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October 2, 2006
Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo was selected by Family Fun magazine as the best family zoo in the country a few years ago, and I think they have the right idea. Located in the Midwest, the zoo has to contend with at least 5 months of cooler, if not COLDER weather, and it has developed some attractions that makes this zoo attractive year-round. There is the Leid Jungle, a two-level indoor tropical rainforest. My kids love it—birds and monkeys roam free, and many animals can be seen in their natural habitats, not cages. In the middle of the winter, it is always a treat to take a walk in the balmy tropical humidity. The Desert Dome and the Kingdom of the Night exhibits share space in a huge Geodisic dome—the Kingdoms of the night is like taking a trip in a huge underground cave—it takes a while for your eyes to adjust to the dark, but once you do—wow! You see bats and other nocturnal animals in their own homes. There is a replica of a swamp, complete with a shack and alligators. The desert dome is just that—an indoor replica of a desert habitat. There is a gorilla exhibit that is enclosed too. Another feather in the Zoo's cap is the aquarium—there is a really neat penguin exhibit, and an underwater tunnel running through an immense fish tank—sharks, rays and other fish surround you as you walk through it. It is really a work of art.
During the summer, there are also all kinds of great outdoor exhibits - too many to list in a 500 word essay. It is not the easiest zoo to navigate with small children, though. A lot of walking is involved in a visit there, and there are many steep hills. There is a tram, however, that is available—as of right now, it costs 25 cents to travel from one stop to the next—definitely worth it if you have little ones and a stroller. Admission to the zoo costs no more than a family trip to the movies (speaking of movies, there is an IMAX theater there too - what a way to embellish an already great experience!) This zoo is wonderful, for Omaha natives and tourists alike!
From journal Yes, Omaha is a Great Place to Visit!
park city, Kansas
March 29, 2010