Hotspots in Omaha, NE
Papio Bay is the place where families in Omaha go to beat the heat and have a good time. In addition to swimming pools, you'll find wading pools, various water slides, a diving pool and a special area for little kids. Due to all the options, people of all ages can enjoy their time at Papio Bay. When your family gets hungry, you can visit the concessions stand -- which has surprisingly good food. The only downside to Papio Bay is how crowded it can get. For that reason, we recommend going at noon right when it opens for the day.
Beyond the gates at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo, you’ll find the world’s largest indoor desert and the U.S.’s largest indoor rainforest along with the 1.3 million-gallon salt-water-filled Scott Aquarium. Pound your chest along with the gorillas in Gorilla Valley or watch the orange orangutan in the Hubbard Orangutan Forest. View the exhibits from on high via Skyfari, the zoo’s aerial tram.
As the name suggests, Family Fun Center XL is the ultimate destination for family entertainment in Omaha. While they have a number of activities to choose from, we recommend their laser tag -- which is regarded as the best in town. The laser tag arena is three levels and has numerous obstacles, special effects and cool imagery to add to the fun. Other activities include paintball, an endless number of arcade games, bazooka ball and glow golf. Family Fun Center XL has been in business for over 30 years and has recently moved to a bigger and better location. Your family will want to go back again and again!
Learn and play at the Omaha Children’s Museum. Since 1976, the Omaha Children’s Museum has been introducing children to the world around them through the world of play. Interactive, hands-on exhibits and programming bring children face-to-face with the adult world in kid-sized bites. Children can shop at the Little Market, play firefighter at Engine House No. 1 and harvest the crops at Rainbow Farm. Let their imaginations soar at OCM’s Creative Art Center, where children can play dress up, draw and paint or help them discover the laws of science at the Inventor’s Workshop.
The oldest and most prominent art museum in Nebraska, the Joslyn Art Museum opened in 1931. Considered one of the top 10 art museums for kids, the museum, which features art from ancient times into the 21st century, offers a number of exciting and interactive ways for kids and their families to enjoy the museum. Begin with an art overview at the Scott EdTech Gallery, where kids have a multi-media opportunity to explore art. Check out an Art Pack or the SmART Cards designed to help families seek out 15 different works of art.
Follow in the footsteps of explorers Lewis and Clark and the Corps of Discovery, a group of one woman, a baby and 31 men who set out in search of a waterway that would link the Great Plains with the Pacific Ocean. The Lewis and Clark Historic Trail traverses eleven states, including Nebraska. Stop by the visitor center in Omaha and hike along one portion of the 3,700-mile trek this group undertook between 1804 and 1806.
Built in 1903 by Omaha couple George and Sarah Joslyn, this 35-room, 19,360-square-foot Scottish Baronial mansion is now considered a local treasure. On the National Register of Historic Places, the castle’s impressive interior includes a sweeping mahogany staircase, marble fireplace, stained-glass windows, mosaic tiles, oak paneling, hand-painted ceilings and gold-toned satinwood. The castle grounds cover 5.5 acres with two ponds, a foot bridge, and beautiful landscaping.
Enjoy the park’s 300-foot-high fountain and light show, wander amid the exhibits and memorials or take a ride on one of the gondolas. Opened in 1990, the 31-acre park features an interpretive exhibit highlighting the explorations of Lewis and Clark at the Lewis and Clark Landing. The park offers walking trails, picnic tables and an ideal location to enjoy the outdoors with your family.
Discover the beauty of the Latin American culture in the U.S. One of only eleven Latino museums in the U.S., El Museo Latino embraces the Latin American culture prevalent in the Midwest. The museum celebrates holidays such as Cinco de Mayo and Hispanic Heritage Month, offers educational classes, including traditional art, music and dance classes, and features exhibits honoring the influences Latinos had on growth in Omaha and the Midwest.
Explore how the railroads transformed America at the Union Pacific Railroad Museum in Council Bluffs, Iowa. Artifacts, photos and documents dating from the mid-1800s chronicle the massive effort to design, build and run the railroads that opened the American West for settlement. For six years more than 20,000 men worked day and night to connect the growing U.S., traversing rivers, mountains and the Great Plains as they built the railroads and connected east with west.