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What Makes Springfield, MO a Great Place to Retire?

Who says retirement means slowing down?

Here in 417-land, your golden years can be whatever you want them to be!

From shopping and dining to cultural attractions, Springfield is the perfect place to pursue your passion. Treat your grandkids to a day at the ballpark or a walk through the zoo. Join your friends for exciting live performances and art exhibits. Or get energized with an invigorating workout or outdoor adventure.

Here’s our roundup of what makes Springfield a fun and friendly place for retirement living.

Parks & Outdoor Attractions  

With so many natural wonders so close to home, the Ozarks region offers convenient access for a day trip, staycation or weekend getaway. You’ll find lots of camping, hiking, hunting and fishing opportunities just a short drive away. A little closer to home, the Springfield metro area offers lots of places to enjoy a brisk walk or bike ride.  

Springfield Conservation Nature Center

4601 South Nature Center Way, 65804

You don’t have to wander far to connect with nature on 80 beautiful acres within city limits. Get an up-close view of over 170 species of wildlife along 3 miles of trails that take you through forest, prairie and glade habitats. Experience nature and conservation exhibits and participate in educational programs for all ages.

Dickerson Park Zoo

1401 West Norton Road, 65803

Got a grandkid who loves animals? Treat them to a 1.2-mile tour of over 450 species from all over the world. Say hello to kangaroos from Australia, giraffes from Africa or black bears from right here in North America. There’s also a playground, a train ride and a petting zoo where visitors can feed the animals.

Lake Springfield Park, Boathouse & Marina

2312 Lake Springfield Park Road, 65804

This 158-acre park offers boat rentals, fishing and gorgeous walking trails for taking in the beauty of Lake Springfield. The landscape features woods, bluffs and more than a mile of shoreline, and you can reserve the boathouse for birthday parties and other events. Get a glimpse of wildlife including deer, turkey and waterfowl, and put on your heavy coat to see the eagles during the winter. 

Springfield Botanical Gardens at Nathanael Greene, Close Memorial Park

2400 South Scenic

Springfield Botanical Gardens is another great place to experience nature close to home. Visit the Mizumoto Japanese Stroll Garden to enjoy winding paths, a meditation garden and traditional tea house. Travel back in time at the Gray-Campbell Farmhouse, which features a two-crib barn and a one-room schoolhouse. Let your grandkids enjoy an afternoon of fun on the main playground or at one of many playpods along the trail.

Rutledge-Wilson Farm Community Park

3825 West Farm Road 146

Greene County’s rich agricultural heritage is on full display at this 207-acre themed park. Take in the view of 20 acres of native prairie, enjoy the tranquility of the fishing pond or grow your own greens with a garden plot rental. Grandkids will enjoy a visit to the animal barns and the farm-themed playground. 

More Springfield-Greene County Parks

Throughout Springfield

No matter what part of Springfield you live in – North, South, East or West – there’s a convenient park for you to enjoy. Pack a picnic lunch. Lace up your sneakers for a walk. Or let the grandkids enjoy an afternoon on the playground. Local parks also feature basketball courts, tennis courts, ball fields and swimming pools, depending on the location: 

Doling Park 

Fassnight Park 

Grant Beach Park 

Lafayette Park

Phelps Grove Park

Sequiota Park

Silver Springs Park

Smith Park

Washington Park

Art, Culture & History

From live entertainment and sporting events to creative art exhibits, Springfield offers a vibrant and welcoming culture for all ages. Our city is home to a symphony, ballet and opera, as well as cultural events throughout the year, including Artsfest on the first weekend in May.

Here are some of our city’s favorite attractions for the young and young-at-heart.

Wonders of Wildlife Museum

500 West Sunshine Street, 65807

If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, you and your guests won’t want to miss the largest immersive wildlife attraction in the world. Experience breathtaking habitats throughout the world, from the icy cold Arctic to hot, dry deserts. Get up close and personal with sharks and other sea creatures in the aquarium. Learn about conservation through engaging encounters the wildlife that make their homes in lakes, rivers and oceans.

Discovery Center of Springfield

438 East Saint Louis Street, 65806

Want to introduce your grandkids to the wonderful world of science, technology, engineering and math? Treat them to a curiosity-inspiring day at Discovery Center in Downtown Springfield. This hands-on museum lets participants dig for dinosaur bones, learn about weather patterns and explore how we create and use energy. And no visit is complete without some hair-raising fun with the Van de Graaf generator.

History Museum on the Square

154 Park Central Square

Celebrate Springfield’s role in American history on the square downtown. Eight interactive galleries take you on a journey through Native American history, introduce you to Springfield’s founders and transport you to the Birthplace of Route 66. You’ll learn intriguing facts about Springfield’s role in the Civil War and Wild Bill Hickock and the first shoot-out in the American West. 

Juanita K. Hammons Hall for the Performing Arts

525 South John Q. Hammons Parkway

Enjoy live performances across all genres at this beloved venue on the Missouri State campus. Their annual Broadway season includes recent hit shows and beloved classics. The Springfield Symphony Orchestra presents thrilling performances throughout the year. Check their schedule often to catch nationally renowned entertainers and traditional holiday performances. 

Springfield Art Museum

1111 East Brookside Drive

With exciting exhibits and learning opportunities for all ages, the Springfield Art Museum is a great place to stimulate your creative side. Sign up for an adult class to experience the joy of drawing, watercolor, ceramics and jewelry making. Special exhibits range from national artists to local works from Missouri State students and faculty. Their permanent collection features over 10,000 works including paintings, textiles, pottery, ceramics and sculptures from around the world. 

Springfield Cardinals at Hammons Field

955 East Trafficway, 65802

There’s no better way to spend a warm afternoon than at Hammons Field, home of the Springfield Cardinals, our city’s Double-A affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals. Chow down on delicious concessions, and cool off with refreshing drinks. Try your hand at exciting games between innings to win cool prizes. Season ticket packages and single game tickets are available. 

Get Moving with Local Sports & Fitness

Springfield is a great place to enjoy an active, healthy retirement. Here’s just a few of our city’s wonderful exercise and fitness opportunities. 

Family & Community Centers

The Springfield-Greene County Park Board offers convenient family centers throughout the community. 

  • Chesterfield Family Center
  • Dan Kinney Family Center
  • Doling Family Center

Build your endurance with indoor tracks and cardio machines. Keep those muscles strong with weight lifting. Or join your friends for a variety of classes for all skill levels. Each family center has a range of membership options, so you can choose the one that’s best for you.

Springfield Family YMCA

With locations throughout the city, the Springfield Family YMCA offers wellness programs for all ages. Their active older adult programs promote good health and friendships for those 50 and older. The SilverSneakers® preventive exercise program helps you build and maintain strength, flexibility, balance and endurance for the active lifestyle you lead.

Southwest Missouri Senior Games

Are you up for a little competition?

The Southwest Missouri Senior Games offer fun, socialization and recreation for athletes 50 and older. Participants gather at the Northview Center every June for a variety of events including billiards, archery, golf, track and field and more!

Public Golf Courses 

The Springfield-Greene County Park Board offers three regulation 18-hole public courses throughout the area. Each course offers unique challenges for all skill levels, along with pro shops and concessions. Ask about competitive leagues, lessons, outing packages and frequent player programs to make the most of your golfing experience. 

Public Tennis  

If an afternoon of tennis is your favorite way to stay fit, the Springfield-Greene County Park Board has you covered. No matter where you live, you’ll enjoy easy access to tennis courts throughout the community: 

  • Gillenwater Tennis Complex features 12 lighted courts, picnic tables and play equipment for children.
  • Perry Tennis Courts feature 6 lighted courts and park benches.
  • Area parks that include tennis courts include Doling, Ewing, Glenwood, Grant Beach, Jenny Lincoln, Nichols, Phelps Grove, Silver Springs, Smith, Tom Watkins, Washington, Westport and Zagonyi.

Find Helpful Resources

Springfield is blessed with an affordable cost of living compared with similar-sized cities. From stylish apartments to single family homes, there’s something for every life stage and price point. 

If you’re looking for the freedom to live the life you want without the hassle of chores and yard work, an independent living community may be a good choice. In Springfield, you’ll find lots of gorgeous communities with beautiful, clean apartments, delicious dining options and amenities for an active lifestyle.

Many communities offer housekeeping and transportation services for extra convenience. You can also participate in social activities where you can get to know your neighbors. 

If you’re new to the area, it’s easy to find state-of-the-art healthcare in every specialty including dermatology, ophthalmology, endocrinology and more. Springfield boasts two top 100 hospitals and Level I trauma centers. Our community’s leading health systems are Cox, Mercy, Ozarks Community Hospital and Jordan Valley Health Center. 

Finally, Springfield Senior Centers offer information and resources for adults 55 and older. Get in touch with health, nutrition and fitness services that meet your specific needs. Have some fun with dance lessons, choral singing, arts and crafts and bingo nights. Indulge your passion for lifelong learning with classes on everything from computer technology and sign language to ceramics and tai chi. Get involved with holiday events, concerts and field trips. 

Learn More About Springfield Living

Want to learn more about why Springfield is a great place to enjoy an active retirement? Download our free relocation guide today!

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