A mother-daughter duo from Pittsburg, Kansas, recently came into the Route 66 Springfield Visitor Center with one question: “What can we do outdoors here in Springfield?”


Brochures at the Route 66 Visitor Center in Springfield, Missouri.
The answer was easy — Springfield has many outdoor attractions to visit especially as we head into the warmer months. In celebration of spring, here’s what we suggested to our visitors from Kansas along with some exciting events happening as the temps rise!

Play in a Park

With more than 100 locations, Springfield’s parks have a lot to offer – from playgrounds to golf courses and a botanical center. Here are some of our favorites. 

Springfield Botanical Gardens at Nathanael Greene/Close Memorial Park


Spring at Nathanael Greene/Close Memorial Park in Springfield, Missouri.

The 113-acre Nathanael Greene/Close Memorial Park is home to Springfield Botanical Gardens, consistently rated as one of Springfield's top attractions on TripAdvisor.

Mizumoto Japanese Stroll Garden


A child explores the Mizumoto Japanese Stroll Garden in Springfield, Missouri.

The oldest attraction at the Springfield Botanical Gardens, the 7.5 acre, Mizumoto Japanese Stroll Garden includes a large koi lake, moon bridge, meditation garden, tea house and traditional Japanese garden landscaping. Open seasonally April through October.

Lake Springfield Park


Boaters paddle on Lake Springfield in Springfield, Missouri.

Lake Springfield park offers 153 acres of rolling parkland, featuring trails, woods, bluffs and more than a mile of shoreline along beautiful Lake Springfield. Canoes, kayaks and paddleboards are available to rent at the Lake Springfield Boathouse April 1-October 3.

Dickerson Park Zoo


Guests feed a giraffe at Dickerson Park Zoo in Springfield, Missouri.

An up-close natural adventure with hundreds of animals from around the world right here in the Ozarks!

Float a River


Kayakers paddle the Finley River near Springfield, Missouri.

There are dozens of lakes and streams surrounding Springfield that help make up the beauty of the Ozarks. One of the most popular floats near Springfield is on the James River — well-known for its easy-access for paddlers in Springfield looking for a quick day float. It flows from east and south of town 99 miles southwest into Table Rock Lake with a number of access points just a short drive from Springfield.

Do a Little Fishin’


Fisherman on Table Rock Lake in Branson, Missouri.

Fishing is extremely popular in the Ozarks and there are plenty of places to drop a line — from the beautiful Table Rock Lake, just a short drive from Springfield, to peaceful rivers and streams surrounding the Queen City. Get your gear at Bass Pro Shops® Outdoor World®, then you can go it alone or hook up with Captain B's Fishing Guide Service to get you to the best spots.

Explore a Trail


Galloway Trail in Springfield, Missouri.

Whether you are biking or hiking, Springfield has a variety of trails packed with breathtaking scenery. Our state was also named “Best Trails State” in 2013 by American Trails.

Catch a Cardinals Game


Cardinals fans at Hammons Field in Springfield, Missouri.

The Springfield Cardinals kick-off their 2018 home games on April 12!

Signature Events

There's so much happening this spring in Springfield and the Ozarks. Here are some of the marquee events!

Cherry Blossom Kite and Piñata Festival | April 7
19th Annual Rock’n Ribs Festival | April 20-21
Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield Arts in the Park Concerts | Saturdays, May 5-June 2
Artsfest on Historic Walnut Street | May 5-6
Baker Creek Spring Planting Festival | May 6-7
8th Ever Mother’s Day Festival | May 19

For a full schedule of all the exciting events happening in the area, visit our online calendar. Happy spring!

More Resources

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