Planning Your Field Trip
At Wonders of Wildlife we believe students should enjoy more than just a trip away from school. We believe in creating inspirational experiences that last a lifetime. Please check out the following planning tools to help you schedule, plan and get the most out of your Field Experience.
Teacher Planning Tips
TICKET OPTIONS & TOUR TIMES
Aquarium (2 hours)
Dive into a world-class aquarium adventure featuring 35,000 live fish, mammals, reptiles and birds in an immersive journey through the world’s underwater habitats including colorful coral reefs, tropical coasts, freshwater swamps, steamy rain forests and more.
Wildlife Galleries (1 hour)
Go eye-to-eye with wildlife and discover the greatest collection of record-setting big game animals ever assembled. Completely immersive Wildlife Galleries transport visitors to the wildest places on Earth through meticulously recreated 4-D dioramas that include the realistic sights, sounds and smells of awe-inspiring habitats from North America, Africa and the Arctic.
Combo (4 hours)
Wonders of Wildlife National Museum and Aquarium is one of the largest, most immersive conservation attractions in the world. WOW consists of an all-new 1.5-million-gallon aquarium adventure and immersive wildlife museum that brings visitors eye-to-eye with the greatest collection of record-setting game animals ever assembled. The 350,000 sqft experience celebrates the critical role responsible hunting and fishing plays in wildlife conservation and inspires visitors to enjoy, love and conserve the great outdoors.
Know before you go:
- All tours are self-guided.
- Wonders of Wildlife is a linear experience. Once you enter the Wildlife Galleries you will not be able to exit your tour until the Wildlife Gallery portion is complete. Likewise, once you enter the Aquarium Experience, you will not be able to exit until ending the tour at the gift shop.
- If you are considering a Combo Experience you will have an opportunity to break after your first attraction, before entering the next attraction.
- Wonders of Wildlife is a flash free facility.
Memberships may not be used by any person, student, teacher, chaperone, or otherwise, for a field experience.
Wonders of Wildlife will accept cash, credit card, check or purchase orders for education groups.
Know before you go:
- If paying with cash, please use large bills.
- If paying with a purchase order, please provide a printed out copy at the will call window during check in.
- Refunds will only be evaluated on the day of your visit. Please come prepared with your student and chaperone numbers. Once wristbands have been handed out, if you have received extra, please take the unused wristbands to the Guest Services counter. Refunds will not be granted after your group leaves Wonders of Wildlife.
Pre-K – 1st Grade
2nd – 8th Grade
9th – 12th Grade
Community/Church Youth Groups
1 chaperone per 5 students
1 chaperone per 8 students
1 chaperone per 10 students
1 chaperone per 25 students
1 chaperone per 8 students
2 chaperones per troop
Know before you go:
- Teachers will be included in the chaperone requirement.
- All chaperones must be 21 years or older.
- Chaperones must accompany students at all times. Students are not permitted to explore the Wildlife Galleries, Aquarium, Bass Pro Shops or the Conservation Center unsupervised.
- Chaperones may be teachers, school staff or approved parents and volunteers.
- Additional adults beyond the chaperone ratio will not be included in the reservation as designated chaperones.
- Additional adults attending with the group may purchase general admission tickets at the will call window on the day of the field experience to enter with the school group. A 10% discount on regular priced tickets will be given.
LUNCH SPACE & BOX LUNCHES
Lunch space at Wonders of Wildlife is outdoors on our front lawn near the marlin fountain. There is also a small covered porch to the left of the main entrance of the aquarium. Lunch space is first come first served and does not need to be reserved. Please stay clear of all doors including the employee entrance.
In the case of cold or rainy weather please make arrangements to eat off campus or on your bus as Wonders of Wildlife does not offer an indoor seating area for groups.
Please leave the tables in the lobby available for guests purchasing food at the Fish Tales Café.
Box Lunches through Hemingway’s Blue Water Café
Child Size Box Lunch
Adult Size Box Lunch
Sandwich options: Uncrustables PB & J, Turkey & Cheese or Ham & Cheese
Please place order no less than 72 hours in advance by contacting Hemingway’s Blue Water Café at 417-891-5100
Please call Hemingway’s at 15 minutes prior to your desired lunch time to arrange pick up.
Payment and pick up should be arranged with Hemingway’s only. Wonders of Wildlife is not responsible for ordering, payment, or arranging pick up of box lunches.
REQUESTING A FIELD EXPERIENCE
To avoid congestion with the general public, please plan your visit for a Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday. There will be limited entry for education groups on Monday's, Friday's, Saturday's and Sunday's.
Our field experience requests are granted on a first come first serve basis. For this reason, our request form will ask for 3 dates, in case your first choice is not available. Dates are not guaranteed and are subject to peak season pricing and blackout dates. Processing times vary depending on the volume of requests.
WOW offers 4 arrival times for school groups: 9:00am, 9:15am, 9:30am, 9:45am. If you require a later time due to your travel time, please provide mileage and your preferred time in the additional comments section of the field trip request form.
Click here to request a field experience for your group type. Requests are approved on a first come first serve basis.
The Field Experience is not final until you receive an e-mail with a confirmation number, date & time. Don’t forget to add firstname.lastname@example.org to your contacts.
EXPLORE THE OZARKS FUND
If you need financial assistance for your field experience, please check out the Explore the Ozarks Fund. This grant opportunity through the Community Foundation of the Ozarks and Bass Pro Shops could help with the following:
- Transportation costs for field trips/experiential learning
- Field trip entry costs for students and teachers
- Programming and curriculum design, construction, materials and training.
Student and Chaperone Preparation
Share the Plan: We encourage you to share the itinerary with your students. When students understand what to expect they are less likely to stress, and more likely to learn.
Provide Purpose: Introduce the field experience as part of a lesson. Identify key galleries, or activities that you would like them to observe and participate in.
Ensure Comfort: Students should wear weather appropriate clothing and closed toed shoes. Remember, the floor may be wet from splashing animals.
Introduce Vocabulary: Before your field experience introduce your students to words and ideas that may confuse them.
Make it Fun: Wonders of Wildlife offers a variety of hands on opportunities with animals. Be sure to make them aware so they don’t miss out!
Encourage Safe Exploration: There are many opportunities for crawling and interacting with animals at WOW. Students should obey all posted signage and refer to a staff member when necessary.
Share the Plan: We encourage you to share the itinerary with your chaperones. Include: school arrival time, meeting location, bus departure time, travel time to WOW, meeting location, entry time, lunch location, departure time.
Introduce Students to Their Chaperone and Provide Name Tags: Please have your students broken into their groups prior to arriving at WOW. It’s a great idea to introduce your chaperone to their students in advance so that students and chaperones are clear on who is in their group. It’s also great to provide each person with a name tag.
Review The WOW Code: It’s important that chaperones understand what the student behavior expectations are while here at WOW. Shoot them an e-mail with a link to the WOW Code video as well as any other expectations you have of your own.
Engage Students: If you are visiting to introduce or expand upon a lesson you are learning in your classroom, prepare your chaperones to engage your students in those topics. Advise your chaperones on the galleries you want them to focus on and provide a vocabulary list.
Upon arrival please have the following information ready
- Total number of students
- Number of students in each grade
- Order Number
Know before you go:
- It is the teacher’s responsibility to communicate with all bus drivers so that they enter, exit and park in the correct locations
- If your group brought their own lunches, please coordinate with your bus drivers a lunchtime so they may meet you and get the lunches off of the bus. Wonders of Wildlife does not provide a secure location to put coolers or personal belongings while you tour the facility
- Bus drivers will receive complimentary entry into WOW for the same attraction(s) as your group