8 Must-Do’s for An Active, Family-Friendly Outdoor Vacation to Omaha
Let’s be honest: we don’t hear a whole lot about Nebraska, do we?
But hey, if you’re a nature lover looking for a prime, crowd-free spot to take a vacation, you’re most definitely in luck.
A far cry from the likes of noisier, traditional tourist destinations, Omaha is a brilliant place to enjoy the great outdoors as a family. From some of the country’s hidden gems in terms of nature attractions to endless activities which allow you to get your heart pumping, there’s something for everyone in America’s heartland.
Of course, this begs the question: what are some of the best way to fill up your trip itinerary?
Don’t worry. We’ve got you covered.
For families who aren’t afraid to get up and move while keeping a busy schedule, we’ve outlined eight activities that’ll keep you energized and entertained. Whether you’re traveling with younger children or teenagers as part of your party, any combination of these ideas can keep you busy.
Make it a Camping Trip
There are plenty of parks friendly to tent campers and RVs alike, including Eugene T. Mahoney State Park, N.P. Dodge Memorial Park and Riverwest Park.
All located in relatively close proximity to whatever you’re looking to do in Omaha, camping allows you to spend even more time in nature throughout your trip. As an added bonus, services like Outdoorsy makes it a cinch to find RV rentals throughout Omaha to find the right fit for your family.
Lauritzen Gardens Botanical Center
One of the Omaha’s most famous attractions, the Lauritzen Gardens represent a paradise for plant-lovers, birdwatchers and those who just want to enjoy the serenity of nature.
With trails to explore and an educational kid-friendly garden to boot, this is a great place to spend some quality bonding time with your kiddos. The Gardens regularly hold events, so check the calendar accordingly before stopping by.
Henry Doorly Zoo
Representing one of the largest zoos in the United States and oftentimes in the conversation of the world’s best zoos, this is a must-see for animal lovers.
From an epic indoor rainforest to its massive big cat exhibits to the famed Desert Dome, every nook and cranny of the animal kingdom is covered here. You could easily spend all day here: with so many exhibits to experience, the zoo is a fantastic place to unwind following an adventure-heavy day.
Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge
Spanning 3,000 feet across the Missouri River and known by locals simply as “Bob,” this epic bridge offers a stellar view of the city skyline. Friendly to walkers and bikers alike, Bob connects to dozens of nearby nature trails and represents a fantastic place to take a troll and snag a snapshot.
Zorinsky Lake and its attached park present the opportunity for visitors to get up close and personal with one of the last remaining tallgrass prairies in the state. A great place for a jog, a picnic with the kids or just some simple wildlife-watching, those who want to get up close to the water can also enjoy a bit of fishing as well.
Heartland of America Park
For those who want a taste of civilization, Heartland of America Park is a spectacular spot to check out if you’re in the vicinity of downtown Omaha. The walking trail offers a great view of the city in addition to an awesome light-up fountain. Another great spot for a stroll, the little ones will love checking out the water fowl that frequent the lake.
If the zoo isn’t much your speed or you’re looking for an even more authentic opportunity to get up close with local wildlife, Heron Haven is most definitely worth your time.
This hiking hotspot is brimming with birds, frogs, turtles, and represents another opportunity for visits to get away from it all due to the Haven’s secluded setting. Boasting a visitor’s center and easy-to-navigate trails, this spot is totally kid-friendly.
Chalco Hills offer visitors the best of both worlds when it comes to the outdoors. Hiking, biking, jogging and kayaking are all fair game here, all crowd-free and located not too far from downtown. Oh, and if you’re looking to catch a glimpse of a bald eagle, chances are you can do it here.
If you’re surprised by what Omaha has offer to nature-loving out-of-towners, you certainly aren’t alone.
The city’s status as a tourist destination that flies under the radar spells good news for families who want a taste of adventure minus the massive crowds. Regardless of how many of these spots you manage to hit up, just know that you’re in for a trip to remember.