Ms Gilmore’s Springfield, Missouri

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my Disclosure Policy for details.

During my solo getaway weekend in Springfield, Missouri, I enjoyed exploring historic C Street. What a delightful mix of unique restaurants and shops and home to the beautiful Culture Boutique Hotel, my accommodations for the weekend.

As a long time hot tea drinker, a visit to Chabom Teas & Spices allowed me to bring home an assortment of fragrant teas. And located next door, the most wonderful surprise awaited.

Ms Gilmore’s delighted me the moment I walked through the door. With its Alice in Wonderland themed décor, tea rooms and wide selection of new and vintage items, I truly fell down the rabbit hole into a whimsical place that I wanted to linger in.

Ms Gilmore's Springfield, Missouri


Ms Gilmore’s Story

Robin Gilmore grew up in the Branson, Missouri area. As a young girl she and her friends loved visiting the wonderful shops on the square there. After their favorite lunch, consisting of an egg salad sandwich and a soda, the girls enjoyed chocolate from the candy counter.

In their teens, the friends traveled frequently to Springfield to try on vintage clothing at Nellie Dunn’s. The tin ceilings in the building caught young Robin’s eyes and snagged her heart. She wished she owned such a building.

Eventually, she did. Ms Gilmore’s continued to honor the thrill of looking through antiques and finding treasures and enjoying memorable meals and afternoon teas. Many of the entrées on the menu carry the names of historic sites in Springfield.

The historic building, built in 1874, was originally part of a manufacturing complex for Parce and Gray Wagon Builders. Over the years it housed a clothing company, a men’s fine fashion retail shop, a salvage and sales company and Nellie Dunn’s.

Robin Gilmore retired in 2020 and the business continues under new ownership,

Ms Gilmore's exterior
Ms Gilmore’s inviting exterior

Shop for Treasures or New Merchandise

The charming building is divided into retail space and tea rooms on the first floor with antiques, vintage pieces and collectibles on the second floor.

Walking through the front door, the cute décor is the first thing you notice. The Wonderland theme is apparent everywhere and creates a magical experience. Umbrellas and teacup chandeliers hang from the ceilings while prints and treasures adorn the walls.

Tea rooms occupy space to the right and left. However, the center of the first floor…and various nooks…offer a variety of unique items. Specialty gifts share space with bohemian style clothing, cozy throws and fun collectibles. During the holidays, shop for Christmas gifts, ornaments and decorations,

Upstairs, browse for one of a kind finds among antiques, vintage pieces and craft type items. The large windows at the front of the building drew me to the rooms there, full of golden sunlight.

As I visited in December, Christmas dominated the retail shop. I purchased an ornament, as a memento of my trip.

Ms Gilmore's Springfield, Missouri
Ms Gilmore’s whimsical décor
Ms Gilmore's Springfield, Missouri upstairs
An upstairs room at Ms Gilmore’s.

The Tea Rooms

Ms Gilmore’s offers lunch, tea and desserts. They have a full lunch menu and scrumptious desserts plus an assortment of teas.

Their large tea rooms accommodate large parties and private events.

Before settling into the main tea room, for afternoon tea, I wandered about in the other rooms, charmed by the incredible details. One tea room features a mural with the famous words from Alice in Wonderland, “It’s always tea time.”

I agree!

One of the other rooms on the left, as you enter the building, featured a lovely gown with a Christmas tree beneath the raised up skirt. I could happily enjoy tea or lunch in any of these amazing spaces.

Ms Gilmore's Springfield, Missouri
One of the magical tea rooms at Ms Gilmore’s.
Ms Gilmore's Springfield, Missouri
The farther down the rabbit hole you, go the more incredible it gets!
Ms Gilmore's Springfield, Missouri
It’s always tea time at Ms Gilmore’s!

Tea for One

I actually stopped by Ms Gilmore’s twice on the Saturday of my trip. I spent a wonderful hour there before my lunch at Café Cusco, exploring the downstairs and snapping photos.

After lunch, and a brisk walk down C Street, I returned to warm up with a cup of hot tea. Although past the lunch hour rush, the main tea room remained filled with people. I enjoyed my table for one, sipping hot strawberry hibiscus tea while people watching.

Ms Gilmore’s is perfect for a family lunch, girls’ afternoon out or a mother/daughter tea. While the lunch menu offers vegan options, the dessert menu, unfortunately, does not. Perhaps that will change in the future!

After my tea time, I explored the upstairs, admiring the assortment of vintage treasures and antiques.

Ms Gilmore's Springfield, Missouri
Look at that fun chandelier in the main tea room!
Ms Gilmore's Springfield, Missouri
Strawberry hibiscus tea for one at Ms Gilmore’s.

Location and Hours

Ms Gilmore’s is located at 211 East Commercial Street in Springfield, Missouri.

The shop and bakery counter are open Tuesday – Saturday, 10:00 am until 4:00 pm.

The tea rooms/café are open Tuesday – Saturday, 11:00 am until 2:30 pm on weekdays and open until 3:00 pm on Saturdays.

If you are passing through Springfield, or live in the southwest Missouri area, drop down the rabbit hole into the fantasy world of Ms Gilmore’s. Enjoy a meal, a cup of tea or shop the eclectic mix of items there.

I spent a couple of hours there, however, I’d love more time in Wonderland. I’m planning another visit. It’s always tea time for me!

Ms Gilmore's Springfield, Missouri


It’s Always Tea Time


Cindy Goes Beyond is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. This affiliate program provides a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to, all at no extra cost to you.

Explore Historic C Street in Springfield Missouri

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my Disclosure Policy for details.

During these past two years, with travel more restricted due to the pandemic, I’ve discovered that adventures are literally everywhere. I don’t have to travel far to find fun places to explore.

On a recent solo getaway weekend, my destination lay 75 miles east of my hometown of Joplin, Missouri. Springfield is a big, sprawling city that offers many fun experiences. For this weekend, I chose a part of the city that I didn’t even know existed.

Come explore historic C Street in Springfield Missouri and see why I enjoyed my weekend so much!

Explore Historic C Street title meme

Historic C Street in Springfield Missouri

C Street is what the locals call Commercial Street, in northern Springfield. This six block historical section of the city is home to coffee shops, a variety of restaurants and charming stores. It’s an oasis with a small town feel, in the midst of a big city.

My weekend here, with Culture Boutique Hotel as my home base, included doing an Adventure Challenge. The challenge was to explore in a new area, visit a restaurant and a museum or shop, and then create a fresh narrative about that place.

While I explored C Street, I created a story about this charming and delightful small town, in the shadow of a much larger one. Because those six blocks lined with 1870s and 1880s buildings reminded me of a thriving downtown in a small community.

When I later researched C Street, I discovered my made up narrative was actually the truth. Commercial Street used to be the hub of a small town, North Springfield.

Historic C Street shops
Explore Historic C Street in Springfield Missouri – shops and restaurants
Explore Historic C Street downtown feel
Explore Historic C Street in Springfield Missouri with its downtown feel

The Origins of C Street

In 1870, the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad came into the area. It bypassed the town of Springfield and laid tracks north, to the new community of North Springfield, established with the purpose of attracting the railroad.

A commercial district grew around the train depot and Commercial Street was born.

Many Springfield businesses moved to the new district, catering to the railroad personnel, inhabitants and travelers. Bars, restaurants, hotels and shops opened. Commercial Street was THE place to go for good food, unique shops and music.

North Springfield became a part of Springfield in 1887. The area continued to thrive until the 1960s. When rail travel declined, the population and businesses shifted south.

The Commercial Club, found in 1928, fueled interest in revitalizing the area. The street was designated a historic district in 1978 and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1983. Today it is once again a thriving area favored by artists, craftsmen, teachers, students and businesses.

Explore Historic C Street art
Explore Historic C Street in Springfield Missouri – street art

Explore the Restaurants on C Street

You won’t find chain restaurants or fast food joints on C Street. Savor a meal in one of the area’s fine restaurants. From local flavors to ethnic foods, coffee or tea to breweries, C Street is a delight for the culinary adventurer.

The Artisan Oven 206 East Commercial – offering breads, pastries, desserts, coffee and tea and breakfast and lunch.

Basilico Italian Café 306 East Commercial – offering Italian food for lunch and supper.

Big Momma’s 217 East Commercial – offering coffee and tea and soups, salads, sandwiches and baked goods for breakfast, lunch and supper.

Café Cusco 2234 East Commercial – offering Peruvian inspired meals for lunch and supper. (Read my review of Café Cusco HERE). Reservation required.

Eurasia Coffee and Tea 445 East Commercial – offering casual dining for breakfast, lunch and supper plus coffee and teas. This café is part of Culture Boutique Hotel and open to the public.

Gilmore’s Tea Room 211 East Commercial – offering a variety of teas and sweet treats plus lunch.

La Habana Vieja 220 West Commercial – offering authentic Cuban cuisine for lunch and supper.

Linberg’s Tavern 318 West Commercial – the oldest tavern in Springfield offers drinks and meals from noon until midnight.

Pizza House 312 East Commercial – offers hand rolled, thin crust pizza from 11:00 until 9:00

Ruthie’s on C Street 504 East Commercial – offering soups, sandwiches, drinks and live music.

That Lebanese Place 338 East Commercial – offering authentic Lebanese food for lunch and supper.

Van Gogh’s Eeterie  334 East Commercial – offers Dutch inspired food for breakfast, lunch and supper. Reservation required.


Moon City Pub 420 West Commercial – offers craft beers and cocktails plus gourmet soft pretzels and live music

Q Enoteca 308 West Commercial – offering wine, craft beers and appetizers.

White River Brewing Company 505 West Commercial – offering beers and live music.

Creating Adventure cafe cusco 2
Café Cusco, serving delicious Peruvian food.

Explore the Shops on C Street

A variety of unique and fun shops await the visitor to C Street. I love that it’s easy to walk this six block area and discover so many interesting places to explore.

I share just a sampling of what’s available on historic C Street.

Askinosie Chocolate  514 East Commercial – offering award winning, made from scratch chocolates.

Chabom Teas & Spices 209 East Commercial – offering a wide variety of spices and spice mixes plus teas and tea blends.

Cymphony’s on C Street 426 West Commercial – offering unique clothing and treasures.

Footbridge Trading Company 320 East Commercial – offering unique gifts from local artisans.

Gypsy Girl Junk 225 West Commercial – offering vintage and flea market type finds.

Hakaar’s Bazaar 217 West Commercial – offering vintage furniture, decor and lots of fun stuff.

Ms Gilmore’s Vintage Suitcase 211 East Commercial – located in the same shop as Gilmore’s Tea Room, this fun space offers clothing, new merchandise, collectibles and antiques.

Springfield Mercantile Co 326 East Commercial – offering natural home goods for a simple, sustainable lifestyle with zero waste.

A Wench in Gear 301 East Commercial – offering upcycled, sustainable corsets and clothing.

Although it is closed for the season, The C Street City Market, 321 East Commercial, offers local produce, soaps, baked goods, herbal tinctures and salves, gifts, jewelry and so much more, from April until October.

Explore Historic C Street mercantile
Explore Historic C Street in Springfield Missouri – Springfield Mercantile Co
Explore Historic C Street tea market
Explore Historic C Street in Springfield Missouri – Chabom Teas and Spices

My Experience on C Street

I am so grateful that I ended up on C Street, for my solo getaway weekend.

I parked my car at the hotel and didn’t get in it again until I headed home. Within walking distance of the hotel are all the restaurants and shops I wanted to explore. I enjoyed breakfasts and suppers at Eurasia Coffee and Tea. Plus my first experience with Peruvian food happened at Café Cusco when I dined there for lunch on Saturday.

And I loved my leisurely explorations in the eclectic shops.

One of my favorite experiences was afternoon tea at Ms Gilmore’s. I seriously could spend an entire day wandering around that two story shop and the tea was delightful.

I look forward to another trip to historic C Street. One visit is not enough to see all that there is to see! I appreciate the warm, close knit community and all that it offers.

Are you ready to explore historic C Street in Springfield Missouri?

Explore Historic C Street tea room
Alice in Wonderland inspired tea room in Ms Gilmore’s.


Click photo to order vintage sign.


Cindy Goes Beyond is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. This affiliate program provides a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to, all at no extra cost to you.




Culture Boutique Hotel A Unique Place to Stay in Springfield Missouri

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my Disclosure Policy for details.

One of my yearly personal traditions, as I move toward my January birthday, is a solo getaway weekend. Going off by myself allows me to reflect on the past year and dream big for the upcoming one. Typically, I find a place to stay a short distance from home, so as not to use up time traveling. Last year, due to COVID, I stayed home and created a staycation in my room.

This year, through a series of synchronicities, the most amazing and fun place showed up, within 80 miles of home. Culture Boutique Hotel, a unique place to stay in Springfield Missouri, perfectly checked all my boxes and allowed me a weekend of restoration, planning, playing and exploring.

Culture Boutique Hotel title meme

C-Street in Springfield

Springfield, Missouri lies 75 miles east of my hometown of Joplin, making it ideal for my getaway weekend. It’s an easy drive up I-44. This sprawling city of 167,000 offers many exciting events and experiences. However, I tend to visit smaller, more artsy towns for my getaways. I love to surround myself with charm, beauty or the out-of-the-ordinary as inspiration for planning a new year.

Culture Boutique Hotel sits at the corner of Benton Avenue and Commercial Street in Springfield, called C-Street by the locals. This six block historical section of the city is home to coffee shops, a variety of restaurants and charming small stores. It’s an oasis with a small town feel, in the midst of a big city. I’ll be sharing more about this lively community in an upcoming post.

The hotel’s location appealed to me. Although I spend most of my time in my accommodations during my getaway, C-Street offered opportunities to experience a Peruvian lunch, enjoy an afternoon tea and explore shops.

The biggest draw for me, however, was the hotel itself. The more I read about it, the stronger my desire became to spend the weekend there.

Culture Boutique Hotel end photo
Side view of Culture Boutique Hotel on C Street

Culture Boutique Hotel

This unique hotel offers six themed suites for guests, in a 1880s two story building converted into accommodations, a café and a meeting room called the Fireside Gallery. Each suite is inspired by a city in Eurasia. The accommodations showcase furnishings and features made from reclaimed and repurposed materials from the original building. The rooms are spacious, exceptionally clean and comfortable, with a beautiful, minimalistic feel.

The suites are:

  • Jaipur, India
  • Pokhara, Nepal
  • Casablanca, Morocco
  • Istanbul, Turkey
  • St. Petersburg, Russia
  • Tallinn, Estonia

Each suite offers a kitchenette with mini fridge, Eurasia Coffee Co coffee, electric kettle and microwave, cable tv + wifi and king sized COMFY beds. Some suites also provide a whirlpool tub. All are decorated with art and décor from the cities whose name they bear.

Culture Boutique Hotel lobby
Culture Boutique Hotel – entrance and sitting area

Eurasia Coffee Co

The café, Eurasia Coffee Co is located on the first floor, while all of the suites are upstairs. This popular gathering spot serves Eurasia Coffee Co coffee and drinks. smoothies, bakery treats and breakfast, lunch and dinner meals. They have vegan options.

This casual café is ideal for grabbing a meal, working on the laptop while sipping a coffee or tea and carrying goodies up to the room to enjoy later.

I ate dinner here both nights and carried chia pudding, made with coconut milk and fresh berries, up to my room for breakfast each morning. I also snagged scones to enjoy with hot tea in my room.

Culture Boutique Hotel cafe
Eurasia Coffee Co – onsite café

Fireside Gallery Meeting Room

This multi-purpose space provides two meeting rooms, seating for up to 35 people and catering upon request. It is perfect for showers, business meetings, photoshoots and family gatherings.

This cozy space was in use all day Saturday, by at least two different groups. I snapped a phot Friday afternoon, right after I arrived.

Culture Boutique Hotel fireside gallery
Fireside Gallery

The Story Behind Culture Boutique Hotel

Justin Beiler founded Eurasia Coffee & Tea Co, initially selling products to local businesses and churches. He gave 10% of sales to support projects in Eurasia, including healthcare and education and causes that fight against modern slavery and poverty.

Justin met his wife, Karen, in 2013. Both were raised as missionary kids…Karen in Japan and Justin in Austria. Justin’s parents serve as area directors for Assemblies of God missionaries in the Eurasia region.

The two married in 2015 and opened the café the same year, in the building on Commercial Street that Justin purchased in 2011. The Frisco Opera House originally occupied the brick structure, built in 1882. The building changed ownership over the years, becoming a boarding house, a drug store and a mattress shop, among other things.

The Beilers wanted to make use of the building, in a unique way that honors their connection to the Eurasia region and highlights the social justice projects there. Culture Boutique Hotel is the wonderful result. Staying at the hotel is a cultural event indeed that promotes good in the world, as well as providing a comfortable and interesting experience.

Culture Boutique Hotel eurasia
Culture Boutique Hotel – such a fun view from the elevator, of a map of the Eurasia region. I smiled every time the elevator doors opened.

My Experience at Culture Boutique Hotel

I arrived by car on a Friday afternoon and left Sunday morning.

I stayed in the Tallinn, Estonia suite. On Saturday I chatted with Justin and got a peek into a couple of other rooms. He shared that the Tallinn suite occupies the space of the former opera stage. Standing together in the hallway, he painted a picture of what the building looked like then, with its wide staircase leading up to the opera house. Later, when the boarding house occupied the building, a kitchen and bathrooms for the boarders filled the space where my suite now exists. As a history buff, I like knowing those stories.

Tallinn is the largest suite, being at the back of the building. I felt charmed as soon as I opened the door. Truly, with its kitchenette, dining and living areas, huge bathroom with shower and jacuzzi tub and spacious bedroom, the suite feels more like an apartment. Large skylights in the living room and bedroom provide natural light. I loved the bright space. Art representing Estonia hung on the walls and repurposed wood finishes and furniture create an inviting, homey atmosphere.

My suite included a sofa with a chaise lounge at the end and a small electric fireplace. I spent most of my time in that spot! Hallmark Christmas movies played on the wall mounted tv as I worked on projects, wrote in my journal and dreamed dreams.

Plus I appreciated the kitchenette AND the café downstairs. Both made my stay perfect.

Culture Boutique Hotel suite
Tallinn Suite at Culture Boutique Hotel

Book Your Stay

I loved everything about my stay at Culture Boutique Hotel, located at 445 E. Commercial Street, Springfield. The weekend restored me, allowed me important downtime and a chance to experience new things, which is always a bonus for me.

Watch for my post next week on C-Street and fun things to do there.

Whether you are traveling through the area and want a unique place to stay…or live in the Springfield/Joplin/NW Arkansas area and desire a couples, solo or mother/daughter weekend, consider Culture Boutique Hotel! Cookie cutter hotel rooms are plentiful. Unique, historical places with heart and soul impart more than comfort. I felt supported and inspired, both creatively, physically and spiritually. I lay in bed each night, wondering about the people who lived and worked here, in the building and the community. The experience fired up my imagination, my curiosity and my compassion.

Are you looking for such a place? Check out Culture’s website HERE for details on reservations, rates and check in/check out times.

I’m looking forward to a return visit. I want to try a new suite, featuring a different city! Perhaps eventually, I experience all six.

On an Adventure
I love going on adventures!

Read More:

My getaway weekend was one of my 64 Wild Things for My 64th Birthday activities. Read more HERE.


Click image to order this walking guidebook of Springfield MO


Cindy Goes Beyond is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. This affiliate program provides a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to, all at no extra cost to you.

Fun Places to Visit in Joplin MO

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my Disclosure Policy for details.

Although not born and raised in Joplin, Missouri I have lived in this community longer than I’ve lived anywhere else. I grew up in the large city of Tulsa, Oklahoma. At age 12 I moved to the tiny town of Noel, Missouri near the Arkansas border. And in 1980, as a young wife and mother, I moved with my growing family to Joplin, a mid-sized city in the heart of the four states area.

For 40 years I’ve called Joplin home. It’s grown tremendously in those four decades, lost 30% of its homes and businesses during the May 2011 EF5 tornado and recovered with strength, hard work and determination afterward.

Located on historic Route 66, many people travel through Joplin on their way to somewhere else. The next time you find yourself rolling down the highway on a road trip, consider a stay in Joplin, the little city that could. While here, check out these fun places to visit in Joplin MO.

Fun Places to Visit in Joplin MO title meme

Joplin History & Mineral Museum

This museum is appropriately housed in a 1909 building that originally served as the concession stand at Joplin’s Electric Park (now called Schifferdecker Park.) The museum complex contains historical wings that showcase Joplin’s colorful history and the Tri State Mineral Museum that pays tribute to the mining industry in Oklahoma, Kansas and Missouri.

Location: 504 S Schifferdecker Ave, Joplin, MO

Hours: Tuesday – Saturday 10:00 am – 5:00 pm, closed Sunday and Monday

Joplin Little Theatre

Adjacent to Schifferdecker Park is Joplin Little Theatre. Established in 1939, by a group of local thespians, the group performed in a couple of different places before renovating a building that became their permanent location. Originally called Park Playhouse, the theatre opened in 1948 with a performance of “The Skin of our Teeth” by Thornton Wilder.

Today this little theatre is the oldest continuously running community theatre west of the Mississippi. Joplin Little Theatre’s season runs from September through the end of May the following year. Check out their website for the 2021 – 2022 season. Tickets for performances are available for purchase there.

Location: 3009 W. First Street, Joplin, MO

Hours: Vary with shows and performances

Nine Lives Cat Lounge & Adoption Center

This coffee shop that opened in town last year has a fun twist! Customers can enjoy locally roasted coffee, tea or smoothies in the company of cats…or humans. Yummy treats are offered for sale as well.

Nine Lives Cat Lounge offers coffees and teas, espresso drinks, sugar free smoothies and pastries, cookies and baked goods from local bakeries. Two steps down from the main level is a cozy seating area. A large glass window allows a peek into the cat lounge, which must be kept separate from the dining area.

There is a $5.00 fee for 30 minutes in the room. The fees help the cats live their best lives, while waiting for their forever homes. Lounge fees go toward vet care, food, kitty litter, cat toys and disinfectant for cleaning.

Up to 16 people may enter the living room style area at one time. Visitors receive a timer and when their 30 minutes are up, they leave so others can come into the room. The goal is adoption and to date, Nine Lives has very successfully found homes for their temporary residents. Check out my post HERE about my visit to Nine Lives.

Location: 2201 E. 7th Street, Joplin, MO

Hours: Monday – Thursday 9:30am – 6:30 pm, Friday – Saturday 9:00 am – 7:00 pm, Sunday 9:00 am – 5:00 pm

Fun Places to Visit in Joplin MO cats
Fun Places to Visit in Joplin MO – Nine Lives Cat Lounge

George A Spiva Center for the Arts

George A. Spiva, businessman, philanthropist, and lover of the arts, helped establish Joplin’s first art center in 1958. He believed that all people deserved art opportunities.

The mission of Spiva Center for the Arts is to celebrate the creative experience. The Center hosts exhibits, offers classes, programs and events and contains a gift shop filled with unique art.

Location: Currently at 222 W 3rd Street, Joplin, MO (Opening soon at the new Cornell Complex on 7th Street.)

Hours: Tuesday – Saturday 10:00 am – 5:00 pm Closed Sunday – Monday

Candy House Gourmet

Do you love gourmet chocolates? Then you MUST stop by Candy House Gourmet.

Established in 1970, this long time Joplin favorite is famous for their hand dipped chocolates. Other treats for sale include toffee, caramel pecan turtles, brittle, fudge, pecan logs and salted caramels. Chocolate dipped strawberries are available in the spring and caramel apples in the fall.

Enjoy samples of candy, watch through showroom windows while candy makers work or take a more in depth tour of the candy making process.

Location: 510 S Kentucky Avenue, Joplin, MO

Hours: Monday – Saturday 9:30 am – 5:30 pm Closed Sunday

Journey Through Slime Event Studio

Newly opened this year, Journey Through Slime is a sensory focused studio offering make your own slime, slime parties, educational toys and products and yummy desserts including hand dipped ice cream.

The company also sells slime making kits, for at home fun.

Location: 2310 S Main Street, Joplin, MO

Hours: Wednesday – Thursday 11:00 am – 8:00 pm, Friday 11:00 am – 9:00 pm, Saturday 10:00 am – 9:00 pm, Sunday 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm, Closed Monday and Tuesday

Fun Places to Visit in Joplin MO slime
Fun Places to Visit in Joplin MO – Journey Through Slime Event Studio

Wildcat Glades Conservation Center

For the nature lover, explore this gorgeous area south of Joplin.  The glades feature a 3.4 mile walk near the river, through wooded areas and along a bluff above the water. The area is home to wildlife, native plants and flowers and the largest chert glades in the world.

Chert is a hard rock formation, exposed to the surface after the soil erodes. It hosts a unique desert like environment characteristic of arid regions. Only 60 acres of chert remains in the world, of which 27 are in Wildcat Glades Conservation Center.

Also visit the Shoal Creek Conservation Education Center onsite. Inside you can learn about the ecosystem of the area and the wildlife.

Location: 201 Riviera Drive, Joplin, MO

Hours: Glades open daily

Shoal Creek Conservation Education Center: Tuesday – Friday 9:00 am – 5:00 pm, Saturday 10:00 am – 3:00 pm, Closed Sunday and Monday

BONUS: Grand Falls

Continue east on Riverside Drive to visit Missouri’s largest, continuously flowing waterfall. The chert glades continue into this beautiful nature area as well.

Route 66 Drive-In

Did you grow up watching movies at a drive in? Or perhaps you’ve never been to one. If visiting Joplin during the months of April through October, enjoy this now rare experience!

Route 66 Drive-In is a historic outdoor theater that first opened in September 1949. It is located between Joplin and Carthage, MO. There are 300 drive-in theaters left in the US, nine of those in Missouri.

Route 66 Drive-In features two back to back feature length films every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, during open season. They offer concessions and a playground in front of the huge screen, for children to play on while waiting for the first movie to start.

Location: 17231 Old 66 Blvd, Carthage, MO

Hours: During the open season, the first film begins after sunset.

Mercy Park Sculpture Garden

When the tornado struck Joplin in 2011, one of the city’s two hospitals lay in the storm’s path. St John’s Hospital took a direct…and devastating…hit. The hospital rebuilt as Mercy Hospital in a new location. On the old site now exists Mercy Park, a 16 acre green space featuring a large pond with fountains, walking paths, pavilions and a unique sculpture garden.

Currently 15 bronze sculptures enhance the natural beauty of the park. A variety of artists contributed these amazing works of art that depict animals, children at play and a serene Native American woman.

Location: 3002 St John’s Blvd, Joplin, MO

Hours: Open daily until 11:00 pm

BONUS: Cunningham Park

Across the street from Mercy Park lies Cunningham Park, established as Joplin’s first municipal park in 1898. Also destroyed in the 2011 tornado, Cunningham rebuilt the playgrounds and pavilions and also created interactive memorial gardens that pay tribute to those lost in the storm, to the houses destroyed and to the many, many volunteers who journeyed to Joplin to help with clean up.

Location: 26th Street & Maiden Lane, Joplin, MO

Hours: Open daily until 11:00 pm

Fun Places to Visit in Joplin MO sculpture
Fun Places to Visit in Joplin MO – Mercy Park Sculpture Garden

For Active Children of All Ages

Visit this trio of fun places, to allow kids to burn up some energy!

SOAR Trampoline Park

This fun indoor park just north of Joplin features dodgeball, a Ninja obstacle course, lots of trampolines, basketball, party rooms and foam pits.

Read my review HERE.

Location: 1502 S Madison, Webb City, MO

Hours: Wednesday – Friday 3:00 pm – 8:00 pm, Saturday 9:00 am – 9:00 pm, Sunday 11:00 am – 6:00 pm, Closed Monday and Tuesday

Joplin House of Bounce

Have fun bouncing and climbing at this large indoor playground featuring bouncers, slides and obstacle courses.

Location: 3684 N Main, Joplin, MO

Hours: Check their Facebook page for open bounce times.

Ocean Adventures Indoor Playground

This ocean themed indoor playground features three levels of play including slides, a huge ball pit, mazes, tunnels, obstacle course and many other immersive play stations. They also have a separate play area designated for toddlers.

Location: 2630 S Duquesne Road, Joplin, MO

Hours: Play times are in two hour sessions. Check website for details.

Bookhouse Cinema

Joplin happily welcomed its first indie movie theater in 2018. Bookhouse Cinema shows indie films, documentaries, classics, non mainstream movies and occasionally mainstream films.

Adjoining the theater is a charming pub where appetizers, meals, drinks and snacks are available for purchase. The pub also hosts events such as game nights and comedy shows AND they offer delicious vegan meal options.

Location: 715 E Broadway, Joplin, MO

Hours: See website for showtimes and movie selections

Escape Joplin

Escape Joplin offers immersive escape room adventures. Their themed escape rooms are designed to allow teams to enjoy 60 minute adventures that engage the senses, challenge the mind and unlock imagination.

Each room contains a different set of challenges and objectives to solve, to escape. Teams work together to find clues and hints that solve puzzles to unlock new items. Find the medallion, the hidden treasure or the secret code to win the game.

Location: 2640 E 32nd Street, Joplin, MO

Hours: Sunday – Thursday 1:00 pm – 9:00 pm, Friday 1:30 pm – 10:00 pm, Saturday noon – 10:00 pm

Downtown Joplin

Joplin’s historic downtown area contains unique shops, restaurants, art galleries and entertainment venues. It also hosts cultural community events such as the monthly Third Thursday (April – October) and the yearly Wizard’s Run, a Harry Potter themed event. Main Street closes for these special events, from 7th Street to A Street, so that visitors may freely wander, visiting shops and booths, without interference from traffic.

A few blocks east of Main Street, at 931 E 4th Street, is Joplin Empire Market. This large indoor market features produce, foods, plants and artisan made crafts and products.

Visit Joplin MO

I hope you see that there are many fun places to visit in Joplin MO. Besides these local spots Joplin also offers a large variety of shops, hotels and accommodations, restaurants, historical sites, green spaces, parks and walking trails and standard favorites such as a multi-screen movie theater, a mall, waterpark, state of the art library, golf courses and many other places to explore and play.

Have you visited my hometown of Joplin? The next time you are in the area, let’s meet up for a coffee or hot tea!

Fun Places to Visit in Joplin MO downtown
Fun Places to Visit in Joplin MO – Historic downtown area

Also check out 12 Things You May Not Know About Joplin Missouri


And these fun Amazon finds:

Cindy Goes Beyond is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. This affiliate program provides a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to, all at no extra cost to you.

Ghost Stories from Carthage

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my Disclosure Policy for details.

For the third installment in this year’s spooky series, I feature a town close to home. Located 15 miles northeast of Joplin, Carthage, Missouri is the county seat of Jasper County.

This charming town offers stately Victorian homes, an annual Maple Leaf Festival and Parade and a magnificent 126 year old courthouse that dominates the downtown square.

While Joplin has strong roots in the mining industry, Carthage is deeply connected to the Civil War. The first major battle of that war between the states took place in Carthage. Subsequent skirmishes severely impacted the community and ultimately, most of the town was burned to the ground.

Perhaps that’s why this community is home to so many restless spirits. These are five of the ghost stories from Carthage.

Ghost Stories from Carthage title meme

A Divided Community

Carthage, named after the ancient Phoenician city, became the county seat in 1841. The federal government bought the land that formed Jasper County from the Osage Tribe 33 years earlier. Gradually settlers arrived and the community grew around a public square. By 1851 a two story brick courthouse occupied the center of that square. Businesses opened up around the perimeter, providing goods and services to the citizens of the growing town.

Civil War

By the time of the Civil War, Carthage claimed about 500 residents. The area divided over the issue of slavery. Many of Carthage’s early settlers arrived from the south. Others participated in the Underground Railroad movement.

Missouri, a border state, did not secede from the union. To the north lay Union states and to the south, the Confederate states. Missouri contained both pro-Confederate and pro-Union governments. Southwest Missouri additionally experienced violent skirmishes due to guerilla warfare along the Kansas border.

On July 5, 1861, 16 days before the Battle of Bull Run, armies of the North and South clashed in Carthage. The Second Battle of Carthage occurred in October of 1863. Multiple battles and skirmishes in the area resulted in the burning of the town, including the brick courthouse, by pro-Confederate guerrillas in September 1864.

After the war the community built back and thrived. Businesses reopened and Victorian style houses rose along wide streets. Nearby limestone quarries contributed to the prosperity of the community. And Route 66 brought travelers and tourists.

That energy from the Civil War still lingers in Carthage. Stories abound about people hearing cannons booming, where none now exist, and the cries of soldiers in battle, long after the war ended. These are the ghost stories from Carthage.

Ghost Stories from Carthage battle
Ghost Stories from Carthage – battle marker

Kendrick House

On the northern edge of Carthage sits the oldest surviving house in Jasper County. The Kendrick house, completed in 1856, is one of only three area houses that did not burn during the Civil War.

William and Elizabeth Kendrick finished the big house on the prairie, that another owner began in 1849. They planted crops and orchards on the land and operated successful blacksmith and gunsmith shops for many years. The Kendrick Family descendants occupied the house for 130 years until Victorian Carthage bought the property in the 1980s.

During the Civil War both Union and Confederate troops used the house as a hospital. The Kendrick’s enslaved woman was tortured and hung in the orchard by Confederate guerrillas who thought she hid a Union soldier.

And the Kendricks experienced tragedy in the house. Three of their sons died during the war years. William died in 1868, followed four years later by his wife. A granddaughter and her husband raised their family in the home and lost their young daughter Pauline there. The last person to die in the house was Carol Sue, the great granddaughter of William and Elizabeth, who passed away from polio just shy of her third birthday.

The Ghosts of Kendrick House

A great deal of paranormal activity occurs in this house. Locally owned Paranormal Science Lab conducted research during Haunted History tours of Kendrick House.

Among the evidence collected:

  • EVPs (electronic voice phenomena) all over the house, many of which refer to local Civil War battles and generals. In total, EVPs captured 12 distinct voices.
  • shadow people caught on camera and seen visually
  • orbs, bright balls of light that move
  • apparitions in the house and yard, including a man in a war uniform and a young girl in a plaid dress that often walks to a neighboring house and passes through the back door
  • cold spots and hot spots
  • objects that move on their own, especially curtains in upstairs windows that are frequently disturbed even when no on is in the house
  • the sounds of children laughing and playing upstairs
  • the ghosts of Pauline and Carol Sue, the young girls who died in the house
  • footsteps going up and down the stairs, when no one living is walking there
  • a black mass that appears at the top of the stairs
Ghost Stories from Carthage kendrick house
Ghost Stories from Carthage – Kendrick House

Jasper County Courthouse

The massive courthouse presiding over the square is impressive. Built in 1895 from Carthage stone mined in the nearby quarries, the turrets, towers and arches give the Romanesque Revival building the look of a fortified medieval castle. It took the place of the brick courthouse that burned during the war. Two workmen supposedly died during the construction. One fell from the clock tower. Another died from a fall while installing the elevator.

Besides battles fought on the grounds, public executions took place on the courthouse lawn and many, many dramas played out within the formidable walls. It’s no wonder that ghosts appear on this property.

Apparitions flit across the lawn. Footsteps are heard in the attic and bell tower, when no one is up there. Shadow figures appear there as well. When paranormal investigators set up equipment in the courthouse, batteries quickly drained and filming and audio interruptions occurred. It’s believed that ghosts pull energy from such devices, to strengthen their own presence.

The most activity occurs on the third floor, occupied by the courtrooms and court offices. Disembodied voices are heard and a shadowy figure frequents the women’s restroom on the third floor. I find this interesting. While in the women’s restroom in the Charleston Courthouse, I experienced the shadowy figure of a man standing in the corner. He faded away as I watched him.

Ghost Stories from Carthage courthouse
Ghost Stories from Carthage – Courthouse

Burlingame and Chaffee Opera House

Across the street from the courthouse stands the Burlingame and Chaffee Opera House building. It occupies the footprint of two former buildings, destroyed during the Carthage battles. Francis Chaffee constructed the current building in 1878, opening a hardware store on the lower level while the opera house took up the entire second floor. For years the people of Carthage enjoyed a variety of entertainment in the opera house. Then tragedy marred the space.

John McCrillis, who had purchased the lower level hardware store, found love letters written to his wife, from another man. After inviting the offending man to breakfast, the two ended up in the hardware store, where McCrillis shot him. The man died outside in the street.

Over the years, the building changed hands frequently, housing a variety of businesses. Then it sat empty until a couple from California bought it, with the intention of living on the upper floor while running a business from the lower level. During renovations the couple encountered numerous strange experiences including unexplainable noises and footsteps in the dark building during the night. They abandoned the building after hearing what sounded like cannon fire in the middle of the night.

Opera Ghosts

The current owner operates McBride’s Antiques on the main level. The most common paranormal activities include:

  • hearing footsteps upstairs, in the empty opera house
  • being followed around the shop by an unseen presence
  • apparitions of a grandmotherly woman and young boy seen and heard on the main level
  • disembodied voices
  • the sound of a cash register ringing and coins falling in the old opera house upstairs…where no cash register exists anymore
  • a dark, heavy presence on the backstairs leading up to the opera house
  • a shadow figure captured on film, standing at an upstairs window
  • at 3:00 pm most days, the sound of someone falling down the backstairs
  • the sound of a piano playing in the basement, where a saloon once was
  • cannon fire, musket fire and a woman crying, all in the basement as well
  • the ghost of a young girl seen walking through the basement, and interestingly, in the basements of other buildings around the square
Ghost Stories from Carthage opera house
Ghost Stories from Carthage – Opera House

Grand Avenue Bed and Breakfast

Built in 1893, this Queen Anne Victorian features stained glass windows, hardwood moldings and a grand staircase. For the past 23 years this beautiful “painted lady” functioned as a bed and breakfast offering guests a peek into the past with Victorian wallpapered rooms and antique furnishings.

One resident seems reluctant to leave this cozy space. No smoking is allowed in the house. However, guests report the strong and inexplicable scent of a cigar on the main level, in the parlor and dining room, when an unseen presence is around.

The smoking ghost is believed to be a former owner, Albert Carmean, who died in 1933.

Sadly, Grand Avenue Bed and Breakfast closed due to COVID. Visit their website though, for photos of the interior. You might understand why Albert chooses to stay.

Ghost Stories from Carthage - Grand House
Ghost Stories from Carthage – Grand Avenue Bed and Breakfast

Historic Phelps House

Also located on Grand Avenue, the Phelps House, built in 1895 from Carthage stone, is a whimsical mix of Beaux Arts, Classical Revival and Romanesque styles.

Colonel William Phelps built the home. An attorney, he became prominent in state politics and was actively involved in Carthage businesses. He knew tragedy however.

His first wife died in St. Louis in 1894, in a runaway carriage accident. She never got to live in the house. One of William’s daughters died at the age of 29, from tuberculosis. And a young son from William’s second marriage died while riding his bicycle in front of the house, after a car struck him.

The colonel’s second wife Bridgey sold the house to St. Ann’s Catholic Church Parish. Nuns who taught at St. Ann’s School occupied the house and used rooms on all three floors plus the basement as classrooms.

The Carthage Historic Preservation bought the deteriorating house in 1988 and restored it to its former grandeur. Today the property hosts weddings and events.

The ghosts at the Phelps House are benevolent. They turn off lights. Their footsteps are heard on the stairs. And unexplainable breezes spring up in closed rooms.

I include this haunting primarily because of my experience there. See my story about the Phelps House in the next section!

Ghost Stories from Carthage Phelps House
Ghost Stories from Carthage – Phelps House

My Experiences in Carthage

I love this charming community. My son and daughter in law and their family live in Carthage, so I visit this town often. And I’ve had several paranormal experiences there, including one while shooting photos in town earlier in the week. I wrote a post in 2015 about my experience in the old opera house. Read it HERE.

Kendrick House

Twice I’ve explored the Kendrick House, with the Paranormal Science Lab. It is fascinating, watching them use their meters and sensing tools and even more interesting observing the results. During my first visit a humorous thing happened to me. Sitting in the parlor, listening to Lisa with PSL speak, I became distracted by the sound of another voice. I could hear a woman speaking quietly, behind me, even though I sat in a corner against the wall. I even peered outside, through the window, but didn’t see anyone. So I mentally asked, “Who are you?” Immediately, the song Elvira began playing in my head. Just as I thought “that’s weird”, I tuned in to Lisa talking about one of the Kendricks…Joshua’s wife ELVIRA. Her ghost often makes itself known…in the parlor where we sat.

Phelps House

I first attended an event in the Phelps House with my mother in the early 2000s. A photographer captured our photo and then we explored the house with a large group and enjoyed a sumptuous dinner. I told my mother that I felt like spirits were following me around throughout the house. As we prepared to leave, we stopped by the photographer’s table to collect our photos. He apologized, explaining he didn’t know what happened. Distortions appeared in our photo and apparently, no other photographs except ours were affected. I’ve included that photograph at the end of this post. I’ll let you decide what’s going on!

Civil War Battlefield

And Wednesday, as I traveled around Carthage snapping photos for this post, I stopped by one of the battlefields, for the first time. Truthfully, much of the city classifies as a battlefield. This one, marked with a stone, is now a park with playgrounds and a soccer field. I felt strangely disappointed at how modern it all looked. Then I drove through the park. My scalp began to tingle, which is a signal to me that spirit energy is present. When I parked my car and walked over to read the engraved stone, my chest felt heavy and ached, an even stronger sign that negative energy is present. Finally, as I returned to my car, I could “hear”, in my mind, the sounds of battle and the cries of wounded men.

Do you believe in ghosts? As my tour guide John said, in Charleston, I’m not here to try and convince you. I’m sharing stories, mixed with history, and letting YOU decide. Next week, we are off to Rome, Italy.

Ghost Stories from Carthage spirits
What do you see in this photo from the Phelps House?

October Ghost Stories Series 2021

Ghost Stories from Charleston

Ghost Stories from Glasgow

Check out this book from Lisa, with Paranormal Science Lab:



Cindy Goes Beyond is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. This affiliate program provides a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to, all at no extra cost to you.

A Day in Silver Dollar City

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my Disclosure Policy for details.

As one of my Yeses, for the July Yes! Month, I agreed to take my granddaughter Aubrey and great niece London to Silver Dollar City, near Branson, Missouri.

These girls are second cousins. However, they’ve grown up together as cousins and friends. They enjoy spending time together.

The girls planned this trip, from the day they wanted to go to working out the details of getting together. I happily said yes to a day in Silver Dollar City. Greg accompanied us, serving as driver and holder of items while we rode rides in the park.

Explore the City with us!

A Day in Silver Dollar City title meme

Silver Dollar City History

The City is located in the Ozarks, near Branson. One of the most popular attractions in Missouri, Silver Dollar City actually began as a hole in the ground.

The sinkhole, originally called Marble Cave, was discovered by the Osage Tribe in the 1500s. Over the years explorers lowered themselves down into the cave, searching for marble…there wasn’t any…and other treasures. Canadian mining expert William Henry Lynch bought Marvel Cave and moved to the area with his two daughters.

They began giving tours of the huge cave in 1894. By the 1920s, tourists flocked to the cave, by road or by hiking in from the train station. In 1946 Hugo and Mary Herschend leased the cave from the Lynch Sisters. After making improvements to the cave’s access, the Hershcends and their two sons developed the idea of an 1880s village around the cave entrance. People arriving to tour the cave could wait there.

Silver Dollar City officially opened in 1960, so named for the promotional idea of giving guests change in silver dollars. The town square contained a general store, blacksmith shop, doll shop, ice cream parlor and two authentic log structures. A small troupe, dressed in 1880s costumes, performed in the square.

A Day in Silver Dollar City 6o
A Day in Silver Dollar City – Diamond Jubilee Celebration continues

Silver Dollar City Today

The City continues to grow from that humble beginning that drew 125,000 visitors its first year.

Today the park spreads over 100 acres. It features more than 40 rides and attractions, 18 restaurants, 12 performance venues, 60 shops and 100 craftsmen. World class festivals and events are offered from spring through the holiday season, when the park is lit up with more than 6 million lights.

The City is divided into 11 themed districts, all reachable on foot. Prepare for lots of walking in the City, and up and downhill walking at that. Due to the Herschend’s careful planning to leave the area as natural as possible, the paved pathways and streets wind through wooded areas and water features. During the hot summer months, all those trees help keep the area cooler.

The first roller coaster, Fire in the Hole, opened in 1972, joining the steam engine train, Flooded Mine ride and Grandfather’s Mansion. It’s still in operation today. Silver Dollar City’s newest ride, Mystic River Falls, opened last year. It’s billed as the tallest rapids drop in the western hemisphere.

A Day in Silver Dollar City Mystic River Falls
A Day in Silver Dollar City – Mystic River Falls

A Day in Silver Dollar City

The park is open March through December. Current hours are from 9:30 am until 10:00 pm. You can purchase one, two or three day passes online or at the park. Also available is a season pass for unlimited visits through Christmas. A slight discount is offered for those over 65. However, for active or retired military, there is a significant discount. Those tickets must be purchased online.

Until August 8, you can enter the park after 5:00, during Moonlight Madness, for a deeply discounted price.

You can also save on groups of 15 or more people.

The City offers strollers, wheelchairs and motorized scooters for rent.

Due to COVID the park chooses the right to limit the number of visitors into the park. Stringent cleaning practices are in place. Vaccinated guests are not required to wear a mask. Masks are encouraged for those who are not vaccinated.

Special note: some rides have a height requirement. Check out the rides and requirements HERE.

A Day in Silver Dollar City Wildfire
A Day in Silver Dollar City – Wildfire Roller Coaster

Our Day in Silver Dollar City

We arrived about 10:00 am, after purchasing our tickets online. London is a season pass holder, which meant we all received discounts on our food purchases while in the park.

For the girls who planned this trip, the highlight for them was deciding where to go, what to ride and when to eat. Greg and I tagged along behind them everywhere they went, allowing them to follow their adventurous hearts.

On this day in the City, the girls focused on rides and primarily the roller coasters. Due to the heat…temps in the high 90s making it feel like 108…the water rides had long wait times. We rode one toward the end of the day. The rest of the time, the girls enjoyed other rides and attractions and the thrills of Thunderation, Wildfire and Time Traveler, riding each multiple times.

We stayed hydrated, drinking water throughout the day. And we ate lightly every couple of hours.

I downloaded the Silver Dollar City app and found it so helpful! The map showed our location, making it easy to see where we needed to go to get to the next ride or restaurant. And every ride shows how long the wait time is. The girls passed on any ride with a 30 minute or longer wait time, focusing on those with quick access. As wait times shifted, we moved to that part of the park. I highly recommend the app, available in the Apple App store or Google Play.

We ended our time in the City with a water ride that left all of us soaking wet…and happily so. I’d recommend leaving dry shirts in the car.

A Day in Silver Dollar City water ride
A Day in Silver Dollar City – soaking wet after Tom and Huck’s River Blast

Until Next Time

What a fun yes experience, taking Aubrey and London to Silver Dollar City. We walked more than five miles that day, spun and looped and twisted on roller coasters and explored all areas of the park.

At the end of our day there, the girls…and Yaya and Papa…were extremely tired. It was a good day though. The girls declared Time Traveler their favorite ride. I think they rode it at least six times. I joined them once. It is a cleverly done coaster that spins as it hurls over the track. This coaster is called the world’s fastest, tallest and steepest spinning roller coaster. The course includes a 10 story tall 90 degrees drop and a 95 foot tall vertical loop. The whole steampunk theme charmed me.

This won’t be our last time to visit Silver Dollar City. I have more grandchildren to explore the City with. And Greg and I would enjoy a stroll around the City on our own, taking in the shops and some of the shows.

Get your Silver Dollar City passes HERE. And let me know if you’ve visited this fun 1880s themed park.

Time Traveler
The favorite ride this day…Time Traveler. Aubrey and London head to the entrance.

Take these items from Amazon along on your trip:

Cindy Goes Beyond is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. This affiliate program provides a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to, all at no extra cost to you.