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Top Parks in Springfield MO: Find Nature Attractions and Fun, Fast! 

 July 14, 2021

By  417 Local Editorial Team

Because of all the incredible things to see in do in Springfield, MO, it’s a great place to live! One of the best things about it are all of the awesome parks. 

In this article:

  1. Parks in Southwest Springfield
  2. Northwest Springfield Parks
  3. Central Springfield/Downtown Parks
  4. Northeast Springfield Parks
  5. Parks in Southeast Springfield

Note: If you are looking for a place you or your loved ones can go on a walk or light hike in Springfield, you may additionally want to look at this list of best Springfield trails article.

Let’s dive in so you can get outside!

Southwest Springfield

Chesterfield

Chesterfield park in Springfield

211 W Republic Rd

With an expansive field, track, plenty of playground, and even an entire community center, Chesterfield park is a gem hiding in plain sight in SW Springfield.

Chesterfield is a great place to fly a kite, go for a walk, or just sit in a shaded pavilion to watch your kids play on the playground.

Chesterfield also boasts one of the only pickleball courts in Springfield at its Community Center; not to mention it has an impressive indoor pool, fitness area and plenty of other opportunities for fitness and fun!

McBride

pavillion and fields at McBride park

5005 S Farm Road 135

The McBride park is one more of the three parks that offer a disc golf course. All three made the list. That’s how fun disc golf is!

Once you’re done with your round of disc golf, enjoy the park trails, make use of the soccer field, or stop and enjoy lunch at the picnic areas.

McBride park partners with McBride school to provide you with an inclusive playground to use (outside of school hours).

playground at McBride Park

Nathaneal Greene / Close Memorial

2400 S Scenic Ave

You could probably visit this park multiple times and still not see all there is to discover on the over 100 acres of land.

The park is home to Springfield Botanical Gardens, which has been consistently rated as one of Springfield’s top attractions.

If you’re at the park April-October, you can check out the butterfly house.

butterfly house at nethaneal greene

If you’re a history buff (or even if you just like looking at old stuff), you should stop by the Grey-Campbell Farmstead on the east side of the park. It’s the oldest cabin in Springfield!

Nathaneal Greene park is also where you can find the Mizumoto Japanese Stroll Garden.

There’s much more to explore as well! Find out all about the park here.

Additionally, you can hear Jesse with Wiser Living Realty talk about this park and a few of his other favorite Springfield parks in this video:

Rutledge-Wilson Farm Park

Rutledge-Wilson Farm Park

3825 W Farm Rd 146

Yep. You read that right. Farm Park.

Rutledge-Wilson Farm Park is exactly that. It’s a park that’s also a working farm.

When you visit the farm park, you are welcome to greet the animals in the barn and all around the property at the top of the hill.

The farm part of the park uses its fields to grow pumpkin, corn, and other demonstration crops. You’ll also find gardens and flower beds throughout the acreage.

Within the 207 acres are pasture lands, trails, a 20-acre native prairie, Wilson’s Creek, and a pond for fishing.

The property also has a unique farm-themed playground which offers hours of hide and seek activities, climbing, and more, and some pedal tractors for the kids.

pedal tractors at rutledge

Find out more about their animals, activities, and events on their website.

Northwest Springfield

Doling

pond at doling park

301 E. Talmage St.

Back in the early 1900s, Doling Park actually ran as an amusement park. Yup. With a rollercoaster and pony show and all kinds of fun. At one point, there was even a famous roller rink

All of those uses of the park are now long gone, and a fantastic family-friendly park remains. 

Doling has a cave, fresh springs, a Doling Lake with plenty of geese, trails in the wooded area, and multiple playgrounds. In addition, they’ve turned the remnants of that old roller rink’s brick building into a beautiful space that can be rented for outdoor weddings and events.  

In addition to an epic park, there’s even a museum now located in the park where you can learn about Doling’s colorful history!

Ritter Springs

3683 W Farm Rd 92

With its over 200 acres to explore, Ritter Springs Park is on the outer edges of Springfield but is worth the drive!

You can spend hours simply hiking the gorgeous wooded trails. But, if hiking isn’t your thing, you could just relax by the serene lake or streams. Ritter Springs also has standard park items like playgrounds, pavilions, and picnic tables. 

Also, the park has an archery range. How cool is that?

Nichols

1900 W Nichols

This park is another hidden gem in northwest Springfield. The majority of its borders are surrounded by neighborhood homes and it is away from any major roads. 

One of the many reasons Nichols Park is worth finding is that it’s one of only two parks in Springfield with an outdoor pickleball court!  And you know how much we love our pickleball!

You should also check out the new playground that was put in just a few years ago, watch a game at the lighted baseball field, or maybe even plan a cook-out and take advantage of the park’s grills and picnic area

Washington

1600 N. Summit

Established back in 1896, Washington Park was one of the first public parks in Springfield. 

The gorgeous large wooden gazebo is the centerpiece of the park and has been the stage for multiple performances over the decades. When I see the structure, I can’t help but picture an old brass band or barbershop quartet belting out to park goers that have come for a lazy mid-afternoon to catch the show.  

The four-acre park also includes a playground, basketball and tennis courts, a picnic area, and grills.

Central Springfield

Fassnight

1301 S Campbell Ave

Springfield built our first public swimming pool and two-story fieldstone bathhouse at Fassnight Park. They’re still there today because even though the city considered changing its architecture in the late 70s, the public demanded the buildings retain their original structures that had stood for half a century.  

While you’re checking out the historical structures, note the beautiful stone bridges that the city built over the creek in the 1930s. 

The park has 28 acres to roam, and the long path of the creek is often fully flowing. 

Because of its excellent location in the center city and its wide-open spaces, Fassnight park is often the host to events, car shows, and community picnics. 

Meador

playgrounds and more at Meador Park

2500 S Fremont

Another park for all the sports lovers out there! Meador has a baseball stadium, four tennis courts, a basketball court, five softball fields and is home to Drury University Baseball and Softball teams.  

Sitting on 40 acres behind Battlefield Mall, this park is surprisingly easy to miss if you generally stick to the main roads in Springfield. 

Seek out this park if only to find its pickleball courts. That’s right! They have pickleball!

Meador still offers playgrounds, grills, picnic tables, a wading pool, and a swimming pool for the less sports enthused. 

Phelps Grove

950 E Bennett St

Whenever you need to find a peaceful spot to spend an afternoon, Phelps Grove Park should be first on your list. 

beautiful trees at phelps grove park

You’ll find this park nestled in a historic neighborhood surrounded by gorgeous homes. 

Maybe it’s all of the majestic old trees that make it so peaceful. Or perhaps it’s the quiet atmosphere that comes from its distance away from any major roads. Or maybe the peacefulness comes from the park goers themselves, who generally visit the park to lay in their tree hammocks, find a shady spot to read or join in the yoga and exercise classes the park frequently hosts.    

Read more about the park, nearby attractions, and its unique history at the link above.  

Downtown Parks in Spring Field

Founders Park

330 E. Water Street

When I think of a park, I usually think of grassy paths, playgrounds, and maybe a few picnic tables.

Founders Park has none of that. But it’s still awesome.

Founders Park in Springfield MO

The park location is where Springfield all started and is designed after the historic Phoenix Quarry that ran its operation just north of Springfield. Founders is less than an acre and is mainly made of and paved with concrete.

When you stop by, take some time to marvel at the 10 ft x 120 ft mural that shows the first 100 years of Springfield’s history.  

My favorite spot at Founders is the spring, a re-creation of the original spring on the property when our founding fathers were just getting started.

If you’re still looking for a bit of nature, Founders has a small upper woods area and a place that grows native prairie grasses.

Because the park also has a 250 seat amphitheater (made up of concrete slabs), there are concerts, performances, and movie showings happening at least monthly at this little park. Check it all out here

Jordan Valley

the streams at Jordan Valley Park

 

635 E. Trafficway St

Just a short walk from Founders Park (down Jordan Creek Greenway) is Jordan Valley Park.

You can enjoy this park any time of year, but make sure to visit in the summer.

Summertime is when Jordan Valley comes alive! The fountains are turned on, and the cascading stream is flowing.

The park fills up with locals that come to wade in the stream, splash in the fountains, and just bask in the sun on the beautiful grassy hills.

Northeast Springfield

Cooper

cooper sports complex in Springfield

2300-2700 E Pythian

If you are an avid sports lover, then I’m sure you already know about this park.  Or at least you should!

Cooper Park is home to 14 outdoor soccer fields, indoor and outdoor tennis courts, a 5-field lighted baseball complex, an indoor soccer field, and a mile and a half of track.

Even if you’re not into sports, the park still has plenty for you to enjoy. There are trails to enjoy, picnic shelters, a pavilion, and a newly renovated playground.

playground at cooper park

Silver Springs

1100 N. Hampton

This park is nestled in the city near OTC and Drury University.

As apparent by its name, Silver Springs park has a spring on site that flows into Jordan Creek.

The area is perfect for a pleasant stroll along the rock-lined creek. The park’s wide-open spaces also give ample opportunity to spread out a picnic blanket on what was once known as Old Fairbanks Pasture.

silver springs park in springfield mo

Along with having a playground, basketball courts, and a baseball field, this park also has horseshoes.

When’s the last time you’ve gone to a park and played horseshoes?

Silver Springs Pool is also on-site and open during the warmer seasons.

Tom Watkins

2100 W High St

One of the many reasons Tom Watkins Park makes the cut on our list is because it has a disc golf course!

Public service announcement:  If you haven’t delved into the wonderful world of disc golf, get out there and do it!

The disc golf course was renovated in 2018 and offers 18 glorious holes.

disc golf course at Tome Watkins

You could also enjoy the park for its wide-open spaces and its bright and clean playground.

Because of the beautiful wooded area, the park is nicely hidden from the main roads of Kearney. But if you follow the address I gave you above, you’ll be able to find this gem easy-peasy.

Southeast Springfield

Lake Springfield

the lake at Springfield Lake park5324 S Kissick Avenue

There is absolutely no way I could fit all there is to do at Lake Springfield Park into this article!

I’ll try to hit the highlights, and you can read more details on their website.

The first and most apparent is the lake. There is more than a mile of lake shoreline within the park’s 158-acre expanse. Go up to the boathouse to rent kayaks, canoes, or stand-up paddleboards. Bring your pole and pick a spot to fish. Or dip your toes in the gentle waters along the shoreline.

Lake Springfield park also features miles and miles of trails, breathtaking bluffs, acres of woods to explore, and plenty of wildlife to spot.

The park’s playground is atop the hill and has a beautiful view of the valleys, and of course, the lake.

Living Memorial

4323 S Nature Center Way

Fun fact: President Harry Truman himself came and dedicated Living Memorial Park back in 1958. The park was dedicated in honor of America’s veterans.

Outdoor enthusiasts usually pass this 10-acre park on their way over to Springfield Conservation Nature Center, just down the road.

Surprisingly, pretty much every Springfield local has passed by this park, as the James River Freeway runs right by the park’s north side.

Next time you’re in that area, stop by and explore the park. It has trails, a nice pavilion, and an eye-catching amphitheater. Maybe stop and have a picnic lunch before you head over to the nature center or hop back on the highway.

Oak Grove

1538 S Oak Grove Ave.

This park is one of only a few parks in Springfield that has a disc golf course. The course at Oak Grove park is quite the challenge, and the beautiful trees scattered throughout the park add to the difficulty of obtaining the perfect score.

Oak Grove has 10 acres to stretch your legs and get some fresh air. The park also has basketball goals, a small playground, and a community center.

Sequiota

Sequiota

3500 S. Lone Pine Ave.

Sequiota Park is probably one of the most popular parks in Springfield, and for a good reason.

The location of the park is ideal. It is close to Galloway Village and also has a section of Galloway Creek Greenway running through it.

The park has something for everyone. There are trails, a pond, waterfalls, playgrounds, a pavilion, picnic spots, streams, and huge iconic rocks.

Sequiota Cave is on the park’s property and is home to the endangered grey bat.

 

Springfield Park FAQs

How many parks are in Springfield MO?

With over 110 public parks, the Springfield MO area has so much to explore and experience. You can enjoy tennis courts, pickleball courts, playgrounds, pools, disc golf courses, and more. The list goes on so there is no excuse not to get outside in the green space!

What is the best park in Springfield?

It’s hard to pick the best park in Springfield. Some of the top parks on our list that we continually return to are:

  • Sequiota
  • Meador & Nichols (because of their pickleball!)
  • Lake Springfield
  • Ritter Springs
  • Rutledge-Wilson Farm Park
  • Jordan Valley
  • Phelps Grove
  • Nathaniel Green
  • Doling
  • And Tom Watkins Park because of its disc golf course!

What parks in Springfield have disc golf?

The Tom Watkins Park, McBride school park, and Oak Grove park all have disc golf courses. The parks are nicely distributed around town so no one has to travel too far to play disc golf!

What Springfield parks have Pickleball courts?

There are many places to play pickleball in Springfield but there are currently only two parks that have free pickleball courts:

  1. Nichols Park on the north side of Springfield
  2. Meador on the south

It’s never too late to have an adventure!

Have you visited any of these parks yet?

If not, maybe this is the nudge you need to get out and enjoy Springfield with its beautiful green spaces.

What other Springfield park would you like us to cover next?

417 Local Editorial Team


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