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65 BEST Things to Do in Missouri (Top Venues & Activities!)

Explore the ultimate guide to Missouri's top attractions! From the iconic Gateway Arch to thrilling rides at Silver Dollar City and serene beauty of the Missouri Botanical Garden. Ideal for travelers seeking fun.

Tobi Miles
September 11, 2022
65 BEST Things to Do in Missouri (Top Venues & Activities!)

When traveling to Missouri, it’s important to have a plan in place and an exact list of things to do to make the most out of your vacation. Missouri is friendly, full of surprises, and filled with hidden gems. Let’s get your Missouri vacation in place and get your list ready to go!

With the number of things to do in Missouri, it's impossible to complete everything all in one day. From the most popular attractions to Missouri’s hidden gems, you'll want to add these to your list to get the most out of your vacation. You'll discover restaurants, museums, music venues, shopping, distilleries, tours, water activities, and more!

No matter what you have planned, Missouri has much to offer. Let’s dive into the 65 best things to do in Missouri.

65 Best Things To Do in Missouri

Visiting Missouri can seem overwhelming at a glance and you may have some trouble deciding where exactly to start on your trip. Below, we’ve put together an extensive list of things to do in Missouri to make your trip an unforgettable one.

1. Visit the Gateway Arch

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Map It: Gateway Arch, St. Louis, MO 63102 | Phone: (877)-982-1410 | Website | Hours: Open Daily: 9 AM-8 PM |  Entrance: Free

The Gateway Arch is one of the most iconic landmarks in St. Louis. When you visit the Gateway Arch, you’ll take a tram ride to the top. The Arch celebrates the westward expansion of the United States and the pioneers who made it possible.

You’ll begin your tour with their new pre-boarding exhibits featuring 60s era animation and Gateway Arch trivia. Each tram tour is around 45-60 minutes long. If you want the best experience, purchase your Tram Ride to the Top tickets before you arrive.
What you’ll need to know: The Tram Ride to the Top of the Gateway Arch is not fully accessible for guests with mobility impairments, as no wheelchairs, scooters, or strollers are permitted on the Observation Deck.

2. The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

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Map It: 4525 Oak St, Kansas City, MO 64111 | Phone: (816)-751-1278 | Website | Hours: Thursday: 10 AM-5 PM, Friday: 10 AM-9 PM, Saturday-Monday: 10 AM-5 PM  |  Entrance: Prices Vary

If you have a love for art, you’ll want to add the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art to your list of things to do. During your tour, you’ll connect with others while exploring art and cultural history from around the world. You’ll explore the museums and discover the art on the tour that is facilitated by one of its educators.

Some of their past exhibitions include The Art of Illusion, Objects of Devotion, The Creativity Studio, and Van Gogh Alive. For gifts as unique as their collection, you can stop by their shop. Tickets are not required for entry into the store.

What you’ll need to know: Most member and museum events are free for members. If there is a cost, members typically receive a discount.

Related Read: 40 BEST Things To Do in St. Louis

3. Missouri Botanical Garden

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Map It: 4344 Shaw Blvd, St. Louis, MO 63110 | Phone: (314)-577-5100 | Website | Hours: Tuesday-Sunday: 9 AM-5 PM, Monday: Closed | Entrance: Adults: $14, Child: $0, Military: $7, Senior: $14

With every visit you make to the Botanical Garden, it opens up new opportunities to discover something you didn’t know about plants. Whether we believe it or not, plants are connected to our lives. Whether you’re a first time guest, or frequent visitor, you can choose one of their special tours.

Tours are rotated seasonally so you can learn about new areas when it comes to plants. The Botanical Garden offers seventy-nine acres of displays. They also have a fourteen-acre Japanese Garden that is one of the largest in North America.

What you’ll need to know: You can visit their website to purchase tickets ahead of time.

4. Silver Dollar City

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Map It: 399 Silver Dollar City Pkwy, Branson, MO 65616 | Phone: (416)-336-7100 | Website | Hours: Tuesday-Friday: 10 AM-6 PM, Saturday & Sunday: 9:30 AM-10 PM, Monday: Closed | Entrance: Adults: $14, Child: $0, Military: $7, Senior: $14

When you visit Silver Dollar City, you’ll discover a unique adventure and world class entertainment that is nestled in the Ozark Mountains. From record-breaking rollercoasters to festival entertainment, Silver Dollar City provides hours of excitement! Silver Dollar City is an 1880s-style theme park that shows concerts, has crafts, restaurants, and sixty unique shops.

There are a variety of ways to play at Silver Dollar City from 1,2,3 day tickets to season passes. There are always special offers and convenient add-ons to customize your visit.

What you’ll need to know: There are plenty of free parking spaces available at Silver Dollar City. At most parking locations, a tram or bus will pick you up and take you to the admission gate.

Related Read: 15 Best Romantic Getaways in Missouri

5. City Museum

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Map It: 750 N 16th St, St. Louis, MO 63103 | Phone: (314)-231-2489 | Website | Hours: Open Daily: 10 AM-6 PM | Entrance: $18. $20 at the gate

If you want to add a fun thing to do for the kids, you’ll want to consider stopping by the City Museum. City Museum is a mixture of children’s playground, funhouse, and architecture that is made out of repurposed objects. Twenty artisans came together and constructed the museums using concrete, iron, limestone, bricks, tile, stone, belts, valves, tanks, and more.

What you’ll need to know: The museum highly recommends that sneakers or closed-toe shoes are worn in the museum. Sandals/flip flops are strongly discouraged.

6. Gateway Arch National Park

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Map It: 11 N 4th St #1810, St. Louis, MO 63102 | Phone: (877)-982-1410 | Website | Hours: Open Daily: 5 PM-11 PM | Entrance: Free

If you’re traveling to Missouri during the summer, stop by the Gateway National Park. This park is more than just observing the city from the top of the arch. In the summer, the park has Ranger-led outdoor walking tours where you’ll learn about the history of the area.

There are also Ranger-led indoor tours available. During this tour, you’ll explore museum themes with people who know them best. Each day’s tour topics will be posted in the museum and on the information boards when you arrive.

What you’ll need to know: All visitors must pass through an airport-style security checkpoint to get to the lower level of the Arch facility.

7. Saint Louis Zoo

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Map It: 1 Governmenr Dr, St. Louis, MO 63110 | Phone: (314)-781-0900 | Website | Hours: Tuesday-Saturday: 9 AM-5 PM, Sunday & Monday: 8 AM-7 PM | Entrance: Free, One day pass: $14.95

The Saint Louis Zoo is home to over 14,000 animals and nearly 500 species. Being one of the few free zoos in the nation, they attract nearly 3 million visitors annually and is the most-visited attraction in the region. As a free zoo, their visitors are always encouraged to come back.

When you visit the zoo, you’ll have plenty of time to see attractions. The zoo has 90 acres of animal exhibits, attractions, shopping, and dining for you and your family to enjoy. During your visit, you can also find zoo activities and programs to enjoy.

What you’ll need to know: All-day parking is available on the Zoo's North Lot on Government Drive and South Lot on Wells Drive. For current parking costs, please visit Parking & Directions.

Related Read: 40 Best Camping Spots in Missouri

8. Saint Louis Art Museum

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Map It: 1 Fine Arts Dr, St. Louis, MO 63110 | Phone: (314)-721-0072 | Website | Hours: Tuesday-Thursday: 10 AM-5 PM, Friday: 10 AM-9 PM, Saturday & Sunday: 10 AM-5 PM, Monday: Closed | Entrance: Free

The Saint Louis Art Museum collects and conserves works of art that are the highest quality across time and cultures. It educates, inspires discovery, and will elevate your human spirit, all while representing the full diversity of the Saint Louis community. Some of their past exhibits include Paintings on Stone, Impressionism and Beyond, Art Along the Rivers, and Oliver Lee Jackson.

If you are visiting, especially with young kids, it’s important to not touch the works of art. The art on display are unique, fragile, and irreplaceable.

What you’ll need to know: The Museum loans strollers free of charge. Child carriers can be worn only on the front or checked at a coat check. Wagons are not allowed in the Museum.

9. Forest Park

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Map It: 5595 Grand Dr, St. Louis, MO 63112 | Phone: (314)-367-7275 | Website | Hours: Open Daily: 6 AM-10 PM | Entrance: Free

Forest Park is one of the most beautiful parks in the world and one of the greatest civic treasures in St. Louis. It is the 6th most visited park in the United States and spans over 1,300 acres. It’s also home to five major cultural institutions: Saint Louis Art Museum, Saint Louis Science Center, Missouri History Museum, The Muny, and the St. Louis Zoo.

What you’ll need to know: They are a private nonprofit conservancy that depends on generous members, donors and volunteers, so it’s always recommended to make a donation.

10. National WWI Museum and Memorial

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Map It: 2 Memorial Dr, Kansas City, MO 64108 | Phone: (816)-888-8100 | Website  | Hours: Open Daily: 10 AM-5 PM | Entrance: Adults: $18, Seniors: $14, Military: $14, Youth: $10, Children under 6: Free

The National WWI Museum and Memorial is America’s Museum that is dedicated to remembering, interpreting, and understanding the Great War and the enduring impact on the global community. During your visit, you’ll discover many architectural and symbolic elements that make the museum one of Kansas City’s iconic landmarks.

You’ll be able to view the names that are inscribed on the wall in bronze in the Memory Hall who were residents of Missouri and died serving the Great War. During your visit, check out the Liberty Tower that rises 217 feet above the main courtyard.

What you’ll need to know: Free parking (including accessible parking) is located on the south side of the Museum and Memorial in the U-shaped drive and in the West Visitors Lot.

Related Read: 20 Top Treehouse Rentals in Missouri

11. Titanic Museum Attraction

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Map It: 3235 W 76 Country Blvd, Branson, MO 65616 | Phone: (800)-381-7670 | Website  | Hours: Monday: 9 AM-8 PM, Tuesday-Thursday: 9 AM-6 PM, Friday: 9 AM-4 PM, Saturday & Sunday: 9 AM-6 PM | Entrance: Adults: $32, Child: $15, Children under 4: Free

The Titanic Museum Attraction is located in Branson Missouri and one of the two Titanic-themed museums that are owned by John Joslyn. The museum holds 400 pre-discovery artifacts in twenty galleries. During your visit, you’ll step through the artificial iceberg into the museum and receive a passenger boarding ticket of an actual Titanic passenger.

During your tour, you will learn of the individual stories of several Titanic passengers. At the end of your tour, you will be told whether or not your passenger survived.

What you’ll need to know: Many days are sold out, to secure your preferred date and time reservations are required.

12. World’s of Fun

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Map It: 4545 World’s of Fun Ave, Kansas City, MO  | Phone: (816)-454-4545 | Website  | Hours: Saturday: 11 AM-9 PM, Sunday: 11 AM-8 PM | Entrance: From $39.99

World’s of Fun is every family’s go-to attraction destination in Kansas City. You’ll experience world-record attractions, world-famous food, world-class events, and world-changing fun! World’s of Fun is 236 acres of rides and slides and provides hours of enjoyment for all ages.

You’ll want to check out the Mamba rollercoaster while you’re there. It is the tallest coaster at the park, slithering up to 205 feet and a gravity-defying drop of up to 75 miles per hour.

What you’ll need to know: Your ticket includes unlimited use of all rides, shows, and attractions inside Worlds of Fun and Oceans of Fun for the day of your visit. It does not include extra charge attractions such as RipCord, or various concerts and special events.

13. Kansas City Zoo

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Map It: 6800 Zoo Dr, Kansas City, MO 64132 | Phone: (816)-595-1234 | Website  | Hours: Open Daily: 9:30 AM-4 PM | Entrance: Tickets for all guests: $17-$20, Children under 2: Free

Grab the family and head on over to the Kansas City Zoo that is home to more than 1,700 animals and represents more than 200 species. The Kansas City Zoo is always changing and has many featured exhibits. These exhibits include Helzberg Penguin Plaza, Stingray Bay, and Orangutan Canopy.

What you’ll need to know: The Zoo permits the use of small coolers and ice chests. Please leave glass containers, disposable straws/lids and balloons at home.

14. Six Flags St. Louis

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Map It: 4900 Six Flags Rd, Eureka, MO 63025 | Phone: (636)-938-5300 | Website Hours: Saturday: 11 AM-7 PM, Sunday: 11 AM-6 PM | Entrance: Starting at $36.49

Six Flags St. Louis is an amusement park with thrilling rides and a waterpark that features characters from many Warner Bros films. Its layout consists of eight-themed areas that have attractions, dining locations, and live entertainment. The Hurricane Harbor waterpark is free with admission.

What you’ll need to know: Loose articles are not permitted in certain ride queue lines or on any of their rides. Guests may leave items in a locker or with a non-rider. Ride attendants are not responsible for articles left on any ride dock.

15. Saint Louis Science Center

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Map It: 5050 Oakland Ave, St. Louis, MO 63110 | Phone: (314)-289-4400 | Website Hours: Monday: 9:30 AM-5:30 PM, Tuesday & Wednesday: Closed, Thursday: 9:30 AM-3 PM, Friday-Monday: 9:30 AM-5:30 PM | Entrance: General Admission is Free

The St. Louis Science Center is a collection of buildings that include a science museum and a planetarium in Forest Park. It features over 750 exhibits over 300,000 square feet, making it one of the largest museums in the United States. One of the most recognizable features in the museum is the 5-story domed Omnimax Theater.

This theater shows a variety of films and documentaries year round. In 2016, they added the GROW exhibit agricultural landscapes.

What you’ll need to know: Parking at the Oakland Building at 5050 Oakland Avenue costs $12 during the regular season (Labor Day to Memorial Day) and $15 during the summer season (Memorial Day to Labor Day).

16. Busch Stadium

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Map It: 700 Clark Ave, St. Louis, MO 63102 | Phone: (314)-345-9600 | Website Hours: Game times vary| Entrance: Ticket prices vary per game

Busch Stadium is the Cardinal’s 46,000 seat ballpark that they play Major League Baseball in. When you arrive for a game, you will receive an information guide that will assist you in providing information about the stadium and its accommodations. If you’d like an autograph from a player, you can arrive before the game and you may be lucky to score one.

Located across from the stadium, you’ll find the ballpark Village that gives you options for drinks and entertainment. You can step it up a notch and purchase an all-inclusive ticket that includes a full buffet complimentary bar service, and a great view of the game.

What you’ll need to know: You can visit their website here to purchase a ticket for a tour of Busch Stadium.

17.Country Club Plaza

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Map It: 4706 Broadway Blvd, Kansas City, MO 64112 | Phone: (816)-753-0100 | Website Hours: Monday-Saturday: 10 AM-7 PM, Sunday: 12 PM-6 PM | Entrance: Prices Vary

The Country Club Plaza is a shopping center located in the Kansas City area. It features over 130 retailers and restaurants that include Array, The Tuscan Grille, and The Cheesecake Factory. During your visit, you can enjoy special events, seasonal celebrations, and great sales offered by your favorite brands.

What you’ll need to know: The Plaza offers several garages filled with free parking year round. Additionally, street parking is available throughout the Plaza.

18. Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art

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4420 Warwick Blvd, Kansas City, MO 64111 | Phone: (816)-753-5784 | Website Hours: Wednesday:10 AM-4 PM, Thursday: 10 AM-9 PM, Friday-Sunday: 10 AM-4 PM | Entrance: Free

The Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art is a free museum that hosts a permanent collection of modern and contemporary works of art. It has exhibitions, installations, lectures, workshops, and other creative programs for all ages. If you’d like, you can contribute a small donation to the Museum in assist in keeping it free.

At Kemper Museum there is no charge for admission, parking, special exhibitions, or programs. Your donations will underwrite these expenses and inspire many thousands with contemporary art each year.

What you’ll need to know: If you’re interested in a tour, Tours for non-school groups may be available on a case-by-case basis.

19. Missouri History Museum

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Map It: 5700 Lindell Blvd, St. Louis, MO 63112 | Phone: (314)-746-4599 | Website Hours: Tuesday-Sunday: 10 AM-9 PM | Entrance: Free

If you’re a history buff, you’ll want to plan a day to stop by the Missouri history museum. The Museum offers both continuing and long-term exhibits. These exhibits explore the history of those who call St. Louis home.

The collections include national artifacts as well as Missouri and St. Louis-related materials such as local colonial and native artifacts. A large number of artifacts from the Lewis and Clark Expedition are also housed in the permanent collection.

What you’ll need to know: Limited parking is available in the two lots adjacent to the Museum, including several accessible parking spaces. An additional 400 free parking spaces can be found in the nearby Twin lots and street parking is also permitted throughout Forest Park.

20. The Magic House, St. Louis Children’s Museum

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Map It: 516 S Kirkwood St, St. Louis, MO 63112 | Phone: (314)-822-8900 | Website Hours: Open Daily: 9:30 AM-5:30 PM | Entrance: Adults: $12, Children under 1: Free

Bring your kids to the Magic House: St. Louis Children’s Museum for a day of fun. Magic House offers hands-on learning experiences for all ages that will spark their imagination, trigger their curiosity, enhance creativity, and develop problem solving skills. They are aligned with national academic standards and promote 21st-century skills.

If you’re traveling with a group, Magic House offers a special group rate for groups of 15 or more. If you want a group rate, a minimum of one chaperone is required for every five children.

What you’ll need to know: Parking at The Magic House is free and available in the large lot behind the Museum.

21. Meramec Caverns

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Map It: 1135 HWY W, Sullivan, MO 63080 | Phone: (573)-468-CAVE | Website Hours: Open Daily: 9 AM-6 PM | Entrance: Adults: $26, Children: $14, Children under 5: Free, Military: $15

Meramec Caverns is a great place to add to your things to do list. You’ll have a guided tour along well-lighted walkways and it’s conducted by trained rangers and occur every 20-30 minutes. On the tour, you will see both the rarest and largest cave formations in the world.

On the tour, you’ll learn how the ancient Wine Table was formed completely under water. The cave complex stretches upward past the height of a 7-story building. Meramec Caverns is the largest commercial cave in the state of Missouri.

What you’ll need to know: No strollers are allowed on the cave tour. Due to the grooves in the concrete walkway (which allow moisture and water to drain from the walkways), the small size of stoller wheels tend to cause excessive vibration to the stroller and the child.

22. Johnson’s Shut-Ins State Park

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Map It: 148 Taum Sauk Trail, Middle Brook, MO 63656 | Phone: (573)-546-2450 | Website Hours: See websiteEntrance: By reservation

Johnson’s Shut-ins State Park offers walk-ins, basic and electric campsites. They have a special use camping area that is designated for group camping and other separate camping areas. If your family is more of the outdoorsy type, pack your camping gear and give this state park a go!

What you’ll need to know: You are now able to reserve your Missouri State Parks campsite up to 12 months in advance, expanding from the previous six-month window.

23. Ha Ha Tonka State Park

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Map It: 1492 Missouri D, Camdenton, MO 65020 | Phone: (573)-346-2986 | Website Hours: See websiteEntrance: By reservation

Ha Ha Tonka State Park has intriguing history and outstanding geological features and should not be missed. The park features sinkholes, caves, a huge natural bridge, sheer bluffs, and Missouri’s 12th largest spring. There are ruins of a turn around castle that overlooks and offers impressive views of the Lake of Ozarks.

During your visit, you’ll run into a series of trails and boardwalks that will make it easy for you to experience all that the park has to offer. There are picnic sites available for you to bring lunch in a scenic setting.

What you’ll need to know: Avoid ticks by taking some simple precautions can help keep ticks off your body during your next outdoor adventure!

24. Harry S Truman Presidential Library and Museum

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Map It: 500 W US Hwy 24, Independence, MO 64050 | Phone: (816)-268-8200 | Website Hours: Monday-Saturday: 9 AM-5 PM | Entrance: Adults: $12, Youth: $5, Seniors: $10

The Harry S. Truman library and museum is an educational resource that inspires learning and supports national, local, and global citizenship. The library uses Truman’s life and legacy to inform and educate modern audiences about timeless wisdom. Through engaging exhibits and programs, the library and museum’s goal is to keep President Truman’s life and legacy alive.

What you’ll need to know: Visitors are allowed to take pictures throughout the museum but the use of a flash is prohibited.

25. Grant’s Farm

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Map It: 7385 Grant Rd, St. Louis, MO 63123 | Phone: (314)-843-1700 | Website Hours: Monday: 9 AM-5 PM, Tuesday-Thursday: Closed, Friday: 4 PM-9 PM, Saturday & Sunday: 9 AM-10 PM | Entrance: Free (Must purchase a parking ticket)

Grant’s Farm has become a refuge for more than 900 animals both large and small. During your visit, you will interact with many of the animals throughout the day and touch base with the expert team of caretakers. At the farm, they offer a variety of food and beverage options that you’ll be able to enjoy.

For guests over 21, you can take part in the long-standing tradition of a free beer sample. For a private behind the scenes tour, you can ride in their open air van to view the Busch family estate home, explore the inside of Grant’s Cabin, and hand-feed a variety of animals.

What you’ll need to know: When visiting the farm, you should purchase your parking ticket in advance.

26. Dogwood Canyon Nature Park

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Map It: 2038 State Hwy 86, Lampe, MO 65681 | Phone: (877)-459-5687 | Website Hours: Open Daily: 8:30 AM-5 PM | Entrance: General Admissiom: $15-$25, Child: $10.50-$17.50

Dogwood Canyon Nature Park is an outdoor paradise that is located in Lampe Missouri. It features 10,000 acres of natural rugged scenery in the Ozark Mountains. It is a popular family destination that offers hiking, biking, wildlife tours, horseback riding, and trout fishing.

In addition, you’ll see waterfalls, creek beds, handcrafted bridges, and wildlife. You’ll enjoy a carefully maintained landscape while also learning about conservation and interacting with nature up close.

What you’ll need to know: Dogs on a leash are welcome on all the trails and the restaurant patio. Pets are not permitted indoors or on the trams.

27. Negro Leagues Baseball Museum

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Map It: 1616 E 18th St, Kansas City, MO 64108 | Phone: (816)-221-1920 | Website Hours: Tuesday-Saturday: 10 AM-5 PM, Sunday: 12 PM-5 PM, Monday: 10 AM-2 PM | Entrance: Adults: $10, Seniors: $9, Kids: $6, Kids 4 & Under: Free

The NLBM is the world’s only museum that is dedicated and preserves the rich history of African American baseball and the impact that it had on America. The museum has welcomed more than 2 million visitors and has become one of the most important institutions in the world. If you have a love for baseball, this museum is worth checking out!

What you’ll need to know: Length of tours vary, but they recommend a minimum of an hour to fully enjoy the exhibit.

28. Fantastic Caverns

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Map It: 4872 N Farm Rd 125, Springfield, MO 65803 | Phone: (417)-833-2010 | Website Hours: Open Daily: 8 AM-8 PM | Entrance: Adult: $30, Child: $17, Child 5 Under: Free

Fantastic Caverns gives you a ride through experience in a deep drawn tram. You will tour the path left behind by an ancient underground river. During your 55 minute tour, trams will drive along a one mile route providing an up close and personal experience of the cave formations.

No walking is necessary and the trams are equipped with pull out ramps to accommodate wheelchairs and strollers. If you’re ready to experience Fantastic Caverns, just show up, purchase your ticket, and hop on a tram!

What you’ll need to know: Fantastic Caverns is open 362 days a year, with operating hours of 8 AM to dusk throughout the year except Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day.

29. Ozark National Scenic Riverways

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Map It: 404 Watercress Rd, Van Buren, MO 63965 | Phone: (573)-323-4236 | Website Hours: Monday-Friday: 8 AM-4:30 PM | Entrance: Free

The Ozark National Scenic Riverway is a recreational unit of the National Park Service in the Ozarks of Missouri. The park’s 80,000 acres are used for many forms of recreation, with canoeing being a popular activity. People also go kayaking and floating along the river on tubes.

Motorized boating with jonboats is also a popular activity of the locals. Other popular activities include horseback riding, hunting, hiking, fishing, camping, birdwatching, and nature Photography.

What you’ll need to know: In flood conditions, the river runs faster, carries debris, and is very treacherous. On land, flooding can make road crossings dangerous as well. Remember to never drive across a flooded roadway.

30. National Museum of Transportation

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Map It: 2933 Barrett Station Rd, St. Louis, MO 63122 | Phone: (314)-965-6212 | Website Hours: Wednesday-Monday: 9 AM-4 PM | Entrance: Adults: $15, Kids: $6, Seniore & Military: $12

The National Museum of Transportation is home to rail artifacts that include the Boston & Providence Railroad Passenger Coach built in 1833. The Museum’s rail and transit collections have grown to hold more than 190 exhibits. The collection is recognized as the largest collection of transportation vehicles in the world.

What you’ll need to know: There are $5.00 unlimited train rides (when operating), and it includes Handcar Rides (when operating).

31. Wonders of Wildlife National Museum and Aquarium

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Map It: 500 W Sunshine St, Springfield, MO, 65807 | Phone: (888)-222-6060 | Website Hours: Monday-Thursday- 10 AM-5 PM, Friday: 10 AM-7 PM, Saturday: 9 AM-7 PM, Sunday: 10 AM-6 PM  | Entrance: Adults: $32.50-$48.00, Child: $19.50-$24.95

Get an up close experience and see even more wildlife up close with a special tour. From interacting with penguins to swimming with sharks in the water, their interactive encounters will make it a trip to remember. With the penguin encounter, you’ll come face-to-face with all new penguin encounters at Penguin Cove.

You’ll learn about gentoo penguins and become immersed in the sights, sounds, and temperature of the environment. The penguin experience will last around 30-45 minutes. You’ll also experience meal time with the sharks.

What you’ll need to know: Parking is free across the Wonders of Wildlife and Bass Pro Shops campus.

32. Elephant Rocks State Park

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Map It: 7390, 7406 MO-21, Belleview, MO 63623 | Phone: (573)-546-3454 | Website Hours: See Website | Entrance: Free

Elephant Rocks State Park is known for its elephant-shaped boulders and are the stars of this unusual park in Missouri. These giant boulders stand end-to-end like a train of circus elephants. One of the easiest ways to make your way to the rocks is by Braille Trail.

The trail winds through the main area of rocks and leads back to the ruins of an old engine house. At the park, picnic tables are scattered among the trees and will be an inviting spot for you to take a rest or have lunch.

What you’ll need to know: For temporary closures related to weather, stewardship activities and maintenance, click here to visit the Park and Site Status Map.

33. American Jazz Museum

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Map It: 1616 E 18th St, Kansas City, MO 64108 | Phone: (816)-474-8463 | Website Hours: Tuesday-Saturday: 10 AM-5 PM, Sunday: 12 PM-5 PM, Monday: Closed | Entrance: Adults: $10, Seniors: $9, Child: $6, Children 4 & Under: Free

The American Jazz Museum highlights the sights and sounds of jazz through interactive exhibits and films. The museum hosts thousands of students, scholars, musicians, and fans of the arts for over 200 performances each year. For groups of 25 more, the museum offers guided tours that must be reserved in advanced.

The museum’s permanent exhibit has listening touch stations, touch screen interactives, custom mixing boards, and the John H. Baker film collection that displays artifacts and graphics. The changing gallery exhibit near the front entrance, displays work centered around Jazz and baseball. This museum is worth adding to your to-do list!

What you’ll need to know: The museum is easily accessible by car and bus. Unless there are highly attended 18th & Vine District events, parking on the street is readily available. Visitors may also choose to park in the lot behind the Museums at 18th & Vine.

34. Arabia Steamboat Museum

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Map It: 400 Grand Blvd, Kansas City, MO 64106 | Phone: (816)-471-1856 | Website Hours: Tuesday-Saturday: 10 AM-5 PM, Sunday: 12 PM-5 PM, Monday: 10 AM-5 PM | Entrance: Adults: $14.50, Seniors: $13.50, Child: $5.50, Children 3 & Under: Free

The Arabia Steamboat Museum is one of the most unique museums in Kansas and shows a time capsule of life on the American frontier in the mid 19th-century. You’ll have a one-of-a-kind opportunity to experience everyday objects that made life possible for pioneers in the 1800s. It is the largest, single collection of pre-Civil War artifacts in the world.

What you’ll need to know: They recommend 90 minutes to view the entire museum. There are no required stairs, and seating is available throughout the museum.

35. The Butterfly Palace and Rainforest Adventure

Credit: Rosemarie Mosteller / Shutterstock

Map It: 4106 W 76 Country Blvd, Branson, MO 65616 | Phone: (417)-332-2231 | Website Hours: Open Daily: 9 AM-5 PM | Entrance: Adults: $23.95, Kids: $15.95, Seniors: 21.95

The Butterfly Palace is a unique activity that the whole family will enjoy. During your visit, you’ll see the exotic butterfly aviary with over 1,000 live exotic butterflies that are imported from the rainforest. You’ll see the living rainforest science center and get to view over 25 reptiles and amphibians from the rainforest.

In addition, they have the Rainforest Theater where the kids can begin their butterfly excursion. Other activities include the Emerald Forest Mirror Maze, Banyan Tree Adventure, and the Base Camp Gift Shop.

What you’ll need to know: Due to limited capacity at their facility, online ticket sales are currently disabled. Tickets can still be purchased at their ticket counter on a first-come-first-serve basis.

36. Dickerson Park Zoo

Credit: Kimberly’s Impressions / Shutterstock

Map It: 1401 W Norton Rd, Springfield, MO 65803 | Phone: (417)-833-1570 | Website Hours: Open Daily: 9 AM-5 PM | Entrance: Adults & Teens: $16, Children: $11, Seniors: $13, Children 2 & Under: Free

Dickerson Park Zoo is located in Springfield Missouri and homes more than 500 animals that represent 160 species. During your visit, you can go on a 1.2 mile tour to spot these animals from all around the world. You’ll also be able to visit the outback petting zoo where you can spend $1 per token to feed the giraffes.

What you’ll need to know: Families can rent single stroller for $8 and double strollers for $10.

37. White Water

Credit: Khairil Azhar Junos / Shutterstock

Map It: 3505 West Highway 76, Branson, MO 65616 | Phone: (417)-336-7100 | Website Hours: Summer hours vary | Entrance: $69

White Water Waterpark is a great day of summer fun for people of all ages and it’s been voted one of America’s best outdoor water parks! This park features 2 million gallons of fun and 13 acres of water rides, slides, and waves. You’ll be able to enjoy the high tide of the 500,000 gallon surfs up wave pool, float tour cares away on the Aloha River, or splash in Coconut Cove.

What you’ll need to know: Changing rooms and showers are on site. Standard Lockers are available to rent for $15 per day. Family Lockers are also available for rent for $23 per day and a $5 refundable deposit is required for both locker sizes.

38. The Shepherd of the Hills

Credit: Rosemarie Mosteller / Shutterstock

Map It: 5583 W 76 Country Blvd, Branson, MO 65616 | Phone: (417)-334-4191 | Website Hours: Monday-Saturday: 9 AM-8 PM, Sunday: 9 AM-5 PM | Entrance: Ticket prices vary per show

The Shelherd of the Hills is a family entertainment park & farm that is centered around the legendary Outdoor drama and historic farm of the namesake novel, The Shepherd of the Hills. During the fall, you can visit their pumpkinfest where you can pick out a pumpkin, go on a hayride, paint a pumpkin, and more! Sit under the stars and enjoy this rustic outdoor theater.

What you’ll need to know: All tickets purchased online can receive a refund before 48 hours of showtime or tour.

39. Stone Hill Winery

Credit: DMangus / Shutterstock

Map It: 1110 Stone Hill HWY, Hermann, MO 65041 | Phone: (573)-486-2221 | Website Hours: Monday-Thursday: 10 AM-5 PM, Friday & Saturday: 10 AM-5:30 PM, Sunday: 11 AM-4 PM | Entrance: Prices Vary

Stone Hill Winery is the largest winery in the state of Missouri. It is one of the most popular tourist attractions and welcomes thousand of visitors each year. During your visit, you can take a guided tour of the winery’s arched underground cellars before settling in for wine tasting in one of three tasting rooms.

What you’ll need to know: You must be 21 or older to participate in the wine tasting events.

40. Hollywood Wax Museum

Credit: Ivan Dann / Shutterstock

Map It: 3030 W 76 Country Blvd Unit A, Branson, MO 65616 | Phone: (417)-337-8700 | Website Hours: Open Daily: 8 AM-12 AM | Entrance: Regular-$23.99-$29.99, Children: $13.99-$17.99, Children under 2: Free

At the Hollywood Wax Museum, you’ll get up close and personal with your favorite stars. You can get right next to them and snap a selfie and even use photo props. You’ll get to be a star amongst the stars while walking the red carpet and hanging in the Old West Saloon.

What you’ll need to know: If you’re visiting with 15 or more guests, you can book online for 15-25% OFF.

41. Outlaw Run

Credit: Eric Bowers / Flickr

Map It: 399 Silver Dollar City Pkway, Branson, MO 65616 | Phone: (800)-888-7277 | Website Hours: Monday & Tuesday: Closed, Wednesday & Thursday: 10 AM-9 PM, Friday: 10 AM-10 PM, Saturday: 9:30 AM-10 PM, Sunday: 10 AM-9 PM | Entrance: $69 - Price for Silver Dollar City Ticket

Try out Outlaw Run and test your grit as you blaze west through the great Ozarks frontier. The $10 million dollar ride sends passengers soaring through the Ozark Mountains on a ground-breaking wood coaster that features several firsts. Outlaw Run features the world’s first and only double barrel roll on a wooden coaster.

Outlaw Run is one of the fastest wood coasters in the world, reaching 68 miles per hour. You must be 48 inches or taller to ride this ride.

What you’ll need to know: A test seat is available at the front of the ride entrance so you may determine if you meet the seating requirements.

42. Fritz’s Adventure

Credit: Branson Convention / Flickr

Map It: 1425 W 76 Country Blvd, Branson, MO 65616 | Phone: (417)-320-6138 | Website Hours: Monday-Wednesday: Closed, Thursday: 10 AM-6 PM, Friday & Saturday: 10 AM-8 PM | Entrance: Starting at $24.95

Bring the kids and head over to Fritz’s Adventure for a day filled with fun and adventure! There is much to explore that includes an indoor/outdoor Treetop Course. The Treetop Course features 45 obstacles including 17 high-flying Ziplines, 8 suspension bridges, 2 free falls, and a crows nest.

Other activities include a ropes course, underground tunnels, laser maze, and more. This will be a day that won’t disappoint.

What you’ll need to know: The average family spends 2-4 hours at Fritz’s, but some have been known to stay 8+ hours.

43. Sea Life Kansas City

Credit: Crown Center / Flickr

Map It: 2475 Grand Blvd, Kansas City, MO 64108 | Phone: (816)-471-4386 | Website Hours: Monday-Friday: 10 AM-4 PM, Saturday & Sunday: 9 AM-5 PM | Entrance: Starting at $22.99

Sea life is the largest family of aquariums and includes sea life aquariums all over North America. At Sea Life, you’ll voyage into jaw-dropping underwater world’s. You’ll escape into an 180-degree underwater world, come face to face with sharks and sea turtles, touch a sticky anemone, and explore 12 exhibits.

What you’ll need to know: The best way of ensuring your family's entry is by reserving your tickets online (while receiving special online discounts).

44. Top of the Rock Golf Course

Credit: Branson Convention / Flickr

Map It: 150 Top of the Rock Rd, Ridgedale, MO 65739 | Phone: (417)-339-5343 | Website Hours: Open Daily: 7 AM-9 PM | Entrance: Prices Vary

Grab the boys and spend the day discovering and playing a round at Top of the Rock Golf Course. You’ll discover the beauty of the Ozark’s finest courses that Big Cedar Lodge has to offer. They were designed by some of the top names including Tiger Woods, Tom Watson, Gary Player, and Ben Crenshaw.

What you’ll need to know: In order to gain access to Top of the Rock amenities and attractions, there is a $10 entry fee.

45. Ameristar Casino Resort Spa St. Charles

Credit: Jim / Flickr

Map It: 1 Ameristar Blvd, St. Charles, MO 64161 | Phone: (636)-949-7777 | Website Hours: Open Daily: 24 hours | Entrance: Prices Vary

Sit back and relax at the Ameristar Casino Resort & Spa. The Ameristar offers a gaming and entertainment experience in the St. Louis Metropolitan Area. The Ameristar feature a 130,000 square foot casino, a full-service luxury suite hotel, an indoor-outdoor pool, dining venues, 12 bars, a luxury day spa, and an entertainment venue.

What you’ll need to know: The casino is closed Wednesdays from 5:00am to 6:00am.

46. Mark Twain Cave

Credit: Mike Steele / Flickr

Map It: 300 Cave Hollow Rd, Hannibal, MO 63401 | Phone: (636)-949-7777 | Website Hours: Open Daily: 9 AM-6 PM | Entrance: Adult: $24.99, Child: $14.99

The Mark Twain Cave was named after Mark Twain whose real name was Samuel Longhorne Clemens. It is the oldest operating show cave in the state of Missouri. The guided tour of the Mark Twain Cave takes around 55 minutes and is open year round.

What you’ll need to know: Before booking your tour, you should know that this cave does not have any steps and it is not wheelchair accessible.

47. Ripley’s Believe It or Not

Credit: Dustin Holmes / Shutterstock

Map It: 3326 W 76 Country Blvd, Branson, MO 65616 | Phone: (417)-337-5300 | Website Hours: Sunday-Thursday: 10 AM-8 PM, Friday & Saturday: 10 AM-10 PM | Entrance: Adult: $24.99, Child: $14.99

Ripley’s Believe It or Not was established in 1918 and is inspired by stories of people and places that are incredibly hard to believe but undeniably true. You’ll be welcomed to the world where truth is always stranger than fiction. You’ll explore the unusual and fascinating exhibits collected by the world-famous traveler Robert Ripley.

What you’ll need to know: The Odditorium is self-guided, allowing you to walk through at your own pace. Everyone’s experience is different, but it’s recommend planning up to 2 hours for your visit.

48. Legoland Discovery Center Kansas City

Credit: Jim Keeling / Flickr

Map It: 2475 Grand Blvd, Kansas City, MO 64108 | Phone: (816)-471-4386 | Website Hours: Monday-Friday: 10 AM-4 PM, Saturday & Sunday: 9 AM-5 PM | Entrance: Starting at $19.99

Legoland Discovery Center is a place where families and people of all ages will have a great day out! You’ll enjoy the ultimate two-story indoor playground and have the best day ever. You’ll surround yourself with millions of Lego bricks, take flight on Merlin’s apprentice, blast skeletons on Kingdom Quest ride adventure, and see your favorite characters on the Lego 4D theater.

What you’ll need to know: Adults must be accompanied by children to enter LEGOLAND Discovery Center. They will host exclusive adult nights for our Adult Fans of LEGO without children!

49. Weston Bend State Park

Credit: John Roever / Flickr

Map It: 16600 MO-45, Weston, MO 64098 | Phone: (816)-640-5443 | Website Hours: See website | Entrance: Free

Spend the day at Weston Park, where you’ll be offered picnic sites, a campground, and sweeping views of the Missouri River. You’ll come across trails and a scenic overlooks that is accessible by those with disabilities. Also, at the park, is a 3 mile-paved bicycle trail that will take hikers and bikers through the park’s woody terrain.

What you’ll need to know: For temporary closures related to weather, stewardship activities and maintenance, click here to visit our Park and Site Status Map.

50. Bogart’s Smokehouse

Credit: Louis Huang / Flickr

Map It: 1627 S 9th St, St. Louis, MO 63104 | Phone: (314)-621-3107 | Website Hours: Tuesday-Saturday: 10:30 AM-4 PM | Entrance: Prices Vary

Stop by for a bite to eat at Bogart’s Smokehouse for the best BBQ in town! The crew at Bogart’s invites you to experience their spin on America’s favorite food. From pulled pork and Smokey brisket, to moist Turkey and pastrami, you’ll get the freshest and flavorable dining experience around.

What you’ll need to know: You can visit their website to shop their sauces, rubs, and gift boxes.

51. Adrenaline Zone

Credit: Chris Dimond / Flickr

Map It: 1875 S Old HWY 94, St. Charles, MO 63303 | Phone: (636)-940-7700 | Website Hours: Friday & Saturday: 12 PM-10 PM, Sunday: 12PM-10 PM  | Entrance: Call for availability.

Stop by Adrenaline Zone for a game of Demolition Ball. It is played in a supercharged bumper car with two five-player teams. Demolition Ball created a unique opportunity for people of various ages and athletic abilities to face off in some fast-paced fun.

What you’ll need to know: To schedule a time you’ll need to call and make a reservation and check availability.

52. Hermann Wine Trail

Credit: Natalie Dyer / Flickr

Map It: 150A Market St, Hermann, MO 65041 | Phone: (573)-294-2228 | Website Hours: Open Daily: 10 AM-5 PM | Entrance: Prices Vary

The Hermann Wine Trail is a group of seven family-owned wineries that are located in Hermann Missouri. They have a quaint, country farm setting with historic wine cellars, and a rich style of wines. They are open year round so you can enjoy daily wine tastings and participate in six trail events featuring wine and food pairings.

What you’ll need to know: Ticket price includes a wine & food sample at each winery, and a souvenir wine glass you will receive at your first winery stop.

53. Chocolate Chocolate Chocolate Company

Credit: M012229 / Flickr

Map It: 5025 Pattinson Ave, St. Louie, MO 63110 | Phone: (888)-222-7710 | Website Hours: Monday-Friday: 9 AM-4:30 PM | Entrance: Prices Vary

If you have a sweet tooth, stop by the Chocolate Chocolate Chocolate Company. They hand craft chocolate truffles, caramels, peanut butter cups, and craft chocolate bars. If you like truffles, you’ll get to choose from Raspberry, Chocolate, Mint, and Espresso.

What you’ll need to know: Tours are limited to 10 people at a time.

54. Hidden Valley Ski Resort

Credit: Alberta Parks / Flickr

Map It: 17409 Hidden Valley Dr, Eureka, MO 63025 | Phone: (636)-938-5373 | Website Hours: Times Vary | Entrance: Prices vary per attraction.

Hidden Valley Ski Resort is the perfect place to bring your snowboard and have a fun day outdoors. They have what you call “ski the week” where you can have the mountain to yourself. Enjoy wide open runs, untouched snow, and more time doing what you love.

What you’ll need to know: For inquiries specific to resort offerings such as lessons or general questions please reach out to the resort directly.

55. Boulevard Brewing Company

Credit: Notley Hawkins / Shutterstock

Map It: 2501 Southwest Blvd, Kansas City, MO 64108 | Phone: (816)-474-7095 | Website Hours: Call for hours | Entrance: Prices vary

Grab your friends and head to Boulevard Brewing Company for a tour to see just how it’s made. They have tours for every occasion, whether you want to see the campus or brewing facility, you’ll learn about the beauty of beer and food. You can schedule an Unfitlered Tour to learn about the science of making and testing beers.

What you’ll need to know: Closed toes shoes are required when doing a tour.

56. Porter’s Candy World and Ice Cream Parlor

Credit: Stu_spivack / Flickr

Map It: 211 College St, Arcadia, MO 63621 | Phone: (573)-546-4249 | Website Hours: Thursday-Tuesday: 11 AM-8 PM | Entrance: Prices vary

Everyone loves ice cream, so grab the family and stop by Porter’s Candy World and Ice Cream Parlor. This is a great place for getting ice cream and many other snacks, candies, baked goods, etc. The place smells of delicious flavors with vanilla being the fan favorite!

What you’ll need to know: Visitors have said you can’t leave without trying their delicious rolls.

57. National Museum of Toys and Miniatures

Credit: Huang Chao / Flickr

Map It: 5235 Oak St, Kansas City, MO 64112 | Phone: (816)-235-8000 | Website Hours: Wednesday-Monday: 10 AM-4 PM | Entrance: Adult: $8, Seniors: $7, Ages 6-17: $5, Ages 5 & Under: Free

The National Museum of Toys & Miniatures is home to the world’s largest collection of fine-scale miniatures and one of the largest collections of historic toys. The toy collection documents societies cultural beliefs and the hopes and dreams of generations of children. Families and kids of all ages will love this museum.

What you’ll need to know: You can save time and purchase your tickets directly on the Museum’s website.

58. Blue City Deli, St. Louis

Credit: Jon Dickson / Flickr

Map It: 2438 McNair Ave, St. Louis, MO 63104 | Phone: (314)-773-8225 | Website Hours: Monday-Saturday: 10:30 AM-3 PM | Entrance: Prices vary

Grab a bite to eat at the infamous Blue City Deli. You can stop by and have a po-boy, red beans and rice, old fashioned soda, or an ice cold beer. You’ll also be able to listen to some of the best blues music you’ll ever hear.

What you’ll need to know: Due to meat shortages, their prices are subject to change.

59. Pappy’s Smokehouse, St. Louis

Credit: Thomas Hawk / Flickr

Map It: 3106 Olive St, St. Louis, MO 63103 | Phone: (314)-535-4340 | Website Hours: Hours vary| Entrance: Prices vary

Pappy’s Smokehouse prepares fresh food daily. They serve the best Memphis-style BBQ right in their location at downtown St. Louis. They make everything fresh, slow smoking their meats for 24 hours over sweet apple or cherry wood.

What they’ll need to know: They do not take reservations, as they operate on a first come, first serve basis.

60. Flat Branch Pub & Brewing

Credit: Michaelynn Borich

Map It: 115 S 5th St, Columbia, MO, 65201 | Phone: (573)-499-0400 | Website Hours: Sunday-Thursday: 11 AM-9 PM, Friday & Saturday: 11 AM-10 PM | Entrance: Prices vary

Flat Branch Pub & Brewing offers a diverse menu as well as award-winning hand-crafter beers on tap. You’ll enjoy your stay in an upscale industrial setting, their outdoor patio, and their friendly bar. You can try their pub favorites like Cat Fish and Chips, Bratwurst, or their Romaine Salad.

What you’ll need to know: Dine-in is first come, first served. Please check in with host to be seated or placed on the waiting list.

61. Garrozo’s Kansas City

Credit: KC Magazine / Flickr

Map It: 526 Harrison St, Kansas City, MO 64106 | Phone: (816)-221-2455 | Website Hours: Monday-Thursday: 11 AM-9 PM, Friday: 11 AM-10 PM, Saturday: 3 PM-10 PM, Sunday: 3 PM-9 PM | Entrance: Prices vary

Garrozo’s is an itslian restaurant that provides first class service and dining. Try their Garrozo that is topped with amogio, a blend of olive oil, garlic, lemon juice and herbs,  Served with side of pasta and Maggie’s sugo. One thing’s for certain, you’ll leave with a full stomach!

What you’ll need to know: It is recommended that you make a reservation to dine at this location.

62. Big Surf Waterpark

Credit: Chris Nelson / Flickr

Map It: 954 State Highway Y, Linn Creek, MO 65052 | Phone: (573)-346-6111 | Website Hours: Summer hours vary | Entrance: $39.95

If you’re traveling to Missouri in the summer, you’ll want to stop by Big Surf Waterpark for a day of fun in the sun! This is a wonderful waterpark for the whole family that is clean and the grounds are beautiful. If you have younger children, you’ll want to check out their Tropical Splash Island.

What you’ll need to know: There is no food or drink permitted into the park.

63. Splash Country

Credit: Branson Convention / Flickr

Map It: 1945 W 76 Country Blvd, Brandon, MO 65616 | Phone: (417)-335-3535 | Website Hours: Monday-Thursday: 1 PM-9 PM, Friday: 1 PM-10 PM, Saturday: 10 AM-10 PM, Sunday: 10 AM-9 PM | Entrance: Prices Vary

Splash Country waterpark is Branson’s premier indoor and outdoor waterpark. It features nine water-filled attractions from a lazy river to an action packed treehouse with 1,000 gallon tipping bucket. You can even try out Driller’s Cove and test out your basketball skills to see who has the best shots in the family!

What you’ll need to know: Splash Country waterpark has all inclusive packages available here.

Related Read: 20 Treehouse Rentals in Missouri (Accommodating With Attractions!)

64. Bigfoot Fun Park

Credit: Branson Convention / Flickr

Map It: 3608 W 76 Country Blvd, Branson, MO 65616 | Phone: (800)-562-2416 | Website Hours: Open Daily: 10 AM-10 PM | Entrance: Starting at $12.95

The Bigfoot Fun park offers a variety of attractions that are all themed around Bigfoot and designed for people of all ages. This park features indoor and outdoor activities including the Bigfoot Action Tower and Bigfoot adventure mini park. It has a large outdoor patio, indoor and outdoor party spaces, a visitor center and free light shows.

What you’ll need to know: If you’re planning on riding rides, make sure you wear closed toe shoes.

65. Raging Rivers Waterpark

Credit: AScottishzmanc / Flickr

Map It: 100 Palisades Pkwy, Grafton, IL | Phone: (618)-786-2345 | Website Hours: Hours vary | Entrance: Prices vary

Located just forty minutes from St. Louis is Raging Rivers Waterpark. Raging Rivers has a giant wave pool, body flumes, Endless River, Tree House Harbor, and a family interactive play area. You can buy day passes and spend the entire day here!

What you’ll need to know: It’s highly recommended that you bring water shoes along for the trip.

Tobi Miles
Article updated:
March 28, 2024
A nomadic wordsmith savoring the world's flavors and penning stories that turn every journey into an epic.
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