Creating one of the largest outdoor companies in the world wasn’t enough for Bass Pro Shops founder and CEO Johnny Morris, so he decided to create Wonders of Wildlife National Museum and Aquarium.
Dubbed the “Disney World of the Outdoors,” Wonders of Wildlife opened on September 22 in Springfield, Mo. At over 350,000 square feet, it’s the largest wildlife attraction anywhere in the world. The museum also houses the National Bass Fishing Hall of Fame, which was previously located in Birmingham, Ala.
The museum also houses the International Game Fish Association’s Fishing Hall of Fame, the NRA National Sporting Arms Museum and the National Archery Hall of Fame.
Morris held nothing back in making the museum an absolute utopia for anything outdoors. Among its attractions is a 1.5 million-gallon aquarium, over a mile of trails and exhibits, 35,000 live fish, mammals, reptiles and birds.
“I am proud and excited that this special facility dedicated to those who love the outdoors will open in the heart of America in our hometown, Springfield, Missouri,” Morris said in a news release. “We are deeply grateful to the many remarkably talented individuals and world-class conservation organizations that have come together for the past nine years to help make this vision a reality. It is our shared hope that the tremendous investment of time, energy and resources will have a profound, positive long-term impact on the future of hunting, fishing and conservation in America.”
The museum will be open each day from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Ticket prices vary depending on which section or sections guests want to visit. Tickets to the wildlife gallery are $14.95 for adults and $9.95 for children ages 4-11. Aquarium adventure tickets are $29.95 for adults and $19.95 for children’s tickets. Combo tickets are $39.95 for adults and $23.95 for children ages 4-11. Children under 4 get in for free. There’s also a 10 percent discount for seniors, active military and veterans.
Annual memberships are also available and are $95 for individuals and $250 for families, which include two designated adults plus their children or grandchildren. There’s also a conservation champion membership available for $300 that comes with the family membership and two transferable guest cards.
“Wonders of Wildlife has the opportunity, like no other attraction before it, to have a positive national impact on wildlife and conservation,” said Colin O’Mara, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation. “Johnny’s investment in this not-for-profit facility through the Johnny Morris Foundation will establish one of the most valuable and respected conservation and education centers in the world.”