Springfield, MO

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Wonders of Wildlife has been closed for two months.
SBJ file photo
Wonders of Wildlife has been closed for two months.

WOW to reopen with restrictions

Posted online

After a two-month hiatus brought on by the COVID-19 outbreak, Johnny Morris' Wonders of Wildlife National Museum & Aquarium is reopening this weekend.

WOW officials said in a news release yesterday the 500 W. Sunshine St. attraction would reopen to the public starting May 23. It was temporarily closed starting March 18.

The announcement came just ahead of the city of Springfield further relaxing COVID-19 restrictions for organizations, including entertainment venues and museums, starting Saturday.

“Studies show that the bond between people and nature plays an important role in supporting public health,” Morris said in the release. "In today’s world, connecting people – especially kids – to nature is more important than ever."

WOW's safety measures include requiring customers purchase timed-entry tickets online before their visits. The attraction also is limiting attendance in line with the city's guidelines; requiring social distancing; adding shields at guest service locations; increasing sanitization; and temporarily closing confined spaces, according to the release.

The city's updated guidance requires entertainment venues and museums to apply a formula to determine the allowed occupancy. WOW operates in 350,000 square feet.

WOW officials also consulted with The Florida Aquarium in Tampa on reopening guidelines. It was one of the first aquariums in North America to reopen on May 10, according to the release.


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