If you missed Day 1 of our Two-Day Getaway in Springfield, MO, be sure to check it out!
Day 2 – Springfield, MO
We got up extra early to have breakfast in our hotel room so we could get to the zoo by the time it opened.
Dickerson Park Zoo
We began our day at Dickerson Park Zoo – it wasn’t too crowded, which was really nice. There was a parking spot right up front and we were surprised to find a peacock in the parking lot just roaming free. That became a theme for the day – there were peacocks roaming all over the zoo! We couldn’t have asked for better weather during our trip! And for those of you who play Pokemon – there were lots and lots of Pokestops here!
After a couple of hours, we were so hungry! The park was midway through our day, and it was attached to an eatery. There were a couple of picnic tables and we packed our own food. Afterwards, Kennedy made a new friend. One of the zoo workers said that it was just a few months old but was really friendly with guests – probably because it’s hand-fed all day long. Ha!
After eating, we found this little play area that had fountains! The kids loved running through them. Kahri liked to let the fountain come up and then she would put her hand under so a big blob of water would fall into her hands. We probably spent a good hour here!
You can purchase a ticket for the train, which goes around this little island where the lemurs are kept. It goes around twice but takes just a couple of minutes – it does not go around the entire zoo. I was pretty surprised to see that really the only thing keeping the lemurs on the island was being surrounded by water – otherwise, they weren’t fenced in at all! Christian was just so tickled to be on the train – he wanted to go again and again! You can also feed the fish right next to the train.
I was really surprised that they have an anaconda! How cool!
National Tiger Sanctuary
After the zoo, we headed to the National Tiger Sanctuary. This was one of the destinations we were really excited about! Our toddler loves big cats, and on the website we saw they had several Great Pyrenees dogs – which is the type of dog we have! When we arrived at the center, we parked in a big field and headed into the building.
I was greeted by an employee who didn’t have any clue about the press tour – no biggie, I’d wait up front while she got it all figured out. She came back and told us that the press tour was good for the Awareness Tour and gave us our wristbands. She then took my press pass and tore it off the rest of my packet and was going to keep it. I was so shocked and stammered – I need to keep this – that’s how I get into the rest of my tour. She was really annoyed and flipped it over and wrote on the back of it that this portion had been redeemed and then handed it back to me, obviously irritated.
We then proceeded through the doors where we saw a big cat in a cage, and then a couple more cats far off in the distance.
And that, my friends, was it. I’m going to be totally honest – we probably spent ten minutes, tops. I absolutely love their mission and what they’re trying to accomplish...but the way I was treated by a young employee, and the fact that it was literally standing at an exhibit with no instruction whatsoever was such a turn-off. I looked at the prices of this Awareness Tour –
- Adults $25
- Seniors (55+)/Local $20
- Children (3-12) $12
Considering it was self-guided, there was zero instruction or direction where to go, and you literally just walk up to one cage and then see a couple other cats in the distance…just left all of us…confused? Although I got this for free, had I paid for it I would have been thoroughly disappointed. If I were the sanctuary, I’d do away with the Awareness Tour completely. They offer other tours where I imagine you can get a full tour of the place plus get to feed the cats for the following prices:
- Adults $35
- Seniors (55+)/Local $30
- Children (3-12) $17
Tigers by Twilight
- Adults $40
- Seniors $35
- Children $20
You Feed Tour
- Per Person $60 ($106 Value!)
Behind the Scenes Tour
- Per Person $125
Day with the Director
- Per Person $250
Considering it was about 30 minutes from all of the other attractions, I wished that we would have known and just skipped it. Perhaps we would have enjoyed it had we been able to do a feeding tour.
Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield
I’ve always been really fascinated by the Civil War – the things that our country went through is almost unfathomable. We made our way to Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield. You enter the large building first to purchase a token that you feed a meter that lifts the gate for you to take the self-guided driving tour.
There are eight different spots for you to stop, with many trails. We took about a mile hike during the first spot before turning around because we got tired – LOL! Thankfully the rest of the stops were pretty close, though.
Unfortunately the doors were locked, but you could look in the windows! I am not certain if it’s permanently closed to tours, or if we were just there at an off-time.
The self-guided driving tour took us a couple of hours, but it was so cool! The history was incredible – and really humbling. Getting a chance to show our nation’s history to my kids was pretty priceless. As history buffs, this was my husband and me’s favorite.
After a really long day of hiking and walking, we decided to have some fun at Andy B’s. I’ve never quite seen anything like it – at least not where I’m from! They have luxury bowling, laser tag, and a game room – it’s HUGE! They don’t do bumpers for adults – it automatically comes up for the kids…but I really am not a good bowler so I didn’t even break 100:( I really liked how interactive the bowling experience was!
A word of caution: one of the screens at the bowling alley was playing TMZ, and the one right in front of us was playing music videos. Some of the content could be pretty provocative, so if this bothers you, I’d maybe choose an alternative option.
My favorite part of this entire trip was definitely laser tag. I’ve never done it before, but the girls had. If you’re wondering how we worked that out with a toddler, my husband had our son with him and they made it so that he didn’t need both hands on the gun for it to count. I scored the highest points – I had SO much fun! It was like a haunted theme – every time I ran past a certain area this lady would scream (not a real lady – part of the game), and so I’d scream thinking one of the girls saw me. It was Kirk and Christian and Kennedy against Kahri and me.
After redeeming our tickets at the ticket counter, we went back to the hotel for bed. We left early in the morning since we had a long drive home. We’ll definitely come back to Springfield – it was such a fun experience, and I LOVE that it was family-friendly!
Have you ever been? I’d love to hear your thoughts!
This post was sponsored by Springfield, MO Convention & Visitors Bureau.