Went to Omaha, Nebraska today. We visited the Henry Doorly zoo and aquarium. He zoo has quite a good desert area, which is in a dome shape. There are some cool themes within the dome including a large nocturnal area with reptiles, bats and rodents. They also have a cool faux swamp area with American alligators. There is also an excellent aquarium with a range of jellyfish, sharks and penguins.
The zoo is quite good and discusses some conservation issues. Alternatively the zoo is a bit weird in that it lacks any sense of America. There are not as many American animals as Australian ones, for instance and the conservation areas do not discuss what visitors can do or stop doing to help minimise harm to animals or their habitats.
We then went to a renaissance fair located in a berry farm. This was quite a strange experience as the staff and attendees weren’t so much tied to a historical period – more just enjoyed dressing up. There were quite a lot of pirates, for example. There were several performers, including a juggler, who was just good enough to do some cool tricks and just bad enough to make you believe him when he said he had cut himself on the knives.
The weirdest thing was probably the jousting, which was staged by joust evolution who are apparently equine stunt performers. He jousting started with some normal banter between the competitors and comedic relief. There was then some jousting. More comedic relief. Then it ended with the two competitors in a professional wrestling type fight where they hit each other with chairs. It wasn’t bad, by any means, just weird.