7 Things to Do in Omaha other than go to the Zoo


things to do in omaha

Heading to Omaha for a day or a weekend getaway? Sure you’ve heard about the Omaha Zoo, and yes, it’s amazing, but don’t miss out on everything else Omaha has to offer! Pack up the family and drive 2 hours west for a fun road trip! 

7 Things to do in Omaha

1. Go to Kiewit Luminarium

If you have school-age kids, this hands-on, interactive science museum is a must-visit! It features a creative makers area, indoor play structure, and technology, physics, and biology exhibits as well as a local cafe and gift shop. 

2. Check out The RiverFront in Downtown Omaha

This park and green space is not to be missed if you’re in downtown Omaha. It’s within walking distance of the Old Market. With tons of slides, climbing structures, green space, and hammocks, there are plenty of options for both kids and adults to play and relax. Pack a swimsuit or change of clothes in the summer so the kids can play in the splashpad. 

3. Head to Fontenelle Forest

One of the largest private nature centers in the country, Fontenelle Forest 15 minutes south of downtown. Explore wildlife as you walk the mile-long boardwalk, hike one of the trails, check out the raptor woodland refuge, and more. For an added adventure, try one of the ropes courses at Tree Rush Adventures

4. Visit a Museum

History buffs and train lovers alike will enjoy The Durham Museum, located in Omaha’s Union Station. The Omaha Children’s Museum is a great place to play and explore if you have kids ages 6 and under. If you have a membership to the Science Center, you get discounted admission!  

5. Explore The Old Market

You can easily spend a morning or afternoon walking through the historic Old Market. The cobblestone streets are home to many eclectic shops and restaurants as well as the Omaha farmers market on Saturdays from May through October. Spaghetti Works is always a crowd-pleaser for family meals and the large patio offers great people watching. Get ice cream at Ted & Wally’s. It’s an Omaha favorite!  

6. Walk the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge

If you’re driving from Des Moines, you see “The Bob” bridge that spans the Missouri River on your way into Omaha. It’s fun to walk across (and let the kids get their wiggles out!). and have a foot in both Iowa and Nebraska. Belles Playground on the Council Bluffs, Iowa, side is a fun park for kids with views of downtown Omaha. 

7. Drive to Lee G. Simmons Wildlife Safari

See wildlife like elk, bison, wolves, and black bears at this Wildlife Safari Park, 30 minutes southwest of downtown Omaha in Ashland, Nebraska. Drive through the 4-mile safari or get out and explore one of the designated trails. 

Still want to go to the zoo? Check out our insider tips

Where to stay in Omaha

Hotels near downtown Omaha

Kimpton Cottonwood Hotel
This boutique hotel is in the trendy Blackstone neighborhood (and walking distance to Coneflower Creamery). It’s close to the Zoo, downtown, museums, and more. And the outdoor pool (and bar) is great in the summer! 

Embassy Suites by Hilton Omaha Downtown Old Market
This is a great spot for families as it comes with a free made-to-order breakfast, indoor pool, and complimentary evening reception.

Holiday Inn Omaha Downtown
Centrally located and offers a free shuttle to the airport. The indoor pool includes a small waterpark. 

What are your favorite things to do in Omaha? 


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