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The Best Family Omaha City Guide!

Omaha, NE City Guide has done ALL the hard work so you don’t have to with this ULTIMATE Omaha City Guide to print & use!



21 Mar | read

Omaha is a city that embraces cultural diversity and a hard work ethic, from the Native American Indian tribes to the pioneers, from the railroad laborers to the meat packers. This rich tapestry of history makes this city a very unique place to visit!

Named after an American Indian Tribe, the name Omaha means "Those going against the wind or current", a name which Omahans proudly continue to live up to! 

It's because of Omaha's unique quality that we're so excited to share with you our Omaha City Guide that features our "Top 9 Family Attractions", which is just the tip of the iceberg in what you can find out about this popular and exciting US destination!

So make sure check out our entire Omaha City Guide, so you know exactly how to plan your exciting family day out in (currently) the USA's 42nd largest city!

Main Image: Courtesy of Visit Omaha

Image Credit: Courtesy of Visit Omaha

In our Omaha City Guide, you can find our top 9 things to do with kids and the family in this amazing Nebraska city, plus we also list some fun experiences that will bring out the child in everyone! 

We know that budgets are more often than not a consideration when you're traveling as a family, so also in this Omaha City Guide we let you in on some great FREE things to do with kids that won't break that budget!

If you don't have a car or just want a break from driving, we also share some tips on getting around Omaha on public transportation, plus we will wow you with some facts about Omaha that might just surprise you! 

If you want to explore a bit further afield, our Omaha City Guide let's you in on one of our favorite day trips, plus you'll discover some famous faces who were born in this great city.

So whether this is your first trip saying "Yes, take me to Omaha"! or perhaps you have lived here all your life but never took the time to see what the area has to offer and think "What is there is to do near me in Omaha?", then keep reading because we have the top 9 things to do in Omaha with the family...and so much more!

Image Credit: Courtesy of Visit Omaha

Because of Omaha's location near the Missouri River as well as the Platte River, the region was a prime spot for inhabitants, trades and ultimately settlers. Prior to settlers moving in, the area was home for a number of Indian tribes including the Sioux, the Pawnee and the Missouri. These tribes all developed a semi-nomadic lifestyle which was needed for life on the Great Plains.

Then, in the early 19th century the famous Lewis and Clark expedition passed through the area, as did the Astor expedition, as well as fur traders, and prospectors. European settlements and pioneers soon called Omaha home. Did you know that when the city was still very young, no formal police or sheriff existed? As a result, locals formed a "Claim Club" which took authority.

Throughout the 19th century, various towns were created and during the 1880s, it was said that Omaha was the fastest growing city in the entire United States, mainly as a result of the thriving meat packing industry. 

Today, Omaha is a melting pot of cultures and ethnicities that embraces its history whilst looking to the future.  It's also a city that makes for a really fun family day out, so what are you waiting for!?

Image Credit: Courtesy of Visit Omaha

Omaha is a smorgasbord of things to do with the family, from nature to history, from wildlife and FREE attractions!

Kids can have a great time at attractions geared towards JUST them at places such as the Omaha Children's Museum, and even challenge themselves on the thrills and spills of Fun-Plex Waterpark & Rides!

History awaits at museums such as The Durham Museum and El Museo Latino, or if it's wildlife you want, then Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo is where you should be headed!

Active kids can have a great day at BounceU, or if its nature you want, then Lauritzen Gardens is the place for you!

Are you ready to have an exciting, inspiring or relaxing family day out in Omaha? Grab that sense of adventure and let's go!

Image Credit: Courtesy of Visit Omaha

Getting around Omaha is really a breeze! If you're arriving into the airport, there are plenty of taxis to grab, and a shuttle bus service that can take you directly into the center. If you're staying at a hotel, the majority of hotels off complimentary direct transporation to and from the airport.

Once in Omaha, the Omaha Metro offers a great service throughout the area! This is the city's mass transit bus system, and offers a local service, as well as the Rapid Bus Transit with a more frequent schedule long Dodge Street, or you have the MOBY which is a complimentary door-to-door service for ADA-eligible residents and visitors!

Check the Omaha Metro website for the schedules and routes.

All you have to do now is work out what fun things you'll be filling your days with! Have fun! After all, you're in Omaha!

One of Omaha's most famous residents is Bob! Have you ever heard of him? Well, if you haven't that might be because Bob is in fact a BRIDGE! However, he could be Omaha's most famous resident!

The Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge (aka "Bob") is the ONLY pedestrian bridge in the USA that connects two states, and a stroll across the Missouri River will give you an almost airbourne experience as you make your way from Omaha to Council Bluffs, Iowa.

The bridge was named after a former Nebraska senator who actually secured the funding, and it really a fun experience for the whole family.

As you cross the bridge, keep an eye out for the plaque that marks where the borders of the two states meet! 

Image Credit: Courtesy of Visit Omaha

Our Top 9 Fun Things To Do With The Kids In Omaha

Our Top 9 Fun Things To Do With The Kids In Omaha

An imaginative experience awaits for kids at the Omaha Children's Museum! Since 1976, this playful and creative museum has offered an environment where kids can challenge themselves, discover all about how the world works, and also learn through play!

Here, inquisitive kids can enjoy hands-on exhibits, as well as various programs and workshops, and even special events that will put them in touch with this ever-changing world. Kids, are you ready to be inspired, and use those imaginations?

Image Credit: Courtesy of Visit Omaha

It's time to go WILD at Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium, where you can experience the wonderful creatures of the planet, without having to leave the city! In fact, you can unleash your sense of wonder across the 160 animals, plants and unique habitats that all call Henry Doorly Zoo home!

From the African grasslands, to the Asian highlands, and the depths of the ocean, kids can come face to face with some of their favorite animals! Don't miss out on the fun experiences and events that the zoo offer too, plus it's a wonderful day out to learn about conservation!

Image Credit: Courtesy of Visit Omaha

If you love nature then Lauritzen Gardens Omaha's Botanical Center is the place for you! Here you'll discover a living museum of unique plants that thrive all year round, offering not only a nature-based experience for the family, but also an educational one!

At Lauritzen Gardens you can escape to an urban oasis of tranquility and beauty as you exprience the glory of the garden! Are you ready to discover a hidden sanctuary in the heart of Omaha and relax your mind and enlighten your senses as you make your way around this living plant museum. 

Image Credit: Courtesy of Visit Omaha

The Durham Museum is located in one of Omaha's most unique treasures - Union Station! Even the beautiful architecture alone is worth visiting for, but once inside you'll be captivated by the memories, events, people and creatures of times gone by. 

This popular Omaha museum offers a fascinating look at the city of the city, as well as housing a broad-range of traveling exhibits that cover subjects such as science, history, culture, industry and more thanks to their affiliations with the Smithsonian Institution, Library of Congress, the Field Museum and National Archives. 

Image Credit: Courtesy of Visit Omaha

If you're already enjoyed a family day out at Henry Doorly Zoo, why not make your next animal-tastic family day out safari style? The Lee G. Simmons Wildlife Safari Park is an amazing outdoor adventure where you can explore four miles of Northern American wildlife from the comfort of your very own car!

A short drive from Omaha, this fun Safari Park can be found in Ashland. Once you've enjoyed the drive through safari, you can stretch your legs and hike to one of the popular overlooks where you can view wolves, bears, elk, bison and even pelicans and other waterfowl! Don't miss a stop in the Eagle Aviary too!

Image Credit: Courtesy of Visit Omaha

For that day out in nature, Fontenelle Forest is perfect! Founded back in 1913, Fontenelle Forest is one of Nebraska's oldest conservation organizations, as well as being one of the largest private nature centers in the entire country!

In this National Natural Landmark AND part of the National Register of Historic Sites, your day out at Fontenelle Forest can be spent exploring over 2,100 acres of wetlands, forest and prairie all along the Missouri River as well as enjoy experiences such as the Raptor Woodland Refuge, Habitat Hollow for kids and the Acorn Acres playspace!

Image Credit: Courtesy of Visit Omaha

Splash-tastic fun at Nebraska's largest waterpark, thrills on countless rides, and plenty of family fun to be had at Fun-Plex Waterpark & Rides!  At Fun-Plex, you'll be spoilt for choice as you decide if you want to take on the twirly twists of the waterslides, or challenge family and friends on activities such as the bumper boats or crazy cars!

Fun-Plex has more gentle water attractions such as the splash pad, and also a host of kiddie rides so they really do have something for all ages! Are you ready to take on Nebraska's largest waterpark (and then some!?) at Fun-Plex? Then let's go!

Image Credit: Fun-Plex

The El Museo Latino is an important museum for all families to visit, as they collect, exhibit and interpret Latino arts of the Americas, and strengthen the artistic and creative culture of the Greater Omaha area!

Permanent and rotating exhibits showcase the creativity and works of Latino artists from Pre-Columbian times right through to present day Contemporary Arts. What's also great is that your visit will provide direct support to local artists, which we love!

Image Credit: El Museo Latino

Great for those active kids, BounceU is where they can use up all of that energy and jump, play, bounce, flip, slide and so much more! This indoor play space in Omaha is where kids can jump around until their heart's content, with open bounce sessions and special events!

Kids can enjoy the huge inflatable bounce houses, or take on the giant slides, or challenge themselves on the fun obstacle course! The best part? Kids will keep active and stay healthy, all the while having fun! A great activity to bounce your way into!

Image Credit: BounceU

Famous Omahans!

 Family Days Out: City Guide

Malcolm X

Malcolm X was an influential African-American Muslim minister, as well as a human rights activist and prominent figure during the Civil Rights Movement.

His work also focused on the promotion of Islam within the African-American community, and supporter of Black nationalism.

Image Credit: Public Domain

 Family Days Out: City Guide

Marlon Brando

Marlon Brando was an multi-award winning American actor, and considered one of the greatest and most influential actors of all time.

His career spanned over 60 years, with notable works including On The Waterfront, The Godfather and Apocalypse Now.

Image Credit: Public Domain

5 Fun Omaha Facts

5 Fun Omaha Facts

Impress your friends with your amazing Omaha knowledge!

  • In 1945 during World War II, a Japanese bomb actually detonated over an Omaha neighborhood. Such was a rarity that a Japanese bomb would make it that far inland, today a plaque marks the impact spot.
  • Love the Reuben sandwich? Well, it was invented in Omaha! It was during a late night poker game at the Blackstone Hotel that a local grocer was asked to "ante up" and create a new dish. The only ingredients available ultimately became this iconic delicacy!
  • The Reuben isn't the only Omaha invention! The city was also the birthplace of cake mix and TV dinners!
  • Omaha is home to four Fortune 500 headquarters!
  • Omaha is also home to the largest indoor rainforest in the world! It can be found at Henry Doorly Zoo!

Top 5 FREE Things To Do With Kids In Omaha

Explore Pioneer Courage Park!

Explore Pioneer Courage Park!

Enjoy some park time AND art at Pioneer Courage Park! Of course, here you can enjoy that classic family park day out, but the highlight is seeing the impressive bronze sculptures that rise from the park grounds. 

It was in 2005 and 2009 that sculptors installed Pioneer Courage featuring four pioneer families along with their covered wagons - all departing westward from Omaha. It's a look into history, where kids can see what pioneer life must have been like, including the Hunter Group that portrays the constant need to provide meat-filled meals for families, to ensure survival. An amazing art experience!

Image Credit: Courtesy of Visit Omaha

Visit the Old Market

Visit the Old Market

Omaha's Old Market is actually the city's most historic and most entertaining neighborhood, and it's wonderful to walk around and experience first hand! Here you'll find beautiful cobblestone streets all home to a diverse mix of galleries, shopping, taverns, restaurants and even people-watching.

The Old Market area is open daily, however it's worth noting the times of individual businesses may vary. Take in the magic of the street vendors, the horse-drawn carriages, and live music as you experience Omaha history!

Image Credit: Old Market

Visit Zorinsky Lake Park

Visit Zorinsky Lake Park

Zorinsky Lake Park is located in west Omaha and makes for a wonderful day out for the family! This popular Omaha destination is great for day use, with playgrounds for the little ones, plus a football field, baseball diamonds, football and soccer fields, as well as plenty of hiking and biking trails too!

With 255 acres of lake surface area as well, there's plenty of fishing and water fun, and the project even has one of the few native tall grass prairies that remains in eastern Nebraska!

Image Credit: Courtesy of Visit Omaha

Visit Memorial Park

Visit Memorial Park

A visit to Memorial Park is a great way for kids to learn and understand historical events, as well honor the men and women of the armed forces who served in World War II, as well as the Korean War and Vietnam War. 

A favorite stop within Memorial Park is the All-American Rose Society Garden. It makes for not only a day out in nature, but an invaluable experience for the older children. Open daily from 5am to 11pm.

Image Credit: Courtesy of Visit Omaha

Do Space!

Do Space!

Part technoology library, and part makerspace, kids can really have a great time learning and playing at Do Space! This nonprofit offers free access to classes, devices and children's activities where they can really learn new skills.

They might want to learn robotics, or learn to code video games! It's a modern environment where anyone can learn new software, or 3D printing, or even learn how to use new devices. Community members of all ages can take their skills to the next level, and don't forget to check out Little Labs either!

Image Credit: Do Space

A Day In Omaha!

A Fun Day Trip From Omaha!

One of the best day trips from Omaha is to the Nebraskan capital of Lincoln! Named after Abraham Lincoln himself, Lincoln is not only the heart of the state but it's also a beautiful and history city, making for a really fun, exciting and educational day trip for the whole family.

At just under an hour in the car from Omaha, Lincoln has so many fun things to do for all ages. This second-most populous city in the state has outdoor fun, activities just for kids, history, art, and some pretty incredible foods to enjoy as well! Whether it's just for a day or if you have time to sneak away for a weekend or even longer, Lincoln won't disappoint.

Image Credit: Nebraska Tourism

The history of Lincoln is traced back to the settlement of the village of Lancaster back in 1856, and Lancaster County in 1859. However, before these events it was the Plains Indians who called the region home for thousands of years, and hunted along Salt Creek.

Once Nebraska was granted statehood in 1867, Lancaster became the state capital. Once the capital, the Lancaster was re-named Lincoln (after Abraham Lincoln), and the first State Capitol was completed in 1868.

Lincoln was officially incorporated in 1869.

Once Lincoln was the capital it thrived. Railroads started passing through the region in the 1870s, and by 1892 the city even found itself as the rail center. Immigrants were making their way into the area, as were highways and air fields, and by 1920 the population was nearing 55,000!

Today, Lincoln remains a popular destination for people to visit, and with so many things to do with kids of all ages, you might just find yourself going back!

Here’s our top 4 Lincoln things to do:

We hope you found this content useful! Please share with your friends, and if you have any comments, or want to let us know what we can do to further help you find fun days out with the family, then just email our team at [email protected]!

Let's get the family adventure started!

Lisa Written by

Lisa has been a content writer for Family Days Out for nearly 10 years, and a keen travel writer for nearly 20. She loves experiencing the best of a city, discovering the many things to do and immersing herself in the culture, and sharing these experiences with others through her writing.

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