Best of 417 2016

DISCLAIMER: The information in this article was fact checked and accurate at press time, but 417 Magazine cannot guarantee its accuracy indefinitely.

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FIll your weekends with fun at the Gillioz Theatre, voted as the best event venue.


Best 417-Land Winery Day Trip

Winner: Hermann, Missouri

Second Place: Stone Hill Winery

Third Place: OOVVDA Winery


Best Afternoon Out With the Kids

Winner: Silver Dollar City

Second Place: Springfield Conservation Nature Center

Third Place: Dickerson Park Zoo


Best Afternoon Without the Kids

Winner: Branson Landing

Second Place: Top of the Rock

Third Place: Mother’s Brewing Company


Best Bicycle Route

Winner: Galloway Trail

Second Place: Dogwood Canyon Nature Park

Third Place: Frisco Highline Trail


Best Branson Attraction

Winner: Silver Dollar City

Second Place: Top of the Rock

Third Place: Dixie Stampede


Best Branson Stage Show

Winner: Dixie Stampede

Second Place: SIX, The Show

Third Place: The Haygoods


Best Charity Event

Winner: Chili Cook-Off (Springfield Sertoma Club)

Second Place: Taste of the Ozarks (Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Ozarks)

Third Place: Cattle Baron’s Ball (American Cancer Society)


Best Date Night 

Winner: Flame Steakhouse & Wine Bar

Second Place: Millsap Farm’s Pizza Night

Third Place: Cafe Cusco


Best Event Venue

Winner: Gillioz Theatre

Second Place: The Old Glass Place

Third Place: 425 Downtown


Best Float Trip

Winner: Buffalo National River

Second Place: Current River

Third Place: Niangua River


Best Girls’ Night Out

Winner: Ernie Bigg’s Piano Bar

Second Place: RSVPaint

Third Place: Barley, Wheat, and Rye Social House


Best Hike

Winner: Ha Ha Tonka State Park

Second Place: Dogwood Canyon Nature Park

Third Place: Springfield Conservation Nature Center


Wednesday Night Meeting by Thomas Hart Benton is on display at Springfield Art Museum.

Best Art Gallery

Winner: Springfield Art Museum

Second Place: Randy Bacon Art Gallery

Third Place: Arts & Letters


Best Karaoke

Winner: Friend’s Karaoke Pub

Second Place: Stepchild Lounge

Third Place: Drunken Monkey


Best Neighborhood

Winner: Rountree

Second Place: Southern Hills

Third Place: University Heights


Best Outdoor Event

Winner: Farmers Market of the Ozarks

Second Place: Rock’n Ribs (Rotary Clubs of Springfield)

Third Place: Cider Days (Historic Walnut Street Association)


Best Park

Winner: Nathanael Greene/Close Memorial Park

Second Place: Sequiota Park

Third Place: Phelps Grove Park


Best Place to Meet Somebody New

Winner: Church

Second Place: Farmers Market of the Ozarks

Third Place: First Friday Art Walk


Best Sunday Drive

Winner: Eureka Springs

Second Place: Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art

Third Place: Ozark Mountain Highroad


Best Trivia Night

Winner: Patton Alley Pub

Second Place: Dublin’s Pass

Third Place: Finnegan’s Wake

Picturesque shops make Eureka Springs the best spot for a Weekend Getaway.

Best Weekend Getaway

Winner: Eureka Springs

Second Place: Big Cedar Lodge

Third Place: Table Rock Lake


Best Place to Perfect Your Swing

Swing Right Golf

Do you dream of hitting the links at Pebble Beach, only to wake up and realize you’re in southwest Missouri? Head to Swing Right Golf (444 E. Farm Road 192, Springfield, 417-882-1222, The indoor simulators here allow you to play the best golf courses in the world without the trouble of traveling or the worry of weather. You can even bring your buddies along to see who can get the best score. Make sure to call ahead for a simulator tee-time, and bring your kiddos for a day on the mini golf course or try your skills on the driving range. 


Best Nearby Escape 

Ritter Springs Park

When you need to get away from the city without really getting away from the city, head just north of Springfield to Ritter Springs Park (3683 W. Farm Road 92, Springfield, The 246-acre park has a playground, wooded areas, walking trails, lake views and more; we don’t know why it isn’t flooded with people. But we like it that way. The quiet park is perfect for a family picnic on a weekend afternoon, and the lack of honking cars and stressful traffic will make it worth the short trek. The park also plays home to day camps in the summer and outdoor initiative programs.


Best Big Band Experience

Cartoon’s Oyster Bar

Transport yourself back in time to the roaring ‘20s when the Missouri Jazz Orchestra plays at Cartoon’s Oyster Bar (1614 S. Glenstone Ave., Springfield,, 417-889-6500). This 19-piece big band is led by Randy Hamm the first and third Tuesday of every month at 7 p.m. The night is loud, lively and blasting with classics. The MOJO performers like to show off their talents with solos, and you’ll be the hero of the bar when you give them a tip. The best part? The shows are free and open to all ages, so you can make it a family night or cheap date night.


Best View of Branson 


You’ve seen the Landing. You’ve seen the strip of theaters and buffets. But have you ever seen the whole city at once? Next time you’re driving to or from Branson, take a few minutes to stop at Scoops, the ice cream shop in Hollister along MO-165. The overlook across the highway from Scoops offers an unbeatable panoramic view of the whole Branson valley. On a clear day, enjoy the scenery and feel like you’re on top of the world (or at least southwest Missouri). On a stormy day, watch the clouds roll in and feel like you’re Thor, God of Thunder. Plus you can take the perfect photo to get the most Instagram likes out of all your friends. #nofilter 


Cut into a scenic hillside, Thunder Ridge Arena is a must-see spot in Ridgedale.

Best Reason to Head for the Hills

Thunder Ridge Arena

When Johnny Morris wants a project built, he doesn’t let something as little as nature get in his way. This was exactly the case for Thunder Ridge Arena (at Big Cedar Lodge, 612 Devil’s Pool Rd., Ridgedale, 417-335-2777, The outdoor event center has a multipurpose dirt arena that has played host to Uncle Buck’s Bull Blast bull riding events, outdoor concerts and more. As many as 9,000 spectators rest on bench seats cut right into the hillside to take in the action set against a backdrop of the Ozark Mountains and Table Rock Lake. Find events online, and head to Thunder Ridge Arena so you can enjoy nature the way Johnny Morris intended—sitting right in the middle of it. 


Best Entrance to a Party

Parakeet Pete’s Zipline

Have you ever wanted to fly over a lake and casually drop into a private party? Now you can do just that with Parakeet Pete’s Zipline (at the Branson Landing, 100 Branson Landing Blvd., Branson, If you rent the bluff-side party deck for your event, the only way guests can get to the fun is to zipline there. Soar over Lake Taneycomo and enjoy the views of the Branson Landing and downtown Branson. You don’t have to worry about strapping on a harness over your party wear, though—you can just sit down and strap in. When the party’s over, zipline back over to the landing deck and head on home. You don’t even have to tip a valet!  


Best No-Boys-Allowed Night Out

Cocktails on the Farm

You and the gals have been to the movies, and to dinner, and to dinner and movie. Want to switch it up? Urban Roots Farm has a perfect plan for your next ladies’ night out: Cocktails on the Farm. Urban Roots (831 W. State Street, Springfield,, 417-597-4858) paired up with Chase the Flavors to host this workshop exclusively for women. You and your squad learn to make three craft cocktails using local, seasonal ingredients. After letting your inner mixologist out, tour the farm and snack on small bites that you know are better for you than movie theater popcorn. You return home smarter and a better bartender, and your checkbook will thank you.


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