If you are looking for things to do in Omaha, you’re in luck! This city is packed with attractions and activities that will keep you entertained for days on end, from the world-renowned Henry Doorly Zoo to the scenic Lauritzen Gardens.
Things to Do in Omaha – Downtown
Looking for exciting things to do in Omaha? One of the first things you’ll notice is the city’s stunning skyline, which is best viewed from atop one of the many skyscrapers downtown. If you’re feeling adventurous, take a ride on the CenturyLink Center’s glass-enclosed elevator to the top of the building for breathtaking panoramic views.
Once you’re back on solid ground, explore some of Omaha’s other downtown landmarks, such as the Old Market district and the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge. The Old Market is a historic area with cobblestone streets and brick buildings housing a variety of shops, boutiques, restaurants, and art galleries.
Visit the Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium
If you’re looking for things to do in Omaha with the kids, the Zoo and Aquarium is a must-see. This world-renowned zoo features almost 1000 species of animals from all over the world, as well as an indoor rainforest, desert dome (the largest indoor desert in the world), and shark reef. Summer tickets are $29.95 for teens and adults and $22.95 for children.
Tour the Joslyn Castle
The Joslyn Castle is a stunning example of Richardsonian Romanesque architecture. This historic mansion was built in 1903 by George and Sarah Joslyn as their private residence. Today, the castle is open for tours ($10 for adults and $8 for seniors, students, and the military), and it’s also available to rent for special events.
Admire the Joslyn Art Museum
The Joslyn Art Museum is one of the best things to do in Omaha if you’re a fan of art. This museum houses a permanent collection of more than 17,000 works of art, ranging from ancient to contemporary. Admission to the museum is free, and there’s also a variety of public programs and events offered throughout the year.
Tour The Durham Museum
The Durham Museum is located in the historic Union Station and features a variety of exhibits on Omaha’s history and culture. Admission to the museum is $13 for adults, $10 for seniors and the military, and $7 for children ages three to twelve.
See the Exhibits at Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts
The Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts is a non-profit art organization that features rotating exhibitions of contemporary art. Admission to the center is free, and there’s also a gift shop and café on site.
Attractions for Kids in Omaha
If your children aren’t too interested in the historic district of Omaha, what are some kid-specific attractions? Some things to do with kids in Omaha include visits to the Omaha Children’s Museum, a walk through the Pioneer Courage Park, and playtime in Zorinsky Outdoor Children’s Park.
- The Omaha Children’s Museum is a hands-on museum with interactive exhibits for children of all ages. Your kids can learn about science and art through play, and take part in group workshops and special events. Tickets are $14 for adults and children.
- The Pioneer Courage Park is a great place to take family photos. It features sculptures of pioneer families and their wagons departing from Omaha. Children love the realistic horses and oxen!
- Zorinsky Outdoor Children’s Park is perfect for a day of play. This park has a playground, basketball courts, picnic areas, and walking trails. You might also spot a hawk in the trees!
Things to Do in Omaha for Nature Lovers
Omaha is home to a number of parks and gardens that are perfect for nature lovers. If you’re looking for things to do in Omaha on a sunny day, head to Lewis and Clark Landing or the Heartland of America Park.
Lewis and Clark Landing is a riverfront park that’s perfect for picnics, fishing, and walking. The Heartland of America Park is a scenic spot with a waterfall, fountain, and pedestrian bridge.
Stroll Through the Lauritzen Gardens
Lauritzen Gardens is one of Omaha’s hidden gems. This 100-acre botanical garden features a variety of gardens, including a Japanese Garden, Rose Garden, and Children’s Garden. The gardens are open daily from dawn to dusk, and admission is free.
Take in Omaha’s Riverfront
No visit to Omaha would be complete without spending some time on the city’s riverfront. The Missouri River flows through downtown Omaha, and there are a variety of ways to enjoy the views.
Take a stroll or bike ride on the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge, go for a paddle in a kayak or canoe, or relax on the riverbank at Lewis and Clark Landing.
Go on a Wildlife Safari at the Henry Doorly Zoo
We’ve already mentioned the Zoo, but did you know they have a Wildlife Safari Park? This drive-through safari park is home to a variety of animals, including lions, tigers, and bears. If you want to see a bit of exotic nature up-close, this is the place to go.
Hike in the Fontenelle Forest
If you’re looking for things to do in Omaha that are a bit more off the beaten path, consider hiking in the Fontenelle Forest. This forest is located just outside of Omaha and features miles of beautiful trails and a Raptor Woodland Refuge. There’s also the TreeRush Adventure Park for those who want to feel the rush of exploring the forest from the treetops.
Omaha’s Freedom Park deserves its own mention. This park is home to well-preserved World War II memorabilia, such as the Minesweeper or U.S.S. Hazard. Visitors can board a Navy ship or submarine, admire a collection of airplanes and helicopters, and see a garden of anchors.
The park is run by volunteer efforts, and donations are always appreciated. Admission is free, but consider leaving a donation to support the maintenance of this important piece of Omaha history.
More Things to Do in Omaha
If the things we’ve mentioned so far haven’t completed your itinerary, don’t worry! There’s plenty more to do in Omaha. Here are a few more things to add to your list.
- See a show at the Orpheum Theater.
- Stop by the Mormon Trail Center at Winter Quarters.
- Walk through the OPPD Arboretum.
- Enjoy some live entertainment at the CHI Health Center.
Where to Stay in Omaha?
Now that you know all the things to do in Omaha, it’s time to start planning your trip! Omaha has a variety of hotels and Airbnbs to choose from, depending on your budget and preferences.
- The Marriott is a great option for those who want luxury and convenience. The hotel is located downtown, near many of the city’s attractions.
- The Hampton Inn & Suites is a more budget-friendly option that’s also located downtown.
- For those who prefer the comforts of home, there are plenty of Airbnbs to choose from in Omaha. You can find everything from cozy apartments to spacious houses.
Enjoy Omaha’s Biggest Attractions
There are so many things to do in Omaha! Whether you’re interested in history, art, or just want to spend time outdoors, you’ll find plenty of activities to keep you entertained. Omaha is a great place to visit for a weekend getaway or a longer vacation. So what are you waiting for? Start planning your trip today!
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