Wilson’s Creek Battlefield

Staycation Ideas for Springfield, MO

by GettingFreedom on May 21, 2013

Partaking in a staycation is not only great on your budget {if you’re careful!}, but it helps you to appreciate what you have in your own community.  Keeping your money locally is important, ya know. :)

Springfield, Missouri really is one of my favorite places. While it’s still a trek for us {almost 2 hours} we still find ourselves in “the City” quite often.  And when we’re there–we never have enough time to do what we want!  While writing out my list of beloved attractions and doing some research, I found many attractions that I’d never heard of!

Become familiar with your neighboring towns, and fall in love with your communities all over again!  You don’t have to travel to another state for vacation when there’s so many fun things to do in your own backyard.


Free Springfield Attractions

Founder’s Park

Founder’s Park offers FREE movies on Fridays and Saturdays!

Springfield Nature Center

The Springfield Nature Center has hiking trails, many opportunities to see wildlife, as well as many indoor displays and activities for all ages.

Jordan Valley Park

Jordan Valley Park

Jordan Valley Park has many different activities to entertain you.  Their fountain and stream were designed to look like that of an Ozarks River. It is computer controlled and runs every 30 minutes at the top of the hour until 9 pm, and continuous from 11:00 a.m.-1:30 p.m.

There is also an indoor ice park for hockey games or ice skating as well as the Creamery Arts Center that’s home to the Springfield Regional Arts CouncilSpringfield Ballet,Springfield Regional Opera and the Springfield Symphony.

The fountains are free, while the Creamery Arts Center and Mediacom Ice Park have a fee for their events.

Springfield Art Museum

There’s also an Art Walk the first Friday of the month!

Bass Pro Shops

Our family enjoys going to Bass Pro Shops for the experience alone.  Parts of the store are created to look as if you are walking underwater.  It’s 300,000 square foot space features an indoor waterfall, an art gallery, barber shop, firing range, boat showroom, aquariums, and much more.

The neighboring Wonders of Wildlife Museum is currently closed for expansion, but should be reopened in 2013.

The Botanical Gardens

The Botanical Gardens are spread out over 114 acre site and includes demonstration gardens, the Japanese Stroll Garden {see below for more information}, a Butterfly House, the Gray-Campbell Farmstead, specialty gardens and so much more!

Things to Do in Springfield, MO

Discovery Center - Springfield, MO

Discovery Center

The Springfield Discovery Center is located downtown and offers hours of entertainment.   While it does cost $9 for adults and $7 for children over 3, you won’t be disappointed!

Dickerson Park Zoo

The Dickerson Park Zoo is a smaller zoo, but is still capable of offering a few hours of entertainment.  Who doesn’t like to look at the giraffes {my absolute favorite!} and elephants {not me!  They scare me!}?  They run various events throughout the year, just check their calendar for upcoming events.
Fantastic Caverns, Springfield

Fantastic Caverns

Fantastic Caverns is known as America’s only drive through cave.  Being a cave and all, it maintains a temperature of around 60°!  Great way to get a break from the hot summer heat!

Askinosie Chocolate Factory

Hey, a vacation staycation is not complete without a little chocolate, right? :) The Askinosie Chocolate Factory isn’t any ol’ chocolate factory, it’s all made right there.  Their chocolate bars only contain 3 ingredients, you can trace your chocolate bar all the way to the bean, and they’re organic!  You can read more about what makes them great here.

Missouri Sports Hall of Fame - Springfield, Missouri

Missouri Sports Hall of Fame

The Missouri Sports Hall of Fame, located just out of Springfield off Highway 60 East, is sure to keep the attention of young and old sports fans alike.

In this two-story facility  you will find interactive exhibits from baseball, fishing, football, racing, tennis, and even track and field. As well as autographed memorabilia and exhibits dedicated to some big name sports stars such as  Mark McGwire,  Babe Ruth, Willie Mays, Reggie Jackson, and many others.


Mizumoto Japanese Stroll Garden - Springfield, Missouri

Japanese Stroll Garden

The Japanese Stroll Garden is part of Springfield’s Botanical Gardens located on South Scenic.  While there is a small fee of $3 for anyone over 12  years of age–it’s worth it!  It’s sprawled out on 7.5 acres and features a koi lake, moon bridge, meditation garden, tea house as well as traditional Japanese landscaping.  Why not rent a pavilion and have a packed sushi lunch? :)

Pythian Castle - Springfield, MO

Pythian Castle

The Pythian Castle holds a lot of interesting history.  Some a little frightening! They do charge a small admission fee for roughly an hour long tour.

Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield

Experience a look into the Civil War by touring Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield, the site of the  first major Civil War battle fought west of the Mississippi River.  Wilson’s Creek Battlefield is also known as one of the best-preserved battlefields in the nation.  You’ll be able to tour the old Ray House as well as walk {and see} where soldiers of the war once stood and fought.

Smallin Civil War Cave

Smallin Civil War Cave is located just outside of Springfield in neighboring Ozark–which was a centralized location of Union activity during the Civil War.  It is known to be the first documented cave in the state of Missouri, with writings dating back to 1818.  It was once home to the Osage and Cherokee Indians, and serves as a great peak into our local history.

Springfield Cardinals

Love baseball but can’t afford the ticket prices to watch the Major League?  Then catching a Springfield Cardinals game is your answer!

The Springfield Cardinals are the Double-A affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals and they play their home games right at Hammons Field.  Their ticket prices are much easier on your budget and range anywhere from $6 to $24, depending on seat location.


What are your favorite things to do in Springfield?  I’m sure I’ve missed many!

Check out these Staycation ideas for Branson, Missouri!

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