New Omaha Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium exhibit will focus on children learning

Posted at 6:24 PM, Aug 30, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-30 19:24:11-04

The Omaha Henry Doorly Zoo is working on their next exhibit, the Children’s Adventure Trails.

The exhibit will be on the north side of the zoo right behind the desert home.

The area is being built with the emphasis on children playing.

“It really is a explore, discover, and learn kind of project, so it is a different kind of project for us,” said Zoo Director, Dennis Pate.

Pate said the area will have dozens of activities for kids to learn from.

The plans have a huge three story tree house for kids to climb and explore in, a waterfall that flows into a 250 foot river that kids can get wet in, and crews started building the prairie dog area where kids can crawl into holes. There will even be a stroller-coaster for parents to take their strollers on.

“Each area is a different adventure or exploration, and each area develops the mind a bit differently, and it just depends on that child and which direction they run off and discover,” said Zoo Education Director Elizabeth Mulkerrin.

She said that research shows starting little ones with hands-on learning can help with development and can help them with school.

“We want them to begin to learn in a new creative way that involves a heck of a lot of fun while they are doing it,” said Pate.

There will also be animals that the kids can play with. Several snakes, birds, turtles, ferrets, anything that can deal with kids petting them, the zoo will bring out.

“I want them to experience nature; I want them to fall in love with nature and animals so they build that empathy for nature,” said Mulkerrin.

The exhibit is still under contraction this summer but crews are working to get everything done.

Pate said the amphitheater they are building along with a baby care center should be done by Memorial Day.

They hope to have the education building open next July, and the outside area should be done by next August.