Blake Walsh

20 Best Things to Do in Neosho, MO

  • Published 2023/03/14

What better place to escape from the daily grind than Neosho, Missouri?

It is the county seat of, and largest city in, Newton County.

Neosho is on the Ozarks’ western border.

The name “Neosho” comes from the Native Americans who lived in the area, most likely the Osage.

It means “clear, cold water,” referring to the area’s freshwater springs.

Over the years, the springs have attracted different Native American tribes.

It also drew the white settlers who arrived in 1833 and established the city in 1878.

Neosho, often known as the “City of Springs,” has long been an agricultural hub.

It’s home to the Neosho National Fish Hatchery, the system’s first and oldest facility.

Locals refer to it as “the Flower Box City” and the “Gateway to the Ozarks.”

Here are the best things to do in Neosho, MO:

Check Out the World’s Largest Flower Box

Welcome sign of World's Largest Flower Box

EWY Media /

Since receiving a grant in 1955 for an experiment in city-wide beautification, Neosho has planted easy-to-maintain planters wherever possible.

Find floral displays in front of businesses, churches, schools, and private residences.

These displays have helped spread the practice around Neosho.

Many new homes and businesses use flower boxes in their landscape layouts because of the project’s widespread acceptance in the city.

Moreover, the city can now boast of having the World’s Largest Flower Box.

The city turned a disused railroad gondola into a flower box.

It’s 66 feet long, eight feet wide, and 44 inches deep.

This flower box would not have existed without the help of the people of Neosho.

Morse Park’s new flower box is a lovely addition to the park’s landscape.

You can still see the plethora of Flower Boxes at individual dwellings and businesses in Neosho along a leisurely drive.

Step Back in Time at the Newton County Historical Museum

The well-preserved rooms at the Newton County Historical Museum contain period-accurate furniture from the 1800s.

If you’re seeking low-cost things to do in Neosho, this quaint museum is one of many great options.

A knowledgeable guide will lead you through its various exhibits and chambers, allowing you to experience 19th-century living.

Look around the Newton County Historical Museum for an hour or two, and you’ll find a treasure trove of artifacts.

Find artifacts, 19th-century apparel, ancient pictures, furniture, glassware, paintings, pottery, and many more.

Visit the Neosho Colored School

Between 1872 and 1891, the Neosho Colored School served as a school for African-American students.

Bring your family or friends to this well-known Neosho destination, established in 1871.

During the late 1800s, African American children attended this school, which was a converted home.

In addition, it is a great place to visit if you don’t have a lot of time to spare.

Neosho has a lot to offer visitors, including a step back in time to a crucial part of its history.

If you’re looking for something to do after seeing this historic landmark, visit restaurants, boutique stores, and parks in the region.

Explore Historic Downtown Neosho

Besides the Second Baptist Church, Neosho’s historic downtown district is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Thanks to the many historical markers, it’s easy to take a tour of Neosho’s past.

Additionally, the Newton County Courthouse has a five-panel mural on its main level.

The artwork depicts a timeline of events in the county.

It’s common for individuals to return to the mural with their children or grandkids to find all the creatures.

The Centennial Mural and the Skaggs Tile Mural are two more intriguing murals.

Check Out Doug Hall’s Log Cabin Gallery

One of the best things to enjoy whenever visiting a new place is its local art and culture.

Artist Doug Hall, a native of Neosho, creates accurate depictions of the Woodland Indians.

Find them at Doug Hall’s Log Cabin Gallery.

The Buffalo Bill Art Show and Sale, the Brinton Museum, and the C.M. Russell Museum have sold his wonderful paintings.

Doug Hall’s Log Cabin Gallery is a gallery, fine art print store, and gathering spot.

Explore the Neosho National Fish Hatchery

The Neosho National Fish Hatchery, which opened its doors in 1888, is Newton’s first federal fish hatchery.

Bring your kids to this historic fish hatchery.

You can find new hatchery buildings and a tourist center on a lovely well-maintained site.

Upon entry, you can find a wide variety of fish, including rainbow trout and sturgeons.

Spend the day at the Neosho National Fish Hatchery with your kids and have a great time.

You may join a guided tour of the region with a scientist and learn about the area’s endangered fish species at the visitor center’s displays.

Then, you can ride your bike around the scenic gardens, try fish feedings at the ponds, or enjoy a cozy family picnic.

Explore the Bicentennial Conservation Area

The Bicentennial Conservation Area previously belonged to the World War II-era Camp Crowder Army Base.

The U.S. States Army chose the city as its base due to its proximity to water, railways, and highways.

The federal government bought hundreds of small farms to form the 60,000-acre facility.

Today, you can still see the foundations of fruit trees, open fields, and other farm remnants.

Camp Crowder got its name as a tribute to Judge Advocate General and U.S. Ambassador to Cuba Enoch H. Crowder.

Mort Walker’s iconic comic strip Beetle Bailey immortalized “Camp Swampy.”

Walker had basic training here before the camp’s deactivation in the mid-1950s.

Nearly all of the 721-acre Bicentennial Conservation Area is covered with trees.

Find trees like white oaks, black oaks, blackjack, hackberry, red oaks, elm, black walnut, black cherry, and ash in the area.

You can also find large populations of squirrels or deer in the vicinity.

Cool Off at the Neosho Municipal Pool

Besides its sizeable Olympic-sized pool, the Neosho Municipal Pool features a kiddie lagoon and a shaded space for parents.

Kids and adults of all ages will enjoy learning essential water safety skills.

It also provides reasonably priced swimming classes for people of all ages.

In addition, you may rent the pool at a modest charge for your next event.

Feel safe and secure while taking a dip in the Neosho Pool.

The American Red Cross has certified the pool’s lifeguards in CPR, First Aid, and Life Saving & Water Safety.

Its lifeguards are also WSI-certified swimming instructors.

Relax at Big Spring Park

Big Spring Park is one of the most picturesque locations in Neosho and a favorite location for wedding ceremonies.

The park’s amenities include a picnic area, a floral clock, and a wading pool for children.

Also, take a photo with the Skaggs Tile Mural on the Mills Park Center Building at the park.

Big Spring Park was first an Indian trade post and subsequently a Civil War military camp.

Today, it’s a popular spot for locals and visitors alike.

Big Springs’ average daily flow is 891,000 gallons of water.

Tee Off at Neosho Golf Course

Located in the heart of Crystal Springs, the Neosho Municipal Golf Course is a popular destination for Midwest golfers.

There are two distinct nine-hole layouts at the Neosho Municipal Golf Course, making it an excellent 18-hole course.

Famed golf architect Perry Maxwell built the original nine-hole course in 1924.

Perry Maxwell also developed the Southern Hills Golf Club in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

The Neosho Municipal Golf Course’s reasonable price will please even the most seasoned golfers, regardless of experience level.

Get Competitive at Edgewood Bowl

Edgewood Bowl is one of the most popular bowling alleys in Neosho.

If you’re searching for something to do indoors when it’s rainy or freezing, drive over to Edgewood Bowl.

Get a great bowling experience with the most up-to-date lighting and equipment, plenty of parking, and many food options.

It’s also ideal for nighttime fun in Neosho, as their bowling alley transforms into a kaleidoscope of color as the sun goes down.

You’ll have an excellent time bowling or pool while sipping alcoholic beverages and tasty appetizers.

Enjoy Movie Night at B&B Theatres Neosho Cinema 6

The B&B Theaters is also known as Neosho Cinema 6.

Neosho Cinema 6 is a state-of-the-art multi-screen cinema.

Don’t miss a romantic movie date at Neosho’s magnificent theater.

You may also rent the auditoriums to host special events; excellent foods are available.

The comfy seats with recliners help create an intimate setting.

Likewise, you can enjoy the arcade.

Bring a date to Neosho Cinema 6.

See the latest blockbusters and 3D flicks while munching on various snacks.

After the show, unwind with a drink at the marquee bar.

Release Your Stress at Natural Touch Massage

Founded in the early 1990s, A Natural Touch Massage has quickly become one of the city’s most popular massage parlors.

Enjoy a pampering massage with aromatic smells and a relaxing atmosphere.

A Natural Touch Massage is a great place to unwind on your last day of vacation, whether you go alone or with a group of people.

Choose from a wide range of offerings, including deep tissue, neuromuscular therapy, and pregnancy massages.

Buy Souvenirs at Antique-ish Mall

It’s hard to believe that the Antique-ish Mall is a flea market and antique mall in one.

Go on a shopping spree at the Antique-ish Mall after doing some sightseeing and enjoying a day of outdoor sports.

This area features a wide variety of shops, parking places, and pleasant vendors that sell various products.

If you want to meet up with your fellow travelers for dinner, check out the many eateries in the area.

Stop by this fantastic antique mall and flea market to take a break from all of the touristy activities you’ve been doing.

Shop for antiques, collectibles, furniture, apparel, jewelry, pottery, decorations, glassware, woodworks, toys, etc.

Enjoy delicious meals and refreshments, such as donuts and Thai food, at a neighboring café.

Grab a Beer at Indian Springs Brewing Company

Are you looking for the best place to sample the city’s finest beer?

Established in 2017, Indian Springs Brewing Company is a hip brewery housed in an 1890s mansion.

Check out these downtown hotspots for a laid-back evening with your loved one or group of pals.

It has a laid-back atmosphere, an excellent collection of artisan beers, food trucks on weekends, live entertainment, and fun events.

At the Indian Springs Brewing Company, share a pint of beer with loved ones or your new friends.

If you arrive on the weekend, pair your cool drink with some delectable fare from local food trucks.

If you’re looking for something more hands-on, enjoy live performances or join weekly trivia nights.

Visit Neosho Newton County Library

Libraries are one of the most underrated places to visit during a trip—people think it’s boring and old-fashioned.

But not when you’re in the Neosho Newton County Library.

The Neosho Newton County Library is a modern community hub that offers a wide range of educational activities.

On top of reading an assortment of books and resources, you can also take advantage of its free amenities such as Wi-Fi and computer access.

The library also hosts various programs and events throughout the year—from children’s storytime to teen and adult book clubs; there’s always something going on at Newton County Library.

The building is a beautiful piece of architecture with a traditional brick design.

It blends naturally with its neighborhood, all while standing out as a beacon of learning and culture in the community.

Get a Glimpse of the Past at Historical Schoolhouse

Neosho has plenty of historic buildings that give tourists a glimpse of its rich past.

One of these prominent structures is the Historical Schoolhouse at North Washington Street.

Visiting the Historical Schoolhouse will take you back in time inside a 19th-century one-room schoolhouse.

This landmark is now a museum dedicated to preserving the history of education in Neosho.

Visitors can explore the restored classroom and learn about the daily life of teachers and students in the past.

Drop by the Neosho Wholesale Grocery Company

Exterior of Neosho Wholesale Grocery Company

JERRYE & ROY KLOTZ MD, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Another historic structure that stood the test of time, the Neosho Wholesale Grocery Company is a local institution that has transformed into a historical landmark and museum.

Neosho Wholesale Grocery Company, also known as North Transfer and Storage, is an iconic warehouse building in Neosho, Missouri—a historic structure that has served the community for years.

Constructed in 1908, the northern section became part of this establishment until 1922, when its southern counterpart was added.

The majestic brick building stands two to three stories tall, with expansive storefronts and an artfully designed corbelled brick cornice.

Its eye-catching painted wall sign proclaims its presence for all to see!

This historic landmark was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2013.

Today, visitors can explore the building’s history and architecture while browsing for unique souvenirs.

Final Thoughts

These are just a few reasons to make Neosho your following getaway destination.

Neosho’s peaceful ambiance is a stark contrast to the commotion and bustle of the nearby cities to the north and south.

Start planning your Neosho trip today!

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