Day Trip to Wonders of Wildlife!

Wonders of Wildlife is a visionary work by Mr.Johnny Morris (Founder of Bass Pro Shops).  Located next to the Bass Pro’s Springfield, Missouri “Granddaddy” location, W.O.W. is an inspiring museum and aquarium for every outdoor enthusiast and a tribute to the men and women that make conservation possible, all of us!

Start your visit by seeing the video that starts the tour…and don’t worry that there’s not an exit door.  Whoever designed the exit is a genius!  

If there’s lots of people, the museum can get bottlenecked in places.  However, if you can,  relax and plan on 2-3 hours, stroll through, and allow those few places to filter out before you move along.  

Native American Exhibit | Wonders of Wildlife

The Wildlife Museum is full of displays of different pieces of conservation art and exhibits.  Take your time wandering through the tribute to Native Americans and the artifacts that have been collected.  Everything from real Native art to clothing to arrowheads and pottery are on display.    Be sure to pick up a copy of a letter that Chief Seattle sent to the United States Government after they offered to purchase land from the Native Americans.  His words are powerful and reflective of how (and if) we have held up our end of the deal.

Bucks and Bulls | Wonders of Wildlife

The exhibit includes art from the early exploration of America and highlight our follies in preservation and our champions of conservation.  Johnny Morris has always been an advocate for our lands, resources, and for conservation of wildlife.   Another highlight of the museum portion of Wonders of Wildlife is Bucks and Bulls.  Here you can see some of the largest and record-holding mounts.  The museum continues with displays of wildlife from Africa and from the great cold north.  They also include live animals in certain areas, like penguins and flamingos!  

There are tour guides scattered all throughout the entire museum who can drop some knowledge on you!  One guide gave us a play by play of how flamingos filter their food from the water and then explained how on earth they can sleep on one leg!  The guides were seen interacting with visitors all throughout the tour.  It’s no wonder that Wonders of Wildlife was named America’s Best Aquarium by USA Today…the incredible staff!!!

Don Tyson Heritage Fishing Hall | Wonders of Wildlife

The Aquarium is a nod to aquatic life fresh and salt!  Johnny Morris is a notoriously avid fisherman who created a business, out of a passion.  So, it’s no surprise that he’s included this world class aquarium in Wonders of Wildlife.  Bring your camera, because the vibrant colors of some these fish, jellyfish, sea horses, and so on are snap-worthy!   A few of the aquariums are even interactive,.  Have you ever rubbed the back of a sting ray?  Or how about this:  ran your fingers through some crustaceans?  Here’s your chance!

Do you see the shark? | Wonders of Wildlife

The Aquarium also gives you the unique opportunity to dive with the SHARKS!  No.  For real.  Sharks!  There’s no need to have a scuba certification because they have a safety air helmet that allows you to dive down into the water and see sharks, grouper, and other brightly colored reef fish.  Choose between the Shark Dive or Feeding Frenzy for a choose-your-own-adventure experience!

There’s also a nod to some of America’s great fishermen.  Visit the Bass Fishing Hall of Fame for an incredible visual history of an American favorite past time.  Also, learn about some other famous fishermen, like Hemingway and Zane Gray.  There’s a great display of our Fishing Presidents.  Be sure to scope out Bass Force One!

Wonders of Wildlife includes a great eatery by the Aquarium called Fish Tales.  The food is delicious and there’s lots of great options for the kiddos!  You and the crew are going to be doing a lot of walking, so stopping off for some nourishment is a must!  As you’re leaving, you’ll also be able to find the perfect memento from your day at Wonders of Wildlife.  Take a few minutes and find something to take home with you.  

Wonders of Wildlife is a quick drive from Branson in the Queen City, Springfield!  You, your family (especially the littles!), and your friends will be inspired by this museum and aquarium.  It’s an outstanding display of conservation of the past, the current, and the future!  Because “We all live downstream”! 

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