It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Chestnuts roasting, open fires, kids out of school and making you want to pull out you hair. Wait, what?! Ok, so maybe it isn’t that bad, but let’s be honest. Being cooped up together during the dark, cold days of winter can wear on any parent. So here are some great fun and free things to do in 417-land this winter break!

5. Springfield’s Amazing Outdoor Space

The great thing about Missouri is that we’re almost bound to have some really nice days mixed in to the winter forecast. (Honestly, we could have ice followed by 60 degrees, right?) So take advantage of some of the mild days and enjoy some amazing spots in Springfield. You could take a walk at the Nature Center, or check out winter gardens at Nathanael Greene park. There’s also lots of other gorgeous parks and miles of Greenway Trails. Or maybe we will get some snow and you can have wintery hike!

4. Springfield Museums

There are some amazing museums in Springfield! The History of Hearing, The History of Scouting, The Art Museum, and The National Sporting Arms Museum are all free admission, just to name a few. You can certainly find something of interest to you and the kiddos.

3. The Greene County Library System

One of the things to love most about 417 is that we boast an incredible library system. Not only do we have wonderful access to books and resources, but the libraries in the county host great events for all ages. From crafts to book clubs, there is so much to do! Check with your local library for information on current offerings.

2. Bass Pro Shops

Granted, this one may end up as you telling your kids “no” a million times to things they want, but it’s still a great day outing. With live fish and turtles and about a zillion taxidermied animals, there is a ton to see. Besides, they have a really neat Christmas display, Santa’s Wonderland. You can have a free picture made with Santa, as well as enjoy lots of fun games and activities.

1. Hit Historic C-Street

Even if you aren’t buying anything, C-Street is a super fun place to take the kiddos. There are lots of cool antique shops and flea markets, and you can even tour the Askinosie Chocolate Factory. If you want to spend a little Christmas cash, have a tea party with the girls or buy some goodies at the Farmer’s Market.