Springtime is Funtime in Springfield

Games at Hammons Field, home of the AA Springfield Cardinals, are a sure sign of spring and summer in Missouri.

Spring, by definition, is the season of the year, occurring between winter and summer, during which the weather becomes warmer and plants revive – a time of growth and renewal.  In Springfield, the trees are green, the flowers are blooming and the mild winter has brought amazing opportunities to get out and enjoy some nature within the city.

Springfield is home to dozens of the most beautiful parks, trails and greenways you’ll ever see. Whether you’re looking to take a leisurely stroll, a scenic bike ride or a relaxing round of golf, the city has you covered.

Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World, Springfield

A trip to Springfield isn’t complete without a shopping excursion at Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World. Restock your fishing and hunting gear, replace that old tent and sleeping bag – even learn a new skill during one of the free Outdoor Skills Workshops.  It’s fun for the whole family and guaranteed to make outdoor memories to last a lifetime. While there, enjoy the huge aquariums, indoor waterfall and museum-quality wildlife dioramas and other displays that make the store one of Missouri’s top tourist attraction with more than 4 million visitors a year.

A sure sign spring has arrived is when the Springfield Cardinals 2012 season is underway at Hammons Field. The Springfield Cardinals, AA affiliate of the 2011 World Series Champion St. Louis Cardinals, provides a surefire way to entertain the whole family. With ticket prices starting at $5.50, it’s also an affordable way to entertain the family, especially on special promotional nights.  This year, 10 games will feature a fireworks display and special giveaways.

Last year marked the sesquicentennial of the Battle of Wilson’s Creek where, on Aug. 10, 1861, army units clashed near Wilson’s Creek, the site of the first major Civil War battle west of the Mississippi River. The 1,750-acre Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield is among the best preserved Civil War battlefields in the nation. Visitors to the battlefield can further understand the war and its impact through educational exhibits, a 27-minute film and a five-mile tour road with multiple interpretive stops along the way. In addition, walking trails lead to various sites within the battlefield, including the historic Ray House. Living-history demonstrations are presented on many weekends throughout the summer.

Flora and fauna lovers should check out the free Butterfly House and more than 20 gardens at the Springfield Botanical Center, which has more than 114 acres of specialty gardens, a playground and access to greenways trails.

Feed the giraffes at Dickerson Park Zoo.

The Dickerson Park Zoo is another great attraction for the whole family. The zoo and park offers a way to see hundreds of animals from around the world as well as beautiful landscaping throughout the grounds. Exhibits such as “Tropical Asia” and “Missouri Habitats” offer an up-close and personal view of animals and their natural habitats. The children’s playground, water feature, train ride and café provide additional opportunities to entertain the family on-site.

This is just a small sample of fun activities in Springfield. The city also has day spas and shopping, historical sites and tours, galleries and art displays, nightlife and dining, hiking trails and an ice park, wineries and a nature center, golf courses … the list goes on!

Learn more at www.VacationSpringfield.com or call the Convention & Visitors Bureau at 800-678-8767 to request a free Vacation Planning Kit. Also, be sure to download the free Springfield app for mobile devices available at www.VisitSpringfield.mobi or in your phone’s applications store.  The application features business listings, photos, navigation to sites around town, coupons and more.

We look forward to welcoming you to Springfield.

Written by Laura Whisler, marketing director for the Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau