Springfield has a population of just over 150,000 people and it is the 3rd largest city in Missouri. The city is also known as the “Queen City of the Ozarks” as well as the “Birthplace of Route 66”. There are so many things to do in Springfield, it is no wonder why the city attracts tourists from all over the United States and the rest of the world. For those who love the great outdoors, there are lots of trails, rivers, streams, and parks well worth visiting.
With almost 100 parks in Springfield, it’s hard to know where to start. Some have paved trails, others have a dog park, tennis courts, pools, playgrounds for children, the list goes on. You are bound to find a park ideal for you and your family. To help you decide on which park to go to, we will take a closer look at some of the best parks that Springfield has to offer in this article.
Cruse Dog Park
If you are traveling with a dog or you live in Springfield and you are looking to bring your dog to the park, make sure you check out Cruse Dog Park. Walking a dog is important for both the dog’s physical and mental health, however, not all dogs like walking on a leash. If your dog prefers to walk without a leash, then Cruse Dog Park is a great place to let the dog walk and run freely. In 2008, 6-acres of the park was sectioned off to allow dogs to run and play without having to wear a leash. This is fantastic for those who want their dog to socialize with other dogs.
One problem a lot of dog owners face while visiting dog parks is that some of the dogs are much larger than others. Small dogs sometimes struggle to socialize with bigger breeds. To solve the issue, the management of the park has sectioned the area into two. One section for smaller breeds and another one for larger dogs. However, the park only allows registered dogs, so before becoming a member you might want to test the park first. If it is your first time, consider purchasing a daily pass. This is a good way of finding out whether or not your dog enjoys the park. Before registering your dog, you will be asked to produce your dog’s Certificate of Vaccination for Rabies.
Membership costs $25 per dog, which has to be renewed at the start of every season. A daily pass costs $10, however you will have to pay an extra $10 deposit.
Jordan Valley Park
Jordan Valley Park is a great place for families and friends to have a wonderful day out. If you are planning a picnic, look no further. The park is located in the center of the city, and over 300 local people have helped with the design of the property. There are plenty of open spaces, an art center, playgrounds, an ice park, buildings and meadows.
One of the park’s main attractions is the Jordan Valley Park’s Ozark Stream and Fountain. The interactive water feature runs throughout the day. There is an incredible fountain show that is worth watching, and it is on the hour, every hour, so don’t miss out. Entrance into the park is completely free and if you are looking for parking, you can find a spot at the Valley Ice Park.
Due to the ongoing pandemic, visitors to the park are expected to wear masks and practice social distancing.
Nathanael Green/ Close Memorial Park
If you are planning a trip to the Nathanael Greene/Close Memorial Park, why not begin by visiting the botanical gardens first? There are lots of classes that people can take, plus events and exhibitions going on throughout the year in the Springfield-Greene County Botanical Center.
If you are a tourist, the gift shop is a great place to purchase some presents for your friends and family members at home. There are also community rooms, a water fountain, and plenty of information available about the park and the gardens. There are a lot of friendly staff members available, so if you have any questions about the gardens, don’t hesitate to ask them. There are lots of garden and tree experts in Springfield like the Trufast. Here are some of the areas worth checking out:
- South Creek Greenway: There is a 10km paved trail from McDaniel Park Trailhead that goes all the way to Wilson’s Creek Greenway. Many people like to cycle the trail while others like to walk or run it. The trial is perfect for those in wheelchairs or families with a stroller.
- Themed Gardens: There are a lot of themed gardens throughout the park.
- Mizumoto Japanese Stroll Garden: This traditional Japanese garden was made in 1986, and it includes three lakes, a teahouse, mature landscaping, and a beautiful mediation garden. If you want to take a break from the world for a while, this is the place for you. A daily pass for adults is only $4, and children under the age of 12 years old will have to pay $2. Admission is free for babies under 3 years old. The gardens are only open from April to October.
- Play trail: If you are looking to have a great day with your children, then don’t miss out on the Play Trail designed for kids. First on the trail is the main playground and then there are 5 botanical themed play areas. This gives the chance for kids to play with butterflies and caterpillars.
These are just a few of the many things you can do in the Nathanael Greene/Close Memorial Park.
Just over one hundred years ago Sequiota Park became a State Fish Hatchery. Although the park was located far from the center of Springfield, there was a train service available which attracted lots of day visitors since it became a State Fish Hatchery. Today, the park attracts people from all over, not just because of the nice scenery, but because there are lots of boat trips available where visitors can see some of the world’s most endangered species. The caves in the park are home to the gray bats, which are endangered. However, the caves are closed to the public to help protect the species.
If you want your children to learn about wildlife, then you must visit Sequiota Park. There is a picnic area and a playground.
Silver Springs Park
If you are looking to play some sports, Silver Springs Park might be your best option. The park was established in 1918 and during segregation, it was the only park in Springfield that allowed black residents access. The park is a stone’s throw away from Drury University and the OTC. Here are a few of the features in the park:
- Multiple tennis courts
- Basketball courts
- Picnic tables
- Grills so you can cook yourself
- Playgrounds for the kids
- Swimming Pool
There is a big parade held every year in the park for the Park Day Reunion. There are lots of concerts and other live entertainment on display to celebrate the occasion and even a beauty pageant. The event takes place on the first weekend in August each year.