20 Best Things to Do in Ozark, MO

Ozark, MO
Rasica / iStock.com

Ozark is a city in beautiful Missouri, the county seat of Christian County.

Not to be confused with the Ozarks (a physiographic region in southern Missouri and northern Arkansas), Ozark took its name from the latter.

Henry Schoolcraft is believed to be the city's first settler, arriving in 1818.

Ozark is a thriving community with a small-town vibe that sees rapid residential and commercial growth and all the conveniences of a larger city.  

See what the city offers with this list of the best things to do in Ozark, MO.

Tour the Smallin Civil War Cave

View inside Smallin Civil War Cave
Lorri Carter / Shutterstock.com

The Smallin Civil War Cave is where the past of the Ozarks comes to life.

Henry Schoolcraft discovered this cave, rich in folklore and history.

Visitors will find a 100-foot wide and 55-foot tall cave opening that leads to the cave's natural beauty and geology.

A one-hour guided tour includes a ½ mile walk on concrete pathways and handrails, no stairs, just ramps, and slow inclines, making it a wheelchair-accessible trail.

A two-hour wild tour will take you to an off-the-beaten-path if you're up for a challenge.

Explore one mile of underground track lighted only by your headlamp, walk through at least two feet of water, and traverse rocky terrain.

Other features include a sidewalk museum, gem, fossil mining, a picnic area, and a gift shop.

Unwind at Finley River Park

Finley River Park is a lovely and relaxing spot for people searching for a place to spend some time with.

The park is a lovely addition to the Ozark community, with plenty of space to run about and play.

Finley River Park features trails along the river, an old bridge, a boat ramp access, ball fields, playgrounds, and pavilions.

The park is open round the clock, so grab your blankets and lawn chairs and set yourself a picnic under the setting sun or a movie night under the stars.

Dine at the Ozark Mill

The Ozark Mill is the heart of Finley Farms, a 40-acre property situated on the banks of the Finley River.

Built in the 1800s, the Ozark Mill survived three fires and several renovations until its operations ceased in 1993.

The mill closed as Missouri's last commercially running watermill.

The mill was restored to its most authentic self in 2018 with help from the community, engineers, construction workers, and mill experts.

The Ozark Mill is now a culinary destination with a farm-to-table experience, historical tour, event spaces, and a general store.

Attend a Class at the Workshop

The Workshop, located within Finley Farms, is a 1932 brick garage used for the Missouri Department of Transportation, recently used as a garden center.

Today, the garage is a place to get messy and connect with nature through agriculture and creative events while preserving its history.

Opened in 2019, it became a coffee shop during the day and a workshop and event space during the night.

There is a full menu of coffees, teas, avocado toast, freshly-baked pastries, and handcrafted cocktails.

The Workshop provides a flexible space for hands-on, interactive learning that helps you learn ways to give a modern take on the simple life.

It guarantees a memorable experience with exceptional warmth and service.

Events include culinary, cocktails, farming, arts and crafts, yoga, etc.

Shop at the Ozark Farmers Market

Finley Farms hosts the seasonal Ozark Farmers Market, open Thursdays from May through September.

First launched in 2012, it moved from Ozark Square to its permanent home in Finley Farms, next to The Workshop.

The Ozark Farmers Market is a family-friendly market with live music, food trucks, homemade delights, and drinks, highlighting local farms and food artisans.

If you want to explore more about sustainable farming, you can even go on a tour around the farm property.

Tour guides can take you around the greenhouse, the mushroom yard, and more while describing Finley Farms' organic standards and practices.

Sample Cheese and Wine at Heather Hill Farms

Heather Hill Farms first opened its doors in Ozark in 2002.

Located on North 17th Street, Heather Hill Farms is a family-owned business that provides a large selection of high-quality gourmet products and excellent customer service.

Products include an assortment of cheeses and wines and dips, salsas, popcorn, jams and preserves, meat, pickles, and more.

Heather Hill Farms has more than 175 cheese varieties, with daily complimentary cheese and wine sampling.

Committed to promoting its home state, Heather Hill Farms also features Missouri-made products.

They’re well-known for gift baskets and cheese boxes which you can customize to your liking.

With the support of their employees, Heather Hill Farms delivers a warm, welcoming atmosphere and a pleasant shopping experience for everyone.

Have Fun Shooting at the Sound of Freedom USA

Sound of Freedom USA is a 16-lane indoor shooting range located on North Town Centre Drive.

Housed in a 2,300-square foot facility, Sound of Freedom USA is a safety training center that teaches pistol classes and concealed carry for beginners.

It also serves as a rental and retail store for firearms and accessories.

Sound of Freedom USA is committed to providing a secure, clean, and friendly atmosphere for people who purchase, shoot, or receive firearms training for themselves or their families.

The 16-lane, the 25-yard range is appropriately lit, well-ventilated, and handicap-accessible.

Paddle along the Finley River

The waters of Finley River
P51d007 / Shutterstock.com

Bring your kayaks and paddleboards out for an exciting water stroll along the Finley River.

Finley River runs its way through Ozark and offers opportunities for water sports.

You may rent a paddleboard from Ozark River Walkers, an outdoor sports store located in Oldfield, Missouri, less than a 20-minute drive from Ozark, and then paddle your way and soak up the scenic and refreshing views along the river.

Finley River doesn't just provide passive recreation.

They also host competitive activities such as the Finley River Races, including five to ten-kilometer runs, triathlons, cycling races, open-water swims, and more.

Drink Gourmet Coffee at Ozark Mountain Coffee Company

The Ozark Mountain Coffee Company is a family-owned cafe offering gourmet coffee since 1994.

Located on North 20th Street, the Ozark Mountain Coffee Company roasts coffee in small batches to guarantee freshness, using the best quality Arabica beans sourced from over ten countries.

They also take pride in their line of flavored and unflavored artisanal teas.

Custom blends and packaging are available, perfect as gifts or displays in coffee shops, restaurants, and other retail stores.

Visitors can check out the roastery and learn about coffee and the roasting process.

Find Treasure at Camp Flea Antique Mall + Vintage Market

Welcome to the largest antique mall in Ozark!

Camp Flea Antique Mall + Vintage Market is a 26,000-square foot mall along West Elm Street.

The flea market has more than 200 booths selling antiques, vintage pieces, farmhouse primitives, industrial and architectural salvage, etc.

Camp Flea Antique Mall + Vintage Market curates with booth vendors to deliver a diverse range of authentic products for an enjoyable shopping experience.

Get ready to explore and take home an old treasure or two among the best funky and odd items from centuries past, the 70s to 80s retro style, and everything in between.

Attend the Ozark Arts & Crafts Show

The Ozark Arts & Crafts Show has served as a gathering place for family and friends for nearly half a century.

This was also known as the Utopia Club Annual Craft Fair, named after the Utopia Club, which helped the Ozark Chamber of Commerce raise funds through various means over the years.

The Ozark Arts and Crafts Show began in 1974; the Utopia Club then assumed control.

Every year, the expo attracts over 350 vendors and thousands of people from across the country.

It takes place at Finley River Park and runs on the last weekend of September and/or the first weekend of October.

Proceeds from a weekend of fun, food, shopping, and craftsmanship extend to charitable contributions to the community, especially to the children and the elderly.

Get in Shape at the Ozark Community Center

The Ozark Community Center is your destination for your recreation and fitness needs.

The Ozark Community Center, located on West Jackson Street, is a first-class facility with advanced equipment and new programs for the community.

The center has brought people together with a sense of belonging for more than a decade.

This 3,739 square-foot center features state-of-the-art equipment, a free weight area, weekly fitness classes including yoga, dance classes, spinning, martial arts, and a cardio center complete with bikes, treadmills, rowing machines, etc.

Grab a smoothie or a protein drink at the snack bar after a good workout.

It also offers youth and elderly programs, sponsors free community events such as the Easter Egg Hunt, and rents out rooms for parties, including the indoor and outdoor pools.

Stroll along Bluff Springs Trails

Enjoy an afternoon walk or jog along with one of the Bluff Springs Trails.

The trails are accessible and pet-friendly and wind along the Finley River.

Walk a quarter-mile through a gradual slope from the Ozark Community Center until you reach a footbridge.

Follow the concrete paths from the footbridge to the Finley River Bridge for 0.75 miles.

A complete circuit of this trail is two miles, perfect for a short but enjoyable cardio exercise.

Deers are often spotted on the trail so if you bring your pet with you, keep them on a leash.

Taste Craft Beer at Back Home Brewing Company

Back Home Brewing Company is a local bar to visit and relax with friends or even family members, minors excluded.

Located on South 3rd Street, Back Home Brewing Company brews flavors that will transport you back home.

A bar with its very own craft beers is available for you to enjoy.

Choose among a rotating selection of draft beers on tap with unique names such as Hippies Pineapple Paradise, Fancy Water, Cave Kingdom Irish Red, Jacob’s Octoberfest, etc.

It also has a full menu of entrees, appetizers, and main courses, making it a fantastic place to end the day after a city tour or a long day at work.

Catch Baked Rolls at Lambert’s Cafe II

Lambert’s Cafe II is the second of three cafes located between Springfield and Branson on West State Highway, Ozark.

Lambert’s Cafe is known as the “Home of Throwed Rolls,” a silly tradition of tossing hot, freshly baked rolls across the dining room for guests willing to catch them.

The rolls are hot, delicious, and fluffy that melt in the mouth!

The family business began in 1942, but it wasn't until 1988 that the first Lambert’s Cafe settled in its permanent location in Sikeston, Missouri.

The dream continued by opening a second cafe in Ozark in 1994 and a third in Foley, Alabama, in 1996.

If you’re in the area, stop by for a meal and try your hand at catching bread.

Credit cards are not accepted, so make sure to bring extra cash.

It’s also worth mentioning that some notable people have dined in Lambert’s Cafe, including Elvis Presley, Morgan Freeman, Clint Eastwood, and Blake Shelton, among many others.

Catch Inspiring Productions by Stained Glass Theatre

For inspiring stage performances, Stained Glass Theatre shares great theater shows you can watch with the family.

You can catch their shows at West Evangel Street on a renovated flea market building.

The theater production was started by Ron Boutwell, a Southwest Baptist University instructor, playwright, and director whose dream was to share the Christian message with people.

From a group of college students, the stage company was born in 1982.

Today, it continues to showcase the acting talents of its volunteers through theater shows.

You’ll be encouraged by the message and enjoy great shows brought to you by the Stained Glass Theatre group.

Bring Your Little Ones to Where the Wild Things Play

Where the Wild Things Play on North 21st Street is the perfect place to let your little ones enjoy hours of playtime and fun learning.

They offer clean, safe, and inviting play spaces to encourage kids' imaginative play to help enhance their cognitive, emotional, and social skills.

Little tots can be a barista for a day at The Forest Cafe where they can brew a latte, prepare a muffin treat, and clean up after.

Do your kids want to go shopping at Max’s Market? Then they’ll enjoy filling their carts with goods like vegetables, fruits, boxes, and cans of all sorts; get them to check out the goods and bag the items, too.

Your little mister and miss will surely love doing a makeover at Wild Ivy Hair Co. where they can do nails, have a blowout, or even have a barber’s cut.

Likewise, they’ll have fun with chores and things to do at the Playhouse, feed and take care of the animals at the Barn, and visit the Miller Farm to stack some hay bales and tend the garden.

They’ll also enjoy reading books at the Cool Kids Club and creating structures with magnatiles.

While letting your kids enjoy you can have lunch or get snacks and coffee at the comfortable cafe tables.

Where the Wild Things Play also offers party themes to make your child’s special celebrations memorable and fun.

Check Out Urban Grounds Coffee + Plant Lab

A unique space to try beverages and bring out some creativity, Urban Grounds Coffee + Plant Lab on North 21st Street is a coffee stop you should try.

This greenhouse-inspired shop offers a relaxing vibe with botanicals, artisan pieces, and home decor.

While you enjoy your food and drinks, you can create your own green masterpiece by first picking your pot and plant then completing the planting process at the Lab.

Order coffee and espresso Sips on the menu or try UG Specialties like Horchata Latte, Lavender Vanilla, Momstera, and Chagaccino.

For healthy choices, you can go for tea drinks or Botanical beverages like Beetroot Latte, Reishi Hot Coco, Turmeric Latte, Turmeric Cacao Latte, or Blue Lavender Latte.

Try assorted baked bites like cookies, rolls, and muffins; kids can also order Kiddos Food and Drinks on the menu, too.

Have Acai Smoothie Bowl or Muffin Bowl with your choice of three different toppings like fruits, seeds, and others.

Of course, don’t forget to try their specialty Toasties all served with sourdough bread gluten-free bread; you can choose from Avocado, Hummus, Caprese, Berries n’ Cream, Nutty Bee-nana, and Figgy Goat flavors.

Urban Grounds Coffee + Plant Lab also serves Cocktails like Urban Mule, Espresso Martini, Grown-Up Limeade, and many more, with weekly Happy Hour to enjoy on Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday afternoons.

Catch a Movie at B&B Theatres in Ozark

Treat your family to a movie night at Ozark’s B&B Theatres.

Part of the large B&B Theatre Chain, you’ll find their location on North 25th Street.

The company was founded in 1980 by the merging of two theater companies owned by the Bills and Bagby families, and Elmer Bills married his wife Johnnie Bagby.

Today, the theater boasts modern cinema equipment with state-of-the-art digital sound systems, excellent stadium seating, wide-screen digital projectors, relaxing rocker chairs, and recliner seats.

You’re sure to have a great cinema experience with menu items you can enjoy while watching.

Check out what’s currently showing, upcoming movies, and ticket orders at the B&B Theatres website.

Enjoy Latin American Fare at Iguana Roja Restaurante

If you want to try some uniquely delicious Latin American flavors, try the eclectic fares at Iguana Roja Restaurante.

This restaurant, located on West Church Street, is owned and operated by Executive Chef Brian Taylor.

All dishes are prepared from scratch using traditional methods and made with the freshest ingredients supplied by local farmers and ranchers.

Satisfy your palate while enjoying the restaurant’s warm and comfortable ambiance.

You’ll never get enough of some tasty snack items like Chili Relleno, Table Side Guacamole, Lizard King Chicken Wings, Queso Fundido Loco, along with Mexican favorites like Iguana’s Enchiladas, Margarita Fajitas, and Chicken Tortilla.

Try their delicious tacos, hearty salads, and filling burritos.

Likewise, order cocktails on the menu like margaritas, mixers and martinis, sangrias, and beers; they also have great wine selections you can pair with your meals.

And don’t miss Iguana Roja Restaurante’s Tequila Wall choices to cap off the night.

Final Thoughts

Ozark has something for everyone, whether you enjoy nature and the outdoors, shopping, culture, food, and history.

Ozark is located conveniently within the greater Ozarks region and offers the opportunity to slow down, making it an ideal place to unwind while still providing the right balance of nature adventures in nearby cities.

Every season is an incredible experience, and a visit to this charming little city will leave a mark on you.

Spotted a mistake, have some feedback, or just want to chat with our editorial team? Click here to get in touch.
Find out more about Travel Lens and read our editorial guidelines here.