Zoo Reviews Henry Doorly Zoo Omaha Ne

Science fiction writer Jules Verne told of circling the globe in 80 days, but visitors to Omaha’s Doorly Zoo can make the trip in a single day.

The Henry Doorly Zoo is located at 3701 S 10th Street in the South Omaha neighborhood of the city.

Whether you start your day at the Desert Dome or begin your journey in the Lied Jungle, visitors to the premier zoo can experience all of the climates of the world while enjoying the animals and floral species that live in each of them.

Opened in April of 2002, the Desert Dome quickly became an Omaha landmark. The geodesic doom encloses replicas of three world renowned deserts, including the Namib of Southern Africa, the Red Center of Australia and the Sonoran desert from the Southwest United States.

Visitors enjoy 84,000 square feet of simulated desert space during a visit. Even when snow covers the ground outside its glass walls, the dome continues to generate a desert feel, thanks in part to engineering feats that include trapping warm air at the top of the dome and re-circulating it through the exhibit.

Lied Jungle, near the park’s entrance is the world’s largest indoor rain forest. Since June of 1992, visitors can enjoy walking through a humid, world of vegetation and animal inhabitants. Take a hike on the swaying bridge in the Asian jungle or identify many of the animals that call the South African jungle home.

When you leave the jungle, stroll through the 70-foot long acrylic tunnel at the Scott Aquarium and watch sharks swim overhead. Make the Amazon your next stop and then move on to the Arctic and watch penguins play. You won’t even have to pack your cold weather parkas for this experience. Doorly Zoo has it all and you don’t need a passport to make the trip!

Top off your visit with a ride on the overhead Skyfari, a moving chairlift that carries visitors over the park’s many exhibits. End your visit with a spin on the carousel.

Since 1894, Omaha residents and visitors have enjoyed spending a day at the zoo. Originally known as Riverside Park, the zoo grew slowly until 1963 when Margaret Hitchcock Doorly donated three quarters of a million dollars to improve the facilities. Her one stipulation was that the zoo’s name must be changed to the Henry Doorly Zoo in honor of her husband. Doorly was the chairman of World Publishing.

With the influx of money from the Doorly gift, the zoo began to change. Exhibit after exhibit were added to the grounds. Skyfari is the newest addition to the line up, having opened in 2008.

Admission to the zoo is quite reasonable for the multi-faceted experience guests receive. Children under age 2 are free. Fees for children ages 2 to 11 is $7.50 and adults are charged $11.50. Senior citizens over age 62 pay $10 per visit. The Zoo is open daily 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.