These blogs are a great way to keep up with current events at the park and learn interesting information about nature and the area we live in. In case you missed any of them, here are some highlights from our 2017 blogs.
NEW at the Park in 2017
We strive to improve our year-round Lake of the Ozarks attraction in many different ways each year, adding to the joy and excitement for our visitors. This past year some really cool new things were added. In February we announced that, due to high demand, season passes for Bridal Cave tours would be available for just $5 more than a 1-trip ticket. March brought a brand new sluice to the park that is twice the size of our old one, allowing more people to pan for treasures at once! We even added some new sluice bag varieties, including a fossil bag and a family-size bag.
May brought the announcement that on Saturday evenings between Memorial Day and Labor Day, you could make reservations to experience an in-the-dark Lantern Tour of Bridal Cave. If you missed them this year, you definitely need to plan a trip for this incredible experience in 2018. Last but not least, we hosted our very first annual Thunder Mountain Fall Festival every day in October, with special entertainment on the weekends. How in the world will we top all of that in 2018? (Just you wait and see!)
A visit to Thunder Mountain Park is always full of interesting things to see and do, and every once in a while, we have some extra-special surprises take place. We wrote about the first-ever biological inventory of Bridal Cave back in November 2016, and in April of 2017, we were able to share with all of you that our very own tour guide, River Wise, won an award for that study!
Last June brought world-famous violinist Kyle Dillingham to one of our underground weddings, and he made two incredible performances right inside the cave.
You got a peek in August at the yearly Beyond Mystery Lake Tour that we take our tour guides on, allowing them to experience a part of the cave most people never get the chance to see. In November we announced our biggest sale ever, due to the fact that our gift shop is getting a facelift over the winter because it's nearly 30 years old! (The sale is happening now through closing time on New Year's Eve.) Since we're about to hit the 70th anniversary of Bridal Cave, we also made an announcement last November about an upcoming Bridal Cave Tour Guide Reunion that will be taking place in April 2018.
Weddings and Vow Renewals
We boast the most unique wedding venue at the Lake of the Ozarks, where you can get married outdoors in our lakeside pavilion or underground in the stalactite-adorned bridal chapel inside the cave. One of our March blogs shared the news that we were voted the Best Wedding Destination of Rural Missouri for 2017 by Rural Missouri Magazine!
Our annual free Valentine's Day vow renewals were highlighted in February. 222 couples renewed their vows inside the cave in 2017. We'll be doing those again next February, so make plans now to join us next year!
The blog will often feature many topics about the wonders of nature in the park and all around us. In January we did a 2-part series on the many show caves in Missouri, aka the "Cave State." We covered topics last year such as ways you could help to "Keep America Beautiful," and special days like "Caves and Karst Day" and "International Rock Day," sharing interesting facts about each. Another natural phenomenon that happened in 2017 that we were thrilled to take part in was the Solar Eclipse. Cave tours were suspended for 2 hours so we could all gather outside and watch this incredible event.
Throughout the year we like to share lake area events that you might enjoy, as well as information on other local businesses and attractions that offer a chance for family fun. Thanks to some unusual questions from visitors to the park, we also got a chance to do some digging into lake area history and make some pretty awesome discoveries.
January featured an answered question about an old photo someone found and shared with us asking if we could figure out exactly where in the lake area it was taken. (Our general manager, Steve Thompson, immediately recognized it and knew how to find it!) Some historical research on Bridal Cave conducted by our staff to use in the new Lantern Tours brought an old book to our attention. It contains the Native American legend that Bridal Cave is named after, and we were able to purchase one of the only 3 known copies of this book! Also, in March our blog about the Original Opening of Bridal Cave explained why a boat dock was built to get to the cave before there were even any roads!
WOW!!! Today we've only covered a few of the topics that Bridal Cave & Thunder Mountain Park's weekly blogs have covered in the past year. You can use the links above to see those stories in full, or you can simply go to the blog page on our website and scroll through the entire year.
There's always something interesting to talk about when it comes to our scenic Lake of the Ozarks attraction, and you can expect us to cover many more exciting topics in 2018. Happy New Year to everyone, and we expect to see you often for all types of Family Fun... As It Should Be!
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526 Bridal Cave Road
Camdenton, MO 65020