I adore caves. I was rather obsessed with spelunking for a time. The prospect of taking two children onto a tour that is one hour long and has only one way down and back up was more terrifying to me than the endless darkness within. However, we were told this was a spectacle of the natural world not to be missed, so I went with the YOLO way of thinking and we arrived for the 2nd tour of the day with our fingers crossed. We were so happy we did!
The good: This is a one hour tour. It is manageable for most kiddos but still allows you to experience the fun of caves: formations, temperature changes, mystery and intrigue! We took our infant of eight months and our four year old and both did well during the 1/4 mile journey.
Our guide was nice and patient, humoring the chatty, curious older kids and accommodating a baby in the tour as well. Great information, yet not so much that it was an overload!
There are handrails and having experienced a few cave tours now, I'd say this is one of the easiest walking, most accessible ones we've tried.
Tips: You may want to ditch the soft-sided carrier and just opt to hold babies in your arms. There are a handful of "pinches and squeezes" that will be all but impossible with a baby on your body.
Wear shoes with good traction, it is a wet environment and some spots are slippery.
Leave the stroller at the vehicle, you won't be taking it through the cave.
Go on a morning tour -- one of the first of the day is best. We JUST beat the buses and tour groups that were coming in. Our 930ish tour had about 10 people on it.
It was in the 50s inside the cave - I was comfortable in a skirt and a light long-sleeve shirt. It was a fantastic natural A/C option from the heat and humidity outside!
Get a bag of "Pay Dirt" on the way out at the gift shop. It's really fun to pan and sift through the gravel to find gems inside. Each bag is pretty well loaded with the colorful stones and provided over an hour of outdoorsy fun for our preschooler. One of the bags is about $5, the other larger one is slightly more. But, it was really a fun activity for us all.
If the picture that is snapped during the tour is a good one, go for it! We purchased ours and it turned out to be the ONLY photo of our entire family from the trip AND we were all looking! It's our holiday card photo and was reasonable for $10.
Bottom-Line: We were hesitant to do the tour with young kids, since we toured Jewel Cave in WY and our older son was scared. This was a blast and even the baby was able to join. We were superbly happy that we decided to take the tour! My son is now as obsessed with caves as I am!
Disclosure: My family received complimentary admission, arranged by the Beenders-Walker Group and a bag of Pay Dirt from Bridal Cave. All opinions are my own.
How could we not visit a cave in the Cave State? Although there were others caves in the area, we were so glad to have chosen Bridal Cave.
Admission cost $16 an adult and $8 for kids 5-12 . The cave is not wheelchair/stroller accessible. Parking is free. (You can even drive your boat here - they have docks!) Tours leave about every 30 minutes.
The tour guide stops at major points and talks about rock formations and other fun and education tidbits. The tour lasts about an hour, and was just about the perfect length for the kiddos. The trails were paved and lighted, so it was the perfect way for our boys to experience their first cave. Some of the formations are remarkable!
-I was 8 months preggo so it was a little tight at some spots, and those with claustrophobia
-Wear shoes with traction since is wet and at some times there are puddles
-Bring coins to make a wish in the little (and big) water areas.
--Take a picture right before the start of the tour right in front of cave. Great souvenir at only $10.
-Before or after the tour, stop by the lower level gift shop for a bag of fish food to feed the hungry carp by the docks. It was a a nice surprise that the kind gift shop lady told us about. You can also stop by the gift shop for flashlight or a fake hard hat to really feel like an explorer.
Our first ever cave experience was so much fun. At first the boys were a little apprehensive given how wet and dark the cave was, but after coaxing them to be their own explorers they enjoyed it immensely. We’d highly recommend it, plus don’t forget to grab some fish food for inexpensive fun!
Disclosure: My family received complimentary admission to Bridal Cave in order to facilitate this review, and I was not asked to provide a particular point of view. All opinions are 100 % my own.
Its not one of those much-hyped cave tours, but its worthy. On your way to Osage Beach, you will find the direction to bridal cave.Its about half an hour drive from the freeway near Cadmenton. The surrounding is beautiful. You will see Lake Ozark in a nice surrounding. We had an enthusiastic tour guide who showed us different formations, shared the history of the cave etc. Entry fee is 15$ + Tax. Every half an hour you will get a tour. So, you dont need to wait for long. It lasts for around 1 hour. Friendly people around. You have to walk through the caves. The formations were amazing.After seeing mammoth cave, fantastic caverns...I can say its no less than either of the two. Must see !