Nightlife in Springfield is vibrant and eclectic, much like the many different kinds of people you’re bound to meet on a night out on the square. With so many choices it can become pretty easy to find yourself on the couch, asking “What do you wanna do?” Well, fear not! We put together a list of some of our staff’s favorite things to do in Springfield on the best night of the week, Saturday.
9.) See a Film at the Moxie Cinema
The Moxie is SGF’s premier arthouse film destination. If you’re into indie films, documentaries or maybe you’ve just seen your share of superhero movies lately, the Moxie is the place to go. Located in Downtown Springfield on McDaniel, the Moxie is just down the street from ample parking, close to restaurants and not too far from Kingdom Coffee. As an added bonus, they serve adult beverages, including some excellent wine choices, locals brews from Mother’s Brewery and of course, popcorn.
Executive Director Mike Stevens puts it simply “We show good movies seven days a week. We look for movies that are critically acclaimed from markets like New York and Los Angeles. We like to feature movies you won’t have the chance to see anywhere else in the area.” Stevens also mentioned the great variety of films at theater. Everything from action to foreign films to indie comedies. It’s not all French subtitles and black and white films.
Plus, there’s a variety of ways to watch Moxie films. One of the coolest options is to catch an outdoor screening in the Mother’s Brewery backyard. The Moxie teams up with Mother’s every final Friday of the month in the summer to put on a truly unique movie-viewing experience. Stevens has also put a focus on kids programming, most of it available for free. Showings at the Gillioz Theater are also available for the old-school film experience. Check the site moxiecinema.com for availability.
8.) Andy B’s
Chances are, you’ve already heard of Springfield’s newest 21-Lane bowling alley. Andy B’s on Battlefield is much more than just a place to roll. It features an arcade that will conjure memories of Alladin’s Castle for longtime local residents, including the staples of any arcade worth its’ salt: skeeball, air hockey, etc. Andy B’s also has a giant Connect 4, Star Wars Battle Pod and tons of great interactive games. Just outside the arcade is the VIB section, a private area with 10 extras lanes and a more personal environment. There’s also the Indulge Bar & Restaurant onsite for a little grub between strikes. Check them out online at andybspringfield.com for more information and events.
Ten years ago in July seven high school friends opened 1984 arcade, named for the year they graduated. Since then it has become one of Springfield’s favorite places to hang out downtown. The vision they had back in 2005 was to create a classic 80’s arcade atmosphere, showcasing the great games they’d acquired over the years. They also wanted to make it free, which it has been since opening its doors a decade ago.
1984 is celebrating their milestone in style. “Every month this year we’ll do something to celebrate our 10th anniversary,” says co-owner John McDonnel.
According to co-owner John McDonnel, it’s not just Springfieldians that have come to love 1984, “We have a world map on the wall, featuring visitors from all around the world. A family from Berlin came to (the United States) specifically to visit 1984.”
That’s something Nixa native Zach Bryngelson can attest to personally. Zach was the 1,984th customer and will never have to pay for anything at 1984 again. The owners also bestowed a ton of other gifts on Bryngelson, including a free party, t-shirts, buttons and popular candy from the 80s (it’s new, it was just popular then).
1984’s owners are just in the business of making people smile. As McDonnel puts it, ”People come in and have a ton of fun and leave here happy.”
With that kind of customer appreciation, cool atmosphere and great games, it’s not hard to imagine another ten years of 80s fun at 1984.
6.) Springfield Cardinals Game
You can’t go wrong at Hammons Field. The Junior Cards have graduated dozens of players now featured in the majors, including several all-stars, and have been competitive year in and year out. But, it’s not just the game that draws people to the stadium. It’s the giant turkey legs, the beer man calling out, the camaraderie of booing at future Royals (just kidding). It’s a communal event every home game. You’re doing yourself an injustice if you don’t catch at least one each year. Tickets and schedule available at springfieldcardinals.com.
5.) Tour Mother’s Brewery and maybe throw one back
Every Saturday, on the hour, between 2 p.m. and 4p.m., Mother’s opens its’ brewery doors to the public. The staff will guide you throughout the historic building in Downtown Springfield, teaching you about the process of brewing along the way. See and smell the different hops and grains used to make Mother’s brews, get educated about how brewing gear works, and of course, taste everything.
If there’s one thing we can say about Mother’s, it’s that they are truly passionate about what they do, and you’ll notice it on one of their guided tours.
4.) Shop & Dine at Farmer’s Park
Kick the night off by picking up some new threads. Farmer’s Park has three locally owned outfitters that will have you looking smart and sharp. Longtime SGF boutique Staxx has plenty of the latest fashion for the ladies, Jellybeans is a babies and kids store, and Five Pound Apparel has a little bit of everything. Every purchase from Five Pound gives back to someone, somewhere. They feature a lot of handmade products and items that benefit people all over the world.
Let’s get to the good stuff, food! The eateries in Farmer’s park are a collection of some of the best restaurants in the entire city. Metro Farmer is committed to bringing you fresher foodstuffs. In a world with too much polysorbate and other mystery chemicals, Metro Farmer does everything local. Just ask them! The wait staff will let you know where your food came from. It’s also pretty delicious stuff! The Aviary cafe boasts gourmet French cuisine in a sort of relaxing Sunday afternoon atmosphere. Modeled after the traditional European cafe, Cafe Bene is Farmer’s Park’s premier destination for a great cup of joe or something sweet, like their famous Liege waffle. History is a big part of Cafe Bene’s model, citing Pasqua Rosee’s coffeehouse in 17th century London as their inspiration. Rosee opened the first ever coffeehouse in 1652.
3.) Pedicab Mini-Pub Crawl
Who needs the added stress of walking during a pub crawl? After all, the name pub crawl does indicate that walking may become difficult at some point in the evening for some. Forgo beating feet for the comfort of a Springfield PediCab. Tour the many bars, restaurants and nightclubs in downtown springfield.
2.) RSVPaint – Paint Date
RSVPaint delivers a unique experience and the community noticed. 417 Magazine named RSVPaint one of the best places for a Girls Night Out in 2015. Check out the class schedule for availability on learning how to create your own masterpiece, or take a look at the events calendar for upcoming artist studio visits in which painters take you through the process of creating their works. Check them out online at rsvpaint.com.
1.) Home Decor Shopping – Obelisk Home Grayson Home The At Home Store
Looking for a place to make those Pinterest boards a reality? Obelisk is a good bet to have what you need. Everything from furniture to lighting, and even some stuff for your furkids, this local shop knows its stuff. Obelisk employs a team full of interior design experts, ready to help you make you house a home. They’ve been featured in 417 Magazine, Houzz.com, and many other publications for their work. Shop online at Obeliskhome.com or in the store at 214 W Phelps Street. You’ll have to hit them early on Saturday, as they close up shop at 5 p.m.
Share this with anyone who asks “What are we gonna do tonight”!