I’m the mom of little littles. Three years old and 7 months old, to be exact. The ideal trip for us can be made within a few hours of Kansas City, for either a quick weekend or even a day trip. We kicked this summer off with a Mother’s Day Springfield road trip. I love this town! It did not disappoint!
Day 1: Wonders of Wildlife Museum and Aquarium
Start your day with a trip to Hurts Donut and Coffee Ethic.
You can buy a half dozen donuts – six of your choice or six randomly selected for you. They’ve got the classics, like maple frosted, or fun concoctions covered in Cap’n Crunch. Coffee Ethic is a short walk away, and has delicious brew! Both Hurts Donut and Coffee Ethic are located near or in the historic town square, so you’ll have a great chance to enjoy a quick and tasty breakfast while taking in some of Springfield’s historic charm. If you have little littles, I’d suggest baby wearing or a stroller. While the walks aren’t necessarily long for an adult, those little legs might appreciate the help.
Spend Your Day at the Wonders of Wildlife National Museum and Aquarium.
The sign outside says that the aquarium was voted best in the world. Once you’ve toured it, you’ll likely agree. This aquarium is worth the trip!
If you’re taking little littles, take a stroller! You’ll walk close to a mile and a half to get through the aquarium, which might be a bit much if you’re also wearing a small child and carrying a diaper bag. Give yourself time to enjoy. My three year old likes to rush through things, and it still took us three hours to complete both the aquarium and the museum. We didn’t even stroll through the store. Speaking of three year olds – mine was scared of the animals in the museum. He was OK with the aquarium, but coming face to face with a lion left him uneasy. If you’re looking to cut some time off of your trip or your children have a history of being uneasy around animals, consider just visiting the aquarium.
If you’ve got time, get your chocolate fix at Askinosie.
Only open on Saturday from 11-3, this beautiful shop has a great backstory (what can I say, I’m a sucker for a story about a lawyer who breaks the ranks), a unique business model, and a delicious selection of chocolate. If you fall in love, like we did, you can even find their products around Kansas City!
Have dinner at the Springfield Brewing Company.
You don’t have to drink beer to enjoy Springfield Brewing Company. We enjoyed fried pickles and a flight of brew during our stop. With a great menu and house made root beer, there is definitely something for the entire family here.
Day 2: Dogwood Canyon or Table Rock Lake
Have breakfast at the Aviary Cafe.
A delicious array of sweet and savory crepes. Need I say more? I highly recommend the Pomme Frites and the Shrimp and Andouille Crepe.
Our trip was very tailored to little littles. Once the kids get older, we intend to go back to enjoy Fantastic Caverns and lunch at Lambert’s Cafe with their famous throwed rolls! We also love how close Springfield is to Branson and Table Rock Lake! It is easily part of a bigger lake trip!
Consider some nearby attractions.
Springfield is just an hour from Table Rock Lake, which is possibly the most beautiful lake in Missouri. We took a little detour through the area and visited Dogwood Canyon in Lampe, Missouri. Because we were both crazy and a bit ill-prepared, we decided to walk the entire 6.5-mile trail. It went great, with the trail being relatively flat the entire way. We took strollers and a picnic lunch, and the whole outing took us about four hours. If we were to go again, we’d rent a couple of bikes and pull the kids in a carriage.