6 Fun Things To Do in Springfield, Missouri

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Spring Break, but make it Midwestern with these fun, family-friendly things to do in Springfield, Missouri!

#36 on our Deployment Bucket List was to take a road trip (to somewhere other than Florida). So, during the girls’ Spring Break, we drove to Missouri to visit our friends. And we had the BEST time!

My bestie has lived in Springfield for most of her life, so she knew all the best places to take us. Here’s what we did:

Fun Things to do in Springfield

Wonders of Wildlife Aquarium and Museum

Springfield is home to the original Bass Pro Shop that opened in 1981.

Now, it’s also home to the largest wildlife attraction in the world: the Wonders of Wildlife Museum & Aquarium.

The kids had a ball seeing all the fish & petting sting rays. We also walked through the museum and saw the greatest collection of record-setting game animals ever.

Wonders of Wildlife was one of the highlights of our Spring Break!

In the shipwreck room at Wonders of Wildlife Aquarium in Springfield, MO
(In the ‘Shipwreck Room’!)
things to do in Springfield: visit the original Bass Pro Shop
(Walking around Bass Pro.)
white spotted jellyfish inside an aquarium tank
(The jellyfish tank is always beautiful!)
things to do in Springfield, Missouri: go to Wonders of Wildlife Aquarium
(The kids had a great time!)

Lunch at Red’s Giant Hamburg

One of the yummiest things to do in Springfield is to stop for lunch at Red’s Giant Hamburg!

This diner originally opened after WWII. Its unique name is due to the fact that the owner couldn’t fit the -er on the end of the word ‘hamburger’ on the vertical sign due to power lines above it. So, he just left it as ‘hamburg’.

The original diner was a Route 66 legend until it closed in 1984, but the new owners did an outstanding job recreating it. The whole diner, from the decor to the menu, is a wonderful throwback to a bygone era.

things to do in Springfield, MO: have lunch at Red's Giant Hamburg
(Such a fun diner and the food was delicious!)

Historic Route 66

We took a drive down part of the original Route 66. Springfield is considered the birthplace of the historic ‘mother road’.

I never knew why Route 66 was such a big deal, but I learned why during this trip!

For decades, Route 66 was the only highway connecting the Midwestern States to the West. Running from Chicago to Los Angeles, it was lined by diners, motels, trading posts, oddities, and some of America’s greatest scenic beauty. It’s no wonder that this highway quickly became an American icon.

On our little drive through history, we stopped for pictures with some of the murals. (Which was #40 on our Deployment Bucket List!)

girls posing with Rosie the Riveter mural in Springfield, Missouri
(I couldn’t resist the girls’ picture with the Rosie the Riveter mural.)
things to do in Springfield, MO: drive down part of the original Route 66
(The original Giant Hamburg sign is at this park!)
(And who can resist a picture with Bigfoot?)

See the Giant Fork

Quirky roadside attractions are one of our favorite things! We try to see them every chance we get.

So, when we had the chance to see the World’s Largest Fork, we couldn’t pass it up!

This fork is 35 feet tall, weighs 11 tons, and is located outside a quiet office building. Supposedly, it is there to signify the home of The Food Channel.

things to do in Springfield, Missouri: see the world's largest fork
(What kid doesn’t love a giant roadside attraction?)

Ride Through Fantastic Caverns

There are only 4 drive-through caves in the whole world. And one of them is in the middle of the USA in Springfield, Missouri!

Fantastic Caverns was just that….fantastic!!

You load up in a trailer pulled by a Jeep and ride through the cave with a big group. The guide stops at various places along the way to point out some of the cave’s most interesting features and tell stories about its fascinating past.

The cave itself is impressive, but even more interesting is its history! At one point, this cave was a speak-easy during Prohibition and before that, it was one of Missouri’s best-kept secrets during the Civil War.

(The formations are massive!)
The exit of Fantastic Caverns.
(The exit of the cave.)
names of the explorers of Fantastic Caverns written on the cave wall
(The first explorers were a group of girls that went in with candles in 1867!)
things to do in Springfield, MO: ride through Fantastic Caverns
(Our fearless cave guide pointing out some the natural features.)

Take a Little Side Trip to Branson

While it’s technically not Springfield, we couldn’t leave Missouri without taking a little side trip to Branson.

My kids were over the moon excited as soon as we drove into town!

There is SO MUCH to see and do, that you could spend weeks there and never see it all!

We spent our day wandering around a maze of mirrors and posing for pictures with our favorite celebrities at the Hollywood Wax Museum. Followed by a stop at Hurts Donuts for some of the most delicious doughnuts we’ve ever eaten!

(This girl loves her some Dolly!)
girls in front of Hurts Donuts sign
(FYI: If you turn your doughnut into a milkshake, you get the shake AND the doughnut!)
(They loved that they could wear some of the props!)
(Even the little ones were excited to take pictures!)
(They thought the giant King Kong was so cool!)

Our spring break trip to Springfield was one of the best that we’ve ever had!

Not only did we do all of these fun things and mark things off of our deployment bucket list, but we also got to spend time with our wonderful friends.

I’m so glad that our families get to make these memories together!

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