Beating Boredom: Creative Ways to Follow Social Distancing

It’s springtime again in the Ozarks, but our lives look much different this year. The instinct to emerge from our homes after winter hibernation has been met with the unprecedented instruction to wait a bit longer until we venture out and reconnect with others.


But Joplinites have been faced with a life-altering situation once before, when the 2011 tornado whirled through our city, forever changing its landscape – and its people. Back then, we were forced to confront a new normal, and we did. In the years following the tornado, we proved to ourselves, and to the world, that Joplinites are resilient; we’re resourceful, we adapt, and we support our neighbors.


We are, once again, in a situation where we need to tap into those skills in order to create a new normal. There may be limitations on what we can do, but we won’t let those keep up from thriving. Let’s be resourceful, adapt, and support each other – and our local businesses – as we navigate this together.


Here are some ways that we can do that.



Let Someone Else Do the Cooking

If you don’t like to cook, or if you’re an essential worker who doesn’t have the time to cook right now (if that’s you, then thank you for your service), or if you’re craving a dish from your favorite restaurant, then here’s a list for you. 


The following restaurants are currently serving food; click on the restaurant name for more information. Most of these restaurants also offer gift cards. Purchase one today to show your support, or to gift to someone else.


Bamboo Joplin (Chinese) – Curbside, Delivery


Bearded Lady Roasters (Coffee) – Pickup


Big R’s (Barbecue) – Curbside, Delivery


Bites & Pipes (Mediterranean) – Curbside, Delivery


Carmine’s Woodfired Pizza (Italian) – Curbside, Delivery


Chavela’s Mexican Restaurant (Mexican) – Curbside, Delivery


Club 609 (American) – Curbside, Delivery


Club 1201 (American) – Curbside, Delivery


The Coffee Shop at Joplin Greenhouse (Coffee) – Pickup


The Eagle Drive-In (American, Burgers) – Drive-Through


El Taco Loco (Mexican) – Drive-Through, Delivery


El Vaquero (Mexican) – Curbside, Delivery


Finn’s (American) – Curbside, Delivery


Forest & Field (Bakery) – Pre-order for pickups on Saturdays only


Fred & Red’s (American) – Curbside, Drive-Through


Habaneros (Mexican) – Curbside, Delivery


Hackett Hot Wings (American, Chicken Wings) – Carry-Out, Curbside


Han the Sushi Man (Sushi) – Curbside


Lotus Xpress (Chinese) – Drive-Through


Lucy’s Mexican Restaurant (Mexican)Curbside, Drive-Through, Delivery


M&M Bistro (Mediterranean) – Curbside, Delivery


Pineapple Bliss (Frozen Treats) – Drive-Through


Red Onion Cafe (American) – Curbside


Red Onion Espressoria (American) – Curbside


Sakura (Sushi, Japanese) – Curbside


Smack Dab (Food Truck, American) – Walk-Up, Delivery


Turtleheads Raw Bar (Seafood) – Curbside


Wiseguys (Italian) – Carry-Out, Drive-Through, Delivery


Woody’s Smokehouse BBQ (Barbecue) – Curbside, Drive-Through


Zinc Coffee (Coffee and Pastries) – Drive-Through




Go Shopping

Tired of your uniform of yoga pants and a t-shirt? How about finding an interesting painting to spruce up the background of your Zoom chats? Maybe you’re missing the local items that you’d normally pick up at the farmers’ market. No, worries. Many local shops and boutiques offer virtual shopping, either through their online stores or through their Facebook or Instagram pages.




Blue Moon Boutique – Curbside, Delivery, Shipping


Buxton BoutiqueDelivery, Shipping


Lennon’s BoutiqueCurbside, Delivery, Shipping


SophieCurbside, Delivery, Shipping




George A. Spiva Center for the Arts: Pieces from Spiva’s Small Works Auction are featured on its Facebook page. If you find one you like, click on the link in its post in order to place a bid.


Local Color Art Gallery & Studio – This gallery has selected pieces of art from 16 of its artists to auction online. Visit the gallery’s Facebook page to bid on your favorite piece. 


Urban Art Gallery – This gallery is featuring pieces for sale on its Facebook page.


Food and Drink


Candy House Gourmet – Chocolate makes everything better! Order irresistible treats from this iconic Joplin candy maker and pick them up curbside, or have them delivered or shipped.


Christine’s Vineyard – Curbside order and pickup is available on Saturdays, 1 – 5 p.m., for local wine and honey mead.


Hackett Hot Wings – While this restaurant has temporarily reduced its hours, you can purchase its popular hot wing sauces and rubs online anytime.


Joplin Empire Market – Go online and check out the vendors at this farmers’ market. Place your order between Tuesday 8 p.m. and Thursday 8 p.m., then pick it up curbside on Saturday, 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.  


Just a Taste Webb City – Wine, beer, and cocktails are available for pick-up or delivery. Order online by Thursday for pick-up or delivery on Friday and Saturday.


Keltoi Winery – Curbside pickup or carry-out is available when picking up wine from this local Irish winery.


Ol’ Hickory – This artisan butchery and smokehouse if offering online ordering for curbside pickup.


Get Active

Walk, run, and bike on the trails at these local parks (while following the CDC guidelines for social distancing, of course). Note: Some facilities at the parks, including playground equipment, basketball and volleyball courts, and public restrooms remain closed at this time. Ewert Park Skate Park remains closed, as well.


Campbell Parkway1.325 miles


Cunningham Park.35 miles


Frisco Greenway Trail3.5 miles


Landreth Park1.04 miles


Mercy Park1.13 miles


Mohaska/St. John’s Trails1.15 miles/.5 mile


Turkey Creek Trail1.45 miles


Wildcat Glades3.8 miles


*Runaround Running & Fitness is organizing the Keep Joplin Running Virtual 5k event. For more information, click here.


Wade in the Water, Bathe in the Forest

Leave your house – and all your electronics – behind and reconnect with nature at these places.


George Washington Carver National MonumentTrails open, visitor center closed.


Grand Falls


Walter Woods Conservation AreaTrails open.


Wildcat ParkTrails open, Shoal Creek Conservation Education Center closed. Also, you may purchase native plants (pre-order ONLY) for delivery on April 25. Click here for more info. 



Take a Ride (Locally)

Sometimes a change of scenery – even if it’s just 10 minutes from home – provides a much-needed mental health break. Here are some things that you can see while staying safely inside your car. 


Downtown Joplin Mural Tour – You don’t have to go inside a museum to see great art! Drive through the heart of Joplin and check out the many murals that tell the story of Joplin and its people. (Note: You will not be able to see the murals inside City Hall at this time, as the building is closed to visitors – but that just means you’ll have something to come back and see in the future!)


Historic Murphysburg Tour – This tour leads through our city’s first residential neighborhood, past the stunning homes of Joplin’s founders which represent a variety of architectural styles and are works of art themselves. (You can explore Murphysburg on foot, too; just remember to keep 6 feet between yourself and others).


Scenic Tour: This is the perfect tour for a Sunday drive – but since none of us really knows what day of the week it is now anyway, go ahead and take that drive today! Soak in the scenic beauty of the countryside as it bursts into spring, then travel back in time as you cruise a portion of the iconic Route 66. (Even though this tour in this article was done on a motorcycle, you can still enjoy it in a car.) 


Discover, Create, Play (Virtually)

We’re all doing our best to continue working and distance-schooling while we’re at home, but sometimes our brains need to experience something new and different. Some local businesses and attractions recognize this and are switching gears while they are temporarily closed in order to provide their patrons and followers with virtual activities that stimulate our brains in creative ways.


Create N Sip Studios: Order a Create2Go kit from this art studio (pickup and delivery options available). The kits contain supplies for creating a stenciling project, and Create N Sip offers online tutorials to help you along the way.


Escape Joplin: While you can’t visit the escape rooms at this venue right now, you can challenge your mind by trying to solve the daily riddles posted on its Facebook page.


Firehouse Pottery: Slime kits and pottery-to-go kits are available for curbside pickup. The studio is also offering virtual story time with an accompanying pottery piece to paint.


Handmade Home: This crafting studio is offering take-and-make kits which you can pick up or have shipped to you. Find a kit of craft of your own right here.


Joplin History & Mineral Museum: Follow the museum on Facebook and learn the history behind select pieces in the exhibits – then go and see them in person once the museum reopens.


Joplin’s Rich Heritage – This coloring book, created in the 1990s, features drawings of Joplin’s iconic buildings. The book’s artist, Lee Humphrey, is making this book available to the public for free as an educational and creative activity for people to engage in during this time.


Photo Spiva: Since 1977, George A. Spiva Center for the Arts has hosted Photo Spiva, a national photographic competition and exhibition that is the longest-running event of its kind. Get inspired by the talent on display at this year’s Photo Spiva by taking a virtual tour here.


Post Art Library: How about some meditative coloring? The Post Library, in conjunction with Historic Murphysburg Preservation and Visit Joplin MO, has released a FREE downloadable coloring book featuring twelve historical Joplin women, which you can download here. You can be creative and learn about history at the same time!



Listen to Local Musicians

Now is a great time to discover the musical talent of area musicians and follow the ones that you like. Then, once they begin performing again, you’ll be able to hear them play live.


Ben Miller BandBlues/Bluegrass/Rock


Blister SoulRock


Brutally FrankPunk/Psychobilly/Rock


Carter HulseyAlternative Country


Dillon LeggettAcoustic Guitar


Diversity BandPop/Rock Cover Band


Grant LandisPop


Halfway to YellowIndie/Alternative


KufaraZimbabwean Folk


Me Like BeesIndie Rock


SardisHeavy Metal


The Sea HolliesIrish Folk


Let’s continue to be good citizens through this challenging time. Practice social distancing. Wash your hands. Call your friends and neighbors who are elderly, immunocompromised, or alone and see if they need anything. Let the essential workers know how much their service means to you, and to our community, at this time.


We can do this, Joplin. 


*For a list of community resources available during this time, click here.