You hear Margaritaville Lake Resort and I’m guessing two things come to mind: Margaritas and Jimmy Buffett. And that’s fair. But I want you to think of a third thing: Family vacations. Yes, Margaritaville is kid-friendly. Hear me out on this one!
Disclosure: Our visit to the Lake of the Ozarks was hosted by the Lake of the Ozarks Visitors Bureau. Some restaurant meals were comped, and some my family paid out-of-pocket for.All thoughts, opinions and typos are my own. This post may contain affiliate links.
When to visit Margaritaville
My family visited Margaritaville in Osage Beach, Missouri, over Spring Break (not to be confused with College Spring Break). It was early March and definitely not the time for fun out on the lakes. Read more about my family’s Ozarks road trip.
Many people associate Lake of the Ozarks with boating and water sports, and if that sounds like your kind of vacation, plan on visiting in June, July or August.
The summer is peak time for tourism in the region, so seasonal restaurants and attractions will be open at that time.
The trade-off for visiting Osage Beach in the off-season — like when we visited — is there are far fewer people to contend with. The places I mention below, especially Jolly Mon Indoor Waterpark, were awesome to visit without crowds.
Things to do outdoors at Margaritaville Lake Resort
If the sun’s out and the weather’s great, of course you want to be outside when you’re at the Lake of the Ozarks. Here’s what you’ll find at the resort.
There are three outdoor pools at Margaritaville Lake Resort, and they’re all open seasonally. The big one is Lakeside Pool, and that one’s open to the public. There’s a 120-foot water slide and toddler splash pool.
The other open-to-the-public pool is Landshark Pool. While the swim-up bar area of the pool is restricted to ages 21 and older, the lower portion of the pool does not have an age restriction.
Tradewinds Pool is open to hotel guests only.
Harbor Master Mini Golf
You’ll spot the putting greens around the resort. A round of mini golf at Margaritaville is $10 per person.
Tropic Island Cruise
Seasonally, Tropic Island Cruise outings are offered on the lake in the late afternoon Tuesdays through Sundays (assuming the minimum passenger count is met). Cost is $30 for adults, $15 for kids (ages 3-10) and free for kids under 2.
Boat, paddleboat and Waverunner rentals
Rent your own watercraft at the resort by the hour, seasonally. Rentals include:
- Wake Board (add-on with the boat)
- Knee Board (add-on with the boat)
- Tube Rental (add-on with the boat)
- Water Ski Rental
Starting in the spring, horseback riding and pony rides are offered at the resort. Single-rider only horse rides are $55 per person. Riders must be at least 7 years old.
For kids ages 3 to 6, pony rides are available. Rides are $15 per child.
Bald eagle watching
Unlike all the other activities above, bald eagle watching is a winter activity. You can spot bald eagles typically in January and February, though we saw several from our resort balcony in March.
Things to do indoors at Margaritaville
Whether it’s a rainy day in Ozarks or you just want a break from the heat of a Missouri summer, Margaritaville has several indoor activities to choose from.
Jolly Mon Indoor Water Park
Definitely a kid-favorite, Jolly Mon Indoor Water Park is a 20,000 square-foot indoor waterpark that allows a tropical escape no matter the season. It was a happening space on the cold Sunday we visited, even in the off-season.
You do not have to be a guest of Margaritaville to splash around at Jolly Mon Indoor Water Park – they are open to the public. Admission to the indoor water park is extra.
The highlight for my older kids were the two three-story waterslides. One was large enough for single and double tubes. The slides empty into the start of the lazy river.
Younger kids will love the dump bucket, water cannons, and smaller slides.
While there is a 21-seat whirlpool hot tub, Jolly Mon isn’t much of a hangout for child-less crowds (though beer is served there).
Tip: Being indoors, Jolly Mon is open year-round, though hours are reduced in the off-season. Definitely check the hours if you’re planning a spring visit like ours.
Fins Up Indoor Pool
The resort has an indoor pool open year-round. Unlike indoor water park, the pool is complimentary for Resor guests.
Fin City Bowling
Hours vary depending on the time of year, but bowling alley at the resort is open year-round. The cost is pretty reasonable too. It’s $4 per person per game, and shoe rental is $2.
Even with the availability of bumper bowling, the minimum age for Fin City Bowling is 4 years old.
Fin City Arcade
Fin City Arcade isn’t the only arcade or indoor entertainment center in the area, but what it has going for it is its hours. Since our visit was on a weekday in March, not every attraction was open that time of year. Fin City Arcade maintains pretty steady hours year-round, though.
The arcade had games to win tickets or just aim for a high score. While there’s a variety of 50+ games, including air hockey and skeeball, my kids gravitated toward the games promising ticket paydays.