3 Reasons to Visit Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo During Winter Hours

We bought our zoo membership from the Henry Doorly Zoo in March. We just now used it this week. We have had issue after issue personally, that kept us from taking a day in Omaha. But I couldn't be happier with our eventual decision to visit the World's BEST zoo in late November. Here's why:

1) The animals are so happy to see you. If you want animals that will pay attention to you paying attention to them, winter time is where it's at. Sitting down to our picnic lunch upon arriving, we were accosted by a swarm of friendly peacocks, small birds, and other flying creatures who wanted some of our lunch. They were like having a dozen or more small dogs waiting under the table for scraps. It was adorable.

Likewise, the indoor and larger animal exhibits had interested gorillas, and even meerkats who came to you to see what was going on. It was a much more interactive experience, for sure!

2) There are fewer people. If you've ever been to the zoo on a Saturday, during the summer, you know that it can get shoulder to shoulder in some of the most popular exhibits. We were one of just a handful of families in each building that day, meaning we had all the time we wanted to leisurely stroll through, allow the children to ask questions, and see what we wanted for as long as we wanted. We were the ONLY ones in a few of the exhibits!

3. We saw a different side of the zoo. With shorter days and a setting sun happening earlier, we were able to see the animals in a different part of their daily life than usual. We were able to witness several feedings right before the zoo closed (around 4pm), and - because the buildings stayed open until 5pm - we were witness to some fun training exercises, too (like this fox!)

Have you ever seen a VERY active sloth? We did! And the bats were going crazy around the time we were there, meaning that we actually bumped into a few of them (literally) when strolling along the Rainforest floor!

We thoroughly enjoyed our day at the zoo, and I wouldn't hesitate to go back during a chillier day. I love the zoo in the summer, when all the exhibits are open, the carousel is running, and the concessions stands are offering their full menus. But the time we have during the colder months really can't compare; it's a most intimate experience, one that is easier for families with small children, large families, and families with special needs that require strollers, wheelchairs, or scooters. We cherish our fall and winter visits!

For zoo hours, especially during the winter months, check out the Omaha Henry Doorly Zoo website. I'm sure they would be happy to welcome your family this winter, too!