The third largest city in Missouri, Springfield is a beautiful weekend destination, home to great museums, attractions, restaurants and shops. Visit new Johnny Morris’ Wonders of Wildlife National Museum & Aquarium, check out the Springfield Art Museum, tour the Fantastic Caverns, and explore the Air and Military Museum of the Ozarks.
Best things to do in Springfield, Missouri with kids include the Discovery Center of Springfield, Dickerson Park Zoo, the Rutledge-Wilson Farm Community Park, and the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame. Certain attractions may be temporarily closed or require advance reservations. Hours/availability may have changed.
1. Discovery Center of Springfield
© Discovery Center of Springfield
The Discovery Center of Springfield is a hands-on, cool, fun, interactive museum that inspires learning through exploration and discovery.
The Discovery Center presents a variety of fascinating exhibits, programs, and displays that offer a fun and inspiring educational resource, allowing visitors of all ages to develop critical thinking skills. Covering subject matter from science and technology to art, history, and culture, the DCS provides visitors with opportunities to explore the inner workings of an eyeball, dig for dinosaur bones, learn about other cultures of the world, ride the HighWire bike, and take home a sample of their own DNA.
DCS also offers a range of educational outreach programs and hosts events such as Earth Day, Pi Day, Nano Day, and scout nights. The Discovery Center of Springfield is one of the top family attractions.
438 E. St. Louis Street, Springfield, Missouri, Phone: 417-862-9910
2. Springfield Art Museum
© Springfield Art Museum
A small group of women founded the Springfield Art Museum in 1926, and today it is the city’s oldest cultural institution and one of the best things to do in Springfield, Missouri. Established to inspire and educate the public about the preservation and appreciation of art, the Springfield Art Museum has a permanent collection of over 10,000 works of art in its permanent collection spanning numerous time periods and cultures, as well as rotating and traveling exhibitions.
Special collections include the Art of the Midwest, American water media, and printmaking, as well as pottery and ceramics from Europe. Several large-scale sculptures are on display throughout the grounds, including a well-known Springfield landmark, Sun Target II by John Henry.
1111 E Brookside Drive, Springfield, Missouri, Phone: 417-837-5700R
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3. Fantastic Caverns
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Explore the spectacular beauty of Fantastic Caverns, a vast underground cave carved out by an ancient river just northwest of Springfield.
Discovered by John Knox and his hunting dog in 1862, the cavern quickly became a popular destination for exploration, and today, visitors can enjoy a 55-minute guided ride-through tour in a Jeep-drawn tram. Soak up the magnitude of the splendor and tranquility of the cave on a quiet, controlled drive through the cave where the temperature hovers around 60 degrees.
If you are wondering what to see in Springfield, Missouri with kids, this is a great place to visit. Trolley-led tours are held every day, except for Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
4872 North Farm Road 125, Springfield, Missouri, Phone: 417-833-2010
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4.Botanical Center at Nathanael Greene/Close Memorial Park
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Nathanael Greene/Close Memorial Park and Arboretum is a magnificent 114-acre park located just across from Horton Smith Golf Course. The 12,700-square-foot Botanical Center is also part of the park. The gardens and arboretum were built as a learning resource for the students of University of Missouri and local gardeners, and they serve as an outdoor classroom and a plant laboratory. They were also constructed for anyone who loves vast green spaces, lush trees and bushes, and nature in general.
There are 2.8 miles of trails around the banks of Lake Drummond for joggers, walkers, and bikers. Dr. Bill Roston Butterfly House delights children and students with colorful insects, allowing them to see all the stages these creatures go through. Nobody can stay untouched by the timeless beauty of the Mizumoto Japanese Stroll Garden. If you are wondering what to see in Springfield, Missouri, this beautiful outdoor space is a great place to start. There is so much to see here that captures and showcases the beauty of the native Ozarks.
2400 S. Scenic, Springfield, MO 65807, 417-891-1515
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5.Hammons Field, Springfield, Missouri
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The Springfield Cardinals are the Double-A Texas League affiliate of the 11-time World Champion St. Louis Cardinals, and the team is based at Hammons Field in downtown Springfield.
Owned and operated by the St. Louis Cardinals, they are one of eight teams in the Texas League. The stadium is unique due to its two baseball- specific outbuildings outside of the right-field walls, the larger of which serves as a fully furnished indoor practice facility with astroturf, batting cages, and a small diamond for drills.
The stadium, which can accommodate nearly 8,000 fans, also features 28 luxury box suites, VIP lounges, bar areas, and a balcony area, as well as one of the largest electronic scoreboards and JumboTrons in the country. Named as one of the most striking minor league stadiums in the country, the home of the Springfield Cardinals enjoys crowds at every game.
955 E Trafficway St, Springfield, Missouri, Phone: 417-869-4274
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6.The Air and Military Museum of the Ozarks
© The Air and Military Museum of the Ozarks
The Air and Military Museum of the Ozarks was established in 1989 with the aim of restoring, preserving, and displaying the military history and memorabilia of the Ozarks for the public.
Dedicated to the men and women who fought and died in the Armed Forces to preserve America's freedom, the museum is home to a collection of more than 5,000 objects of military history, including vintage military equipment like a Cobra helicopter, a T-33 jet aircraft, and Army Jeeps and trucks.
Visitors can enjoy a hands-on experience at the museum by taking an imaginary flight in a Cobra helicopter, typing a message on an old Teletype machine, or having a personalized dog tag made. The museum also runs some special projects and field trips for students, and it hosts birthday parties as well.
2305 E Kearney St, Springfield, Missouri, Phone: 417-864-7997
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7. Dickerson Park Zoo, Springfield, Missouri
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Dickerson Park Zoo was founded with the objectives of educating the public and inspiring them to take an interest in wildlife and nature and conservation.
The zoo is currently home to more than 500 animals that represent 160 different species, and it is involved in several conservation projects, including the Species Survival Plan, which involves Asian elephants, maned wolves, and cheetahs.
The zoo also features in-house and outreach community programs that focus on conservation. Check their website for things to do this weekend.
1401 W Norton Rd, Springfield, MO 65803, Phone: 417-864-1800
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8.Springfield Conservation Nature Center
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Located in southeast Springfield, the Springfield Conservation Nature Center is a 79-acre natural landscape consisting of woodlands, forests, glades, prairies, and Lake Springfield, and it offers visitors an array of recreational and outdoor activities to enjoy.
The Nature Center boasts over three miles of hiking trails of varying distances, which can be used for hiking, and wildlife watching. Self-guided displays and exhibits are scattered throughout the park for educational and reference purposes, and guided tours are available free of charge for groups, though they need to be booked in advance.
Special events are held in the park throughout the year, including Eagle Days during winter, Native Plant Sales and Seminars during spring, Insect-O-Rama during August, and a Halloween-based event in October.
4601 S Nature Center Way, Springfield, Missouri, Phone: 417-888-4237
9.Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World
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Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World is the original and largest of the Bass Pro Shops in the country. Bass Pro Shops is a premier outdoor retailer with stores across America and Canada, and the company specializes in fishing and boating equipment as well as equipment and gear for other outdoor activities such as hunting and camping.
Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World is a retail mecca for outdoor sportsmen with more than 500,000 square feet of space dedicated to the outdoors, and it also features aquariums, waterfalls, a firing range, TRACKER boat showroom, and the NRA Museum and Archery Hall of Fame.
Shop for all your outdoor clothing, footwear, cooking, and equipment needs, as well as nature-themed gifts and relax over a coffee afterward at the Hemingway’s Blue Water Café.
1935 S. Campbell Ave., Springfield, Missouri, Phone: 417-887-7334
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10.Mother's Brewing Company
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Mother's Brewing Company is a locally-owned brewery that produces and distributes craft beers. Located on South Grant in Downtown Springfield, Mother’s Brewing Company produces a range of craft beer from year-rounder labels such as Towhead and Three Blind Mice to seasonal beers like ‘Oktoberfest’, Winter Grind and Spring Batch, along with other popular labels.
Visitors can take a tour of Mother’s Brewery and learn about the processes of beer making, bottling, and distribution, and participate in a tasting session in the Tasting Room afterwards. Mother’s Tours are held every Saturday afternoon and are on a first come, first served basis.
215 South Grant, Springfield, Missouri, Phone: 417-862-0423
11.Hotel Vandivort, Springfield, Missouri
© Hotel Vandivort
Visit the newly renovated Hotel Vandivort to dine at The Order restaurant or stay overnight in one of the stylish accommodations. Located in Downtown Springfield’s historic center, Hotel Vandivort is a modern, upscale boutique hotel surrounded by an array of attractions and entertainment.
Originally built in 1906 as a Masonic Temple, the hotel has been beautifully restored to its former glory to create a stylish base in the heart of downtown for both leisure and business travelers. Luxurious rooms range from Master and Balcony Suites to Humble King and Queen rooms, all of which feature spacious interiors, lovely en-suite bathrooms, and modern amenities, including a mini-bar, fridge, coffeemaker and snack basket, as well as HD televisions and climate control.
Guests can dine at The Order, which serves modern Missouri cuisine and craft cocktails in an elegant setting or enjoy a meal in the privacy of their rooms with in-room dining service. Hotel Vandivort is conveniently located within walking distance of several attractions and an array of shopping, dining, and entertainment.
305 E. Walnut, Springfield, Missouri, Phone: 417-832-1515
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12.Things to Do in Springfield: Missouri Sports Hall of Fame
© Missouri Sports Hall of Fame
The Missouri Sports Hall of Fame is dedicated to celebrating the outstanding achievements of athletes from Missouri, and it hopes to inspire and encourage future athletes to succeed.
Located on East Stan Musial Drive, the Sports Hall of Fame is home to over 4,000 items of sports memorabilia showcased in a range of displays and exhibits throughout two floors. Several interactive exhibits present hands-on experiences, such as racing in a NASCAR simulator, batting against a Major League Baseball pitcher, and throwing football passes.
Alongside the Hall of Fame is the Legends Walk of Fame where busts and statues of famous sports figures honor the athletes in whose images they were made. Renowned inductees to the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame include St Louis Cardinals baseball player Stan Musial and Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Len Dawson.
3861 East Stan Musial Drive, Springfield, Missouri, Phone: 417-889-3100
13.Route 66 Springfield Visitor Center
© Route 66 Springfield Visitor Center
The Route 66 Springfield Visitor Center is the perfect place to start your Route 66 experience and to discover a wealth of information about the city of Springfield and its attractions and surroundings.
The modern visitors center has expert staff on hand to provide information and answer any questions, and it also offers maps, guides, driving directions, and a wealth of information on what to see and do in the Springfield area.
Check in with the staff as to what events are happening during your time in Springfield and join the locals for a fun-filled experience.
815 E. St. Louis St., Suite 100, Springfield, Missouri, Phone: 417-881-5300
14.Rutledge-Wilson Farm Community Park
© Credit: Springfield-Greene County Park Board
The Rutledge-Wilson Farm Community Park is a 207-acre farm park that celebrates the rich agricultural heritage of the area. Established to provide educational and recreational resources for the community, the park features a range of demonstration crops and gardens, an animal and milking barn, 20-acre native prairie and pasturelands, a farm-themed playground for children, and scenic Wilson's Creek. If you are wondering what to do in Springfield with kids on a sunny day, this is a great park to explore.
Visitors to the farm can enjoy a range of activities such as farm animal meet-and-greets, fishing in the farm pond, walking and running along the paved mile-long farm trail, or shopping in the farm’s gift shop. Rutledge-Wilson Farm Community Park hosts several community events throughout the year and is open year round.
3825 W. Farm Road 146, Springfield, Missouri, Phone: 417-837-5949
15.Relics Antique Mall, Springfield, MO
© Relics Antique Mall
Relics Antique Mall is the largest antique mall in Missouri, featuring 90,000 square feet of antiques and vintage collectibles.
Located at 2015 W. Battlefield in Springfield with a second location in Mount Vernon, the mall gives antique lovers and collectors the opportunity to find everything they could want here, including furniture, home décor, arts and crafts, clothing, jewelry, trinkets, and other old treasures.
An old world tearoom serves delicious freshly made cuisine, tea, and coffee, and the mall hosts several antique-related events throughout the year.
2015 W. Battlefield, Springfield, Missouri, Phone: 417-885-0007R
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16.Lake Springfield Park, Boathouse, and Marina
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Lake Springfield Park is a beautiful natural area around Lake Springfield that offers an array of recreational and outdoor activities. There are two nature trails in the park, the Greenways Trail and the Greater Ozark Audubon Trails, both of which offer excellent wildlife and bird watching opportunities.
Visitors can enjoy fishing from the shoreline during park hours, and they can rent kayaks and canoes to explore the edges of the lake or the James River Linear Park Water Trail, which runs from Galloway Creek to Creighton Beach. Two beautiful pavilions, the Hilltop Pavilion and the Northwoods Pavilion, present lovely places to picnic and soak up the views.
5324 S. Kissick Avenue, Springfield, Missouri, Phone: 417-891-1550
17.Wonders Of Wildlife National Museum & Aquarium
© Wonders Of Wildlife National Museum
The Johnny Morris' Wonders of Wildlife National Museum and Aquarium, also called Wonders of Wildlife, is the largest fish and wildlife attraction in the world. Opened in 2017, this not-for-profit conservation-themed educational attraction is located in Springfield, Missouri. The 350,000-square-foot space consists of two distinct parts – the museum and the aquarium. The Wildlife Museum features a number of wildlife galleries with taxidermized animals from all over the world. They are displayed in very detailed dioramas that represent various natural habitats. Besides animals, the gallery also has historic artifacts, films, artwork, and occasional special exhibits. The 1.5-million-gallon aquarium is home to 35,000 fish, reptiles, amphibians, birds, and mammals. These are showcased in distinct themes such as an ocean shipwreck, an Ozark forest, a Louisiana swamp, and the Amazon rainforest.
500 W Sunshine St, Springfield, MO 65807, Phone: 888-222-6060
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18.Wilson's Creek National Battlefield
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Wilson's Creek National Battlefield near Republic, Missouri, is the site of the Battle of Wilson's Creek. The battle was fought on August 10, 1861, and was the first major battle of the American Civil War fought west of the Mississippi River. Wilson Creek is also the site of the death of Nathaniel Lyon, the first Union general to be killed in action. The battlefield is very well preserved and attracts more than 200,000 visitors each year. The park has a 4.9-mile paved tour road that allows visitors to have a self-guided auto tour of the battlefield at their own pace. There are eight stops at specific significant points in the battle, complete with interpretative signs, as well as trails for walking, hiking, and horseback riding. The Civil War Museum, which is a part of Battlefield Park, has a significant collection of artifacts that help to better understand the bloody events that took place west of the Mississippi as well as the people involved.
6424 W Farm Rd 182, Republic, MO 65738
19.Mizumoto Japanese Stroll Garden
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The Mizumoto Japanese Stroll Garden is located within the Springfield Botanical Gardens and is the site’s oldest attraction. This beautiful garden encompasses approximately 7.5 acres and features traditional landscaping of Japanese gardens, a tea house, a meditation garden, a moon bridge, and a large lake with koi. Created during the 1980’s, Mizumoto Japanese Stroll Garden was established in partnership with the city of Isesaki, the Sister City of Springfield, Missouri in Japan. Open on a seasonal basis from the month of April through the month of October, the garden is consistently ranked as one of the city’s top attractions.
2400 S. Scenic Ave, Springfield, MO 65803, 417-891-1515
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© Pythian Castle
Pythian Castle in Springfield, Missouri was constructed back in the year 1913 by the Knights of Pythias with the original purpose of serving as an orphanage. Later, the building was used for over fifty years by the United States military. The “certified haunted castle” has now become one of the area’s must-see attractions. Visitors to Pythian Castle can join one of the history tours offered to explore the castle. In addition to the history tours, interactive murder mystery dinner ghost tours, and holiday events are held at Pythian Castle as well, providing a more unique and interesting visit.
1451 E Pythian St, Springfield, MO 65802, 417-865-1464
21.Route 66 Car Museum
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The Route 66 Car Museum features approximately 20,000 square feet of space and is home to a privately owned collection of more than sixty cars, including movie cars, classic cars from 1907 to 1980, and sports cars. This collection was started when Guy Mace bought his first Jaguar in 1990 and includes the 1926 Kissel Brougham, the 1933 Auburn 12, the 1936 Horch, a Morgan from 1963 once owned by General Norman Schwarzkopf, two Rolls Royces, seven Jaguars, the Gotham Roadster, the truck from the 'Grapes of Wrath’ movie, and much more. There’s also a variety of automobile memorabilia.
1634 W College St, Springfield, MO 65806, 417-861-8004
22.Juanita K. Hammons Hall for the Performing Arts
© Juanita K. Hammons Hall for the Performing Arts
Juanita K. Hammons Hall for the Performing Arts is located on Missouri State University’s campus in Springfield and attracts patrons from all over the region. The performing arts venue consists a theatre with 2,264 seats including an orchestra pit and multi-level boxes, an on-site computerized box office, both private and public reception areas, a spacious foyer-style multi-level lobby, break areas, loading dock, green room, cast lounge, dressing rooms, and backstage facilities. A full season is presented at Hammons Hall, including children’s shows, a wide variety of entertainment ranging from theatre to dance to classical music, and touring Broadway musicals.
525 S John Q Hammons Pkwy, Springfield, MO 65806, 417-836-7678
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23.History Museum on the Square
© History Museum on the Square
Situated in Springfield, right on historic Route 66, the History Museum on the Square is made up of six different permanent galleries that help share stories about significant events that took place in the city and the surrounding area. The museum also strives for the galleries to create intentional and distinct dialogues about history, individuals, and objects that examine the unique aspects of the region and its people. These six galleries include Birthplace of Route 66, Will Hickok and the American West, Civil War in Springfield, Pioneers and Founders at the Crossroads; Trains, Trolleys and Transportation; and Native Crossroads at the Spring.
154 Park Central Square, Springfield, MO 65806, 417-831-1976
24.Bass Pro Archery Hall of Fame
© Bass Pro Shops
Established in 1971, the Bass Pro Archery Hall of Fame first opened its doors at its first permanent location in 2012. Located at Springfield’s Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World, this 3,500-square-foot facility features one of the world’s most unique memorabilia collections depicting the history of archery. Items in the collection at the Archery Hall of Fame include an authentic bow built dating back to around the year 1900 that was crafted by the Apache War Chief Geronimo and the original first compound bow prototype made by Holles Wilbur Allen, 2020 inductee and former resident of Billings, Missouri.
1935 S. Campbell Ave, Springfield, MO 65807, 417-891-5346
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Cafe Cusco is considered to be a hidden gem of a restaurant in Springfield, Missouri and a favorite among locals. Situated on Commercial Street, also known locally as “C Street,” this popular Peruvian eatery within the city’s Historic District is located inside a restored building that dates back to the year 1883. The menu at Cafe Cusco features a variety of Latin dishes, such as arroz con pollo, fried yucca, Andean tamales, ceviche, and anticuchos. There are also unique desserts like the apricot tres leches and lucuma cheesecake. The full bar offers a secret recipe sangria, pisco sours, mojitos, and more.
234 E Commercial St, Springfield, MO 65803, 417-868-8088
25 Best Things to Do in Springfield, Missouri
- Discovery Center of Springfield, Photo: Discovery Center of Springfield
- Springfield Art Museum, Photo: Springfield Art Museum
- Fantastic Caverns , Photo: Courtesy of macropixel - Fotolia.com
- Botanical Center at Nathanael Greene/Close Memorial Park, Photo: Courtesy of Suzanne Plumette - Fotolia.com
- Hammons Field, Springfield, Missouri, Photo: Courtesy of aceshot - Fotolia.com
- The Air and Military Museum of the Ozarks, Photo: The Air and Military Museum of the Ozarks
- Dickerson Park Zoo, Springfield, Missouri, Photo: Courtesy of Darryl - Fotolia.com
- Springfield Conservation Nature Center, Photo: Courtesy of munst 64804 - Fotolia.com
- Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World, Photo: Courtesy of Sergey Ryzhov - Fotolia.com
- Mother's Brewing Company, Photo: Courtesy of volhanalhachova - Fotolia.com
- Hotel Vandivort, Springfield, Missouri, Photo: Hotel Vandivort
- Things to Do in Springfield: Missouri Sports Hall of Fame, Photo: Missouri Sports Hall of Fame
- Route 66 Springfield Visitor Center, Photo: Route 66 Springfield Visitor Center
- Rutledge-Wilson Farm Community Park, Photo: Credit: Springfield-Greene County Park Board
- Relics Antique Mall, Springfield, MO, Photo: Relics Antique Mall
- Lake Springfield Park, Boathouse, and Marina, Photo: Courtesy of Tatiana - Fotolia.com
- Wonders Of Wildlife National Museum & Aquarium, Photo: Wonders Of Wildlife National Museum
- Wilson's Creek National Battlefield, Photo: Courtesy of Iuliia - Fotolia.comDavid Watkins
- Mizumoto Japanese Stroll Garden, Photo: Andriy Blokhin/stock.adobe.com
- Pythian Castle, Photo: Pythian Castle
- Route 66 Car Museum, Photo: sutthiwat srikhrueadam EyeEm/stock.adobe.com
- Juanita K. Hammons Hall for the Performing Arts, Photo: Juanita K. Hammons Hall for the Performing Arts
- History Museum on the Square, Photo: History Museum on the Square
- Bass Pro Archery Hall of Fame, Photo: Bass Pro Shops
- Cafe Cusco, Photo: New Africa/stock.adobe.com
- Cover Photo: Courtesy of Springfield Convention & Visitors Bureau
Attraction Spotlight: Fantastic Caverns
Fantastic Caverns is a vast underground network of caves carved out by an ancient river in the Branson - Springfield area of Southwest Missouri. Discovered by John Knox and his hunting dog in 1862, the caverns quickly became a popular destination to explore and today, visitors can enjoy a 55-minute guided ride-through tour in a Jeep-drawn tram.
The Caverns, which are America's only ride-through cave, were first discovered by the Ozarks farmer in 1962 and further explored five years later when 12 women from Springfield ventured into the cave after a newspaper advertised they were looking for small-bodied climbers and left their names on one of the interior walls. During the Prohibition years, the caverns have used a speakeasy and utilized by the Klu Klux Klan, who held meetings and performed cross-burnings in the Grand Ballroom. They hosted music concerts during the 1950s and 1960s, and radio shows during the 1970s.
Ride-through tours began in the Fantastic Caverns in 1961 using post-World War Two Jeeps with gas powered engines. The tours were popular, but the cave walls didn’t fare very well with all the exhaust fumes from the automobiles, and eventually the vehicles were upgraded to run on cleaner propane.
Due to the fragility of the caves, tours are offered in customized jeep-drawn trams and offer visitors the opportunity to explore and experience the magnitude, the splendor and the tranquility of these great caverns while preserving its natural features. There is also one stage of the tour where visitors can touch a section of low ceiling dead stalactites, which are thousands of years old. Inside the caves, the temperature hovers around 60 degrees throughout the year.
Fantastic Caverns is a two level branch work cave. At one stage in the caves history, each level was filled with water but drained away over time to leave the vast caverns that are seen today. The jeep tours run on the dry upper level of the caves as the lower level is a wet weather stream and acts as a channel for streams of water during the rainy season, which moves through the cave to a discharge point at the nearby Indian Spring. Sometimes during a very rainy season, water on the lower level will back up and overflow into the upper level and flood the cave, causing all tours to be canceled. The water, however, is vital for the region as it fills and supplies wells in the area.
Fantastic Caverns is America's ride-through cave that offers tailored jeep-drawn tram tours to experience the natural beauty of the caves without putting them at risk. The comfortable jeeps cater for all ages and take visitors on a geological journey back in time as they travel through vast brightly lit passageways with thousands of speleothems, stalactites and stalagmites, massive columns, little soda straws, cave pearls, and flowstones, all created by water a drop at a time. Tours are down entirely by tram, and there is no walking involved and temperatures inside the cave stay around 60 degrees, making it an excellent all-season experience.
Fantastic Caverns offers a variety of educational programs, workshops, and classes for learners of all ages ranging from home school programs and classroom study guides to adventure tours.
The Adventure Tour is an exclusive 90-minute hands-on educational experience that uses the Cavern’s ‘underground classroom’ where students are equipped with lanterns and work at a ‘fossil dig site,' exploring, uncovering and identifying different fossils. Students learn about the animals that live in caves and catch glimpses of unique creatures such as cave crayfish or blind cavefish by lantern light.
Designed for school and scout groups, and summer school, the Mastodons Program is a 90-minute program that includes the all-riding tour through the caverns and exploring the world of paleontology. The tour includes a simulated paleontology dig in search of prehistoric animal remains, exploring a Mastodon track-way and using math skills to estimate the animal's size, weight, and gait.
Student Field Trips are available throughout the year for all grade level and feature a 55-minute, all riding educational cave tour that further explores the understanding of caves, karst, cave life and groundwater.
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4872 North Farm Road 125, Springfield, Missouri 65803, Phone: 417-833-2010
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Attraction Spotlight: Springfield Art Museum
The Springfield Art Museum began as an art club, organized by a handful of women, in 1926. The group was led by Deborah D. Weisel, and was able to incorporate and become The Springfield Art Museum on June 26, 1928. This museum is the oldest cultural institution in Missouri and has a mission of continuing art appreciation, preservation, and education, that all began with a group of woman who loved to study art.
The Museum began hosting traveling exhibits immediately upon opening with works coming from New York, Philadelphia, and St. Louis. After 18 years of being ran by the Art club, the museum was deeded to the city of Springfield, Missouri. The city was dedicated to the growth and development of the museum and can now be found at its permanent location in Phelps Grove Park.
The Springfield Art Museum is home to over 10,000 pieces of art work that make up the permanent collection. When the museum was first founded, as an art club, there were only two paintings purchased. Both of the paintings were landscapes by Mary Butler, and thus, the museum began a focus on Contemporary American Art from the 18th century onward. Due to the diversity of the patrons and , the expansion of the museum lead to the acquisition of works from across all time periods and cultures; although there is still a heavy influence of the original focus of the museum.
The collection also contains many different types of media, from American water media, art of the Midwest and print making, to textiles, decorative arts, and pottery and ceramics from across the globe. There are even large scale sculptures to enjoy in the sculpture garden.
There are currently four exhibitions at The Springfield Art Museum.
String Theory, is a showcase of 30 textiles from the permanent collection to examine how the same construction method can be used to create different things. This exhibition shows how the use of fibers can be manipulated to create clothing, prints, and painting, and also show the different tools that make these creations possible. There are five categories, knitting, weaving, embroidery, sewing, and quilting, that highlight the versatility in the textile arts.
Creating An American Identity is a themed exhibit that focuses on American heritage through landscape. The exhibition pushes forth the idea that America was a place of plentiful land and the merging of multiple cultures. This exhibit is also a cross section of the permanent collection, which hearkens back to the original intent of the museum, to collect contemporary American art works. Works by artists such as Grandma Moses, Jackson Pollok, and Robert Motherwell are prominent features in this exhibition.
House of Art(s) is an installation piece brought about by the Art of Space and the curatorial staff at The Springfield Art Museum. This piece is an outdoor gallery featuring murals and graffiti wall panels. The piece is ever changing as it is open to the public and artists from all over the country are welcome to come and add their own piece to the art by painting part of a panel themselves. As the piece changes, the staff at the museum will document the process, and this documentation will become a part of the permanent collection of the museum.
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Warhol Uncanned is a dedication piece to the seven Campbell Soup Label Prints by Andy Warhol that were stolen from the museum and have not yet been recovered. The Front lobby has artwork by Lindsey Wohlman titles Warhol Naked & Unlabeled which features a can of soup without its label. This exhibit also serves as a reminder that behind the label, notoriety, and hype, art can heal and connect with people. A food drive was also inspired by this exhibit of an unlabeled soup can, and the museum accepts donations of canned foods that it distributes across many food pantries in the local area. Visitors also feel as though this presentation starts a contemporary discussion on the labeling of GMOs and Country of origin on food labels.
Significant Objects: Contemporary Still life is a culmination of several watercolor still life paintings that have been acquired, but never been displayed at the museum, until now. The works range in style from representation to photo realism. An interesting part of this display is the still life sketching area where visitors are welcome to bring their own supplies or use the provided supplies, and sketch, inspired by the paintings around them.
The Springfield Art Museum prides itself on its community partnerships and offers its auditorium and amphitheater space for events that are free to the public. The spaces have been used for lectures on art, theatrical performance, artist receptions, concerts, and more.
Several fundraisers are open to the public, or with paid admission, throughout the year from galas and dinners to auctions. One of the signature events is Ninety- Nine Times, an event that mixes fun, food, and fashion for an unforgettable evening.
Because The Springfield Art Museum is so dedicated to serving the community, every Wednesday, an event called "1 Million Cups" is hosted here. Business owners and entrepreneurs are welcome to gather at the event, drink coffee, and discuss different ways to better the community and help small business grow.
The SIVA Currents Artist Talk is brought to the museum by The Summer Institute for Visual Arts at Drury University. This summer lecture series features talks lead by the current visiting artists that are a part of a diverse group of international artists.
Shakespeare at the Columns is a theatrical event that is held in the Amphitheatre on several weekends every summer. The 2016 performance will be of "Julius Cesar". This play will be produced and cast by Actors Theatre of Missouri in association with Dangerous Playground and Rice Theatricals. Refreshments from Hurts Donuts and London Calling are available during this event.
Art classes for adults, children, and family are available in a wide variety of mediums. Drawing, acrylics, and ceramics are offered to adults; while pottery and art explorations are available to children. The art exploration class introduce children ages five through ten to many different mediums. The family art classes allow adults with their child to walk through the galleries to get inspired and then back to the classroom to create something together. For the especially tiny tots, ages three to four, a paint and play class is offered every Thursday that encourages parent participation as well.
Summer Art Camp is also available for ages five through ten. This Camp is divided into four sessions. The first session focuses on art that defies categorization, session two combines art with science, the third is using nature and the environment in art, and the final session focuses on art and art traditions from around the world. There is a special camp for ages 10-14 as well that focuses on the Literary art form. Kids will get to write, illustrate, and then bind their very own story in the morning. Later in the afternoon, turn that story into a movie by writing, narrating, and shooting your very own animation.
The Springfield Art Museum is unique in that they encourage you to use photography and take pictures of any art you are inspired by. There are several seating areas throughout the museum with art supplies so that you have everything at your fingertips to create art when the inspiration strikes. Staff also encourages a family atmosphere and offers free wireless internet as well! There are a few rules that they do ask all patrons to keep in mind, however.
Please do not, touch the artwork, chew gum, bring in food or drinks, use flash photography, run through the halls, make loud noises in contemplation areas, or bring in large bags or backpacks to the museum.
1111 East Brookside Drive, Springfield, Missouri 65807, Phone: 417-837-5700
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