Thanks to Visit Omaha my family and I had the opportunity to travel to Omaha on a weekend getaway. We live in Northern Missouri so it’s only about a three hour drive for us through the country roads of Iowa. My husband and son joined me on a weekend in what we like to call the hidden gem of the Midwest… Omaha.
Years ago I visited the Omaha zoo with my high school FFA but I hadn’t been back to visit since, besides passing through. I am so glad we were able to take a few days to really enjoy this beautiful city along the Missouri River. It truly is a hidden gem that I hope others will visit and enjoy.
Here’s my top reason to visit Omaha, Nebraska:
Downtown. The downtown area of Omaha is absolutely gorgeous and restored with so many things to do. Visit Omaha has a building downtown where you can learn more about the city and all it has to offer. We spent a while there visiting with the employees and learning more about the city.
When you visit Omaha’s Old Market park your car and just walk. You’ll see street musicians, artists, boutiques and quaint restaurants. I can’t wait to visit there again because we didn’t have enough time to spend at the Old Market and take in all it has to offer.
Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium. I can still remember visiting the Omaha zoo in high school and how amazing it was. If you only visit one zoo in your lifetime then this is it. The zoo is 130-acres and home to the world’s largest indoor desert and the largest indoor rainforest in North America. We walked for hours and once our legs were tired we enjoyed a fun tour aboard the Omaha Zoo Railroad.
We even found Nemo and Dory in the aquarium!
The video below is of some cute mice at the zoo… yes, there’s just field mice but what we found so cute was that there’s actually two mice on the wheel. One ride, one runs, one stops, one rides, one runs, one stops… it’s very cute!
The zoo is home to thousands of animals from across the globe in their natural habitat. The aquarium is simply amazing complete with penguins! I can’t wait to visit the Omaha zoo with my family again. There is still so much there we haven’t explored. You can easily spend a whole day there exploring.
Of course, no zoo visit is complete without seeing the monkeys!
Omaha Savings App. The Omaha Savings App is a must download on your smartphone when visiting this beautiful city. Download the app to save more than $250 at top Omaha attractions. You can really stretch your budget when using the app which is perfect for families.
Shopping. One evening we visited the Village Pointe Shopping Center which features more than 60 exceptional specialty retail, dining, and entertainment offerings. You can even take in a movie while you’re there visiting.
Of course, my husband and son went straight for the store Scheels where they found plenty of University of Nebraska–Lincoln. My son was so excited to grab a University of Nebraska–Lincoln baseball shirt. He is completely baseball obsessed whether it’s watching or playing. Plus, we saved with a great coupon from the Omaha Savings App.
Oh, and of course, a ride on the Ferris Wheel at Scheels!
Like I said, the kid loves photo opps…
Hotels. There are so many hotels to choose from and highly recommend staying near downtown Omaha. We stayed at the Holiday Inn Omaha Downtown-Airport hotel. It is perfect for families complete with an indoor pool and water park.
My son loved the indoor water park complete with a huge slide!
Of course, we had to dine at our hotel restaurant at least once, Burger Theory. My son always loves a reason to pose for the camera!
It is also just an 8-minute walk from baseball games at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha, the home field of the College World Series since 2011. Yes, we’ll be staying there again to take in some baseball games!
Outdoor Activities. No vacation is complete for my family unless we spend time on outdoor activities. My son was persistent on taking in some miniature golf during our stay so we enjoyed a fun game at Putting Plus.
We also had a lot of fun visiting the Lee G. Simmons Conservation Park and Wildlife Safari. It is a drive-thru safari park where you’ll see a variety of North American plants and animals such as elk, white-tailed deer, bison, pronghorn antelope and waterfowl. It even has a fun petting zoo for kids including goats and chickens. We also got out to walk to see the bald eagles, bears and wolves. Very fun!
Museums. Omaha has several museums to visit including the Joslyn Art Museum and The Durham Museum. However, at the top of our list was the Strategic Air Command and Aerospace Museum. My husband has taken pilot lessons in the past and my son would love to be a pilot one day. They are obsessed with history and learning about every kind of plane imaginable. This was the perfect stop for them. I had them on a tight schedule and they grumbled the whole way out the door of how they could have spent a whole day in that museum.
Dine. Omaha is home to so many fabulous restaurants. I can’t wait to visit again to take in more of the Old Market eateries. One of our favorite stops during our stay was the authentic Guaca Maya Mexican Restaurant. It was a hopping place and they even offer live entertainment on the weekend!
We can’t wait to Visit Omaha again on another weekend getaway. It is perfect for families! My husband and I want to take a little getaway there ourselves one of these days too. I’ve also heard a lot of great things about the Omaha Riverwalk which is a must do on our next visit.
What would you love to do when you visit Omaha? Comment below and share with us!