My First Time in Omaha
My family and I wanted to go on a quick trip that was close to Kansas City and had something fun to do. We all like the musical Wicked and the Omaha Zoo has a great reputation so we scheduled our adventure for when the show was in town. This was also our first time staying in an AirBnB (which we made sure was pet-friendly).
Our Temporary Home
This tiny home was very cute and comfortable. It was much better than staying in a hotel and it allowed us to bring our spoiled puppy princess, Lily.
We hung out on the front porch and showed the kids the wonders of being outside and not staring at a screen.
Lily loved/despised the squirrels that lived in the trees in front of the house.
Wicked has been on stage for 20 years and millions of theater-goers have escaped to Oz for 3 hours. I can't say anything new that hasn't already been said about this awesome musical. It's a great time and I recommend that you go see it when it comes to your city (or make it a road-trip).
Five ruby red slippers! It'll blow you away... like a tornado... you know the one lol.
Omaha Zoo Review
The Omaha Zoo is known for being a good zoo so I went in with high expectations. While not a huge zoo, it offers a variety of locations such as Sea Lion Shores, Asian Highlands, African Grasslands, Desert Dome, Butterfly and Insect Pavilion, Aquarium and more.
The Desert Dome, housed inside a geodesic dome, recreates 3 desert biomes: Namib Desert, The Red Center of Australia and Sonoran Desert. The dome was impressive and seemed very large when we were inside. My wife and daughter were creeped out by the venomous snakes in the Namib Desert but I enjoyed them. Australia features wallabies so be sure to look for them. The final desert, the Sonoran Desert, houses peccaries which look like warthogs but aren't. Check out the picture below.
The Asian Highlands was one of my favorite parts of the Omaha Zoo because of the architecture and the animals. They went all out to make this part of the park to feel "Asian" with enclosure designs and signs. I was very impressed by the tiger while my daughter squealed when she saw the adorable red pandas. The sloth bear and snow leopards are worth your time as well.
We donned our safari hats and toured the African Grasslands next. We thought the giraffe exhibit was fun because watching them eat leaves from the tall trees was entertaining. We watched the elephants for a bit but unfortunately we missed the baby elephants because they were inside. One of zookeepers said that the Omaha Zoo has the only baby elephants in the United States right now.
Suzanne and Walter Scott Aquarium
Let me start off by saying that the Aquarium was my favorite part of the Omaha Zoo. I love watching the sea life swim around because it's relaxing and many of the creatures are beautiful. If you like multi-colored fish like I do, the Suzanne and Walter Scott Aquarium is a must-see. My top pick in the Aquarium is the jellyfish exhibit while the rest of my family vote for the penguins.
Hubbard Gorilla Valley
Gorillas fascinate me. There's so much intelligence in their eyes that I can't help but wonder what they're thinking as they watch us as we inspect them. The gorillas are a popular exhibit at the zoo so you might need to wait a minute or two so that you can get up close to the glass and see them in all of their glory. The Gorilla Valley is a little small but definitely worth the visit on your zoological journey.
Berniece Grewcock Butterfly and Insect Pavilion
The Butterfly Pavilion is the most tranquil section of the Omaha Zoo. Hundreds of multi-colored butterflies float past you and land on plant life right before your eyes. Be sure to have your camera at the ready in this part of the zoo. I could've stayed longer but we had to move on!
Omaha Zoo Verdict
Overall, I loved the zoo and I would recommend it. My two biggest complaints are that some of the exhibits were closed (expansion? repairs?) and that only one place to eat was open in the whole zoo which is very inconvenient when it's lunchtime and you're on the other side of the zoo. If you're ever in the Omaha area, definitely check out the zoo.