Weekend Getaway in Omaha, Nebraska


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I can’t tell you how many times I have driven through Omaha but never stopped. Recently, took my kids and met my mom in Omaha for a fun weekend getaway. We had a great time visiting local attractions like the Henry Doorly Zoo, Omaha Children’s Museum, Lauritzen {Botanical} Gardens , The Durham Museum, and Kenefick Park. If you’re heading to Omaha for a getaway with kids, I highly recommend each of these fun stops!

Omaha Weekend We’ve been traveling quite a lot lately, so my husband felt like he should stay home to work on our Passive House. I appreciate that. I really do. I do want to move in there some day and get out of the barn we are currently living in. 🙂 But I needed another responsible adult to help me with my kiddos.

Weekend Getaway in Omaha, Nebraska

So, instead of going with my husband, my mom met the kids in I in Omaha for a mom-daughter-grandkids family weekend. We arranged to stay at a friends’ house. They were actually out of town and gave us the run of their home! It was so awesome of them to do that and we really appreciated being able to stay in a fully stocked house. It made our trip really easy and fabulous. So I’ll give a quick shout-out to our awesome friend Chris and his home building/remodeling company Cherry Ridge Construction! Thanks for letting us use your home!

Omaha Children's Museum

We arrived in Omaha on a Friday afternoon and headed first to the Omaha Children’s Museum. ALL of my children said over and over that the Omaha Children’s Museum was the best they’ve ever been too. And they’ve been to a lot of Children’s Museums.

Omaha Children's Museum
They chose their future careers…

Omaha Children's Museum

Played with balls.

Omaha Children's Museum Put out fires…

Omaha Children's Museum

And applied make-up and put on a show! They didn’t want to leave when it was time to go, and they definitely didn’t think that any of the other stops on our Omaha Weekend would be better than the children’s museum. But they were wrong -because the next day we went to the Omaha Zoo!!

Henry Doorly Zoo

Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo was really spectacular. They have a fabulous Desert Dome and recently added an aquarium that my kids loved. They had a fun train to ride, lots of animals to see, and park equipment to play on. We were a little worried about being outside in November, but anytime we got a little cold, we found a great indoor exhibit to look at. The zoo has the perfect mix of indoor/outdoor activities!

Omaha Zoo But the best part of the zoo according to my kids, was the butterfly park!  The butterfly area was a beautiful and warm indoor exhibit with more butterflies than I have ever seen in one place. A butterfly somehow landed on everyone – even the sleeping three year old! 🙂 I highly recommend the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha. Many of my friends have told me what a wonderful zoo Omaha has, so I had high expectations. We were not disappointed!

Welcome to Omaha Visit Omaha also gave us tickets to the Lauritzen {Botanical} Gardens and The Durham Museum -{History Center}. We drove to Lauritzen Gardens on our last day there, but didn’t go inside. Instead, we played at Kenefick Park which was right there too. Every time we drive thru Omaha I see those two trains on the bluff overlooking I-80. I never knew it was a park we could play at!


Kenefick Park was such a beautiful place for an impromptu photo shoot with my kids that we didn’t have time to go to the Laurtizen Gardens! We’ll have to go back.  🙂

The Durham Museum

The Durham Museum was our final stop on Sunday. I wasn’t sure what to expect from the Durham but we all LOVED it! Located in the old art deco train station, it was an amazing stop on  our Omaha Weekend. We learned about the history of the train station and its importance in the cattle industry and the role it played with the military during WW2 – I bet my own grandpa traveled through that train station on his way home from the war.

The Durham Museum They had an amazing display of trains and {I believe} we walked through a train car that Harry Truman used on his Whistle Stop Campaign! {But my mind is fuzzy now, as it has been 3 weeks since our visit…} I’m getting old and senile. So please don’t judge me if I’m wrong.

The Durham Museum But, my kids’ favorite part of the Durham was the Goose Bumps – The Science of Fear! exhibit. They LOVED that. They were excited to try out their fears – fear of falling, fear of electrocution, fear of bugs, fear of loud noises…The Durham had little rooms set up where we got to test out our fears. And Ben even volunteered to be the guinea pig in the live show! And that REALLY surprised me!

We had such a fabulous time in Omaha. All of the attractions were spectacular and we really enjoyed ourselves. Our weekend was jam-packed with fun days and we really didn’t have time to take in everything that Omaha has to offer.

Have you been to Omaha? What would you add to this list of must-see attractions?

Many thanks to Visit Omaha for making this trip possible! I must disclose that I was provided with tickets to facilitate this review, but these are my real opinions about our weekend in Omaha. 🙂


About Michelle Marine

Michelle Marine is the author of How to Raise Chickens for Meat, a long-time green-living enthusiast, and rural Iowa mom of four. She empowers families to grow and eat seasonal, local foods; to reduce their ecological footprint; and to come together through impactful travel.

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  1. I never got to visit as much in Omaha as I wanted to, the tickets would be so special.
    The zoo there is outstanding, and a great day trip for the kids!!!!!

    Thank you for the chance to win the tickets!!!

  2. It all sounds like fun! We are a homeschooling family of four who loves field trips. We’ve enjoyed the Madison, Milwaukee, and Minnesota Zoo, the Madison, La Crosse, and Milwaukee Children’s Museum, Milwaukee Public Museum, Milwaukee Discovery World, Madison Botanical Gardens, and the Milwaukee Domes. Omaha Zoo, museums, and gardens sound like a wonderful family adventure.

  3. I just posted a list of 35 things I want to accomplish before my 35th birthday…and a weekend away with my family was on that list! This would be a great get away for all of us! Thanks for sharing!

  4. The Children’s Museum looks amazing! I would love to take my family there, and the zoo also. We have never been to Omaha but have wanted to go for years. I would absolutely adore a weekend getaway with my family!

  5. I think I would be most excited to see the zoo or the gardens. We don’t have any kids, but are big kids at heart 🙂 And seriously, who doesn’t love visiting a zoo?

  6. This looks like so much fun! We have wanted to visit the omaha area, we go through all the time on our way to my sons dads house. What a neat vacation!

  7. The zoo! Love it!!! Wanted to take our kids there this summer but never got around to it. This whole package would be awesome!!

  8. It sounds and looks like you had a great time! We’ve actually had several friends go on family vacations to Omaha lately. Looks like that is where we need to travel to for our next adventure!

  9. THis sounds so fun! My parents live in Omaha, so I’ve visited a few of these places, but would love the opportunity to go again!

  10. My smarty pants explorers would love every secretly-educational aspect of such a weekend!

    Thank you for the opportunity!

  11. Since it has been about 2 decades since I’ve been to the Omaha zoo, I would love to go there and take my kids. Omaha is a great city.

  12. Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium are a mecca of wildlife and sea life. It is a charming family place to visit. i’ll definitely be there during next vacation.