Springfield is a city with some hidden gems. Among them are some extremely cool museums. From military history to 417 history, there’s something for everyone. And the best part? Most of them are free! Check out all the options!

1. Springfield Art Museum

Boasting works from world-renowned artists, the Springfield Art Museum is a wonderful day outing. They also often host works from local artists or even students from local schools. They even have lectures and plays that take place there, and most of it is free.

2. Air and Military Museum of The Ozarks 

If you’re a military buff, put this on your to-do. Here you can see vintage military aircraft, Jeeps, and all the tools of war. There are also interactive exhibits. With more than 5,000 pieces of memorabilia, this museum is pretty amazing.

3. Route 66 Car Museum

Automobiles more your thing? Then this is your jam. Here you can see all sorts of neat vintage vehicles that used to travel historic Route 66. The museum is set up like a garage, and there’s even a gift shop.

4. NRA National Sporting and Arms Museum

Located inside Bass Pro, this is the place to take the gun enthusiast in your life. The museum houses some historical firearms that are really interesting, as well as displays different firearms throughout history.

5. History Museum on The Square

Want to know more about the checkered past of 417-land? This is the place to go. From a Civil War battle to a famous Western shootout on the square, Springfield has some pretty interesting history to learn about!

6. Missouri Institute of Natural Science

You don’t have to go all the way to Chicago’s Field Museum for natural history. You can find lots of it here in Springfield! This museum houses hundreds of plant, mineral, and animal specimens. It’s a great place to take the kids, too!

7. Railroad Historical Museum

Though only open on Saturdays, this is a cool place to see how the West was conquered, thanks to the advent of rail travel. You can sit in air-conditioned cars and see vintage trains.

8. History of Hearing Museum

Located on historic C-Street, this one will give you some insight into what it’s like not to have the gift of hearing. You can also see what tools and technologies existed throughout history to deal with hearing impairment.

9. Wonders of Wildlife Museum & Aquarium

This one is definitely not free, but is is a really interesting experience. See all sorts of domestic fish and wildlife–as well as some you wouldn’t expect in Missouri.

10. Pythian Castle

OK, it’s not technically a museum. But it is chock full of history and ghoulish tales. You can take castle tours or attend one of their many events–including a ghost tour! Admission varies according to event.