For the size of town it's is, there's nothing to do there! Very boring place. It reminds me of a suburb of a big city where you have to drive miles and miles for something to do. The people are okay but only entertainment mainly is for drinkers. If you don't fish or hunt you have nothing to do there. I have always wonder how it grown to the size it is without having some kind entertainment.
Every time I tell someone I'm from Springfield, they ask two things: One, have you ever been to Branson (the answer is yes and I would like it if I were over 65 years old).
I agree, if you only go once in your life, you should at least TRY to go to Branson. There are tons of shows and it's where Vegas headliners go to die.
Another question I often get is, "Have you ever been to Bass Pro?" Which of course, the answer is yes (I'm not much of an outdoorsman myself though). They are technically two "must-see" things to do. I also recommend the Meramec Caverns, just north of Springfield on 13 Highway.
The biggest tourist attraction in Springfield is that it has the largest Brass Pro Shop in the world. Even if you are not a hunter or fisherman you must at least go in to see. There is a lot interesting stuff to see. They have many times of stuffed animals (i mean used to be alive and now they are stuffed). They also have some live animals like turtles, huge fish, and ducks. There is an aquarium downstairs, check the times and you watch them feed the fish. Dont forget to eat at the restaurant Hemingways if you like seafood (It is a little pricey). They now have the widlife museum which is great for kids
Built in 1909 and finally completed ten years later, the St Agnes Cathedral and Parish have a rich and troubled history. Thanks to the influx of more Catholic worshippers after the laying of the Atlantic-Pacific Railroad, the presence of train tracks essentially divided Springfield into "south" and "central" communities. With the establishment of a new parish in 1908 (St Agnes parish) thanks to these separated communities, a new house of worship came into being.
Built in 1905 at a cost of $22,000, this old church may have been the first in the city to be built of solid concrete blocks. Listed on Springfield's Register of Historic Sites, the front facade sports a small rose window, and thirteen other stained-glass windows were provided by a company in St Louis. Except perhaps for City Hall, St Joseph's has an incomparable architecture in Springfield.
Dave Tutt started for Hickok from near the original courthouse (no longer on the city square). The opponents were about 75 yards apart. Hickok had warned Tutt not to appear in public wearing his watch, which Tutt had taken as collateral for a gambling debt. Tutt was an expert pistolero himself, and heeded not such warnings. Reports indicate that Tutt drew first and fired, followed by two shots by Hickok in such rapid succession that they seemed to come on top of one another. Both men stood motionless. At such a distance, both would have been excused for missing altogether, but suddenly Tutt staggered and fell on his face. Hickok surrendered himself to authorities, but he was released in accord with the laws of the day. (Picture taken from Hickok's position. The woman at left stands on a similar marker showing Tutt's position, all at real-life magnification.)
The old Springfield City Square, now the Park Central Square, has seen its share of history. An open brass book on the square's perimeter lists over a dozen pages of Springfield's legacy, including a particular incident in 1865. At the end of the Civil War, Springfield was a hotbed of anti-Union sentiment, but also one of the wildest and toughest towns on the frontier. Wild Bill Hickok, who had been a Union scout, gravitated to Springfield like many others, finding the ladies and the gambling tables much to his liking. On July 21, he found himself in the public square fronting a tough adversary named Dave Tutt, whom Hickok had warned not to wear his (Hickok's) watch in public.
In the true Romanesque style, you can spend a considerable amount of time admiring the large stone blocks, the rounded tower at the corner, and even the gargoyles. Few buildings in Springfield can match "the perfect appearance of simple elegance and substantial beauty" of this wonderful structure (quoted from the June 1894 edition of The Springfield Democrat).
Springfield's former courthouse now serves for its city hall, the post office, and the History Museum for Springfield-Greene County. Built in 1894 in the Romanesque style, this classic building fronts the intersection of Boonville and Chestnut, giving it a prominent position to go with its classic appearance. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The first church organized in Springfield was established in 1832. After a schism in the church over the slavery issue, an earlier structure served in the Civil War as a Confederate hospital and later as a Union arsenal. Listed on Springfield's Register of Historic Places, the building was constructed in 1904 at a cost of $50,000.