This past weekend, we took our kids on a little family getaway to Springfield, MO. We kept this a surprise from the kids and made all the plans without them knowing about it. On the day we left, the dog was scheduled for a “playdate” at Petropolis to hang out with her “pup friends”. The kids were told we were going to a park and dinner and it was a little far away so everyone had to come with. The teenager asked why he couldn’t just stay home and we bring dinner back for him….trust us kid, trust us!
We dropped the dog off and headed out. We drove…and drove…”Mom, where are we going? Are we ever going to get there?”…and drove…”Mom, all we can see is grass and cows. Before we get there it’s going to be dark and we have to still drive home?” My response, “Stop asking questions and just go along for the ride.”
We pulled up to Home2 Suite Hilton and parked the car. “Mom, wait…where is the park? Why are we stopped at a hotel?” Surprise!!!! I told them that this year’s April Fool’s joke was more like a fun vacation, not so much a joke. They were so excited. The girls started jumping up and down and exclaiming how much they loved hotels. The boys were asking what town and state we were in and if there was a pool. They were excited about the answer and everyone jumped out of the car in excitement.
We got all checked in to the suite, everyone picked their bed and sleeping partner of choice and then we made dinner plans. They were so excited to be at a hotel that they didn’t want to go out for dinner. We ended up just going to Walgreens for snacks and some forgotten items that were needed and grabbed munchy snacks there. Of course, a trip downstairs to the pool was the next desired task so off we went. The kids all love the water so that was a hit for all of us.
We all enjoyed staying up late and watching movies. Sleeping in in the morning didn’t exactly happen though. They were all so excited for the day’s adventures. I had stayed up the night before and planned out lots of places for us to go. More than we ended up having time to do in one day. We started out with breakfast in the hotel then drove to a local coffee drive-thru called Dark Stone Coffee. My husband, boys and I all got different coffee drinks to try. It was delicious, fast service and very friendly staff. I would highly recommend them.
Next we headed out to The World’s Largest Fork located outside the Classy Llama. My oldest son is fascinated by The World’s Largest items and says he wants to eventually see them all. This one was particularly neat to him. He really enjoyed it and even attempted to climb it to no avail. It was too slick and steep but just trying was fun.
Next up was Battlefield Mall. Most of the malls by us have failed or are failing. People just aren’t going like they used to and the stores can’t keep up with the lack in sales. It is sad really. This mall was in full swing! Tons of stores, tons of people and it was so nice just to meander around the mall. We let the kids each pick out a toy from the center kiosk toy stand which was a hit. The girls picked barking puppies and son #2 picked a little green Among Us stuffed toy. In his defense, we didn’t bring his faithful ostrich that he snuggles with to sleep. Now we would have a stuffy for the second night away.
We worked up an appetite walking the mall and headed over to Lambert’s Ozark Café. My husband and I had been to Lamberts in Sikeston before with our oldest son but he was little and didn’t remember. We were so excited that they were still doing the pass arounds and the roll throwing. The kids really enjoyed watching them and catching the rolls as they flew through the air. The food was delicious and we all got filled up plus lots to bring back to the suite to enjoy later.
On the way back to the suite, we stopped off at the 1984 Arcade and got info about them. Considering their price and the age of our girls, we divided for a while. The girls and I rested at the suite then went back to the pool downstairs. My husband and the boys went on to the arcade. They had a blast. They said it was 2 stories and there were so many of the amazing, classic 1980’s games. It was $10 per person to get in and that covered all but the pinball games. Those were an additional $.50 a game. The decorations and games were spot on and brought back many childhood memories for my husband. In a few years, we will return to Springfield and all 6 of us will go to the arcade together.
We love trying new places to eat and try to get local. We found a place called PaPPo’s pizza and ordered that for delivery for dinner. It was really good pizza. They had something for everyone in my family including vegan cheese for me! They even have gluten-free and cauliflower crust for those that desire that option. I had no idea until looking farther into this place that we have a location here in St. Louis!
The next day we decided to make our trek home but stop along the way at the roadside attractions. Our first of these stops was The World’s Largest Gift Shop. It was indeed a large gift shop. It had a little of everything for everyone. Again, we let the kids pick out one item that they wanted that they could enjoy for the way home. They all picked something a little different. 4×4 Rubik’s Cube, stuffed ostrich, Hatchimal large egg with a stuffy and a Melissa & Doug popsicle set. $80 later, we are on our way to our next stop.
Next up was only a couple miles down the road. It was a large knife warehouse called Shephard Hills Factory Outlet. It had a bunch of different knife companies and a lot of variety. I found a craft organizer and some sunglasses for a great price. My son #2 and husband each purchased a pocket knife to use for camping this summer.
Uranus was next on the agenda. Yes, the name of a planet and a puny place to go. They had quite the little set up in that small town. I think the town was just that little set up alone. It was the home of The World’s Largest Belt Buckle which we, of course, stopped and got pictures with. They also had giant butterfly wings up on a trailer for a photo op and my girls enjoyed that, pretending they were butterflies. We walked over to the General Store where we got 4 hunks of The Best Fudge in Uranus. See, puny! It was indeed some very tasty fudge. As we were leaving, we hear, “Thanks for picking Uranus”, ha so puny!
While walking to the General Store, we say they had a circus sideshow. It was very much like a small town Ripley’s Believe It or Not. It had lots of two-headed creatures, largest lady that was never officially recorded but was a Missouri native, some artifacts that were “real or not?”, and a lady that did some old magic tricks and swallowed a sword. The kids really enjoyed the sword swallowing and say they want to learn to do that. The lady told them it took her 3 months to learn how to do it successfully. Was it worth $25 for all of us to go in? Probably because the kids got to see some unusual things and did have fun. The boys read the info signs and the girls asked, “Is this real?” for everything in there.
After we saw all there was to see in Uranus, we drove on to my husband’s old college town, Rolla. He showed the kids his old dorm, house he had with friends, and we tried a local coffee shop called The Giddy Goat. The coffee there was really strong which is what is needed for college students! I saw my fraternity’s local house and a couple of the girls sitting out front visiting. It was all nice to see, we grabbed a bite at Panera, and headed back home.
So, if you are looking for a small town in Missouri to go and visit, there was so many neat little things to do in Springfield. We didn’t even scrape the surface of all that town has to offer. Have you ever visited Springfield? Have you been to a different small town you loved? I would love to hear about it in the comments!
Featured Picture: https://www.springfieldmo.gov/