Omaha is in the center of the United States and the heart of the Midwest - merging the best in Midwestern hospitality with the energy of a city on the move. In Omaha, you can explore and imagine, step into history, experience art in a whole new way and get a natural high.
Read below for some things to do during your visit and then explore the website for more ideas.
One step inside and you realize Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo is a whole different kind of animal. It's home to the world's largest indoor desert over the world's largest nocturnal exhibit under the world's largest geodesic dome next to one of the world's largest indoor rainforests and America's largest zoo aquarium - Whew! Discover rare and endangered animals as you travel through exotic locations - it's the ultimate interactive zoo experience. Omaha Children's Museum is imagination central, especially designed with kids in mind. Ranked as one of the top children's museums in the country, it features hands-on exhibits the whole family will enjoy. There's the Charlie Campbell Science and Technology Center with an inventor's workshop, science shows, and the enormous Super Gravitron ball machine - just one of 11 areas of exploration inside this creative wonderland.
Climb on-board a steam train, take a look at one of the world's rarest coin collections, and enjoy an old-fashioned phosphate at an authentic 1930s soda fountain. The Durham Museum, Omaha's original art deco train station, has been transformed into a vibrant museum where you can experience the region's rich history in a fun hands-on way. Tour the expansive campus of Boys Town. The national landmark, museum, historic chapels, gardens, and Father Flanagan's home, are all preserved in time inside this world-renowned village. It's the stuff movies are made of and Hollywood did just that. Boys Town, the 1938 movie starring Spencer Tracey and Mickey Rooney, won an Academy Award, which you can see when you visit. Catch the heritage of jazz in a part of the city where Duke Ellington and Count Basie once played. Love's Jazz and Arts Center is committed to the preservation and advancement of African American arts; the Center features guided tours, gallery talks, and interactive storytelling. At the Mormon Trail Center, you can take a personal trip to the 1800s by experiencing firsthand the struggles and triumphs of the great Mormon Migration. Pull a handcart like pioneers did all those years ago and see what it was like to live in a make-shift cabin and travel by covered wagon. The first Latino art and history museum in the Midwest, El Museo Latino is a cozy, culturally-intense center that is as authentic as the Latino restaurants and shops surrounding it. Historic South 24th Street is filled with Mexican tradition from murals on the buildings, folk art and pottery, to authentic cuisine and some of the most unique pastries you'll ever taste.
Thirty-eight different marbles from seven countries combine to make this pink marble museum a masterpiece - and that's just the outside of the Joslyn Art Museum. Inside, it's filled with more than 11,000 works of art from antiquity to the present featuring work from artists such as Claude Monet, Auguste Renoir, and Jackson Pollock, not to mention the highly-regarded collection of Greek pottery. Located in an artsy urban area, experience art exhibitions that are out of the ordinary at the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts. Innovation is the heart of this ever-changing, always impressive art museum/gallery/studio. It's as unique as the artists who live and work there. Right across the street is the Kaneko. It's not a museum, not a gallery, not a library or a research center, but an open space for open minds. Kaneko hosts innovative performances and includes exhibit space to explore the creative process and experimental studios for artists of many disciplines. At the Hot Shops Art Center, witness cutting edge art in a unique warehouse atmosphere where more than 80 artists entertain as they create, mold, and burn ordinary objects into works of art. Hot Shops also offers ‘Come Create It' classes where visitors can get in on the fun and create their own artwork to take home with them.
A walk on the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge is like walking on art suspended over the Missouri River. This one-of-a-kind 3,000 foot-long suspension bridge provides an almost air-borne experience. Stand in the middle, and you'll be standing in both Nebraska and Iowa at the same time. Bob connects more than 150 miles of walking and biking trails. Nearby, watch the spectacular fountain at Heartland of America Park with its 300-foot water and light show, hop in a gondola and enjoy a romantic ride, or take a stroll through this 31-acre park located near the Missouri River and Old Market entertainment district. Lauritzen Gardens is an urban oasis with more than 100 acres of botanical beauty including a Victorian Garden, a rose garden, and a four-acre arboretum. You can even watch as model trains travel twiggy trestles in the model railroad garden or check out the real thing, Lauritzen is also home to two of the most powerful locomotives ever built.
Be sure to explore Omaha's Old Market. Cobblestone streets lined with unique boutiques, art galleries, antique emporiums, and tasty sweet shops pack the historic Old Market entertainment district. Belly up to the bar at one of eclectic pubs, enjoy street artists, musicians, and carriage rides. With more than 30 distinctive Omaha restaurants, you'll find plenty of flavor in the Old Market.