7 Family-Friendly Places in Omaha, Nebraska

Nicknamed the “Gate City to the West,” Omaha, Nebraska is historically significant as a jumping off point for the Oregon Trail, Mormon Trail, and later the Union Pacific Railroad.

A centrally-located driving point for many Midwestern and Western states, here are seven family-friendly places worth stopping on your next trip to town:

Old World Market

Once a site of warehouses and packing plants, the historic Old World Market is now a vibrant shopping, dining, and entertainment destination.

Website: http://www.oldmarket.com/

PassagewayHenry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium

Nebraska’s most visited attraction, the Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium is home to thousands of animals and 130 acres of exhibits and gardens.

Website: http://www.omahazoo.com/

Aquarium SignStrategic Air and Space Museum

Housing an impressive collection of military aircraft and artifacts in a combined 300,000 square feet of space, the Strategic Air and Space Museum is a popular destination for students, teachers, and tourists.

Website: http://sasmuseum.com/

SAS EntrywayLauritzen Gardens

Encompassing a botanical gardens and arboretum on 100 acres, Lauritzen Gardens is enjoyed by visitors all year-round. With plans for expansion in 2014, current exhibits range from a Children’s Garden to a Japanese Garden and traditional Victorian and Rose Gardens.

Website: http://www.lauritzengardens.org/

Gardens for Expansion

Durham Museum

Omaha’s original Union Station, the Durham Museum features the restored art-deco craftsmanship of the train depot instrumental to our country’s expansion in the 1930s. The museum also features a lower-level museum focusing on Omaha’s history as the “Gateway to the West.”

Website: http://durhammuseum.org/

Cable CarDundee Neighborhood

Considered Omaha’s first suburb, the historic Dundee Neighborhood is known for a resurgence of restaurants serving local food and libations. Featuring independent shopping with an eclectic flair, a visit to 50th and Underwood is worth the drive.

Website: http://dundeemerchants.com/

Dundee Downtown Hollywood Candy

Featuring retro and nostalgic candy in a warehouse located in Omaha’s Old World Market, Hollywood Candy is a fun place to get a sugar buzz. You can also enjoy a “real” Coca Cola at the soda fountain and shop for antiques.

Website: http://www.hollywoodcandy.com/

Hollywood Candy Candy BarArt lovers should save time for both the Joslyn Museum of Art and the Hot Shops Art Center. You can drop your history buffs off at Fort Omaha or the Mormon Trail Center.

On the outskirts of town are the Strategic Air and Space Museum as well as Boy’s Town, a former orphanage founded during the Great Depression and operated with a mission to instill a sense of social responsibility in orphan boys.

Known for some of the best steak in the country, Omaha lives up to its legend. Venues like Pitch Pizza and the Storz Trophy Room Grill and Brewery have employed award-winning chefs to turn regionally harvested food into a culinary masterpiece.

For more information on planning your own family vacation to Omaha, consult the friendly folks at Visit Omaha: http://www.visitomaha.com/

About the Author

Julie Henning
Julie Henning is a freelance writer and journalist based out of Eugene, Oregon. She is a member of the Society of American Travel Writers and owner of the family-travel website RoadTripsForFamilies.com. She is a recent past member of the Midwest Travel Writers Association and the Association for Great Lakes Outdoor Writers. Julie is the Oregon Coast destination specialist for Bindu Media, an itinerary-focused website launching in Spring 2016 and featuring the work of 200+ professional, indie travel writers. Julie has been published in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the Wisconsin State Journal, The Daily Journal (Kankakee, Illinois), the Rochester Post Bulletin, Wisconsin Natural Resources (DNR) Magazine, Sustainable Chicago Magazine, Group Tour Magazine, Student Group Tour Magazine, Silent Sports Magazine, Intercom Magazine, Roadtrippers.com, and FTF Geocacher Magazine. Julie has appeared on Wisconsin Public Radio, Ohio Public Radio, and KCBX FM Central Coast Radio and is an affiliate producer with the Journeys of Discovery with Tom Wilmer, a National Public Radio travel podcast. She has blogged for TravelWisconsin.com, Travel Oregon, and VISIT Milwaukee. Julie travels with her three kids and black lab as much as possible and lives by the motto, "Not all who wander are lost." Check out some of her best work at www.juliehenning.com.