Groups exploring “the best of” Nebraska’s Gateway to the West will want to dedicate the better part of a day to visiting the fantastic Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium, a world-class zoological park opened in 1894, nationally renowned for its leadership in animal conservation and research. The Zoo, home to more than 17,000 animals across nearly 1000 species features scores of remarkable exhibits, including the largest cat complex in North America, the world’s largest nocturnal exhibit and indoor swamp, one of the world’s largest indoor rainforests, the world’s largest indoor desert, and is home to the largest glazed geodesic dome on the planet! This magnificent 130-acre tribute to the animal kingdom is Nebraska’s number one attraction, having welcomed more than 25 million visitors over the past 40 years. An all-day rides pass gets you around the grounds in style: hop the Zoo train and ride the rails, grab a bird’s eye view on “Skyfari,” take a turn back in time with a spin on Sue’s old-fashioned Wildlife Carousel , or sit back and explore from your comfy seat on the Tram; if you’re feeling extra-brave and want to plunk down a five-spot, there’s even a camel with your name on it! The residents of Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom Pavilion, Kingdoms of the Night, Exhibition Madagascar, the Berniece Grewcock Butterfly and Insect Pavilion, Hubbard Orangutan Forest, Durham Family Bear Canyon and the Lied Jungle await your rapt audience; if these don’t intrigue you, how about a close encounter at Stingray Beach, a prowl through Cat Complex, a trek through the unforgiving Desert Dome or a walk on the bottom of the ocean beneath a tunnel of ravenous, circling sharks at the Suzanne and Walter Scott Aquarium? The Zoo hosts an array of special events throughout the year - check with your travel team to see what’s happening when you’re in town – and a variety of exciting, interactive daily animal encounters May through October get you “face time” with many of the creatures and their dedicated keepers; Short-tailed Fruit Bat Feeding, Komodo Dragon Training or Aardvark Dig, anyone?