Though it’s impossible to do all Springfield has to offer in just one trip, this guide will give some suggestions for a day or weekend trip for the whole family!
As Missouri’s 3rd largest metropolitan area, Springfield is a community thriving with rich history that provides a unique experience for all residents and visitors.
From its downtown square boasting a modern lifestyle to its various quaint natural scenery, this city promises fun for all. Though it’s impossible to do all Springfield has to offer in just one trip, this guide will give some suggestions for a day or weekend trip for the whole family!
Springfield Botanical Gardens at Nathanael Green Park: This botanical garden within a city park includes hundreds of varieties of plants in 21 gardens and horticultural collections, covering more than 100 acres. Picnic facilities; grills; playground; trails; lake; arboretum; specialty gardens including the Mizumoto Stroll Garden; South Creek Greenway Trail; Native Butterfly House. Open Monday-Saturday 8am-8pm and Sunday 11am-6pm. Visit www.friendsofthegarden.org for event calendar. 2400 Scenic Ave; 417-891-1515
Dickerson Park Zoo: Dickerson Park Zoo’s 55 acres are home to hundreds of animals, representing habitats in Africa, Tropical Asia, South America, Australia and Missouri. Favorites include Asian elephants, tigers, giraffes and river otters. Stand eye-to-eye with giraffes on an elevated feeding/viewing deck; crackers can be purchased to feed these magnificent animals.
The Diversity of Life exhibits showcase reptiles and amphibians from around the world that share common types of habitats. Tickets: Adults/teens, $12; ages 3-12 and 60+, $8. Open October-March 10am-4pm daily and April-September 9am-5pm daily. 1401 W Norton Road; 417-833-1570
Wickman’s Garden Village: For over 90 years, Wickman's Garden Village has been helping customers grow in many ways. Established in 1922 as a greenhouse, Wickman's now offers a nursery, garden center, greenhouse, boutique, gift shop, flower shop, landscape and irrigation services as well as a dedication to outstanding knowledge and customer service. The Village is a great place to explore nature and develop your green thumb! Nursery and Flower Shop open Monday-Friday 8am-6pm, Saturday 8am-5pm, Sunday 10am-5pm. 1345 S. Fort Ave; 417-862-3707
Founders Park: The five major areas within the park's boundaries include: A 250-seat amphitheater with an 18-foot by 30-foot stage, wired for sound and light equipment; a re-creation of the original spring used by our founders; an upland woods area depicting the natural hardwood forest which once existed on the site, including a 10-foot by 120-foot historical mural covering the first 100 years of Springfield's citizens, buildings and local historical events; a historical timeline that describes the growth of Springfield during the first 100 years and how national and international events played a part in the city's development; and an area for native prairie grasses which existed on the nearby Kickapoo Prairie. 330 E. Water St; 417-837-5710
Battle of Springfield Driving Tour: In this self-guided driving tour, you’ll be taken back to January 1863 when the Union forces defended the Springfield territory during the Confederate attempts to gain supplies and high-ground access. Twelve markers placed throughout the battleground commemorate where defenses were organized, troops gathered supplies, injured soldiers were hospitalized and homes were burned. Visit www.springfield1863.org for more info. 417-881-5300
C-Street Historic District: This was the hub of opportunity and commerce in 1870 “Newtown,” as North Springfield was then called. C-Street is a mix of eclectic artisans, entertainment and shopping. Watch a train from one of the country’s longest footbridges; shop at the seasonal farmer’s market; visit the art galleries, antique and flea markets, photography and art studios, and vintage clothing venues.
Treat yourself to some one-of-a-kind businesses: a chocolate factory that roasts its own cacao; a microbrewery; the city’s oldest tavern; a massage and day spa school; pizza at a 51-year-old pizzeria. All this within six unique blocks of intact, circa 1900 architecture. Contact district office at number below for business hours and events. 500 W. Commercial St; 417-864-7015
1984 Arcade: 1984 is THE 80s arcade. Stop in and get your 80s on in style. We have the games, the music, and the vibe from the greatest decade ever! No quarters or tokens needed, play all you want for the cost of admission - $7.50. Open Wednesday-Saturday 4pm-11pm. 400 E. Walnut St; 417-831-3665
Discovery Center: Visit this interactive science center for all ages! Imagine, create, have fun and learn with hundreds of exhibits that explore physics, chemistry, energy, health and culture, all in an environmentally friendly building. Explore galleries and exhibits such as: HighWire Bike; BodyWorks; Discovery Town; WaterWorks. Special exhibits are scheduled throughout the year. Visit www.discoverycenter.org for event details, schedules, information, admission, and hours. 438 E. St. Louis St; 417-862-9910
John Q. Hammons Field: Hammons Field is a 6,750-seat baseball stadium and home to the Springfield Cardinals and the Missouri State University Bears’ Baseball – both great teams that always promise a great game! Visit www.milb.com and www.missouristatebears.com for schedules and tickets. 955 E. Trafficway; 417-863-0395
Maes Gelateria: The freshest gelato place in Springfield came to fruition in July of 2016 thanks to father-and-son team Earl and Cameron Maes. All the gelato flavors are made fresh in house and range in flavor varieties from traditional chocolate and vanilla to biscotti, coconut stracciatella, cotton candy, and salted caramel. The atmosphere of Maes Gelateria is bright and cheerful, and guests can see the churning machines where Cameron and his dad make the gelato fresh daily. Open Sunday-Wednesday 11am-11pm and Thursday-Saturday 11am-3am. 335 E. Walnut St; 417-351-5969