Johnny Morris' Wonders of Wildlife National Museum & Aquarium in Springfield, MO

500 W. Sunshine StreetSpringfield, MO 65807
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TripAdvisor user rating 4.50 out of 5 Based on 1355 reviews

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Overview

Johnny Morris’ Wonders of Wildlife National Museum & Aquarium honors hunters, fishers, and land stewards. It's a captivating animal adventure showcasing a 1.5-million gallon aquarium, fascinating exhibits, and conservation insights. Explore diverse galleries highlighting global wildlife like elk, elephants, and wildcats.

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Good To Know

from Ashley, one of our Springfield Travel Experts
  • Located in Springfield, Missouri, approximately 45 minutes from Branson.
  • It has been voted America's Best Aquarium for five times by USA Today readers, as well as America's Best New Attraction in 2017. It has also received numerous awards and recognition from other organizations and media outlets.
  • It showcases 35,000 live animals, including fish, mammals, reptiles and birds, from all over the globe.
  • Last ticketed entry is 30 minutes prior to closing.
  • The Wildlife Galleries itself is about .5 miles, while the aquarium is about 1 mile.
  • It is appropriate for kids of all ages, as well as adults who love nature and adventure. There are interactive exhibits, touch pools, 4D theaters, virtual reality experiences and more to keep you entertained and amazed.
  • The 1.5-million gallon aquarium features more than 35,000 live aquatic animals and habitats.
  • Free parking is offered in front of Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World and outside the Aquarium's Great Oceans Hall.

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Insights from Tripster's own team members
Diana K. Tripster User Profile Image

Diana K.

The reviews say it, and I agree - it doesn't get better than this and it's in the middle of America! Johnny Morris’ Wonders of Wildlife National Museum and Aquarium is the largest immersive wildlife attraction in the world. Explore a 1.5-million-gallon aquarium adventure showcasing 35,000 live fish, mammals, reptiles and birds and a wildlife museum offering a tour of the wildest places on earth. The 350,000-square foot experience features more than 1.5 miles of immersive trails and exhibits.

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Description

from Johnny Morris' Wonders of Wildlife National Museum & Aquarium
Johnny Morris’ Wonders of Wildlife National Museum and Aquarium consists of an all-new 1.5-million-gallon aquarium adventure showcasing 35,000 live fish, mammals, reptiles, and birds, as well as immersive wildlife galleries that bring visitors eye-to-eye with the greatest collection of record-setting game animals ever assembled. Located 45 minutes from Branson and adjacent to Bass Pro Shops National Headquarters in Springfield, Missouri, the 350,000-square-foot experience celebrates people who hunt, fish, and act as stewards of the land and water. Explore over 1.5 miles of immersive galleries that take you into the natural habitats of the animal kingdom. Get up close and personal with big game and other mammals in the Wildlife Galleries, and dive into the ocean world in the Aquarium Adventure.

Aquarium Adventure
Introducing a new aquarium that plunges guests into a thrilling tour of the world’s underwater habitats with more than 35,000 animals. Visitors will encounter over 800 species of sharks, rays, jellyfish, eels, sports fish, and more as they are transported to some of the wildest aquatic habitats on earth.

Set sail on a voyage spanning the world’s oceans, lakes, and streams and come face-to-face with sharks, rays, jellyfish, eels, eagles, and otters, plus giant game fish from around the world that belong on every angler’s bucket list.

300,000 gallons of adventure! The breathtaking Great Oceans Hall brings the depths of the ocean to the middle of America. After admiring historic fishing boats that belonged to Ernest Hemingway and Zane Grey, step inside a 300,000-gallon circular “open ocean” habitat teeming with life, including zebra sharks, leopard rays, and sea turtles.

Learn by taking a look inside! Peek inside pop-up bubbles and come eye-to-eye with fish inside their habitats like piranhas, neon tetras, and more.

Wildlife Galleries
Go eye-to-eye with exotic wildlife! Stand in awe observing nature's most striking exotic animal habitats, like leopards perched high above ground observing their prey, muskox fighting off a pack of wolves beneath the northern lights, and wildebeests battling with crocodiles at the watering hole.

Get closer than ever before with the world’s largest collection of record-setting big game animals like deer, elk, bear, bison, caribou, moose, muskox, antelope, sheep, and more, set amongst dioramas that transport you to the native environments of the species.

Each habitat features painstaking attention to detail, including massive hand-painted murals, native foliage, and special effects that deliver the chill of the Arctic, the cold winds of the Alps, the dry sun of the African Savannah, and more.

Special Exhibits: Wonders of Wildlife offers a variety of temporary exhibits drawing from both the museum’s own archives and collections from leading institutions around the world. Check back often to see what’s new!

Year of the Bird
Wonders of Wildlife is honored to host the exhibit, "Year of the Bird," in partnership with the National Audubon Society and Ducks Unlimited. Take flight in this exhibit as you learn of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act passed by Congress years ago to protect birds from meaningless killing. It is the most powerful and important bird protection law ever passed. In honor of the act’s centennial, nature lovers around the world joined forces to make 2018 the “Year of the Bird,” committing to protect birds today and for the next 100 years. This exhibit is located in the Wildlife Galleries.

Nature’s Best Photography
Thanks in part to a generous donation from FedEx and its founder, Fred Smith, a new exhibition hall will be home to the Windland Smith Rice International Awards and its annual Nature’s Best Photography exhibition, previously only displayed at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C.

Created to recognize and display the creative talents and documentary achievements of nature photographers at all levels worldwide. The exhibition will feature a rotating gallery of jaw-dropping wildlife photography and video from around the world as a celebration of both people and nature. Named in memory of Windland Smith Rice, an accomplished wildlife photographer, conservation advocate, and the late daughter of FedEx CEO Fred Smith, the annual awards and exhibition have become one of the most prestigious and recognized photo competitions in the world.

The new 10,000-square-foot gallery space will link the aquarium lobby with the main entrance to the Wildlife Galleries.

Johnny Morris' Wonders of Wildlife National Museum & Aquarium Reviews

4 Reviews
John B. Tripster User Profile Image
John B.
CHESTERFIELD, MO
4 Reviews
Verified Traveler
"Wonders of Wildlife Springfield MO"
November 2021
We really enjoyed our experience at the Wonders of Wildlife Museum and Aquarium in Springfield, MO. It has to be considered on of the best aquariums in the country. If you have kids or grandkids, they will absolutely love it. There is even an amazing fisherman's hall of fame and exhibit to see. The design of the structure and how it is put together was really well thought out. I highly recommend stopping here for a 3-4 visit.
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Tip: I will always recommend getting there if you can when they open at 10 AM. You will greatly reduce the crowd and waiting experience.

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Shanna Trcka Tripster User Profile Image
Shanna Trcka
Needville, TX
4 Reviews
Verified Traveler
"AWESOME"
July 2021
This was a fantastic outing. Plan to spend a few hours so you can look at everything! So interesting and well thought out! Great Job Johnny Morris!
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Tip: Plan on it taking a few hours and look at everything!

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Lonnie Whitton Tripster User Profile Image
Lonnie Whitton
Nacogdoches , TX
15 Reviews
Verified Traveler
"Wonders Of Wildlife"
July 2021
This was an ABSOLUTELY AMAZING aquarium experience, RECCOMEND allowing yourself several hours to walk through the exhibits.
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Kayla Colvin Tripster User Profile Image
Kayla Colvin
Searcy, AR
2 Reviews
Verified Traveler
"ABSOLUTELY SPEECHLESS"
June 2019
My husband and I celebrate our anniversary every year in Branson. This year, we decided to take our 2 year old daughter. Originally, we had planned to do the Promised Land Zoo, but the forecast showed storms for the week we were there. So we decided to do the Wonders of Wildlife Museum & Aquarium. I am SO GLAD THAT WE DID! My daughter LOVED it, never got bored or restless. But honestly, I think my husband and I enjoyed it the most. Each spot was so informational! Stroller and wheelchair friendly, restaurant, air conditioning, and so much more. HIGHLY reccomend. We will do this every year!
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Tip: Wear comfortable shoes! So many exhibits, lots of walking!

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Frequently Asked Questions about Johnny Morris' Wonders of Wildlife National Museum & Aquarium

Are the Wildlife Galleries and Aquarium Adventure two separate tickets?

Both included in a single day Wonders of Wildlife ticket.

When is the best time to visit?

We recommend visiting during the late fall and winter months, excluding holidays. If visiting in the spring or summer months, we recommend visiting Monday through Thursday.

How long does it take to explore the galleries and aquarium?

It takes 3-5 hours to explore the galleries and aquarium. The Wildlife Galleries itself is about half a mile, while the aquarium is about 1 mile.

Is this museum appropriate for kids?

Absolutely! You can bring the whole family!

Is parking available?

Yes. Parking is free across the Wonders of Wildlife and Bass Pro Shops campus. Handicapped parking spots are available in front of the primary entrance at 1935 S Campbell as well as outside the Aquarium’s Great Oceans Hall at 500 W Sunshine. Both entries also offer space for pick-up and drop-off access. Overflow parking is available at the Cherokee Street entrance to Outdoor World located on the south side of the building.

Are the aquarium and galleries accessible?

Yes. Wonders of Wildlife is wheelchair accessible and stroller friendly with elevators available throughout. Wagons or wagon style strollers are not permitted in the museum due to narrow walkways. Ample seating is available in various areas of the Wildlife Galleries and the Aquarium Adventure. Lawn and camping chairs are not permitted.

Can I take pictures inside the galleries?

Yes! However, flash photography is prohibited. Guests are encouraged to take as many photos as they would like, and video is allowed of all shows and experiences.

Is a cafe or food court onsite?

Yes. Fish Tales Café, a quick grab and go food service is located in the Great Ocean’s Hall. Fish Tales Café offers soups, sandwiches, salads, pizza, a kid’s menu, and gluten-free options.* Guests may also purchase snacks and refreshments at a snack bar located in the upper Shipwreck area.

Can I leave the museum and return on the same day?

Definitely! You are welcome to leave and come back during the day. Re-entry will require proof of purchase like your ticket stub and/or receipt.

Are there accommodations for nursing mothers?

Yes. A mother’s nursing room is available in our Great Oceans Hall, near the Hemmingway boat, toward the gift shop exit. Changing tables are provided in every restroom.