SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Downtown Springfield is more than just bars and college students. Whether you’re wondering why you should return downtown or you want to experience it for the first time, you’ll find no shortage of reasons to go.

Below is OzarksFirst’s list of our favorite things to do in downtown Springfield besides bars:

Watch a Cardinals game

Going to see a Springfield Cardinals game is one of the best bangs for your buck. You can get a ticket for as low as $10 and watch the Baby Birds take on opponents from the Texas League’s North Division in Hammons Field. Whether you’re there for the hot dogs or the love of the game, watching the Cards play should be on everyone’s Springfield to-do list.

See a show

The only things that rival bars and restaurants in downtown Queen City are shows and venues. You can see a movie at the Moxie Cinema. Get tickets to a play or musical at the Springfield Little Theatre or Springfield Contemporary Theatre. Catch a live performance at Springfield Improv, the Gillioz Theatre, the Blue Room Comedy Club or Abou Ben Adhem Shrine Mosque. Your options are plenty, with chances to see anything from stand-up comedy to ballet performances.

Play a game

If you’re more into the idea of going head-to-head with your friends in a single-elimination Galaga tournament, head to 1984. As its name suggests,1984 is a blast from the past — an arcade full of cabinets and games from the 80s and further back. Get low-res with classics that range anywhere from Pong to Paperboy. 1984 is a breath of fresh air compared to modern arcades that charge you a dollar a minute to drop ping pong balls into holes for sticky hand toy prizes.

Go ice skating

Jordan Valley Ice Park offers open skating sessions throughout the week and year to give the public a chance to hit the ice. You don’t have to land triple axels in order to enjoy an hour or two on the ice. Take the kids, take your friends, go solo — just bring a jacket.


Plan your trip downtown to coincide with one of the many festivals held in the area throughout the year. You have your usual holiday events such as the Christmas and St. Patrick’s Day parade. If you’re a fan of craft-and-food-booth festivals, be sure to check out Cider Days in September or Taste of Somo in June. Ozarks Pridefest, ArtsFest, the Birthplace of Route 66 Festival — the list goes on.

Throw an axe

Jump on board the fad of axe-throwing for an interesting way to spend an hour with friends or a date you’re trying to impress. Springfield has its own axe-throwing attraction downtown worth checking out. Head to Craft Axe Throwing to unleash your inner Viking.

These are just a few attractions and activities you can enjoy on a downtown Springfield adventure without dropping your paycheck on a bar tab. If you have anything you enjoy doing that isn’t on this list, be sure to let us know at news@kolr10.com.