Natalie just asked me which one is the world’s largest zoo. She was trying to figure out where the most animals are in the world. Because she’s Natalie, and she is animal obsessed. She was pretty excited to learn she’s been there (at least according to Touropia) – it’s Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha. Some are larger in terms of acreage, but Henry Doorly has the acreage + most species (962).
They’ve got the “largest” nearly everything. World’s largest indoor swamp. Largest geodesic dome. Largest indoor desert. World’s largest nocturnal exhibit. Largest cat complex. America’s largest indoor rainforest. Etc.
It’s also the nicest, most easy to navigate zoo we’ve visited. We were there on a sometimes rainy day, but we managed to spend the entire day there because there’s so much inside. And we still didn’t see everything. We didn’t even go near the IMAX, that was all just wandering around time. It would also be easy to still enjoy it when it’s hot. There’s just so much that’s climate controlled and indoors.
I enjoy a zoo very much, but they’re often exhausting. Huge school groups. Screaming, crying kids – sometimes yours, sometimes not. And if you’ve got a baby or toddler, it can be a real pain because they aren’t really designed for strollers (Brookfield Zoo – I’m looking at YOU). But I have to say, the Omaha Zoo was the most delightful zoo experience I’ve ever had. We went on an April day when the kids had some spring break. Zoey was around 6 months. We were able to take her stroller everywhere but inside the butterfly house. It’s so big, that we never felt like we were in a crowd. And sure, I was exhausted at the end of the day, but just because I’d been on my feet walking so much. Not because of lines and crowds and my own children having meltdowns.
As a matter of fact, it’s a good six hours from where we are, but I can easily see us making the trip again. It’s worth it just for the zoo. Plus, our family of 5 could get in for under $50. I don’t know how they do it, but I’m glad they do.
And now you’ll have to excuse me while I try to figure out when I can get back to Omaha. Frankly, that’s not something I thought I’d ever say, yet there you have it.