October 5, 2015

Omaha’s Zoo Spooktacular 2015+ Giveaway

Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium’s Spooktacular is Oct. 17 through Nov. 1 on select nights.

Before you get excited: The animals will not be trick or treating. AND, animals won’t hand out the treats.

I checked.

Photo courtesy Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium

Photo courtesy Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium

Your kids can trick or treat, though. And some people will be dressed up like animals. So, close enough, right?

What is it?

It’s more than trick-or-treating at the zoo, though there’s plenty of that on Treat Street. There are fall-themed games and activities. Lots of photo ops with costumed characters at Storybook Lane.

The dance area at Spooktacular. Photo courtesy Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium

The dance area at Spooktacular. Photo courtesy Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium

And, of course, animals.

We’ve always wanted to go to Omaha’s zoo Spooktacular, and I’ve got it on my calendar to finally get there. Thank you so much to the zoo for inviting my family! It’s going to be a memorable night!

An animal ambassador at the Zoo Spooktacular. Photo courtesy Omaha's Henry Dooryly Zoo & Aquarium

An animal ambassador at the Zoo Spooktacular. Photo courtesy Omaha’s Henry Dooryly Zoo & Aquarium

How about you? Want to go?

Giveaways

Head over to the Oh My! Omaha Facebook page for details on how to win! One person will win a family four-pack of passes to the 2015 Spooktacular. Facebook giveaway will end Wednesday, Oct. 7 at 11:59 p.m.

Want a second chance to win? One Oh My! Omaha subscriber will be randomly drawn to win a family four-pack to the Spooktacular as well! I’ll draw one name on Thursday, Oct. 15, after the weekly email has been sent out.

You don’t get my weekly email? Just click this link and sign up for FREE.

If you go

 

Spooktacular fun in front of the Desert Dome. Photo courtesy Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium

Spooktacular fun in front of the Desert Dome. Photo courtesy Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium

 

Spooktacular

When: Oct. 17, 18, 23, 24, 25, 30, 31 and Nov. 1 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Where: Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium, 3701 S. 10th St.

Cost: $7 for zoo members and $8 for non-members.

 

 

Disclaimer: Giveaway on Facebook ends Oct. 7, 2015. Giveaway for subscribers ends Oct. 15, 2015. Must be 18 or older to enter and a U.S. resident. Prize is valued at $32. One winner’s name will be randomly chosen using Random.org for the giveaway on Facebook (not associated or endorsed with Facebook). One name from the Oh My! Omaha subscriber list will be randomly selected using Random.org. Winners will be contacted via email within 24 hours of the end of the giveaway. Winners will have 48 hours to respond before another name is drawn. Good luck!

September 4, 2013

Healthy Food At The Omaha Zoo

I love Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium. I could spend all day there. My kids could spend all day there. We don’t, that’d be beyond tiring with young children, but you see where I’m going with this? The zoo is all-day fun.

Picnics at the zoo in Omaha are always popular - as seen here "dining" with the family on the grass back in 2011 - but the health nuts and veg lovers out there have options, if you choose to purchase food there.

Picnics at the zoo in Omaha are always popular – as seen here “dining” with the family on the grass back in 2011 – but the health nuts and veg lovers out there have options, if you choose to purchase food there.

So you’re going to get hungry there. If calories and gluten and fat are welcome in your diet, you’re going to enjoy yourself. If you have a special diet – say vegetarian or low-fat – you’ll be limited on choices, but you will have choices.

Healthy food options at the Omaha zoo

1. Best bet: The Durham Tree Top Cafe located in the Lied Jungle building. It’s my favorite place anyway, since it’s has a wall of windows overlooking the indoor rainforest. It also gives you the most options for healthy food. Salads and wraps being the best, though vegetarians (and kids at heart) can also get grilled cheese.

I checked with the zoo, and they too agree that the Durham Tree Top Cafe offers the most selection.

“Our Treetop restaurant offers the most variety with the following: Tossed salads, a vegetarian spring mix salad, a spinach and wild berries salad, and and veggie wraps,” Dawn Patterson, Food & Beverage Manager, wrote to me in an email. “We also offer an oriental chicken salad, blue cheese steak salad, turkey cobb, chef (and) grilled chicken salad. We also offer a grilled chicken sandwich and turkey wraps.”

2. Food stands: You’ll find very limited “meal” options, few are going to please your nutritionist. Patterson pointed out several locations with healthier alternatives in food, though. “Our Qwest and Silverback concession stands offer turkey wrap, chef salads and tossed salads,” she said. “We have a quick stop portable open weekends only in our Hubbard Gorilla Valley Lookout that offers the same as well during our summer months. Gluten Free is becoming a big part of everyday menus and we are working on a few options other than what we have right now.”

Vegetarian options

1. Food stands – Your options will be limited all over the zoo. At most other stands, your choice is limited to one or two of these: Fries, popcorn, cookies and maybe peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. As Patterson pointed out, you can find salads at the Qwest and Silverback concession stands, too.

Vegetarian meals are not abundant, but food options are available if you plan well.

Vegetarian meals are not abundant, but food options are available if you plan well.

2. Desserts around the zoo are, as you might expect, also options. You’ll find frozen malts, soft serve ice cream, chocolate frozen bananas and sno cones, for example.

 The zoo has its own rundown here.

What do I eat when we’re there? If we dine at the Tree Top Cafe, I usually get a veggie wrap. The food stands are extremely limiting for me. I usually end up noshing on fries; not a meal, does fries make. I’m happiest when we bring a picnic. If you’re coming in from out of town and don’t have that kind of option, there’s a Jimmy John’s near the zoo (gluten-free option: the unwich) as well as a gas station with some snack choices.

There is more healthy options to come, according to Patterson. “We are looking at adding a veggie burger for 2014 along with a possible fish option.”

July 15, 2013

Free Activities To Do At Omaha’s Zoo

My family never gets bored visiting Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium. Just not possible at Omaha’s zoo.

But, it never hurts to spice things up. I mean, really, how many times can you watch your kid lick the glass at the penguin exhibit before you decide surely there’s got to be something else she could be doing at this moment?

Being a Pinterest devotee (to a fault, if you ask my husband), I found some wonderful and FREE activities to do at Omaha’s zoo. Check it out (and while I’ve got Pinterest on your mind, why don’t you swing on over and follow me? Click here.)

Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium Activity Guides

One of the many printables available on the Omaha zoo's website.

One of the many printables available on the Omaha zoo’s website.

First thing’s first, head to the zoo’s resource page to find guides specific to Omaha’s zoo. There are activity booklets you can print out for visiting the aquarium, for instance, or for temporary exhibits, like the log book tied to the “Dinosaurs Alive” exhibit. There are 13 links to guides there!

Zoo Bingo

Here are free zoo bingo printables from Mother’s Niche suitable for the younger crowd.

Mom It Forward has a different free zoo printable that’s good for a little older kiddos.

Zoo Scavenger Hunt

This scavenger hunt from Teaching’s a Hoot asks kids to find specific things, like an animal with a feather (so it helps if your child can read).

Blues Skies Ahead has a great scavenger hunt that helps with spelling and letter recognition (fun and learning, jackpot).

My favorite hunt of the bunch comes from Dating Divas (who got it from guest blogger, Sierra, from The Blue Robin Cottage. First thing’s first, she has a fun DIY binoculars tip that you’ll want to make for/with your kids.  Her hunt involves clues for each animal and it looks like it would be so much fun! Check it out.

Journal

Encourage reflection after your visit or while taking a rest break. Ready-Set-Read has a zoo journal page great for budding writers. It’s good on its own, but also part of a zoo themed pack, completely free and printable. There’s a lot in there from animal movement cards, animal number sorting game and early reader books.

No Printer Required Zoo Activities

–          Bring old bread and popcorn to feed the koi – Always a favorite with my kids

–          Let your kids take pictures and see the zoo through their eyes

–          Bring binoculars (real or the homemade kind with toilet paper rolls)