The Omaha Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium is one of the best family attractions, and we are lucky enough to have it right here in Omaha! We have an Omaha Zoo pass and go several times each year. My kids love it, and we always feel like we are on vacation when we visit the zoo!
Read on for some of our favorite Omaha Zoo Tips!
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Tips for Visiting the Omaha Zoo
Highlights of the Omaha Zoo
- The Children’s Adventure Trails, included with regular admission or membership, is an amazing interactive space helping kids learn through play in nature!
- Kids will love the Alaskan Adventure Splash Park, perfect for staying cool on a hot Summer day!
- One of our favorite attractions is the Aquarium with the walk-through tunnel (the penguins are fun to watch, too!)
- The Lied Jungle (with two levels, each offering unique perspectives), Desert Dome, Kingdoms of the Night (below the Desert Dome), and Gorilla Valley are other must-see sights on your visit.
- The African Grasslands, with the Elephant Family Quarters
- Other wonderful exhibits include Bear Canyon (especially during feeding time), and the Butterfly Pavilion (have to park stroller outside). We also always enjoy visiting the Cat Complex, Sea Lions, Rhinos, and Giraffes.
- The IMAX Theater currently has 3 different shows daily, scheduled each hour. Zoo members receive Free IMAX tickets – stop by the IMAX Box Office to pick up your tickets on each visit. It is recommended to pick up or purchase your tickets early even for the later shows, since new releases often sell out. See current shows and schedule here.
- The Infield at the Zoo (located in the parking lot) honors the legacy of Rosenblatt Stadium with the original location of home plate, ability for kids to run the bases, and is an enjoyable gathering space for visitors.
What to Bring to the Omaha Zoo
- Visitors are welcome to bring a lunch (highly recommended), and there are plenty of covered picnic areas to eat. Bags, coolers and wagons are allowed, but no glass containers or alcohol.
- Sunscreen, water, and good walking shoes since there are quite a few hills.
- Strollers – If you have little ones, it is a good idea to bring a smaller stroller for when they get tired (since there is a lot of walking). This will be easier to navigate in the indoor attractions which may be crowded. You can take the stroller with you in all exhibits, except for the Butterfly Pavilion.
Best Times to Visit
- Be sure to plan a full day to see the zoo. There is plenty of free parking, and two entrances in the Summer. The most popular exhibits are located near the main entrance (at the top of the hill).
- Summer – Arrive early in the day, or later in the afternoon for less crowds and cooler weather. On particularly hot days, do your walking while it is cool, then visit indoor exhibits. Monday-Thursday are less busy days. The Kingdoms of the Night, Aquarium, Gorilla Valley, Expedition Madagascar, and Wild Kingdom Pavilion are great places to cool off and enjoy the air-conditioning. There are also spray misters set up around the zoo to help stay cool.
- Winter – Our family loves to visit in the winter! There are many indoor exhibits to enjoy, fewer crowds, and the animals seem to be much more active.
Admission and Special Events
- The Zoo Membership Pass is a fantastic deal – you get admission to the Omaha Zoo AND the IMAX theater, and you can add a season pass to the Wildlife Safari Park! You also receive reciprocal privileges (free or reduced admission) to over 100 zoos nationwide.
- Current Zoo Admission: See here for pricing including IMAX theater.
- Additional costs – Stingray Beach, Budgie Encounter, Tram, Train, Carousel, Skyfari, and IMAX Theater
- Be sure to check the Zoo Calendar to find Special Events held throughout the year to enhance your visit!
Getting to the Zoo
- Enter from I-80, from 13th Street. This can be very busy, with construction at this time.
- Enter the Zoo from the south – Take L Street east, and then go North via 13th Street.
- Enter the Zoo from the north by utilizing the Martha Street Exit.
- If Zoo guests are staying in a nearby hotel, the hotel may offer a shuttle ride to the Zoo.
Omaha Summer Fun Guides
Other Helpful Resources:
We hope you have a wonderful visit to the Omaha Zoo and Aquarium!