Find all you need at these wonderfully unique novelty stores
Nestled in the heart of the Ozark Mountains lies the charming town of Branson, Missouri where unspoiled nature and idyllic scenery surround four one-of-a-kind shops you’ll only find here.
An Extraordinary Emporium
In 1961, Dick and June Hartley’s dream of owning and operating a five-and-dime shop became a reality when they opened their doors in Branson, Missouri. Dick’s 5 & 10 holds onto the nostalgia of yesteryear, offering a cornucopia of new and old sights, sounds, souvenirs and collections. Vintage trains chug overhead as the expansive collection becomes fully apparent when you walk through the doors.
The charm of five-and-dime stores helped them grow in popularity in the early 20th century mainly due to their low prices and vast varieties of household merchandise and fun gifts. This Branson emporium is chock full of toys, games, collectibles, household goods, home décor, quirky souvenirs, candy, soda and so much more.
Spruce up the man cave with sports memorabilia or hunting and fishing gear and peruse the country corner for rustic signage and farmhouse fashions. Calling all chefs! June’s Kitchen has an array of items for everyday cooking like unique cookie cutters, aprons, baking and glassware, recipe cards and more. Wander down the Nostalgia Aisle loaded with memory-jogging games, antique Raggedy Ann dolls, Matchbox cars, the always popular View-Master and many other modern toys and vintage playthings. Inspire the little ones in your group and browse Melissa’s Book Nook for classic book collections, including The Jungle Book, The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew.
Donna Knulty, a dedicated employee, reminds folks that “we are one of the last 5 and 10’s in America. No trip to Branson is complete without Dick’s 5 & 10 experience.”
Unique Glittering Gifts
For 36 years, The Crystal Fish Gifts shop has been featuring unique artisanal merchandise from local crafters and shopping in the world markets to offer one-of-a-kind items. With top brands like Pandora, Swarovski, and Spartina 449, there’s no excuse not to get the ladies a little something.
According to owner Tim Cherry, “Most goodies are likely designed and made by local talents; you’ll find pottery, blown glass, casual apparel, vintage lake vibe decor, a little bit of bling and more.”
Shop freshly scented goat milk soaps from Winwood Farm. View the handmade pottery collection made by Angel Brame and impressive blown glass art and glass oil lamps from Wren Helwig. Outdoor enthusiasts will appreciate the extensive lake map collection and lake house signage, beautiful bird feeders and melodious wind chimes. Steps from where the Roark Creek converges with Lake Taneycomo, enjoy the halcyon location and visit with the local ducks after shopping for charms and trinkets.
Linda Cherry, owner and operator adds, “What matters most is the time spent with our patrons, quality products they can count on, honesty about how we treat them, [and] great gifts that are unique and fresh.”
Christmastime All the Time!
Most quaint American towns have a year-round Christmas shop and Branson is no exception. Kringles Christmas Store and Village Treasures was repurchased in 2005 by Mel Bilbo and has become a beloved stop in Branson for everything Christmas. The white, red and green building is decorated with festive bows, wreaths and giant candy canes, inviting visitors into a magical Christmas universe.
Mel emphasizes, “I often tell folks if they have a Scrooge in the family, just walk them through the double doors entrance of Kringles Christmas Shops, room one, and watch the ice [melt] from their heart as they gaze or gawk from left to right from floor to ceiling. From the near life-sized nativity to dozens more in manageable sizes, to the huge assortment of angels and birds and red balls and glass, acrylic, and cloisonne Christmas THINGS, there is something to make almost anyone laugh or cry or smile about the new and old Christmas memories.”
As joyful melodies play, shop well-known and beloved Christmas collections from favorites like Snowbabies and Department 56 Villages. Reminisce over-blown glass ornaments from Christopher Radko that are sure to stir sentimental emotions. Personalize ornaments for a special gift, browse beautiful Fontanini nativity scenes or relax by the crackling fire and admire the warm glowing décor as holiday classics permeate the air. Don’t forget to glimpse the many unique artisanal crafts for sale from talented locals, which make a wonderful Branson-made souvenir or gift.
Curiosities, Cuisine and Artisanal Crafts All Under One Roof
Spend an entire day at The Branson Craft Mall, a 16,000-square-foot wonderland featuring more than 200 vendors, delicious cuisine and live music. Discover thousands of items both handcrafted locally and sourced from all across America. One-of-a-kind apparel and jewelry, homemade jams, jellies, and organic honey along with Ozark Mountain treasures and souvenirs from all over fill the shelves and racks. Branson Fudge offers a taste of Tennessee with fresh country fudge made in Oliver Springs. Satisfy your sweet tooth with their creamy chocolates filled with pecans and walnuts. Stock up on trail mix and dried fruits at Hillbilly Nut & Fruit with an array of distinct sweet and salty flavor combinations. Grab a bite at Pickin Porch Grill, located inside the whopping edifice serving fan favorites with a flair. Sink your teeth into a Bluegrass Burger with their signature BBQ sauce or a fried green tomato BLT. Taste the sea with fresh catfish tacos or a popular Po Boy. Don’t be surprised if a jam session isn’t in progress on the Porch with fiddle bows flying.
Make your next trip to Branson complete and bring home souvenirs and memories from any or all of these four bountiful shops.
By Heather Dale