Henry Doorly Zoo/Omaha Vacation Winner Announced!

Written by Kelly Maeser



Congratulations to the winner (announced below).  Right now there is another chance to win from HVFH.  Check out our latest pumpkin patch giveaway.

Also, we will announce a new prize package on Monday.  This one is for Husker fans!

And if you’d like your company/business to be included in our giveaways, please e-mail [email protected]

Now, for the winner!

Cindy Hayes Matson
October 09, 2012

Cindy wrote: “My favorite animal has to be the monkeys. They are so fun to watch. And I liked the post too!! You ladies are the best. Love your stories and your hearts!”

Thank you so much, Cindy!  You make our hearts happy!

Cindy, please e-mail [email protected] to find out how to claim your prize!




Written By:  Kelly Maeser @ Pieces of Me

**Editor’s note:  This is a BIG giveaway post.  We give a HUGE thanks to Kelly for putting this prize package together for you guys!  Scroll to the bottom for details! 

Shortly after I moved to Omaha I started working in the education department at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo. I was often asked by people I knew who lived outside of Omaha, “What will you do in the winter? Is the zoo even open?” To which I would reply yes it is; the zoo doesn’t slow down just because summer is over. In fact they have events all year long.

Granted there are a few changes made. Some of the animals are moved to indoor exhibits. The tram, trains, and Skyfari don’t have as many running times or close completely. But the changes are small and most of the attractions are open all year round.

I personally love going to the zoo in the off season. The temperatures are cooler and it isn’t as busy. The zoo looks beautiful in the fall with all the trees changing colors and in the winter covered in snow. When the weather turns cold many of the attractions (for example, The Jungle, The Aquarium, Kingdoms of the Night, The Desert Dome, Gorilla Valley) are all close enough that you can go from one to another quickly making your outdoor time minimal. With our Nebraska winters you may even catch a seasonable warm winter day to spend outside at the zoo.

Throughout the year the zoo’s education department offers classes for ages 3 and up. If you have a future zoo keeper or animal lover in your household be sure to check out the classes. Registration is required and many are on Saturdays if you live out of town. You can find more information here.

The classes are a lot of fun. My son has attended some in the past and loves them!

They also have events all year round. The two events I like the most and the ones we try to make it to every year are Spooktacular and Holiday Happenings.

Spooktacular is on October 19, 20, 21, 26, 27, and 28 from 6-9pm. They have vendor trick or treat stations as well as activities for kids. During this event (as they do most special events) they will have animal ambassadors out for you and your family to get up close and personal to some of the zoo’s residents. Another fun thing about this event is you can check out Kingdoms of the Night during its day cycle. So if you or your kids find this attraction a little spooky it’s a great opportunity to see what it looks like with the lights on. This event does cost extra ($7 for members-$8 for non-members per person).

The other event we try to get to is Holiday Happenings. It is on December 1, 8, and 15. During this event you get to watch Santa swim with the sharks and other sea creatures in the Aquarium’s tunnel. It is a really fun event to watch. I love the kid’s reactions to Santa swimming around with the sting rays and sharks. This event is free to members and with zoo admission.

There many other Fall/Winter events that can be found here.  For the events that require registration, many fill up very quickly so if you’re interested call as soon registration is open to reserve your spot!

Now that you know about all the fun the Henry Doorly Zoo offers year round, you can win a chance to get a family four pack to the zoo, a one night’s stay at the Holiday Inn Downtown Omaha in a king executive room, a $50 gift card to either Blue or Roja and a sweet stuffed animal from the zoo, too!

The Holiday Inn Downtown is walking distance to the Century Link Center and minutes away from shops and restaurants. Both kids and adults are sure to enjoy the hotel’s indoor water park, Holiday Bay. Complete with an activity pool, whirlpool, play structure, and 3-story body slide! Click here for more details!

Blue Sushi Sake Grill and Roja Mexican Grill+Margarita Bar are two fabulous restaurants locally owned by Flagship Restaurant Group. Blue gives traditional sushi an American attitude. Whether you have never tried sushi or it’s one of your favorite foods, Blue Sushi is the restaurant for you. There are three locations in Omaha and one is downtown in the Old Market if you want to stay close to the hotel!

Click here to learn more about Blue Sushi!

Sushi really not your thing? No problem, the gift card is also good at Roja Mexican Grill+Margarita Bar. They serve up a wide selection of Tex-Mex style food. We eat here often and my kids love it. I highly recommend the chimichangas. I have never ordered something I didn’t like from Roja. There are two locations in Omaha. One is also in the Old Market. 

Click here to learn more about Roja!

 I have eaten at both places and the food is so good! I would highly recommend either one!    

Here’s how you can win this fantastic prize package!  If you do all three, we’ll get your name entered 3 times!

1.  Tell us about your favorite zoo animal!  Just leave a comment on this post.

2.  Hit the “like” button on this post

3.  Hit the tweet button on this post

P.S.  Be sure to tell us if you “liked or tweeted” in your comment so we can get your name in for the giveaway 3 times!

One winner will be chosen at random.  Deadline to enter is Friday, October 12th at 4:30 p.m.  We will announce the winner on Friday, October 12th – in the evening.  Good Luck!!!

P.S.  This little guy is just waiting for you to take him home!  Pick me, Pick me!!

About the author

Kelly Maeser

Kelly is a Nebraska girl who is still trying to figure out what she is going to be when she grows up as she makes up stories and writes poetry.
In addition to writing for Her View From Home. She had a poem published in Migraine Expressions: A Creative Journey through Life with Migraines, and is currently working on a collection of poetry and a YA novel.
Kelly is taking a break from blogging, but you can follow her and her creative musing on Instagram (kellymaeserwriter), Twitter (@KellyMaeser) and Facebook (Kelly Maeser- Writer).