Joplin Things to Do

  • Joplin Visitors Center
    Joplin Visitors Center
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  • Missouri Visitors Center
    Missouri Visitors Center
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  • Anthony Benton Gude Mural
    Anthony Benton Gude Mural
    by Basaic

Best Rated Things to Do in Joplin

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    Murphysburg Residential Historic District

    by Basaic Updated Oct 8, 2014

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    Another great free thing to do in Joplin is take a walking tour through the magnificent Murphysburg Residential Historic District. This district has an impressive collection of Queen Anne and Victorian style homes and historically/architecturally interesting businesses and churches.

    Murphysburg Residential Historic District Murphysburg Residential Historic District Murphysburg Residential Historic District Murphysburg Residential Historic District
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    Joplin, Missouri

    by Basaic Written Oct 2, 2014

    Joplin is a small city of almost 50,000 (up 9% since 2000) located at the intersection of Interstate 44, US Highway 71 and lots of Missouri Highways in Jasper County )and a bit in Newton County) in Southwest Missouri just across the border from Kansas. My first time in Joplin was September 1978. I found a really good Italian restaurant and enjoyed the town quite a bit. My latest visit in 2014 confirmed my feelings; I like this town! Joplin was established in 1873 and grew rapidly due to zinc and lead mining. The town was named after Reverend Harris Joplin an early settler and the man who started the first Methodist Congregation here (sorry, not named after Janis or Scott). Joplin is on the old Route 66 and is a popular stop for those following that route today. Joplin was also prominent in the news in 2011 when much of the city was destroyed or badly damaged by a tornado. Joplin has recovered quite well, though.

    Welcome to Joplin Joplin City Hall
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    Look Inside the Joplin City Hall

    by Basaic Written Oct 8, 2014

    Make sure you look inside the Joplin City Hall. It is located in an historic building and has a very impressive interior with beautiful ceilings, chandeliers, staircases and stained glass windows. The Joplin Visitors Center is in here too so stop here to pick up information to help you plan and enjoy your visit.

    Inside City Hall Stained Glass Window Joplin Visitors Center
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    Missouri Welcome Center

    by Basaic Written Oct 8, 2014

    As you first enter Missouri along Interstate 44 you will find a nice Missouri Welcome Center at Mile Marker 2, near Joplin. This is a great place to stop and pick up maps and brochures to help you plan your visit, advice from the knowledgeable attendants, and a free cup of coffee. Make sure you also get one of the free coupon books for hotels along the interstate system. These can save you big bucks.

    Missouri Visitors Center
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    Murals in City Hall

    by Basaic Written Oct 8, 2014

    Also while you are in the city hall, check out the beautiful murals by Thomas Hart Benton and Anthony Benton Gude (grandson of Thomas Benton). The Benton Mural depicts Joplin in 1900 (sorry, my pic did not come out well) and the Gude Mural depicts Joplin in the heyday of Route 66. Both are quite nice and worth the effort to see.

    Anthony Benton Gude Mural
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    Joplin Museum Complex

    by Basaic Written Oct 8, 2014

    The Joplin Museum Complex is located in Schifferdecker Park. It consists of 5 museums: The Everett J. Ritchie Tri-State Mineral Museum, The Dorothea B. Hoover Historical Museum, The Empire District Electric Company Museum, The Joplin Sports Authority Sports Hall of Fame, and The National Historical Cookie Cutter Museum. Hours are 10 AM to 7 PM on Tuesday and 10 AM to 5 PM on Wednesday through Saturday. Admission is $2 for adults and free for kids 17 and under. You can buy a family pass for $5. Admission is free on Tuesdays. Closed Sunday and Monday.

    Joplin Museum Complex Mining Equipment Display
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    Schifferdecker Park

    by Basaic Written Oct 8, 2014

    There are a multitude of things to do in Schifferdecker Park besides (or in addition to) visiting the museums. The park has a pool, a playground, golf course, tennis courts, basketball hoops, picnic area, shade trees to beat the heat and lots of ground to stretch your legs. Schifferdecker Park has been an attraction along Route 66 since 1932.

    Schifferdecker Park Pool at Schifferdecker Park
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    Route 66 Carousel Park

    by Basaic Written Oct 8, 2014

    Route 66 Carousel Park is a small amusement park with a variety of carnival-type rides and concessions, along with two mini-golf courses, batting cages, and more. Lots of variation in pricing and hours so check out their website for planning your visit.

    Route 66 Carousel Park Rides Mini-Golf
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    Spiva Arts Center

    by Basaic Written Oct 8, 2014

    This center was started by businessman/philanthropist George A. Spiva and has provided a fine arts experience to the public for almost 60 years. After moving a few times the center seems to have found a permanent home downtown in the old Cosgrove Building. Hours are 10 AM to 5 PM Tuesday through Saturday and 1 PM to 5 PM on Sunday. Admission is usually free, although they do charge for some special exhibits.

    Spiva Arts Center
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    Spiva Park

    by Basaic Written Oct 8, 2014

    Spiva Park is a nice little spot of green amongst the concrete and asphalt of a typical city downtown area. The park is dedicated to businessman/philanthropist George A. Spiva. I liked the statue of Spiva sitting on a park bench looking out on the city he loved, and the fountain dedicated to the mining industry that helped start the town.

    Spiva Park George A. Spiva Relaxing Fountain and Miner Statue
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    Joplin Historic Districts

    by Basaic Written Oct 8, 2014

    Joplin has a number of historic districts with numerous buildings of historical and/or architectural interest. There are 5 districts and quite a few buildings in Joplin listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

    Joplin Downtown Historic District Joplin Downtown Historic District Joplin Downtown Historic District Joplin Downtown Historic District Joplin Downtown Historic District
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    Joplin Public Library

    by Basaic Written Oct 9, 2014

    The Joplin Public Library is kind of three libraries in one. It houses the typical public library, a special children's library and the Post Memorial Art Reference Library. The building itself is pretty impressive and the interior even more so. The main reading room is made to resemble a Renaissance-era English great hall and houses a nice collection of art and antiques. Hours are 9 AM to 8 PM Monday through Thursday, 9 AM to 6 PM Friday and Saturday and 1 PM to 5 PM on Sunday.

    Joplin Public Library Detail on Building Detail on Building
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    Joplin Mural

    by Basaic Written Oct 9, 2014

    There are several murals in Joplin but the one I found most interesting was this one. It is made of quite a number of citizens of the town holding signs they made that say "I am _____". This really gives you an idea of what the citizens of the town are like and their diversity.

    I Am Joplin Mural
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    Other Murals

    by Basaic Written Oct 9, 2014

    There are a number of other murals in town that depict the history of the town and its present day character. Efforts on my part to meet the woman that modeled for the figure wrapped in the curtain (photo 3) met with negative results.

    Welcome to Joplin Mural Art, Music and Dance
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Joplin Things to Do

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