This series on City Guides is aimed at helping makers get acquainted with a city quickly. Maybe you’re new in town, maybe you’re traveling through, or maybe you’ve never ventured out into the maker community. Here you will find local sights and sounds, valuable resources for getting materials, tips on sightseeing, and other helpful things to know. This guide is a living document, so if you see something that needs an update, or if you’d like to help create a guide to your city, email us!


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Springfield is the third largest city in Missouri, after St. Louis and Kansas City. The city limits document a population of roughly 170,000 but our extended metropolitan area shows around 550,000. Dubbed “the Queen City of the Ozarks,” it is best known as the birthplace of Route 66 and Bass Pro Shops.

Visiting Springfield, you’re going to find that we have rapid weather changes and drastically different seasons. Our summers can be sweltering with extreme humidity and temperatures over 100°F, and our winters are capable of several feet of snow and ice. Thankfully our falls are stunningly gorgeous as this city is full of trees.

Makerspaces

Though there are a few co-working spaces in Springfield, there are currently no makerspaces. There have been a few here and there, but none are operational as of January 27, 2017.

Sights and Sounds

  • Route 66
    Springfield is considered the birthplace of the historic Route 66. While much of the areas are a bit dilapidated, you can still find fantastic murals and mosaics to celebrate the past. This also lends to finding many car themed things in the area, and many many car enthusiasts.
  • IdeaX factory public displays
    An art studio and public space combined that often holds public displays of community art, music, sculpture, and making.
  • Discovery Center
    Our local center for teaching science to kids, featuring hands-on activities and wonderful sights and sounds.
  • Springfield art museum and the “french fries”
    Our art museum gets new and great displays frequently, and is also home to some beloved local sculptures.
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The “French Fries” are a beloved local sculpture, actually named “Sun Target II.” Many folks remember climbing these as kids and banded together to raise funds to keep them there.

Where to Get Materials

Most cities have the usual “big box stores” where you can buy stuff. Here are some local shops where you may find a better selection and better, more knowledgeable, service.

Metal

Art supplies

Wood

Plastic

Stained Glass

Makery Events

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  • Ozarks Mini Maker Faire!
    Our local Mini Maker Faire is going on 3 years now!
  • Steam Engine Festival
    See steam engines working in all manners. Sadly, their website is currently broken.
  • Art Fest
    Artists travel from all over to show their wares. Hands-on activities for everyone as well.
  • Ozarks Celebration at Missouri State University
    Bluegrass music mixed with lots of old-world skills like weaving, sewing, cooking, blacksmithing, and woodworking of various types.
  • First Friday Art Walk
    Every first Friday of the month, local businesses become temporary art galleries, allowing for a fun walking tour of local venues, featuring local artists.

Local Businesses and Organizations Who Support the Maker Community

Many local businesses and organizations have shown support for the maker community. This is either through events, access to resources or sponsoring things like hackathons or even the Maker Faire.