Springfield, Missouri is known for many things…the birthplace of Route 66 (and Brad Pitt), Bass Pro Shops, the Ozark mountains, Springfield-style Cashew Chicken, and being an incredible creative hub for artists and art lovers alike! 

If you fancy yourself a lover of the arts, or just enjoy a unique cultural experience, book your trip to Springfield, Missouri May 3-5, 2024 for the ultimate arts weekend! At the core of this itinerary is the city’s beloved annual event, Artsfest! An arts-centered festival on Historic Walnut Street, this celebration has been known to attract nearly 30,000 people to downtown Springfield.

If you want to attend the festival, check out our itinerary focused on all things arts and Artsfest in Springfield.

Friday, May 3, 2024

Lunch at Cafe Cusco

Cafe Cusco

For a delicious intro into Springfield, dine at Cafe Cusco on Commercial Street for a Peruvian-style lunch. Trust us, it’s a fan favorite. Their menu also has an array of vegan and vegetarian options.

Address: 234 E. Commercial St., Springfield

Wonders of Wildlife National Museum & Aquarium

Wonders of Wildlife CoupleA five-time winner of the Best Aquarium by the USA Today Readers’ Choice Poll, Wonders of Wildlife is a must-see. The 350,000-square-foot space houses the museum and aquarium with over 35,000 fish, reptiles, amphibians, birds and mammals, from small turtles to a large albino alligator. If you want your art fix, see some amazing dioramas and artwork, including the Lewis and Clark Art Collection and Nature’s Best Photography exhibit on the museum side.

Address: 500 W. Sunshine St., Springfield

First Friday Artwalk or Juanita K. Hammons Hall

First Friday Art Walk

Head to downtown Springfield and attend the First Friday Art Walk. The Art Walk is a free and self-guided program that allows visitors to get an insider look at downtown local art, businesses, and galleries. Pop into some venues to look at great local art and purchase gifts. While you're downtown, make sure to check out Sculpture Walk Springfield and view Springfield’s museum without walls!

If you want to see a live show instead, see “The Golden Girls: The Laughs Continue” at the nearby Juanita K. Hammons Hall for the Performing Arts that night at 7:30 p.m. 

Address: Downtown, Springfield

Dinner at The Order/Vantage Rooftop Lounge

Vantage Rooftop Lounge

For a night on the town, head inside Hotel Vandivort to The Order. A nod to the masonic history of the building, The Order features upscale cuisine like wagyu burgers, dry-aged steaks and smoked duck. Afterwards, walk over to the adjacent hotel building for high-end cocktails at Vantage. 

Address: 331 Park Central E. #101, Springfield

See Dueling Pianists at Ernie Biggs

If you don’t want the night to end, walk a couple blocks over to Ernie Biggs, Springfield’s only dueling piano bar, for some live entertainment.

Address: 312 South Ave., Springfield

Saturday, May 4

Breakfast at Gailey’s

Gailey’s, once a corner fountain drugstore, is now one of the most popular diners in Springfield, where you can get delicious breakfasts. Not only do they serve food, but also have a full bar with beer, mimosa flights and bloody marys. If you’re in the mood for live music, come back during dinnertime for nighttime tunes.

Address: 220 E. Walnut St., Springfield

Artsfest 2024

Artsfest 2024

Walk over from Gailey's to Artsfest. Gates open at 10 a.m. and the fun continues until 5 p.m. The festival features over 100 artists from all over the country, along with local and regional entertainment. You could spend several hours walking up and down Historic Walnut Street shopping. Artsfest tickets are $5 each and kids 5 and under are free. Tickets allow entrance to the festival both days if you'd like to come back!

Lunch at Artsfest

Over a 20+ food and drink vendors serve cuisine from all over the world at Artsfest. Head to the food court and food truck area and grab some lunch. Many of the food vendors have local restaurants here in Springfield.

Springfield Art Museum

Springfield Art Museum

If you want to cool off and take a break, visit the Springfield Art Museum, a few minutes away from Artsfest. The museum’s permanent collection houses over 10,000 items, from paintings and ceramics to pottery and sculptures. Make sure to peek at the various traveling exhibits on display. 

Address: 1111 E. Brookside Dr., Springfield

Dinner at Civil Kitchen

For Dinner, head back downtown and dine at Civil Kitchen. Filled with favorites like wraps, sandwiches and chicken and donuts, there’s something on the menu everyone will like. Find a seat on the outdoor patio facing the downtown square for the best view.

Address: 107 Park Central Square, Springfield

Springfield Ballet

The Springfield Ballet typically does two performances a season, with one show happening over Artsfest weekend! Tumble down the rabbit hole and see the Springfield Ballet perform “Alice in Wonderland” at the Landers Theatre downtown. The show begins at 5:30 p.m.

Address: 311 E. Walnut St., Springfield

Dessert at Pineapple Whip

Pineapple Whip

If you need a sweet treat after the show, Pineapple Whip is a seasonal Springfield staple when it comes to enjoying a creamy, delectable dessert.

Various Locations

Sunday, May 5, 2024


Rise Restaurant in Springfield, Missouri

Photo courtesy of Rise

Start your morning with a delicious breakfast from Rise. Grab a coffee or freshly made juice from their juice bar. Rise offers healthy breakfast bowls, sandwiches, pancakes and even avocado toast. Be sure to take a picture by the pastel staircase before you leave.

Address: 105 Park Central Square, Springfield

Artsfest Day 2

If you didn’t get enough of Artsfest, don’t fret. You can return to the festival from 10 a.m.–5 p.m. to see more artwork and live performances. If you bought tickets on day one, your tickets will also be good for day two as well!

Lunch at Van Gogh’s

Van Gogh's Eeterie

Photo courtesy of Van Gogh's

Before you head home, grab lunch at Van Gogh’s, a restaurant inspired by the famous painter that features cuisine straight from The Netherlands. Feel free to visit the various shops up and down Commercial Street if you have time.

Address: 334 E. Commercial St., Springfield

More Resources

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