So, is there anything to do in Springfield, Missouri?
January 11th, 2013 | Lauren Simms
Maybe you love the idea of attending Evangel, but you’re not so sure about Springfield, Missouri … don’t worry, I’ve heard that one before. This midsize, landlocked city in the middle of the country doesn’t sound exactly exciting to everybody. Some people seem to think it’s too big; others think it’s too small.
As a Springfield native, I happen to think it’s just right. And most Evangel students find that no matter what size city you’re used to, Springfield has plenty to offer college students — not to mention the friendliest people in the country.
From the lively and artsy downtown district — with lots of trendy shops, coffee houses and dining options — to the parks, lakes and natural beauty of the Ozarks, you can find plenty to do when you don’t have your nose buried in your books. This week I’ll share with you my “Top 10 Things to do in Springfield.” (Check out my next blog, “Top 10 day trips for Evangel students,” too!)
1. Springfield Cardinals baseball at Hammons Field. Wear some red, grab a friend and head to the ballpark. Whether you are a baseball fan or just enjoy people watching and eating ballpark hot dogs, Springfield is a great place for minor league baseball. General admission tickets are $6.
2. First Friday Art Walk. The first Friday of each month, you can visit a variety of art galleries in downtown Springfield for free. Some even provide snacks. This event draws crowds of Springfieldians who come out for the culture and entertainment each month. It’s a great way to enjoy downtown Springfield, which is really near the Evangel campus.
3. Andy’s Frozen Custard. Is ice cream a “thing to do?” you wonder. Well, first, it’s not ice cream, it’s frozen custard. (They’re kind of picky about that.) And second, yes! Andy’s is the best frozen custard you will ever eat in your entire life. Enjoy a concrete, malt, sundae or cone with friends. It’s an experience. Trust me on this one.
4. Dickerson Park Zoo. With more than 340 animals that represent 160 species, this zoo is a must see during your Springfield stay. I mean, where else can you see an Asian elephant or a Malayan tiger in Springfield? Ticket price: $8.
5. P3 (Paint, Party, Play): On Republic Road, there is a pottery studio with no sitting fee (score!) You pay only for the piece you paint. Spend a Saturday afternoon with friends and transform something white into your own colorful masterpiece. Pottery prices: $7 and up.
6. Pythian Castle: There is a castle right next door to Evangel’s campus. Built in 1913 by the Knights of Pythias, it served as an orphanage and senior citizens home. Now, it’s a place for comedy nights, special events and historical tours. Ticket price: $7.50.
7. Bass Pro Shops: Even if you’re not into the hunting, fishing or boating scene, this is a must-see. Not only is there a waterfall in the middle of the store, there is a shooting range, numerous large aquariums, a live alligator and enough to keep you busy for a couple of hours. Plus, it’s free (as long as you don’t want to leave with any of the merchandise, of course).
8. Springfield Conservation Nature Center: After eating from the table of desserts in the Caf, you need a place to walk it off. Walk the 3 miles of trails, smell the fresh outdoors, observe deer and other wildlife, and walk the boardwalk over the lake. This beautiful nature walk is free and perfect for getting away from it all.
9. Discovery Center: This hands-on science museum in downtown Springfield isn’t just for children on field trips. It’s for people of all ages, including us college students. What a great place to experiment and become a kid again. You might even learn something cool! Ticket price: $12.
10. Mediacom Ice Park: Located downtown on Walnut Street, this ice park offers open skating and hockey leagues. Tickets: $6.50 ($4 student ticket plus skate rental).
These are by no means the only things to do in Springfield, but they are my personal Top Ten. Check back next week to read my list for my favorites just outside of the Springfield area.
Want more? There are lots more ideas on the Things to Do page of our website.