Wanna hear about all the fun things there are to do in Nebraska? Yes, we do have more than just corn fields. And squirrels. And corn fields.
I love the simple and quiet life we have here in Nebraska. It takes me seven minutes to drive “all the way across town” here in York. Funny how I can take that for granted.
Just in case you live in Nebraska or think you may come through for a visit sometime, I wanted to share some of the fun attractions in these parts. I’ll start with some of our family’s favorites, then share with you some that we’re excited to see and do in the near future:
This is by far our favorite place to visit in Nebraska. We’ve appreciated so much that Edgerton has set up a special program each month for home schoolers to come and learn. We’ve learned about everything from nano-technology to how to disect an eyeball at Edgerton. They provide experiences I just can’t provide at home and my kids love it. The best part (well, one of the best parts) about Edgerton is the big open room full of “toys” the kids can play with to explore science. I have to tear my kids away from this room everytime we go. Love it!
We buy a two year pass, which saves us money and allows us to go at anytime.
Strategic Air and Space Museum
Located just between Lincoln and Omaha, I really didn’t think I would care much for the Strategic Air and Space Museum. I knew my boys would get a big kick out of it, but the idea of looking at airplanes for hours didn’t thrill me. I was mistaken in my assumption. I learned all sorts of things when we visited the Strategic Air and Space Museum and wasn’t one bit bored! I had no idea there were so many different kinds of airplanes and wow the history you can learn in a place like this. To say my boys loved our visit there is an understatement.
I know there are Farmer’s Markets all over the place, but I happen to think that the market in Lincoln is super. When I’ve visited, I’ve been so impressed with the variety and the set up and wow…there is so much wonderful fresh produce to be found (during the warm months, of course)! It’s a fabulous family outing. Yeah, I get a kick out of looking at rows of tomatoes and carrots. What can I say?
Wessels Farm is just outside of York, making it my very favorite kind of field trip! All summer long, they’ve got programs available for kids and families, which you can read about here. The farm is set up to look like a farm of the 1920’s. I LOVE visiting Wessels and the kids have learned so much each time we go!
Lewis and Clark Missouri River Basin Visitors Center
The Lewis and Clark Center is just under two hours away from us in Nebraska City. Why we’ve never visited is a big question mark because we’ve studied Lewis and Clark quite a lot over the past few years. We’ve driven right by the The Lewis and Clark Center several times and keep saying we want to stop there. We have friends that visit there every single year because they love it so much. We really are gonna do that some day!
Sometime this summer we’re planning to visit the Omaha Zoo and Durham Museum…I’ll report back on those after our visits!
Planning to do anything fun this summer? Wanna come visit us in Nebraska? We’ll take you to our Science Center!!
We went to Grand Island a few weeks ago. We went with my husband (the company he works for owns Freddy’s Steakburgers) and while he was working we went to the Stuhr Living History Museum. We had a great time! Since kids were still in school, my homeschoolers got quite a bit of individual attention. Each house/shop has a tour guide in period dress that educates you on the time period and specific building you’re in. They encouraged touching of most things which was nice for my hands on boys. We go quite often with him to Nebraska so I’m glad you shared some great things to do!
Jess Miller says
I was going to say – Don’t forget Stuhr museum!
My boys are going to visit their grandparents in Lincoln next week and my oldest is so excited to go back to Morrill hall. The Omaha zoo is great too, hoping to make it there myself sometime this summer.
Morrill hall is great! Growing up we always called it “Eleplant Hall.” :)
“Elephant Hall, sheesh.” :)
Two other favorites of ours are the Henry Dorley Zoo and Pioneer Village. Lots to see and do with “Educational” mindset everywhere! (Not free, but cheaper than a full blown vacation!)
Hubby and I took a road trip back in 2006 before we had kids. It was a crazy packed trip and we saw very few *normal* touristy things. We went through Nebraska specifically to see Carhenge (Alliance, NE) and also swung by the National Liars Hall of Fame (in Howard County). So there you go – some more stuff for your staycation. Not totally in the intense learning category, but it sure was fun.
I used to live in IA and I LOVE Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo. Can’t wait to take my own kids there someday. The Air and Space Museum I also enjoyed. We did part of our honeymoon at Wilson Island State Park near the DeSoto Wildlife Refuge (has a nice visitor center with info about the wildlife), and had a family reunion at Mahoney State Park. Mahoney has camping as well as cabins and a hotel-like lodge, so it’s a good place to go with a group that has different accommodation needs. I think in almost any place you can find lots of different destinations to explore!
G'ma Neise says
We have seen some on these thing in years past. I will be gong by York in Aug. heading to Adams, NE for a family reunion. Might have to check out the farmers market on Saturay with cousins. Thanks for all the ideas of what to do.
My favorite Aunt and Uncle live near Omaha. We are planning our Fall Break to see them. We always have fun at the Childrens Museum and Fontenelle Forest. This year we plan to hit the Zoo too. Yeah for NE!
Don’t forget the Niobrara. If you have the time to make the journey (all two lane hi-ways) it is well worth it. But the sandhills and blue skies make the journey so much more enjoyable too.
Sounds great! We’ve got a couple of camping trips planned; our first for the summer is this weekend up in the high-dessert area, just about an hour or so drive. And then in July we’ll be camping on one of the bases about 30 minutes from home; near the beach but actually we’ll be camping by a lake.
And then in November we’re “getting away” to the Weekend To Remember” (of course that’s just the hubs and I). Close to home but not too close, in the same gorgeous city we got married in, and lots of fun! (thanks for the 2for-1 discount rate).
If you ever want to come to SoCal, there’s lots to do – Disneyland is close by, Sea World, Safari Park (formely Wild Animal Park) and the Zoo just to name a few. (I could probably even get a few free passes to the animal parks).
Katie T. says
These are great, Laura! I’ve spent almost my entire life in Nebraska and had never heard of Wessel’s or the Edgerton Center. I am an Omaha girl and the Durham is my absolute favorite place! The Niobrara River is an amazingly beautiful and very family friendly river to canoe…I highly recommend it!
Hi Laura, I am from Michigan and have been enjoying your site for over a year. We just love your recipes. My parents just took a vacation to California for a month and are on there way back to MI. (yes they drove!) Guess were they are staying tonight. Yep at the Super 8 in York, Nebraska! I just talked to my mom and when she told me they were in York I was like oh my goodness no way! I said I just read a post from Heavenly Homemakers that said she is from York. To bad they don’t have time to stay and enjoy some of the things you mentioned or to stop by in the morning for a great breakfast before they hit the road!
No way! How fun that they were right here in my hometown! I would have loved to have fed them breakfast – maybe next time!
Christina Heisler says
I grew up in Columbus and will soon be moving to Alliance. One of my favorite memories is visiting Rowe Sanctuary to see the Sandhill Cranes. On a side note, whenever we are driving to my Grandmothers, the highlight of my kids trip is the “hot air balloon” water tower in York.
I live in Burwell and grew up in the Omaha area…which means I also pretty much grew up at the Henry Dorley Zoo. It’s a fantastic outing, you all will have a blast!
It’s great to see a Nebraska blogger! Keep at it. :)
We LOVE the Omaha Zoo! We went back in 2003 before we had kids and had a blast. I can’t wait to take my kids now! We lived in SoCal for anlittle over a year and personally I like Omaha’s zoo better then the San Diego Zoo!!
There is a museum in Aurora that is fun too, the Plainsmen?
My kids used to love the HATS program that the Stuhr museum offered. To bad we live too far away now.
If you get out to western Nebraska don’t forget to check out Scottsbluff, it’s great hike! As is Toadstool Park! And of course Lake Mac is a great place to spend a weekend. And the Petrified Wood Museum in Ogallala is interesting.
My goal this summer is to go north to the Mari Sandoz museum.
I like this idea though, I’ll try to write up staycation post about my neck of the woods.
Kris in Ogallala
Priscilla F. says
From a former Nebraskan… Henry Doorly Zoo for sure, and the Childrens Museum is really good too. For a simple and very inexpensive place, Schram Park is south of Gretna/1-80 along the Platte River, and has aquariums with native fish, a simple film presentation every hour or so, and a wonderful hands-on room for kids where they can touch all kinds of furs, etc. Outside there’s walking trails, and picnic areas. Lots of good childhood memories there, and plan to go back with my own boys this summer. Good suggestions from others on here too! Once a NE girl, always a NE girl. :)
Debbie Fisher says
If you have younger children, the Children’s Museum in Lincoln is one my boys loved when they were younger.
We are going to go to Grand Island to the State Fair this summer.
There are also concerts in the pasture at Comstock. Info here:
We spent many times in Omaha while we lived in SE South Dakota. We bought the season family pass to the zoo. We liked the children’s museum too, until the kiddos got too “old”. College world series is right next to the zoo, if you have any baseball fans.
I live in Seward, so we are neighbors ;-) I love the safari park out by the air and space museum too! Never knew it was there til last summer! And Milford has a new dino museum.