Nearly 50 years old and recognized as one of the Best Zoos for Kids by Parents magazine, the Lincoln Children's Zoo continues to foster an exciting educational atmosphere that encourages kids to interact firsthand with their furry, scaly, and leafy neighbors. There's already an ample, varied herd of animals that will be joined by the rare Humboldt penguins—the zoo is one of only 16 zoos nationwide to feature the warm-climate tuxedoed birds—and the mischievous squirrel monkeys. Curious kids and professional petters will want to flock to the hands-on exhibits. Feed a llama from your hand and listen closely for his penny-stock tips at the Firsthand Farm, or watch a friendly ZooCrew handler parade small creatures before youngsters at Critter Encounter. Because plants and animals are still reconciling creative differences, you can visit bodacious buds separately at the nearby botanical gardens, where a wide variety of plant species bedeck their expansive green areas.