Two miles from Brumley, Swinging Bridges Road (Lake Road 42-18)
This local favorite spot is a great place to hang out and enjoy Ozark scenery and cool off in the Auglaize. The structure is a stunning example of a suspension bridge and the old wooden slats add character and excitement to crossing. You can find it about two miles from Brumley on a gravel road, now called Swinging Bridges Road (Lake Road 42-18).
4. Lake of the Ozarks Caves
Stark Caverns – 125 Cave Dr, Eldon, MO 65026 (573) 369-3306
The largest cave in Miller county has unusually beautiful geological formations and interesting archeological artifacts. The entire cave tour is paved and lit, and 90 percent of the tour is handicap-accessible.
Bridal Cave – 526 Bridal Cave Rd., Camdenton, MO 65020 (573) 346-2676
Well know for hosting weddings, Bridal Cave is a gem of cave whether your getting married there or not. It touts a long and mysterious history in the area, along with beautiful mineral formations and a stunning underground lake.
Jacob's Cave – 23114 Hwy TT, Versailles, Missouri 65084 (573) 378-4374
This entirely handicap accessible cave features ancient mastodon bones as well as impressive cave formations. The tour is one-mile long with a reflecting pool, soda straws and stalactites that awe all ages.
5. Celebration Cruises
5085 Davis Drive, Osage Beach, MO 65065 (573) 480-3212
Celebration is running three different cruises to help you enjoy the Lake.
A Narrated Lake Cruise highlights the best Lake of the Ozarks natural history and scenery. An Evening Cruise is available daily (except Monday & Saturday) to combine happy hour with a scenic Lake or Bagnell Dam cruise. You and your honey can also pop for the romantic Candlelight Dinner Cruise that run every Saturday night. This cruise offers a full dinner menu, including prime rib, salmon, surf and turf along with a lot of other delicious options. Here's a link to the Full Dinner Menu. Check their website for details on pricing and boarding times and locations.
Big Surf Waterpark is one of the hottest place to cool off in the area. It's a great place to go whether you have toddlers or teens, because they'll all find something to enjoy here on hot summer day!
7. Lake of the Ozarks State Park
You'll find it's the perfect Lake spot for water time with a great beach for swimming and sunbathing at Public Beach #2. After everyone has worked up a nice appetite, move over to a picnic area or a pavilion if it's not reserved and enjoy a meal while grilling in the great outdoors. No need to leave when it gets dark, just break out the s'mores and head over to one of the campfire areas.
8. Bagnell Dam and the Bagnell Dam Strip
No trip to the Lake of the Ozarks is complete with out a trip the see the Bagnell Dam. Start by visiting the scenic overlook on the North end of the dam. Then take a slow drive across the dam to the upper end of the strip where ice cream and fudge shops, arcades and souvenir stores can entertain the whole family.