Springfield, Missouri

Rooted in the celebration of family, friends and life’s genuine moments, Springfield offers a regional hub with large city amenities and small-town hospitality, intriguing attractions, a diverse culinary scene, unique shopping and an ode to classic Americana heritage.

Get into the Christmas spirit at the Springfield Botanical Garden’s Gray-Campbell Farmstead for Christmas at the Farmstead on December 1. Celebrate an old-fashioned Christmas by helping decorate the tree with hand-made vintage ornaments while enjoying hot cocoa, cookies and carols.

Come be part of the tradition this year as parade participants show off their floats, bands march their way around downtown and holiday cheer is spread for all, with an appearance by Santa on December 8. Also, on this day, Big Whiskey’s will be hosting their free Pancakes with Santa breakfast at three area locations: Ozark, Republic and Battlefield Road in Springfield. Donations benefit Ambassadors for Children.

Home of the first and Largest Bass Pro Shop

Dozens of taxidermy mounts on the walls and massive wooden support poles greet upon entering. Witness the 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. 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.

From now until Christmas Eve, Santa’s Wonderland has taken up residence at  Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World.  Open from 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. daily, crafts, games and other activities will help celebrate the season. Be sure to get your photo with Santa.

Now, there is even more reason to visit because Johnny Morris, founder of Bass Pro Shops and leading conservationist, recently opened Wonders of Wildlife adjacent to Bass Pro. It is reputed as one of the largest, most immersive conservation attractions in the world. The attraction consists of an all-new 1.5-million-gallon aquarium adventure showcasing thousands of live fish, mammals, reptiles and birds in a tour through the world’s underwater habitats; completely immersive wildlife galleries that bring visitors eye-to-eye with the greatest collection of record-setting big game animals ever assembled from North America, Africa and the Arctic; and a conservation education center for youth programs, conservation groups and events. Primarily funded and operated by the Johnny Morris Foundation and located on the campus of Bass Pro Shops’ iconic flagship store in Springfield, Mo., Wonders of Wildlife is poised to become America’s Conservation Capital and a must-see destination for everyone who loves the outdoors.

Museums at Bass Pro

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.