Fun fact: Across the United States, there are 36 different towns and cities all by the name of Springfield. However, there is one in particular that stands out amongst the crowd, and that is the Queen City itself, Springfield, Missouri! Dubbed as the “Birthplace of Route 66,” Springfield, MO, has perfected the blend of small town hospitality backed by big city features, all while staying true to its rich Ozark history.
With great shopping, a vibrant nightlife and more greenways and parks than we have fingers to count on, Springfield, Missouri sure knows how to entertain both locals and visitors alike.
So, whether you’re coming for business or pleasure, we’ve gathered our top eight Springfield, Missouri attractions for you to experience while you’re here. As a plus, the Oasis is conveniently located in Springfield, so all of these are just a short drive away. So you can relax in your room after an action-packed day of exploring all Springfield has to offer!
Bass Pro Shop’s “Wonders of Wildlife Museum and Aquarium”
Voted the #1 Best New Attraction In America and #1 Best Aquarium by USA Today, Wonders of Wildlife is a world-class experience unlike anything you’ve ever seen. It’s more than just a museum and aquarium— it’s a celebration of the conservation of both land and water.
The aquarium is recognized foremost for its “Out to Sea” exhibit, which features a 21-foot deep, 225,000-gallon tank, housing a variety of sharks, rays and tropical fish. However, the space in the Aquarium Adventure totals 1.5-million-gallons, and is home to 35,000+ live fish, mammals, reptiles and birds. Secondly, Wonders of Wildlife offers an immersive Wildlife Gallery that brings you face-to-face with the nation’s most recognizable collection of record-setting big game animals.
There is no doubt that this serves to be one of Springfield, Missouri’s most notorious family attractions that will have you and your family submerged in the world of natural curiosity and adventure.
Dickerson Park Zoo
Following suit in the world of nature, Dickerson Park Zoo is one of Springfield, Missouri’s premiere attractions. This 100 acre park is backed by a mission to protect animals in their care, and encourage educational curiosity through up-close encounters and hands-on experiences. The zoo boasts habitats for a collection of animals from across the world; with exotic animals such as the cheetah, African elephant and even the Malayan tiger. Dickerson Park Zoo is the perfect interactive education for your family to enjoy. Plus, admission fees are affordably priced, and the zoo regularly promotes park activities such as scavenger hunts and activity sheets.
The next bombshell? Dickerson Park Zoo is part of our Family Fun Getaway package! Perfect for the families looking for a bit of fun and adventure in Springfield, MO. Our Oasis packages offer a variety of perks that you can see for yourself here!
Wilson’s Creek Battlefield
For the history junkies out there, this one’s for you. The importance of this location is second to none; marked as the first major Civil War battle fought west of the Mississippi River, and the site of Nathaniel Lyon’s death, the first Union general to be killed in action. Visitors can experience the war site for themselves, while also getting in a little cardio, as this battle site is protected by the National Park Service and offers a 4.9 mile paved tour guided by audio education. So if you are looking to add in a little history lesson on your vacay, Wilson’s Creek Battlefield is a great way to submerge yourself into the rich history of our city.
Springfield Art Museum
Now when it comes to Springfield, Missouri attractions for the more expressive visitor, the Springfield Art Museum will be sure to spark your imagination and inspire you. Since 1926, the museum has been dedicated to enhancing the education and documentation of diverse cultural heritage of Southwest Missouri.
The Springfield Art Museum offers a variety of family-friendly experiences, including The Family Art Lab and Book Nook which are interactive spaces for children to explore on their own terms through their own expressive ideas. Additionally, educational group tours and art classes are offered regularly, and museum exhibits are constantly added and rotated to ensure that no matter the day, there is something unique for you to experience.
So, for the people looking to get in touch with their creative side, an Oasis Hotel and Convention Center stay means you would fit-the-bill perfectly for our Springfield Arts Package that includes a free shuttle to and from the museum!
Watch a Springfield Cardinals Game!
From nature and the arts to professional sports! Springfield is proud to be the home of the Springfield Cardinals, the Double-A affiliate of the 11-time World Champion St. Louis Cardinals. As one of the most popular attractions during the spring and summer nights, Hammons Field welcomes thousands of fans through their gates each season. Located in downtown Springfield, you can catch some baseball and watch post-game fireworks with a hot dog in one hand and an ice cream in another… and that is exactly how we’d recommend it.
A Ghost Tour at the Historic Pythian Castle
For the thrill-seeking ghost believers out there, the Pythian Castle is a nationally reviewed “haunted” historic site right here in Springfield.
Originally built as a senior citizens and children’s home by the Knights of Pythias, it was later taken over by the U.S Military during WWII, and even housed German and Italian prisoner-of-war soldiers, creating a plethora of unique, intrinsic experiences under a single roof.
Presently, the Pythian Castle it is said to be a hotspot for paranormal activity, going so far as to being featured on notable paranormal features such as Ghost Adventures in 2017 and Ghost Lab in 2012. They offer Ghost Tours at night for those less-jumpy visitors and History Tours during the day if you’re a scaredy cat like us and prefer to tour the castle for educational purposes.
Discovered in 1862, this Ozarkian treasure is rich with Springfield heritage. Today, this natural wonder has been opened up to the public through a small, family-owned business called Fantastic Caverns, America’s only cave exploration experience that tours you in jeep-drawn trams. Can you answer the age old question of stalactite vs stalagmite? If not, don’t worry. This interactive journey has you and your family riding all the way through, with a tour guide educating you while allowing you to take in the sheer magnitude, stillness and grandeur of the cave.
To give you the down-and-dirty history lesson, Commercial Street, now coined by locals as C-Street, served as a hub for trade and community development back in the 1870s. Today, it serves as a focal-point for unique shops, galleries and festivals that celebrate Springfield culture and promote community engagement. So if you’re not sure where to begin, here are a few of our favorite C-Street locations to visit:
This cultural gem located in the quiet, charming historic Commercial Street District is home to merchants of produce, local honey, soaps, baked goods, herbal tinctures and salves, jewelry, gifts and much, much more.
Not only does this quaint C-Street shop sell delectable chocolates, they also yearn to educate locals on the craft and integrity of the chocolate industry as a whole. Plus, there are often public tours of the Askinosie Chocolate Factory for you to learn even more!
Big Momma’s Coffee
Big Momma’s old-fashioned southern style hospitality bodes well for this charming lunch-spot favorite located in the heart of C-Street.
White River Brewing Co.
If drinking a cold beer is on your to-do list, we highly recommend stopping here. White River Brewing Company specializes in traditional European beers, notably from Belgium, Great Britain and Germany, however, in each beer they incorporate a little Ozark twist that will leave you wanting more!
Aside from the shops and galleries, there are always festivals and active community events on C-Street, bringing the diverse cultures of Springfield together weekly. Events such as the White River Beer Festival, Bluegrass Tuesdays and Historic Firehouse Tours! There are so many events going on that we could only list a few, but for a full calendar of C-Street happenings, click here!
End Your Day the Right Way
We’re tired just thinking about all of the things to do Missouri’s Springfield. So, regardless of what you choose to do first, make sure you cap your day off right and indulge with us at the Oasis Hotel and Convention Center! We’ll help you plan your next Springfield, Missouri stay!