Summertime in Omaha has finally arrived! At some point, you should take a quick break to explore some of the beautiful sites and attractions the town has to offer. From art museums to parks to zoos, Omaha offers something for everyone. You just need to know where to find it. That’s why we’re reviewing some of our favorite spots in Omaha! You’ll want to add these to your bucket list for your next day — or night — out on the town.
Omaha is home to an exciting array of restaurants, museums, art galleries, and other popular recreational spots. Don’t keep them to yourself! The next time you’re out searching for gifts for your loved one, check out GiftYa’s wide selection of virtual gift cards. Within seconds, you can send your loved one a GiftYa card to some of the top spots in Omaha. You can even add a custom message to give your gift a personal touch. Check out our full selection of cards now!
General admission is free for everyone! Image courtesy of Joslyn Art Museum.
2200 Dodge St | Downtown | joslyn.org/visit
Joslyn Art Museum features stunning art collections from the 19th and 20th centuries by dozens of different American, European, and Asian artists. You’ll spend hours admiring the beautiful paintings, sculptures, and other artifacts the museum houses from around the world.
In addition to its permanent exhibitions, Joslyn Art Museum also hosts temporary exhibitions and a sculpture garden. Some of their current exhibitions include “American Art Deco: Designing for the People, 1918-1939” and “Diedrick Brackens.” The Peter Kiewit Foundation Sculpture Garden comprises 1.2 acres of gorgeous garden galleries and an 83 feet fountain wall that buffers noise out from the surrounding environment. Throughout the garden, you’ll find breathtaking, larger-than-life statues made from some of the most skilled artists in the world.
Whether you want to spend a day out with your family or catch up with some friends, the Joslyn Art Museum is the perfect spot to spend some quality time with loved ones!
“This museum has a lot of really cool free permanent exhibits that are both indoors and outdoors! What actually amazed me the most is the building itself. The more recent addition that was added was done so seamlessly, and the beauty of the existing building was preserved extremely well.” - Yelp Review
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3701 S 10th St | South Omaha | omahazoo.com
Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium houses some of the most fascinating and unique animals from around the world. The hundreds of animals that call this zoo home live across 160 acres of habitats that you can visit and immerse yourself in.
For instance, you can visit the sea lions at their massive habitat that features a 275-thousand-gallon pool and 40-foot-long underwater viewing window. Coming with the kids? Take them to the Bay Family Children’s Adventure Trails! This interactive exhibit is made up of a variety of different habitats and interactive animal exhibits, giving your children a true hands-on learning opportunity. Other popular exhibits include the Asian Highlands, Desert Dome, and Hubbard Expedition Madagascar.
You’ll want to set aside a whole day for this trip so that you can see as many animals as you wish!
“The zoo had great exhibits with multiple viewing areas so you never felt crowded or rushed. You could easily move at your own pace. The design layouts of different sections is one of the best if not the best I've seen for a zoo. Extremely creative.” - Yelp Review
Purchase a GiftYa card for Lozier IMAX at Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium.
801 S 10th StT | Omaha | durhammuseum.org
Do you consider yourself a history buff? Do you just enjoy learning about historical events that took place before your time? Immerse yourself in Omaha’s rich history at The Durham Museum.
Located inside the famous Union Station, The Durham Museum features exhibits that look at the history of the region as well as traveling exhibits that cover a wide range of history, culture, and science. You’ll find everything from old federal-issued coinage to political memorabilia at this popular museum. Right now, the museum is even collecting letters, documents, and stories detailing people’s experiences with the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We had such a wonderful experience here! To think, all this beauty and history was almost lost. Christmas is probably the best time to visit when it is decorated. The exhibits are fun and getting to walk through, sit down, and enjoy the train cars are just as exciting for the adults as well as the kids.” - Yelp Review
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100 Bancroft St | South Omaha | lauritzengardens.org
Now that summer is here, it’s time to go out and enjoy the fresh air! What better way to do this than by spending the day at Lauritzen Gardens? Situated right in the heart of Omaha, Lauritzen Gardens features gorgeous four-season plant displays that will take your breath away.
You’ll find numerous gardens spread across Lauritzen Gardens’ 100-acre property such as the Arboretum and Bird Sanctuary, Children’s Garden, and Marjorie K. Daugherty Conservatory. As the name implies, the Arboretum and Bird Sanctuary functions as a temporary home for migratory birds. In the spring, you can also see little tadpoles and frogs around the marsh area!
Have a four-legged friend you want to bring? Come to one of the Leashes at Lauritzen session! A weekly walking club is also held for people who want to get some fresh air and exercise outside of the gym.
“I absolutely love this place! It is such a fun place to visit at all times of the year. They constantly change out/update their gardens to reflect the different seasons. It's neat to see a variety of plants at various times throughout their growing period.” - Yelp Review
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500 S 20th St | Downtown | ocm.org
Nurturing your child’s natural curiosity and sense of wonder is crucial. One fun and creative way you can do this is by taking them to Omaha Children’s Museum! This popular museum houses a wide selection of exhibits where your child can explore different areas of art and science.
At the Art Smart Center, your child can work on fun art projects like face painting and sewing. The Charlie Campbell Science & Technology Center offers hands-on exhibits that introduce children to basic science concepts and experimentation methods. Curiosity and experimentation are encouraged! Make sure you visit these permanent exhibits as well as the special exhibits that the museum hosts on a temporary basis.
“This was a great museum with lots of cool colorful spinning sculptures outside blowing in the wind, which made me feel very relaxed and peaceful. I enjoyed comparing myself in size to different life-size dinosaurs they painted on the walls.” - Yelp Review
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1200 Fahey St | North Downtown | tdameritradeparkomaha.com
If you’re a huge baseball fan, chances are that you’ll probably visit TD Ameritrade Park at some point in your life. As the home of the NCAA Division 1 Men’s College World Series and Creighton Bluejays baseball program, TD Ameritrade Park Omaha boasts one of the biggest baseball stadiums in the country. During the game, you can even take a walk on its famous 360-degree walk-around concourse for a full view of the field.
Seating is arranged by upper level, lower level, club level, grandstand, and general admission. No matter where you sit, you’ll have access to the park’s exclusive concession stand. Get ready for a great game!
“There really isn't a bad seat in the place, even for a park that holds around 24k. I've sat everywhere from behind home plate to the upper levels to the outfield and always have a good view.” - Yelp Review
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715 N 40th St | Midtown | stceciliacathedral.org
Are you a fan of architecture and fine art? Visit St. Cecilia Cathedral in Midtown! St. Cecilia Cathedral features stunning architecture, sculptures, paintings, and stained glass art work.
There are a total of 52 stained glass windows in the Cathedral. Gorgeous sculptures made from wood, bronze, and marble can also be seen throughout the building. Above several doorways in the Cathedral, you’ll also find murals of canonized saints from North America.
Before you leave, make sure you check out the Cathedral's Spanish Colonial Art collection. Artworks from Mexico, Central America, and northern South America can all be explored in this impressive collection.
“The most mesmerizing church my husband and I have ever seen and it was much larger than we expected! Very beautiful on the inside and out. We were amazed at the details within. The whole building offered an aura of peace and serenity, making us feel calm, relaxed, and welcomed.” - Yelp Review
Old Market, Downtown | oldmarket.com
Itching to go out on a shopping spree? Stop by the Old Market District. This popular area in Omaha is home to a wide collection of unique shops offering art, jewelry, clothing, and more. If you’re in need of some pampering, you can also stop by one of the district’s many salons.
Of course, you’re going to be hungry after all that shopping, so make sure you stop for some food. Over 45 restaurants call the Old Market District home. Whether you are in the mood for a fresh salad or some savory pizza, you can easily find a dish to satisfy your hunger and taste buds in this thriving district!
“If you come to Omaha you have to go to the Old Market. The historical district of downtown Omaha with shops and restaurants galore. Always a fun time with street artists, carriage rides, antique shops, a few odd ball folks and a fun vibe.” - Yelp Review
1400 Capitol Ave | Downtown | firstnationalcampus.com
If you have enough time left in your day, try to visit the First National's Spirit of Nebraska's Wilderness and Pioneer Courage Park. This small park features a gorgeous sculpture display that depicts the migration and journey of settlers to Nebraska. It’s a small exhibit, so it should be easy to squeeze in between other activities.
“This is a really interesting sculpture display right in downtown Omaha. It is across the street from the headquarters building for the Union Pacific Railroad and consists of a series of sculptures depicting the migration of settlers across the Nebraska wilderness.” - Yelp Review
Omaha is home to a rich array of attractions and sites. The next time you have a completely free day off, you can plan a quick day trip around Omaha! We recommended visiting at least some of the attractions featured above. Which sites do you want to visit? Let us know!