You don’t have to be a millionaire to enjoy the city. There’s tons of stuff to do here that won’t break the bank. We’re lucky to live in a city that has a cost of living that is 10% below the national average and housing that is 21% below the national average. Even if things are tight (or maybe you’re just tight!), there’s still something fun you can do in Springfield. Here are a few ideas of things to do that cost less than an Andrew Jackson.
5780 S Farm Rd 141
Channel your inner Legolas at the Archery Range at the Davis House. There’s plenty of times available to go for open shooting, but they also offer affordable classes for lots of different skill levels. There are three separate ranges, one indoor range at 20 yards, an outdoor sight-in range at 70 yards and walking wooded range with 14 targets! If you don’t have your own equipment, you can rent some for just $3 to participate at the course. All in all, you and another person could go shoot targets for an hour and only spend $16!
2327 W. Farm Road 190
For nature lovers and science enthusiasts, the Missouri Institute of Natural Science is gold mine of history, geology, archaeology and plenty more. Now in its 14th year , the Institute has more information than ever before. On site there is a massive cave that was discovered when the land was scheduled to be cleared to make way for a new road. Since then, it’s become a treasure trove for scientists in the area. Visitors can get in on the action by hunting for fossils after a short hike on the grounds of the facility. Be sure to check out the museum as well. It houses thousands of animal specimens, plant fossils and minerals from the site. Coming soon to the museum is Henry the Triceratops. Henry figures to be the largest Triceratops ever assembled when his remains are all put back together. He’ll be at the museum soon!
3825 W Farm Rd 146
This 207-acre farm park was designed to celebrate the area’s rich agricultural history and to provide hours of fun for all ages. It has a super-cool farm-themed playground for the kids, a paved trail for walks, an animal barn where you can meet some new furry friends and a milk barn where you can learn about the things farmers do everyday!
1634 West College
If you’re a lover of classic cars this is the place you need to be. It’s the private collection of Guy Mace, who started collecting cars in 1990 and has decided to share his impressive array of classics from the gold era, muscle era and even a few celebrity vehicles with the public. You’ll see a little bit of everything. The collection features seven Jaguars, two Rolls Royces, a 1963 Morgan owned by Norman Schwartkopf, and even a vintage Batmobile!
2305 East Kearney, Springfield, Missouri 65803
If you want to learn more about our armed forces and information on the soldiers who have fought for country from the Ozarks, the Air and Military Museum of the Ozarks is an excellent experience. It’s a sobering exhibit of bravery and valor that will also teach you a lot about the machinery and weapons used during World War II, Vietnam and other wars. It’s known as the best hands-on military museum in the state for a reason. Check out the GAT-1B Link flight simulator to see what flying was actually like for American pilots. Take a simulated helicopter flight in a Cobra AH1-S. Check out the Coast Guard Jeep that was called “the hero of WWII.” There’s so much to learn here and so much to appreciate.
Nature lovers will enjoy this beautiful scenic attraction at Nathaneal Greene Park. There are so many great collections of unique plant life in the Botanical Gardens that you’d have to visit several times to fully enjoy all of them. While you’re there, you can also appreciate the beautiful lake and bridge at the park or check out the Japanese Stroll garden!
Located in Grant Beach Park, it’s hard to miss the Railroad Historical Museum. You’ll no doubt notice the locomotive when you get close to the park. The Railroad Historical Museum has tons of features, but the real train is the biggest one. It’s got a St. Louis San-Francisco Locomotive No.4524, Burlington Baggage Car, Chicago and Northwestern Commuter Car and Burlington Northern Caboose on the premises. There are also tons of hands-on things for the kids to do and lots of information about the historical trains on site.
For fans of fishing, this one is a great place to take in some of the history of the sport and to see a fully restored 1975 Tracker boat! There are so many classic rods, reels and lures to see here. Plus, you can always stock up for your next trip. Lew’s also sells all the fishing gear you’ll need to catch the big one!
409 W. McDaniel St., Springfield, MO
Right across the street from Hollywood Theaters in Downtown Springfield is the Calaboose. A former jail, it now houses artifacts from its past occupants and officials that worked there. You can see all sorts of cool stuff like old badges, uniforms and even the cells where prisoners were held.
3534 E. Sunshine St., Springfield, MO
Get up and go get active! If you’re the adventurous and outdoorsy type, this is for you. We suggest hitting up Zenith Climbing Center, where a day pass for $15 gets you access to the climbing, yoga and workout facilities. This is beautifully designed new climbing center located off of east Sunshine.
Cost: $15 adult pass, $12 youth pass
3833 E Sunshine St. Springfield, MO 65809
A brand new mini-golf course will be opening this summer on East Sunshine. It’ll have two full 18-hole courses. One will have a United States theme, the other will have a theme from around the globe. Each hole has a different landmark unique to its theme. The U.S side starts in St. Louis under the Arc. On the other course, you’ll visit the Eiffel Tower, Stone Henge and plenty more! Sounds fun!
124 Jungle Dr., Strafford, MO
Drive thru this park and feed hundreds of different kinds of animals! The kids will love seeing the giraffes, zebras and camels roaming around the park! You can get out of the car and experience the walk about too. Don’t worry, the big animals don’t hang around here, just the smaller, friendlier animals! If you work up an appetite, grab some snacks at the Safari Cafe!