Wonders of Wildlife is truly WOW!
In case you didn’t hear about the 60+ private planes or the fact that two former presidents were in Springfield last week for a grand opening. Well, we did. And it was all to celebrate the opening of the brand-new Wonders of Wildlife museum and aquarium.
Johnny Morris really outdid himself with this one! As you walk in the museum portion, I would highly suggest you take a left to explore the smaller, FREE, portion of the museum that shows the history of Bass Pro Shops. It came from such humble beginnings to fulfill an honest need in the fishing community. What started as two shelves of bait in his father’s liquor store, Brown Derby, turned into what we all know as Bass Pro Shops today. The stores are practically museums themselves. But even they don’t hold a candle to the amazing exhibits of Wonders of Wildlife. You may have some initial sticker shock from the price of the tickets, but once you walk through all the amazing exhibits you will walk out feeling it was completely worth it!
The museum portion of WoW is an intriguing combination of history and conservation. You’ll walk through a replica model of Teddy Roosevelts hunting cabin, a native American exhibit, and a partial collection of paintings that recreate the trek made my Lewis and Clarke. Everything about the wildlife museum is impeccable. The exhibits recreate the animal’s natural habitat. The walls are painted with incredible hand painted murals of that animal’s landscapes. You’ll see animals from all over the world including elephants and lions of Africa, elk and bears from North America, and jaguars and monkeys from South America to name a few. There is also a Hall of Fame for the largest whitetail deer. We didn’t get to see them, but Penguins are coming soon! Circling back to the hand painted murals. The Springfield News-leader did an article about the artists and how long they had been working on them. But once you see them in person, you will be in complete and utter awe of how magnificent and detailed they are. These murals completely stole the show in every exhibit.
Next stop, the aquarium! You’ll notice huge tanks and full-size boats before even entering the actual aquarium. Once inside, prepare to be amazed. Tanks of schools of fish that swim in tightly wound circles while sharks swim around the perimeter. The Jellyfish Room was one of our favorites.
Seahorses, Clownfish and Lionfish stand out and reside in tanks that have holes built to allow people to go up inside the tank itself.
There is also a large touch-tank with various types of stingrays swimming around in depths where they can be petted. So smooth!
As if you didn’t already know how much we love Springfield, MO; this makes us love living here even more. The fact that someone local had the desire and ambition to build such a world class facility here just shows how great Springfield is and how much Springfield is growing. Wonders of Wildlife, A+ for you. If you haven’t been yet, add it to your to-do list… It won’t disappoint! To dodge the lines and madness, go on a Thursday at 3 pm.