Wildlife Safari Park & Hiking in Nebraska
Each spring our family travels to Omaha, Nebraska for a 1-2 day extravaganza visiting our favorite attractions and eating at our favorite restaurants. This spring looked a little different due to COVID-19. Our favorite must-sees were closed and many restaurants were closed. After being quarantined at home for weeks, we needed to get out and explore more than ever. After a little research I came across the Wildlife Safari Park and Mahoney State Park in Ashland, Nebraska.
Wildlife Safari Park
The Wildlife Safari Park is located about 30 miles west of Omaha in Ashland, Nebraska. This conservation and safari park has been around for over 10 years! I was shocked to discover this because I had not heard about it until just recently.
Currently the Wildlife Safari Park is only allowing a drive-through experience due to COVID-19, but just this experience was well worth it! It took us about one hour to drive through.
When you purchase your tickets you also have the opportunity to purchase snacks! We made sure to grab a box of popcorn for our adventure through the park.
As you enter the park you will see miles of rolling hills, trees, and green. It is gorgeous! The road is long and windy. Drive slow! You do not want to run into any wildlife.
We first came across the Elk, then saw three deer eating breakfast right outside our car. It was so neat to see them so close! You can roll down your windows, but you must stay in your car. As you wind through the safari park you will enter several areas where different animals are kept. There are also a lot of opportunities to get out and explore.
They have a fun playground, watch areas to view the animals from above, Meet a Keeper at Wolf Canyon, the Hands-On Corral with goats and so much more. We cannot wait to make another visit and experience everything the Wildlife Safari Park has to offer.
If you do make a visit during the pandemic time, the restrooms are open. Only one family at a time can enter.
9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.
Make sure you get there early! We visited on an overcast, chilly Sunday and arrived at 11 a.m. with no wait. When we left the park a little after Noon there was a line out the park.
$6.00 Adults (12 and over)
$4.00 Children (3-11)
$5.00 Seniors (65 and over)
FREE Children 2 and under
If you are an Omaha Henry Doorly Zoo member you receive free admission. There is no discount if you hold a Blank Park Zoo membership.
16406 N. 292 Street, Ashland, Nebraska
Eugene T. Mahoney State Park
When I plan trips like this, I always love to research what else we can experience that is in the area. A friend of mine told me about Eugene T. Mahoney State Park which is literally just next door to the safari. Boy oh boy does this state park offer so much! Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 a lot was closed, but we still had fun exploring and driving through.
After we entered the park we looked for a hiking trail, parked, and ate our picnic lunch we brought along. The hiking trail was a little tricky to find, but we found it and it was so much fun! We parked and entered the trail near the Prairie Wolf Cabins.
The entire trail followed along the Platte River. In areas, you could see beautiful views of the Platte River. The entire path was filled with large trees, steps, bridges, and more. The kids had a ton of fun climbing around and exploring.
After our hike we decided to drive through the rest of the park and saw many people fishing in the two lakes within the park. This state park also offers a Go Ape Ropes Course, swimming, golf, arts and crafts center, a theater, horse trail rides, camping, cabins and so much more. This would be the perfect place to stay for a long weekend!
28500 West Park Highway, Ashland, NE 68003
The Surfside Club
The Surfside Club located in Omaha, Nebraska is one restaurant that I have visited tons since I was little. If you love catfish, chicken, fritters, and the Missouri River this is the place to be. The Surfside Club is located right along the Missouri River and the majority of its seating is outside. In the Summer they offer live music, a jump house for kids and more. It is a really fun place to be! On our way back to Des Moines we made a stop for an early dinner.
Tuesday through Friday from 5pm – 9pm
Saturdays , 3pm – 9pm
Sundays, 12pm – 9pm
14445 North River Drive, Omaha, NE 68112
Our little day venture to Ashland, Nebraska was a perfect getaway to explore while everything that is going on in our world. This road trip provided us so much joy and I cannot wait to visit again and explore even more in the future.