Top 20 Must-Try Unique Things to Do in Springfield, MO
Springfield, Missouri, often called the “Queen City of the Ozarks,” is a hidden gem in the Midwest’s heart. While it may not be as well-known as some larger cities, Springfield boasts a vibrant culture and eclectic activities, making it a fantastic destination for springtime adventures.
Springfield has something for everyone, from its beautiful natural landscapes to its rich history and unique attractions. In this article, we’ll explore the best and most unique things to do in Springfield, MO throughout the year:
1. Explore the Wonders of Nature
Springfield is surrounded by breathtaking natural beauty, making it a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. In spring, you can explore the Ozark Mountains, hike through the numerous trails at nearby parks like Nathanael Greene/Close Memorial Park or Busiek State Forest and Wildlife Area, and even go fishing or kayaking in the James River.
2. Visit Fantastic Caverns
Experience an underground adventure like no other at Fantastic Caverns, America’s only ride-through cave. This unique attraction allows you to explore the stunning underground world while comfortably seated on a tram.
3. Stroll Through the Springfield Botanical Gardens
Springfield Botanical Gardens at Nathanael Greene/Close Memorial Park offers a colorful display of flowers, trees, and themed gardens. Spring is the perfect time to visit and witness the gardens coming to life with blooming flowers and vibrant colors. Don’t forget to stroll around the beautiful Mizumoto Japanese Stroll Garden.
4. Enjoy Outdoor Dining
Springfield’s dining scene shines when outdoor patios come to life in the spring. Explore the city’s culinary delights while dining al fresco at local restaurants and cafes. From barbecue joints to farm-to-table eateries, there’s something to satisfy every palate.
5. Immerse Yourself in History
Springfield has a rich history; you can learn about it by visiting the History Museum on the Square and the Route 66 Car Museum. Discover the city’s past through fascinating exhibits and displays that showcase its role in the American Civil War and the iconic Route 66.
6. Attend Festivals and Events
Springfield hosts a variety of festivals and events during the spring season. The Artsfest, held in May, is one of the largest fine arts festivals in the region, featuring local and national artists. Other events, like the Ozark Empire Fair and Cider Days, offer a taste of the local culture and cuisine.
7. Discover the Pythian Castle
Pythian Castle, a historic landmark in Springfield, offers guided tours that take you through its intriguing history and rumored paranormal activity. Explore the underground tunnels and secret chambers while learning about this unique and enigmatic structure.
8. Attend a Springfield Cardinals Game
Baseball fans can catch a Springfield Cardinals game at Hammons Field. Watching a minor league baseball game in a cozy stadium is a quintessential American experience. The friendly atmosphere and affordable tickets make it a great outing for families.
9. Explore the Fantastic Caverns Wildlife Safari
Combine your love for nature with an educational experience by embarking on the Fantastic Caverns Wildlife Safari. This tram tour provides the opportunity to observe wildlife in their natural habitat, including bison, elk, and more.
10. Take a Scenic Drive
Hop in your car and enjoy a scenic and relaxing drive along the Ozark Mountain High Road or Route 66. These routes offer picturesque views of the region’s landscape, making for a memorable springtime adventure.
11. Explore the Springfield Art Museum
Art lovers can appreciate the Springfield Art Museum’s diverse collection featuring classic and contemporary pieces. The museum frequently hosts rotating exhibitions, providing fresh and inspiring artwork to discover.
12. Take a Scenic Float Trip
Experience the James River up close by embarking on a scenic float trip. This leisurely adventure allows you to enjoy the serene beauty of the river, spot local wildlife, and even do some light fishing or picnicking along the way.
13. Attend a Live Performance at the Gillioz Theatre
Experience the vibrant atmosphere of a live performance or concert at the charming Gillioz Theatre, a meticulously restored historic venue. It’s the ideal destination for a delightful night out, especially during the spring season.
14. Explore the Wildlife and Conservation Center
Visit the Dickerson Park Zoo and its adjacent Wildlife and Conservation Center, where you can learn about various animal species and their significant conservation efforts. It’s a family-friendly outing that’s both educational and entertaining.
15. Go on a Craft Beer Tasting Tour
Springfield has a burgeoning craft beer scene. Spend a day hopping from one local brewery to another, sampling a wide range of craft beers, and enjoying the vibrant atmosphere of the city’s breweries.
16. Attend the Japanese Fall Festival
If you visit in spring, plan for the annual Japanese Fall Festival, which typically takes place in September. This cultural celebration includes traditional performances, tea ceremonies, and a beautiful lantern release on the Mizumoto Japanese Stroll Garden pond.
17. Try Your Hand at Disc Golf
Springfield offers several disc golf courses, providing a fun and affordable outdoor activity. Bring your discs or rent them locally and challenge your friends or family to a game of disc golf amidst the scenic park settings.
18. Visit the Route 66 Springfield Visitor Center
Get your kicks on Route 66 by stopping at the Springfield Visitor Center. Learn about the history of this iconic highway and pick up Route 66 memorabilia or souvenirs to commemorate your visit.
19. Experience a Live Rodeo
Springfield hosts rodeo events throughout the year, including the Ozark Empire Pro Rodeo. Witness thrilling rodeo competitions featuring bull riding, barrel racing, and more for an authentic Western experience.
20. Discover Springfield’s Craft and Farmers Markets
Springfield’s farmers markets, such as the Greater Springfield Farmers’ Market and the Farmers Market of the Ozarks, come to life in the spring. Sample local produce, artisanal goods, and crafts while enjoying the vibrant atmosphere and supporting local vendors.
Springfield, Missouri, may not be on everyone’s radar, but it offers a wealth of unique and exciting activities for springtime visitors. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, history buff, or foodie, Springfield offers something special.
So, start planning, pack your bags, and prepare to uncover the hidden gems of Springfield, MO!
Check out our blog post at https://gatewaymo.com/springfield-mo-things-to-do/ to learn more about the best things you can do in Springfield, MO, and get the most out of your time in the city!