December 8, 2014

Tropical Escapes In Omaha

Sooner or later, the reality of a Nebraska winter will set in: OMG, it’s cold outside.

Winter and I don’t go well together. I wish I had a rainy day fund large enough to send me to the tropics each winter, but I don’t.

I have to find closer escapes, something indoors.

Tropical settings in Omaha

 

Visitors check out the  tropical house inside the new Marjorie K. Daugherty Conservatory at Lauritzen Gardens. Photo courtesy Lauritzen Gardens

Visitors check out the tropical house inside the new Marjorie K. Daugherty Conservatory at Lauritzen Gardens. Photo courtesy Lauritzen Gardens

Lauritzen Gardens – Our local botanical gardens has the new kid on the block, Marjorie K. Daugherty Conservatory, the huge glass structure with a 10-foot waterfall inside and a variety of gardens including tropical gardens with soaring palms and vibrant flowers and temperate gardens with moss-covered oak trees and blooming azaleas. I haven’t visited yet, but you can bet I’ll be by sometime this winter.

 

The Lied Jungle inside Omaha's zoo is as close as you're going to get to an exotic escape without leaving the city. Photo courtesy Nebraska Tourism

The Lied Jungle inside Omaha’s zoo is as close as you’re going to get to an exotic escape without leaving the city. Photo courtesy Nebraska Tourism

 

Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium – This one is a favorite of mine to visit each winter (read my post about 5 Things To Do At The Zoo In The Winter). If you want to go tropical, consider the humid indoor rainforest just a few paces from the zoo’s main entrance. You’ll find the roaring 50-foot waterfall, and if you head to the lower level, a dirt trail that helps you feel like you’re less in a zoo and more out in the wild. For an even hotter escape, the Desert Dome is your destination. You can also make a dash for the butterfly exhibit, but I’m a wimp with cold weather, and that’s a bit too far from the entrance for my liking.

 

Floating at CoCo Key. Photo courtesy Nebraska Tourism

Floating at Coco Key. Photo courtesy Nebraska Tourism

 

Coco Key Water Resort Omaha – The 60,000 square foot water resort has a tropical theme, complete with a “river” to tube on. It’s located inside the Ramada Plaza Omaha Hotel and Convention Center. I haven’t actually been here – I’ve heard positive and negative about the place, but it still sounds awfully tempting when it’s- 5 degrees outside with 20 mph winds.

 

The Passage Way is picturesque to explore any time of the year, but definitely check it out in December.

The Passageway is picturesque to explore any time of the year, but definitely check it out in December.

 

The Passageway – OK, fine. This isn’t a tropical setting, but it does feel like you’re in another city when you walk into The Passageway, one with sidewalk cafes, moss hanging from buildings and curious shops down alleys (and by alleys, I mean hallways). Maybe it’s a stretch to have it on this list, but it is a warm, indoor setting where you can stroll around and explore different shops.

 

Tropical settings near Omaha

The greenhouse at Mahoney State Park is a nice escape from the cold.

The greenhouse at Mahoney State Park is a nice escape from the cold.

 

Mahoney State Park greenhouse – If you find yourself at the nearby state park, head over to the greenhouse. It’s hot and humid inside the small conservatory, and there’s a nice little pond to check out. It’s a bit of a drive just to visit the greenhouse, though, so don’t make a special trip just to see it because it’s tiny. Work it into a trip – read about my tips on what to do at Mahoney State Park in the winter here.

 

Your turn: What’s missing from this list? Where do you go in the winter to escape the winter winds?

 

More from Oh My! Omaha

Mahoney State Park In The Winter

Exploring Platte River State Park In The Off-Season

50 Holiday Activities To Do In Omaha

Comments

  1. I still haven’t been in The Passageway after having lived here for 2 years… I need to change that!

  2. OOOOhhh….I really could use a tropical escape this year! But I too have a fundage issue..or lack of. LOL I have yet to visit Lauritzen gardens and Mahoney.. Just might have to make a day date with the hubby!

    Shelly@minettesmaze

  3. I L-O-V-E the aquarium in the winter. And hey! I was just at Mahoney and forgot they had a greenhouse. I have to remember for next time. Excellent, as always.

  4. I really enjoy the spa at Coco Key….(I bring my dacquiri with me – don’t tell). Haven’t done the Lauritzen Gardens Greenhouse yet, but my son is dying to see the Venus Fly Trap they said would have when it was open.

Speak Your Mind

*

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.