Highlights of Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium and More Tips for Omaha Visitors from Zoo Leadership

Highlights of Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium and More Tips for Omaha Visitors from Zoo Leadership

There are so many places for thrills at the Zoo – what about relaxation?

YAW: I have 14 nieces and nephews. When they come to visit, my siblings and I love to sit in the rocking chairs at Adventure Trails and set the kids free to go run, play and learn. It’s a relaxing spot to sit and have a conversation before you go on to the next attraction. Also, in the Lied Jungle, you are surrounded by life, vegetation and the sound of birds. Sometimes I find a bench and just take it all in.

PADILLA: And the Desert Dome is a warm place to explore during the winter.

Where do you go in Omaha for fun, and where do you like to take visitors?

YAW: I could also spend all day talking about food. One of my favorite bakeries is Orsi’s Italian Bakery and Pizzeria. You go in there, and you’re immersed in Italian culture. Get one of those pizzas. When my family drives from six hours away, we always have to have Orsi’s pizza. We also love California Tacos and Johnny’s Café. California Tacos is a low-key place to grab a really good lunch.

Johnny’s Café is a special place to dine and see the history of the Nebraska cattle industry.  As an agricultural state, our farmers markets are awesome. I love going to one on a Saturday or Sunday. To see the variety of farmers selling their products is a cool experience for me having grown up on a farm. In regards to the outdoors, there are so many opportunities at our state parks to connect with nature. Finally, I like to take visitors to hockey games, because we have great hockey here. We have a USHL team and an NCAA Division I team (University of Nebraska Omaha).

Hockey, University of Nebraska

PADILLA: A place I like to fly solo is Archetype Coffee. I get an iced coffee, sit in a chair in the corner and enjoy. That’s my place to escape. I could eat my way through South Omaha. There are loads of authentic small family-owned restaurants. La Poblanita  is one of my favorites. Mercury is one of our local partners. They created an entire menu inspired by the Zoo, the animals and the experiences. 

Cocktail, by MercuryWhen visitors come, after showing them everything at the Zoo and the Lee G. Simmons Conservation Park and Wildlife Safari, where you can drive through the park and see native animal species of Nebraska and more, I like to take them to The RiverFront and show all three parks there. It’s amazing for visitors to see how vibrant and how dynamic it is, how people of all ages are enjoying that space. It makes me proud to tell people, “When you come to Omaha, this is what we’re about.”

The RiverFront, coupleKiewit Luminarium is also an exciting new facility and a great addition to the Omaha scene that’s aligned with the Zoo’s mission in many ways. We’re both inspiring young minds, creating excitement and providing hands-on science exploration. 

Kiewit LuminariumFor more wild fun for the whole family, head to VisitOmaha.com.

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