Things to Do with Kids in Springfield, Missouri

Looking for things to do with your kids around southwest Missouri? Here are a few picks for kid-friendly activities and events year-round in and around Springfield.

by Michelle Lewis, Katie Pollock Estes, Jo Jolliff

May 2024

Family at Dickerson Park Zoo in Springfield MO
Photo courtesy Dickerson Park ZooTake a trip to Dickerson Park Zoo to see more than 450 animals, with something new around each corner.

Events, Education and Excitement

Silver Dollar City

399 Silver Dollar City Pkwy, Branson; 417-336-7100
Silver Dollar City takes you back in time to experience record-breaking thrills, delicious treats and a world of fun. With its wide range of thrill rides, Silver Dollar City holds something for every level of adventurer. The park opens for the season in March, falling at the perfect time for a visit during spring break.

Events at Silver Dollar City in 2024
Spring Break: March 9–24
Street Fest: April 11–29
Summer Nights: July 3 - August 4


2835 W. 76 Country Blvd, Branson; 417-231-9999
Let your imagination run wild at Wonderworks, a science-focused indoor amusement park that combines education and entertainment in the best way possible. With more than 100 hands-on exhibits you’ll find yourself exploring the principles of nature, experiencing hurricane winds and more right alongside your kiddos.

Events at Wonderworks 2024
National STEM Day: November 8 annually
Homeschool Days: Available January and February

Wonders of Wildlife National Museum & Aquarium

500 W. Sunshine St., Springfield; 888-222-6060
Wonders of Wildlife hosts the largest immersive wildlife attraction in the world. Walk through 1.5 miles of exhibits that hold over 800 species. See your kids’ faces light up as they explore some of the most extreme habitats in the world and surround themselves with creatures from the world’s oceans, lakes and streams.

Dickerson Park Zoo

1401 W. Norton Rd., Springfield; 417-833-1570
Take your kids on an adventure to see animals from all around the world without having to leave 417-land. With more than 450 animals from five continents and 1.2 miles of trails, there is something to see around every corner at the Dickerson Park Zoo. The early spring temperatures this time of year are perfect for seeing active animals and making the most of your visit to the zoo.

Village Meeple

1570 E. Battlefield Road, Suite F, Springfield
A $5 pass gets you access to this sweet little board game café for the whole day. Owners Jess and Sarah Hamlet stock this spot with a huge library of board games for all ages categorized by how light to intense they are to play, how many people can play, and how long they take to play. There are some snacks and drinks available to purchase too, so your kiddo can fuel up between rounds.

Bricks & Minifigs

1570 E. Battlefield, Springfield
If your kiddo has saved up some birthday money and is a non-stop Lego builder, they’ll love strolling through this shop. It features lots of new and used Lego sets for sale, but the best parts are the big bins of loose pieces (so they can find the perfect piece to complete their masterpiece) and the minifigures bins to build their own custom mini-figure.

Gooseberry Bridge Farm

1777 Elm Grove Road, Rogersville
We are absolutely obsessed with the baby animal play dates at Gooseberry Bridge Farm, a spot where you can cuddle a bunny, romp with a baby goat and pick a bouquet of fresh flowers all in one place. Several 417 Magazine families have brought our kiddos there, and we were all enchanted by the rollie pollie piggies, frisky goats and calm little bunnies!  Be sure to make a reservation before you go (they limit visitors for the sake of the animals).

The War Zone

3322 S. Campbell Ave., Springfield
Owned by a local mom with a Nerf-loving son, this spot is the perfect place for kids to let loose and battle it out with a seemingly endless supply of foam darts and balls. Kids choose their weapon from the spot’s wide array of Nerf guns—and then they run amok. And bonus: There’s no dart mess left in your living room.

Contender eSports

3010 S. National Ave., Springfield
If you have bigger kids who are big into video games, this is the spot for them. The space is decked out with gaming computers and consoles, comfy gaming chairs and everything they need to get into the game. Kids can come solo to weekly events or come with friends to play together.

Indoor Family Fun

Fritz's Adventure

1425 W. 76 Country Blvd., Branson, 417-320-6138
For little kids, the underground tunnels are perfect for sneakin’ around. Bigger kids can catch a thrill at The Aerodium, a high-flying sky-diving simulator. As an added bonus, the ropes course is just as fun for grown-ups as it is for kids.

Ocean Adventures

2630 S. Duquesne Rd., Joplin, 417-825-1650
The soft climbing play area where everything is toddler size is perfect for little kids. For bigger kids, the 26-foot slide that dumps them into a massive ball pit offers a real rush. If you’re looking for a photo op to go along with the fun, the beach-themed photo booth is waiting for you.

Urban Air

2825 S. Glenstone Ave., Springfield, 417-210-7889
Urban Air offers everything from a tubes playground where younger kids can race and slide to their hearts’ content to a warrior course where bigger kids can take on a challenging obstacle course. There’s a huge variety of activities that keep kids occupied all day.

The Jungle Gym

3322 S. Campbell Ave., Suite J., Springfield, 417-319-5595
There’s a wide variety of ways kids can climb, swing and slide at The Jungle Gym. There’s even a massive indoor sand pit for plenty of digging fun. But don’t bring your biggest kids because The Jungle Gym is for ages eight and younger.

Andy B's

1127 Battlefield Rd., Springfield, 417-883-1234
Sure, it’s not a playground. But there are a lot of ways to play. Younger kids love bowling with bumpers and ramps for frustration-free fun, while bigger kids can face off in underground laser tag. Plus there’s a restaurant at Andy B’s, so you can keep the kids from slipping into the hangry zone.

Giving Back with Your Kids

Least of These

1720 W. James River Rd., Ozark; 417-724-2500
Foods distributions at Least of These are the perfect activity for families with kids age 12 and older. Volunteers gather all of the needed supplies for families in need. Children living within the Webster County district will help prepare and not deliver to protect the privacy of families served.

Humane Society of Southwest Missouri

3161 W. Norton Rd., Springfield; 417-833-2526
With different volunteer activities for children ages 3 to 17, kids can help serve the Humane Society in a variety of different ways. From reading books to shelter animals so they can hear a kind voice to on-leash walks, kids can learn the importance of caring for animals in the community.

Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Ozarks

949 E. Primrose St., Springfield; 417-875-3500
The current biggest need for families staying at the Ronald McDonald house is the support of their Family Dinner Program. Your kiddos can help you purchase and prepare dinner for the families staying at Ronald McDonald while they focus their time on caring for their sick child or infant.

Convoy of Hope

1 Convoy Drive, Springfield; 417-823-8998
At Convoy of Hope, kids 10 to 17 years old can participate in Hands of Hope nights with a parent or legal guardian. Hands of Hope volunteers serve Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. to prepare resources for global distribution.

Looking for more ways to do good? Read our guide to giving back.

More Things To Do When School's Out

Written by Em Blackstone

Explore Local Museums

Springfield Art Museum
1111 E. Brookside Drive, Springfield; 417-837-5700
Admire the vast collection of art, or participate in classes and workshops for pre-k, school-aged children and teens who are interested in all things art.

History Museum on the Square
154 Park Central Square, Springfield; 417-831-1976
Explore eight interactive galleries that unravel the history of Springfield and the region.  Check their calendar for special summer events.

Discovery Center
438 E. St Louis St., Springfield; 417-862-9910
Come and gain hands-on learning experiences with science, technology, engineering and mathematics activities for kids of all ages.

Get in Touch with Your Artsy Side

Artistree Pottery
1423 E. Cherry St. Suite 103, Springfield; 417-368-0004
Craft your pottery piece while enjoying delicious food off their mouth-watering menu.

Firehouse Pottery
4150 S. Lone Pine Ave., Springfield; 417-881-8381
Keep pottery easy and fun for any age. Enjoy a stress-free time with simple tips that elevate your art to a professional level. Dive into the wide variety of special event packages.

Art Zone
840 Guin Road., Nixa; 417-224-9816
Enjoy easy walk-in pottery painting, enticing party packages and an abundance of art camps for kids of all ages to unleash their inner artist.

Catch a Round of Mini Golf

Getaway Golf
3833 E. State Hwy D, Springfield; 417-881-4653
Enjoy two 18-hole courses with an array of yard games and snacks. Don’t miss Wednesdays, where kids golf half off!

Big Shots Golf
1930 E. Kearney St., Springfield; 417-427-3040
Play in one of 56 tee boxes for people of all ages and skill levels. After your game, enjoy a variety of yard games and snacks and cozy up by the fire pits.

Shoot for the Stars Mini Golf
3110 W. 76 Country Blvd., Branson; 417-337-8700
Walk the path of fame by touring Hollywood's most iconic landmarks while this entertaining 18-hole course guides your along.