Welcome to your ultimate summer bucket list for Springfield, Missouri. Springfield’s natural beauty, cultural experiences, and vibrant community events make it the perfect destination for a memorable summer.

Visit You-Pick Farms

Local you-pick farms offer a wide variety of seasonal delights from vibrant wildflowers to juicy strawberries and plump blueberries, providing a hands-on experience that connects you directly with nature. Pick your own produce at the farms linked above.

Visit State Parks

State parks offer a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, inviting you to explore lush forests, tranquil lakes, and scenic trails. Whether you’re an avid hiker, a passionate angler, or simply someone who appreciates the tranquility of nature, there are a variety of state parks within a short drive of Springfield, Missouri. Get outdoors and see the beauty of nature at these state parks.

Hike the Ozark Greenways

Father and Daughter hiking at Galloway TrailWhen it comes to exploring the outdoors and learning about the history of the area, you can stay on the beaten path or take a walk on the wild side with trails for all skill levels and abilities in southwest Missouri. Check out a map of the various Ozark Greenways trails stretching over 110+ miles and plan your next hiking excursion. 

Get Out on the Water

Kayakers on Lake SpringfieldThe Ozarks are known for the lakes and incredible water trails. If you’re interested in getting out to the lake this summer and enjoying the water, there are a variety of lakes and floating spots in Southwest Missouri.

Visit Our Breweries, Wineries, and Distilleries

Bear Creek WinerySpringfield’s vibrant craft beer, wine and distillery community is home to a diverse range of brews, each offering unique and locally brewed beverages that cater to various tastes. The Ozarks Tap and Pour program encourages visitors to sample the best of Springfield’s’ craft beverage scene through a digital passport. Learn more and sign up for the Ozarks Tap and Pour program here.

See Fireworks

Experiencing fireworks in and around Springfield, Missouri, is a dazzling tradition that brings communities together, particularly on the Fourth of July.  If you want to see some fabulous fireworks displays, here’s where you can watch them during Fourth of July celebrations and around the Ozarks this summer.

Attend a Tent Theatre Production

Tent TheatreTent Theatre has been a Missouri State University tradition for over 60 years. See various shows and performances throughout the summer at the new John Goodman Amphitheater, all while snacking on concessions of locally made treats. The theater is open and accessible to everyone, so your friends or family can enjoy it. Upcoming shows include:

Crimes of the Heart - June 21–22, 24–29

Mystic Pizza - July 5–6, 8–13

Attend a Springfield Cardinals Game

Springfield Cardinals games are a classic Springfield pastime. Game days can have fun themes to go along with them, adding another layer of immersive entertainment. On top of the themes, Friday games have fireworks to end the night, dazzling the summer night sky and viewers alike. Here are all the dates of home games you can attend this summer.

June 25–30

July 4–6

July 9–14

July 23–28

Aug. 6–11

Aug. 20–25

Drive Down Route 66

Route 66Springfield, Missouri is known as the birthplace of Route 66, beginning what would start as a national and cultural phenomenon that would take America by storm at the end of the 1920s. If you’re cruising through Springfield and would love to see some iconic stops on your way, here are a few Route 66 stops that travelers and locals love.

Visit Springfield’s Parks

Springfield, Missouri boasts a collection of beautiful parks that offer a serene escape into nature and a variety of recreational activities. Head outside and check out these free hidden gems you can explore.  

See some Animals

Wonders of Wildlife CoupleSpringfield, Missouri, and its surroundings are home to four remarkable animal attractions that promise unforgettable experiences for animal lovers. The Wonders of Wildlife National Museum and Aquarium offers an extensive and immersive journey through diverse habitats, featuring over 35,000 live fish, mammals, reptiles, and birds, making it a must-visit for its sheer scale and educational value. 

Just a short drive away, the Dickerson Park Zoo provides a family-friendly environment with over 500 animals representing 160 species, where visitors can enjoy up-close encounters and learn about global conservation efforts. 

For a more adventurous outing, Wild Animal Safari in Strafford allows guests to drive through or take a guided tour to see exotic animals like zebras, camels, and bison roaming freely, creating a safari-like experience in the heart of Missouri. 

Lastly, the National Tiger Sanctuary in Saddlebrooke is dedicated to the rescue and care of big cats, offering guided tours that educate visitors about tiger conservation and provide intimate views of these majestic animals.

Dine on an Outdoor Patio

Golden Girl Rum Club in downtown Springfield, MissouriWhether you love outdoor patios or want to get some fantastic views while enjoying your drink, Springfield has a plethora of outdoor dining options. If you want to dine with a view, check out these outdoor patios scattered across Springfield, Missouri and the rest of the Ozarks. 

See a Free Movie at Jordan Valley Park

Jordan Valley Park MoviesA great evening family activity happening this summer is the free, family-friendly movie screenings at Jordan Valley Park! Each movie will have themed concessions and crafts available, so all you have to worry about is bringing your own seating. Movies begin at dusk.

Visit a Local Farmers’ Market

Farmers Market of the OzarksSouthwest Missouri is home to several different farmers’ markets. Visit the markets below during the summertime.

C-Street Market

Saturdays 9 a.m.–2 p.m.

Thursdays 4–8 p.m.

Farmers Market of the Ozarks

Saturdays 8 a.m.–1 p.m. (Spring-Fall)

Greater Springfield Farmers’ Market

Saturdays 8 a.m.–noon (year–round)

Tuesday & Thursday 8 a.m.–noon (April–Oct.)

Metro Eats

Saturdays 9 a.m.–2 p.m.

Ozarks Farmers Market

Thursdays 3–7 p.m. (May-September)

Visit a Cave

Smallin CaveWant to stay at a consistent 68 degrees year-round? Springfield’s caves stay at the same temperature year-round due to being thermally insulated; keeping you at a consistently cool temperature to beat the summer heat. Tour some of the area’s caves, such as Fantastic Caverns, Crystal Cave, Smallin Civil War Cave and Talking Rocks Caverns, to learn some history and beat the heat.

Go Fishing

Some of Springfield’s best fishing corners are nestled on the city’s outskirts, making them prime locations to catch trout. If you’re just now getting into fishing or new to the area, here are some of the best places for trout fishing in the Ozarks.

Attend an Event

Whether you’re a local looking to explore new events or a visitor eager to experience the heart of the Ozarks, Springfield’s summer calendar offers something for everyone. Many events are affordable or free to attend. Check out these upcoming summer events happening in Springfield this summer.

Enjoy a Summer Treat

Pineapple WhipSpringfield, Missouri is a delightful destination for anyone with a sweet tooth. The area boasts a rich array of ice cream parlors, frozen yogurt shops and unique dessert spots, each offering diverse flavors and innovative creations. See what iconic local treats you can get in Springfield this summer that you can’t get anywhere else.

Grab an Iced Coffee

Springfield’s coffee culture is renowned for its creative and refreshing drink offerings. Taste your way through the Ozarks with the Ozarks Coffee Trail. The Ozarks Coffee Trail program encourages visitors to sample the coffee scene through another digital passport system. Learn more and sign up for the trail here.

More Resources

Springfield Guide

Order a free Springfield Guide or check out the digital version.

Visit Page

E-Newsletter Sign-Up

Get bi-weekly updates to your inbox to keep up with Springfield.

Visit Page


Visit our itineraries page to plan your trip according to your interests.

Visit Page