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What to do around Springfield, MO?
Old 11-05-2015, 11:43 AM   #1
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What to do around Springfield, MO?

I'll be spending the winter in Springfield, visiting with friends for the holidays. If it manages not to snow, there may be a few motorcycle rides before it gets way too cold (if it ever does), but other than that I'm blind as to what there is worth doing or seeing in the area.

I'm not partial to any one activity or event over another. The point is to get out and have as many adventures as possible while I'm there.
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Old 11-05-2015, 11:48 AM   #2
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The biggest and coolest Bass Pro shop in the country! It has several wildlife museums in it IIRC. http://www.basspro.com/webapp/wcs/st...oreID=15&tab=3 ("Our store is almost 500,000 square feet in size making us the largest Bass Pro Shops in existence!")

There are fabulous walking paths all over town through residential areas and the ones I walked on were very well kept up and pretty ideal IMO. Also, walking in the Nature Center just south of town is fun. Take a camera because you will see some beautiful Ozark wooded scenery too.

Visiting nearby caverns! There are many, including Fantastic Caverns just outside of town on the north side. That's not the biggest or best caverns in the state, but it sure is close. If you want something bigger, get on the interstate and drive to Onondaga or Merimac caverns but they are farther away.

How about historical things? There was a huge Civil War battle at Wilson's Creek Battlefield, just to the SW of town. http://www.nps.gov/wicr/index.htm

Fishing! Wow, go visit Stockton Lake. I think you can rent a boat there too, although you might want to inquire since my memory is a bit rusty on that.

Branson is nearby if you like that sort of thing.

There are several universities in town so you could visit them and wander through the libraries or attend cultural events there and so on.

There is a small zoo (in Doling Park, I think?). I think it is underwhelming but then I haven't been to it in almost 60 years. It might be better by now.

Really, there is plenty to do there and it all depends on what you like. https://www.springfieldmo.org/things-to-do
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Old 11-05-2015, 12:37 PM   #3
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Silver Dollar City usually does some Holiday themed layover of the park.


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Old 11-05-2015, 12:42 PM   #4
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What she said, in addition: Silver Dollar City amusement park or something like one.

Bennett Springs, like to trout fish?

Drop down to Eureka Springs and go rocking.

Don't forget world famous Springfield Cashew chicken.
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Old 11-05-2015, 12:54 PM   #5
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What everyone else has said plus canoeing / kayaking on the Current (and other) rivers. It's quite the outdoorsy area if your into that. And sometimes they get winter breaks with pleasant temps.
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Old 11-05-2015, 01:01 PM   #6
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Good suggestions so far.

Don't rule out "Branson" on the basis that it is "only" country music and family oriented attractions. If you fish, there are some excellent lakes down there that beat Stockton. (But be very careful of traffic; nightmarish on the strip, but can be avoided.)

Take a weekend (or even a long day), drive down to Bentonville and enjoy the Walton family's artistic gift to the Ozarks: the crystal bridges Art museum: Home - Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art We have it on our list because of rave reviews, but so far our trips to springfield have been occupied by friends/family.

Personally, I'd pass (i.e., run away from) the cashew chicken--but DW and her siblings grew up on it and claim it is the bestest "chinese" food in the world. :-)
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Old 11-05-2015, 03:05 PM   #7
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Personally, I'd pass (i.e., run away from) the cashew chicken--but DW and her siblings grew up on it and claim it is the bestest "chinese" food in the world. :-)
I can't stand it. But I guess it is part of the "Springfield experience", so why not. I had it once, by accident because I didn't specify. Never again.

Something we always enjoy doing in Springfield, is looking at houses on realtor.com and then driving by a few or going to open houses. It's utterly mind boggling what one can get for $100K-$125K there, even compared with New Orleans (much less comparing with more expensive areas).
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Old 11-05-2015, 03:24 PM   #8
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Springfield, MO is one of the best places to live in the U.S--considering cost of living and it's a place with a very good society. It's somewhere that retirees can actually afford a really nice house without huge property taxes.

The Branson area has so many music shows of all kinds. There are some of the finest fishing anywhere, with Bull Shoals Lake, Lake Norfolk, Table Rock Lake and the Lake of the Ozarks being relatively close by.

You've got the huge Grizzly Tool warehouse store there, and I could spend 2 days there. The Bass Pro Shop is incredible, but their new Bass Pro Shop Pyramid in downtown Memphis is probably the most incredible retail store of any kind in the world.

But the best part of SW Missouri (and NW Arkansas) is the people. They're very honest and hardworking people--quick to laugh. They're just different.
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Old 11-06-2015, 10:49 AM   #9
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Springfield, MO is one of the best places to live in the U.S--considering cost of living and it's a place with a very good society. It's somewhere that retirees can actually afford a really nice house without huge property taxes.

But the best part of SW Missouri (and NW Arkansas) is the people. They're very honest and hardworking people--quick to laugh. They're just different.
Those are great counterpoints to the sites I'm seeing listing Springfield as one of the worst cities in the country when it comes to crime.

I've heard about their huge Bass Pro shop when they opened a tiny one here. My Missouri friend was not impressed.

Looking up the deep fried cashew chicken, I think I'll pass.

I haven't been fishing in a while, it's good to hear there're so many good options up there. I've missed calm days on the water. I'll have to look into how fishing licenses up there work. As much as fish costs at the store, it'd be nice to get something for free!

It sounds like there's a lot to do. I've got my fingers crossed it'll be a nice mellow winter to enjoy getting out.
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Old 11-06-2015, 11:05 AM   #10
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Bentonville ark, has a great free art museum. Who thot?
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Old 11-06-2015, 11:36 AM   #11
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Shock! I've lived in the Springfield area for almost 40 years. It's a big town/small city. As all have said, you have to see Bass Pro.

The out door activities are great. Lots of lakes. Motorcycling is great. But, it might be too cold for the lakes or the bike. Hiking can be really good that time of year. The leaves will have fallen off the trees and the woods can be beautiful.

The weather can really change. It could be 70 on Christmas day or 10.

One thing that I might add is the downtown area of Springfield has really improved recently. Lots of bars and restaurants. I've always felt safe downtown, but I don't stay out really late.

Any more questions?
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Old 11-06-2015, 12:07 PM   #12
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Shock! I've lived in the Springfield area for almost 40 years. It's a big town/small city. As all have said, you have to see Bass Pro.

The out door activities are great. Lots of lakes. Motorcycling is great. But, it might be too cold for the lakes or the bike. Hiking can be really good that time of year. The leaves will have fallen off the trees and the woods can be beautiful.

The weather can really change. It could be 70 on Christmas day or 10.

One thing that I might add is the downtown area of Springfield has really improved recently. Lots of bars and restaurants. I've always felt safe downtown, but I don't stay out really late.

Any more questions?
Glad to hear that about the downtown area! I knew they were sprucing it up a few years ago, but haven't seen it in a while.

Springfield is one of our favorite places, although we haven't ever lived there and although we haven't visited for a few years. It seems like it would be a great place to retire, but we are just staying put for now.
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Old 11-07-2015, 04:52 PM   #13
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Do they plow and salt the roads in the winter? Is there anything about driving a car up there through the winter that someone who hasn't lived in anything north of Southern California should know ahead of time?
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Old 11-07-2015, 04:57 PM   #14
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Do they plow and salt the roads in the winter? Is there anything about driving a car up there through the winter that someone who hasn't lived in anything north of Southern California should know ahead of time?
I haven't personally been up there when the snow was deep enough to plow, but I remember reading that they do plow. I remember reading that there are different priorities for different streets, with the bigger streets being plowed first and having a higher priority. I would imagine that it might be easier to get around on the bigger streets at times like that.

I do not have a clue about whether they salt or not.

I am sure that InTheSticks or someone else who has actually been there at times like that, can tell you more about it than I can.

Sometimes there are major ice storms in Springfield, with trees losing their branches, power outages, and so on.
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Old 11-07-2015, 07:45 PM   #15
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Do they plow and salt the roads in the winter? Is there anything about driving a car up there through the winter that someone who hasn't lived in anything north of Southern California should know ahead of time?
I'm north, KC area, plow yes, salt sure. Generally pretty good road care, you should be aware that sometimes we get ice. Sometimes with or without snow. Do not try to drive in ice, if someone tells you they can drive on ice they're either drunk or insane! Don't go with them!
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Old 11-07-2015, 08:30 PM   #16
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Isn't there a Simpsons Museum? If not, why not?
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Old 11-07-2015, 08:48 PM   #17
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Springfield only plows the major streets and arterials. They do not plow the residential streets, even if they get more than a foot of snow. Also, it can take City Utilities a month to get the power back on after a bad ice storm. Springfield has had 3 or 4 bad ice storms in the past 40 years. Also, you do have to worry about severe weather there. Stay away from Battlefield Mall & all the other large shopping districts around Thanksgivng & other major shopping days. Springfield has amazingly terrible traffic for a smaller city. The city is also fairly segregated socio-economically & racially. Crime used to be mostly on the north side of town, though it seems to happen everywhere now. Despite all the negative things, Springfield has a lot of positives which have mostly been listed already. The various hiking/biking trails around the city are really great! Don't forget to have some frozen custard while you are there too. BTW, I loved Cashew Chicken as a child, but can't stand it now. Also, don't miss the Christmas Parade if you are in town.

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Old 11-09-2015, 09:54 AM   #18
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I've been away for a few days. Yes, the ice storms can be bad. Snow, not so much. They do a pretty good job of plowing. We can get heavy snows, but they are rare.
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Old 12-13-2015, 09:09 PM   #19
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Bentonville ark, has a great free art museum. Who thot?
Yes, two thumbs up for Crystal Bridges. If you go, plan to have lunch in their all glass eatery. Good food too. A few blocks from there you will find the site of the first Wal*Mart which is now a museum.
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