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Please visit this article on the new website: Nebraska – Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo

Nebraska – Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo

My family’s pick for our sightseeing stop in Nebraska is also the state’s number one paid attraction–Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo. This is a very nice and very large zoo. If you’ve never heard of it, it might very well be the best zoo you’ve never heard of.

Our first stop was the Butterfly and Insect Pavillion. It is a 2400 sq. ft. pavillion exhibiting butterflies from around the world along with other insects. My kids love butterflies, so this was a must see. One tip–if you want butterflies to land on you, try wearing red or yellow. Check out the beautiful colors on this butterfly.

You can also view the chrysalis chamber where they hatch the butterflies.  Other insects displayed include scorpions and tarantulas.  This bee exhibit (which thankfully was completely enclosed) was fascinating.

Next we took a ride in the Skyfari chairlift ride.

Our favorite part of the ride was when we went right over top of a rhinoceros.

There are also train and tram rides available.  These can be a great way to see some animals without tiring out the little kids who have graduated from strollers but don’t have the stamina to walk all day. And just for fun, there’s a carousel too.

We enjoy seeing all kinds and sizes of animals, everything from the big elephants…

to an equally intimidating little skunk.

The penguin exhibit in the Scott Aquarium is a great place to cool off for a few minutes.

The Desert Dome is the world’s largest indoor desert.  Walking around inside the dome, it really does feel like you are out in the desert.

Underneath the dome is The Kingdom’s of the Night, the world’s largest nocturnal exhibit. It includes wet and dry caves as well as a nighttime swamp exhibit. Cool stuff. The exhibits are extremely well done.

The Henry Doorly Zoo has more exhibits than we had time to visit.  Others include the Lied Jungle, North America’s largest indoor rainforest; Expedition Madagascar; Hubbard Orangutan Forest;  and Hubbard Gorilla Valley. If the animals don’t keep you busy enough, there’s an IMAX theater there also. If you’re looking for a fantastic zoo and a destination in Nebraska, this is it.

Would you like to visit yourself?

Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo
3701 S. 10th Street, Omaha, NE 68107
(402) 733-8400

Open year-round, except Christmas Day

March 1 through October 31: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. daily. Buildings stay open until 6 p.m.

November 1 through February 28: 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. daily.  Buildings stay open until 5 p.m.


Children (2 and under): FREE
Children (ages 3 – 11): $9.00
Adults (ages 12 and over): $13.50
Seniors (ages 65 and over): $12.50



6 comments to Nebraska – Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo

  • Jody Becker

    I second this! Well worth the trip. My daughter’s scout troop did an overnight here. We spent the night in the aquarium building. It was a neat experience!

  • Looks like a great zoo. I’d be afraid of that skunk!

  • OK, the chairlift alone is enough to convince me to go. We value going to zoos tremendously when on vacation (especially since our membership helps get into other zoos), so we will make sure to look this one up when in Nebraska!

  • Terri

    An overnight in the aquarium sounds fun! The chairlift was very cool because it went over the animals. The Milwaukee Zoo has a chairlift too and you can see animals, but you don’t go over them.

  • Agreed–it’s an excellent zoo, though I don’t believe the elephants are there any more. If they were there when we visited in August, we somehow missed them completely!

  • Terri

    Linda – you are right. I did some research. The elephants are gone for now. I found this article: We were there in 2010 before one of them died. The other was relocated to Cleveland Zoo. According to the Henry Doorly Zoo website, the elephants will return: “Phase 1 – Expansion of the existing giraffe exhibit will include antelope species. This phase will include new state-of-the-art elephant and cheetah habitats replacing dated hoofstock and zebra enclosures and a new hippo exhibit, event lawn and expanded and enhanced Garden of the Senses.”