My husband and I decided last minute to attend a blog conference in Arkansas. So we packed up the kids, jumped in the van and were on our way. We’ve never minded the road trips and the kids do just fine. We make sure to pack snacks, games, electronics, etc and we’re all good to go.
We didn’t take in any attractions on our way down to Arkansas but decided on the way back to take a different route. This added a few hours to our trip but I think it was worth it. When you’re on a road trip, you have to take the opportunity to take in the sites.
Our first stop was the Fantastic Caverns in Springfield Missouri.
I find caves and caverns just amazing and breathtaking. This was our kids’ first cave experience and the family’s first experience on a “ride-through” cave.
Fantastic Caverns- America’s Only Ride-Through Cave – A small, family owned business, it was discovered in 1862 by an Ozarks farmer – or more precisely, by his dog, who crawled through an entrance. It Jeep at Fantastic Caverns – Springfield, Missouri USA wasn’t until five years later that the first exploration took place: 12 women from Springfield, answering a newspaper ad seeking explorers, ventured into the cave. Their names remain on a cave wall today.
Because the beauty of Fantastic Caverns is vulnerable, the Cave is toured in jeep-drawn trams. Since you ride all of the way through, you experience the magnitude, the stillness, and the splendor of Fantastic Caverns while preserving its natural features. Wise stewardship preserves this natural wonder for your children and grandchildren for decades to come.
On a side note, I was curious as to the difference between a cave and a cavern. The Fantastic Caverns is referred to as both cavern and cave.
According to the Dictionary of Geological Terms:
Cave – A natural cavity, recess, chamber, or series of chambers and galleries beneath the surface of the earth, large enough for a person to enter.
Cavern – A syn. of cave, with the implication of large size, a system or series of caves or cave chambers.
Not only is any cave a fun experience but also a great learning experience. Including the above, the kids also learned about stalactites, stalagmites, columns, angel wings, pencils, etc. Plus the history of how the cave was discovered is fascinating.
If you are ever in the area of Springfield, Missouri, I’d recommend a visit to the Fantastic Caverns. We really enjoyed it. Take a peak at the pictures we were able to get:
Kristin Barclay says
I’d never heard of a “ride through” cave, we may go through Arkansas this fall, and if we do, I hope we can take the kids to the fantastic caverns. Did any of you get claustrophobic at all?
No, the kids loved it. The cave itself was plenty open. There were a few spots where taller people had to duck but for the most part it was wide open. This one was in Missouri. We didn’t get into south Arkansas but I so wanted to go to the diamond mines. So look into that as well if you are going through Arkansas. 🙂