When the quads were infants, George’s cousin and his wife came to visit from Missouri. Unfortunately, we hadn’t seen them in person since. Life with quads was busy, and they too found themselves busy with life. A seven hour road trip with four babies never sounded like a good idea.
After our first successful road trip last summer, we decided to take the quads on a spring break road trip- to Missouri. They were ecstatic! For weeks they asked when we were going to Missouri, and what states they’d see en route (primarily Oklahoma, and a step into Kansas). On our way through Oklahoma we decided to skip familiar fast food chains for lunch in favor of something local. Siri didn’t steer us wrong when she suggested The Chicken Shack off Route 66 in Luther, Oklahoma. Everything was made to order and delicious. The kids thought it was fun driving along Route 66 like Lightening McQueen too.
The kids traveled really well, but were thrilled when we reached our destination and they got to meet their cousins.
Being the “Show Me State”, Missouri boasts numerous scenic, natural activities. We planned on exploring the great outdoors and taking the kids on a hike through the Ozarks (their first time in the mountains). The weather ended up being less than ideal for anything outdoors, especially for Texans who didn’t pack adequate winter attire. The temperature was below freezing and it snowed enough to keep us inside, but not enough for snow play. Besides enjoying the company of our cousins, we found plenty to do in Springfield.
Okay, we didn’t get out of the car for this one because it was freezing and snowing, but the kids got a kick out of seeing the World’s Largest Fork. It’s an impressive 35 feet tall and 11 tons!
Admittedly, I was not excited about visiting the Bass Pro shops since we have them in Texas, and I’ve been. I learned, however, that Springfield is home to the original Bass Pro Shop and is known as the “Granddaddy” of them. It is notably larger than the others and includes numerous family-friendly wildlife attractions, shows, museums, and other activities. Even if you’ve seen a Bass Pro Shop elsewhere, it’s worth stopping by the Springfield store. Best of all- it’s FREE!
The Discovery Center was the highlight of Missouri for the kids. We were able to use our museum passes from home for free admission with to the ASTC travel passport program. At the Discovery Center, the kids enjoyed exploring numerous hands-on activities and learning about the five senses with larger than life displays.
Lambert’s isn’t just a restaurant, it’s an experience. Due to it’s popularity, the wait time for a table is usually at least an hour, but it’s worthwhile! Lambert’s serves up southern comfort food with family style sides. They are best known for their scrumptious warm rolls, which aren’t handed to you. They are thrown! That’s right, if you want a roll with your dinner, you’ll have to catch it, or hope someone will share with you. Harper attempted catching a roll with his t-ball skills, but discovered it was a tad hot for him.
The Missouri landscape conceals thousands of caverns, many of which are open for tourists. Given the age of our kids, we decided to visit the Fantastic Caverns, which is America’s only ride through cavern. We learned about the history of the cavern, conservation, and experienced complete darkness. Following the tour, we were happy the kids found affordable souvenirs in the gift shop ($2-10 each).
Though there are other locations, Hurts Donut Company opened it’s first shop in Springfield, and
there’s always something fun about visiting the original. We enjoy donuts for breakfast on Saturday mornings, but these are better served as dessert. At Hurts Donut Company, you’ll find a wide assortment of cake donuts slathered in delectible frosting and sprinkled with everything from familiar candies to cookies.
We had a great time in Springfield, and look forward to returning when we can enjoy the great outdoors! If you ever pass through Springfield, or stop for a while, maybe you can visit one of our destinations.