11 Reasons to Visit Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo

I’ve been lucky enough to live just 10 minutes from Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo, for pretty much my entire life. Over the years it has grown in size, gotten face lifts, and acquired new species. Making it one of the Top 10 Zoos to visit in the United States, and most recently being named the #1 Zoo in the World by TravelZoo!!

There are lots of fantastic reasons to visit Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and I wanted to share my favorites. Whether you live in the Omaha metro, or are planning a vacation, here are 11 Reasons to Visit Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo!

(PS: This post is almost 4 years old and is long over due for an update as there are at 11 NEW reasons to visit Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo. Look for part two coming soon!)

Plan a Visit Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo

11 Reasons to Visit Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo

1) Hubbard Orangutan Forest 

With two 65ft man-made trees, the Hubbard Orangutan Forest is a great place to watch the monkeys play. Most of the time they are out playing and making all sorts of noise. Last time we were there it must have been bath day or doctor visits because they were all MIA.

See monkeys when you Visit Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo

 2) Hubbard Gorilla Valley 

You are never short on entertainment at Hubbard Gorilla Valley. They run right up and pound on the mirrors, chase each other around, and enjoy their lunch for all to see. This is an amazing exhibit that sits on three acres to give the gorillas plenty of space to roam.

See Gorillas when you Visit Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo

 3) Rides: Skyfari, Train, Camels, and Carousel

Take a ride on the Skyfari and get an ariel view of the zoo. You will go over giraffes, cheetahs, and more and I’ve heard it’s pretty awesome. The kids and hubster love it, but I’m not a big fan of being in the above large, human eating animals, and possible dropping in and becoming lunch. I think it’s just me because there is always a line. There are also Camel Rides, a Train, and a Carousel for some mobile fun at the zoo!

Rides to experience when you Visit Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo

4) Lied Jungle 

This is as close as you can get in Nebraska to a natural rain forest environment. It is all indoors and we like to save it for the hottest part of the day during the Summer. There are tons of different animals, waterfalls, fun passageways, and more to enjoy inside the Lied Jungle.

Stop in the Lied Jungle when you Visit Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo

5) Scott Aquarium 

Walk under swimming sharks, watch penguins play, and even touch different animals in feeling tanks in the Scott Aquarium. I love when they have member days and you can go behind the scenes, well, technically above the scenes, and watch as they feed the sharks, fish, and turtles.

Go to the aquarium when you Visit Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo

6 ) Desert Dome 

If you have ever wondered what it is like in the desert, the Desert Dome gives you that experience. The worlds largest indoor desert, the Desert Dome is home to plant life and animals from three deserts around world. Below the desert, you will find Kingdoms of the Night, which is the worlds largest nocturnal exhibit. It scares the pants off of me every time. Especially the alligators.

 7) Berniece Grewcock Butterfly and Insect Pavilion 

Go right inside a tropical environment and surround yourself with free flying butterflies. There are so many beautiful and colorful butterflies inside. You do have to be careful when you enter and leave, as to not take any of the pretty butterflies with you. You won’t just find butterflies though, there are tons of other insects that give me the heebie jeebies.

Walk with butterflies when you Visit Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo

8) Feed the Budgees

The twins LOVE to stop and feed the Budgees when we go. You can buy little popsicle sticks covered and bird food and they will come right up and eat of your stick.

Feed Budgees when you Visit Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo

9) Stingray Beach

Newly opened, Stingray Beach is a touch tank with stingrays! I haven’t gotten the chance to visit myself, it was closed the last time we went, but I have heard great things from friends that have been. Hopefully soon I can share more details but it’s already making it onto the list.

10) African Grasslands 

The African Grasslands are now open and a must visit! A full immersion outdoor habitat featuring breathtaking panoramic views and long vistas of grasslands teeming with African wildlife and it’s everything we hoped it would be. Some of the wildlife had never been seen before at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium! Enjoy unobstructed view of the animals thanks to grasses, acacia-like trees, rock kopjes (granite boulders set in the open savanna) and minimal barriers. A sit down viewing area to watch the elephants, a place to feed giraffes, new restrooms, food service and visitor activities are also in African Grasslands.

Feeding giraffes at the zoo! #zoo #Omaha #henrydoorlyzoo #giraffe #giraffes #nomnomnom #vegitarian

A post shared by Lisa Collins (@momontheside) on

11) Photo Opps

You will also find tons of places to take great photos! I hope you will come and visit Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo one of these days! You’ll find some great photo opps near the Garden of Verses, Bear Canyon, and near the main entrance.

 What are your favorite animals to see at the zoo?


Photo Opps to take when you Visit Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo

28 Replies to “11 Reasons to Visit Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo”

  1. What a wonderful zoo to live close to. We love to visit new zoos when traveling, but haven't been to Omaha yet. Putting it on my list for when we have occasion to be in the area.

  2. I always love visiting zoos. This one looks like an excellent one, I love the Lied Jungle exhibit. I am putting this on my travel bucket list!

  3. I love seeing gorillas in person. They are huge but so cute. Sounds like you guys had a great time. Thanks for sharing the great family photos.

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