Even though I’ve been to Omaha before, when we decided to take my granddaughter for her 4th birthday, I checked out the Omaha Travel Bag from my library.
Of course, the Henry Doorly Zoo was our main goal, the guest of honor being a 4-year-old, but I wanted to see what else was available. What better place to do that than the library? In my travel bag, I found guidebooks, current travel guides and visitor’s guides, local magazines and a pocket folder stuffed with brochures and information on all kinds of attractions.
I really enjoyed looking through the Insiders Guide Off the Beaten Path – Nebraska. Divided into geographical sections with fun names like “Land of Cowboys and Indians,” it tells about quirky, interesting places that most travelers miss. For instance in Hebron, visitors can sit on the world’s largest porch swing (it seats 20 adults). Or check out the Lovers Leap Vineyards in Crawford.
Inside the pocket folder are brochures on amusement parks, museums, shopping, riverboat excursions, botanical gardens and ice cream parlors. I also learned that there are lots of natural attractions in the area, for bird-watching and plant-watching and just plain enjoying, something I didn’t know before.
There are 17 different travel bags available for places as near as Kansas City or as far away as Alaska or Boston. Patrons who check them out can also get a nifty t-shirt proclaiming how they wisely booked their trip at the Topeka Shawnee County Public Library.
Since we had limited time on this trip, we spent most of it at the zoo. But we’ll definitely plan on spending more time next visit to take in some of the other sights. Still, we had an incredible day at the zoo topped off with dinner at the Spagetti Works in Old Market, including an ice cream sundae for the birthday girl!