Exploring Springfield, Missouri: Best Toddler-Friendly Activities

By Macaroni KID Springfield MO May 3, 2024

Are you a parent or caregiver looking for fun-filled adventures to embark on with your little one in Springfield, Missouri? Look no further! Springfield is bursting with family-friendly attractions and activities that cater perfectly to toddlers' boundless energy and curious minds.  Whether you're a local or just passing through town, there's something for everyone on this list. From interactive museums to outdoor adventures, here's a rundown of best places to go and things to do with toddlers in Springfield. 

 So grab a cup of coffee and get ready to plan some exciting adventures with your tiny tots!

Indoor Play Places and Imaginative Play for Toddlers

  • Imaginasium: A creative play space where toddlers can let their imaginations soar.
  • Itty Bitty City: A miniature, interactive town designed just for little ones to explore.
  • Nana's Play Place: A cozy indoor playground filled with lots of toys and activities.
  • The Jungle Gym: A jungle-themed play area with climbing structures, slides, and an indoor sandbox.
  • Where The Wild Things Play: A modern indoor play space inspired by the beloved children's book that is perfect for imaginative play.

Click HERE for our Comprehensive Guide to Indoor Play Places in Springfield

Toddler Open Gyms and Play Sessions

  • Urban Air Adventure Park: Urban Air hosts weekly Jumperoo sessions specially designed for little ones 5 and under. Toddlers can explore age-appropriate attractions, including soft play areas, trampolines, and foam pits. 
  • Jump Mania: Jump Mania offers dedicated weekly Junior Jump sessions where children ages 5 and under can bounce and play in a safe environment. The attraction provides inflatable attractions and play areas suitable for toddlers.
  • Republic Parks and Recreation: Republic Parks and Recreation Department organizes Toddler Time sessions at local recreation centers. These sessions feature a variety of activities such as playtime with age-appropriate toys, music and movement activities, and socialization opportunities for toddlers and their caregivers.
  • Open Gym at All Star Gymnastics & Cheer: Play along with your child every Tuesday during this open gym time just for babies who are crawling - 7 year old.
  • Open Gym at Ozark Mountain Gymnastics: Ozark Mountain Gymnastics offers Preschool Open Gym sessions tailored for toddlers and preschoolers. These sessions allow young children to navigate through obstacle courses, practice balancing on beams, and engage in tumbling activities under the supervision of trained instructors.

Click HERE for our Guide to Mommy & Me Classes in Springfield

Fine Arts: Music, Art, and Dance

  • Springfield Art Museum: Nurture your toddler's creativity with a visit to the Springfield Art Museum. With a diverse collection of artwork, there's plenty to spark their imagination and inspire artistic expression. Visit the Family Art Lab and Book Nook, an interactive space where children can explore art on their own terms - by touching, building, and pretending. Full of blocks, Magna-Tiles, books, art games, and more.
  • Moxie Morningsat The Moxie Cinema: Offered once or twice each month. Suitable for ages 2-6. This hour-long event features short films and hands-on art making activities perfect for littles. Free event. Check website for availability.
  • Messy Makers Art Club at Republic Activities Building: Every second Monday at 9:30am for ages 2-5 years. Make and take home a masterpiece, but leave the mess behind!
  • Kindermusik with Ellen: Weekly classes offered for a range of ages. Mixed age class for ages 0-5 on Mondays or Tuesdays; Foundations class for ages 0-1.5. Offered on Thursdays. 
  • Mini Music Makers at Republic Activities Building: Held the first and third Mondays of the month for ages 2-5 years. Explore music with a variety of call-and-response songs, movements, rhythms, stories and more. Monthly
  • My Musical Beginnings: Each student will move, sing, tap, explore and dance their way to increased foundational learning and development.

On the Go: Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

  • Railroad Historical Museum: All aboard! Take a trip back in time at the Railroad Historical Museum, where toddlers can marvel at vintage trains and learn about the history of railroads in Springfield. Don't miss the opportunity to climb aboard real train cars and a caboose! Open Seasonally on Saturdays, 2-4 pm; Memorial Day Weekend through October.

Nature and Science

  • Springfield Conservation Nature Center: Immerse your toddler in the great outdoors at the Springfield Conservation Nature Center. With nature trails, wildlife exhibits, and activities, it's the perfect destination for budding naturalists to learn and explore.
  • Ozark Greenways: Explore scenic trails and natural habitats along the Ozark Greenways network, ideal for family hikes and outdoor adventures. Many trails are paved and stroller-friendly!
  • Valley Water Mill Park: Explore streams, fishing in the lake, and nature trails at Valley Water Mill Park, a serene outdoor retreat for families.
  • Springfield Botanical Gardens: Take a leisurely stroll through the Springfield Botanical Gardens and let your toddler explore the beauty of nature. With sprawling gardens, vibrant flowers, and paved pathways, it's the perfect place for a family picnic or a game of hide-and-seek among the trees. Stop and play at the play pods throughout the park and visit the butterfly house!
  • Discovery Center of Springfield: Let your toddler's imagination run wild at the Discovery Center of Springfield. This hands-on science museum features interactive exhibits that encourage learning through play. From water play to building blocks, there's something to engage every curious mind.


  • Dickerson Park Zoo: Explore the wonders of the animal kingdom at Dickerson Park Zoo. Toddlers will delight in seeing a variety of wildlife up close, including lions, tigers, and bears! The zoo also offers interactive exhibits and a petting zoo where little ones can get hands-on with friendly animals.
  • Wonders of Wildlife National Museum & Aquarium: Dive into an underwater world of wonder at the Wonders of Wildlife National Museum & Aquarium. Toddlers will be mesmerized by the colorful marine life on display, including sharks, stingrays, and a plethora of fish.
  • Rutledge Wilson Farm Park: Rutledge Wilson Farm Park offers a delightful blend of farm and park experiences for families with toddlers. Situated on over 200 acres of scenic land, the park features a working farm where children can interact with friendly animals such as goats, sheep, chickens, and more. Seasonal events are hosted at the park - check the events calendar for upcoming farm park activities and events!
  • Wild Animal Safari: Wild Animal Safari provides an unforgettable adventure for toddlers and families seeking an up-close encounter with wildlife. Located just outside Springfield, this drive-through and walkabout safari park allows visitors to observe exotic animals roaming freely in natural habitats from the comfort of their own vehicles. 


Dive into the magical world of storytelling at your local library's storytime sessions. Many libraries in Springfield offer regular storytime events specifically tailored to toddlers, featuring engaging tales, songs, and rhymes. It's a fantastic way to instill a love of reading and language in your little one from an early age.

Visit the Macaroni KID Springfield events calendar for more details on local storytimes for toddlers!

Parks and Playgrounds

  • Living Memorial Playground: A quaint playground near the Nature Center features smaller playground equipment, slides, and climbing structures, perfect for toddlers to explore.
  • Sequiota Park: This park offers scenic trails, a pond, and a playground area with plenty of space for toddlers to run and play.
  • Battlefield Park: A spacious park with open fields, walking paths, and a playground area featuring age-appropriate equipment for toddlers.
  • Springfield Botanical Gardens/Nathanael Greene Park: Explore beautifully landscaped gardens, tranquil ponds, and winding pathways suitable for strollers. The park offers multiple playground areas for toddlers to explore. 
  • Discovery Center Springfield: In addition to its indoor exhibits, Discovery Center Springfield features an outdoor playground area where toddlers can climb, slide, and engage in imaginative play. This playground is available after 3pm on weekdays. 

Click HERE to bookmark our Favorite Parks and Playgrounds in Springfield, Missouri

Splash Pads + Pools

  • Jordan Valley Park: Head to Jordan Valley Park for a day of outdoor fun. Toddlers can burn off some energy and splash around in the interactive fountain. 
  • Splash Pad at Howard Smith Park: Located in Strafford, this FREE splash pad offers numerous water features and fountains, with an adjacent playground. 
  • Pat Jones YMCA: Pat Jones YMCA offers a family-friendly indoor pool environment with designated areas for toddlers to safely enjoy the water under the watchful eye of their caregivers.
  • Chesterfield Family Center: Dive into indoor fun at Chesterfield Family Center's indoor pool, featuring shallow areas perfect for toddlers to splash and play under supervision.
  • Doling Family Center: Enjoy a family swim at Doling Family Center's indoor pool, where toddlers can paddle and splash in the designated shallow areas.
    • Chesterfield and Doling both offer Little Splashers - a designated swim time on weekdays for children 5 and under, accompanied by an adult in the water. 
  • Springfield-Greene County Park Board Pools: Enjoy aquatic experiences at multiple Springfield-Greene County Park Board outdoor pools with amenities like water slides, shallow areas for toddlers, and water features.
  • The Rush Aquatic Center: Dive into aquatic fun at The Rush Aquatic Center in Republic, featuring multiple outdoor pools, water slides, and splash pads for all ages.
  • Nixa Parks and Recreation Pool: Cool off and make memories at the Nixa Parks and Recreation Pool with a large swimming area and new interactive water features for toddlers.

See our Complete Springfield Area Splash + Swim Guide HERE

With so many exciting attractions and activities to choose from, Springfield, Missouri, is the perfect place for toddlers to play and explore! Whether you're exploring the great outdoors or diving into interactive attractions, there's something to delight and inspire toddlers of all ages. Rain or shine, there's always something exciting to discover and explore with your little one in tow. 

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When visiting local businesses and events in Springfield, be sure to tell them Macaroni KID sent you... and don't forget to tell all of your friends!
Macaroni KID Springfield is a free local events calendar, weekly newsletter, and website focused on family-friendly events and resources in the Greater Springfield, Missouri area. We gather all the local family-friendly events and activities happening in Springfield so you can find them all in one place!