Trips to Branson are always fun, but sometimes you need a little change of pace during your vacation. If you’re looking for a fun day trip with your family while visiting Branson, take a short drive to Springfield, home of the Springfield Little Theatre.
The Landers Theatre was built in 1909 after the Baldwin Theatre burned. Over the years, the theatre was home to a variety of productions, including “Five Star Jubilee,” a national NBC-TV show. The theatre was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1977, and is still the oldest and largest civic theatre operation in Missouri, and one of the largest in mid-America.
Springfield Little Theatre produces nine plays and musicals with about 60,000 guests in attendance annually. Alumni of Landers Theatre have gone on to national recognition in theatre and film. Some of those include Kathleen Turner, Tess Harper, and Kim Crosby, who played Cinderella in Stephen Sondheim’s Into the Woods.
This year, Springfield Little Theatre will be producing a number of plays and musicals, including Monty Python’s Spam-a-lot; The Little Mermaid, Jr.; Exit Laughing; The Music Man Junior; Shrek the Musical; I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change; and Trailer Park Musical.
To get tickets for a Springfield Little Theatre show, you can purchase them in person, online, or over the phone. You can visit the Landers Theatre at 311 E. Walnut Street in Springfield. Box office hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and through intermission during show performances. On Saturday, the box office is open at 12:00 p.m. for matinees and 5:00 p.m. for evening shows. On Sundays, the box office will open at 12:00 for matinees and remain open through intermission. You may also call the theatre during box office hours. All ticket purchases are non-refundable, and there is a $5 processing fee on all orders paid by credit card or check.
Online orders can be made on the “Shows” page of the Springfield Little Theatre. Tickets can be ordered through the website 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Visit springfieldlittletheatre.org to order tickets.
In addition to seeing a show at Springfield Little Theatre, you can also enjoy a meal at one of the many eateries in downtown Springfield. Farmers Gastropub is the home for a delightful mix of British and fine cuisine, including cottage pie, fish and chips, and grilled polenta with mushrooms, lentils, and walnuts. Other downtown restaurants include Mud Lounge, Ophelia’s, Fedora’s Social House, Mille’s Café, and RyMac’s Rub Pub.
When you arrive in downtown, be prepared to look for free parking in the area. Most things downtown are within walking distance of the available free parking. If you choose to use paid parking, the approximate cost will be $5.
While you’re in Branson, you could take a day trip to Springfield to enjoy a theatrical production from the Springfield Little Theatre, and enjoy a delicious meal from one of Springfield’s downtown restaurants.