And it’s no wonder.
The entrance to the first and largest Bass Pro store in the world is breathtaking thanks to dozens of taxidermy mounts on the walls and massive wooden support poles, huge handcrafted metal light fixtures featuring antlers and wildlife and the bronze statue of a buck that is 20 times bigger than the real thing.
LaShonda Woodard of Kansas City visited the store with her two children for the first time last October.
“When my girls and I entered, we all smiled with excitement,” Woodard said. “’This is going to be a good day!’ I said to myself.”
The amazement doesn’t stop at the entrance. Throughout the nearly 500,000-square-foot outdoor megastore are displays, aquariums, art, a four-story waterfall, an alligator pit and more that will enthrall any outdoor enthusiast or interior decorator.
Be sure to look up as you walk by the cash registers. You’ll discover a spectacular ceiling mural and diorama that makes it appear as if you’re underwater. You’ll get a fish-eye’s view of the bottom of a boat, fish, tree limbs, duck feet and even human feet hanging down from the riverbank above.
The store isn’t just about the decor. The No. 1 tourist attraction in Missouri seeks to satisfy the needs of people who enjoy outdoor activities by providing a retail experience like no other.
Along with an astounding assortment of hunting and fishing gear, patrons can shop in the boat showroom, grab a snack at the fudge shop and enjoy a cup o’ joe at Uncle Buck’s Coffee Shop. They can sight in their gun or bow at the indoor shooting ranges, watch the daily fish feeding show, get their knives sharpened at the knife shop and peruse rare weapons in the Fine Gun Room. They can also practice their putt on the indoor putting green, drive a NASCAR simulator, visit the museums and enjoy a delicious meal at Hemingway’s Blue Water Cafe. Shoes, clothing, gifts and more are all found throughout the store.
Be sure to give yourself plenty of time when you decide to go. The other thing Bass Pro visitors have in common is they get hooked and don’t want to leave once they get there!
“We easily spent almost three hours in the store and craved to stay longer,” Woodard said. “My seven year old wanted to tour the museums and loved the archery museum. Any place that can intrigue, inform and excite my seven year old will definitely stay on our travel list! Bass Pro Shops completely exceeded my expectations as a mom … Bass Pro Shops is not a store; it's truly an experience!”
Soon, there will be even more reason to allot more time to your Bass Pro excursion. Once Wonders of Wildlife opens next door, you might as well plan on spending the entire day!
While Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World is known for its large selection of outdoor gear, it’s also gaining notoriety as the home of two fascinating museums - The NRA National Sporting Arms Museum and the adjoining Archery Hall of Fame.
The NRA National Sporting Arms Museum showcases the progression of sporting arms throughout history along with displays of arms once owned by famous people, such as Jesse James’ revolver and holster, Teddy Roosevelt’s hunting rifle and Annie Oakley’s gun.
The Archery Hall of Fame takes a historical look at archery throughout the United States. Along with the wall of members featuring the likes of Fred Bear and other archers and manufacturers who have changed the sport, the collection includes the original prototype compound bow and a bow and quiver handmade by Apache Chief Geronimo.
Admission is free to both museums.
A variety of events are offered year round by Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World. Here’s a small sample and the months in which they are usually scheduled. Visit BassPro.com or SpringfieldMo.org for details.
February - Spring Fishing Classic
March - Easter Crafts, Egg Hunt and More
March - Dog Days
June-July - Family Summer Camp
June - Gone Fishing
August - Fall Hunting Classic
September - Fall Fishing Event
September - Outdoor Days at Lake Springfield
September - Professional Bull Riders PFIWestern.com Invitational Presented by Bass Pro Shops
September-October - Outdoor Fitness Festival
October - Local Heroes Recognition
October - Great Pumpkin Celebration
November-December - Santa’s Wonderland
Explore more great things to do in Springfield.
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