Event Planning Guide

Your ultimate resource for planning and creating the perfect event in Springfield and southwest Missouri.

Aug 2023

Where Would You Like to Start the Planning Process?

IT'S PARTY TIME. Hosting an event to remember is no small potatoes, and finding the best venue, entertainment, food and decor for whatever kind of shindig you’re throwing is the key to making the whole thing work. But there are a lot of businesses out there who specialize in this kind of thing, and sorting through them all can be daunting. How do you find businesses you can trust to handle your special occasion? Well, we suggest you begin right here!


Indoor and outdoor locations for any event.

Top of the Rock photor for Event Guide 2021

Big Cedar Lodge

190 Top of the Rock Road, Ridgedale, MO

Table Rock Lake, rolling hills and the Missouri sky set off the tapestry of cedars, oaks and sparkling sunsets at Big Cedar Lodge. Ideal for both celebrations and corporate meetings of up to 1,000 guests, the resort occupies a prime heartland location in southwest Missouri, an easy 10 miles south of Branson.

The Ozarks charm of the banquet rooms at Grandview Conference Center comes with breathtaking views of Table Rock Lake and state-of-the-art technology, making it a one-of-a-kind location for business meetings and corporate gatherings. In addition to meeting and event services, Big Cedar and its attractions offer on-site catering and numerous restaurants, each featuring rustic elegance and stunning views. Step outside of the boardroom, where guests can experience unbelievable activities including five legendary golf courses, a world-class spa, the Lost Canyon Cave and Nature Trail, sport shooting facilities, the Ancient Ozarks Natural History Museum and a 50,000-square-foot adventure center with an arcade, ropes course and an underwater-themed bowling alley. An adventure-filled menu of corporate team-building activities promises to engage, energize and educate with challenges such as property-wide scavenger hunts and fishing tournaments. Just down the road is Dogwood Canyon Nature Park, a 10,000-acre nature park offering horseback trail rides, wildlife tram tours and evening chuck wagon dinners, letting groups connect to the great outdoors in the most beautiful setting possible. Since Big Cedar is within an hour’s drive from most of 417-land, these activities and much more are easily accessible for any gathering.

For more intimate affairs, Big Cedar is home to four stunning chapels in addition to multiple indoor and outdoor special event venues, all with captivating settings perched over Table Rock Lake. This premier destination offers everything you need for special celebrations, from engagement parties to reunions and more, including special event services and luxury accommodations in a secluded haven of natural beauty.

Dogwood Canyon

2038 West State Hwy 86, Lampe, MO

Dogwood Canyon Nature Park is an outdoor nature lover’s paradise, located in Lampe, Missouri, and spanning across the Missouri-Arkansas border. Featuring 100,000 acres of natural beauty and rugged scenery, this Ozark Mountain location invites you to escape to serenity.

Events are picture-perfect at Dogwood Canyon. With  five stunning on-site venues, Dogwood Canyon can accommodate gatherings and celebrations of any size whether indoor or in the great outdoors! Host a reception at their rustic Chuckwagon Pavilion while a band plays on the streamside covered stage, or walk down the aisle at their elegant 1800s-modeled Hope Wilderness Chapel, boasting a striking view of a crashing waterfall! Enjoy a delicious meal and dance the night away under the stars on the patio of the Canyon Grill. Say “I do” in front of the breathtaking Thunder Falls, where two streams become one. These incredible event venues are nestled in the canyon near crystal clear streams, unique hand-built bridges, stables, meadows, cascading waterfalls and deep blue-green pools. You and your guests will be wowed by these unforgettable views of nature.

Limitless customizations can make your event one-of-a-kind, like horse-drawn carriage rides, bicycles for your guests to ride, fire pits and s’mores, getaway canoes, fly fishing receptions, horseback riding and more. With every season, the park takes on a whole new personality and has something exciting to share! In the spring, the Dogwood and Redbud trees are in full bloom, and in the fall the canyon is painted in reds, oranges and yellows. In the winter months, the park turns into a winter wonderland, providing a spectacular backdrop for any occasion at any time of the year.

Dogwood Canyon is the ultimate getaway and playground that offers hiking, biking, wildlife tours, horseback riding and trout fishing among towering bluffs, waterfalls, creek beds and wildlife. There is something for all ages to see and do. During your visit, you can visit the working gristmill, explore the treehouse built by Treehouse Masters and tour the Conservation Education Center.

Dogwood Canyon is the perfect setting for your corporate retreat, family reunion, company picnic, wedding day or special celebration. With unforgettable views and undivided attention, they will make your event a memorable one and will leave your guests speechless! Dogwood Canyon has experienced event specialists on staff ready to help put the perfect package together for you.

Email to start planning your next event or group adventure and discover the natural beauty of the Ozarks! 

425 Downtown & The Old Glass Place

417-888-3025 (425 Downtown)
425 W. Walnut St., Springfield, MO

417-501-8035 (The Old Glass Place)
521 E. St. Louis St. Springfield, MO

Located in the heart of Springfield, The Old Glass Place and 425 Downtown are ideal venue options for anyone who loves the restored beauty of the Queen City’s downtown. From impeccable wedding receptions to first-rate corporate events or reunions, customers will find everything they’re looking for at either of these exceptional venues.

With over 12,000 square feet and a capacity of over 550 people, The Old Glass Place is customizable for any event, large or small. Rental includes 12 hours of venue use, round tables for dinner and 300 chairs. The Old Glass Place also boasts a state-of-the-art sound system, outdoor area and private parking lot for guests.

425 Downtown’s beautiful brick interior and multitude of amenities create a memorable atmosphere. From event setup to professional cake cutting, 425 Downtown fulfills every detail. Both 425 Downtown and The Old Glass Place offer all-inclusive packages that include onsite catering and bar services.

The Old Glass Place and 425 Downtown are go-to choices for 417-landers seeking the perfect venue. Owner Matt Krupa and his staff make every event a remarkable, hassle-free success. Elevate your next event by holding it at The Old Glass Place or 425 Downtown.

Affinity Riverside Estate

381 Guin Road, Nixa, MO

Nestled into an idyllic setting just off South Campbell in Springfield, Affinity Riverside Estate is the go-to venue for corporate and private events. Surrounded by scenic woods and overlooking the James River, and offering a wide array of amenities and entertainment options, the venue perfectly accommodates both indoor and outdoor gatherings.

Affinity Riverside Estate is the best venue for corporate events, retreats, company parties and casino games in 417-land. Their facility offers in-house catering, a sound system and a projector, along with full bar services, entertainment and decor options … and so much more! They provide several packages specifically for corporate events and company parties.

Wedding parties and social groups will love the serene atmosphere that sets Affinity Riverside Estate apart. With towering oak trees, beautiful views, spacious covered decks, two cozy fireplaces and a waterfall fountain, the venue will ensure lifelong memories for those special moments. Dance the night away on the dance floor, and unwind in one of the unique treehouse cabins.

Let the skilled team at Affinity Riverside Estate take the schlep out of planning by taking care of your next event. Learn more at

Branson Dream Weddings & Events


From the $7.5M lighted dancing fountains shooting 120 feet in the air at Branson Landing, to stunning Ozarks mountain views from Branson Hills Golf Club, or the modern waterfront amenities, shopping and dining at one of the two Hilton hotels and convention center, you can plan a one-of-a-kind event with Branson Dream Weddings and Events!

Synchronized to light, fire and music, the fountains at the Branson Landing offer a venue unlike any other in the area! The breathtaking backdrop of Lake Taneycomo makes Branson Landing’s Amphitheater second to none, both day and night and year-round.

Be whisked away by the breathtaking views at Branson Hills Golf Club, ranked the #1 golf course in Missouri by Golf Week from 2012 to 2018. Whether you are planning a romantic indoor event in their grand entry, dancing under the stars on the beautiful veranda, or overlooking the golf course, superb photo opportunities abound in all of these striking settings!

Book your block of rooms and luxurious suites at the Hiltons of Branson, located on the Branson Landing and attached to the Branson Convention Center in historic downtown Branson, where you can enjoy the delicious food from Level 2 Steakhouse at your event. The options are truly endless!

DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel & Conference Center


2431 N. Glenstone Ave., Springfield, MO

An empty room can be anything you want it to be. At the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel & Glendalough Conference Center, flexible space arrangements bestow upon hosts the power of personalization—one or several rooms may be utilized in the 20,000+ square feet of total event space. Seating can be adjusted to the size of a group, whether inside the recently added Glendalough Convention Center or the hotel’s restaurants, in which world class, on-site staff and caterers will streamline each guest's experience.

The convention center holds up to 450 guests, and business receptions can take advantage of six multi-function rooms for anything from distinguished lectures to professional seminars. Mixers, galas and weddings are also supported, with a 10-story atrium for cocktail receptions and specialists who craft custom menus. No event is too big or small for the DoubleTree by Hilton.

Hotel Vandivort

305 E. Walnut St., Springfield, MO

Hotel Vandivort is the first of its kind, a boutique hotel in Springfield that offers a Four Diamond experience the moment you enter. A revitalized landmark in a 100-year-old building, the hotel is centrally located in the heart of downtown. The fully renovated hotel embraces its past, accentuating historic elements paired with modern design for a vintage industrial vibe. Its 97 guest rooms sit alongside The Order restaurant, Vantage Rooftop Lounge and over 9,000 square feet of thoughtfully designed indoor and outdoor event space.

Whether you are planning a large celebration or rehearsal dinner, the event spaces at Hotel Vandivort can flex to host any event with up to 200 guests. The Ballroom is ideal for any celebration. It features high ceilings, chevron hardwood floors, contemporary chandeliers and grand windows overlooking downtown Springfield. The new V2 Conference Room is sure to impress, with expansive windows, modern finishes and high-tech features.

Hotel Vandivort offers a turn-key experience with stunning backdrops, event planning services, on-site culinary offerings and a dedicated banquet team to ensure your event flows seamlessly. For more information about their event spaces, high-tech media equipment, in-house catering and more, visit, email or call (417) 832-1515.

The Keeter Center

One Opportunity Ave., Point Lookout, MO

Nestled in the peaceful Ozark Mountains located two miles from historic downtown Branson, The Keeter Center® is the perfect venue to hold your next special event. Take in the captivating, panoramic views of College of the Ozarks® and the Branson skyline, while enjoying the lodge, dining room, creamery, bakery, gift shop and award-winning event space. Featuring well-appointed meeting rooms private dining rooms, and an auditorium, The Keeter Center® offers custom furnishings, state-of-the-art audio-visual services and flexible event arrangements, set in a rustic-elegant atmosphere.

In a farm-to-fork fashion, the catering cuisine selections are sourced from the campus dairy farm, hog farm, mill, gardens and greenhouses by students. Complete your event with a variety of decadent, house-made desserts, including premium ice cream made fresh with cream from the campus dairy farm. The Keeter Center® guarantees an extraordinary meal to accompany your special event.

The Mabee Lodge is prepared to provide overnight accommodations for you and your out-of-town guests. During your stay, explore the College of the Ozarks® campus or enjoy the scenic views from your own private balcony.

Oasis Hotel and Convention Center


2546 N. Glenstone, Springfield, MO

Elevate your event at the Oasis Hotel and Convention Center! Equipped with 30,000 square feet of meeting space and 11 private meeting rooms, this luxurious venue is completely customizable to fit the purpose and character of each and every event. Their experienced staff will bring your unique vision to life by ensuring an inviting, relaxing atmosphere and by creating any layout you can dream up.

Your event will be unforgettable thanks to Oasis Convention Center’s trove of outstanding amenities. The event space is equipped with a built-in stage, theatrical lighting, state-of-the-art audiovisual equipment, drop-down screens and high-speed Wi-Fi. Oasis offers a full-service catering menu designed by their exceptional culinary team, led by the executive chef from Fire & Ice Restaurant & Bar. Their menu presents a diverse selection of food that can fit any style of event and breaks the mold of traditional convention fare.

Your event, your way. This is what sets Oasis Convention Center apart. Immerse yourself in their resort-style ambiance and redefine the way you experience events.

Call today to start planning your next corporate event or wedding.

Wonders of Wildlife National Museum & Aquarium


500 W. Sunshine St., Springfield, MO

Johnny Morris’ Wonders of Wildlife National Museum & Aquarium (WOW) invites you and your guests to immerse yourselves in an incredible indoor wildlife adventure! Guests will be amazed by unique and adaptive event spaces with breathtaking views.

Come face to fin with zebra sharks and sea turtles in 300,000 gallons of saltwater in the Open Ocean. Catch sail fishing for massive tuna with dolphins leaping alongside and seagulls flocking overhead. Dine in the Australian Great Barrier Reef, seated below a towering three-story aquarium filled with giant Queensland grouper and moray eels.

Their award-winning 350,000-square-foot facility can accommodate meetings, conventions, weddings and special occasions. Enjoy full-service catering, event photography and custom team-building experiences you cannot do anywhere else such as penguin encounters, shark dives, behind-the-scenes tours and more. The catering professionals at White River Conference Center provide unparalleled custom event menu planning and can offer full-service coordination.

Book your unforgettable event at Wonders of Wildlife today! Email to start planning your next great adventure.

Finley Farms


802 Finley Farms Lane, Ozark, MO

Retreat to the Finley River for your next gathering or celebration. Finley Farms features a variety of vibrant event venues, farm-inspired restaurants, an urban farm and more. Both intimate and large-scale spaces allow for weddings and elopements, receptions, team-building experiences, corporate events and beyond.

Choose from beautiful locations immersed in nature including the open-air chapel on the banks of the Finley River, the century-old Riverside Bridge or the sprawling urban farm. Go back in time and celebrate in spaces rich with history including The Ozark Mill, originally built in 1833, and The Workshop, a 1930s industrial garage that overlooks The Farm.

Lush flower fields, the river, moody wooden scenes and iconic structures act as beautiful settings for your photo session. Capture this special time in your life with Finley Farms as the backdrop. Insider Tip: Ask about their hand-painted wooden rowboat.

Finley Farms can accommodate up to 150 guests and offers a variety of catering options, audio setups for bands or DJs and a trusted list of preferred vendors to make planning your event effortless. Getting married? All weddings include an on-site, day-of coordinator.

Visit today to start planning.

The Barley House at Moon Town Crossing


3060 N. Kentwood, Springfield, MO

With a tastefully rustic exterior, it may surprise some that the Barley House at Moon Town Crossing was only constructed in 2018. You can thank the local Amish artisans who built the barn by hand with only locally sourced materials.

This fantasia of old-fashioned design and new construction makes The Barley House a prime landing spot for events with character. Flexible seating arrangements and an adjoining patio give the space an “all-purpose” feel, further aided by the venue’s projector, screen and surround sound capabilities. The planning of social and professional gatherings can be simplified even further by utilizing The Barley House’s all-inclusive event packages.

The fusion of old and new, and the attention to detail, make The Barley House at Moon Town Crossing an ideal event venue for all of life’s events including weddings, corporate events and special occasions. To reserve a date call 417-799-2500.

GlassHaus Weddings & TreeHaus


From the moment you set foot on the grounds of GlassHaus Weddings near Branson, you will be immersed in the natural beauty of 417-land. Sweeping views of Table Rock Lake are the backdrop for an extraordinary wedding day like no other. From the beautifully designed dressing rooms to the glass-lined chapel and expansive reception areas, your multi-day celebration will be filled with picture-perfect moments to remember.

Opening in the fall of 2023, their 3-day packages with on-site lodging in their TreeHaus and Bungalows make this a destination wedding spot to remember.

Come. Stay. Celebrate. Play. Check out their prime 2024 and 2025 booking availability at

Sparrow Lane Wedding & Event Center


Willard, MO

Sparrow Lane Wedding and Event Center is set up like no other special event venue in 417-land. They provide four separate buildings, including a reception barn and a chapel, plus two cottages that serve as “get ready rooms” and can also provide overnight accommodations.

You can’t take a bad picture at Sparrow Lane! Their venue is quite literally a photographer’s dream, with Magnolia-inspired rustic elegance executed in all white. The refined atmosphere will give you an event experience that you and your guests love, with the backdrop for photos that will never go out of style.

University Plaza


You may know about University Plaza Hotel & Convention Center’s 170,000 square feet of customizable event space, but it’s their remarkable amenities that set them apart. Event attendees can stay in well-appointed guest rooms and take advantage of all the location has to offer, from fitness and business centers to relaxing indoor and outdoor pools. Guests might start their morning with a Dubuque Coffee at Q-Street Perk. At mealtime, they’ll savor delicious entrees at Terrace Grille Restaurant, and at the end of a long day, they can unwind with a craft beer at Terrace Lounge.

At University Plaza Hotel & Convention Center, let your next event be beautifully packaged in one convenient downtown location.

Venue at Shadow Rock


113 Columbus Rd., Forsyth, MO

Host your next corporate or private event at The Venue at Shadow Rock in a modern, Ozark Mountain setting! With two separate spaces (plus the outdoor entertaining area) their space is perfect for events like conferences, chamber events, private parties, weddings and more.

Getting married? Their indoor/outdoor venue with dedicated spaces (no need to flip the room!) gives you low-stress options regardless of the weather, and their sleek, modern style was created with great photos in mind.

Brides and grooms alike get intentionally designed, spacious suites and there are 150+ items in the décor room available to be borrowed, a warming kitchen for the caterer of your choice, and outdoor games, an outdoor bar, covered patios, firepits and an amphitheater.


Experts in food, entertainment, photography, decor and more.

Elevate Entertainment


Elevate Entertainment firmly believes that every event is an opportunity to create memorable and extraordinary experiences. Entertainment is the single most important decision an event host can make, because a highly skilled entertainer does more than dictate the music playlist... they are the heartbeat of the event! By choosing Elevate Entertainment’s elite DJ services, you are assured that every announcement, game and song will be hand-chosen and fully customized by skilled DJs who specialize in turning moments into cherished memories.

Elevate Entertainment and their sister brand, Selfie Mirror Photo Experiences, were named Missouri’s Best DJ and Missouri’s Best Photo Booth, respectively, by Missouri Magazine, and both of these brands focus on providing custom emcee, DJ, event hosting and photo booth options for corporate events, weddings, fundraisers, holiday parties and other special occasions. Elevate is also known for having unique add-ons, such as custom uplighting and DJ + Band hybrid experiences that blend live music with their personalized DJ performance.


215 W. Commercial Street, Springfield MO

Whether it’s a wedding, baby shower, graduation or celebration of life, Serendipity understands the significance of each of life’s special occasions. From gorgeous fresh florals to an organic balloon bar to a unique inventory of paper goods and gifts, Serendipity knows how to elevate and create impact at any type of gathering.

Serendipity offers florals for every style and price point, including build-your-own bouquets, DIY buckets and full floral installs. Their balloon bar carries a large selection of colors, prints and shapes as well as design options to fit any budget. Visit their Commercial Street location and design an organic balloon garland, and pick it up completely assembled that same day! They also carry an assortment of local gifts and trendy paper goods not found in large national party stores.

As a local, women-owned business, Serendipity believes in supporting 417-land. To them, this means supporting area agriculture. It means hosting floral workshops. It means working closely with other local businesses, especially female-owned. Most importantly, it means treating each event as if it were their own. Visit Serendipity to find out how they can enrich and enliven your next party or special event.

Eventful Rental

5009 S. Campbell Ave., Springfield, MO

Each special event looks different from the next. Be it a large corporate conference or a small, intimate wedding, Eventful Rental does it all. This award-winning event rental company provides high quality equipment and outstanding customer service. Family-owned and operated, Eventful Rental gives each customer many flexible options to bring their vision to life in designing a one-of-a-kind special event.

Eventful Rental maintains a large inventory of rental items that suit every style and budget. Their inventory of furniture, including various types of tables and seating, can create a timeless look or a modern vibe. Their catalog of tents, audiovisual and catering equipment provide the infrastructure for any event. And their vast selection of decor items both large and small takes care of the all-important finishing touches.

Not sure where to begin? Let Eventful Rental’s design team help you create the perfect look! They are savvy on the latest trends, and they always focus on quality. Eventful’s consultants will meet you at your event site and work through the details of your special occasion. They even offer an “after hours” emergency service!

Eventful Rental makes each event truly special. Visit their store in Springfield to experience the Eventful difference!

Dreamy & Darling Creations


Dreamy & Darling Creations started as a way for owner Sydnie to express herself creatively. She has loved introducing 417-land to organic balloon garlands and the joy that they bring people.

Dreamy & Darling Creations has always been built on a passion for creativity... and that thought isn't going anywhere! The company offers a variety of additional event services, such as backdrops and rental decor. Thanks to a strong support team and community, Sydnie Myers has been able to follow her passion and bring joy to others. She would love to help make your event dreams come true!

Gettin' Basted

Branson, Nixa, Springfield

Gettin’ hitched? There’s no better choice for catering than Gettin’ Basted. They bring champion-caliber food to you! Wow your guests with a world-class eating experience. Delight them with Wagyu brisket, racks of ribs, saucy wings, creamy, cheesy sides and more. Gettin’ Basted’s catering even includes specialty options for your big day, like a Wagyu burger bar, soup and salad bar and the ever-trendy taco bar!

Gettin’ Basted is renowned for their competition-winning, Ozarks-style barbeque. The meats and techniques that their pitmasters win trophies for again and again are the same as what they serve up for guests. Gettin’ them for your event is a must!

Pink Jeep Tours—Branson


Experience the magic and beauty of Branson and the Ozarks like never before from the comfort of one of Pink Jeep Tours’ famous customized Pink Jeep® Wranglers. Venture past lakeside landmarks and ascend off-road trails to the exclusive, private summit of Baird Mountain with their expert local guides.

Don’t miss the new 41-degree, jaw-dropping rock drop and extended quarry rock crawls! You may know Branson like the back of your hand, but you’ve never seen it like this before.

For more information or to book your tour, visit, or call 1-844-710-PINK. Pink Jeep Tours is located at 3310 W. 76 Country Blvd. in Branson. It’s time to explore!


417-881-1950 | 417-444-6860

1720 W. Battlefield Road

2150 E. Sunshine Street, Springfield, MO

Planning an event that will create lasting memories from the second it begins to years later might seem like an impossible feat. But, have no fear, Hy-Vee is here! Do you need a catering service that checks all of the perfect event plan boxes? Hy-Vee has it!

As you gather together with friends, family or colleagues, Hy-Vee understands the importance of taking care of your guests, with safety and professionalism being their top priorities. Hy-Vee provides a professional catering service, a bakery filled with delicious treats and wheats, flowers for delivery or pickup, wine and spirits. Because Hy-Vee is known as the local grocery store that you can count on for the freshest products, you can rest easy knowing that your event is in good hands.

Hy-Vee will exceed your expectations in food and service quality for every event including luncheons, corporate events, charity events, open houses, on-site grilling, birthdays and even daily meetings. Everything that will go into creating your perfectly planned event, Hy-Vee has it! Whether you need an event to be catered or groceries to be delivered or picked up, Hy-Vee has incredible deals you do not want to miss out on. Call Hy-Vee and plan your amazing event today!!