on March 29, 2010
My family loves visiting zoos. Whenever we travel, we always make it a point to visit the local zoo. We’ve been to over 20 different zoos. And out of all of them, the Omaha Zoo is the best.If you visit the Omaha Zoo, bring some good walking shoes and plan for a full day. There is so much to see that you could almost spend two days at the zoo. And, there will be lots of walking involved. If you don’t get there early enough, you will have a long walk from a parking spot to the front gate, and there are long lines of people waiting to pay admission. This is what happened with us, so I dropped everyone off to get in line, and went to park, very far away. Already the good walking shoes were coming in handy. By the time I got up to the gate, my family was still in line and we still had another 20 minutes of waiting to pay and get in.The admission fees are slightly hirer than other zoos, but we used our reciprocal zoo membership to get a discount. There is also an IMAX theater in the zoo which costs extra, but they do have Zoo/IMAX Combo packages, which is what we purchased. Make sure to get a map on your way in too, you’ll need it.We were also given a small card with a timeframe that we would be able to visit the new Butterfly/Insect pavilion. Apparently since the exhibit was fairly new they were staggering visitors in, which I thought was a good idea. The Desert Dome is one of the most visible parts of the zoo, and it is billed as the world’s largest indoor desert. It’s a huge dome, 13 stories tall, with a path that you walk through. The dome is climate controlled and houses all kinds of animals and insects. While there are some pretty cool things to see inside the dome, for me the dome itself was more impressive.One of my favorite parts of the zoo was the aquarium. There was a very nice penguin exhibit, where we stood for a long time watching the penguins and taking pictures. There was also a shark tunnel at the bottom of a 17-foot exhibit where we felt like we were on the ocean floor, surrounded by coral and sharks and stingrays overhead and on two sides. There was also an octopus exhibit, as well as an interactive place where my kids could touch a small stingray. The Jungle Exhibit was great as well, and it was billed as the world’s largest indoor rainforest. You walk through several different types of rainforests and get to see animals close up while walking on a trail. Next to the Jungle exhibit is the Tree Tops restaurant, which had cafeteria style food. In the dining area one entire wall was made out of glass so that you can watch the animals while you eat your food. The food was a little pricey, but it was convenient and the view of the jungle animals while you eat was a unique experience.There were so many other great things to see and do at this zoo. The Gorilla exhibit, the Lion-Tiger exhibit, the Orangutan exhibit, and the IMAX theater. Everything we visited was top notch. The only problem was that we only had about ½ to ¾ of a day and we didn’t get to see everything. However, we really want to plan another trip and spend a couple of days there, which is not something you can say about a lot of zoos.
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