When planning a reunion, it can be tempting to consider only big cities, assuming only they can provide the essential amenities for your reunion group. But choosing a big city for a reunion can be overwhelming and difficult when narrowing down activities, dining and accommodation options. Furthermore, touring a big city with a large group can cause a lack of togetherness and be quite pricey.
Joplin, Missouri, or JOMO, as the locals call it, provides reunion groups all the necessary amenities and fun-filled activities found in a big city, but with more affordable prices and a slower-paced ambiance. From historical monuments to picturesque wineries, art studios and endless outdoor activities, JOMO will leave your reunion group wanting more.
So what can my reunion group do in Joplin?
Regardless of the varying ages and interests of reunion group members, Joplin provides activities for everyone to enjoy.
History buffs can visit George Washington Carver National Monument for a one-mile, self-guiding tour through woodlands, across streams and along a tall grass restoration area to gaze upon the Boy Carver statue, the 1881 Moses Carver house and the Carver Family Cemetery. The Joplin Museum Complex, consisting of two distinct museums highlighting Joplin’s rich history, sheds light on the economic and social history of Joplin and the Tri-State Mining District.
Nature lovers will enjoy Wildcat Glades Conservation and Audubon Center, with over four miles of hiking trails and indoor and outdoor facility rentals ideal for large reunion groups. Outdoor picnic areas overlook scenic Shoal Creek. Reunion group members can partake in outdoor activities such as golfing, floating, fishing and disc golf.
Adult reunion members can take a trip to Keltoi Vineyard, located just six miles east of Joplin in Oronogo. With approximately 43 acres of land and seven different types of grapes, the winery offers visitors a firsthand look at the fermentation process with the option to taste some of the wines.
Joplin’s thriving art culture provides art aficionados a variety of hands-on activities and fantastic shopping. From painting and pottery to jewelry and furniture, here’s a list of Joplin’s best art studios:
- Crackpot Pottery and Art Studio
- Local Color Art Gallery and Studio
- Phoenix Fired Art Gallery and Studio
- Spiva Center for the Arts
- Urban Art Gallery
- Local Color Art Gallery and Studio
For other great shopping destinations, be sure to check out:
- Northpark Mall
- Sandstone Gardens
- Candy House Gourmet Chocolates
- That One Place
- Simply Vintage
- Southside Antique Mall
- Bittersweet Quilts
Where can my reunion group dine?
Joplin restaurants are sure to provide reunion groups with mouthwatering meals. In fact, several are accustomed to catering to large groups, all while providing unique and unforgettable culinary experiences. From one-of-a- kind breakfast and brunch joints, Chicago-style pizza pubs and on-the-go sandwich delis to local cafes and bistros, seafood restaurants and an array of ethnic eateries, Joplin’s dining options are sure to please even the pickiest of eaters.
Here are a few of Joplin’s most popular group-friendly restaurants:
- Old Chicago Pizza
- Ye Olde King Pizza
- Hackett Hot Wings
- Granny Shaffer’s
- Sandstone Garden Bistro
Where can my reunion group stay when visiting Joplin?
Whether your group is looking for an economical motel, a charming bed and breakfast or a campground ideal for star gazing, roasting s’mores and telling stories around the campfire, Joplin has a wide array of accommodation options for groups big and small. Many of these options include in-room kitchens, complimentary breakfast, pools, areas for recreational activities and public spaces for large groups to congregate.
How can my reunion group get to Joplin?
Nestled along Route 66 and considered the center of what is regionally known as the Four State Area, getting to Joplin is a breeze, regardless of where you’re coming from.
By Car: If coming from the west or east, Joplin can be reached by I-44. From the north, reunion groups can take MO-43 South towards Joplin. From the south, take US-71 North.
By Plane: Serving the commercial, military, cargo, general aviation and corporate aviation needs of southwestern Missouri, Joplin Regional Airport (JLN) provides flights to and from Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas, through American Airlines and is located just five miles from Joplin. Airports within 60 miles of Joplin include Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport (XNA) and Springfield Branson National Airport (SGF).