Springfield Missouri shouldn’t simply be a stopping-off point for refueling and a bathroom break for your next Route 66 trip.
Not only is it the official “birthplace” of Route 66, it also happens to be an awesome place to visit for a few nights.
Situated in heart of the Missouri Ozarks it’s got plenty to do and see, and we highly recommend taking 2 days to enjoy the following “must -do” activities in and around the Springfield metro area.
Discovery Center Of Springfield
This is a fantastic place to go if you have kids with you. It is a science museum and it offers a lot of different areas that your kids will be able to explore. You will be able to check out everything from the different exhibits to the science experiments. This can be a fantastic way to introduce science in a fun way. It can be a very effective way to get them interested in learning. It can even be fun for adults so it’s not necessarily something that you will have to slug through if you are looking for something that is going to keep the entire family entertained while you are traveling in and around the Springfield area.
Wonders of Wildlife Museum & Aquarium
Great for kids and adults alike, the Johnny Morris Wonders Museum is an fun, affordable place to take in some of the best aquariums in the tri-state area. Whether you have kids or not, this can be a good way to spend a couple of hours. The entire place can immerse you into wildlife and experience some of the natural wonders of the world.
In fact, the place features an aquarium that is 1.5 million gallons with over 35,000 fish, mammals, and reptiles in it. Therefore, you will not find yourself running out of different species to identify and read about. You will also find a lot of different trails and exhibits that you can check out which should be engaging for both kids and adults.
2. Take In A Cardinals Game
You can always check out some sports while you are in Springfield. Springfield is actually home to the Springfield Cardinals who happen to be a Double-A affiliate of the St Louis Cardinals in the MLBs. Therefore, you will be able to check out some of the young and up and coming players on the Cardinals roster.
This alone can be a worthwhile experience not only because the stadium itself delivers an incredible experience, but also because the Cardinals are well known for having one of the best farm systems in baseball. Meaning, you will be able to check out some of the best up and coming players that are coming through the ranks of the minor league systems.
3. Garden Stroll
You will also be able to check out some of the most gorgeous gardens you will find anywhere. With a long growing season Springfield offers a lot of different nature experiences that you can enjoy. These places are serene and they can offer you a place to go to get away from it all.
You can check out either the Springfield Botanical Gardens or the Mizumoto Japanese Stroll Garden.
4. Dickerson Park Zoo
Featuring over 500 animals that represent 160 species, the Dickerson Park Zoo draws plenty of folks from outside of Springfield, and features extensive walking paths and plenty of variety of animals.
The Dickerson zoo also features geographic themes and species survival plans, ‘most notably Asian elephants, maned wolves and cheetahs’, that help us understand the importance of preserving our wild life. In addition to all the great monkeys, lions, kangaroos, giraffes and so on, the zoo has a train for lil ones to ride, a great park just beside it’s parking lot, and several playgrounds and water play areas inside the zoo itself.
5. Route 66 Car Museum
Of course no Route 66 roadtrip would be complete without a visit to the Route 66 Car Museum! Located in the city’s West End, the Route 66 Car Museum was founded by Guy Mace, a longtime Springfield businessman and automobile enthusiast, the museum hosts a wide array of classic cars spanning the turn of the century to today. Featuring the 1971 Gotham Roadster made famous by the campy 1970’s Batman Series, a Delorean used on the set of Back To The Future, and 70 more exceptional models, it’s well worth the money and time.
It’s fitting that Mace’s museum sits along an original portion of Route 66 in Springfield at 1634 W. College in Springfield.
Admission is $15 for adults, $13 for seniors and veterans, and $5 for children younger than age 10.