Houseful of Hollingsworths

More Kids? More Fun!

Tea Time at The Little Clay House Marshfield Missouri

I married into a fun family.  In the 11 years that I’ve been a Hollingsworth I’ve enjoyed an especially close relationship with my mother-in-law.  She’s pretty wonderful.  We love finding new tea rooms in the Ozark area together.  I’m not exactly sure how it became a “thing” but every time I think we’ve tried them all she finds another one.  It’s a talent.

When we heard about The Little Clay House here in town it was extra exciting because Carly and her family are friends with my in-laws so I’ve gotten the opportunity to get to know this family that holds a special place in my mother’s heart while stuffing my face with yummy cupcakes.  Win.  

The Little Clay House is a new favorite. The food is amazing and the treats are delicious but what I really love is how obvious it is that this is Carly’s passion.  Attention was given to every little detail inside to make it feel homey and I love to watch my girls drink in everything around them when we visit.  It’s an eclectic mix that all works together to create a warm and inviting atmosphere that  is an extension of Carly herself.  

I fell in love with her little house and inspiration struck.  I haven’t really picked up my camera much since moving here but I knew right away that I wanted pictures of the girls there.  I got with Carly on it and she was AWESOME.  She let us invade her space but I was most impressed with how she connected with the girls and made them both shine in stolen moments of conversation. They barely know her yet they adore her. I get the feeling that it’s just her way.  If you haven’t enjoyed Carly’s amazing food in the beauty-FULL  Little Clay House yet…well…you are missing out.  You should change that!

Shameless Plug— This Friday, October 21st The Little Clay House will be open at 10am for a ribbon cutting and open house.  If you haven’t stopped in yet this would be a good time to see what the fuss is about. You don’t want to miss it!

Thanks again girl. I LOOOOVE them! 


2016 Springfield Halloween Roundup

Here is the big list of Halloween fun in the Ozarks this year! I broke the list down into sections to make events easier to find- Pumpkin Patches and Corn Mazes , Seasonal Fun for Families, and Spooky Fun(not meant for little ones). Go on…scare up some fun this fall!

Pumpkin Patches and Corn Mazes

Verona Maize – The Maize in Verona MO is a bit out of my normal driving range for a pumpkin patch but I have to include it in this list because it has EVERYTHING you could possibly be looking for and then some.  If you’re up for the drive this is the place to check out.  At Verona Maize you’ll find a 7-acre cornmaze, hayrides, a giant jumping pillow, boxer jocks, the twin spin, pumpkin chuckin’, apple cannon, cow train, and the Lil’ Kernel’s Corner. They also have areas for campfires(reservations required), a variety of concession options, and a country store on site.   The especially brave can check out the Zombie Harvest(paintball with a zombie twist) and the field of screams.  Open on Wednesdays 5-8:30pm, Fridays 5-10pm, and Saturdays 2-10pm.  3 and under are free. See the admission information for their various activities here. 23298 Lawrence 1150 Verona, MO. (417)498-6071.

Pickin’ Patch Farm– located in Marionville, Pickin’ Patch Farm is a family owned pick-your-own pumpkin patch. Offers a hayride to the pumpkin patch, corn maze, obstacle course, kids play area, and lots of beautiful fall photo ops. Open Monday-Saturday 10am-6pm and Sunday noon-6-pm. Adults $6, children 2-12 $4, children under 2 are free. 22813 Hwy ZZ Marionville, MO. (417) 258-7132.

Fieth Family Farm – located in Bolivar offers hayrides, a corn maze, barrel train rides, a hay bale maze and a well-stocked kids play area. They also show an outdoor movie on Friday and Saturday nights! Check their Facebook page to see what is playing each weekend. Ages 4-64 $8, Seniors and Military  $6, children 3 and under are free. 1663 E 490th Road.  Bolivar, MO.  (417)326-6758.

Rutledge Wilson Farm Park Harvest Fest – Admission to Harvest Fest is free. Most activities do have a small fee per person($1-$3 for each activity). These activities include inflatables, hayrides, grain train, cow train, carnival games, access to the Halloween fun field, and a corn maze.  Adults and children 8 years and up can also go through the haunted trail of horrors.  Pumpkins are available for purchase by weight.  Free activities include animal interactions, pedal cars and a playground. Harvest Fest is open on Saturdays from 11am-6pm and Sundays noon-6pm. The pumpkin patch and Corn Maze are also open Fridays 6:30-10pm.  3825 W. Farm Road 146 Springfield, MO. (417)837-5949.

Campbell’s Maze Daze – just south of Springfield and offers hayrides, a pumpkin painting station,  a corn maze(maze is haunted on Friday and Saturday nights), a child’s play area with a bounce house, tractor train and play equipment, and live entertainment all included in the cost of admission.  Campbell’s Maze Daze also offers face painting(Saturday and Sunday only), bonfire/picnic areas, and use of their apple canon for an additional charge.  Pumpkins, fall décor, and concessions can all be purchased on-site.  Campbell’s Maze Daze is open Friday 5-11pm, Saturday noon-11pm and Sunday noon-7pm.  General admission is $9/person. Buy tickets online for $8/person.  Military and Senior discounts are available.  Children 4 and under are FREE.   177 Carob Rd. Clever, MO. (417) 830-0243.

Seasonal Fun for Families

Civil War Lantern Tours– Smallin Cave offers Lantern Tours during the month of October that include a “trail” dinner of ham and beans, cornbread, and fried potatoes. Guests enjoy dinner around a campfire in the woods. During dinner enjoy stories of the Civil War era throughout Missouri. After dinner  take a tour of the Smallin Civil War Cave by lantern. This event usually lasts about 2 hours.  Tours take place on Saturdays during the month of October from 7-9pm. Spots are limited so schedule in advance! Tickets are $35/person. 3575 N. Smallin Rd. – Ozark, MO.

Pets N Pumpkins Festival – visit historic Commercial Street for the 9th annual Pets N Pumpkins Festival on Saturday, October 15th from noon-5pm. The festival includes games, trick or treating, costume contest, parade, food, etc. *Bring chairs and plan to stay for awhile!

Ghost Tours at Pythian Castle– October is the perfect time to take a ghost tour of Pythian Castle.  Ghost tours go in groups of at least 8 and take about an hour and a half.  Tours take place on Tuesday and Fridays(and all week prior to Halloween). $15/guest online, $16/guest by phone or at the door. Day and night-time tours are available. This tour is said to be fine for children 8 and up but please use discretion for your own family. For more information visit, 

Forest Fun-Tacular– Ozark Community Center will hold the 4th annual family-friendly fall fun-tacular on October 21st and 22nd, and October 28th and 29th from 5-8pm.  This event includes safe trick or treating, carnival games, a story teller, and more. Admission is $4/person. 1530 W. Jackson Street Ozark, MO. 417-581-7002.

Monster Mash at Dickerson Park Zoo – Dickerson Park Zoo will host a wild night at the zoo for ages 4-12 on Friday, October 21st from 5:30-9:30pm. Children can wear their costumes, chat with zookeepers, enjoy various activities and have dinner at the zoo while parents enjoy a night out. $25 for 1st child, $15 for each additional sibling. Call 417-833-1570 to register.  3043 North Fort Springfield, MO.

Joplin & Springfield Railway– The Joplin & Springfield Railway offers free 20 minute rides on their privately maintained hobby train on Saturdays and Sundays leading up to Halloween each year. This family friendly activity will be available on Saturday, October 22nd and Sunday,October 23rd and then again on Saturday, October 29th and Sunday, October 30th. They are open from 11-5pm and trains will run unless rain intervenes. For more information and the wonderful history of this community feature visit their website at  1101 N Airport Blvd Springfield, MO (417)425-1403.

Thriller on C-Street – head out to historic Commerical Street between Robberson and Boonville on Saturday, October 22nd for the free zombie performance inspired by Michael Jackson’s Thriller. A family-friendly matinee performance takes place at 4pm followed by a PG-13 version at 7pm.  It’s all completely free and lots of fun!

Hotel of Terror Kids Night– Hotel of Terror presents two-themed nights for kids each season. This year these events will take place on Sunday, October 23rd(Pirate theme) and Sunday, October 30th(Wild West Ghost Town theme) from 4-7pm. These nights are geared for kids and are set up as a treasure hunt throughout the building. Participants search the building and speak with the themed characters to find the treasure in each scenario. These events are not designed to terrify-nothing too scary, no animated objects jumping out, no scary music, nobody jumping out at your child, and more lights(children are offered a flashlight as well). Admission is $7/guest.

The Springfield Spooky Symphony– The Springfield Symphony will present their annual free Halloween concert at Juanita K. Hammons Hall for the Performing Arts on Thursday October 27th at 6pm. This concert will feature Halloween favorites. Wear your costume and join the fun.  Doors open at 5pm and seating is first come first serve. Tickets are free but required. You can get tickets at the Springfield Symphony office(411 N. Sherman Pkway) or by calling (417)864-6683. 

Republic BOOgie Bash– Republic Parks and Recreation Department will host the 8th annual BOOgie Bash on October 28th at 5:30pm.  The BOOgie Bash is a free family event at the Amp in Republic. Activities include games, hayrides, balloon art, a costume contest(by age) and a bounce house.  From what I understand they will also show two movies- the Great Pumpkin will begin at 7:15PM and Monsters, Inc will begin at 8pm. 300 E. Hines Republic, MO.

Nixa Halloween Spooktacular– Join Nixa Parks, Nixa Police, and Nixa Fire District for a Hallowoon Spooktacular on Friday, October 28th from 6-9pm.  Kids can wear their costumes and trick or treat throughout the X Center while enjoying laser tag, inflatables, crazy hair and other activities on site.  701 N. Taylor Way Nixa, MO.

Trick Art Treat– Springfield Art Museum will host Trick Art Treat in the museum lobby on Saturday, October 29th from 10am-12pm.  This event will include Halloween-themed art projects, games, stories and a costume contest. Free for all ages. 1111 East Brookside Drive Springfield, MO. (417)837-5700.

Willard Rec Trunk or Treat and Haunted House– Willard Recreation Center will have a safe trunk or treat event at the recreation center on Saturday, October 29th from 6-8pm. Local businesses, organizations, and churches come together to provide this free family event. They will also have bounce houses and games.  Willard’s Dungeon of Doom Haunted House will also be open on 10/28 and 10/29 from 7-10pm. Admission to the Haunted House is $5. 133 State Hwy Z Willard, MO. (417)742-2262.

Questledge Ghoulish Graveyard– Questledge has arranged a new take on trick or treating with their Ghoulish Graveyard on Saturday, October 29th from noon-9pm and Sunday October 30th from noon-6pm . Instead of going from car to car, participants will wander through a graveyard they have designed.  Each “plot” will be decorated by local businesses and will hand out free treats. Questledge will also offer $5 quests through the graveyard seeking special treats.  5571 N. 21st Ozark, MO.

Lebanon Mega Extravaganza– Lebanon Mega Con will host a Halloween Extravaganza on Saturday, October 29th from 4-9pm.  This event is a free costume festival with contests and activities for kids of all ages.  Concession proceeds will benefit Lebanon Claws and Paws Animal Shelter. Visit for more information.

Spook-tacular Malloween– free safe trick or treating event at the Battlefield Mall on Monday, October 31st. I couldn’t find exact times for this but I imagine it’s all evening while they are open. Participating stores will hand out treats. Look for the Halloween balloons at storefronts to show who is participating. Kidgit members will have special activities in the JCPenny East Court as well. 

Springfield Little Theatre Gargoyles and Ghouls Event – Springfield Little Theatre will host their Gargoyles and Ghouls event on Monday, October 31st from 5:30-7:30pm.  This family-friendly evening offers trick or treating all around the haunted, historic Landers Theatre as well as Halloween-themed art and act-ivities and live performances from SLT’s Youth Performance Troupes.  $12 for 1st child, $10 for each additional child.  For reservations call 417-869-1334.  311 East Walnut Street Springfield, MO.

C-Street Trick or Treat – Head out to c-street yet again this month for even more holiday fun. C-Street will host their 2nd annual sidewalk parade on Monday, October 31st from 4-7pm with activities and treats for kids of all ages.

Branson Landing Safe Street Trick or Treat– Trick or treat on Branson Landing’s 10th Annual Trick or Treat Street on Monday, October 31st from 5-7pm.  This event is for children in costume up to age 12. Visit businesses with Halloween Pumpkin signs in their windows up and down Branson Landing. Be sure to stay for the monster mash street dance that begins at 6:30pm. 100 Branson Landing Blvd. Branson, MO.

James River Kids October 31st Party– James River Church will host a free party at all 3 locations on Monday, October 31st from 6-9pm. The party is for children through 5th grade and will provide candy, inflatables, snacks, and a super hero show. Kid-friendly costumes are welcome.  South Campus- 6100 N. 19th Street Ozark, MO. West Campus- 3953 W. Farm Rd. 168 Springfield, MO. North Campus- 3225 N. Farm Rd. 123 Springfield MO. For more information, visit

Spooky Fun

Haunted Bus Tours– Fisk Transportation Group and History Museum on the Square will offer Haunted Bus Tours from Thursday, October 20th-Saturday, October 22nd at 7pm and 8:30pm each night.  These tours take guests back in time to learn about some of downtown Springfield’s haunting people and their tales. John Sellars, Executive Director of History Museum on the Square, will narrate these one-hour tours.  Tour includes stories about the site of Springfield’s first cemetery, a mass grave from the Civil War, haunted buildings and tales of who is said to haunt them. Tours leave from Fox Theatre. Tickets are $20/person. 155 Park Central Square, Springfield, MO.

Murder Mystery Dinner at Pythian Castle– Pythian Castle will host the October murder mystery dinner on Friday, October 21st at 7pm. Reservations are required. Tickets are $40/guest when ordered online and $43/guest by phone. Dinner and Dessert are included in this interactive show.  For more information about this event, visit

Rocky Horror Picture Show at the Gillioz– The Gillioz will be showing Rocky Horror Picture Show on Saturday, October 29th at 8pm. This is their 90th anniversary so they are going all out with a VIP afterparty, raffles, costume contests, interaction kits…all the goodies. Tickets range in price from $12-$49/person.  Visit for more information and to purchase tickets online.

Dungeons of Doom– the new Dungeons of Doom Haunted House is open all this month at 7pm.  Admission for the Dungeon is $17/person. Combo tickets(Dungeon of Doom and Hotel of Terror on the same night) are available for $27/person. Tickets are available upon arrival. Visit their Facebook page for more information.  701 W. Wall St. Springfield, MO.

Hotel of Terror– Hotel of Terror is open all this month at 7pm. Admission to the Hotel is $14/person. Combo tickets(Hotel of Terror and Dungeon of Doom on the same night) are available for $27/person. Ride between the two haunts is provided for you via hearse or hayride. The Hotel of Terror also provides a digital drive in featuring favorite Halloween movies projected on the side of the building. Tune your car stereo to 93.3 for sound.  Visit their Facebook page for more information.  334 N. Main St. Springfield, MO.

Haunted Forest– This spooky trail is in Pleasant Hope. They are open from 8-10:30pm on weeknights and 8-11:30pm on Friday and Saturday all month. For more information visit their Facebook page or the website.  8996 N Farm Road 149 Pleasant Hope, MO.

Haunted Hollow– Haunted Hollow is located in Willard and offers a huge 9 acre haunted corn maze with ghouls at every turn. They are open on Friday and Saturday from 7-11:59pm.  Call (417)350-2196 for more information. 5103 W State Hwy O Willard, MO.

Ozark Nightmares Haunted House and Cornmaze– This haunted house in Lebanon is open on Fridays and Saturdays all month from 7-11pm. They will also be open on Halloween night. Admission to the Haunted House OR Cornmaze is $6/person. Combo tickets for both features are $10/person. Visit their Facebook page for more information. 22599 MO-32 Lebanon, MO.

**I have included everything that I found information on in this list but if you know of something that I missed please contact me so I can add it! Thank you.**


Halloween 2016 Fall Fun Roundup Marshfield Missouri

October brings a variety of fall festivals and Halloween haunts to town. These events are generously provided by local churches, schools, and businesses within the community. There are plenty of options to choose from to make the most of fall with your family this season.  Enjoy this list of local events this month!

Hamptons Corn Maze offers a tractor pulled wagon ride to their huge 2 section corn maze, barrel train rides(each child entry to the patch includes 1 ticket for the ride), u-pick pumpkin patch, and some concessions. They also have campfire rings available for anyone who wants to bring supplies for a cookout($65 to reserve the fire pit. Includes cost of admission for up to 10 people). Remember to call ahead to reserve a fire ring! Hampton Corn Maze is open from 9/16/16-11/5/16.  Check their website, Facebook page, or call for times and admission pricing based on age.  6817 State Hwy 38 Marshfield, MO. 417-859-4855

Gunter Farms offers a corn maze, barrel train rides, a giant sling shot,  hayrides, fire pits, a hay bale maze, a pumpkin canon, and a barn filled with additional games and activities for the whole family to enjoy. They also offer a “Moo Mamas” area on site for private, comfortable nursing and infant needs while on the farm.  Visit their website and Facebook page for more information on what games and activities you can expect to find during your visit to the farm.  Gourds, straw, corn stalks and other fall décor are available for purchase as well as pumpkins and snacks. Gunter Farms is open weekends in October.  Hours are  5-9pm Friday, 10am-9pm Saturday, and 1pm-6pm Sunday. General Admission is $6/person and includes a small pumpkin for children.  1148 State Hwy WW Conway, Mo. 417-589-6845

MCT Haunted House– Marshfield Community Theatre will host the 3rd Annual Haunted House at the MCT building on McNabb Road(across from Wal-Mart).  The Haunted House will be open on the weekends of the 20th, 21st, 22nd and 28th,  29th, and 31st from 6:30-10pm. Cost is $10/person and supports your local community theatre!

MHS Pumpkin Walk – Marshfield’s first annual pumpkin walk will take place at the MHS outdoor trails on Friday, October 7th from 6-9pm. The trails will be lined with pumpkins carved by students and members of the community.  There will also be a scarecrow contest and a fire truck on site to promote fire safety month.  Parking will be available in the theater student parking lot.

The Great Fall Fest at Timber Ridge Baptist Church– The Great Fall Fest will take place on Wednesday, October 26th beginning at 6pm.  1391 Timber Ridge Road
Marshfield, MO.

Trick or Treating on the Square– Don’t forget to stop by the square after school on Friday, October 28th to trick or treat at local businesses.  Most businesses around the square participate until about 5pm or whenever candy runs out. 101 S Crittenden St, Marshfield, MO

Trick or Treating around town- Several community businesses participate in trick or treating as well.  Check the date/time information below to see when you can show off kiddie costumes to participating businesses around town!

Centerview Plaza will also participate in city wide trick or treating on Friday, October 28th from 3pm until candy is gone. Stop in and see RSVP’s new location while you are there!  1100 Spur Drive.

Jordan Valley Health Center will be handing out candy on Friday, October 28th AND Monday, October 31st for 8am-5pm. 1166 Banning Street.

The Lions Club will hand out candy on Monday, October 31st from 3:30pm until candy runs out. 210 W. Maple Marshfield MO.

Marshfield UMC’s Fall Festival– MUMC’s  fall festival will be on Friday, October 28th from 4-7pm at the Marshfield Community Center. 110 Commercial St, Marshfield, MO.

Hillside Christian Church’s Fall Fun Fest – HCC’s Fall Fun Fest will take place on Friday, October 28th from 6-8 pm.  769 Hillside Loop Marshfield, MO.

Friendship Baptist Church Trunk or Treat– Friendship Baptist Church will have their trunk or treat on Monday, October 31st from 5-7pm in the Webster Co. Baptist Association parking lot. 101 S Pine St. Marshfield, MO.

Marshfield First Baptist Church Trunk or Treat – Marshfield First Baptist Church will hold a trunk or treat on Monday, October 31st from 5-7pm. 1001 S White Oak Rd. Marshfield, MO.

Temple Baptist Church Trunk or Treat– Temple Baptist Church will set up their trunk or treat on Monday, October 31st from 5-7pm.  431 S Olive St. Marshfield, MO.

Crossroads Evangelical Methodist Church– Crossroads EMC will hold a trunk or treat at their church on Monday, October 31st from 5-7pm. 104 West Hubble Drive Marshfield MO.

Son-Rise Christian Church Trunk or Treat– Son-Rise Christian Church will host their  trunk or treat in the Orschlens parking lot on Monday, October 31st from 6-8pm. 1331 Spur Dr. Marshfield MO.

St. Paul Lutheran Church Trunk or Treat- St Paul Lutheran Church will host their trunk or treat in the church parking lot on Monday, October 31st from 6-8pm.  609 N Locust St. Marshfield, MO.

Marshfield Assembly of God Superfest– Marshfield Assembly of God’s Superfest will take place on Monday, October 31st from 6 – 8pm. 1538 W Washington St. Marshfield, MO.


If you know of anything I missed, please let me know so I can add to the list.  Thank you!


It’s A Girly Birthday Tea Extravaganza!

September is a month of celebrations for our family.  Both of our sweet girls celebrate their birthday within a week of each other. It isn’t often that they are both interested in the same thing at the same time but we lucked out when both of the girls wanted a fancy tea party with a few friends.  Dual celebration for the win.  Much easier for this Mom!

We have two girls and two boys so most of the time our house is fairly gender neutral to provide the most fun for the most people at once…every now and again it is so nice to dive into some super girly fun though! Pretty things were everywhere. I LOVED it.

Decorating is my favorite part of a party. It can get expensive quickly though if I’m not careful. We found lots of goodies for this party in the clearance area of Hobby Lobby.  I heart that place! Everything looked wonderfully girly and fun on the cheap.

You can’t have a fancy tea party without offering LOTS of opportunities to dress up! We set out boas, hats, dresses, photo booth props(I couldn’t help myself), and tons of accessories so the kids could go wild.

We were going to go the traditional cake route for food but my wonderful husband suggested a fondue fountain. BEST.IDEA.EVER.  I was skeptical at first, it seemed like a lot of work and I thought it would end in a big mess but it was the highlight of the party. They had the best time with that thing.  I’m so glad we tried it.

They spent most of their time enjoying chocolate a little too much.  We didn’t need to get out the craft I’d planned or any other activities to keep things moving.  It was a simple time of fun with good friends instead of a big bash meant for everyone under the sun.  I’m starting to realize that I prefer it that way. Less stress, more fun!


Pixels Family Movie Night

Our oldest has been asking to watch Pixels for awhile.  David and I previewed the movie beforehand to make sure it wasn’t awfully inappropriate. We decided that the kids could watch it if we skipped through a few parts.  It’s actually not bad as far as Adam Sandler films go. I thought the movie was fun, the plot wasn’t exactly complicated, but the idea of alien video games was an amusing take on the done to death concept of invasion movies. We don’t encourage the kids to watch war or invasion movies so I can see why this one was so fun for them.  I laughed a lot myself!

Because Abby was so eager to watch it I decided to arrange several family night activities around the 80’s arcade theme.  We downloaded Pac-Mac,  Galaga, and Donkey Kong through our Wii and loaded the girls tablet with games like QBert, Pong, and Frogger.  After that it was just a matter of battling for high score.

Our living room filled with shouts  of “I’ll take you down to China Town!” “Eat that Blinky!”  and “It’s on like Donkey Kong!” 


It was interesting to see how an 80’s arcade game was SO DIFFERENT than what they know.  Our kids don’t get a ton of screen time for video games but they have spent their fair share of time playing things like Just Dance, Mario Kart, and Smash Bros…it’s not unknown to them…yet beating level 1 of Donkey Kong took serious effort. They were frustrated at first and had to give it a few tries before they got the hang of things.  Abby was super proud when she made it past that first level! 🙂 Donkey Kong and Pac-Man were fun but the clear favorite has been Galaga. A week later they still ask if they can play.  Look at me doing my part to bring my history to their present and stuff! Woot Woot!


After High Score Champions had been established we settled in to watch the movie with homemade banana splits in honor of Donkey Kong.  Gorillas like bananas right? Sounds like a good excuse for ice cream if you ask me!


Family Fun in the Ozarks

Here it is,  the BIG list of family fun for your summer!  Try a few,  try them all, just get out and have some fun this summer!  Find ideas for hiking and outdoorsy fun HERE and local water fun HERE.  Now you can’t say that you have nothing to do this summer huh? 🙂  Well, what are you waiting for?  Get to it! 

**NOTE- all prices and times are accurate as of 6/14/16.

America’s Incredible Pizza Company

Enjoy the pizza buffet or buy a $10 or more game card to enter the building.   Play options include: Bumper Cars, Go-Karts, Laser Tag, Mini-Bowling, Spring Town,  Lost in Space ride,  Tiny Town,  XD Theater, and Plenty of games to play and pizza to eat.  Check out their deals HERE.  2850 S. Campbell Ave. Springfield. (417)887-3030.

Chuck E. Cheese

Enjoy the buffet or just go to play. Be sure to check their website HERE for a current 100 tokens for $20 coupon when you visit! 3500A S. Glenstone Ave.  Springfield (417)886-2511.

Starlite Lanes

Located in Lebanon, Starlite Lanes offers open bowling on Monday-Friday 12pm-6pm for $2.50 per game,  Monday-Thursday 6pm-close( I THINK that close is 12am?) for $3.25 per game, Friday 6pm-close for $3.75 per game, Saturday and Sunday and holidays all day games for $3.75 per game. Shoe rental is $2.00. They also offer bumper bowling and glow bowling during certain times, visit their website HERE for more information.  They also have batting cages on site. Starlite Lanes participates in the Kids Bowl Free program during the summer. 1331 Rte 66, Lebanon. (417) 532-4262.

Enterprise Park Lanes

Bowling hours vary here seasonally but in the summer months(June-August) the hours are Monday-Thursday 10am-1am, Friday and Saturday 10am-1:30am(really? Staying open 30 minutes later is a big deal??? Made me laugh), and Sunday 11am-12am.  I’d share the cost with you too but honestly it’s darn complicated and I don’t feel like typing it all out. Count on between $3-4 per person per game.  You can check out all of the complexities of it for yourself HERE. Shoe rental is $2.50 per person.  They also have nightly specials during the week that you’ll want to check out but again the information isn’t concise and would take forever to write out here….bust out your best Google moves and look it up yourself. You can do it, I know you can!  Enterprise Park Lanes participates in the Kids Bowl Free program as well. If you haven’t taken advantage of that little bit of summer fun yet I highly recommend that you sign up and get your snazzy bowling shoes on this summer! 1625 S Enterprise Ave, Springfield. (417) 883-0511.

Lighthouse Lanes

Another local bowling alley.  Monday-Thursday 10am-10pm, Friday 10am-12am, Saturday 12pm-12am, Sunday 2pm-10pm.  Weekdays $3 per person per game. Saturday before 5pm $3.50 per person per game, Sunday before 5pm $4 per person per game, Weekend evenings(Friday,Saturday, Sunday) after 5pm $4 per person per game, Holidays $4 per person per game.  Shoe rentals are $2.50.  Daily specials can be found HERE.  Lighthouse Lanes also participates in the Kids Bowl Free Summer Program. 350 S Glenstone Ave, Springfield. (417) 864-6777.

Sunshine Lanes

Yet another local bowling alley. Whew! Lots of bowling going on around here. Ok then.  Hours vary seasonally here as well but during the summer months(June-August) they are open Monday-Thursday 9am-12am, Friday 9am-1am, Saturday 11am-1am, and Sunday 12pm-12am.  Their rates are just as complicated and obnoxious as Enterprise Lanes so again I’ll let you look them up HERE yourself but again that standard $2.50 shoe rental stays consistent and you can once again count on paying between $3-4 per person per game.  Sunshine Lanes offers rock-n-bowl, college/military night, and a family Sunday program throughout the week. They also participate in the Kids Bowl Free program. 1500 W Sunshine St, Springfield. (417) 866-7246.

Andy B’s
Bowling, Laser Tag, Arcade, Dining…Andy B’s offers a little bit of everything.  Our kids especially love playing laser tag with Dad here! Open Monday-Thursday 10am-12am, Friday and Saturday 10am-1:30am, Sunday 11am-12am. With the wide variety of activities they offer you’ll want to check out the website HERE to find the rates for your experience.  Btw, Andy B’s also participates in the Kids Bowl Free summer program! 1127 E. Battlefield Rd. Springfield. (417)883-1234.
Discovery Center
 The Discovery Center is truly a wonderful place to spend time with your child!  We like it so much that we are annual season pass holders.  All four of our kids love it despite the difference in their ages.  The Discovery Center offers several floors of themed exhibits and changes the exhibits frequently keeping our kids engaged each visit.   DCS also offers quite a few  “special” events throughout the year, giving children an opportunity to explore various aspects of science in a fun way.  We’ve enjoyed bubble fest,  a Halloween-themed night of activities, and David and I have also participated in adults only nights…who says you can’t play together on date night right? They also offer camps for children during spring break and summer as well.  It’s pretty obvious that I’m a loyal supporter but seriously if you haven’t taken your kids here, you’re truly missing out! The Discovery Center is open Tuesday-Thursday 9am-5pm, Friday-Saturday 9am-6pm, and Sunday 1pm-5pm. Adults $12,  Children(3-15) $8, Senior Citizens $10 and children under 3 are free.  *Military families receive free admission at DCS.  Because I don’t want you to miss out on all that the Discovery Center has to offer, I’ll clue you in to this awesome coupon available via Springfield Missouri Travel and Tourism. They are my favorite resource for fun things to do in the Ozarks, check them out! 438 E St Louis St, Springfield.  (417)862-9910.
Clue Pursuit
Clue Pursuit is Missouri’s first live escape room! These rooms are created for groups of 3 or more people and designed in such a way that you have to work together to find clues and solve the problem to get out of the room in 60 minutes or less. Clue Pursuit offers several rooms of varying difficulty for ages 9 and up.  No scares or physical limitations make these a friendly event for pregnant women and senior citizens as well. Plan to arrive 10-15 minutes prior to your scheduled game time.  Browse the rooms and reserve your time online HERE.  Prices depend on how many people are in your party. Groups of 3-4 per room are $25/player, 5-6 players are $22 each, and 7 or more players per room are $20 each. Note that Clue Pursuit is a live event and refunds and not given. 1701 S Campbell Ave, Springfield. (417)268-9668


Located in Ozark, Questledge is a hunt of sorts to gather clues and solve the challenge in whatever quest you decide to try. They offer various scenarios for all ages.  This sounds awesome for families and groups! I’m looking forward to giving it a go with our crew this summer. Visit their website HERE for information on quests and pricing. 5571 N. 21st Street Ozark  (417)582-0779.

Pythian Castle

The Pythian Castle offers history tours, ghost tours, murder mystery dinners, and a variety of holiday events making it one of the areas best venues for history buffs and thrill seekers. History tours share some of the history of this site. Ghost tours claim that the castle is haunted and offer the chance to explore the spooky grounds and hear some of the scary stories thus far. A murder mystery dinner just sounds fun! This one offers a 3 course meal and interactive show.  Holiday events include a huge New Years Eve bash, Valentine’s Cabaret show, and a fancy pants Valentine’s dinner/dance.  For more information on scheduling any one of these events please visit the website HERE. We haven’t been able to go yet but I have high hopes to talk David into a Ghost tour this October. (Did you catch that David? I really want to do this!)  It sounds so fun!  1451 E Pythian St, Springfield. (417)865-1464.

Jumpin’ Joey’s

Jumpin’ Joey’s is an indoor bounce center that offers open play times.  Open jump Tuesday-Thursday 10am-7pm, Friday 10am-8pm, Saturday 10am-6pm, and Sunday 12pm-6pm.  Weekday open jump cost $5.99 for children(2-12 years) and $8.99 for 13 years or older. Weekend jump $8.99 ANY AGE beginning 4pm of Friday and all day Sat/Sun.  Socks are required for all participants.  2550 S. Campbell Springfield. (417) 889-5639.

Jump Mania

Jump Mania is another indoor jumping option in Springfield. Open jump Monday-Thursday 10am-7pm, Friday 10am-9pm, Saturday 12pm-9pm and Sunday 12pm-7pm.  Weekdays $6.50/child, Weekends(including Friday after 4pm) $9.75/child.  All jumpers must wear socks.  **NOTE- I feel like I should share that this business does NOT have very good reviews. From what I understand cleanliness, well-maintained equipment, and employee service/supervision are areas of  concern. By all means go out and get your own feel of this local business but be forewarned from the experiences of others what you might encounter!


Skyzone is an indoor trampoline park FILLED with trampolines for bouncy fun. They offer several special programs such as toddler time, a teen program, and a workout class in addition to offering open jump which you can buy in 30 minute increments.  Be sure to check out the promos page HERE for current specials.  Jumpers are separated by age so you CANNOT jump with your young child unless you attend toddler time. You need special socks to jump that you buy on-site for $2/person.  These socks are yours to keep and can be used again for future visits.  **It is strongly recommended to buy tickets online before arriving to ensure your timeslot**  2765 S. Kansas Expressway Springfield. (417)771-3883.


Relive pinball and video gaming ’80s-style at this pay at the door arcade.  $7.50 admission is good all night. No additional charge for games. Wednesday-Saturday 4pm-11pm. Kids under 15 must be accompanied by an adult. 400 South Jefferson Avenue Springfield. (417) 831-3665.

Mediacom Ice Park

Located in Springfield, Mediacom Ice Park is the place to go for open ice skating, figure skating, or hockey. They offer a little bit of everything at a reasonable rate. The ice park is also available for birthday parties and special events.  Open skating is available in various sessions depending on the month, check their website HERE to see when open skate is available this month.  635 E. Trafficway Springfield.  (417)866-7444.

Springfield Skateland

Open Tuesday-Thursday 1-3pm($6/skater, free skate rentals), Friday 7pm-11pm($7/skater), and Saturday 2pm-4pm($6 /skater). They also offer a family discount on Wednesday nights from 7pm-9pm($3/skater, free skate rentals, and 5 and under skate free with a paid adult). 5163 S Campbell Ave, Springfield. (417) 881-8011.

Springfield Skate Park

Did you know Springfield has a skate park?  The skate park offers 13,500 square-foot of indoor park space and an additional 25,00 square-foot outdoor concrete park set up for all kind of epic stunts.  The facility is closed on Monday, open Tuesday-Thursday 3-9pm, Fridays from 3-6:30pm and then again from 7-11pm, Saturdays 10am-2pm(skate only) 2:30-6:30pm and again 7-11pm and Sunday 12pm-4:30pm and again 5-9pm.  It is important to note that the facility is closed in the brief breaks between sessions and everyone must leave the skate area.  I’m not sure what the deal is with that but rules are rules, deal with it. Members pay $5/session. Non-members pay $10.  Helmet rentals $1. Skateboard rentals $5. You can learn more about a membership HERE.  945 W. Meadowmere Street Springfield. (417)868-8758.

NOTE  On 6/21/16 the skate park will be hosting a Go Skateboarding Day event from 3-9pm with skating competitions and other stuff to do and see. I’m not talented with a skateboard(or anything on wheels really) but this sounds like a fun time.  You gotta respect people that can flip around on those things without getting a concussion. It takes skill.  If you are looking for something new or different to see in the area, check it out!

Glow Golf

54 holes of glow in the dark indoor putt putt offers a new spin on an old favorite.  This facility also offers a laser maze challenge and 3Kick for an additional fee.  Open Monday-Saturday 11am-10pm and Sunday 12pm-6pm.  Adults $9 , children(5-12 years old) $7, children(4 and under) $5, Seniors $5, Military $7. Group pass(5 or more) $8/person.  4121 S. Cox Road  Springfield.  (417)882-6200.           

Fun Acre Mini Golf

Located in Springfield, Fun Acre Mini Golf is pretty self-explanatory…it’s a fun little mini golf course. Not exactly what I’d call spectacular or grand but fun, affordable family entertainment.  I like that. 18 holes of mini golf  and batting cages. Golf cost $2.50 for adults, $1.75 for children 5-11 years old, and children 4 and under play free with an adult.  For the batting cages, one quarter gets 5 pitches and you can get change on site if needed.  Hours are 10am-11pm daily during the summer months.  Please note that Fun Acre is a CASH ONLY attraction.  2500 S Campbell Ave, Springfield  (417)889-1872.

160 Grand Prix

Located in Nixa, 160 Grand Prix has single and double seat go-karts as well as two 18 hole mini golf courses. Riders must be 52″ tall to drive a single kart and 60″ tall to drive a double kart.  Single seat karts cost $5. Double cost $6. You can save a little moolah if you bundle 1 single seat and 1 double seat ticket together for $10.  Golf costs: Adults and children 10 and up cost $5,   6-9 years cost $3,   and ages 1-5 are free with a paid adult. Discounted ticket prices are available when buying for a large group, visit their website HERE for more information.   521 West Guin Rd. Nixa  (417)724-8300.

Springfield Cardinals Baseball

The Springfield Cardinals are the Double-A affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals. Home games take place at Hammons Field.  Tickets can be purchased online at their website HERE, over the phone, or at the ticket office at Hammons Field. Tick prices range depending on location by are usually under $25/person. Season tickets are also available. 955 E Trafficway St. Springfield. (417)863-0395.

Missouri Sports Hall of Fame

The Missouri Sports Hall of Fame is great for families because it celebrates past athletic achievements and encourages future athletes as well.  The 2-story building houses over 4,000 pieces of sports memorabilia as well as several interactive exhibits where visitors can race in a NASCAR simulator, toss a football around, shoot some hoops, and bat against a Major League pitcher.  Open Monday-Saturday 10am-4pm and Sunday 12pm-4pm.  Adults $5, Children (6-15) $3, Children under 5 are free, Seniors (55+) $4, Students $3, Family of 4: $14, Groups of 10+ $2/person.  3861 East Stan Musial Drive Springfield. (417)889-3100.

Lake Springfield Park, Boathouse and Marina

Lake Springfield offers fishing, hiking trails, picnic pavilions and playgrounds, canoe and kayak rentals, a community room and a small shop for bait and the like.  If you opt to rent a kayak or canoe for the day you can borrow a life jacket and paddle the James River Linear Park Water Trail(about 4.5 miles long).  Renters must be over 18 years old and minors must be accompanied by an adult.  The park is open Monday-Saturday 9am-5pm from October-May and Monday-Saturday 9am-6pm and Sunday 11am-6pm from June-September. 5324 S. Kissick Ave. Springfield (417)891-1550.

Dynamic Gymnastics

In addition to offering some of the best dance and gymnastics classes available in the Ozarks, Dynamic Gymnastics opens up their facility to preschoolers for an open play time every Monday and Friday from 11am-noon.  Cost is $5/child. Open gym is not available during the months of June and July.  Dynamic Gymnastics also has a new Ninja Zone class that combines tumbling, obstacles, and the ninja-like actions you’d expect from such a class.  They’ve recently added a mini Ninja class for 3-4 year olds as well.  During the summer months be sure to check out their dance workshops and summer clinics! 2100 East Pythian Street Springfield OR 3624 West Republic Road Springfield. (417)890-0846. 

Valley Mills Park Equestrian Center

This public equestrian facility offers horsemanship classes, summer and day camps for children, a literacy program for first graders, birthday packages and facility rentals to the average joe.  IF you happen to be a horse lover, they have even more to offer in the way of the indoor and outdoor arenas, and a 10 acre obstacle course available for your use during open riding times.  Open riding times and lessons vary depending upon the seasons, if you are interested in more information about this facility please call their offices. Open Tuesday-Sunday 9am-5pm.  4007 N. Farm Road 171 Springfield. (417)833-3291.

Sac River Stables

Sac River Stables offers horse boarding, riding lessons, horse training, birthday parties, summer day camps and scout badge programs to the Springfield area as well as seasonal Night Out at the Stables events and homeschooling riding lessons.  If you have a horse lover at home I urge you to check out lessons here! 5798 North Farm Road 125
Springfield. (417) 742-4200.

Davis House Archery Center

The Davis House Archery Center offers both recreational and competitive archery for all ages. They offer indoor and outdoor ranges including a wooded walking course.  Open to the public Monday-Friday 12pm-7pm and Saturdays 10am-1pm. $5/hour or with a $15 monthly membership.  You must have prior experience to use the ranges during open practice times. However, they do offer occasional “try archery” sessions open to all ages for a small fee and they offer classes for beginners ages 8 and up.  Check their website HERE for more information on those programs.  5780 South Farm Road 141 Springfield. (417)874-2910.

Bailey’s Battlefield

Located in Niangua, Bailey’s Battlefield hosts private paintball and Airsoft groups. They  also have a big Airsoft game once a month.  For more information email or call the phone number provided. 1300 Kilburn Bridge Rd, Niangua. (417) 839-9299.

Warrior Sports

Warrior Sports is an indoor obstacle course gym setup in Springfield.  If you’re looking for a new workout or even a fun place to burn some energy with the kids Warrior Sports has you covered. Open gym times are from 2pm-9pm Monday-Firday and 12pm-9pm Saturday and Sunday. Drop-ins $10, 5 visit punch card $40, 10 visit punch card $80 and they provide monthly memberships that start at $40. They also offer a variety of classes you can learn more about by visiting their website HERE. 425 W. Plainview Rd. Springfield. (417)894-7319

NRO Zipline

This zipline, located in Lebanon, offers an adreline rush for local thrillseekers. Open 7 days a week, 10 am -8 pm, hours can vary in early spring and fall so it’s not a bad idea to give them a call before heading out. Reservations are recommended.  The zipline costs $40/person. Groups of 8 or more receive a $5 discount per person.  Visit their website HERE for more information on tips and restrictions when booking your tour. 4 NRO Road Lebanon. (417)532-0041.

Rutledge Wilson Farm Park

This community park, located in Springfield, celebrates the agricultural history in the area by offering a selection of educational and recreational opportunities for guests to enjoy such as: demonstration crops and gardens, visitor’s center/gift shop,  animal barns, hiking trail, playground and fishing pond.  Hours vary with the season but during the summer months they are open daily from 9am-5pm.  Download the visitors guide HERE.  Rutledge Wilson Farm Park often offers special activities throughout the year, especially in the fall and summer months. Currently, they are hosting family fishing nights once a month. Find more information about the fun family fishing nights HERE.  3825 W. Farm Road 146
Springfield. (417)837-5949.

Wild Animal Safari

Located in Strafford, Wild Animal Safari offers animal tours(either in your own vehicle or on a provided shuttle led by a tour guide) that showcase 70 various species.  You can also stroll through the walk-about to see some of the smaller animals.  While you are there you can visit the Café, Gift Shop, and Safari Kid’s Adventure Zone that features rides for the youngest adventures. June-mid August they are open daily 10am-7pm.  When school resumes the weekday hours change to 10am-6pm and they stay open until 7pm on weekends only.  When you order tickets HERE you can get a small discount—Adults $18.45 / Seniors and Children $15.45 and they offer a Missouri Family Pack( 2 adults/2 children 3-12 years) for $63.95.  124 Jungle Dr. Strafford. (417)859-5300.

National Tiger Sanctuary

The National Tiger Sanctuary is located off Hwy BB in Saddlebrooke.  The NTS is an awesome non-for-profit organization that provides a permanent home for these big cats. The NTS is dedicated to protecting these animals and sharing their love and knowledge with the rest of us by providing various educational opportunities at their facility. The NTS offers several guided tour options, from your basic tour up to an entire day with the Director behind the scenes! Read about the tour options HERE.  518 State Highway BB Saddlebrooke.  (417) 587-3633.

Dickerson Park Zoo

I love this little zoo! We’ve been going here for years, even before we lived in Missouri.  I just like it.  Probably because of the giraffes. My husband has a thing for giraffes and we have enjoyed taking all of our children to the viewing deck to feed them when we visit. Some of my favorite memories! 🙂 The zoo offers a variety of animal exhibits to explore, a very nice playground to relax at, the aforementioned giraffe feedings, a train ride for children, a small splash pad during warm weather, and an impressive array of seasonal events geared towards family fun.  Our family especially enjoys participating in the summer classes, member events, and zoo boo(definitely better suited for our younger children but still fun).  1401 W Norton Rd, Springfield. (417) 833-1570.

Missouri Institute of Natural Science

The Missouri Institute of Natural Science Museum features hundreds of fossil specimens to explore including animals, plants, and minerals. My daughter is especially interested in dinosaur fossils, making this one of her favorites! Riverbluff cave is also on site and usually is open for tours but right now it is closed to visitors. You can follow the museum on Facebook to be notified of when it will be open again.  Open Monday-Friday 9am-4:30pm and Saturday(March-October) 9am-4pm/ Saturday (November-February) 10am-2pm. Closed on Sunday.  Hours can chance when short-staffed.   It is recommended to call ahead of your visit. The museum is free to the public , donations are accepted and of course appreciated! 2327 W. Farm Road 190 Springfield. (417) 883-0594.

Fantastic Caverns

America’s only ride-thru cave is located in Springfield. That’s kinda cool. It’s said that the cave was discovered in 1862 by an Ozark farmer’s dog actually. I think that’s a fun bit of knowledge. Fantastic Caverns is open daily(except Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day) from 8am- “dusk”. Tours run every 20-30 mintues and last about an hour.   Adults $23.50 /Children(6-12) $16.50/ 5 and under are FREE with a parent. Discounts are available for groups of 20 or more.  Season passes are also available.  4872 North Farm Road 125 Springfield.  (417)833-2010.

First Friday Art Walk

On the first Friday of the month Springfield host an art walk in downtown Springfield from 6-10pm. Art varies each month but area artists come out to display and discuss their amazing talents! Visit their website HERE or their Facebook page HERE for more details on this months highlights. (417)862-2787 Ext 25.


Artivities, located in downtown Springfield, is a wonderful spot for the artistically inclined. Artivities offers  art for all ages and abilities with many wonderful programs including several geared for children at a reasonable rate. Your child can participate in art camps(with many options on both class type and price), art classes, art lessons, and birthday parties, Artivities also offers Littles Classes for young artists in training and a wide variety of classes for adults. Find more information on programs of interest to you by visiting their website HERE.  209 W. Commercial Street Springfield.  (417)399-4580.


RSVPaint is geared more for adults but they do offer a few family painting sessions as well suited for children(accompanied by an adult).  Daytime sessions on Saturdays and Walk-in Wednesday sessions are for the whole family.  View their calendar HERE to find your favorite upcoming session.  It is strongly encouraged that you rsvp online for your session to guarantee your spot!  440 S Campbell Ave Springfield. 417-413-4331.

Firehouse Pottery

At Firehouse Pottery ceramic art is made easy.  Pick your piece, find a seat and an employee will share a quick overview of the process for you so you can set to work on your masterpiece.  Choose from mugs, dinnerware, plates, figurines, ornaments, and holiday décor. The studio provides hundreds of paints, stamps, stencils and other resources to help you add the special  touches to your piece that make it unique to you. When you finish your piece take it to the counter, pay, get your pick-up date and be on your way.  No need to even clean up your mess! Your piece will be ready in about a week.  Prices vary but mugs start at $8, figurines at $11, plates at $12 Mugs start at $8, animal figures at $11, and plates at $12. Please note that there is a studio fee of $6/painter as well. 4150 S Lone Pine Ave, Springfield. (417) 881-8381.

Springfield Art Museum

The art museum in Springfield offers traveling exhibitions as well as their own collection.  Current exhibitions include Watercolor U.S.A, Warhol Uncanned, and String Theory.  While browsing the art with your kiddos(because kids are totally welcomed and encouraged at the museum!) be sure to stop by the family art lab and book nook.  The museum also offers family art days that feature activities and demonstrations pertaining to their theme that month where kids can explore art concepts with a hands on approach.  I recommend taking along sketch books for kids(take one for you too)when you go, you never know when inspiration will strike! The museum also offers art camps and classes. Visit the website HERE for more information.  Visiting the museum is free but donations are welcome. Springfield Art Museum is open Sunday 1pm-5pm/ Closed on Monday/ Tuesday-Wednesday 9am-5pm/Thursday 9am-8pm/ Friday-Saturday 9am-5pm. 1111 East Brookside Drive Springfield.  (417)837-5700.

Route 66 Car Museum

A new Route 66 Car Museum is set to open of the 15th of this month in Springfield.  The museum will feature 67 unique classic cars. Admission is $15 for adults. Discounts will be available for veterans and children but not many details on hours/admission have been released yet.  1624 W. College St. Springfield.

Railroad Historical Museum

This non-profit museum is located at Grant Beach Park in Springfield and operated entirely by volunteers to preserve railroad history.  The museum is made up of 4 antique train cars with photos, artifacts, paintings and equipment as well as hands-on activities for kids and adults alike. Private tours, birthday parties, and field trips are available at this unique site upon request. The museum is open seasonally on Saturdays(May-October) from 2-4pm.  Admission is free. Being located within Grant Beach Park makes the museum a great addition to a picnic or pool day! 1300 N. Grant St. Springfield.  (417)833-0994.

History Museum on the Square

The History Museum on the Square is currently undergoing some exciting renovations. During this time the current exhibit, 200 Years at the Center of Everything, is still on display inside the Fox theatre.  Museum hours are from Monday to Saturday 10:30am-4:30pm. Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for children and 2 and under are free. This Museum houses 100,000 artifacts that preserve and showcase Springfield’s history.  The renovations hope to add over 55,000 square feet of exhibit space, high tech displays, traveling exhibitions from around the nation, and walking tours through the downtown district. 157 Park Central Square Springfield. (417)831-1976.

**NOTE- the current exhibit will only remain on display until the 18th of this month, check it out while you can!

Baker Observatory

Did you know that Marshfield is home to MSU’s Baker Observatory?  Baker Observatory maintains two large telescopes and many smaller telescopes for astronomical studies. The observatory is used for labwork by beginning and intermediate students and for research purposes by advanced students and faculty. Currently 3 astronomers work within this department at MSU and occasionally they allow the public to come out and learn a bit as well. I think this is cool! Finally something fun about Marshfield and it’s a surprisingly well-kept secret. Boo on you Marshfield for not doing more to promote these events, especially for a town  so proud of your space-related history…seems kinda like something you’d want to put out there! The observatory typically hosts these events 2-3 times a year with the next one tentatively planned for late September. Go like their Facebook page though because they hope to add more frequent public observing nights in the future. Please bear in mind that this facility is an academic resource and should be treated with RESPECT at all times. Don’t bug these people while they are studying. Not cool.   When headed out to the public events, take the time to read and learn about the facility and event expectations.  You can find that helpful information HERE.

Askinosie Chocolate Factory

Love chocolate? Me too! Springfield is home to the Askinosie Chocolate Factory.  For a bit of fun check out their factory tours on Tuesdays at 3:30pm. Tours last about 45 minutes and go over the history and practices of the tour and include a few yummy samples along the way. Tour guests receive a 10% discount on the day of their tour as well, pretty sweet! Tickets cost $5/adult and $4 for children and students. 100% of the profits from tours support Chocolate University. Children 5 and under are not recommended since it is a factory setting but they are allowed as long as they are held or secured in a stroller for the entire tour. Open toe shoes are not allowed on the tour and it is important to know that the large magnets used in the factory can affect pacemakers and the like.  Touring a Chocolate factory kinda makes me think  Willy Wonka…I’m there! YUM.

Sequiota Bike Shop

David and I visited this shop just a couple of weeks ago. I loved it! We enjoyed our meal to go because they were PACKED on a Sunday afternoon(yay for them!) but here’s the basic deal: They have a little itty bitty restaurant where the small staff run around like crazy trying to get awesome(and kinda pricey for a sandwich) food out to their customers while said customers hopefully find a comfy seat outside under their covered patio or in the backyard seating in a pretty shaded space under the beautiful summer sky.  I noticed that they had a couple of yard games to enjoy and a bar outdoors as well.   Of course they also have  bikes to rent! That’s what we did.  We hopped on a tandem and took off to the park.  Ok…so maybe “hopped on” doesn’t fully do justice to just how tricky or alarming riding tandem was but it was a great experience to have.  I’d do it again. I may or may not have nearly ran us into a tree in a panic the first time around though…be warned.  Standard men’s and women’s bikes are $15 for the first hour and $7.50 for each additional hour. Tandem bikes are $25 for the first hour and $12.50 for each additional hour.  3521 S. Lone Pine Springfield. (417) 881-4488.

Rosewood Farms(Home of Grandpa Joe’s Chocolates)

We love Rosewood Farms! Granny showed us this hidden treasure last spring and I’m oh so glad she did! I LOVE their salted caramel truffles…I haven’t had a bad chocolate there yet and doubt I ever will but I big fat puffy <3 those truffles!  Located just past Hartville, this business is quite literally out in the middle of nowhere…driving along  Hwy 5 you begin to see signage for coffee, chocolates, gifts…it seems so out of place and bizarre to have a retail business out in the countyside  but I’m really glad that they are there! It’s a quaint little place with adorable jewelry and clothes that I wish I could fit myself into amid pretty décor and gift items. Walk in the door and your nose is assaulted with the delicious smells of chocolate and COFFEE.  Be still my heart, I love a good latte.  We’ve gotten to know the owners a bit during our visits and I have to say that they are some of the kindest and most personable people I’ve met in the area, super sweethearts.  I loved hearing their story of ending up in Missouri and the details of how they make their chocolates. Fun Fact: they make the chocolate in a bunker underground to keep the chocolate at idea temperatures during the process.  I think that’s neat. It’s fun to imagine where the bunker may be located while wandering the gardens around the shop.  7345 Highway 5 Hartville. (417) 741-6915.

Pineapple Whip

Pineapple Whip!!!! Any good summer roundup for Springfield MUST include Pineapple Whip.  I don’t know why I love it so, I just do. Lovely, perfect, super smooth pineapple whip…ahhhhh.  Pineapple Whip is open summers Monday-Thursday 12pm-10pm and Friday and Saturday 12pm-10:30pm. Visit their website HERE for information on what flavors can be found where. Get some! Now. Why are you still reading this? GO.  3 locations: 1517 W Battlefield, 3850 South Campbell,1310 S Glenstone Ave. Springfield.  


Make a Summer Binder! (with free printables!)

This week was kinda crazy with lots of life stuff.  Our little boys had a joint birthday celebration this weekend that I spent all of my free time preparing for and our older girls began summer break on the 13th  so all 4 are home making “free time”  an incredibly fluid concept.  The week before any kind of big celebration usually finds me running around like a maniac and this time is no exception…lots of effort and lots of fun!

In the midst of that chaos I  was asked to provide links for our summer reading binders and I am oh so happy to tell you about the resources I used to make these for our kiddos.  Bear with me though, I’m in recovery mode right now.  I have to warn you in advance that I didn’t  get fancy with pictures and all that for this post…everything is straight off of my camera phone,  glare and all.  Sorry  ’bout that!


Anywho…summer binders! I love these things!  Our binders contain a calendar of the activities or special plans we have the month, screen time limits and chore expectations, our reading challenges, a bit of fun for the library, and a handful of quick entertainment ideas for whenever boredom strikes. 

Here’s what that looks like in our house.

Neither girlie can have screen time(no tablets, tv,  or computers) until chores are completed each day.  Their chores include cleaning up their bedroom, making sure their dirty clothes from the previous day hit the hamper, and 3 separate tasks appropriate for their ages(9 and 6).  While they work on that I do my own chores for the day and get the littlest Hollingsworth down for his morning nap.  We get these things done first thing in the morning, no questions asked. When we put first things first we can dedicate the rest of the day to fun knowing that the house is still somewhat operational.


Our calendars list any upcoming playdates, visiting guests, specific day trips, birthdays, special family nights and  notable local events we want to attend.  Anticipation is half the fun afterall!  I don’t follow any specific daily schedule during the summer months but I do try to keep Mondays as home days.  Weekends are full and active times.  Most Sundays we head to Branson after church to play around and I’m WIPED OUT  afterwards.  I need a lazy Monday to catch up around the house and regain some of the sanity lost from chasing children around Silver Dollar City all day.   Summer Mondays were created for lazying around.  🙂 I use a fantastic calendar set that I buy each year from Jessica over at Life as Mom for my family notebook.  I use her calendars for SO MANY THINGS.  If you’re looking for a great calendar pack to use around your house, she’s your girl!

Reading Challenges

Alright.  So, our oldest daughter Abby is a total bookworm, she could happily read all day. Her challenge each summer is to read 100 books. I don’t restrict this, I’m okay with chapter books, non-fiction, comic books, picture books(as long as she reads these aloud to a willing younger sibling), how-to books…whatever she’s currently interested in.  Reading is meant to be a limitless pastime, I want reading to open her mind to new things.  I feel that happens best when I let her read about whatever she is into at the moment. 

I have Abby record the books she’s reading on logs that are broken down into sets of 10 and she earns a small reward for each set that she completes( screen time or a later bedtime). I’ve noticed over the years that breaking it down into sets of 10 and offering a small incentive makes it seem less huge to her.  I also assign a book report where she chooses 1 book from each set of 10 to write a short report on.  When I say book report I don’t mean something overly long and complex, she doesn’t have to present a perfectly typed document to me for approval or anything like that.  I simply want her to spend some time in thought over the material she’s reading. Think about the plot, think about the characters, think about what you enjoyed and what challenged you…just think!  She gives these to me when she finishes a set and we sit down over a snack to discuss the book together.  Between you and me, I really enjoy this time with her.  I love seeing her thought processes change as she grows!    I used some fabulous online resources for our reading log and “book reports” (found HERE and HERE), I hope you enjoy them as much as I do. The books report templates are pretty amazing!



Our youngest daughter is a reader now as well and is right in the middle of learning this important skill.  She does a great job but is not as fond of reading independently as her sister is so my challenge for her is to simply take time to read each day.  We read together LOTS but she definitely prefers being read to than reading on her own.  Reading something each day challenges her and shows her that she CAN read those words without help. 🙂 I made her reading log in Microsoft Word with a basic grid and some clipart to make a  sticker chart.  For every day that she reads she gets to put a sticker on her chart.  Pretty simple.  She loves tracking her progress in this way.   Additionally, each week I have her pick one of the books she’s recently read and we sit down together to do some story mapping  where she  writes down a short summary of the book or we play this reading comprehension game and she tells me about her book that way.  She earns the same small reward for completing these tasks each week that Abby does.

Addia's Reading Log

A good reading challenge will meet your child ON THEIR LEVEL and help them met and often exceed their current reading goals.  If you have a bookworm, encourage them to spend significant time with their nose planted in a book this summer.  If you have a hesitant reader, the focus switches to getting into books, at least a little bit, daily to help build routine and confidence in their growing skills.  We’re two weeks into our reading challenges so far and both girls are LOVING it.  Make it fun for your child so reading isn’t another “to-do” but rather a joy.

We also use our summer binders to store the paperwork for all of the reading challenges that the girls participate in over the summer.  We keep the login info/passwords for the Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge, printouts for the Barnes and Noble Summer Reading Challenge, and this year we added the Chuck E. Cheese Reading Reward to the lineup as well.

A Bit O Fun

Summer can’t just be about daily to-do’s and goals…no way!  I guess I’ve been on a bingo kick lately because I made an abundance of bingo-related activities for the girls to do this summer.  First, I saw READO  on Pinterest and loved it.  It seemed a little more geared for the classroom so I tweeked the idea to create a new template for the girls using things like “Read a book that has been made into a movie”, “Read a book with a great opening line”  or “Read a book featured on the New York Times Bestsellers List” just to encourage them to dive into new reads at home over break as well.  They don’t have to do these things but if they do I’ll acknowledge their effort with a special treat.  If they bingo in a vertical, horizontal or diagonal line I’ll do the chore of their choice for the day.  If they bingo in a H pattern I’ll take them out for a special ice cream treat.  If they bingo with a blackout I’ll buy them the new book of their choice.  I made several boards to get them through the summer.  It’s been a hit.

Download my version of these  boards for younger children HERE.

Download my version of these board for older children HERE.


READO got me thinking.  I like how the teacher who came up with READO made the bingo concept apply across several areas by creating not only READO but MATHO and WRITO as well. Clever!  If she can do that in the classroom surely it can apply at home as well right? That spurred me to create BORED Bingo for the girls.  You can read about that here if you’d like but basically I threw together several simple summer activities and printed them out on a bingo board for the kids to use when they are looking for a new play idea.  A trip through our household toys turned up a ton of simple ideas.  Like in READO, efforts get rewarded. If they bingo in a vertical, horizontal, or diagonal line they can have 1 hour of screen time.  If they bingo in an H pattern they can stay up a bit later than usual.  If they bingo with a blackout I have a couple of special prizes handy(this could mean a new game, outside toy, those awesome water balloon hose attachments, coloring or doodle books…you get the idea) It doesn’t have to be complicated to be fun.

You can download some of my boards HERE or visit to whip up some of your own!

To wrap it up I added some fun challenges for our trips to the library.  I found a really cute library scavenger hunt(picture book and chapter book versions) HERE and a Read Everything Under the Sun Punchcard HERE.  I also wrote down some book recommendations for each of my girls because it never fails that we get to the library and they suddenly can’t remember who that author was or what book series they started a month ago and want to continue.  I can’t keep up with the littlest Hollingsworths and try to remember what R. L Stine book Abby is ready for next as well so keeping a list handy in their binders has been super duper helpful.  If you’d like ideas on the types of books I used for these lists be sure to check out my list of book recommendations for 4th Grade HERE and recommendations for Kindergarteners HERE.

Well, that’s it. I hope it helps!

20 Fabulous Reads for Your Fourth Grader

Our oldest daughter is going into 4th grade this year. She’s a huge bookworm and reads well past her grade level.  That gets a little tricky because she’s 9 and I don’t think her heart is ready for some of the material you’d typically find in an 8th grade book. While she’s young enough to believe that Peter Pan will fly into  her bedroom window if we leave it unlatched I need to carefully censor the things that have the power to creep in and mess all of that whimsical awesomeness up, you know what I’m sayin’?

  These are some of our recent favorites for her.  Some might be a little advanced for the typical 4th grader, some might be a little young….they blend together in just the right way for our daughter though!

Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume


The Indian in the Cupboard by Lynne Reid Banks


The Original Adventures of Hank the Cowdog by John R. Erickson


Sideways Stories from Wayside School by Louis Sachar


The BFG by Roald Dahl


Echo by Pam Munoz Ryan


Shiloh by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor


Dork Diaries by Rachel Renee Russell


Meanwhile: Pick Any Path. 3,856 Story Possibilities by Jason Shiga


The 39 Clues by Rick Riordan


The One and Only Ivan by Katherine A. Applegate


The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits and a Very Interesting Boy by Jeane Birdsall


The Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger


Wonder by R. J. Palacio

It Came From Ohio! My Life as a Writer by R. L. Stine

Rump: The True Story of Rumpelstiltskin by Liesl Shurtliff

Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt

James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl

Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson

The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum




35 Great Reads for Kindergarteners

Reading to your child is critical.  We all know that right?   I’m going to say it again though because kiddos develop a ton at this stage., “growing like weeds” doesn’t only apply to how quickly they outgrow their shoes afterall!  Sure, you could drill a million flashcards and do worksheets all day long but reading  gets the job done in a fun way .  Taking time to read with your child teaches them so much more than that b says /b/.  Open a book and open your child’s mind. Corny but TRUE.

Having 4 of my own, I understand how busy life can be.  I wish that I had the same amount of time to read with my 4th as I did with my firstborn but I simply don’t.  However, carving out even that 20 minutes a day to read will make a big difference! I think that reading with our children gets less tedious for us adults when we aren’t reading the same book repeatedly.  Sure, my kids have their favorites that we read alot(Hello Pete the Cat and Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs!) but this is a great time to introduce new characters and genres as well.

Here’s a list of some of our favorites to get you started!

The Bears' Picnic (Berenstain Bears)(Audio Cassette)

The Bears Picnic by Stan and Jan Berenstain

Caps for Sale: A Tale of a Peddler, Some Monkeys and Their Monkey Business

Caps For Sale: A Tale of a Peddler, Some Monkeys and Their Monkey Business by Esphyr Slobodkina


Ramona the Pest by Beverly Cleary (Check out the entire series HERE!)

Amelia Bedelia by Peggy Parish (Check out the early chapter book series by Herman Parish HERE!)

My Many Colored Days

My Many Colored Days by Dr. Seuss

Bad Kitty by Nick Bruel (Check out the picture books and chapter book series HERE!)

Duck Rabbit by Amy Krouse Rosenthal & Tom Lichtenheld

Interrupting Chicken Book Cover

Interrupting Chicken by David Ezra Stein

I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen

Nighttime Ninja

Nighttime Ninja by Barbara DaCosta

Scaredy Squirrel

Scaredy Squirrel by Melanie Watt (Check out the entire series HERE!)

We Are in a Book by Mo Williams (Check out the entire series HERE!)

Rhyming Dust Bunnies by Jan Thomas

What Do You Do With a Tail Like This? by Steve Jenkins

Bears in the Night by Stan and Jan Berenstain

The Giving Tree.jpg

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein


Miss Nelson is Missing by Harry Allard (Check out the entire series HERE!)

Twenty-Six Princesses by Dave Horowitz

Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes

The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt

The Day the Crayons Came Home by Drew Daywelt

The Book with No Pictures by B. J. Novak

Twenty-Six Pirates by Dave Horowitz

The Boy Who Loved Words by Roni Schotter

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr.

How I Became a Pirate by Melinda Long

Knuffle Bunny by Mo Williams (Check out the entire series HERE!)

Skippy Jon Jones by Judy Schachner

Fancy Nancy by Jane O’Connor

Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs by Mo Williams

Pete the Cat I Love My White Shoes by Eric Litwin (Check out the entire series HERE!)

There’s a Nightmare in my Closet by Mercer Mayer

Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus by Mo Williams (Check out the entire series HERE!)

Tikki Tikki Tembo by Arlene Mosel

The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch



Happy reading!




Pools, Splashgrounds, and Water Fun Near Marshfield

Marshfield doesn’t have a swimming pool. This stinks. There is talk of a pool being in the future(oh HAPPY day!!!!) but for  the time being let’s accept that we’ll have to look elsewhere for poolside shenanigans ok? Ok! Luckily surrounding communities do offer swimming pools right now. If you’re up for a trip they are up for some water play!  Woo-hoo!

**NOTE- All hours and prices are accurate as of 5/5/16.


Jordan Valley Park – Located in Springfield this park features a huge fountain that runs daily during the summer from approximately 10am-8pm.  Children are welcome to splash in the entire water feature which was designed to look like an Ozark stream.  They will get soaked and love every second of it. Trust me, you want to come prepared in swimsuits and with plenty of towels. I made the mistake of not dressing anyone for serious water play during our last visit…Oops.  SOAKED.  Parents please be cautioned that the water is deep enough for accidents and slips could result in injury.  Parent supervision is a MUST.

McGee-McGregor Wading Pool – Located across from Phelps Grove Park on the corner of Bennett and Holland Avenue,  McGee-McGregor wading pool is for children 6 years old and under.  There must be at least one adult for every 4 children in your party. Admission to the wading pool is free.

Tuesday-Saturday: 10am-12pm & 1pm-4pm

Sunday: 1pm-4pm

Closed Mondays

Howard Smith Water Park – Located  in the Howard Smith Community Park on Bumgarner Blvd, between Red Bud Ave. and Sunmeadow Drive in Strafford this free splash pad is open daily from 10am-8pm from the end of May to the beginning of September.  If you get there right at 10am and it’s not running yet be patient for a few moments, turning on the features takes a little while.  **NOTE** the splash pad DOES NOT open when the area experiences significant rainfall.  The splash pad can not open if there is standing water in the splash area.  If you want to be sure that it is on before heading that way call 417-736-2154 for confirmation. The park address is 410 E. Bumgarner Blvd for anyone not familiar with the area.


Ozark Community Center- for a community center Ozark nailed water fun! This indoor aquatic center has several of the features that we love in a pool- zero depth entry, a kiddo play structure, resistance walk, a couple of slides, and spray features.  Adults $7  / Children 4-17 years $5  /  3 and under free.  *Price includes access to the facility for the day.

Monday-Friday 5am-7:30pm
Saturday 7am-7:30pm
Sunday 12pm-5:30pm
Monday-Thur 7:30PM-8:00PM (Lap swimming only)

Chesterfield Indoor Aquatic Center – Like  Ozark, Springfield provides indoor pool play at the community centers.  Chesterfield offers a water slide, spray features, tumbling buckets, and a resistance walk.  Adults $8 / Children 2-18 years $6. *Price includes access to the facility for the day.

Sunday: 12pm-5pm

Monday-Friday: 4pm-9pm


 Doling Indoor Aquatic Center – This indoor pool, located in Springfield, offers a water slide, a resistance walk, several spray features, and a water basketball hoop.  Adults $8 / Children 2-18 years $6.  *Price includes access to the facility for the day.

Sunday: 12pm-5pm

Monday- Friday: 4pm-9pm

Saturday: 12pm-7:30pm


In the case of inclement weather and for daily updates on Springfield outdoor pools, please call the Aquatics Hotline

Fassnight Pool – This is the largest pool in Springfield. It is located in the middle of town, off Campbell in Fassnight Park.  Fassnight Pool has a kiddie pool area with splash features for children 6 and under and a large pool going from 2’6″ to 12′.  They offer a slide and diving boards in the large pool.   Adults $3  / Seniors $2.50  /Children 3-17 years $2.50  / 2 and under are free with a paid adult.

Open swim 1:00-6:30 p.m.
Closed Mondays

Grant Beach Pool – Recently renovated in North Springfield, off of Grant Avenue in Grant Beach Park. Grant Beach Pool has two slides, a drop slide, a spring board and a large spray feature for children 8 and under.   Adults $3  / Seniors $2.50  / Children 3-17 years $2.50  /2 and under are free with a paid adult.

Open swim 1:00-6:30 p.m.
Closed Tuesdays

Meador Pool – Located on the south side of Springfield at the intersection of Sunset and Fremont.  Meador pool has a separate kiddie pool and diving boards in the larger pool.  Adults $3  / Seniors $2.50  /Children 3-17 years $2.50/ 2 and under are free with a paid adult.


Open swim 1-6:30pm

Closed Mondays

Silver Springs Pool – Located on the north side of Springfield at the intersection of Scott and Hampton Avenue in Silver Springs Park. Great pool for young children. Silver Springs Pool offers zero-depth entry with spray features, a drop slide, and springboard. The depth in the main part of the pool stops at 3 feet and has a wall separating it from the deep end of the pool.  Adults $3  /Seniors $2.50  /Children 3-17 years $2.50  /2 and under are free with a paid adult.

Open swim 1:00-6:30 p.m.
Closed Wednesdays

Westport Pool – Recently renovated on the west side of Springfield near Golden and Mount Vernon Streets.  Westport pool  has an in-water rock climbing wall, floating and spray features, a splash area, zero-depth entry, a drop slide, and spring board.   Adults $3  /Seniors $2.50  /Children 3-17 years $2.50  /2 and under are free with a paid adult.

Open swim 1:00-6:30 p.m.
Closed Tuesdays

Boswell Aquatic Center – Located in Lebanon, this pool has a spring board, slides, an in-water rock climbing wall, kids pools and free wi-fi.  Adults $3  /children 5-13 $2.50  /4 and under are free.  Frequent Swimmer’s Cards can be purchased at a discounted rate of 10 visits for $25.00 or 25 visits for $50.00.

Wednesday-Saturday: 6:30am-8:30pm

Sunday: 5:30pm-7:30pm

Republic Aquatic Center – Personally I don’t understand why this is considered such a superior pool in the area but then again I’m a KC girl and just about every pool that I can think of has these same amenities…I guess I’m used to it.  However, a few summers in Marshfield without any water fun have made it to the point that none of my crew even care about lazy rivers and the like anymore, they just want water to play in! For me, the “extra’s” aren’t worth the drive to Republic but if you are looking for the best pool around, look no further.  Republic has it all, including the Huna surf-simulator.  This is a sure bet to entertain the kiddos for a day of water play this summer!

Admission is $5 per person for non-residents. Residents pay $4/person. The Huna is an add-on all day wristband for $2.

Monday-Saturday: 12pm-7pm

Sunday: 12pm-6pm

If you’re feeling extra adventurous visit White Water or any of the numerous indoor mega-aquatic resorts in Branson(if you keep your eyes open Grand Country Inn offers $5 local day passes from time to time and YES Marshfield is considered local, I asked. ) or head out to Rolla to visit Fugitive Beach!  I feel like I should encourage any parents with small ones to use extreme caution in making the decision to go to fugitive beach with kids or not….it doesn’t seem like the safest place for tots to me. Sure, it’s fun, but it will still be around as they grow and might be more enjoyable, and MUCH safer, for older children and adults.

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