9+ Unique Things to Do in Joplin Today

Uncover the vibrant strokes of Joplin's soul painted on brick canvases downtown. But one mural hides a notorious secret...
Date Published
March 8, 2024

Table of Contents

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Think Joplin is just another dot on the map? Think again! This Missouri gem is bursting at the seams with unique sights and experiences that you won't find anywhere else. From its historic downtown alive with murals that tell a story in every stroke to the thundering serenade of Grand Falls – there's an adventure lurking around every corner. And let’s not forget the Wildcat Glades, whispering the ancient secrets of the Ozarks to those who wander its paths.

Joplin isn't just a city; it's a canvas, a natural masterpiece, and a treasure chest of cultural jewels all rolled into one. Pack your bags and your sense of wonder as we dive into the heart of what makes Joplin a must-visit spot. Buckle up, friends; you're about to embark on a journey through some of the most breathtaking, quirky, and downright delightful Things to Do in Joplin – where every turn is a story, and every moment is a memory waiting to happen.

Scour the Murals of Downtown Joplin

Picture it: strolling through historic downtown Joplin, where every corner you turn pops with color and creativity. That's what you get when you dive into the vibrant Joplin art scene. It's an outdoor gallery just waiting for your Insta snaps—so don't forget your camera!

From larger-than-life portraits to abstract masterpieces, the murals here aren't just art; they tell the story of Joplin's past, present, and future. It's like taking a street art tour without needing any tickets. Just open your eyes, and bam! You've entered the most Instagrammable spot in the Midwest.

But how should you tackle this visual feast, you wonder? It's simple. Start at the heart of Historic downtown Joplin and let the art lead the way. Spend a good hour or two immersed in this urban canvas—it's the perfect outing for families, friends, and, let's be honest, that artistic selfie-loving side of you.

Now, who loves a juicy tidbit? Everyone! Here's the scoop: each mural has a tale, peppered with local legends and historical nuggets. They spark conversations and inspire creativity among locals and tourists alike—it's like chatting with old-timers but way cooler, because, you know, art.

But don't just take my word for it, why not see it for yourself? Lace up those walking shoes and get ready for some memory-making. Who said art museums needed walls and a roof, right? Whether you're an art aficionado or just appreciate a good splash of color, downtown Joplin's street-side galleries are where it’s at.

Capping off your mural adventure, you'll find cute cafes and quirky shops sprinkled throughout the area—perfect to grab a latte or a keepsake. So gather your squad, make a day of it, and remember: in Joplin, every blank wall is a canvas, and every stroll could lead to your new favorite work of art.

Unwind at Grand Falls

Imagine yourself surrounded by the soothing sounds of cascading water, and you've got a picture of Grand Falls, Joplin's own little slice of paradise. This is not your average trickle-down-the-rocks situation – oh no, folks! In fact, can you believe it's the largest, continuously flowing natural waterfall in Missouri? Yep, it is, and it's right here in your backyard, Joplin.

Now, if you're itching for some outdoor adventures, you'll definitely want to slide Grand Falls into your itinerary. It's the perfect spot for nature lovers and photo enthusiasts alike. With scenic views that will make your Instagram friends green with envy, who wouldn't want to spend an afternoon here?

Kick off your shoes and let your toes mingle with the cool, crisp water. Feel that? That's the rush of a natural retreat doing its magic. Set up a picnic, or just lay back and let the sun paint your skin with a little vitamin D. Grand Falls is like the chill friend you can always count on for good vibes.

Ready to stretch those legs? There's a bunch of nature trails near Joplin that show off the lush landscapes of the Ozarks. Time to swap the sound of notifications for the rustle of leaves and the tweeting of, well, actual birds.

And for those of you who love a scenic drive, the drive to Grand Falls is as lovely as the destination itself. Cruising with the windows down, your favorite tunes playing, and the Missouri countryside rolling by - yeah, that's the good stuff.

Whether you’re flying solo, making it a date, or bringing the whole family, everyone can get into Grand Falls. Even your four-legged friends will give it two paws up. Trust me, your whole squad will be feeling that zen vibe.

Plan to hang out for an hour or two, or hey, why not the whole day? Just remember to soak in every moment and let Mother Nature do her thing. And if you're looking for more details on how to get yourself to this little piece of heaven, check out Missouri's Great Outdoors and plan your escape into nature.

Discover the Wildcat Glades

Imagine this: chirping birds, rustling leaves, and a gentle breeze caressing your face. Welcome to the Wildcat Glades, where Joplin park exploration isn't just an activity; it's an adventure that tickles your senses and puts a spring in your step.

Here's the deal: Joplin outdoor adventures come alive at these nature trails near Joplin, which are perfect for the casual walker or the spirited explorer. But hold up, it's not your average walk in the park. The Wildcat Glades are a natural wonderland where the wonders of Missouri's unique chert glades meet the wooded splendor of the Ozarks.

What makes it so special? For starters, there's an Audubon Center that's totally interactive and kid-friendly. Ever held a caterpillar or gawked at a spectacular bird of prey up close? You could here, and no one would judge you for squealing in delight.

And then there's the trails - oh, the trails! Whether you're decked out in your best hiking boots or just rocking some comfy sneakers, these trails are ready for you. Trek the sunny chert glades or wander under the canopy of green. Go wild on a three-mile adventure or take a short, contemplative stroll where the Shoal Creek whispers secrets as it flows.

Bring your buddies, your date, or your kiddos – the Wildcat Glades have something for everyone. Solo adventurers, scout troops, families with tireless toddlers, they all find their happy place here. Need a breath of fresh air during your lunch break? It's the perfect quick escape. Planning a whole day immersed in nature? Pack a picnic and leave the world behind.

So, what are you waiting for? Come feel the heartbeat of nature, breathe in the soul-soothing air, and leave with a stash of memories and maybe, just maybe, a little bit of glade magic in your step. Discover, wander, and fall in love with the Wildcat Glades. It's not just Joplin's pride; it's your next favorite getaway.

Sip and Savor at Local Wineries

Picture this: you're sitting amidst the verdant vineyards of Joplin, swirling a glass of the finest local wine as the sun dips below the horizon, casting a warm glow over the horizon. You're not dreaming – this is just one of the many wine tasting experiences Joplin has to offer.

Joplin's wineries are the real hidden gems where romance is just bound to happen. Bring your better half, or just your appreciation for good wine, and prepare for an intimate outing that'll have you both whispering "cheers" under the starry skies.

Why are Joplin wineries perfect for a romantic date?

  • Intimate settings: The ambiance of Joplin's wineries is cozy and personal, which is perfect for creating that romantic spark.
  • Delicious pairings: Wine tasting in Joplin isn't just about the wine – it's about the artfully paired snacks that make every sip a journey.
  • Gorgeous views: Surrounded by stunning natural beauty, these spots offer a visual treat as well as a taste sensation.

It's more than just drinking wine; it's an immersive experience. Each winery comes with its own history and character, often shared by passionate local vintners who live and breathe the craft. Expect to be engaged in stories of grape-to-glass as you taste the unique flavors of the region.

If you're wondering how much time to set aside for this, I'd say treat it like a laid-back afternoon affair. Spend a couple of hours hopping from one winery to another, or select a favorite and settle in for the duration.

The crowd? It's diverse! From young couples enjoying a new kind of date night to groups of friends laughing over a shared bottle, everyone's welcome here.

So, whether you're a wine aficionado or just dipping your toes into the world of vintages, make sure to add a visit to the local wineries to your Joplin itinerary. It's the ideal blend of relaxation, indulgence, and of course, fantastic wine. Cheers to that!

Explore the Spiva Center for the Arts

Picture this: You're strolling through the vibrant heart of Joplin's cultural vigor, the Spiva Center for the Arts. It's not just a building—it's a bustling hub where creativity and community intertwine like paint swirled on a canvas.

Inject a splash of creative flair into your day with exhibits that change faster than Missouri weather. At the Spiva Center, you're set to witness a hotbed of Joplin cultural events that'll make you feel like a local art connoisseur—even if you can't tell a Monet from a Manet.

You step into a space alive with diversity, reflected through the varied art mediums and styles. Whether you're an aficionado or a curious first-timer, there’s no pomp here, just passion. From the shimmering jewelry and pottery crafted by regional artisans to avant-garde photography begging to be Instagrammed, you won't help but leave inspired.

Local buzz? You betcha—the Spiva Center is the talk of the town when it comes to art galleries in Joplin. What makes this spot unique? It's not only a gallery; it's a classroom, a lecture hall, and a place for art-inspired parties. You can join a workshop, attend a talk, or even catch a film screening.

Think, for a second, about sashaying through this cultural gem for an hour or two—just enough to spark your artistic curiosity without overwhelming your muse. It's perfect for singles looking for quiet reflection, families in search of a creative outing, or couples cozying up on a cultured date.

Are you ready to make your visit? Let your eyes and your spirit wander and weave through the Spiva Center's offerings. Remember to check out their calendar—Joplin MO tourism's best-kept secret might just be an event happening during your visit!

Color your Joplin experience with a visit to the Spiva Center for the Arts. Trust me, your inner artist is begging for a peek!

Go Antique Shopping in Joplin

Picture this: You're strolling through the charming streets of Joplin, the air is humming with history, and right there, an antique shop catches your eye. It's not just any shop; it's a treasure trove waiting for your curious eyes and nostalgic heart. Welcome to the world of antique shopping in Joplin—a haven for both seasoned collectors and curious newcomers alike.

Joplin's antique stores are the perfect nooks to find that one-of-a-kind piece you didn't know you needed. Be prepared to spend hours rummaging through vintage photographs, retro décor, and maybe, just maybe, a piece of Joplin history. This is where you'll tap into the nostalgia of Americana, finding items that tell stories of days and lives past.

Why is antique shopping in Joplin a unique experience? Well, imagine finding a 1920s flapper dress wedged between a stack of old vinyl records and a coffee table like the one your grandma used to have. It's the mix of unexpected finds and the thrill of the hunt that makes this activity a gold mine for eclectic shoppers.

You'll want to carve out a good half-day for this, at least. The best bit? Each shop has its own vibe, its own specialties, and, of course, its own hidden gems. Whether you're a fan of vintage fashion, love retro furniture, or just enjoy the odd trinket or two, there's something here that'll pique your interest.

And who's this suitable for? Anyone with a zest for the past! Singles, families, couples—looking for a cute date idea? Antique shopping is a memorable pick. Plus, when your legs need a rest, the local coffee shop is just a stone's throw away, perfect for sipping a latte and appreciating your newly found possessions.

Enter the realm of Antique shopping Joplin, where every item has a tale to tell. It's not just shopping; it's an adventure into the heart of history. So grab your wallet and sense of wonder, and let's go hunting for treasures that are as unique as your next Instagram story!

Enjoy an Evening at Joplin Little Theater

Picture this: You're sitting in a charming, intimate theater. The curtain rises, and the air buzzes with excitement. You're about to witness local talent that'll blow you away. Yep, you're at the Joplin Little Theater, the oldest continuous community theater west of the Mississippi! Now, grab your snacks because it's showtime.

Joplin's local events calendar is ablaze with performances here. This isn't your big-budget Broadway spectacle—oh no. It's heartfelt, witty, and oh-so Joplin. Whether you're into musicals that get your toes tapping or dramas that tug at your heartstrings, this cozy spot has it all.

Why do folks rave about it?

  • Local talent shines here. You might even spot the next big star!
  • They dish out an eclectic mix of shows. One night it could be a Shakespeare classic, and the next, a modern comedy sketch.
  • Every seat's a good one. It's intimate—you’ll feel like part of the play!

Swing by on a date night, or bring the kids for a family-friendly show. It's cool for both! But heads up: It's not Cirque Du Soleil. Expect more of a homegrown, local theater vibe, packed with passion for the arts. By the time the cast takes their final bow, you’ll be on your feet, clapping away!

And the best part? It's nestled snugly in Joplin, so you're just a stone’s throw away from some tasty grub or a relaxing nightcap after the show. Hit up a quaint café, or stroll down the street to continue the entertainment.

Spend a couple of hours here. Trust me, you'll leave with a happy heart, and maybe a tune stuck in your head. And for people who just love a good show, it's the perfect appetite-whetter.

Ready for a night to remember? The Joplin Little Theater is waiting for you. Let's get theatrical, Joplin!

Hike the Frisco Greenway Trail

When you're in the mood for an outdoor adventure that checks all the boxes, you gotta hit up the Frisco Greenway Trail. It's not just any old trail; it's a Joplin outdoor adventure that's got something for everyone.

Pack your water bottle and lace up those trusty hiking boots because this trail is perfect for a solid dose of nature. And hey, if you're more of a “two wheels good, four wheels bad” person, grab your bike! With Joplin bike trails like this, you'll find your slice of two-wheeled heaven, stretching over multiple scenic miles.

Let's talk about what you're gonna see.

First off, Joplin park exploration? Check. You're in for a treat with the lush greenery and if you're lucky, a glimpse of local wildlife that calls this trail home. It's like stepping inside a postcard! But it's not just for hardcore nature enthusiasts—families, friends, and solo explorers will find their happy place here.

Aim to spend a couple of hours to truly get the most out of the Frisco Greenway Trail. There's plenty to discover, and you'd want to linger for those Instagram-perfect spots. Here's the scoop on why this trail is a local love affair:

  • The vibe is chill, so whether you're a serene stroller or a serious sprinter, you’ll feel right at home.
  • It's an escape from the hustle without leaving town. Seriously, you can almost hear the trees whispering, "Relax, you're with nature now."
  • Picnic areas along the way invite you to stop and refuel, because let's face it, snacks taste better with a view.

Whether you're a Joplin native or just swooping through, the Frisco Greenway Trail is for you. It's where solace and excitement dance together under the open sky, making it just as amazing for adrenaline junkies as for those seeking a quiet moment with Mother Earth. So what are you waiting for? Get out there and make some memories you’ll be talking about for ages!

Indulge in Joplin's Gourmet Chocolate

Picture this: You’re strolling through Joplin, and suddenly, the aroma of rich, decadent chocolate hijacks your senses. You’re not dreaming—this is the real deal. Joplin's gourmet chocolate scene is a sweet spot in the city’s dining experiences, and definitely not for the faint of heart (or anyone with a chocolate allergy, obviously).

It's not just a treat—it’s a full experience. And guess what? It's tailored for every kind of chocolate lover out there. Whether you're a solo traveler with a sweet tooth or a family looking to treat the kids (and, let’s be real, yourself too), Joplin has a dessert place that feels like it was made just for you.

The city boasts a range of chocolate shops that take you on a journey from cocoa bean to creamy bar. Spend a breezy afternoon savoring handcrafted truffles, or let your taste buds go wild with unique chocolate creations that could even include a hint of local flavors. These confections are art, and you are the very lucky gallery visitor with permission to touch—and eat—the exhibits.

You’ll want to dedicate at least an hour to this indulgence because, in Joplin, chocolate isn't just food; it's a timestamp in your memory that you'll want to savor as much as the treats. These intimate shops are perfect for date nights or even a serene solo trek where the only company you need is a chocolate chunk the size of your fist (no judgment here).

Drop by one of these delightful dessert destinations, and give in to the lure of liquid gold in a cup or the snap of a perfectly tempered chocolate bar. Your Instagram will thank you, your friends will envy you, and your palate? Well, it's going to have a hard time going back to regular candy bars.

Test Your Skills at Joplin Escape Rooms

Imagine you're the hero in your own adventure movie, with the clock ticking down, and every second is crucial. That's the pulse-racing thrill of diving into one of Joplin's escape rooms. It's like a live-action puzzle that demands your wits, teamwork, and a cool head under pressure.

Now, you're probably wondering, are escape rooms really that exciting? Absolutely! Joplin escape rooms are perfect for those who love a challenge. You'll find yourself immersed in different scenarios, from solving a mystery in an old haunted mansion to defusing a bomb in a spy thriller setup.

Nail-biting, yes. Fun, oh yes! This is one of Joplin's indoor entertainment experiences where you can prove your mettle. It's a fantastic way to bond with friends, family, or coworkers as you scramble to find clues and crack codes under a tight deadline. This isn't just any old Joplin recreational activity; it's an adrenaline-fueled escapade.

But hey, don't just take my word for it—experience it for yourself. These escape rooms cater to all skill levels, so whether you're a newbie or a seasoned pro, you're in for a treat. Consider allotting about an hour of your day for this adventure (though you might want to chill afterwards to calm that beating heart of yours).

Who's it for, you wonder? Well, if you thrive on fast-paced, brain-teasing shenanigans, then it's perfect for you! However, it's not recommended for very young kids—this is more of a grown-ups' playground. But teenagers? They'll eat this up, especially if they enjoy a bit of mystery and role play.

Ready to test your problem-solving prowess? Get ready to step out of your world and into an exhilarating story where you're the star player. Remember, it's not just about getting out—it's about the glory of beating the game. Check out the options and book your slot at a Joplin escape room today! (And hey, don't forget to celebrate your victory later—maybe with some local grub or a refreshing drink.)

Catch Live Jazz at Local Clubs

Picture this: you're sitting under moody lighting surrounded by the smooth, soulful sound of a saxophone filling the air—it's live jazz night in Joplin. Now, whether you're a Jazz aficionado or just looking for a chill vibe to end your day, the local clubs rocking live music in Joplin, MO, are the place to be.

Let's get into the groove. Joplin's nightlife isn't just about hitting the hay when the sun sets. No, sir! It's about experiencing the rhythms that set this city apart. You step into a club with live jazz, and what's that? A double bass player strumming strings so deep you feel it in your bones. A pianist whose fingers dance over ivory keys like they're playing tag. You're not just observing; you're participating in a Joplin tradition as rich as the coffee you sipped on earlier.

Singles, couples, friends—heck, even jazz-loving toddlers if they're night owls—find their way here. Plan on spending an evening, because once the band gets rolling, you won't want to leave. It's the perfect backdrop for both talking and listening, offering a sensory treat that accompanies any occasion, whether you're out for a soul-stirring solo venture or looking to wow your date.

So, who's playing tonight, you ask? Swing by the local favorite hotspots where the calendar is always jam-packed with talent ready to escort you through a musical journey. You're in for a treat when you let the heartbeat of Joplin's nightlife, filled with saxophones and trumpets, carry your evening away. Don't be surprised if you leave humming a new favorite tune!

And remember, jazz clubs in Joplin are more than just music venues—they're enclaves of history echoing the city's diverse cultural fabric, striking a chord with every beat. Dance, nod, tap your foot, or simply sink into the sweet abyss of live jazz. You're part of Joplin's story now, and it’s a rhythm you'll carry with you, long after the night is over.

Participate in the Joplin Farmers Market

Imagine a place where the aroma of fresh baked bread dances through the air, mingled with the sweet scents of ripe strawberries and homemade jams. That's right, you've just stepped into the Joplin Farmers Market! It's the buzz of local chatter, a symphony of vendors calling out their freshest picks, and a place where the community comes together like a lively family reunion.

Why should you drop by the farmers market? Well, for starters, it's a bonanza of local events in Joplin. You get to rub elbows with the friendliest folks around who are there to share the fruit (quite literally) of their hard labor.

  • Family fun in Joplin? Check. Kids can learn where their food comes from, meet the farmers, and even score a sample or two.
  • Eyeing farmers markets in Joplin for the freshest produce? You could almost see the veggies still glistening with morning dew!

This farmers market is not just a place to stock up on the best local harvest, it's an experience. Twirl your way through stands of colorful flowers, tap your feet to live music, and grab a bite of delicious, locally-sourced goodies. Whether you're a culinary wizard looking for the perfect eggplant to make your famous Ratatouille, or a family searching for an afternoon's adventure, you've hit the jackpot here.

You'll find the market bustling with energy, perfect for singles and families alike. Dedicate a couple of hours of your morning to explore, taste, and savor. The vibe? Pure joy. The setting? So idyllic, you'll feel like you're in the heart of the countryside. This is local charm at its finest, friends, and it's calling your name.

Ready to immerse yourself in Joplin's community spirit? The farmers market is where it's at – a vibrant testament to the city's heart and soul. Don't just take my word for it, come see for yourself why it's the talk of the town!


What are some fun activities for kids in Joplin, MO?

A: You can take your little ones to the Joplin Children's Museum or Wildcat Glades for a day of adventure and learning.

What can couples do in Joplin, MO?

A: Couples can enjoy a romantic evening at local vineyards or a cozy dinner at a downtown bistro.

Are there any adult-focused activities in Joplin?

A: Sure thing! Adults can explore the historic Murphysburg district or hit the slots at Downstream Casino Resort.

What are some unique experiences in Joplin, MO?

A: Go underground at the Joplin History and Mineral Museum or catch a show at the Joplin Little Theatre for something different.

What's happening in Joplin, MO today?

A: Check out Joplin's event calendars for festivals, live music, or art exhibitions happening today.

A: Weekends are perfect for farmer's markets, nature trails at Grand Falls, or a round of golf at Schifferdecker Golf Course.

Is Joplin, MO worth visiting?

A: Absolutely! With its rich mining history and cultural attractions, Joplin is a hidden gem worth exploring.

What is Joplin, MO most famous for?

A: Joplin is famous for its lead mining past and being the hometown of famed ragtime composer Scott Joplin.

What food is Joplin, Missouri known for?

A: Joplin's culinary scene boasts BBQ joints and classic American diners serving up hearty comfort food.

Is Joplin, Missouri considered a small town?

A: While Joplin has a small-town charm, it's a thriving city with a strong community feel and plenty of amenities.

Final Words

Wow, what a ride! We've painted the town with the vivid murals of downtown, unwound at Grand Falls, and embraced the wild beauty of the Wildcat Glades. We've filled our palates with local wines, feasted on gourmet chocolates, and shopped for treasures in Joplin's antique stores. We cheered at the Little Theater, got jazzed up at local clubs, and challenged our wits in escape rooms. All the while, soaking in Joplin's rich art scene and catching those live tunes and smiles at the Farmers Market.

Your epic adventure through Joplin doesn't have to end here. Keep exploring, tasting, and enjoying all the wonders this gem has to offer. On your next trip, dive even deeper into all the exciting things to do in Joplin, and who knows what other local secrets you'll uncover. You're bound to come back with stories that are just too good not to share. In Joplin, the possibilities are as big as the open road.

Meet the Author
Aria Ohlsson
Aria Ohlsson, the Instagram storyteller extraordinaire, takes you on adventures through her enchanting narratives. An avid hiker, she scales peaks and weaves tales of mountaintop triumphs. When she's not conquering trails, you'll find her immersed in classic novels, finding inspiration for her next tale.
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