Our trip to Omaha, Nebraska was initially a “work trip” for JK that I hijacked into a family vacation and I have to say, it was well worth it. Sweet little Reese would call it Omahahaha so it has been renamed rightfully so.
Location: Omaha, Nebraska. Right in the middle of the good ol’ USA
Travel Time: A smooth 8 hours in the car. We stopped both directions in Kearney, NE. Now let me tell you a little something about Kearney- it is so underrated. The parks and splash pad were top-notch and made a perfect place to eat lunch and spend some energy.
Lodging: Magnolia Hotel, right in the heart of downtown Omaha and this AirBnb. We stayed at two different places so we could really get a diversified experience. Magnolia Hotel was a nice, boutique hotel that had beautiful architecture in a historical building. The kids loved the complimentary milk and cookies at night, but calling it “family friendly” would be a bit of a stretch since it was hosting multiple weddings at night and didn’t have a bathtub or mini fridge. I would highly recommend the AirBnb. The host was very responsive, the house was clean and roomy and the kids had fun riding their bikes around the neighborhood.
Dates/weather: The first week of July. It was very hot and very humid. Don’t plan on having nice hair. Do plan on spending a lot of time in pools and splash pads. We were lucky to spend our 4th of July here. Just a little warning: fireworks are not illegal here so be prepared for the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th of July celebrations. Having that said, the fireworks shows were amazing and the kids loved spotting the abundant fireflies.
Bring a stroller?: Oh ya. The sidewalks are big and open. Bring a stroller. Bring all of the strollers.
Must see/must do: Where do I start? There are so many great tourist attractions. The Henry Doorly Zoo was incredible. If we were to do it differently, we would allow ourselves several days 2 or even 3 to see everything the Zoo had to offer. Bring your children’s swimsuits.
I was also impressed by the Old Market– a cobblestone section of downtown with great restaurants, some shopping and sometimes even a farmers market. Plank Seafood was especially memorable with its great happy hour, temporary tattoos and coloring sheets for the kids, awesome food and service.
How was the children’s museum?: Awesome and so worth the visit. We loved the DIY face painting and this magical technology that would scan your coloring sheet and create an animated projection on the wall. It had a large variety of well engineered activities for a wide age range of children. If you’re planning to be there around lunch time, be sure to pack your own lunch as they didn’t have many healthy or appealing options- think movie theater food.
Be sure to pack: your bikes. There are so many places to ride around.
Cost: For seven nights, with food (half restaurants and half homemade… well, Airbnb made), gas and admissions to the zoo and Children’s Museum we spent a grand total of $2,000.
Fun Fact: The Henry Doorly Zoo is one of the toped ranked zoos in the country!