One of my top priorities as a mom is making memories with my three kids. Some of the greatest memories my husband and I have made have cost little to no money at all. To help out my fellow parents, I put together a list of places sure to get those little faces grinning. Here are some Springfield businesses that are kid approved and mother reviewed for affordability, age range and a guaranteed fun time!


Bass Pro Shops® Outdoor World® let you get up close and personal with several species of local wildlife.

Bass Pro Shops® Outdoor World®. I've been shopping at Bass Pro Shops® long before my littles arrived and the muscles from carrying them around all the time. The wide aisles are perfect for strollers to give those mommy muscles a rest and even better for shopping. Most importantly with the aquariums, fish feedings, museums, shows and more my kids take home more than just a new fishing pole. A trip to Bass Pro Shops® is their favorite reward for good behavior, too!

  • Age Range - Stroller to adult.
  • Price Range - Free to see, but you may end up shopping too.
  • Fun Time - Two hour, depending on your shopping style.

1984 Arcade. Now I'm not much of a "gamer", but it's hard not to catch the buzz at 1984 Arcade. My husband also assures me that the arcade has all the games that were "Totally cool" in the 80's. With most games playable for just a $5 entry fee this is one cost effective play date for the whole family. I have to admit that I do play a mean Ms. PacMan when given the chance.

  • Age Range - Kid to kid at heart. My five year old loves this place almost as much as my husband.
  • Price Range - $5 per person. I always bring quarters for pinball for myself.
  • Fun Time - My little family typically tuckers out after an hour, but older kids may stay longer.


No driver's license needed to fly with the Air & Military Museum.

Air & Military Museum. My son is crazy about planes. The Air & Military Museum is a wonderful place for him learn about history and drive his own aircraft. Don't worry moms, it's stationary and safe. The staff makes sure everyone is entertained and informed with countless stories that capture children of any age.

  • Age Range - Stroller to adult. I still learn something new when I take the family.
  • Price Range - $5 for adults $3 for kids.
  • Fun Time - One hour depending on the line to "fly" the aircraft.

Dickerson Park Zoo. What kid doesn't love the zoo? I really enjoy taking my kids to Dickerson Park Zoo because I know that they will see wildlife and learn at the same time. The train ride is by far my girls' favorite. They get to just turn their little heads and in a short ride see a whole world of wildlife.

  • Age Range - Stroller to adult. Everyone loves the zoo.
  • Price Range - $10 for adults and teens, $7 for children ages 3-12 and seniors age 60 and older.
  • Fun Time - Two to three hours.


Learning made electric with the Discover Center.

Discovery Center of Springfield. My littles are sponges, so I want to make sure that they soak up the good stuff. The Discovery Center is absolutely wonderful because my kids learn the entire time, but it's disguised as just fun.

  • Age Range - Stroller to adult. The exhibits often apply to all ages in one way or another.
  • Price Range - $12 adults, $10 seniors (60+), $8 children (3-15), free for ASTC reciprocal members and children 2 and under.
  • Fun Time - Three to four hours. You could spend hours at the Discovery Center on the musical stairs alone.

Jumpmania and Jumpin' Joey's and Skyzone. Sometimes my trio just has too much energy to contain themselves. They are practically bouncing off the walls. So I take them where they can do just that. Indoor jump parks are a great family activity that help to burn off that youthful energy in a fun, safe way.

  • Age Range - Toddler to Teen
  • Price Range - Under $10
  • Fun Time - The great thing about these places is that they stamp the kids and moms so they have to leave with one another. I like to go with other moms and their kids so us moms can chat while the kids play and release some energy.

America's Incredible Pizza Company. When I'm planning a get together for my littles and their friends I love going to America's Incredible Pizza Company. Go-karts, laser tag, 100+ games and prizes, delicious pizza, and buffet mean I get to have an cute party for the kids without the hassle of planning it out.

  • Age Range - Any.
  • Price Range - See website for details.
  • Fun Time - All day fun. I love throwing play parties on Saturdays.


Your kids can "help" unearth a real fossilized dinosaur with Missouri Institute of Natural Science - Riverbluff Cave.

Missouri Institute of Natural Science - Riverbluff Cave. Have you ever seen a kid hold a dinosaur fossil? If you haven't I encourage you to share the experience with yours. The staff at Missouri Institute of Natural Science are dedicated to inspiring kids and educating. The first time I took my son he got to hold a triceratops fossil and ended up learning all about the prehistoric animals that lived in his back yard. Be warned: I came home to find him digging in our backyard for fossils.

  • Age Range - Baby dinosaur to momma dinosaur.
  • Price Range - Free (Donations accepted).
  • Fun Time - One hour.


With a multitude of interactive exhibits, the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame is a home run for sports fans.

Missouri Sports Hall of Fame. My little guy loves Cardinal's Baseball and imitating his favorite minor leaguers. With history to engage my husband and I alongside interactive exhibits, our whole family enjoys the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame.

  • Age Range - T-Ball to the Major League.
  • Price Range - $5 adults, $4 seniors, $3 students, free children 4 and under, $14 family of four.
  • Fun Time - One hour minimum (A whole 9 innings).


Springfield Conservation Nature Center is a great place for my family to get active. With indoor exhibits and outdoor nature trails we visit year-round. We love to go on hikes and look for the different shapes we can find in nature.

  • Age Range - Stroller to Adult.
  • Price Range - Free.
  • Fun Time - Hours upon hours.

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