Karess Carter

Sometimes you just need to get out of town!
Sometimes you just need to get out of town!

For the past couple of years, I’ve worked with the Omaha CVB. They provide me with a hotel room for the weekend, and passes to many attractions in the Omaha area. It has become a great vacation destination for my family. But to be honest, can’t believe how much more fun we have every year, as Rhiannon gets older!

The first year we went, it was my husband, Rhiannon and I. We had a blast, but she was still a little young to really enjoy it as much as we did.

Last summer it was just Rhiannon and I. A mom and daughter weekend. We had so much fun, that I couldn’t even begin to imagine how we would top it. But somehow we managed.

This year I asked the Omaha CVB if I could bring a friend and her kids. So we grabbed my friend Ginny, who has a 3 year old and a baby. Two Moms, three kids, a minivan full of snacks and a weekend of fun!

We knew we wanted so spend a whole day at the Henry Doorly Zoo, so we left early on a Friday morning at the end of March, to get to the zoo by noon. The kids were so excited that all we heard the whole way to Omaha, was which animals we would see, and what we do when got there. To on to the zoo!

As usual, the Henry Doorly Zoo doesn’t disappoint. We had the perfect day to wander around. All we needed was a light jacket and some good shoes. The sun was shining and the animals were out.  But we did have a few disappointments, that I’m pretty sure were due to the early time of the season, and that it was a weekday. The train and the Skyfari were not running. So we had some bummed out kids regarding that. ((Just means we have to go back this summer!)) And the giraffes weren’t out that afternoon either. Which happens to be the kids favorite animals!

The kids are looking at turtles in the Wild Kingdom Pavillion

Watching my favorite --the penguins!

Inside the Aquarium with the sharks!

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The Scott Aquarium is my favorite place in all of Omaha. I could sit in there watching the sharks for hours. Or just walk around checking out the penguins. I just love the atmosphere in there. As did the kids!

Another area we spent a lot of time in was the Hubbard Gorilla Valley. It was fun watching all of the gorillas interact with each other.

Last year when we were at the zoo, there were 5 baby lions that had been born a few months earlier. They aren’t babies anymore! It was fun to see how big they have gotten now! Still just beautiful animals!

Most of the bears weren’t out, which was disappointing. But again we went at the end of March, and the zoo was just getting ready for their big Spring/Summer events to start. They were doing construction on the Desert Dome, but we still got to walk almost all the way through to see everything.

I wish I would have gotten some pictures of the rhinos, as we spent quite a bit of time up near their exhibit watching them.  We did get to see something we had never seen before, and that was when they fed the seals. The kids were delighted to watch them do their tricks and wave to everybody.  Find out more about the Henry Doorly Zoo HERE.

I can honestly say, we have more fun every time we go to the zoo. Rhiannon remembered things from our last trip, had things to tell us about, made great observations, and read the information about the animals to us. In many ways, she became our little tour guide.

By the time the Zoo was ready to close, we were wiped out. We wanted to find the hotel and get some dinner. So we headed for our hotel, The Coco Keys Water Resort. We knew there was a water park there and Rhiannon wouldn’t stop talking about it. When we got to the hotel, we were surprised that there was a note waiting for us.

Omaha hotelWith the note was some flavored popcorn! The kids went nuts. Ginny and I hid one bag just for us. Now we had a chance to walk down to the Water Park and it was very cool. We knew we were too tired to go that first night, but we had to talk Rhiannon into waiting for the next day. It really is cool. See it for yourselves! Check it out HERE.

I really liked the layout of the hotel. Right outside our room was a bar/lounge where I could grab an adult beverage and take it to back to the room after a full day of walking. There was also a coffee bar when was open in the morning for lattes, espressos etc…you know, the stuff I needed to get ready for another big day!

We ordered dinner from The Claimhouse, which was the hotel restaurant. Food was good and it hit the spot. As you can see, there is so much more I need to tell you about in regards to our trip, so this blog will need to be a two-parter! Tomorrow I’ll let you on The Children’s Museum, The Durham Museum and The Amazing Pizza Machine!!

 

One last thing….this morning I overheard Rhiannon telling my husband how we needed to go back to Omaha for more fun. She is obsessed!