Living in the Omaha area we are lucky to have one of the world’s best zoos, the Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium. It is our #1 tourist attraction in Nebraska and people from all over the world come to visit our zoo. Going to the zoo is a new adventure every time. Sometimes you go and the animals are sleeping and other times they are eating. Each time is different. I have a few tips for making your zoo trip adventurous and practical.
- Get a Membership-Plan on going to the zoo more than once? This is for you. For $126 or $116 if you purchase early, your immediate family can hit the zoo as many times as you want in a year. This is an awesome deal considering the summer rates run about $20 for adults and $14 for kids over 2. This way you can go as many times for a few hours here and there versus staying all day to get your money worth. You also can use your membership for discounts at other zoos around the nation.
- Timing-Get there right when the zoo opens or go after lunch. If you are there when the zoo opens and have a zoo membership, the line does not take long at all. After lunch most people are headed out for the day and the parking opens up and the zoo overall is less crowded.
- Pick two-I let my kids pick two things to do at the zoo each time we go. On the drive down there we take a poll and pick two things to do, a tie breaker is if we have done it recently. This keeps my zoo sanity in check and lets them have a couple of hours of fun.
- Membership Day-Once you made the smart decision to become a member, make sure you do not miss these days. There are two of them and are typically in the last week of July and the first week in August. They are great opportunities to see things that are not offered any other time of the year and the zoo stays open late this day! In the past we have been able to hand feed the giraffes and see the aquarium from the upstairs, to name a few. They also typically give out a free pass for each member for either the train, Skyfari or the tram. These passes can be used this night or on a future visit. Visit the gift shops this day as they offer a great discount for members. Now is your time to stock up on all things zoo!
- Food Tips-Buy the reusable fountain drink cup and keep bringing back for cheap refills. I buy one every year and bring them all back every trip. In the new Children’s Adventure area, they have smaller portions of food that are more reasonable if you have lots of mouths to feed. Show your membership card to save money at the concession stands, members get a discount!
- Ask questions-Those wonderful docents around the zoo and the zoo keepers just love to tell you facts and fun things about the zoo and the animals, all you have to do is ask. Many times they have something fun to show you or an activity to let you partake in.
The Omaha Zoo is a fantastic place to make memories young and old, see some great things and learn a thing or two that you did not know before.
What is your favorite zoo tip?