Springfield MO Day Trip into the Holidays

The best Day Trips are often spontaneous. Road trips are practically required in these last days of mild weather this year. Kids will love this trip.

We started from the Hilton Garden Inn, South Nature Center Way, Springfield, MO and headed east on Hiway 60 to Mansfield, MO. First stop: visit the home of literary legend Laura Ingles Wilder.

Laura Ingles Wilder Home in Mansfield MO just off Hiway 60.

Home of Laura Ingles Wilder in Mansfield MO just off Hiway 60

Getting there – The Wilder home is a great trip any time of the year. Enjoy the roadside wildflowers along the drive in summer, the rich autumn colors in fall, The Ozarks are beautiful after the typical light snows fall of winter and spring brings the dogwood and redbud trees into their full glory.

Mansfield, by the way, is an inviting little county town year round. The Chamber’s primary event every fall is Wilder Days, commemorating Laura Ingalls Wilder whose family lived and wrote in the Mansfield community. The Little Laura and Little Farmer Boy look alike contest is fun for all ages.

In addition, there is an annual Easter Egg Hunt in the spring and a Hometown Christmas celebration in December. For and enjoyable stroll, Mansfield has a charming public park with a walking trail. Mansfield Area Chamber of Commerce. Laura Ingalls Wilder Home3068 Hwy A, Mansfield, MO 65704


A real Chicago Hot Dog is hard to find in MO. Dogs delivered fresh from Chitown. Photo PBH

Our next stop was Uncle Roosters for lunch. On the menu, authentic Chicago hot dogs – imported dogs direct from Chicago. As you might expect at a place called Roosters, they serve fried chicken – made to order, so relax and order an appetizer of fried green beans or corn nuggets. While you wait for your food, autograph the floor – it’s encouraged. There’s Blue Bunny ice cream for dessert.

There is a wide range of hand made country crafts. At the Apple House, next door you can buy apples, most falls. This was a severe weather year for apples in the area, so no apples this season. Next year stop by for in-season peaches, grapes, and apples. Uncle Roosters, 17135 US Highway 60, Seymour, MO 65746, United States

Baker Creek Seeds – Heirloom seeds for your garden – in Bakersville see the farm and pio­neer village; shop for seeds, see our gardens, animals and authentic pioneer village. Eat a tasty meal at our restaurant that is open for lunch. It’s a free trip back to an authentic Ozarks village. Bring your camera.

Getting there – Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co, 2278 Baker Creek Road, Mansfield, MO 65704 Located 45 miles east of Springfield, Missouri. Take Highway 60 to Mansfield, and then turn north on Hwy 5. Go 1-1/2 miles, turn left and follow the signs.

Grandpa Joes

Grandpa Joe's annual Christmas in the Ozarks.

Grandpa Joe’s Old Fashioned Chocolates – Grandpa Joe’s Old Fashioned Chocolates is family owned and operate business. Grandpa Joe offers s over 100 varieties of old-fashioned chocolates, toffee, and brittles that are made using four generations of treasured recipes and the finest ingredients available. Hours of Operation: 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. M-F, 9a.m. – 4p.m. Sat., Closed on Sunday

11th Annual Christmas in the Ozarks – November 7th thru 12th 2011. Visit the annual Christmas in the Ozarks at Grandpa Joe’s Shop from a selection of thousands of home décor, bath and body products, and of course, Grandpa Joe’s chocolate and the coffee bar.

On you’re way back to the Hilton Garden Inn, stop by the Smallin Civil War Cave. Though the ties to the Civil War are tenuous, the cave is fascinating, and the guide, owner Kevin Bright is a fount of regional Ozarks history. The tour is lively, humorous, well researched.

Friday and Saturday nights in November and December make reservations for Civil War Christmas tours. Dress warm, drink cocoa around the campfire and hear the tales of Christmas for Civil War soldiers. Smallin Civil War Cave, 3575 N. Smallin Road, Ozark, MO 65721.

Garden Inn

As you drag into the Hilton Garden Inn after a day well spent, the courteous and professional staff at the desk, will send you on to your room with a warm, fresh baked cookie. Sweet.

Read More –

Springfield, Missouri, Convention & Visitors Bureau Tourist Information Center: 3315 E. Battlefield Road – Springfield, MO 65804 and the Downtown Visitor Information Center: 815 E. Saint Louis St., Suite 100 – Springfield, MO 65806, (800) 678-8767 or (417) 881-5300