"" Writer's Wanderings: Road Trip 2015 - Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo

Monday, November 02, 2015

Road Trip 2015 - Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo

Our drive from North Platte, NE, to Omaha was rainy but not a whole day's worth of driving so we needed to find something to do in Omaha besides have an Omaha steak. Thankful for some LTE connections along the way, I zeroed in on things to do in Omaha and found that one of the best was Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium. Now if you've been reading this blog for a while you know I love zoos. But would the weather clear?

One of the biggest attractions in the zoo is a geodesic dome with a desert environment inside. When I checked our reciprocal zoos from our home zoo membership, Omaha was a go. So at half price, even if we got rained out we could at least see the dome.

As luck would have it, we pulled up to the zoo as the rain was reduced to a misty drizzle and that seemed to be fading. We purchased our tickets and looked at the map and were pleased to see that a lot of the exhibits were indoors. Even if it rained, we would still get to see a lot of the zoo and could hop from building to building if necessary under cover of umbrellas.

There was supposed to be a shark feeding in the aquarium building so we headed there first. There was just enough time to get lunch--a pizza and soft drink and head in to the aquarium. Unfortunately just inside the door a sign informed us that the feeding would not take place. Hmmm. Were the sharks on a diet?

Undaunted we explored the aquarium which was absolutely pristine. I have never seen so many tanks and such great maintenance. There were a few exhibits we'd not seen before like the beautiful orange colored jellyfish. Bob always has to pull me away from the jellyfish tanks. I get mesmerized. They are so relaxing to watch. And we were delighted to find a display of puffins.

We wandered around and into other exhibit buildings leaving the dome for last just in case the gray skies decided to open up again. The Madagascar building brought back memories of our World Cruise trip earlier this year and the rain forest jungle in the Lied's Jungle building put our rain forest exhibit at home to shame. It was amazing. You truly felt like you were walking through a jungle and the exhibits were so well done that you would have thought you were seeing the animals in the wild.

Just as you finish the rain forest, you are invited to continue down another level to the Kingdoms of the Night. Again an amazing exhibit where you walk through an eerie dark swamp and see the creatures of the night as if you were out in the wild with them.

How could the Dome be any better? It wasn't better but it was every bit as good. The building just seemed to go on and on as you wandered the path. The exhibits are from three different desert areas, Africa, Australia and the United States. Wallabys peeked around rocks to look at us. Meerkats scurried and hurried. An ocelot wondered what all the fuss was about. And there were more snakes than I really wanted to see including the rattle snakes we'd managed to avoid in the Badlands.

It couldn't have been a nicer afternoon despite the clouds and drizzle. If you're ever in or passing through Omaha, take some time to visit. It's well worth it.

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