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Cool Things To Do In Springfield Missouri

by Pankaj Upreti
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Things To Do In Springfield Missouri

Springfield Missouri is one of those places that are just filled with serenity and beauty. Located in southern Missouri, just an hour’s drive away from Branson, Springfield is a city nestled in natural beauty. There are a number of landmarks here as well as expeditions you can sign up for.

Rooted in Civil War history, come to Springfield Missouri if you are into history and culture. Missouri Springfield is also home to the Missouri State University, and this university town boasts a welcoming atmosphere and smiling faces.

From Bass Pro to Battlefields, this town has so much to offer and you will find a lot here that will make your trip memorable and exciting. There is everything in Springfield, from museums to nature trails, a modern town to histoic buildings.

This article will help you figure out your trip and will tell you about the best things to do in Springfield Missouri. Read on more below to get to know more about the spectacular attractions that await you in Springfield MO.

Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield

The National Park Service operates this historical battlefield which was the site of the second major battle of the Civil War in 1861. Now, the service provides tours of several landmarks that line the site. There is a circular paved pathway that covers the entire site, with at least 8 sites that provide entry to hiking trails surrounding the site. And there is an auto tour to be done here that ends at the Ray House, which is the only standing building that remained after the devastating battle.

There is a visitor’s center here that is open all days of the week with the exception of major holidays, during which the entire battlefield park remains closed. The visitor’s center features exhibits, research libraries and a 30 minute film depicting information regarding the battle. The Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield is located at 6424 W Farm Road 182, Republic, Missouri.

Fantastic Caverns

The Fantastic Caverns are located around 10 miles north of Downtown Springfield.
Pebbles from Fantastic Caverns | Photo Credit – Archana Pandey

The Fantastic Caverns are located around 10 miles north of Downtown Springfield. This is a major Springfield attraction that features ancient caves, columns, and some formations aptly named soda straws and cave bacon.  Take the 55 minute tram ride that is the only way to tour the Fantastic Caverns and see some of the most unreal formations you will ever see.

The karst landscape you will find here is the staple of the Missouri underground. While you ride the tram jeep, you will have a number of tour guides to help you understand more of the Fantastic Caverns as you go. The underground Fantastic Caverns remain a major tourist attraction all year, as the temperatures at the Fantastic Caverns remains 60 degrees Fahrenheit all year round. While you are here at Springfield Missouri, you must make it a point to come here and visit this magical place.

Route 66 Car Museum

Located west of Downtown Springfield, this museum known as the Route 66 Car Museum is a private collection of cars.
Route 66 Car Museum | Photo Credit – Dick Thompson

Located west of Downtown Springfield, this museum known as the Route 66 Car Museum is a private collection of cars. The collection of automobiles at Route 66 Car Museum is diverse and huge, with over 70 cars and vehicles spanning major eras of the automobile industry.

The Route 66 Car Museum has Jaguars, classic cars and cars that have been featured in movies and even Batmobiles. The Car Museum remains open all week from 9 to 5 with the exception of major holidays. The Route 66 Car Museum is a place that you must take time to visit whether you are a car fan or not. You will surely find something exciting while you are here.

Hammons Field

Located close to Downtown Springfield and the Missouri State University.
Hammons Field | Photo Credit – Kansas City District U.S. Ar

Catch the Cardinal’s game at the Hammons Field to really complete your Springfield trip. Located close to Downtown Springfield and the Missouri State University, the Hammons Field is the home of the Springfield cardinals, a minor league team for the spring and the summer.

The stadium is a really great place with positive seating reviews in general  and there is an extra large scoreboard so that no one ever misses the score. The Hammons Field is an award winning stadium due to its facilities and its theme nights.

After checking out the Springfield Cardinals game, you can enjoy the $1 hot dog and the fireworks and there are nights when Hammons Field collaborates with the Dickerson Park Zoo. Hammons Field is a really great location for family friendly fun in the city of Springfield Mo.

Dickerson Park Zoo

Dickerson Park Zoo | Photo Credit – Jose Kevo

The Dickerson Park Zoo is known for its conservationist wildlife efforts. The Dickerson Park Zoo is one of the best attractions in the city of Springfield Missouri and is known to host zoo events and camps all year round. While you are here, you should definitely sign up for them  and also check out the daily Animal RendeZoos. This feature will let you come close to the wonders of wildlife resident in the Dickerson Park Zoo like elephants, tigers and other animals they have here.

The main objective of the Dickerson Park Zoo is to engage the community with its conservationist efforts to save wildlife. They have many unique animals here, including reptiles such as the diamond back rattlesnake, black swans and even a black bear. Among the wonders of wildlife there are Asian elephants, tigers, spider monkeys and more.

The park zoo also serves as a local animal hospital and wildlife rehabilitation. The Dickerson Park Zoo is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, and it serves as a active member of many wildlife conservation programs in the world. A visit to the Dickerson Park Zoo is definitely worth it and should be on your list of best attractions to visit and see while in Springfield Mo.

Nathanael Greene Close Memorial Paruri

One of the best things to do in the city of Springfield Missouri is to visit the Nathanael Greene Close Memorial Park. This park is a place for a picnic, outdoor activities and enjoyment in the botanical garden. The Nathanael Greene Close Memorial Park hosts the Springfield Botanical Gardens that features over 21 garden beds of flowers. Another attraction here is the Dr. Bill Roston Native Butterfly House.

The Nathanael Greene also houses Lake Drummond which is a great place for open air activities and picnics. There is also the Mizumoto Japanese Stroll Garden for you to visit as you are here in the Nathanael Greene Close area. The park is located at 2400 S Scenic Avenue, Springfield, Missouri.

Conservation Nature Center

he Conservation Nature Center lies to the southeast of the town in Missouri.
Conservation Nature Center | Photo Credit – Bureau of Land Management

The CNC, or the Conservation Nature Center lies to the southeast of the town and features over 80 acres of nature trails to hike on. There are exhibits here along with 3 miles of hiking trails. The visitor center is also home to an auditorium that seats 150 and is used for special events.

You can only visit the CNC during the day and there is ample parking for all types of vehicles here. You can enroll for guided nature hikes and explore the wonders of wildlife this place has to offer.

Springfield Art Museum

One of the oldest cultural institutions of Springfield Missouri, the Springfield Art Museum is a major reason why this town is referred to as the Cultural center of the Ozarks. There are many exhibits here at the museum with the main focus being on American Art. There are over 10000 works of art here at the museum that are divided into permanent and rotating exhibits.

The museum also features an outdoor sculpture garden where you can explore the grounds of the museum. The Museum aims to bring the community together through art and as such also offers classes for aspiring students. Tour the galleries of the museum as you delve into the history of America through art. This place is certainly one of the top places to visit when you are here.

Mizumoto Japanese Stroll Garden

This place in Missouri has a certain serenity that will land you into a peaceful state of mind.
Meditation Gardens | Photo Credit – Jo Naylor

This Springfield Missouri attraction features traditional Japanese Landscaping over a land area of seven acres. There are meditation gardens, a moon bridge and a large koi pond with stepping stones. This area has a certain serenity that will land you into a peaceful state of mind.

While you are here, be sure to try the traditional Japanese teahouse and the Zig Zag bridge. The garden is known to be a really peaceful place, and you can escape the bustle of the town by delving into the quiet gardens and scenic beauty of the park.

Wonders Of Wildlife National Museum And Aquarium

Wonders Of Wildlife National Museum | Photo Credit – U.S. Department of the Interior

The Wonders of Wildlife National Museum lies next to Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World. Both have been built by Johnny Morris, a native of Springfield. This museum features an inhouse aquarium and more than thousands of fishes. If you are into fishes and want to learn more about them, while making your trip fun and enjoying, come to Wonders of Wildlife National Museum adjacent to Bass Pro.

The museum also contains a number of exhibits featuring environmental ecosystems of the ocean, boats that are historically known and even underwater tunnels. There are 4D dioramas for you to enjoy wildlife and these displays feature exhibits from all over the world ranging from the Arctic to the Savanna. Immerse yourself in the experience of a lifetime at this museum and leave filled with knowledge and fun filled images.

Restaurants

There are many places in Springfield Missouri where you can enjoy great food.
Restaurants | Photo Credit – anokarina

There are many places in Springfield Missouri where you can enjoy great food. This section of this article will help you keep track of the restaurant options you have when you are in Missouri’s lovely town. Your days in the town will be spend looking at what it has to offer such as museums and road trip options. So when you are famished, come and try any of these great places for food to die for.

Casper’s is a place that has been serving great chili for a long time. The place only remains open till 4 PM so you gotta plan your trip here. Another great place is Nonna’s Italian Cafe. This place serves authentic Italian food and is located in Downtown Springfield. Try their pasta while you are at it. Both these places are great for a quick meal before you resume your trip.

For dinner, try the Flame Steakhouse which specializes in dry aged steaks. You will find them grilled to your liking with the most beautiful sear you can imagine. Try the Rama Thai for thai food and the place is located at Walnut Street on a historic house. The Metropolitan Grill is another tourist favorite spot with a great menu and fancy dining that will make your Missouri trip come alive.

For breakfast and dessert, try the Hurts Donut. They serve a variety of flavors and we are not understating this. Type Dill Pickle Donut on Youtube and you’ll understand. Gailey’s Breakfast Cafe is one of the most popular locations in the town and serves delectable breakfasts. It was a pharmacy that also sold burgers earlier.

Now its the talk of the town. Visit Crave Cookie Dough for some lovely desserts. This place serves great cookie dough and also ice creams, sandwiches and shakes. The pineapple whip uses a 40 year old recipe that is still the creme de la cream. This delicious treat is sold by mobile units that run the town in the summer.

Nightlife

The nightlife scene in Springfield Missouri is great.
Nightlife | Photo Credit – Branson Convention and V

The nightlife scene in Springfield Missouri is great. There are many hotspots for tourists and local watering holes. The Tie and Timber Beer Co. is known for always keeping a freshly brewed batch of beer and serving it on an outdoor patio. The Lindberg’s Tavern has been open since 1870 and serves delicious drinks and meals ranging from dinner to brunch. Gillioz Theater has been working nights since 1926 and has hosted the most famous musicians and entertainers.

There are also comedy spots in the town where you can spend an evening to unwind. The Springfield Little Theater has a little bit of a haunting backstory. It is rumored that ghosts haunt this theater and performers have almost sworn that they have seen them spectating. The eerie delight to cap your night off.

What Is There To Do In Springfield MO For Free?

Springfield is a major tourist city and as such there are a number of things to do and see here. While you are at Springfield, you can do a lot of things that are free. This section of this article on the best things to do in Springfield Missouri will bring to you a list of the free things you can do at Springfield.

  • The Springfield Conservation Nature Center: This place lets you stroll through over 80 acres of natural beauty in the form of forests, creeks and grasslands that are called prairies in the United States. The Springfield Conservation Nature Center is totally free to visit and is one of the most visited attractions in the city. There is just so much to do and see here at the nature center and you can enjoy wildlife, hikes and take pictures of the most scenic views in the world. The place offers the best opportunities in nature trails, bird watchin and you can take a self guided tour and get lost in the beauty this park has to offer.
  • Jordan Valley Park: The Jordan Valley Park remains open to the public all year and is one of the best locations in the city for some free of cost family fun. Not only can you hike here, but also enjoy a day full of biking and birdwatching. The trails are absolutely scenic and you must keep your camera handy so that you don’t miss the best views in the world. There is also a free wading pool here for kids to learn how to swim.
  • Springfield Art Museum: Museums are always one of those places which one makes a point to visit while they are traveling. The Springfield Art Museum is one such place but the best thing about it is that it is free. It is the result of the decision to bring free art to their community made by a group of women. You can enjoy some great pop art here as well as admire the sculptures in the sculpture garden. You can have you kids here learn some art techniques and enjoy the beautiful experience this place with leave you with.
  • Discovery Center Of Springfield: There are many free things to do at the Discovery Center of Springfield. If you or your significant other are a military veteran, then you can enjoy a free outing at this exhibit on Veterans day. There is also a free exhibit at Mothers day, when your mothers and grandmothers will receive free entry into the Discovery Center of Springfield.
  • Springfield National Cemetery: This location is the resting place of the brave warriors who died at the Battle of Wilson Creek during the civil war. The cemetery has a lot of memorials and monuments dedicated to the events of the civil war era and you must visit this place to pay your respects and gather information about the battles and monuments which are a testament to history.
  • World’s Largest Fork: This unique attraction is something that you should indulge in when you have a couple minutes to spare while at Springfield Mo. As the name suggests, it is the world’s largest fork.

This was our list of free attractions and things to see while at Springfield. No doubt, there are many more and if you have been to Springfield, do let us know your thoughts in the comments below. All feedback is not only welcome and appreciated, but also encouraged.

What Is Springfield MO Famous For?

The third largest city of Missouri, Springfield has had a very rich history and place of importance when it comes to being an American city. The city of Springfield is also known as the “Queen City of the Ozarks” and also the “Cultural Center of the Ozarks”.  It is also known as the “birthplace of Route 66” as it was instrumental in the formation of Route 66.

The Route 66 Association of Missouri dedicated a placard in Park Central Square for its efforts on the route. Many residents of Springfield have gone on to become major figures in politics and the arts and entertainment. Brad Pitt hails from Springfield and so does Kathleen Turner. Springfield has three sister cities which are Tours, France, Tlaquepaque, Mexico and Isesaki, Japan. 

There are seven locations in Springfield Mo that are listed on the national register of historic places. They are the Abou Ben Adhem Shrine Mosque, the Gillioz Theater, the Jefferson Street Footbridge, the Landers Theater, the Springfield National Cemetery, the Stone Chapel and Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield.

Another thing that Springfield is famous for is its network of underground caves that have been turned into a major attraction for tourists. The Fantastic Caverns are one of those places that you definitely need to visit if you want to say you have visited Springfield.

The Cashew Chicken delicacy is another thing that is associated with Springfield. Another famous attraction is the Bass Pro Outdoor shop, built by Johnny Morris.

We hope you enjoyed our article about the best things to do in Springfield Missouri. This town is a major attraction for tourists as it features underground caverns, wonders of wildlife and is known to be the Cultural center of the Ozarks. The place features a number of things to do ranging from nature hikes to enjoy wonders of wildlife to road trip worthy attractions.

You will be able to see the top museums and learn more about history by being here. Bring your camera and take away memories that will last you a lifetime. While you are here and travelling, be sure to take care of all the safety precautions and social distancing norms. The COVID 19 epidemic is a major adversary to travel, but you keep yourself safe, there is no reason to put your travel plans on hold. With this, we close off our article about things to do in Springfield with the hopes that you enjoyed it. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below and hit us up with any suggestions and words you can think of.

Please also read about the things to do in Santa Cruz.


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