1 prestigious AZA Accreditation, 2 additions coming soon, 3 new must-see exhibits, voted 4 times as America’s Best Aquarium, 5 years of wonder! 

This article is presented in partnership with Wonders of Wildlife. 

Johnny Morris’ Wonders of Wildlife National Museum and Aquarium (WOW) re-opened on September 21, 2017. With over 35,000 fish, birds, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians, and spanning 800 species, our 350,000-square-foot facility provides endless wonder. Located right in the heart of the Ozarks, Wonders of Wildlife is not only celebrating its 5-year anniversary but also celebrating all of those who enjoy the great outdoors and act as stewards of the land and water. WOW’s mission is to inspire guests of all ages to connect with nature and become future conservationists. 

Photo courtesy of Wonders of Wildlife

Wonders of Wildlife is honored to announce that we have recently received accreditation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Commission. Fewer than 300 facilities nationwide have received this recognition. Wonders of Wildlife joins an elite collection of zoos and aquariums dedicated to the highest standards of conservation, animal welfare and education. WOW is excited to partner with other accredited facilities to further research and conservation efforts. 

In addition to our new accreditation, two new additions are coming soon to Wonders of Wildlife. A new exhibit is taking the place of our old Shipwreck Theatre. Here our guests can come in and be educated and inspired by yet another amazing new animal! Our other new addition will be seen on the corner of Sunshine Street and Campbell Avenue, the busiest intersection in Springfield. A new digital aquarium that will display high-resolution underwater scenes and animals.

Just this year, WOW has opened three new must-see exhibits including the American Museum of Fly Fishing, Nature’s Best Photography, and the Gulf of Mexico Coastal exhibit. The America Museum of Fly Fishing (AMFF) is a 2,300 square foot gallery space located in the Leigh H. Perkins Hall. The exhibition displays countless items from its permanent collection of the sport’s most significant rods, reels, and flies. AMFF is dedicated to preserving the rich heritage of fly fishing and promoting the conservation of the waters. Nature’s Best Photography found its permanent home at Wonders of Wildlife after being previously only displayed on the walls of the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC. Nature’s Best features jaw-dropping photography from the Windland Smith Rice International Awards, one of the most recognized photo competitions in the world. This 10,000-foot gallery space transports visitors to some of the most stunning places in the world all while being here in the Ozarks and encourages guests to get out in the great outdoors. Our Pacific Northwest Coast exhibit has recently transitioned into The Gulf of Mexico Coastal exhibit. It features an inverted touch tank where guests can learn and engage with some of our Florida coasts species like horseshoe crabs, whelk, starfish, and urchins!

Photo courtesy of Wonders of Wildlife

Upon opening in 2017, WOW was voted America’s Best New Attraction by the readers of USA TODAY and has since been voted America’s Best Aquarium for a record-breaking four times in 2018, 2020, 2021 and again in 2022! Wonders of Wildlife honors hunters, anglers, and conservationists around the world and is a true gift to the sportsmen and women of America.

Photo courtesy of Wonders of Wildlife

Cheers to five years of underwater adventure, connecting people from all around the world to nature and to inspiring future conservationists. Come celebrate with us and enjoy this one-of-a-kind experience right here in the Ozarks at Johnny Morris’ Wonders of Wildlife National Museum and Aquarium.