Over the weekend, Jenny from JennyChing.com and I teamed up to go explore Springfield, MO. It is just under three hours from Kansas City and a very easy drive. Springfield is the third largest city in Missouri and filled with fun! Also, we hear it is “where dreams come true.”
Where to stay?
The tropically-inspired Ramada Plaza Springfield Hotel & Oasis Convention Center was our home for the weekend. It is conveniently located off I-44 between Tulsa and St. Louis, and only 30 miles north of Branson. We started our mornings right with a free breakfast buffet.
As bloggers, we were very excited that we could stay connected with free WiFi internet access. Though, we forgot our swimsuits we highly recommend you pack them and enjoy a relaxing swim in their outdoor heated pool. The Ramada Plaza includes an onsite fitness center to keep you in shape. Plus, get a delicious meal from their onsite restaurant, Fire and Ice.
If you’re flying into town you can free airport shuttle service. Plus, don’t worry if you’re road tripping like we did the hotel offers free parking, too.
Where to eat?
Black Sheep is more than greasy griddle burgers. These beefy patties are a true indulgence. There are 12 burgers in all, including one quinoa burger, and the range of flavors is impressive. One stunning burger, dubbed Cowboy Carl, comes with a house-ground beef patty topped with slow roasted brisket, briny pickles, candied bacon, white cheddar cheese, and a mound of spicy fried onions. This towering behemoth is nearly 6 inches tall, and takes some skill to eat. The group behind us got it while we skittishly chose the simple mouth-watering double patty cheeseburger with salt and pepper fries.
Then there are the boozy shakes, blended with Andy’s Frozen Custard and all sorts of sweet additions including slices of blackberry pie. Each shake is named after a rock star, so it’s no surprise to hear rock music on the stereo overhead. Even the fries here have a delicious twist.
Of course, there are a few not so calorie-packed options including gluten-free bread, veggie burgers, and at least two salads, which seem like a better fit for during more so typical active days of both of us. It’s ok though, it was a free cheat pass for the weekend!
Cheers to good pizza! While on the Trolley Bike we met some great fellow Springfielders that owned this wonderful casual spot to hang out. Check it out after a fun night of dancing for the ultimate social spot. Located in Downtown Springfield, The Brick is the only destination in Queen City offering a full selection of pizza by the slice.
We especially loved their garlic knots, delicious.
What to do?
Andy B’s Entertainment
Andy B’s might just be the most exciting thing to do in Springfield. Not only can you bowl, but you can eat, play games and get in a great workout doing laser tag.
With 21 lanes of traditional bowling, 10 VIB (Very Important Bowler) bowling lanes, an underground laser tag arena designed to look, feel and SOUND like an abandoned mine, a large Arcade game room with every game you could want, FULL SERVICE Restaurant and Bar, and private event and meeting rooms downstairs… you’ll never run out of fun things to do at Andy B’s.
The Trolley Bike is an open air “party bus” 14-passenger quadricycle. The trolley bike has six seats lining both sides and a back bench for riders to sit on. Only instead of just sitting there, these bike seats have pedals at your feet. That’s right, we got our workout in while we explored. Riders work together to casually pedal The Trolley Bike around a designated route and stop whenever a thirst needs quenching.
The Trolley Bike is controlled and steered by a Conductor (Brian was ours and he was awesome) who guides you on your tour and makes sure everyone is safe and having a great time. The Trolley Bike is perfect for bar crawls, bachelor/bachelorette parties, company outings, Springfield Cardinals games, charity events and so much more.
A tour on The Trolley Bike is hands down one of the most fun things to do with friends in Springfield MO. There is really no better way to explore downtown Springfield. Make sure you tell Brian that Sarah and Jenny said Hi. 😉 We will be back!
If you find yourself anywhere near Fanastic Caverns, you have to visit. This was one of the neatest things we’ve seen. Not only do you get to ride around in caves, your driver even lets you touch the ceiling, but you’ll also learn so much about them.
Fanastic Caverns is a small, family owned business, it was discovered in 1862 by an Ozarks farmer – or more precisely, by his dog, who crawled through an entrance. Your driver will even show you the hole that the dog found, you won’t believe how small it is. It wasn’t until five years later that the first exploration took place: 12 women from Springfield, answering a newspaper ad seeking explorers, ventured into the cave. Their names remain on a cave wall today.
Fantastic Caverns is absolutely beautiful, the beauty is hard to capture in a photograph and honestly it’s a must see to even understand how truly amazing the caves are. The Cave is toured in jeep-drawn trams. Since you ride all of the way through, you experience the magnitude, the stillness, and the splendor of Fantastic Caverns while preserving its natural features. This is the perfect adventure for people of all ages. We loved it!
Creative Escape Glass
Creative Escape Glass is a MUST!! We have never felt so artsy and had so much fun creating a masterpiece from pieces of glass. Plus, the owners could not be any sweeter. They were encouraging and helped us bring out our inner artist.
Creative Escape Glass LLC is a fused glass open studio where you can learn how to make your own fused glass pieces! We went during open studio time which allows you to create according to your schedule, once you learn the basics. No experience is necessary. They walked us through everything.
If we were locals, we’d be there every week!! Each week we have a specific theme or project style during the week and a Saturday Project which is normally a great beginner piece to help with inspiration. Check out our Studio Calendar to see upcoming projects.
There will also be formal classes where you can learn new techniques or make specific pieces. Our wide variety of classes include some classes appropriate for most ages. Date Night, Girls Night Out and Just the Guys events will allow for more flexibility in creating but add an additional element of fun. Private parties can also be arranged for groups of 6-12. For more info on classes go to their Classes page.
Finnegan’s Wake Irish Pub & Restaurant
We found ourselves doing a little exploring at night and Finnegan’s was a great time. Springfield’s oldest Irish pub serving traditional Irish Food along with burgers, sandwiches, salads, two full service bars with 40 beers on draft and 17 Irish whiskeys on tap. Shuffleboard, foosball and pool – no cover charge.
We had so much fun exploring Springfield and can’t wait to go back. These are just some of the amazing things you can do in this unique, fun filled city. Stay tuned for our follow up as we plan to head back and explore the many other things Springfield, MO has to offer. Until then, we encourage you to find a travel partner or get out on your own and give Springfield a visit.
Disclosure: We were provided with hotel accommodations and press related access as part of our tour. However, all opinions are our own.