September 29, 2014

Lincoln Children’s Zoo

Today’s another installment in a series about Lincoln, Neb. Read the entire trip recap here.

No trip to Lincoln with kids is complete without a stop to the Lincoln Children’s Zoo. The lines between petting zoo and full-blown zoo are blurred here, making a child’s experience all the better.

One of the first animals to greet you when you enter the Lincoln Children's Zoo.

One of the first animals to greet you when you enter the Lincoln Children’s Zoo.

 

During our whirlwind 24-hour trip to the city, we decided to visit one early Sunday morning. It’s a small enough zoo to plan a morning visit and finish in time for a kid’s nap time… if that’s a factor in planning trips.

 

Favorite parts

My favorite aspect of this zoo is the pretty meandering path from exhibit to exhibit. Trees and landscaping made it difficult to see what was around the bend, making each turn an adventure for my kids.

Checking out the flamingos at the zoo.

Checking out the flamingos at the zoo.

It’s really a nice place to stroll – and you can really get up close to the animals.

High five the zoo residents.

High five the zoo residents.

The zoo’s strengths are its hands-on activities, particularly the animal encounters. Mooch loved touching all the animals.

Mooch hit the jackpot with the Critter Outpost, a booth with young volunteers showing some fuzzy, feathery creatures.

Mooch hit the jackpot with the Critter Outpost, a booth with young volunteers showing some fuzzy, feathery creatures.

 

The only drawback to these hands-on activities, were that the encounters were a little too close. Farley – being our bouncy, vibrating-with-energy, Farley – accidentally stepped backward onto one of the lizards on the floor. I was about ready to resign from zoo visits.

Better to have the animals on a table than on a floor...at least when my kids are around.

Better to have the animals on a table than on a floor…at least when my kids are around.

 

Kids can have the opportunity to feed goats and other critters (like a camel), for a small fee, and they can also pay to ride ponies.

Feeding time is all day here.

Feeding time is all day here.

 

There are also small play areas for children scattered throughout the zoo. Sometimes kids just need to climb around like one of the animals, right?

Zoo Collage

Climbing, jumping and sliding are on tap for young zoo visitors.

As for the rest of the zoo, a lot of the exhibits were designed to get youngsters as close as possible to animals. There are also regularly scheduled activities with animals, so during our morning visit, we got to watch the penguins dine on fish.

It was fun to watch the keeper feed the penguins - they each have names and she keeps track of all of them. The crowd had fun trying to keep track of the names, too.

It was fun to watch the keeper feed the penguins – they each have names and she keeps track of all of them. The crowd had fun trying to keep track of the names, too.

 

There is a train to ride at the zoo, but I was disappointed in its route. It circled the outside of the zoo, barely giving you a chance to see animals from a different view.

Family selfie on the train.

Family selfie on the train.

Regardless, the kids loved it, and the tunnel the train goes through seemed to be exciting for them.

This is largely an outdoor zoo – so it’s only open from early spring to late fall. And if you visit during less-than-wonderful weather, you have just a handful options for indoor hideouts (Animal Kingdom being your best bet). We were there during a rainstorm and you just have to make do.

There is a place to buy food and enjoy it outside near a playground and a large dinosaur dig pit (yay for sand! – not). Like most zoos, you’re not going to find a ton of health foods, but there were fruit and vegetable options.

 

If you go

Where: 1222 S. 27th, Lincoln, Neb.

When: Open daily, April 9 to October 19,  2014, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., including holidays

Admission: Adults, 13-61, $8.95; children 2-12 and seniors, 62+, $7.95; children 1 and younger, FREE. Tip for Omaha zoo members – your zoo membership gets you 50% off admission at the Lincoln zoo! Take advantage of it.

Lincoln Zoo 3

 

More About Lincoln, Nebraska:

Sept. 824 Hours Of Fun In Lincoln With Kids

Sept. 16Lincoln Children’s Museum

Sept. 23Things To Do Near Lincoln Children’s Museum

Sept. 29 – Lincoln Children’s Zoo

Oct. 7 – Things to Do Near Lincoln’s Zoo (Sunken Gardens, Antelope Park)

 

More from Oh My! Omaha

What you need to know about reciprocal memberships

My Nebraska Bucket List

What’s Kid-Friendly In Lincoln’s Haymarket

 

Comments

  1. I do appreciate the fact that you seem to really be able to experience the animals close-up. I love all of the animal encounters that they have now.

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