From Grandparents to Grandkids, Everyone Loves the Lake of the Ozarks

 For over 90 years, Central Missouri’s Lake of the Ozarks has seen millions of families come to stay, play and make lasting memories every year. From grandparents to grandkids and everyone in between, the Lake of the Ozarks offers many family-friendly attractions and activities that all can enjoy, but most importantly, it’s a wonderful destination for families to enjoy their time with one another.

“We constantly hear stories from visitors about how they started coming to the Lake of the Ozarks with their parents and grandparents for family vacations when they were kids,” says Lagina Fitzpatrick. “And now they are the grandparents bringing their sons and daughters and grandkids to the Lake, so it comes full circle and turns into a long-lasting family tradition. We love those kind of stories! And, whether it’s your family’s first visit to the Lake or your fiftieth, there’s always something new to see or do, so that helps keep the experience fresh and exciting.”


Ask just about any local resort owner at the Lake of the Ozarks and they can come up with a scrapbook of stories of guests and families returning year after year, generation after generation. According to Gena Aldrich, owner of the family-oriented Lake Breeze Resort in Camdenton, it all comes down to simple family fun.

“When you’re a kid and come to the Lake with your family, you go back home with all these fun memories of a special experience and those memories never leave you,” Gena says. “I can still remember coming down as a kid with my family and all the fun stuff my sister and I would get up to. It’s the seemingly little things, like you and your siblings and cousins swimming in the Lake, playing ‘King of the Swim Dock’ or having foot races down to the swimming dock. Or you go go-karting or play putt-putt and then the entire rest of the year the conversation is about who won last year and who’s going to win this year. It’s a special area because there really is so much for families to do together to create these incredible bonding experiences. You can go tubing, swimming or take a boat out to go to dinner. These are all moments that families have here at the Lake of the Ozarks that you can’t experience in everyday life or at other lakes around the country.”


For anyone planning a multi-generational family vacation at the Lake of the Ozarks, the first thing you will want to do is find a place to stay that is right for your family.

Do you want a charming family-owned resort with a swimming pool and activities for the kids? Or maybe your family prefers sleeping under the stars or in a rustic cabin at a comfortable campground? There are full-service resorts that offer a ton of activities for the whole family, as well as on-site restaurants and boat rentals. Spacious vacation home and condominium rentals can ensure that the entire family feels right at home while everyone has their own space, too, if needed.

Regardless of what kind of accommodations a family prefers, they can find it at the Lake. The best place to start would be reviewing the list of lodging options on the “Places to Stay” page on From there, visitors can select the category of accommodations that appeal to them, whether it be a resort, lodge, campground and RV park, vacation home or condo.

Additionally, if a family is new to the area and would like some help getting the lay of the land and planning some activities, the Lake of the Ozarks Tri-County Lodging Association offers free group tour and reunion planning services to help get the ball rolling and to ensure it will be a memorable trip for all the right reasons.


Once the question of “Where are we staying?” has been answered, it’s time to start planning the rest of the vacation. With so many things to see and do, it can be hard to narrow it down.

Since the goal of most families is to spend as much time together as possible to build meaningful connections and familial closeness, scheduling out the days to accommodate everyone is essential.

Some families like to structure their mornings to focus on the kids before enjoying some adult time in the afternoon or evenings.

Kid-friendly activities that even the adults can enjoy at the Lake of the Ozarks include swimming in the Lake or in a pool, going to waterparks, driving go-karts, playing putt-putt golf, hiking at the Lake’s two state parks, touring the area’s different show cavesfishing in the Lake, dropping some tokens into the local arcades and/or sampling the sweet treats at candy and ice cream shops, just like Grandma and Grandpa used to do. While the kids are playing or splashing around, the parents and grandparents can hangout to watch all the fun or jump right in, if they want.

In the afternoon, the adults can catch up over a round of golf, a treatment at a local spa or salon, or they can sip on locally-crafted beverages at the area’s five wineries and five microbreweries. There are also numerous locally-owned boutiques for those that want to spend some time shopping.

For the Lake purists that insist no trip to the Lake of the Ozarks is complete without getting out on the water, the 50-plus Lake-area marinas rent boats by the hour, the day or the week. Or, for those that would rather have someone else piloting the boat, they can take a guided cruise on one of the three luxury cruiser yachts at the Lake. These cruisers seat 150 people, so families big and small will have plenty of space to enjoy the sights. Or, they can hire a water taxi to take them out and show off some of the area highlights.

Of course, no family get-together would be complete without family meals. For those visitors staying at a place with a fully-equipped kitchen, having multiple generations working together in the kitchen to prepare a meal can be a meaningful event. Or, you can leave the kitchen and dirty dishes behind and enjoy a meal at one of the 200-plus restaurants at the Lake of the Ozarks. Most restaurants are kid-friendly and have games and entertainment options for the young ones to enjoy while the adults reminisce about family get-togethers and vacations of the past and make plans for their next generational getaway to the Lake of the Ozarks.

Your Lake of the Ozarks Adventure Awaits

Shared stories and shared experiences are what family vacations are all about. To learn more about how to have fun with the entire family, including fun vacation ideas, year around events and attractions, as well as lodging and dining options available at the nation’s “Best Recreational Lake” and “Best Lake for Water Sports,” call the Lake of the Ozarks Convention and Visitor Bureau (CVB) at 1-800-FUN-LAKE, or visit

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