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Vacation with Kids

Rapid City, South...
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26 posts
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Vacation with Kids

Want to take the kids to the Zoo in late July. Where should I stay and what else should we not miss? Kids are 8, 6, 4, 2 & 2.

Omaha, NE
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124 posts
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1. Re: Vacation with Kids

I love downtown Omaha and would lean more towards staying at the Embassy Suites near the Old Market. However, with little kids I am guessing you will have to put kids down for naps, so you may want to consider Holiday Inn/Coco Key Waterpark. As an adult it is not my favorite place to stay but my kids love it! They usually have room/waterpark packages available. Fun things for the kids to do in Omaha would include going to the zoo, Children's Museum, Durham Western Heritage Museum (aka "the train museum"), Bob Kerry pedestrian bridge. Go down to the Old Market, get ice cream at Ted and Wally's and venture over to Hollywood Candy. If you are in the mood to drive west you could go out to Cabela's in La Vista. If you like baseball check out the Omaha Stormchasers who play in Papillion. There is a great kid play area in the stadium.

Chiang Mai, Thailand
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2. Re: Vacation with Kids

The Zoo is a must!! I suggest getting there as early as you can get the kids moving, because that's when the animals are awake. When you get there, there are pamphlets showing times they feed the animals, and when there will be live animals to pet. There's also a petting zoo full of farm animals that just got some new baby goats.

With that age range, I'd head to the Children's Museum. It's every young kid's dream with games, play sets, face painting, dress up, and cool exhibits.

The Jocelyn Art Museum is also a great place, a big variety of art, and an awesome kid's area. Check the website, as well, because there are usually kid workshops during the year.

Nebraska
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3. Re: Vacation with Kids

Remember to take a cooler into the zoo if you want to save some money on snacks and drinks. Go early, it is a lot of walking and gets hot. They do have misting stations though.

Omaha, Nebraska
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4. Re: Vacation with Kids

The Henry Doorly Zoo is a great place to go and your kids will love it. Some suggestions for the zoo:

1. Get to the zoo early because it is BUSY, especially on weekends. Try to get there 10 minutes before the gates open. This will ensure a decent parking spot and a shorter wait in line. Also, there are two gates. We like to park down at the lower north gate if we are planning on running back and forth to the car.

2. Definitely pack a cooler with lunch. Zoo food is over-priced and DISGUSTING. I usually pack a large cooler (on wheels) with loads of ice, sandwiches, juice, bottled water, chips, cookies, ect...and I leave it in the car. When it is time for lunch, I have my husband go get it and bring it to one of the picnic areas by the petting zoo. It may sound like a pain, but trust me...when you pay over $100 for food your kids won't eat, its worth the trouble. You can also lug the cooler around with you, but if the zoo is busy and crowded, its a pain.

3. Pack a backpack with sunscreen, bug repellant, snacks, such as fruit snacks, granola bars, raisins, and other light weight snacks. Also, since you have little ones in a stroller (and a place to stow stuff), pack some frozen juice boxes, frozen bottled water, frozen capri-suns for thirsty little ones. Also, remember to pack about three to four dollars in quarters, as there is a bridge with coy fish where you can purchase food to feed the fish out of gumball machines...kids love this.

4. Try to do all the outside exhibits first as it will be HOT. There is alot of walking and many hills. There are trams, a train, and an air lift, but when I think of the little ones and strollers, this may prove to be difficult, but then you also get a break from walking (all of this is priced separate from zoo admission, so be prepared to shell out around six dollars per person per attraction. Also, many of the buildings are air conditioned which provide a nice break from the heat for hot cranky kids (and parents).

As far as Hotels go, I would stay at CoCo Keys, off of I80 on the 72nd Street

exit. They have a nice pool area/indoor water park which would be fun for the older kids the day after the zoo and fun for the little ones (with a nearby hotel room for much needed naps).

Also, your kids may enjoy the Strategic Air and Space Musuem, the Omaha Chldren's Musuem, Amazing Pizza Machine or Fun Plex.

Also, located close to the Omaha area is Mahoney State Park. They have a nice outdoor water park, camping, cabins, mini-golf, horseback riding, fishing and hiking. My kids love going here!

Good Luck!

Council Bluffs, Iowa
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5. Re: Vacation with Kids

If you're going to stay in or near downtown Omaha, there is a Holiday Inn near the Qwest Center and the TD Ameritrade Stadium that has an indoor water park. The hotel is newer than the Coco Key hotel and is pretty nice. It is also near the pedestrian bridge and a sprinkler park at the base of the bridge that is free.

One thing at the zoo not mentioned is the restaurant attached to the Lied Jungle. You can get a table that overlooks the jungle and is air conditioned. The food in there has improved over the last year or two, but is is expensive.

Omaha, NE
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120 posts
27 reviews
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6. Re: Vacation with Kids

Cant miss the zoo and I can't give any better suggestions than other folks have regarding the zoo.

Papio Bay in Papillion is also a lot of fun and has seperate areas for toddlers and older kids. There is a splash pad at 800 Centennial in Papillion (free fun) that is fun for young and older alike. At the splash pad there is also a sanded playground and a nice picnic area.

Hope you have fun!

7. Re: Vacation with Kids

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