Popular Attractions In Omaha
Trip Additions For A Weekend In Omaha
If you have more than one day to spend in Omaha, there are other neighborhoods to explore around the city.
Make your way to the Blackstone District to be surrounded by a younger crowd. Stay out late drinking at the Red Lion Lounge, finishing the night with tachos and crab rangoons at Nite Owl.
Or visit Benson, a neighborhood that has some of the best restaurants in Omaha. Eat upscale sushi at Yoshitomo or laid back European fare at Au Courant Regional Kitchen.
If youre looking to venture outside of Omaha and want to visit the rest of Nebraska, then head west to see some of the quirkiest attractions the state offers. For a complete road trip itinerary, make sure to read my 2-Day Road Trip to Western Nebraska.
Drive Past Animals At The Lee G Simmons Conservation Park & Wildlife Safari
Get up close and personal with bison, elk, and deer from the comfort of your car at the Wildlife Safari Park in Ashland, about 30 minutes from Omaha. A four-mile driving route takes you right through the animal paddocks where these large creatures are literally just a few feet from your car.
In addition to the driving tour, walking trails take you past the wolf, bear, and avian enclosures. One of the most entertaining exhibits is the Prairie Dog Town. Here, you can watch these industrious critters scurry about, popping up every now and again from their warren of tunnels.
A visit here can be combined with a stop at the Strategic Air And Space Museum.
Address: 16406 292nd Street, Ashland, Nebraska
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Revisit History At Omahas Union Station And The Durham Museum
When Omahas Union Station opened in January 1931, it bustled with activity. But as Americans increasingly opted to travel by plane or car, the trains stopped running and the building fell into disrepair.
Today, when you walk across the ornately patterned floor and under the soaring chandelier-lit ceilings of this national historic landmark, its thanks to local civil engineer Chuck Durham and his wife, Marge, who led the efforts to restore the Great Hall to its original glory. So, in addition to admiring the art deco architectural beauty of Union Station, be sure to visit the institution that bears their name.
The Durham Museums permanent exhibit focuses on the history of the city, from the Omaha Native American tribe who lived in the area for thousands of years to the role of the railroad as European Americans expanded westward.
Theres also a replica of the Buffett Grocery Store. Opened in Omaha in 1915 by Warren Buffets grandfather and uncle, the third richest man in the world earned his first nickel by working in the family store as a child.
Get information about special exhibits, hours of operation, and more at the Durham Museum website.
Popular Restaurants In Omaha
Firebirds Wood Fired GrillBeacon Hills RestaurantDundee DellShucks Fish House & Oyster BarHimalayan JavaLiberty TavernSakura BanaPasta Amore E FantasiaMcDonaldsBlatt Beer & TableV. Mertz RestaurantKolache Factory Mediterranean BistroOld ChicagoJoe’s CafeReport In PubJohnny’s Italian SteakhouseTwisted Fork Grill & BarBenson BreweryJaipurGreat WrapsTime Clock LoungePizza Pie GuysThe Sweet ShopSubwayThe Brass MonkeyLast Call SaloonHusker DogsP J Bar and GrillSubway
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Stop : Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge
Walking along the Bob Kerry Pedestrian Bridge
Before heading out of downtown to explore other areas of Omaha, stop by the Bob Kerry Pedestrian Bridge.
This footbridge is 3,000 feet long and spans the Missouri River, connecting Iowa and Nebraska. Here you can be in two places at once by straddling the state lines!
Mormon Trail Center At Historic Winter Quarters
This free attraction showcases information on one of 90 winter settlements used by the Latter Day Saints in their famous westward track to their final goal of the Salt Lake Valley.
Inside the visitors center, you’ll find maps, historical artifacts, and a wealth of information about this historic and challenging journey. Not far from the visitors center, you’ll also find the Mormon Pioneer Cemetery and the Winter Quarters Nebraska Temple. An interesting sculpture by Avard Fairbanks titled Tragedy of Winter Quarters is nearby.
Address: 3215 State Street, Omaha, Nebraska
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Top 10 Things To Do With Kids In Omaha
Omaha is FULL of fun things to do with kids! We love going on adventures and exploring all that Omaha has to offer.
To help narrow it down whether visiting for the first time, or looking to explore something new, find some inspiration in Top 10 Things to Do with Kids in Omaha!
Join our growing community and keep updated on Omaha family-friendly events and activities and !
New Years Eve Dance & Dinner
The German-American Society will have a New Years Eve dance and dinner on Dec. 31 starting with doors opening at 6 p.m., dinner at 7 p.m., and ball drop in sync with NYC at 11 p.m. Dress code is formal/semi-formal. Dinner is prime rib or salmon and music will be by Greg Spevak Orchestra.
Cost is $60 per member or $70 for non-member. Dancing only begins at 8:30 p.m. and is $20. Reservations must be made by Dec. 28.
3717 S. 120th St.
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Learn About Latin Art And History At El Museo Latino
El Museo Latino was the first museum in the Midwest dedicated to Latin Art and History and originally opened in 1993.
Even today, it is one of only 17 Latino museums currently open and operating in the US.
Being the first such museum in the Midwest, it also serves as a hub for Latino studies in the Midwest.
When you visit you can expect to see a rotating schedule of exhibits that highlight different aspects of Latin history, art, culture, and more.
Part of the museums aim is to teach others about Latin culture.
They often have films, lectures, art classes, and more that teach various parts of the culture.
During September for Spanish Heritage Month and various Latino holidays, they hold special programs and events.
Its a cool way to learn about the Latino culture and heritage and how that is often reflected in the Midwest.
Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo And Aquarium
This huge facility, spread out over 160 acres, is home to unique exhibits and is one of the state’s most popular attractions. Among the zoo’s claims to fame are the Dome Desert, known for being the largest indoor desert in the world, and the Lied Jungle, North America’s largest indoor rainforest.
The Kingdoms of the Night exhibit, also touted as the largest nocturnal exhibit of its kind in the world, allows for a close-up look at creatures of the dark, from bats to beavers and other animals that most visitors may not even have heard of before.
The zoo is also home to the Suzanne and Walter Scott Aquarium, where visitors can walk through a 70-foot-long shark tunnel.
Should you work up an appetite, the Zoo’s Glacier Bay Landing, a recreation of an Alaskan port town, has a variety of dining options. A children’s play structure is also located here, as are changing rooms.
Address: 3701 S 10th Street, Omaha, Nebraska
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See The Trains At Kenefick Park
As you drive west along Interstate 80 and look up to your right, you’ll see two locomotives perched on a high bluff. If your curiosity is piqued or you are a train buff, make a detour to visit Kenefick Park.
Here, you’ll find the world’s largest diesel-powered locomotive, the impressive Centennial 6900. In addition to being the largest diesel powered locomotive, it is also the largest ever built. Since the park is all about extra large locomotives, it only makes sense that Kenefick Park should also have the world’s largest steam locomotive, named Big Boy No. 4023.
In behind the locomotives are several plazas, benches, and informative plaques built into the ground. The park is named after John C. Kenefick, Union Pacific’s former Chairman and CEO. The park is free to enter. Combine a visit with a trip to Lauritzen Gardens located in the same area.
Wander Around Old Market
Old Market is considered the best neighborhood for dining, shopping, and entertainment and will give you plenty of things to do while in Omaha.
From a candlelit spaghetti dinner to fresh meats to cook at your rental home, the food is worth every five-star review it gets. But, if shopping is more your style, you wont be disappointed in that arena either.
Artisan shops line the streets and there are clothing boutiques for every shape, size, and taste. In Old Market, you will also find salons, spas, gyms, and even churches.
If you want a great place to start off your stay in Omaha, Old Market is definitely it!
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Winter Activities In Omaha
Throughout the winter, you dont want to be stuck sitting on the couch. Believe it or not, there are many indoor and outdoor activities to do in Omaha. From throwing axes to visiting a nearby nursery, there are so many ways to get out of the house. Below we have named a few of our favorite winter activities in Omaha.
Visit the Famous Omaha Henry Doorly Zoo
Take the family out to the zoo to explore many indoor animals. The zoo is a great way to get walking and relax with the family. There are 5 indoor attractions that are perfect for staying indoors when it gets too cold.
Explore Coffee Shops
Take your favorite book and go explore some of the cutest coffee shops in the Omaha metro area. We have a list of some local, quaint shops that have the best drinks and atmosphere.
- Myrtle & Cypress
- Amateur Coffee
Take a trip to Muhalls
If Muhalls isnt pretty enough for a classic visit to buy a new plant, try checking out the events they hold monthly. These events are great for all ages and are usually free of charge. Check out their schedule before taking the family out.
Ice Skating at The Capital District
If you are feeling adventurous, head over to the Capital District and get your skate on through January 21. A portion of the proceeds will go to the Shine the Light on Hunger campaign, which supports the Food Bank for the Heartland.
- Flying Timber
- Craft Axe Throwing
The Durham Museum
Joslyn Castle Is One Of The Best Things To Do In Omaha Nebraska
One of the coolest activities in Omaha Nebraska is to take a tour of the Joslyn Castle.
The Joslyn Castle was actually the private mansion home of George and Sarah Joslyn, who were famous Omaha socialites in the early 19th century.
Constructed in 1903, the castle features a Scottish Baronial architectural design that is stunning as it sits on top of a grassy hill.
It is surrounded by manicured lawns, planned gardens, a conservatory, and other smaller buildings.
The castle was put on the National Register of Historic Places in 1972 and has been a designated Omaha landmark since 1979.
The grounds are free and open to the public, but to tour the inside of the castle you need to reserve a tour time and pay a small fee.
If you want to experience a little bit of Europe in the middle of urban Omaha, spend some time at Joslyn Castle.
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Bemis Center For Contemporary Art
What is it: A contemporary art space that also houses one of the worlds foremost artist residency programs.
Why go: Visit Bemis for a big dose of interesting, innovative art. If you can, stick around for one of the artist talks from the spaces residents, who come to Omaha from around the world to work and live at the center, found within the Old Market.
Things To Do In Omaha: Lake Manawa
The Lake Manawa is established in council bluffs in the United States Formed from Missouri Rivers floods in 1881.
The lake falls under the properties of the Iowa Nature Department. People usually drive around the lake to enjoy nature and wildlife.
Boating, Swimming arena, and fishing are some outdoor activities that attract the tourists visits over there.
The Manawa State Park also gives an opportunity for hike or biking along the shoreline. Many picnic spots can be seen for fun family picnics.
It is one of the most popular outdoor recreating facilities in this metropolitan area. In the American dictionary, Manawa is meant for comfort and peace.
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Recommended Hotels And Places To Stay In Omaha
Take Time To Smell The Roses At The Botanical Center
Segueing from fauna to flora, a visit to the Lauritzen Gardens is another one of the best things to do in Omaha. Stroll past millions of tulips and daffodils in the spring, breathe in fragrant roses in the summer, and enjoy a final splash of fall color as winter starts to move in.
But even when the temperatures drop and snow starts to fall, thousands of poinsettias fill the floral display hall during the Holiday Poinsettia Show. And throughout the year, the garden offers a variety of special events, including basket weaving, photography workshops, and yoga.
Find out about all of the special events and more by visiting the Lauritzen Gardens website.
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Santas Rock N Lights At Werner Park
Papillions Werner Park is home to the annual drive-thru Santas Rock N Lights. With more than 100,000 colorful lights creating dozens of season displays, the drive-through attraction features unique exhibits such as Santa Claus and his reindeer, toy soldiers, Santas on motorcycles, and candy canes. While you tour the lights, enjoy holiday tunes on the events special FM station. Running nightly through January 3, Santas Rock N Lights requires advance online purchases. Afterward, grab dinner at Beyond Golf Bar + Kitchen, which offers an excellent menu of burgers, sandwiches , and gourmet tacos.
Fontenelle Forest Nature Center
The forest spread over 1400 acres of the area providing thrilling activities to the visitors such as nature center, hiking trails, picnic facilities, gift shops, etc.
Numerous outdoor activity, birding site, and rare wildflowers grab the attention of the tourists explores the forest.
The forest charges $11for adults, $8 for children under the age of 2-17 category as well as $10 for seniors.
The Fontenelle forest also provides a tobacco-free environment to the visitors.
The forest remains closed when the local schools are closed as well as on Thanksgiving, New year and on Christmas Eve.
The forest also comprises floodplains, hardwood, forests, and marshlands. Spare you some time and visit here for an awesome experience.
- Address: 1111 Bellevue Blvd N, Bellevue, NE 68005
- Hours: 8 AM 5 PM
- Phone: 731-3140
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Witness History At Florence Mill
The Florence Mill, in the Northeast of Omaha, is another of the citys landmarks that has found its way onto the National Register of Historic Places. It is also a Nebraska State Historic Sight. The mill is believed to have been built in 1846 and operated well into the mid 20th Century. The area of Florence is believed to have been inhabited by European settlers long before Nebraska existed. The settlers in the area made their livelihood from trading fur.
Stroll Across The Bob Kerry Pedestrian Bridge
This artsy 3,000 ft pathway crosses the Missouri river offering an on foot tour of Omahas beautiful skyline. Relish in the 3 acre plaza where you will find a whole host of entertainments from an interactive water fountain to the River Critters Environmental play area. Connecting over 150 miles of outdoor trails and walks the Bob Kerry Bridge offers a whole host of activities whether you visit by bike or on foot you are sure to have a great day! If you are visiting in May or June why not pop down on a friday and catch some live music in the Plaza area which is surrounded by an amphitheater style grassy meadow. take a few blankets and chairs for a great day of music and adventure!
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