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Outdoor Fun for Springfield Kids and Families

There are plenty of affordable outdoor activities for families here in Springfield this summer. New parks, day camps, pools, festivals, concerts, and Lasers Tennis are only a few of the many opportunities that the Springfield-Greene County Park Board is putting on for locals during the summer months. KSMU’s Ryan Welch reports.

Whether it’s the new Equestrian Center at Valley Water Mill Park, the Doling Museum Concerts, or the seven outdoor pool locations throughout the city, Springfield proves to be a convenient place to be for summer fun. Park Board Public Information Administrator Bob Nelson says Springfield’s park system is on the move.

“Our park system here in Springfield and Greene County is really one of the leading parks facilities here in the Midwest. And in the nation, it’s certainly looked at as a model parks system. One of the great things that we’re able to do is provide a quality of service through over 100 different park locations and greenway trails and all throughout the Springfield-Greene County metropolitan area,” says Nelson.

Among the new facilities is the Equestrian Center at Valley Water Mill Park on the north side of town. Springfield has not had horseback riding in its park system since the 1960s, but locals will soon be able to take riding lessons or bring their own horses to ride at the new center.

Another new facility is Dan Kinney Park, which is located east of Highway 65. Phase 1 was recently completed, and the park was opened with a universal playground, meaning that it is accessible to all. Nelson says that if someone is in a wheelchair or has special needs, it is easier to access that particular playground.

Back again this year are the free movies being shown downtown at Founders Park. This year’s list includes classics like “The Wizard of Oz” and “Casablanca” and new hits such as “Up” and “The Blind Side.”

Nelson also said the Springfield Lasers World TeamTennis has an exciting season ahead of them. The season, lasting July 5-July 22, includes hosting world renowned tennis players Lindsay Davenport and Martina Hingis. Both Davenport and Hingis have been former world Number One players.

“And you know, what better place to see hard-hitting tennis at that particular level than right here in your own backyard in Springfield. And also, Missouri is really blessed to have three professional World TeamTennis teams. We’re the only state in the United States that has that particular accolade. So, [we’re] really happy that tennis is so strong here in the Midwest and hope that everybody will come out and see a Lasers match beginning July 5th,” says Nelson.

You can find more information on Springfield Parks by visiting our website,

For KSMU News, I’m Ryan Welch.