25 Best & Fun Things to Do in Poplar Bluff (MO)

In search of the best and fun things to do in Poplar Bluff, MO?

Poplar Bluff, commonly called the “Gateway to the Ozarks,” is a medium-sized city in Butler County, located in southeast Missouri, at the intersection of US Routes 60 and 67, United States.

The cliff that overlooked the Black River and was covered in tulip poplar trees when the city was initially settled is where it got its name. 

According to the United States Census Bureau, the population of Poplar Bluff was 16,145 after the 2021 census. 

The city of Polar Bluff has a variety of fun attractions, making it a great outdoor destination. These attractions include restaurants, museums, festivals, sparkling springs, rivers, a national forest, state parks, and more.

Are you planning an exploration of Poplar Bluff? Let’s explore the best things to do in Poplar Bluff, MO.

Things to Do in Poplar Bluff, MO

1. McLane Park

McLane Park
Credits: David Lee / Shutterstock

Various parks in Poplar Bluff allow you to stay active while having picnics with family or friends.

One of Poplar Bluff’s parks, McLane Park, features a 1.33-mile paved walking route with a loop.

You can engage in activities like biking, walking, or running at McLane Park. 

A picnic at the Park is a fantastic way to cap off a great workout; find a pleasant area and set it up.

The Park’s excellent amenities will meet your demands well, including picnic tables, pavilions, seats, and drinking fountains.

Additionally, it features restrooms and five baseball fields where the kids can play baseball.

The facility is pet-friendly, so feel free to bring them along while coming.

Address: 474 Missouri W, Poplar Bluff, MO 63901, United States

2. Flying F Gallery


Can a century-old farmhouse be a happy place for modern art? That’s what we believe, so come and check it out

Visit the Flying F gallery if you enjoy art and artwork. It is home to several items created by a well-known and accomplished artist.

The Collins Family’s historic farmhouse, constructed in 1894, is where the flying “F” Gallery is situated. In 1926, the structure underwent conversion into a general country store, which operated there until 1978.

The Flying F gallery is owned by Ralph Wayne Freer, who, for more than 40 years, has been refining his distinctively styled aesthetics. 

His sculptures are included in several Canadian, German, and American public and private collections.

Ralph has received several awards for his outstanding artwork. He won first place in the 1996 Old Island Days Art Festival in Key West, Florida, among other honors.

Address: 8740 Missouri W, Poplar Bluff, MO 63901, United States

3. Poplar Bluff History Museum

Poplar Bluff History Museum
Credits: Skye Marthaler [CC BY-SA 3.0], Wikimedia Commons
Poplar Bluff History Museum
The former Mark Twain School, which closed in 1988, is now the Poplar Bluff History Museum. Exploring this Museum is one of the top things to do in Poplar Bluff, MO.

Since Mark Twain passed away the same year the building’s construction got underway, it was turned into a museum and given his name. The Museum is Poplar Bluff’s oldest remaining school building.

Butler County Historical Society and Missouri Conservation Commission, which comprises the Museum, highlight the history of Poplar Bluff and Butler County.

The structure was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1998.

Address: 1010 N Main Street, Poplar Bluff, MO 63901, United States

4. Dunlap Pumpkin Farm

Dunlap Pumpkin Farm
Credits: Romiana Lee / Shutterstock

Visit Dunlap Pumpkin Farm with your friends and family, and enjoy an unforgettable experience.

The Dunlap Pumpkin Farm is a family-run farm with a wide variety of forage, including squash, straws, maize stalks, gourds, and pumpkins.

Children can have fun in the “Barnyard Friends” area. It features pedal tractors, a hay maze, corn pits, bottle calves, goats, donkeys, pigs, and other animals.

The Dunlap Pumpkin Farm offers enjoyable educational activities for adults and children in its laid-back atmosphere.

Every year, from September through October, the facility opens and is accessible to all.

Address: Rombauer, MO 63901, United States

5. Margaret Harwell Art Museum

Margaret Harwell Art Museum
Credits: Skye Marthaler [CC BY-SA 3.0], Wikimedia Commons
Margaret Harwell Art Museum
One of Missouri’s only five city art museums is the Margaret Harwell Art Museum. Mrs. Harwell was a businesswoman, civic activist, and amateur artist.

This museum, named after its late benefactor Margaret Harwell, was founded as a hub for exhibitions and art training.

A portion of Mrs. Harwell’s legacy was given to the City of Poplar Bluff when she passed away in 1977.

The city purchased the J.L. Dalton residence at North Main Street in 1981 to house the museum.

A year later, the Margaret Harwell Art Museum was made accessible to the public.

Today, it offers exhibitions, art lessons, and a collection of works created by Missouri contemporary artists.

Address: 421 N Main St, Poplar Bluff, MO 63901, United States

6. Veterans Memorial Wall

The Veterans Memorial Wall is a significant attraction for those who gave their lives while serving in the military.

The Veterans Memorial Wall is made of sturdy concrete with mounted panels of dark granite that have the names of the veterans engraved on them.

Bricks make up the pathway leading up to the wall, while base concrete makes up the majority of the Memorial’s center, which is topped with four flagpoles representing the national, state, city, and POW-MIA flags.

The wall is 100 feet long and has two 32-foot-long tapering sides pointing toward Fifth Street.

There are several sizes of black granite panels, and you can buy blank areas and bricks for putting names on them.

Address301 S 5th Street, Poplar Bluff, MO63901, United States 

7. Iron Horse Festival

Every September, you can attend the thrilling downtown festival known as the Iron Horse Festival in Poplar Bluff. Attending the Iron Horse Festival is one of the fun things to do in Poplar Bluff, MO.

The event aims to promote nearby historical monuments, celebrate the city’s rich past, and unite the neighborhood.

The event’s revenues go toward local events and downtown city initiatives, including street upgrades.

Come to this fascinating festival with your family and friends to enjoy a full day of live entertainment and various local eateries’ delectable delicacies and beverages.

Discover a variety of goods, artwork, and crafts being sold by vendors who are also giving demonstrations of their items.

While you enjoy the entertaining pet shows, let your kids take advantage of the various games, activities, and attractions.

Take pleasure in the Iron Horse Festival festivities.

Address: N. Main Street & Vine Street, Poplar Bluff, MO 63901, United States.

8. Rodgers Theatre

Rodgers Theatre
Credits: Michael Gäbler [CC BY-SA 3.0], Wikimedia Commons
Rodgers Theatre
The Rodgers Theatre is a terrific spot to unwind with loved ones and friends while enjoying outstanding performances.

The Rodgers Theatre presents a cultural heritage to millions of Americans, making this film experience unlike any other.

The facility, at the crossroads of Pine and Broadway Street, is still very much intact and serves as a tribute to the early days of the entertainment industry.

I.W. Rodgers constructed the renowned Rodgers Theatre, and his family maintained it for a while.

One thousand eight hundred people showed up for the opening night fair in 1949, when the movie “Red Canyon” screened.

At the time of its opening, it was the best theater between St. Louis and Memphis.

The marquee displayed the theater’s name in brightly lit red lettering. It had 1,160 crimson luxury seats, a completely air-conditioned interior, solid walnut doors, and many other amenities.

You and your family should visit to see live plays, performances, movies, concerts, and community events.

Address: 204 N Broadway St, Poplar Bluff, MO 63901, United States

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9. Poplar Bluff Skate Park

Poplar Bluff Skate Park
Credits: lzf / Shutterstock

Do you have a flare for skateboarding or want to pick it up as a hobby? If yes, what are you waiting for? Visit Poplar Bluff Skate Park, as it’s one of the fun things to do in Poplar Bluff, MO.

The Poplar Bluff Skate Park was once used as a parking lot in the city’s center.

Many skateboarders were searching for a secure and authorized area to skate in the city when the project started in 2012.

The MO Foundation of Health funded this 19,000-square-foot Park as part of a citywide rehabilitation initiative to provide recreation and a better environment for its citizens.

The Park incorporates down ledges, flat ledges, rails, steps, quarter pipes, hips, and banks to mirror the city’s characteristics. It also has a strong urban design and vibrant colors.

Skateboarders of all skill levels, as well as onlookers, can visit the Skate Park.

Address: 332 S Moran St, Poplar Bluff, MO 63901, United States

10. Brick’s Off-Road Park

Brick's Off-Road Park
Credits: Nomad_Soul / Shutterstock

Come along with family or friends, and have a muddy adventure at the Brick’s Off-Road Park.

Brick’s Off-Road Park is open to all kinds of off-road vehicles, including 4-wheeler trucks, dirt bikes, ATVs, and dune buggies.

After being a four-generation family farm, the Brickell family changed course and transformed it into an off-road activity park in 2006.

Due to its varied terrain, the farm is the ideal setting for this leisure activity. The Park’s rolling hills and creeks, kilometers of pathways, and wavy fields offer a fun challenge and beautiful scenery.

One of the attractions in the Park is the Mud Slough, where off-roaders compete for first place with their largest 4-wheeler trucks.

Additionally, they provide a chance to go tent camping for groups of up to eight persons.

Prepare to be filled with excitement in Brick’s Off-Road Park. It is one of the best places to visit in Poplar Bluff, MO.

Address: 2181 Co Rd 484, Poplar Bluff, MO 63901, United States

11. Claudia House

Claudia House
Credits: The Claudia House- The Bloodworth Home / Facebook
Claudia House

The Queen Anne-style house was constructed around 1910 and served as the Bloodworth family’s residence for a time.

The Claudia House was the administrative center for the Claudia Foundation, supported by Poplar Bluff resident, director, producer, and writer Linda Bloodworth Thomason.

Claudia Bloodworth, Linda’s late mother, was honored by naming the home after her.

The Claudia Foundation aims to promote positive changes in people’s lives, especially women, and strives to increase community social, cultural, and educational programs.

The Claudia Foundation works to expand the neighborhood’s cultural, social, and educational initiatives to encourage good improvements in people’s lives, particularly those of women.

The Claudia House is available for birthday parties, weddings, and other events. Tours of the house’s interiors and exteriors are available upon request.

Address:626 Cynthia St, Poplar Bluff, MO 63901, Unites States

12. Mark Twain National Forest

Mark Twain National Forest
Credits: Forest Service, Eastern Region / Flickr
Mark Twain National Forest

Mark Twain National Forest is a 1.5 million-acre area that spans 29 counties in Missouri. It is one of the best places to visit in Poplar Bluff, MO.

The Mark Twain National Forest was established in 1939 in memory of novelist Mark Twain, a native of Missouri and often recognized as “The Father of American Literature.”

The Poplar Bluff Ranger District of the Mark Twain National Forest, situated along Maud Street, restores its natural communities and creates recreational spaces for tourists to experience and enjoy.

The public can access nearly 750 miles of forest paths throughout this huge landmass for horseback riding, biking, and hiking.

Activities such as rafting, kayaking, tubing, and canoeing are all safe activities you can engage in on its 350 kilometers of streams.

Over 35 campgrounds and picnic spaces are available, some of which are close to natural landmarks like lakes, streams, springs, or other picturesque areas.

The Mark Twain National Forest has everything, whether you are seeking a quiet place to unwind or a place offering excitement and adventure.

Address: 1420 Maud St, Poplar Bluff, MO 63901, United States

13. Ozark Ridge Golf Course

Ozark Ridge Golf Course
Credits: Bohbeh / Shutterstock

Another fantastic way to explore Poplar Bluff is to engage in a relaxing and thrilling game of golf. Ozark Ridge Golf Course is a great option if you and your pals are looking for somewhere new to play golf.

The 18-hole, championship Ozark Ridge Golf Course is quickly earning a reputation as one of the best public golf courses in the Mid-South.

The well-kept lawns and greens at Ozark Ridge Golf Course keep the golf rounds challenging yet welcoming. 

You are always welcome to play golf at Ozark Ridge. The staff can offer pointers regarding how to play your best rounds, whether you are an absolute novice or an accomplished player.

Fantastic amenities are available at Ozark Ridge Golf Course, including a sizable driving range, fairways lined with trees, large bent grass greens, and more.

There is a fully equipped pro shop with the newest golf apparel and equipment and a snack bar where you can purchase a sandwich and drink.

Do have a swirling time at this fantastic attraction!

Address:3045 Cravens Rd, Poplar Bluff, MO 63901, United States.

14. Hendrickson Park

Hendrickson Park
Credits: siam.pukkato / Shutterstock

Hendrickson Park is one of the open spaces where you may unwind for the day at Poplar Bluff.

This public Park offers a variety of family-friendly activities. While at the Park, stroll along the 1.22-mile walking path from First Midwest Bank’s rear to Bacon Park.

Enjoy the fresh air while strolling through the Park with your leashed pet. The Park also features an 18-hole disc golf course.

Organize a picnic and grill hotdogs and hamburgers while the kids are having fun at the playground areas of the Park. 

If you want to host a large party, Hendrickson Park’s pavilion can also be rented.

Address: 1200 West Davis Street, Poplar Bluff, MO 63901, United States

15. Bootheel Youth Museum

Bootheel Youth Museum
Credits: Bootheel Youth Museum / Facebook
Bootheel Youth Museum

A 40-minute trip from Poplar Bluff, the Bootheel Youth Museum offers something for youngsters besides nature parks.

The Bootheel Youth Museum in Malden provides students with engaging, hands-on education.

A group of educators, community leaders, and residents from Southeast Missouri founded the museum, which was first opened to the public in 1996.

Almost 50,000 kids have visited the museum since it opened, bringing the total number of visitors to over 450,000.

The Museum offers more than 50 interactive exhibits covering various topics, including food, science, medicine, history, etc.

It’s a great approach to pique the interest and curiosity of your children, so take them along to discover and learn new things.

Address: 700a N Douglass St, Malden, MO 63863, United States.

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16. Mo-Ark Regional Railroad Museum

Mo-Ark Regional Railroad Museum
Credits: Kimberly Wesner White / Facebook
Mo-Ark Regional Railroad Museum

The Mo-Ark Regional Railroad Museum, established in 1994, aims to conserve the railroad heritage of southeastern Missouri and northeastern Arkansas.

Poplar Bluff attributes most of its early growth to the railroad sector. Earlier on, the city was connected to other significant cities by railroads, including Chicago, Kansas, St. Louis, Little Rock, Dallas, Springfield, and Memphis.

The Museum houses the old 1928 Frisco Line train depot. It also showcases early railroad photographs, seven railroads’ histories, a 30-foot train model layout, a steam engine, and additional train-related artifacts.

You may also see a lot of maintenance equipment and antique lights used by the staff.

Address: 303 S Moran St, Poplar Bluff, MO 63901, United States

17. Skate City Fun-Plex

Skate City Fun-Plex
Credits: Annette Shaff / Shutterstock

Are you trying to maximize your spending on a tight budget, or are you just seeking indoor activities in the rain or the cold to keep you and your friends entertained? If so, visit the exciting and enjoyable Skate City Fun-Plex attraction.

Skate City Fun-Plex was established in 1973. It is a premier roller skating rink that offers a wide range of fun things for your entertainment.

In addition to a long-running skating rink, it offers a lively arcade, a play area for smaller kids, and areas you can book for special occasions.

Create new memories while engaging in roller skating, playing various entertaining games in the arcade, and more with your family, friends, or significant other.

The play area, which includes a ball pit, slides, and many other excellent options, also allows you to take a break while keeping an eye on your children. Visiting this establishment is one of the best things to do in Poplar Bluff, MO.

Address: 1403 Vine St, Poplar Bluff, MO 63901, United States

18. Wine Rack & the Java Stop Cafe

Wine Rack & the Java Stop Cafe
Credits: Vladislav Noseek / Shutterstock

The Wine Rack & the Java Stop Cafe is a great place to eat with family and friends at Poplar Bluff and enjoy great food, wine, and a distinctive atmosphere.

The eatery welcomes guests to its main dining room, loft, and terrace spaces. They provide a variety of inventive and delectable snacking, lunch, and supper options that are freshly made and served.

You can enjoy the exclusive chef’s cuisine on the weekends and for Saturday Brunch.

Mediterranean, Italian, and Asian cuisines influence the menu’s entrees. Handmade cheesecake is a true standout when it comes to dessert.

Start your lunch with a delicious salad like the Tuscan Herb Chicken, or you opt for the shrimp and grits and then order a dish of the soft and juicy ribeye steak to follow.

Along with pizza variations and kid-friendly meals, the menu also offers vegetable and fish dishes.

Order a cup of coffee, tea, a frappe, or a smoothie at the full-service café.

The Wine Rack & The Java Stop Cafe also features a fully stocked bar with various tasty craft brews.

Address: 1212 N Westwood Boulevard, Poplar Bluff, MO 63901, United States

19. AMC CLASSIC Poplar Bluff 8

AMC CLASSIC Poplar Bluff 8
Credits: Dean Drobot / Shutterstock

Watch an enjoyable movie at AMC Classic at Poplar Bluff with your family and friends for a truly relaxing experience.

Go to this renowned movie theater if you’re looking for what to do in Poplar Bluff, MO, at night.

The highly regarded movie theater AMC CLASSIC Poplar Bluff 8 shows new releases and independent films.

It has a lot to offer, including low ticket costs, concession stands selling delicacies from old movies, a tranquil atmosphere, plush seats, and a cutting-edge facility. 

A beautiful movie night with your significant other, close friends, or family at AMC CLASSIC Poplar Bluff 8 will be the ideal way to cap off your fun-filled day.

Watch the newest releases, 3D films, and other fantastic movies while indulging in delicious snacks like various flavors of popcorn, hotdogs, candies, nachos, and countless others.

After that, you can go together to a local restaurant for a delicious dinner before returning to your hotel as a tourist.

Address: 3525 S Westwood Blvd, Poplar Bluff, MO 63901, United States

20. Keener Springs

Keener Springs
Credits: Popartic / Shutterstock

At 28,000,000 gallons per day, Keener Springs is one of the biggest privately-owned springs in the nation. It is only 15 minutes away from Poplar Bluff.

The main attraction of this location is the spring and the water-filled cave, which is located on the banks of the Black River.

The 65-acre property offers guests boating, swimming, and lodging options in charming cottages.

Private gatherings can be held in Keener Springs, including weddings, birthday celebrations, and reunions.

Keener Springs is a terrific place for a relaxing getaway with family or friends because of its calm atmosphere.

Address: 3425 State Hwy JJ, Williamsville, MO 63967, United States.

21. Lake Wappapello State Park

Lake Wappapello State Park
Credits: Mitchazenia [CC BY-SA 4.0], Wikimedia Commons
Lake Wappapello State Park
A 30-minute drive from Poplar Bluff and offering a flavor of nature is Lake Wappapello State Park.

It was built in 1941 as a reservoir first from Wappapello Dam on the St. Francis River with the primary goal of flood control. However, it was later made available for recreational use.

Fishing, boating, swimming, jet skiing, kayaking, canoeing, camping, horseback riding, and hiking are popular at Lake Wappapello State Park.

Particularly in the summer, local artists host concerts with food, drink, and bar stations nearby to keep everyone occupied all day and night.

Address: MO-172, Williamsville, MO 63967, United States

22. Black River Coliseum

Black River Coliseum
Credits: Red Cross of Southern Missouri / Flickr
Black River Coliseum

You may witness entertaining live performances at the Black River Coliseum with your family and pals.

The 115,000-square-foot stadium frequently holds trade exhibitions, family performances, concerts, sporting competitions, and more.

The facility features an explicit, multipurpose space with cozy, close-quarters seating.

Seminars, meetings, and other events frequently take place in the facility.

Two vendor booths provide a variety of snacks such as nachos, pizza, burgers, hotdogs, and others, as well as sodas and coffee drinks, in case you get peckish throughout the event.

Address: 301 S 5th Street, Poplar Bluff, MO 63901, United States

23. Lemonade House Grille

Lemonade House Grille
Credits: Lemonade House Grille Poplar Bluff / Facebook
Lemonade House Grille

Wondering what to do in Poplar Bluff, MO, with your travel companions? Then visit Lemonade House Grille for an awesome dining experience.

The Lemonade House Grille, which opened in 2015, is a popular bar and restaurant with some of the greatest beverages in the region.

This full-service restaurant offers a wide selection of delectable food, sugar-free options, daily cold-pressed lemonade, and much more.

Try their refreshing drinks, including lemonade and freshly brewed tea with blackberry, peach, or pomegranate flavors.

Address: 2789 Tucker Road, Poplar Bluff, MO 63901, United States

24. Mingo National Wildlife Refuge

Mingo National Wildlife Refuge
Credits: USFWSmidwest / Public Domain
Mingo National Wildlife Refuge

Mingo National Wildlife Refuge, Missouri’s biggest remaining bottomland forest track, provides migratory birds, waterfowl, and other bird species with food and shelter.

The 21,000-acre region, known as the Mingo National Wildlife Refuge, is in Puxico along the Mississippi River, about a 30-minute drive and 25 miles northeast of Poplar Bluff.

The Audubon Society designated it as an Essential Bird Area after being founded in 1944.

Some specific regions are used for canoeing, hiking, fishing, wildlife observation, hunting, and photography.

The Refuge offers a fantastic educational experience for those who wish to learn about and enjoy wildlife.

Address: 24279 MO-51, Puxico, MO 63960, United States

25. Farmers’ Market

Farmers' Market
Credits: Ary Acevedo / Shutterstock

Shop to your heart’s content at the Poplar Bluff Farmers’ Market. You can visit the city’s outdoor farmers’ market from May to September, every Saturday from early morning until midday.

Visit the area’s growers, producers, and artisans in person to purchase things made locally.

You can also choose from various freshly harvested fruits, dairy goods, berries, honey, veggies, and handcrafted loaves of bread and jellies.

In addition, check out some handmade herbs, jewelry, plants, vibrant floral blooms, and artwork.

Shopping in this Farmer’s Market is one of the top things to do in Poplar Bluff, MO.

Address:501 Vine Street, Poplar Bluff, MO 63901, United States

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Plan Your Trip to Poplar Bluff

The fact that Poplar Bluff is situated among outdoor attractions makes it one of the best vacation destinations.

Poplar Bluff is a paradise for people who want to spend time outside. Nature is always a good choice, and Poplar Bluff has plenty of it for visitors of all ages to enjoy.

Therefore, plan your vacation to this incredible city today and have a beautiful time!