The Best Things to Do In Omaha Nebraska with Kids

Looking for fun and family-friendly activities to do in Omaha, Nebraska? Look no further! Omaha is a city packed with plenty of things to see and do, from exciting museums and zoos to parks and playgrounds. Whether you're a local or just visiting, you'll find plenty of fun activities to keep your kids entertained and engaged.

From the world-renowned Henry Doorly Zoo to the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge, Omaha has something for everyone. In this blog post, we've compiled a list of the best things to do in Omaha, Nebraska with kids. From hands-on science exhibits to outdoor adventures, there's something for every age and interest. Whether you're looking for educational experiences or just a fun day out, you'll find it here. So, pack a picnic and get ready for a day of fun and adventure with the whole family in Omaha!

We had the opportunity to visit and explore Omaha during the fall, just after school went back into session. While avoiding the summer tourists was nice, we missed the water parks! And with less than a week to cram in as many attractions as we could…we quickly decided a return trip is a must!

Is Omaha, NE a Good place to visit with kids?

Absolutely! Omaha is definitely worth visiting, even if you have teenagers. My kids are a bit older now, aged 17, 15, 12, and 12, and they're in that “I'm too mature for this” phase, so we had to skip some of the highly recommended places. If I had brought along one of my younger nephews on this trip, we would have checked out the spraygrounds, splash parks, and the Treetop Village at the Arbor Day Farm.

Is it worth visiting Omaha, NE?

Definitely! Omaha is truly an amazing place to visit with your family. It's packed with interesting history and diverse culture, providing plenty of opportunities for your kids to learn and grow. There are fascinating museums and live music festivals to discover, offering a wide range of experiences.

Plus, the city boasts beautiful green spaces that encourage outdoor activities like hiking, biking, and bird-watching. One of the best things about Omaha is its strong sense of community, which means there are plenty of engaging and enjoyable local events for the whole family to enjoy. Believe me, the combination of learning, fun, and community spirit in Omaha will create memories that will last a lifetime.

What Local Foods Must You Try when Visiting Omaha, NE?

Reuben sandwich: The Reuben sandwich is undeniably one of Omaha's most renowned culinary creations. This grilled delight features a delectable combination of corned beef, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut, and Russian dressing, all nestled between slices of flavorful rye bread. The sandwich's exact origin is a subject of debate. One tale credits Reuben Kulakofsky, a Lithuanian-born grocer from Omaha, who supposedly concocted it for his regular poker gatherings at the Blackstone Hotel in the 1920s.

Runzas: A Runza is a bread pocket filled with beef, cabbage or sauerkraut, onions, and seasonings. It's a regional specialty that comes from the Volga German immigrants to the region. You can find them at a fast-food chain called Runza, which is based in Nebraska.

Farm-to-Fork Fare: Thanks to Nebraska's deep agricultural heritage, numerous restaurants in Omaha proudly present farm-to-table menus that showcase locally procured ingredients. While these menus may vary with the seasons, they consistently deliver an array of fresh and scrumptious dishes.

Nebraska Sweet Corn: In Nebraska, the locally-loved sweet corn is a must-try delicacy, savored straight from the cob. Find it at bustling summer festivals or creatively crafted into dishes at quaint local eateries—it's more than food, it's a taste of tradition.

Craft Beer: Omaha has a thriving craft beer scene, with numerous local breweries offering unique brews. While not a food, it's certainly something to try if you enjoy beer.

Where to stay when visiting Omaha, NE with Kids

We stayed at a cute AirBnB and I highly recommend them. The house is in a nice quiet neighborhood, great location to easy access to pretty much anywhere in Omaha, and offers private, off-street parking.  It had all my key features – electronic check-in/access, multiple bathrooms, a decent-sized kitchen, and wifi. They had a guidebook on the dining room table, full of valuable information on places to go, places to eat, shopping, etc with all the local tips.

If you prefer hotels, here are a few of them that we looked into with good reviews.

Embassy Suites by Hilton Omaha Downtown Old Market

For those seeking a remarkable stay in Omaha's historic Old Market District, consider the Embassy Suites Downtown Omaha. This superior hotel offers premium accommodations equipped with a pool, fitness center, and the added value of a complimentary breakfast and evening reception. Its central location allows easy access to notable attractions like the Durham Museum, Orpheum Theater, and the famous Henry Doorly Zoo. Enjoy a blend of luxury, convenience, and exceptional service at the Embassy Suites Downtown Omaha.

Best Western Plus Kelly Inn

The Best Western Plus Midwest Inn in Omaha offers close proximity to attractions like the Omaha Zoo and TD Ameritrade Park. With an indoor water playland for kids, it's perfect for family vacations. Conveniently located off Interstate 80, it's easy to reach and is popular among business travelers. The hotel features generous meeting space, well-appointed guest rooms with refrigerators and microwaves, and pet-friendly options.

Hampton Inn & Suites Omaha-Downtown

Hampton Inn & Suites Omaha Downtown is a modern and convenient hotel located off I-480 in Omaha, Nebraska. With amenities like complimentary hot breakfast, free WiFi, a fitness center, and an indoor pool, guests can enjoy a comfortable stay. The hotel's central location offers easy access to attractions such as CHI Health Center Omaha, TD Ameritrade Park, CenturyLink Convention Center, Creighton University, and the historic Old Market area. 

Things to do In Omaha, NE with Kids

Omaha, a vibrant city teeming with engaging activities and attractions, is a fantastic destination that guarantees wholesome family fun. Top of the list is the acclaimed Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium – one of the nation's finest, opening a world of fascinating exploration and learning. The Omaha Children's Museum is another gem, with its hands-on exhibits designed to spark children's imagination and curiosity.

Steeped in rich history, the city offers a glimpse into the past at The Durham Museum. For a serene nature experience, Lauritzen Gardens offers a tranquil sanctuary. Outdoor enthusiasts will also enjoy Omaha's wealth of parks and trails, perfect for everything from scenic hikes to leisurely bike rides.

The city's flourishing arts scene, diverse culinary landscape, and lively community events further add to its charm. Indeed, Omaha, with its perfect mix of learning opportunities, recreational activities, and community warmth, makes it an attractive family destination.

Durham Museum

Durham Museum was kind enough to provide media passes so we could check it out. Unfortunately, we were a couple of days late for their dino exhibit! The museum itself is an old Union Station & still has a lot of the old furniture and decorations. They have set up statutes and audio recordings on the main floor, so you can get a feel for what it used to be like.

The downstairs is full of the history of the area. The exhibits range from history to science to culture to industry. It's affiliated with the Smithsonian Institution and has strong ties to the Library of Congress, the National Archives, and the Field Museum. They have permanent exhibits, such as that focused on the Omaha Indian tribe where you can walk inside a teepee and a replica of an earth lodge. The museum also has replicas of Worker's Cottages from the early 1900s, a replica of the original Buffett Grocery store from Omaha's Dundee neighborhood, the Bryan Reed coin collection, and the Harriman Family Line where you can stroll through train cars from the 1940s and 1950s.

They also have temporary exhibits, such as Dressing The Abbey, their exhibition designed to highlight fashion such as that in the popular Downtown Abbey. It was displayed for about 6 months before they set up the Hall of Heroes.

Location: 801 S 10th St, Omaha, NE 68108

Get More Information here.

Joslyn Castle

I was so bummed we didn't make it here! I've been to Scotland twice and still haven't visited a castle…and missed out on one here too! 

Joslyn Castle & Gardens upholds the enduring legacy of George and Sarah Joslyn (the original owners) through the preservation of their historic residence and a diverse range of cultural programming. The castle itself is a splendid example of Scottish Baronial Revival architecture. This style, characterized by crow-stepped gables, crenellations, and charming turrets, can be found in numerous public and private buildings across Great Britain, the United States, and Canada, showcasing its widespread influence.

The garden and grounds are always open to the public but the castle is only open during tour times, so make sure to check the schedule first.

Location: 3902 Davenport St, Omaha, NE 68131

Get More Information here


UrbanAir Omaha is the ultimate destination for kids seeking an exciting and active adventure in Omaha, Nebraska. This state-of-the-art indoor trampoline park features a wide variety of activities that will keep kids of all ages entertained for hours on end. From trampolines and obstacle courses to a ninja warrior course and a climbing wall, there's something for everyone. UrbanAir Omaha also features an arcade, where kids can experience thrilling video games and simulations.

The park's experienced and friendly staff is always on hand to ensure that kids have a safe and enjoyable experience. With its state-of-the-art facilities and exciting activities, UrbanAir Omaha is the perfect destination for kids looking for a fun and active adventure in Omaha.

I'd recommend this one more for the 14 and under crowd, but our older two enjoyed playing with their brothers & doing the obstacle course…while I took advantage of one of several massage chairs!

Location: 15364 Weir St, Omaha, NE 68137

Get More Information here.

Lauritzen Gardens: Omaha's Botanical Garden

Lauritzen Gardens: Omaha's Botanical Garden is a must-see destination for nature lovers visiting Omaha, Nebraska. The garden is a 100-acre urban oasis that features a wide variety of plant collections, from beautiful roses and annuals to rare and endangered species. The garden also boasts several unique features, including a Victorian-style rose garden, a peony garden, and a festival garden.

In addition to its stunning horticultural displays, the garden also offers a variety of educational programs and events, such as workshops, lectures, and tours. Visitors can also enjoy a variety of seasonal events, such as the annual Holiday Poinsettia Show and the Japanese Ambience Festival. Lauritzen Gardens is a great destination for families, plant enthusiasts, and anyone looking for a peaceful and serene escape in the heart of the city.

Location: 100 Bancroft St, Omaha, NE 68108

Get More Information here

Fontenelle Forest

Situated in Bellevue, Nebraska, Fontenelle Forest spans an impressive 1,500 acres, serving as a green oasis of tranquility and exploration. This natural sanctuary offers visitors a host of amenities to ensure a memorable journey through its scenic landscapes. Highlights include an elaborate web of hiking trails, a well-equipped nature center, immersive children's camps, a charming gift shop, and picnic facilities for those idyllic outdoor lunches.

Moreover, Fontenelle Forest is no ordinary woodland. Its unique blend of ecological importance and historical significance has earned it a spot on the list of National Natural Landmarks and National Historic Districts. In essence, Fontenelle Forest is more than just a forest—it's a testament to nature's splendor and a celebration of our nation's rich history.

TreeRush invites outdoor adventurers of all ages, starting as young as four, for a remarkable three-hour journey through the forest canopy. This unique and thrilling experience enables participants to traverse an array of exhilarating elements—from ziplines and rope ladders to suspended obstacles and bridges—all at their own comfort and pace.

With an exciting mix of tunnels and unexpected treetop surprises, the adventure encourages discovery and excitement against the backdrop of nature's splendor. Prepare to dive into this unparalleled adventure, where every moment is a blend of thrill, discovery, and natural beauty.

They are two separate attractions/admission fees, but they are located at the same address.

Location: 1111 Bellevue Blvd N, Bellevue, NE 68005

Get More Information on TreeRush and Fontenelle Forest.

Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium

Get ready for a wild ride at Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium! Nestled in Omaha, Nebraska, this spectacular zoo spans an expansive 160 acres and is home to a diverse family of nearly 17,000 fascinating creatures. With prestigious accreditations from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums, the zoo stands as a beacon of conservation, research, and education.

As one of the largest zoos in America, the Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium hosts an array of “largest” exhibits that will leave you spellbound. Visitors can explore the largest indoor swamp and desert, and observe a stunning variety of feline species in North America's largest cat complex. The remarkable glazed geodesic dome is another highlight not to be missed.

To truly soak in the wonder of this extensive zoo, consider a visit during a weekday in the off-season. Despite a few closed food venues, the fewer crowds promise a leisurely pace to savor each animal exhibit. For those visiting on a weekend or during the bustling summer months, a two-day adventure could be ideal. Enjoy the zoo at a relaxed pace, take in the thrilling shows, and don't forget to experience the unique joy of feeding the majestic giraffes.

All in all, Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium is a testament to dedication towards conservation, offering an immersive journey into the animal world that both educates and inspires. So strap in and prepare for an extraordinary safari right in the heart of Omaha!

Location: 3701 S 10th St, Omaha, NE 68107

Get More Information here.

Gerald R. Ford Birthsite and Gardens

The Gerald R. Ford Birthsite and Gardens marks the location where U.S. President Gerald R. Ford once lived after his birth in July 1913. This historical site was the residence of his paternal grandparents, Charles Henry and Martha King.

Now, it captivates visitors with its beautifully manicured Memorial Gardens, featuring nine lush rosebeds with a total of 170 exquisite rose bushes, and 22 vibrant flowerbeds. This serene destination offers a captivating, peaceful retreat, all while basking in a significant slice of U.S. history.

Location: 3202 Woolworth Ave, Omaha, NE 68105

Get More Information here.

Fun-plex Waterpark

Fun-Plex proudly holds the distinction of being Nebraska's largest waterpark and rides destination. It offers a wide range of attractions that are perfect for parents looking to create unforgettable memories with their children.

Fun-Plex offers a variety of attractions such as water slides, a water playground, a wave pool, a lazy river, a swim-up bar, a go-kart track, kiddie and family rides, and a mini golf course.

Location: 7003 Q St, Omaha, NE 68117

Get More Information here

Malcolm X Birthsite

The Malcolm X Memorial Foundation in Omaha, Nebraska serves as a dedicated institution to honor the legacy of Malcolm X, a prominent figure born in the city. Recognizing the significance of this historical site, the state of Nebraska has erected an official marker to commemorate Malcolm X's connection to the area.

Covering an expansive 17 acres, the memorial site is currently under development and welcomes the public to explore and engage with its offerings. This memorial serves not only as a place of remembrance but also as an educational opportunity, allowing visitors to delve into the life and impact of Malcolm X.

Location: 3448 Evans St, Omaha, NE 68111

Get More Information here

Freedom Park Navy Museum

Freedom Park is an outdoor park and United States Naval Museum located in Omaha, Nebraska. It houses notable attractions such as the USS Marlin SST-2 submarine, the USS Hazard AM-240 minesweeper, and a comprehensive collection of USN anti-aircraft guns. Visitors can explore military vehicles, jets, rockets, and more. Admission is free, and guided tours are available on select days.

Location: 2497 Freedom Park Rd, Omaha, NE 68110

Get More Information here

Jazz on the Green

For those passionate about live music and planning a summer visit to Omaha, Jazz on the Green is a must-attend event! Every Thursday evening throughout July and August, this vibrant gathering kicks off with the lawn opening at 5 pm, followed by the main show at 7 pm. It's a perfect outing for families – kids and leashed pets included.

You can enjoy delightful bites and sips from local vendors, or feel free to pack your own picnic basket. Nestled in Midtown Crossing, this lively music event is just a short hop away from Downtown Omaha. So mark your calendars and get ready for an unforgettable summer evening filled with toe-tapping tunes!

Location: Midtown Crossing, Omaha, NE

Get More Information here.

Ellsworth Crossing Farm to Fork Market

This was actually our first stop in Nebraska. There was a Scottish farmer with a Highland cow scheduled as part of their Saturday event. Unfortunately, they left early due to rain & we were later getting there than we wanted. I know Nick was hoping to talk to someone that sounded like him and I wanted to love up on a Highland cow (pronounced coo by my husband) because they are so FLUFFY!

However, I was able to stock up on some delicious tea, summer sausage, and some bison for our stay. Almost everything they carry is raised and processed in Nebraska. On top of the chicken, beef, bison, duck, and other food products, they also have a small handmade goods room with candles & other goodies you'd expect to find at a local craft show. If you stop in, make sure you grab a jar of Elderberry Honey!

Location: 26902 W Center Rd, Waterloo, NE 68069

Get More Information here

Omaha has a lot of kid-friendly attractions to offer. From museums to outdoor parks, there is something for everyone! Be sure to check out the Freedom Park Navy Museum, Jazz on the Green, Ellsworth Crossing Farm to Fork Market, and Joslyn Art Museum. There is also a wildlife safari park, aquatic center, Gene Leahy Mall, ice rink for ice skating, Clark National Historic Trail, and so much more!

Sharing is caring!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *