20 Things To Do In Joplin Missouri

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Joplin is a little town in southern Missouri, close to the borders of Kansas and Oklahoma. Although it is small, it contains a lot in the way of history, culture, and unique attractions. Along the iconic Route 66, Joplin is an ideal stop for road-trippers, offering plenty of interesting sights to fill a day or two’s rest stop and enough activities to keep you busy over a longer stay.

Joplin has a colourful history. From its heritage as a mining hub to a hiding place for one of the world’s most infamous couples, Bonnie and Clyde, there are tons of little gems to be discovered around the town. However long you have to spend in the town and however you prefer to spend your time, you’ll find plenty of things to do in Joplin that you’ll want to add to your to-do list. So read on to discover the best sights and attractions. 

Joplin, Missouri

joplin missouri mercy park
Strolling around one of the parks, such as Mercy Park, is one of the relaxing things to do in Joplin, Missouri.

For a fun activity, you may like to try the Murder Mystery Detective Experience that will help you discover 10 places in Joplin while solving a mystery. 

20 Things To Do In Joplin

1- Visit The Joplin History And Mineral Museum

Kick off your visit to Joplin by diving into the town’s cultural and natural history.

The history museum has exhibits on many aspects of Joplin’s heritage, like the influence of Route 66 on the town’s development, artefacts left by Bonnie and Clyde, and the impact of the 2011 tornado disaster.

The museum has unique niche sections like the National Cookie Cutter Historical Museum.

The mineral museum delves into the geology of the local tri-state area.

It has varied exhibits on the fossils and minerals found in the region, the development of mining techniques, and even what each of the minerals are used for in daily, modern life and technology.

The Joplin History And Mineral Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm.

With free admission for kids under twelve, it’s perfect for a family afternoon out.

Find it at 504 S Schifferdecker Ave, Joplin, MO 64801, United States.

2- See The George Washington Carver National Monument

a base at the george washington carver national monument
Visiting the George Washington Carver National Monument is one of the things to do in Joplin.

Just east of Joplin is the historic home of renowned agricultural scientist George Washington Carver.

The house has now been converted into a museum dedicated to his life and scientific contributions, as well as the contributions of his fellow African Americans to the development of the modern USA.

The grounds are now a park, featuring a forest and a nature trail winding through the trees, which hosts various activities and educational programs and a busy calendar of events throughout the year.

Head out to 5646 Carver Rd, Diamond, MO 64840, United States.

3- Look Around Spiva Centre For the Arts

Art lovers visiting Joplin will want to visit the Spiva Centre For The Arts.

Several galleries display frequently changing exhibitions, so there’s always something new to come back and check out.

The centre also run various events throughout the year, from cocktail evenings to live painting competitions.

As well as the art on display, the Spiva Centre also runs various classes to help visitors tap into their own creativity and create a masterpiece of their own.

Alternatively, stop by the gift shop to pick up some unique and original pieces to take home with you.

Head into 212 W 7th St, Joplin, MO 64801, United States.

4- See a show at the Joplin Little Theatre

If you’re more of a fan of the performing arts, check out Joplin Little Theatre to see if they have any productions coming up that you’d be interested in seeing.

The oldest running community theatre west of the Mississippi, Joplin Little Theatre is an iconic institution of Joplin’s arts and culture scene.

They put on a varied selection of quality productions throughout the year, so make sure to check their calendar ahead of your visit, to see if there’s anything you want to grab tickets for.

Go to 3009 W 1st St, Joplin, MO 64801, United States.

5- Visit The Empire Market

Foodies will want to pay a visit to the Empire Market.

Housed in a beautiful historic building, the market hosts dozens of vendors selling fresh local produce and incredible artisanal craft foods.

While you’re browsing the various stalls and food-trucks you can also enjoy listening to the live music acts that add to the lively atmosphere.

The market is open from 10am to 2pm every Saturday.

If you’re short on time, you can even pre-order ahead of time and just swing by to collect on the day.

Head to 931 E 4th St, Joplin, MO 64801, United States.

6- Go Wild At Wildcat Glades Conservation & Audubon Centre

Redings Mill Bridge at Shoal Creek framed by shrubs and trees
Enjoying nature is one of the top things to do in Joplin. Here’s Redings Mill Bridge at Shoal Creek.

Learn about the local wildlife and landscape at the Wildcat Glades Conservation Centre.

Located along Shoal Creek and encompassing various habitats, it features various walking trails through the woods and along the river where you can spot the local critters.

Head out to 201 Riviera Dr, Joplin, MO 64804, United States.

7- Whirl Around Skateland Of Webb City

If you have good balance and energy to spare, head over to Skateland and take a few laps around the rink.

Its perfect for some simple, retro fun and, with support frames available for those less confident, it’s ideal for all skill levels.

Skate along to 104 N Madison St, Webb City, MO 64870, United States.

8- Explore Walter Woods Conservation Area

When you really want to escape from the city, head south to the Walter Woods Conservation Area.

Just a couple of miles from the city centre, you’ll feel like you’re in the heart of the wilderness as you explore the various trails leading through thick woodland and around rivers and lakes.

It’s ideal when you want to escape the hustle and bustle of the city for some peace and quiet.

Start at 7100 Dutch Elm Dr, Joplin, MO 64804, United States.

9- Wander Through McClelland Park

When you want to enjoy the tranquillity of nature without straying too far from the city limits, take a wander through McClelland Park.

Encompassing a variety of landscapes from open fields to dense woodland running along the banks of Shoal Creek, you can enjoy all the peace and quiet of nature and be back in town in time for lunch.

Head in at 4568 McClelland Park Rd, Joplin, MO 64804, United States.

10- Discover The Precious Moments Chapel

If you’re a fan of Precious Moments porcelain figures, then you should definitely visit the Precious Moments Chapel.

The quirky attraction is packed with sculptures, murals, stained glass windows, and full-scale displays inspired by the brand.

You can explore alone or take a guided tour.

And don’t forget to stop by the gift shop on the way out.

Head up to 4321 S Chapel Rd, Carthage, MO 64836, United States.

11- Enjoy A Drink At Christine’s Vineyard

Enjoy a relaxing break in stunning surroundings while supporting a local business by heading out to Christine’s Vineyard.

Just a few miles north of Joplin, you can sip delicious, locally produced wines in the beautiful Missouri countryside.

Visitors are even welcome to fish in the vineyard’s pond.

They also host frequent live music events over the weekends and a food-truck on most Sundays.

If wine’s not your preference, don’t worry.

Christine’s Vineyard also offers a range of tasty beers, honey meads, and even slushies to suit all tastes.

Go to 25695 Mulberry Rd, Webb City, MO 64870, United States.

12- Take A Walk To Grand Falls

Grand Falls in the fall
Admiring the beauty of Grand Falls is one of the best things to do in Joplin for nature lovers.

If you’re after a scenic walk with a lovely reward at the end, head out to Grand Falls.

You’ll find it about a mile south of Joplin after following a winding trail through fields and trees and along the riverside.

There’s also a small parking lot for those who prefer to just drive out.

The area is also a popular spot for fishing, especially around the rocky pools of the creek.

Alternatively, enjoy a waterside picnic or cool off with a swim on a hot summer’s day.

Find it at 5685 Riverside Dr, Joplin, MO 64804, United States.

13- Visit Route 66 Mural Park

Joplin is proud of its location along the iconic Route 66 and you’ll find various attractions around town celebrating it.

The Route 66 Mural Park is one such installation that’s worth checking out.

Comprised of two large murals and a sculpture of a classic car, it’s a great stop for anyone who appreciates street art or just wants to get in a cute selfie.

Open 24 hours a day, you can swing by no matter what time you get into town or how long you have to spend here.

Drive by 629-621 S Main St, Joplin, MO 64801, United States.

14- See Cars On The Route

On your way west out of town you can stop off at the Cars on the Route.

The old service station has been converted into a quirky art installation celebrating both the iconic Route 66 Highway and the popular Pixar film ‘Cars’.

Outside the store you can spot several old cars and trucks transformed into life-size versions of the characters from the movie.

You can also pick up some themed souvenirs in the shop.

Spot them at Kan-O-Tex Service Station, 119 N Main St, Galena, KS 66739, United States.

15- Catch A Movie At 66 Drive-In Theatre

Indulge in some retro entertainment by catching a show at the 66 Drive-In Theatre.

Throughout the summer, the open-air theatre shows a range of new release films for you to enjoy in vintage style.

Visitors can bring their own drinks and snacks, or purchase hot food and movie snacks from the concessions bar.

While you can pay for concessions by card, tickets at the gate are cash only, so make sure you come prepared.

Park up at 17231 Old 66 Blvd, Carthage, MO 64836, United States.

16- Have Fun At Tilt Studio Joplin

This lively arcade is perfect for whiling away a few hours.

It’s packed with games, rides, and gift machines to keep the whole family busy.

If you have more time to fill you can even have a go at the laser tag or minigolf courses.

in Northpark Mall, it makes for a perfect break in between browsing the stores, or just leave the kids here while you shop to your heart’s content.

Go to 101 N Rangeline Rd, Joplin, MO 64801, United States

17- Shop Around At Webb City Farmers Market

Get a taste for the city by sampling the produce of Webb City Farmers Market.

This volunteer run market hosts dozens of vendors selling locally produced meats and vegetables, as well as craft products like jams, pies, and coffee beans.

Dedicated to the local community, the market also runs various demonstrations and workshops to help locals learn to make the most of their produce.

The market is open on Saturday mornings all year round, with additional Tuesday evenings during summer and autumn.

Find it at 106 E Tracy St, Webb City, MO 64870, United States.

18- Have a picnic In Cunningham Park

Right at the heart of the city, this little park is the perfect place to take a break.

The charming park boasts an ornamental pond, a butterfly garden, and a peace garden.

With picnic spots and play areas, it’s the ideal location for an al fresco lunch on a sunny day.

Alternatively, cool off with a dip in the public swimming pool.

Head into W 26th St &, 2409 S Maiden Ln, Joplin, MO 64804, United States.

19- Take A Swing At Twin Hills Golf & Country Club

With 18 holes to take on, Twin Hills is a great place to spend a day in the fresh air.

Right on the edge of the town, it offers an atmosphere of escapism without having to travel far from the city centre.

Whether you’re a seasoned pro or want to take a swing at the sport for the first time, Twin Hills is a beautiful spot get your clubs out.

Go to 2019 S Country Club Dr, Joplin, MO 64804, United States.

20- Jump Around At Soar Trampoline Park

Need a way to get some energy out? Head over to Soar Trampoline Park.

The award-winning trampoline park is the ideal place for visitors of all ages to have some fun and let off some steam.

As well as the trampolines themselves, visitors can also challenge themselves against various obstacle courses and games or hop into the foam pit.

Less active members of your group can keep entertained in the arcade area or even just relax in a massage chair.

Hop along to 1502 S Madison St, Webb City, MO 64870, United States.

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Steve Burden is an avid traveller and experienced writer. As a former pro wrestler, Steve used to travel frequently for work throughout the USA and Europe. Having spent the last decade travelling all over the world in search of new sights and experiences, he has turned his love for travel into a new career helping others decide on the best places to visit, as well as what to see when they get there.