Top Places to Visit in Springfield: Must-See Attractions & Fun

Places to visit in Springfield

Welcome to Springfield, a vibrant city that offers something for everyone. From historical landmarks to family-friendly attractions, Springfield is a must-visit destination for anyone looking for a fun and rewarding experience.

Whether you’re a history buff, an art lover, or an outdoor enthusiast, Springfield has plenty to offer. In this article, we’ll highlight the top places to visit in Springfield, including must-see attractions and fun activities that are sure to make your trip memorable.

Key Takeaways

  • Springfield offers a wide range of attractions and activities for visitors of all ages.
  • Some of the top places to visit in Springfield include the Lincoln Home National Historic Site, the Illinois State Museum, the Washington Park Botanical Garden, and the Henson Robinson Zoo.
  • Other must-see attractions in Springfield include the Illinois State Capitol, the Cooperstown Sportsplex, and Knight’s Action Park.
  • Don’t forget to explore the vibrant downtown area of Springfield, which offers excellent shopping and dining options.

Explore the History of Springfield at the Lincoln Home National Historic Site

The Lincoln Home National Historic Site is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in the history of Springfield. This site is the former home of Abraham Lincoln and his family, and it provides visitors with a unique glimpse into the life and times of this famous historical figure. The site offers several tours and exhibits, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the history of the area.

When you visit the Lincoln Home National Historic Site, you will have the opportunity to see several restored homes that were once occupied by Lincoln and his family. These homes have been carefully preserved, and they offer a glimpse into what life was like in Springfield during the mid-19th century.

What to Expect at the Lincoln Home National Historic Site

Upon arrival, visitors will be greeted by knowledgeable park rangers who are eager to share their knowledge of the site and its history. There are several tours available at the site, including a guided walking tour of the neighborhood and a ranger-led tour of the Lincoln home itself.

The Lincoln Home National Historic Site also has several exhibits that showcase the life and times of Abraham Lincoln. Some of the exhibits focus on his early life and career, while others highlight his presidency and the Civil War. Visitors will learn about Lincoln’s family, his political views, and his impact on American history.

Overall, the Lincoln Home National Historic Site is a must-see attraction for anyone interested in the history of Springfield. With its well-preserved homes, engaging tours, and informative exhibits, it provides a unique and memorable experience for visitors of all ages.

Immerse Yourself in Art and Culture at the Illinois State Museum

If you’re a fan of art and culture, the Illinois State Museum is a must-visit destination in Springfield. With a wide variety of exhibits and collections, the museum showcases the rich history and culture of Illinois.

The Illinois State Museum has a vast collection of art, including paintings, sculptures, and other works in various media. The exhibits cover a wide range of topics, including science, history, and culture, providing a broad perspective on the state’s heritage.

Explore the Exhibits

One of the museum’s most popular exhibits is the “Changes” exhibit, which explores the geological history of Illinois from its ancient past to modern times. Visitors can learn about the state’s landforms, natural resources, and how they have shaped the state’s history and culture. Another must-see exhibit is “Art and Life in Ancient Egypt,” which features artifacts from one of the world’s most fascinating civilizations.

Other exhibits include “At Home in the Heartland” which explores the history of the state and its diverse communities, “Celebrating Illinois Women Artists” which features works by Illinois’ female artists, and “Illinois Legacy Collection” which showcases the state’s cultural heritage through a variety of artifacts.

Visit the Museum Shop

The museum shop is an excellent place to find unique gifts and souvenirs. You’ll find a wide variety of items, including jewelry, books, artwork, and more. You can also purchase educational materials to continue learning about the exhibits and Illinois history.

The Illinois State Museum is a great place to immerse yourself in art and culture. With its extensive collection of exhibits and artifacts, visitors can gain a deeper understanding of the state’s heritage. Plan your visit today and soak up the rich cultural experiences Springfield has to offer.

Discover Natural Beauty at the Washington Park Botanical Garden

One of the best places to enjoy natural beauty in Springfield is the Washington Park Botanical Garden. This serene and picturesque spot is home to several types of gardens, each with its unique charm. Visitors can explore the various plant collections and enjoy the peaceful surroundings.

The Botanical Garden includes a Rose Garden, Herb Garden, Iris Garden, Victorian Garden, and even a Japanese Garden. Each garden is designed to provide visitors with an immersive experience, transporting them to different parts of the world through a variety of flora and fauna. The gardens are well-maintained and offer a colorful and fragrant experience.

In addition to the gardens, the Washington Park Botanical Garden often hosts events and activities for visitors of all ages. From guided tours and floral arrangement classes to special events like the Holiday Floral Show and Gardenfest, there’s always something exciting to look forward to.

Have Family Fun at the Henson Robinson Zoo

The Henson Robinson Zoo in Springfield is a must-visit destination for families looking for a fun and educational experience. The zoo is home to over 80 different species of animals from around the world, including big cats, primates, reptiles, birds, and more.

One of the most popular exhibits at the zoo is the tiger exhibit, where visitors can watch majestic tigers roam around their habitat. Children will also love the petting zoo, where they can interact with goats, sheep, and other friendly animals.

  • Visit the zoo’s Education Center to learn more about the animals and their habitats
  • Attend animal feedings and keeper talks for an interactive and informative experience
  • Check out the gift shop for unique souvenirs and gifts

The Henson Robinson Zoo also offers a variety of educational programs for all ages, including summer camps, field trips, and zoo classes. These programs provide a hands-on learning experience and promote conservation awareness.

Don’t miss out on the chance to visit the Henson Robinson Zoo during your trip to Springfield. It’s the perfect place for families to have fun and learn something new.

Explore Science and Technology at the Illinois State Capitol

The Illinois State Capitol is a must-visit destination in Springfield, not only for its historical and architectural significance but also for its science and technology-related exhibits and features.

The Capitol features interactive exhibits that highlight some of the most cutting-edge technologies of the time when the building was constructed, such as electric lights and elevators. Visitors can also learn about the state government’s use of technology to improve efficiency and transparency.

The Illinois State Capitol’s innovative design also makes it an engineering marvel. The building’s ground-floor rotunda features a mosaic floor made of 92 different types of marble from around the world, and the dome is made of steel and covered in zinc to prevent rusting. Visitors can take a guided tour or explore the building on their own to learn more about its impressive architecture and engineering.

Dive into the World of Sports at the Cooperstown Sportsplex

The Cooperstown Sportsplex is a premier sports facility in Springfield, offering a wide range of sports activities for visitors. Whether you’re a competitive athlete or just looking to have some fun, the Sportsplex has something for everyone.

The facility features multiple baseball and softball diamonds, as well as soccer and football fields. There are also tennis and basketball courts, as well as volleyball and pickleball courts. Visitors can rent equipment on site, and there are even batting cages for those looking to practice their swing.

In addition to the sports facilities, the Cooperstown Sportsplex also has a miniature golf course and go-kart track, making it a great destination for family fun. The facility offers birthday party packages and hosts various events throughout the year, such as tournaments and camps.

Enjoy Outdoor Recreation at Lake Springfield

If you’re looking for a relaxing day out in nature, Lake Springfield is the perfect destination. This 4,260-acre reservoir provides ample opportunities for outdoor recreation and is located just a short drive from downtown Springfield.

Take a stroll along the lake’s scenic trails and enjoy the peaceful surroundings. Water-based activities are also popular here, with boating and fishing being favorite pastimes of visitors. The lake is home to a variety of fish species, including crappie, catfish, and bass, making it a great spot for anglers.

If you’re interested in other outdoor activities, Lake Springfield has you covered. The lake’s surrounding park offers picnic areas, playgrounds, and sports fields, making it an ideal destination for a family outing. The park also hosts various events throughout the year, including concerts and holiday celebrations.

After a day spent enjoying the great outdoors, head to one of the nearby restaurants for a bite to eat. Several eateries are located just a short drive away and offer a variety of cuisines to satisfy any appetite.

Shop, Dine, and Explore Downtown Springfield

When it comes to exploring the vibrant downtown area of Springfield, there are plenty of shopping and dining options to choose from. From locally owned boutiques to nationally recognized stores, there’s something for everyone in this bustling area.

Foodies will also appreciate the diverse selection of dining options available in downtown Springfield. Whether you’re in the mood for upscale cuisine or casual comfort food, there’s a restaurant to suit your tastes.

Local Attractions

While you’re in downtown Springfield, be sure to visit some of the area’s most notable landmarks and attractions. The Old State Capitol building, Lincoln-Herndon Law Offices, and the Dana-Thomas House are just a few of the must-see destinations in the area.

History buffs will appreciate the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, which houses a vast collection of artifacts and documents related to the life and presidency of our 16th president.

For those looking for a more laid-back experience, the nearby Washington Park offers a peaceful retreat from the city. The park features a playground, tennis courts, and a skate park, making it a great place to spend a leisurely afternoon.

So whether you’re in the mood for shopping, dining, or exploring local attractions, downtown Springfield has something for everyone.

Experience Thrills and Entertainment at Knight’s Action Park

Looking for a fun-filled day of adventure and excitement in Springfield? Look no further than Knight’s Action Park, the premier amusement park and family entertainment center in the city. With a wide range of rides, attractions, and activities, there’s something for everyone at Knight’s!

Whether you’re looking to race around on the go-karts, cool off on the water slides, or challenge your friends to a game of mini golf, Knight’s has you covered. And don’t miss the chance to splash around in the wave pool, which offers the perfect respite from the summer heat.

Rides, Attractions, and More

At Knight’s Action Park, you’ll find a thrilling selection of rides and attractions that are sure to get your heart racing. From the adrenaline-pumping roller coasters to the classic bumper cars, there’s no shortage of excitement to be had. And for the little ones, the park offers a variety of kiddie rides and activities that are both safe and enjoyable.

In addition to the rides, Knight’s also features a range of other attractions that will keep you entertained all day long. Challenge your friends to a game of laser tag, test your skills at the arcade, or take a leisurely stroll through the scenic gardens. Whatever your interests, Knight’s has something for everyone.

Special Events and Activities

Throughout the year, Knight’s Action Park hosts a variety of special events and activities that add to the fun and excitement of the park. From live music performances to holiday celebrations, there’s always something happening at Knight’s.

And if you’re looking for a unique way to celebrate a special occasion, consider hosting your event at Knight’s. With a range of party packages and private event spaces available, the park is the perfect venue for birthdays, company outings, and other group events.

So what are you waiting for? Plan your trip to Knight’s Action Park today and experience all the thrills and entertainment that Springfield has to offer!


Springfield is a city full of must-see attractions and fun activities for visitors of all ages. From exploring the history of Abraham Lincoln at the Lincoln Home National Historic Site to experiencing thrills and entertainment at Knight’s Action Park, Springfield has something for everyone.

Don’t miss the opportunity to immerse yourself in art and culture at the Illinois State Museum or discover the natural beauty of the Washington Park Botanical Garden. For families, the Henson Robinson Zoo is a great place to have fun while learning about different animal species.

If you’re interested in science and technology, be sure to explore the Illinois State Capitol, and sports enthusiasts will love the Cooperstown Sportsplex. For those who enjoy outdoor recreation, Lake Springfield is the perfect spot for boating, fishing, and other water activities.

And of course, no visit to Springfield is complete without exploring the vibrant downtown area, which offers a variety of shopping and dining options as well as local attractions and landmarks.

Whether you’re planning a weekend getaway or a longer vacation, Springfield is a destination that should not be missed. Come and experience all the city has to offer!


Q: What are the top places to visit in Springfield?

A: The top places to visit in Springfield include the Lincoln Home National Historic Site, the Illinois State Museum, the Washington Park Botanical Garden, the Henson Robinson Zoo, the Illinois State Capitol, the Cooperstown Sportsplex, Lake Springfield, downtown Springfield, and Knight’s Action Park.

Q: What can I expect to see and do at the Lincoln Home National Historic Site?

A: At the Lincoln Home National Historic Site, you can explore the former residence of Abraham Lincoln and learn about his life and legacy. Take a guided tour of the house to see original artifacts and furnishings, or explore the surrounding neighborhood to discover other historic homes and sites.

Q: What does the Illinois State Museum offer for art and culture enthusiasts?

A: The Illinois State Museum is a treasure trove of art and cultural artifacts. Browse through various galleries showcasing art from different periods and cultures, explore exhibits on natural history and science, and participate in educational programs and events.

Q: What can I experience at the Washington Park Botanical Garden?

A: The Washington Park Botanical Garden offers a peaceful escape into nature. Discover a variety of themed gardens, including rose gardens, herb gardens, and Japanese gardens. Attend guided tours or special events, and keep an eye out for seasonal displays and exhibits.

Q: What makes the Henson Robinson Zoo a great place for families?

A: The Henson Robinson Zoo offers a fun and educational experience for families. Visit various animal exhibits, including big cats, primates, and reptiles. Attend daily animal feedings and educational presentations, and let the kids enjoy the zoo’s playground and carousel.

Q: What science and technology elements can be found at the Illinois State Capitol?

A: The Illinois State Capitol showcases the state’s history and government, but it also offers science and technology-related exhibits. Explore the Capitol’s architecture and artwork, and learn about the state’s scientific achievements and technological innovations through interactive displays and guided tours.

Q: What sports activities are available at the Cooperstown Sportsplex?

A: The Cooperstown Sportsplex is a hub for sports enthusiasts. Engage in a wide range of activities, including baseball, softball, soccer, and volleyball. The complex provides excellent facilities and services, such as batting cages, training areas, and food concessions.

Q: What outdoor recreational activities can I enjoy at Lake Springfield?

A: Lake Springfield offers a variety of outdoor recreational opportunities. Go boating, fishing, or swimming in the lake’s clear waters. Explore hiking and biking trails around the lake’s perimeter, or simply relax on the beach and enjoy the scenic surroundings.

Q: What can I do in downtown Springfield?

A: Downtown Springfield is a vibrant hub of shopping, dining, and local attractions. Explore unique shops, boutique stores, and art galleries. Indulge in a diverse range of dining experiences, from casual cafes to upscale restaurants. Don’t miss iconic landmarks like the Old State Capitol and the Lincoln-Herndon Law Offices.

Q: What entertainment options are available at Knight’s Action Park?

A: Knight’s Action Park is a thrilling amusement park and family entertainment center. Enjoy exciting rides, including roller coasters, water slides, and go-karts. Have fun at the mini-golf courses, batting cages, and arcade games. The park also hosts special events and live entertainment throughout the year.