Four Free Homeschool Field Trip Ideas in Waynesville, MO

Image by Nick Amoscato

Compiled by Laura Huffman

Learning is a lifelong process. I recently had a 93 year old woman happily tell me “I learn something new every day!” Learning is also fluid and is not only confined to a classroom. As a child’s teacher you can provide depth to your lesson plan with hands-on interactive field trips. Fortunately, for the sake of the homeschool families bank account, these trips do not have to be pricey or even within an urban setting. Waynesville, located in the Ozark Mountains of Mid-Missouri, is a prime example of a small town field trip friendly destination. A field trip to Waynesville can cover Native American history, pioneer history, Civil War history, World War I and II history, geology, hydrology, architecture, geography, engineering, transportation, nature, and art, among other subjects.

1. Route 66 has been described as America’s largest open air museum. Waynesville lines both sides of the legendary highway that runs through it. A highlight is the downtown bridge that spans the Roubidoux River. The bridge was constructed in 1923 and is eligible to be nominated to the National Register of Historic Places. A sidewalk allows foot traffic to safely cross- and gives a bird’s eye view of the river below. (Tip- Pulaski County Tourism Bureau offers a free turn-by-turn guide of Route 66 through the area, including Waynesville’s segment.)

Draw or paint a picture of Roubidoux Bridge in Waynesville, MO. Image by Laura Huffman for Pulaski County Tourism Bureau.

Draw or paint a picture of Roubidoux Bridge in Waynesville, MO. Image by Laura Huffman for Pulaski County Tourism Bureau.

2. Trail of Tears Memorial is a thought provoking, poignant testimonial to an ugly, horrific event in American history. The memorial includes seven story boards, installed by the National Park Service, City of Waynesville, & the Missouri Trail of Tears Association, beginning at the natural spring, and ending just north of the downtown bridge at the old river crossing. The trail is hard surfaced and wheelchair accessible. (Tip- The trail continues to Waynesville Park. Bring a picnic basket and discuss what you saw and learned over lunch.)

Story boards reveal the tragic tale of the Trail of Tears at Laughlin Park in Waynesville, MO. Image by Laura Huffman for Pulaski County Tourism Bureau.

Story boards reveal the tragic tale of the Trail of Tears at Laughlin Park in Waynesville, MO. Image by Laura Huffman for Pulaski County Tourism Bureau.

3. Pulaski County Museum is located in the 1903 courthouse building overlooking Route 66. This building housed Pulaski County’s government for over 85 years and was designed by Missouri State Architect Henry H. Hohenschild. The upstairs courtroom is almost original to the day that it was built. Exhibits showcase items from the everyday life of Pulaski Countians. (Tip- The museum is open each Saturday April through September from 10 am until 4 pm. Admission is free. Group tours by arrangement.)

History inside! Pulaski County Museum in Waynesville, MO. Image by Laura Huffman.

History inside! Pulaski County Museum in Waynesville, MO. Image by Laura Huffman.

4. Old Stagecoach Stop is located on the downtown square, just a short walk from the Pulaski County Museum. This building has been a Waynesville landmark since the 1850’s and was used by the Union Army as a hospital during the Civil War. Each room in the two story building represents a different use and era in the building’s history. (Tip- Admission is free and the museum keeps the same hours as Pulaski County Museum. Group tours can be arranged. A wealth of information is included on their website.)

Several eras of Waynesville's history are represented at the Old Stagecoach Stop in Waynesville, MO. Image by Laura Huffman.

Several eras of Waynesville’s history are represented at the Old Stagecoach Stop in Waynesville, MO. Image by Laura Huffman.

Bonus- We all know that play plays an important role in children’s development. Waynesville will be opening their Little Heroes Playground, an all-accessible play area Spring 2017.

To plan your homeschool field trip to Waynesville, request your free Visitors Guide and Historic Walking Tour brochure from Pulaski County Tourism Bureau by calling 573-336-6355. The Bureau also offers an area geocaching brochure.

4 Things You Will Love In December!

1. City of Lights- A new tradition in downtown Richland, this festive (and impressive) light show, with music, expands on the display of Christmas Past at Dr. Hilton’s House. Dr. Hilton himself, along with family members, and other volunteers have designed a light display that will amaze your kids and impress your friends. Guaranteed to get your family in the holiday spirit! Nightly, December 1st-31st.

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2. Nativity Scene- A beloved Christmas tradition since the 1950’s, Waynesville’s Nativity Scene sits high upon Bell’s Bluff. While the nativity itself is on private property, it can be seen from many vantage points in downtown Waynesville- even as far away as Interstate 44. The tradition was started by the Lion’s Club and the nativity’s maintenance has been adopted by the Pulaski County-Ft. Leonard Wood Shrine Club. The nativity is now lit each year during the Christmas On The Square celebration. Nightly, December 1st-31st.

3. Lighted Vintage Bridge- At the beginning of 2013 the future of the 1923 Devils Elbow Bridge was in jeopardy. Luckily, the bridge was refurbished and after a brief closure during repairs, is again carrying Route 66 traffic across the Big Piney River. Two years ago residents of the historic village of Devils Elbow, and some “regulars” at the Elbow Inn Bar & BBQ decided to spruce up this engineering beauty with Christmas lights. Word spread, and travelers from across the United States, and around the globe, came to drive across the illuminated bridge. It was a hit and the bridge’s neighbors decided to do it again this year! Now in its third year, the bridge decorations include well over 11,000 lights.

Elbow Bridge Daytime

Photo by Laura Huffman for Pulaski County Tourism Bureau.

4. Festivals & Parades- The holiday season is upon us and tidings of joy can be found all across Pulaski County, MO! Put these happenings on your calendar!

December 1- Christmas on the Square, Waynesville
December 2 & 3Ole Time Christmas at Shady Dell Park, Richland
December 2 & 3“A Seussified Christmas Carol”, Waynesville
December 3Christmas Parade, Laquey
December 4Kiwanis Club Christmas Parade, Waynesville
December 4Holiday in the Park, Saint Robert
December 4Christmas on Main Street, Crocker
December 9 & 10Journey to Bethlehem, Crocker
December 9, 10, & 11“A Seussified Christmas Carol”, Waynesville
December 10Christmas Parade, Richland
December 10Lighted Christmas Parade, Dixon
December 16, 17, & 18“A Seussified Christmas Carol”, Waynesville

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Use our mobile app to navigate to these locations!
https://pocketsights.com/tours/tour/Saint-Robert-Holiday-Activities-in-Pulaski-County-USA-Missouri-379

4 Things You Will Love In November!

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1. Veterans’ Day Parade (November 11)- There is no better place in all of Missouri to attend a Veterans’ Day Parade than Pulaski County, home of Fort Leonard Wood. Hosted by the Waynesville-St. Robert Chamber of Commerce, opening ceremonies begin at 11:00 a.m. and the parade steps off at 11:30 a.m. The parade route begins at Waynesville Middle School and ends at Waynesville City Park.

2. The Baker Band & Friends Variety Show (November 19)- You will love this event if you are a fan of the classic television variety shows like Hee Haw, or looking for good, clean family entertainment! The Barn, near Dixon, is a non smoking, no alcohol venue- and kids 12 and under are free!

3. Gone To Pieces Quilt Guild Quilt Show (November 19)- Join the ladies of the Gone To Pieces Quilt Guild at the St. Robert Community Center as they “Honor The Active” and display their award winning quilts. Quilting is a strong part of our Ozarks heritage. GTPQG has mastered the handcrafted folk art traditions and storytelling.

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4. City of Lights/Laura Ashley Concert (November 26)- Ring in a new tradition in Richland as they light up the city in a festive Christmas celebration. Rising country star Laura Ashley from Rogersville will be on hand to entertain the masses.

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For more ideas on things to see and do in Pulaski County, Missouri during November please visit www.PulaskiCountyUSA.com.

4 Places To Stuff Your Face on Route 66 in Pulaski County USA!

Route 66 and great food go together like two peas in a pod. “Roadies” yearn for the heyday of the Mother Road when Mom & Pop diners dished out platters of handmade deliciousness to hungry and road weary travelers- and still seek out these hidden gems along the route.

We have picked out four of our favorite places to stuff our faces along the Mother Road on Pulaski County’s 33 miles of Route 66. Grab your road trip buddies and bring along your taste buds!

Elbow Inn Bar & BBQ Pit, 21050 Teardrop Road, Devils Elbow

For many, the Elbow Inn Bar & BBQ Pit needs no introduction. This joint is known all around the world and dates back to the early 1930’s when it was opened as the Munger- Moss Sandwich Shop. During your meal here you might come across diners who rode in for bike night, have kayaked the Big Piney and stopped in for a PBR, or Japanese tourists- maybe even a film crew. One thing that you can always count on at “The Elbow” is amazing wood smoked BBQ served up with laughter floating around the room. It’s very hard to have a bad time at this roadhouse!

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Elbow Inn Bar & BBQ Pit, Devils Elbow. Photo by Pulaski County Tourism Bureau.

 

Jitters Eatery & Drinkery, 948 Old Route 66, Saint Robert

In many places across the United States it would seem odd to find a hidden gem that has both authentic Korean bulgogi and fresh burgers with perfectly cooked fries and an ice cold beer. Luckily, that isn’t the case in Saint Robert, MO, thanks to the international influences that Fort Leonard Wood has brought to the area. If Guy Fieri ever discovers Jitters he would proclaim it as “off the hook”!

Jitters Bar & Grill in St. Robert

Jitters Bar & Grill in St. Robert. Photo provided by Jitters.

Hoppers Pub, 318 Historic 66 East, Waynesville

Across from the historic Route 66 courthouse, Hoppers has become an anticipated stop for Czech Route 66 Association (Česká asociace Route 66) as they travel across Missouri’s Route 66. Hoppers is most famous for their selection of 66 beers on tap- including the house favorite, Frog Drool IPA. Don’t overlook the food menu though. Their burgers are a best seller. The Jam Burger features Hoppers very own signature sweet and spicy jam that turns the flavor knob up to 10!

Hoppers Pub in Waynesville

Hoppers Pub in Waynesville. Photo provided by Hoppers Pub.

Nona’s Kitchen, 103 North Benton Street, Waynesville

The newest location on our list has been a popular stop on the road before Missouri State Highway 14 was designated as Route 66. Nona’s Kitchen is housed in the iconic Rigsby House which was the living quarters for the Rigsby family who owned and operated Rigsby’s Standard Service Station. The home has been lovingly converted into Nona’s Kitchen, complete with an outdoor patio where the gasoline pumps once stood. Chef Julie creates comfort food fit for a king in her kitchen. The menu varies by the month but normally includes plates of stick to your ribs favorites like meatloaf, steak chili, smoked pork loin- even bangers and mash. If Nona’s Kitchen had been serving in the 1960’s it surely would have been Tod and Buz’s favorite place for home cooking in the Ozarks!

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Nona’s Kitchen in Waynesville. Photo via Get Your Pics On Route 66 Facebook.

4 Places Brimming with Christmas Cheer In Pulaski County USA!

The holiday season is upon us and tidings of joy can be found all across Pulaski County, MO! We have picked out four of our favorites that you and your family should not miss:

Devils Elbow Bridge, Devils Elbow

At the beginning of 2013 the future of the 1923 Devils Elbow Bridge was in jeopardy. Luckily, the bridge was refurbished and after a brief closure during repairs, is again carrying Route 66 traffic across the Big Piney River. Last December residents of the historic village of Devils Elbow, and some “regulars” at the Elbow Inn Bar & BBQ decided to spruce up this engineering beauty with Christmas lights. Word spread, and travelers from across the United States, and around the globe, came to drive across the illuminated bridge. It was a hit and the bridge’s neighbors decided to do it again this year! The bridge decorations include well over 11,000 lights and both ends are decorated with wreaths that light up the number “66”.

Elbow Bridge Daytime

The lights come on at sunset and the bridge will be lit up through at least December 25th.

Croaker’s Santa Hat, Waynesville

W.H. Croaker, also known as Frog Rock, is one of Missouri’s most well known, and beloved rocks. Croaker greets travelers as they descend down Waynesville Hill into town. This year the quirky landmark has been topped off with a whimsical Santa Hat, designed and constructed by Gone To Pieces Quilt Guild. The hat was a house guest at several of the guild member’s homes where it was patch worked together before being placed on Croaker December 3rd.

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Croaker will wear his Santa Hat through at least December 25th.

Nativity Scene, Waynesville

A beloved Christmas tradition since the 1950’s, Waynesville’s Nativity Scene sits high upon Bell’s Bluff. While the nativity itself is on private property, it can be seen from many vantage points in downtown Waynesville- even as far away as Interstate 44. The tradition was started by the Lion’s Club and the nativity’s maintenance has been adopted by the Pulaski County-Ft. Leonard Wood Shrine Club. The nativity is now lit each year during the Christmas On The Square celebration.

Nativity Scene Bell's Bluff Focal Edit

It will be lit nightly through at least December 25th.

Hilton Holiday Lights, Richland

Dr. Shad Hilton and family invite you to enjoy Hilton Holiday Lights display at 601 E. Main Street in Richland. This professional quality light show boasts over 20,000 lights including a 20 foot tall “mega tree”- all sequenced to seven Christmas songs and lasting 25 minutes. The Hilton’s have spent hundreds of hours since August designing and implementing this year’s show. Their reward is seeing a line of cars watching the display and hearing the children’s excitement as “Let It Go” from Frozen starts playing. They do not require an admission fee to watch the display- but they are accepting donations for a new playground at Richland Elementary School. Weather permitting, the lights are on Sunday-Thursday 5:30 until 9:00 p.m. and Friday and Saturday until 10:00 p.m. The Hilton family kindly ask you to pull safely to the side of the road and turn on your hazard lights while watching the display. Tune your radio to 99.9 FM to hear the music while you watch the lights dance to the tunes.

The display will run through January 3rd. You can follow Hilton Holiday Lights on Facebook for further information and details on upcoming displays- including a Halloween display for 2016.

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For more things to see and do in Pulaski County USA visit www.PulaskiCountyUSA.com

Four Festivals That You Will Love In Pulaski County USA!

1. Cow Days- is a September tradition that dates back to the days of the Great Depression when Dixon merchants enticed customers to shop at their stores by rewarding them with a ticket for a free cow giveaway. Cows are still given away at this family friendly street festival- with a cash option. Food, bands, vendors, and people fill the streets during this one of a kind two day festival. It is udderly fantastic!

Learn more about Cow Days at http://www.dixonchamberofcommerce.com/CowDaysIndex

Live music is part of the family friendly fun at Cow Days in Dixon! Image by Van Beydler.

Live music is part of the family friendly fun at Cow Days in Dixon! Image by Van Beydler.

2. Railroad Days- Held each August in Crocker, MO for more than forty years. This tribute to Crocker’s Frisco Railroad heritage has been bringing crowds to downtown Crocker since 1972. A highlight of the festival is the parade. A beloved tradition, the parade is sure to warm your heart and have you clapping and cheering for the participants. Don’t forget to visit the Frisco Depot Museum during this street festival! Chock full of activities for your entire family! Full steam ahead- Railroad Days is sure to be a hit!

Learn more about Railroad Days at www.facebook.com/CrockerCityHall

Frisco Railroad Caboose in Crocker, MO

Crocker celebrates their railroading history every year during Railroad Days!

3. Frogtoberfest- Waynesville’s most unique festival is held each year in October. Celebrating “Frog Rock” (a/k/a W.H. Croaker) this family friendly birthday celebration for Waynesville’s unofficial mascot is guaranteed to generate smiles and laughter!

W.H. Crocker, the inspiration for Frogtoberfest! Photo by Cat Spencer.

W.H. Crocker, the inspiration for Frogtoberfest! Photo by Cat Spencer.

4. Mid-America Freedom Rally– Known far and wide as the mother of all motorcycle rallies in central Missouri! MAFR is three days jack packed with legendary times including amazing bands, vendors, street food, field events, bike shows, and poker runs. Do not miss Sunday’s midnight Rolling Thunder- a goosebump inducing tribute to those who gave all. Bring your bike, your better half, your tent and your cooler- but leave your pets, weapons, and attitudes behind. 18+ to enter.

Learn more about Mid-America Freedom Rally at http://www.midamericafreedomrally.com

Megan Oneal at 2015's Mid-America Freedom Rally. Photo by Dave Campbell of www.bikernet.com. Read Dave's coverage (NSFW) of this event at http://www.bikernet.com/pages/Mid_America_Freedom_Rally.aspx

Megan Oneal at 2015’s Mid-America Freedom Rally. Photo by Dave Campbell of http://www.bikernet.com.

Four Things That You Do Not Want To Miss During April In Pulaski County USA!

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If you miss any of these, your friends will poke fun at you around the water cooler Monday morning.

1. Opening Day of Waynesville’s Museums
Date: Saturday April 4th
Time: 10:00 am – 4 pm
Where: On The Square, Downtown Waynesville
Cost: FREE
Contact: 1903 Courthouse Museum (Denise Seevers)- 573.855.3644
Old Stagecoach Stop Museum (Jan Primas)- 573.435.6766

Do Not Miss Because: Waynesville kicks off the travel season by throwing open the doors to two of her most beloved treasures- the 1903 Route 66 Courthouse Museum and the Old Stagecoach Stop Museum. Both have exhibits that will please every member of your family!

The 1903 Route 66 Courthouse Museum and the Old Stagecoach Stop Museum, on the Square, in downtown Waynesvile, are local and tourism favorites in Pulaski County, MO.

The 1903 Route 66 Courthouse Museum and the Old Stagecoach Stop Museum, on the Square, in downtown Waynesvile, are local and tourism favorites in Pulaski County, MO.

2. Paranormal Investigations of the Historic Talbot House
Date: *Saturday April 4th
Times: Dusk- call for exact start time
Where: 405 North Street, Waynesville
Cost: $20
Contact: Crocker’s Optimistic Paranormal Society (Dawnmarie Cecora)- 573.528.2149

Do Not Miss Because: You have always wanted to be a ghost hunter!
*Make your reservations before April 1st

Paranormal Investigations of the Historic Talbot House are offered year round. Reservations fill up quickly!

Paranormal Investigations of the Historic Talbot House are offered year round. Reservations fill up quickly!

3. Sportsman Gun Show
Date: Friday April 10th & Saturday April 11th
Time: Friday- 12 pm until 6 pm, Saturday 7:30 am until 5 pm
Where: The Barn, 13015 Highway 28, Dixon
Cost: $3 admission
Contact: Bill Johnson- 573.433.9370

Do Not Miss Because: One word- guns!

The 6th Annual Sportsman's Gun Show will be held near Dixon, MO April 10th and 11th.

The 6th Annual Sportsman’s Gun Show will be held near Dixon, MO April 10th and 11th.

4. Mountain Man Rendezvous
Date: Saturday April 25th
Time: 10 am until 4 pm
Where: Kickapoo Trace Club, 16490 Cracklin Drive, Dixon
Cost: FREE
Contact: Kickapoo Trace Muzzleloaders (Bob Stormer): 636-734-2693

Do Not Miss Because: Mountain Men- America’s original preppers!

Party like it is 1849 at the Mountain Man Rendezvous April 25th!

Party like it is 1849 at the Mountain Man Rendezvous April 25th!