Wednesday, August 16, 2017

A Solar Eclipse Party At Thunder Mountain Park

Monday, August 21, 2017, you have the chance to experience 2 "once in a lifetime" experiences in a single day - a Solar Eclipse and a trip through America's most scenic cave tour. Okay, so you may have a chance to do these things more than once in your lifetime (and we hope that you do decide to tour Bridal Cave a few times over the years,) but you have to agree, those are spectacular things that a person doesn't get to see on a daily basis. 


Watch With Us
The coming solar eclipse is all most people can talk about lately, and we've decided to host a special event at Bridal Cave and Thunder Mountain Park so that you can make plans to come here and enjoy it with us. We are lucky enough to have some incredible spots to view the sky from, and since this phenomena is taking place midday, it's a perfect opportunity to pack a picnic lunch and use our lakeside pavilion for some family fun. 

We will be suspending our cave tours from noon until 2 pm to allow everyone a chance to see the peak of the solar eclipse. A magnitude of .99 is expected in this area, and it should happen close to 1:13 pm. You will be able to tour the cave both before and after those times. The first 200 guests to arrive that day will receive free eclipse glasses. Wearing specially-made glasses is the only way to safely view the event without causing damage to your eyes. 



Solar Eclipse Safety
Special eclipse glasses are necessary to look directly at the sun while it is uncovered or partially eclipsed. These contain special-purpose solar filters that meet international standard ISO 12312-2. Sunglasses, even extremely dark ones, will not safeguard your eyes. 

Make sure that your eclipse glasses are in place before you look towards the sun. If you wear eyeglasses, place the eclipse glasses over them. The only safe time to take them off is when the sun is completely covered by the moon, with only a slight halo of light surrounding it, which most likely won't last more than a minute. (This only happens if you are in the path of complete totality.) When you are finished looking and ready to remove your special glasses, look away from the sun first, then take them off. 
You also should not look at the solar eclipse through a camera, telescope, binoculars, or any other optical devices, even if you have your eclipse glasses on. The concentrated solar rays coming through the lens can damage your glasses, as well as your eyes. Seek professional advice to find a solar filter for any viewing device that will meet the standards acceptable for your particular equipment. If you think you may have any damage to your eyes at all after the solar eclipse, see your eye doctor right away.  

The Excitement of Total Darkness
Total darkness is an intriguing experience. A solar eclipse gives you the chance to be outside in the middle of the day, yet be standing in total darkness. During a tour of Bridal Cave, you will get the chance to experience a moment of total darkness, and it's exciting every time. If you take one of our Bridal Cave Lantern Tours, you'll get to take the entire cave tour in the dark, with only the lights of lanterns and helmets to guide you. These special tours take place on Saturday evenings at 7 pm between Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend, and space is limited, so reservations are required.  


A Day Full of Family Fun

We hope that you all get the chance to join us on Monday, August 21 to view the solar eclipse at Bridal Cave & Thunder Mountain Park. Remember, if you're one of the first 200 people, we have free eclipse glasses for you, or you can find them at many local stores in the area. We open at 9 am, with cave tours happening every few minutes until noon before the eclipse, and starting back up afterwards at 2 pm, with the last one going out at 5 pm. It is sure to be a day full of Family Fun... As It Should Be! 



One of America's most scenic 
cave tours.

Visit us at www.BridalCave.com
Like us on Facebook.
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526 Bridal Cave Road
Camdenton, MO 65020


(573) 346-2676

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

It's Lake of the Ozarks Shootout Time! Join All The Fun

This will be the 29th year for the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout. It has become one of the most anticipated annual events at the Lake of the Ozarks over the years. If you like watching fast boats, getting out on the water, and having lots of fun with tons of people, then you really should check this out. 

photo from Funlake.com 
While the main event, the timed boat races, take place on Saturday & Sunday, August 26 & 27, 2017, all kinds of fun events and activities have been created to extend the excitement throughout the days leading up to the races. Here is a look at some of the things scheduled for this year. 

Annual Mini Shootout
August 18-20
Ha Ha Tonka Springs Cove
Radio controlled replicas of big powerboats like the ones that compete in the real Shootout will race for the title of "Mini Top Gun." This takes place at the 14.5 MM of the Big Niangua (our neck of the wood, or arm of the lake!) There will be a registration and meet & greet on Friday at 5 pm at Lake Valley Golf & Country Club, and racing takes place at Ha Ha Tonka all day Saturday and Sunday. 



Li'l Boat & Pontoon Shootout Poker Run
August 18
This on-the-water poker run is for boats and pontoons that are 32-foot and under. Registration will take place at both Captain Ron's and Franky & Louie's at 10:30 am, and the final stop is at Topsider's with awards taking place at 6 pm. In between those times, you are encouraged to pick up your cards at the 6 other participating waterfront restaurants: Nauti-Fish Rum Bar, Paradise, Redhead Yacht Club, Coconuts, Cabana Jones, and Tap & Grill.  

Lake of the Ozarks Shootout Benefit Golf Tournament
August 20
Old Kinderhook
Registration for this benefit golf tournament includes lunch and a day full of golfing fun. Awards will be given out after the event, plus hole-in-one prizes, proxies, and on-course events. All proceeds raised go to Lake Area Firefighters, as well as many other Lake Area charitable organizations. 

The Great Shootout Treasure Hunt
August 21
Captain Ron's
Dig for buried treasure hidden in the sand on the beach. There will be more than 100 prizes awarded, including the grand prize of a Hammerhead Mudhead off-road kart from Surdyke Yamaha. Tickets are $20 each and include a social hour, treasure hunt, and a t-shirt, and all proceeds raised benefit Kids Harbor. 

Shootout Volleyball Tournament
August 22
Captain Ron's
If you love a good game of beach volleyball, then you'll want to sign up for this tournament at Captain Ron's happening from noon - 8 pm. Fun in the sun! 

Shootout on the Strip Street Party
August 23
Bagnell Dam Strip
Get an up close and personal look at the amazing boats competing in this year's Shootout when they are all parked on the historic Bagnell Dam Strip. You can even meet the drivers and their teams from 5-10 pm. While you are there, there are lots of family fun activities, shops, and restaurants to enjoy. 


Shootout Silent & Live Auctions
August 25 & 26
Both auctions will raise money for all of the Shootout charities. Friday night the silent auction is open from noon - 7 pm at Captain Ron's. The live auction will take place on Saturday at Camden on the Lake beginning at 8 pm in conjunction with their SuperCat Fest. Bid on sports equipment, golf packages, wine tastings, boat & dock accessories, restaurant gift certificates, and much more. 

Shootout PolyLift Poker Run
August 25
There's another poker run, because this exciting week is too big for just one! Registration for this one taking place between 4-9 pm gains entry for both the captain and a first mate and includes 2 poker hands made up of cards drawn at each stop. Stops include; Big Thunder Marine, Redhead Yacht Club, Paradise, Nautifush, Larry's on the Lake, Bulldog's, Big Dick's Halfway Inn, and Captain Ron's. Online registration offers you a discount on the entry fee. 

Lake of the Ozarks Shootout
August 26 & 27
This is the reason for all the excitement! Top powerboat racers and off-shore power boats from across the country will vie for the title of "Top Gun" by being the fastest boat on the lake. It's the largest unsanctioned boat race in the Midwest with over 100 racers and 100,000 spectators! Last year $195,000 was raised and dispersed to 34 different local charities and fire departments. If you plan to watch from the water, get there early each day for the best spots, or you can find the races on some local television stations.  

photo from Funlake.com 
There are plenty of events to keep you busy all week long, and you can find additional details at LakeoftheOzarksShootout.com. If you have a little spare time, we'd love to see you here at Bridal Cave & Thunder Mountain Park too. If not, we'll still be here next week for you to visit! There are always lots of things going on at the Lake of the Ozarks that promote Family Fun... As It Should Be! Pick out a few and make some memories together. 


One of America's most scenic 
cave tours.

Visit us at www.BridalCave.com
Like us on Facebook.
Follow us on Twitter.
Follow us on Google+
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526 Bridal Cave Road
Camdenton, MO 65020

(573) 346-2676

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

A Rare Tour Exploring Bridal Cave Beyond Mystery Lake

Recently the staff at our exciting Lake of the Ozarks attraction got the rare opportunity to explore the back sections of Bridal Cave that are not open to the public. This isn't your typical walk through our scenic cave. It involves boating, free-climbing, and crawling to get back there! This is a highlight of the summer for everyone on staff, and an experience not just anyone gets the chance to enjoy. 



Every summer, as a part of the ongoing training for the Bridal Cave & Thunder Mountain Park tour guide staff, the crew gets to go into the undeveloped sections of the cave. This takes them across Mystery Lake, which is visible on the regular cave tour, into the Spirit Lake section. This is a full day for the group. Two hours of prep time are necessary to get ready for the trip, hauling in the rope ladders and boats needed for the journey. After that, the trek itself lasts about four hours.  

River Wise experienced the trip to Spirit Lake for his very first time this year. "Going across Mystery Lake was an absolutely amazing experience! Getting to see the crystal clear water in Spirit Lake was truly a once in a lifetime experience.



Just imagine it... paddling in a lake 40-feet wide and 140-feet long, half a mile underground, to see the big hidden lake. Spirit Lake itself is 80 feet wide and 600-feet long! Did you have any idea that was hidden inside our magnificent cave? Less than 500 people have ever been in the section of Bridal Cave that our team explores each year.

It's not an easy adventure, but everyone that takes it knows that the experience is definitely worth the effort. It is not uncommon for several participants to drop out partway through the tour due to the difficulty involved. The crew must climb 60-foot ladders, paddle boats, free-climb about 20-feet, plus do lots of crawling through the smaller spaces. There is no light past Mystery Lake, so headlamps are used to explore these undeveloped sections. Of the 17 that started the trip this year, 14 were able to complete it.



Joel Jones was the trip leader this time around, and it was his third time taking this magical journey. "Even though it was my third time across Mystery Lake, I am always in awe of the pure spectacle of Paradise Island. Somehow I have been privileged enough to share the experience with others by leading this expedition."

Paradise Island is the name given to the rooms inside the cave that are located between Mystery Lake and Spirit Lake. It may take some work to get to, but it's an unbelievable and memorable sight for those that make it. There are things to see in the darker, unexplored sections of the cave that aren't found towards the front where it is open to the public. 



The photos and videos in today's blog are just a sample of what the staff at Bridal Cave & Thunder Mountain Park got to experience on this very special tour. If you'd like to find out more about their adventure, come on out to America's most scenic cave tour and ask them all about it. The staff is always excited to share the stories from this once in a lifetime experience with our visitors. 



When you're ready to take your own much more relaxed walk through this gorgeous cave, our family friendly Lake of the Ozarks attraction is open daily at 9 am. Tours leave every few minutes all day long and last about an hour. It's a wonderful time for people of all ages and pure Family Fun... As It Should Be!








One of America's most scenic 
cave tours.

Visit us at www.BridalCave.com
Like us on Facebook.
Follow us on Twitter.
Follow us on Google+
Follow us on LinkedIn

526 Bridal Cave Road
Camdenton, MO 65020

(573) 346-2676

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Spend a Day on the Quiet Arm of the Lake of the Ozarks - the Niangua

The Lake of the Ozarks is a gigantic body of water filled with beautiful things to see and exciting things to do. During the summer season, the lake sees a lot of traffic, mainly focused in the main channel. There are plenty of quieter, less busy arms that have just as much to offer, including our very own Lake of the Ozarks family attraction


Bridal Cave & Thunder Mountain Park are located on the Big Niangua Arm of the lake. With a bit less "hustle & bustle" happening on the water in this area, the Niangua Arm offers one of the smoothest boating experiences you will find. This happens to be the most pristine arm of the lake due to the fact that so many natural springs flow into it.  

The springs flowing directly into our section of the Lake of the Ozarks turn it into a crystal clear, refreshing experience. Bennett Springs State Park's spring has an average of 103 million gallons of water flowing out of it per day. The spring at Ha Ha Tonka State Park contributes an average of 49 million gallons of water per day.  


The springs, combined with the fact that the waters are much calmer due to the decreased boat traffic over here, makes a day trip by boat to the Niangua Arm an extremely enjoyable experience. You can truly appreciate the scenic beauty surrounding the water rather than worrying about dodging all the boats found on the main channel at its busiest times. 

You can get to Bridal Cave & Thunder Mountain Park by water at the 10.5 MM of the Big Niangua Arm. Dock your boat, journey up the stairs, and enjoy all that the park has to offer. You can marvel at the landscape from our scenic overlooks and enjoy a picnic lunch in our lakeside pavilion. After your tour of Bridal Cave, we even give all the kids fish food to feed the giant, hungry carp that hang out around our docks. 


We're not the only family fun thing to do on the Niangua Arm. You can enjoy all kinds of things on this side of the lake, including:

  • Ha Ha Tonka State Park - 15 MM
  • The Historic J Road Bridge
  • Niangua Falls Restaurant - 2 MM
  • Nauti Fish Rum Bar - 3.5 MM 
  • Larry's On The Lake - 31 MM

So the next time that you want to get away for a relaxing day on the water, consider pointing your boat toward the Niangua Arm and spend the day on the quiet arm of the lake. There's plenty to do and see, and there's also enough calm water that you don't have to do anything but sit back and enjoy yourself! We always love seeing the docks full at our scenic Lake of the Ozarks attraction, as well as the parking lot. It means that there are lots of great people here enjoying Family Fun... As It Should Be! 


One of America's most scenic 
cave tours.

Visit us at www.BridalCave.com
Like us on Facebook.
Follow us on Twitter.
Follow us on Google+
Follow us on LinkedIn

526 Bridal Cave Road
Camdenton, MO 65020

(573) 346-2676

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Enjoy Some Bridal Cave Fun Online

We realize that not everyone is lucky enough to live right next to our mid-Missouri family fun attraction year-round. If you're far away but still longing for Bridal Cave & Thunder Mountain Park, you can have some fun on our website! As a matter of fact, you'll even learn a thing or two while you're there. 


Look Inside
When you visit www.BridalCave.com, you'll find a lot more than a couple of photos and directions to the park. There are many cool pages to explore. Under the "Look Inside" tab, you can see an entire gallery of photos from inside the cave. You can also take a 360° virtual tour of one of the cave rooms.

You'll even find some information about the history of this natural wonder. Just in case you forgot the story, you can read "The Legend of Bridal Cave" on these pages. Our on-site weather station can be found online 24/7 so that you can prepare for the weather on your next visit, or simply see what it's like here compared to where you are at.   


Kids Only
Our website also has a special section especially for children, but grown-ups can learn a thing or two along with the kids. The pages in this section are educational, but the subject matter is so much fun, kids don't even realize that they are learning! This is a great place to check out before you visit Bridal Cave & Thunder Mountain Park to see what you'll be getting into. It's also perfect for reading after you leave, in case you want to expand on subjects you heard about during your tour. 

The subject matter covers what caves are, the natural things that are found inside of caves, and the geologist that study them. There's also a great story from "Max the Bat" that teaches kids that bats aren't scary, but cool. Cave safety is covered, and you'll even find a fun hands-on project to try at home. It all wraps up with a simple quiz. Here is a part of that quiz. Think you know the answers? If not, they can be found within the stories on the "Kids Only" pages. (And at the end of this blog.) 

1. Organic debris is...
a) An alternative rock band from Seattle Washington.
b) Material that came from living things.
c) A rock deposit in a cave.

2. Molds and bacteria are...

a) The bodily wastes of bats and crickets.
b) The secret ingredient of most snack cakes.
c) A simple form of life.

3. Carbonic acid is...
a) The type of rock that most caves are found in.
b) A weak acid in ground water that over time can create caves.
c) The lead singer from the Organic Debris.

4. Fossils are...
a) A common name for parents.
b) Tennis shoes designed for very old basketball players
c) The evidence of past life.

5. Columns are...
a) A simple plant found in caves.
b) A cave deposit formed when a stalactite and a stalagmite grow together.
c) An acid found in vinegar.



Blogs & Social Media
Following Bridal Cave & Thunder Mountain Park on your favorite social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, or LinkedIn) is a great way to keep up-to-date on all of the cool things happening at our scenic Lake of the Ozarks attraction while you're away.

We publish a new blog every week, which you can find links to on our social media channels or directly from the website. We cover all kinds of fun subjects in depth, such as lake area history, life inside the cave, local events and family-fun attractions, and so much more. There's always a great story to be found around here!  

So, until you can make your way back out to visit us at Bridal Cave & Thunder Mountain Park, check us out online. It's a wonderful way to take the excitement of the cave home with you, and share a little Family Fun... As It Should Be!

Quiz Answers
1-B, 2-C, 3-B, 4-C, 5-B 


One of America's most scenic 
cave tours.

Visit us at www.BridalCave.com
Like us on Facebook.
Follow us on Twitter.
Follow us on Google+
Follow us on LinkedIn

526 Bridal Cave Road
Camdenton, MO 65020

(573) 346-2676

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Celebrate International Rock Day!

Thursday, July 13, happens to be International Rock Day. As you probably know, we love rocks here at Bridal Cave & Thunder Mountain Park! We have one of the coolest rock and mineral shops around featuring specimens from all over the world. We even have a couple of fun activities you can enjoy involving rocks here at our Lake of the Ozarks family attraction. After reading today's blog, we hope you'll become a rock-lover too. 


Rocks... well, they rock! 
Rocks are a naturally occurring phenomenon, much like the amazing formation of Bridal Cave. Some are composed of only one mineral, while others are made with a mixture of different minerals. When you visit our gift shop, you will see a wonderful variety of rocks, minerals, and gemstones to marvel at. Some of these include Amethyst, Pyrite, Citrine, and Calcite. 

Some people may think that rocks are cool simply because of the way they look. The variety of shapes, sizes, and colors is intriguing, and we even carry some rocks that have been carved into incredible sculptures. Other people have a fascination with rocks, minerals, and gemstones because many of them are known to have some metaphysical and healing properties. For example, amethyst is believed to bring about feelings of serenity, peace, courage, happiness, pain relief, and much more. 


Fun For Rock Hounds at Bridal Cave
We don't just have rocks on display and available for purchase in our gift shop. You can also have some fun with them while you are here. A very popular attraction at Bridal Cave & Thunder Mountain Park is the great big sluice. As a matter of fact, this is such a well-loved activity that we doubled the size of our sluice this year!

In case you are unfamiliar with the word "sluice," it's a track which water flows through so that our guests can dump "sluice bags" full of sand (and more!) into it and pan for the treasures hidden inside. Once you discover them, you get to claim the found gemstones as your own and take them home to keep! Some of the treasures waiting to be uncovered are: amethyst, calcite, citrine, garnet, jasper, moonstone, onyx, opal, peridot, quartz, ruby, sapphire, and so many more! Some bags even contain fossils! 


The other fun rock activity you can take part in while you are here is our geode cracker. A geode is a mysterious, spherical rock which geologists have long debated about how they are actually formed. In the center of a geode is a cavity that may or may not contain crystals. In our gift shop, you can pick your own geode out of the barrel and place it inside our custom-built, high-pressure geode cracker. With over 10 tons of pressure, your geode will be cracked open right before your eyes, and whatever is uncovered is yours to take home. 


Go On A Rock Hunt
While you are here, take to the trails of Thunder Mountain Park and see what different types of rocks you can spot. There are some beautiful Sandstone Bluffs for you to see along the trail, as well as all of the other naturally occurring wonders that can be found here in mid-Missouri. It's a gorgeous place, and there is something new and wondrous to see everywhere that you look. 

Bridal Cave & Thunder Mountain Park, Lake of the Ozarks

We'd love for you to visit our family fun Lake of the Ozarks attraction and take advantage of the exciting and educational opportunities that we have for you surrounding rocks. Until you can make it to Bridal Cave & Thunder Mountain Park, do a little rock hunting in your own backyard! Exploring nature is one of the best ways to enjoy Family Fun... As It Should Be! 


One of America's most scenic 
cave tours.

Visit us at www.BridalCave.com
Like us on Facebook.
Follow us on Twitter.
Follow us on Google+
Follow us on LinkedIn

526 Bridal Cave Road
Camdenton, MO 65020
(573) 346-2676

Thursday, July 6, 2017

This October 2017 - Join Us For The Thunder Mountain Fall Festival!

Even though summer has just gotten started, and we hope to see all of you at some point before this fall, Bridal Cave & Thunder Mountain Park is already making plans for some really exciting events in October! In addition to all of the wonder and beauty awaiting you at our family attraction at the Lake of the Ozarks, this October we will be hosting a Thunder Mountain Fall Festival every weekend in the month. 


Demonstrations & Entertainment
We've got some pretty cool things lined up for you to learn about, listen to, and enjoy! More may be added before October rolls around, but for now we have scheduled each weekend: 
  • 9 am - noon
    Sarsaparilla Making
  • 1-4 pm
    Pumpkin Painting Artist
  • noon - 3 pm
    Live Bluegrass Music

Fun Activities
During our Thunder Mountain Fall Festival, all of the regular family fun activities will still be going on, plus we're adding a few more to fit the season. Included with your Bridal Cave admission ticket, you can: 

  • Pan for gemstones
  • Get your face painted
  • Feed the giant fish
  • Join the Duck Races
  • Check out the Pumpkin Chunkin range
  • Play jumbo Tic-Tac-Toe
  • Toss bean bags
  • Enjoy the Corn Crib
  • Explore the hay bale maze
  • Conquer Hay Bale Mountain
  • Relax by the fire pits
  • Take advantage of numerous family photo settings

Exciting Extras
We will also have lots of awesome items for sale that really let you know that fall has arrived! What are your favorite flavors of the season? Well, we're willing to bet that we've got them covered with the following food items that we'll feature: 
  • Pumpkin Fudge
  • A Caramel Apple Bar
  • S'mores
  • Rock Candy
  • Hot Cider
  • Red Hot Apple Cider Snow Cones
  • Hot Chocolate
  • Coffee
Don't get too full to do a little shopping, because we will have hundreds of spectacular mums for sale to decorate your yard with. You can even hike our Pumpkin Trail and choose from 1,000's of pumpkins to take home and turn into a cool jack-o-lantern. Our photographer will even be on hand to capture the memory of your tour inside Bridal Cave.  


While You Wait...
You're probably excited about fall coming, but there's no rush. Bridal Cave & Thunder Mountain Park are packed with incredible things for you to see and do all summer long. Hike a trail, enjoy a lakeside picnic, or climb to the observation deck on our fire tower. Rock hounds will go nuts for our gift shop, with all of the gorgeous rocks and minerals to find from around the world. And of course, don't forget about America's most scenic cave tour

As a matter of fact, new this year, Memorial Day through Labor Day, you can experience our brand new Lantern Tour of Bridal Cave on Saturday nights. These tours require reservations and are limited to a set number of guests, so the sooner you reserve your spot the better. Kids get a cool hard hat with a light and adults are given a lantern. Once everyone's all lit up and ready, we head into a dark Bridal Cave and explore it just like they had to long ago. 


There's always something amazing happening at our scenic Lake of the Ozarks attraction, no matter what time of year. As always, our goal is to provide you with a memorable experience full of Family Fun... As It Should Be! 


One of America's most scenic 
cave tours.

Visit us at www.BridalCave.com
Like us on Facebook.
Follow us on Twitter.
Follow us on Google+
Follow us on LinkedIn

526 Bridal Cave Road
Camdenton, MO 65020
(573) 346-2676