Omaha is a wonderful city filled with outstanding museums, sporting events, cultural attractions, and beautiful outdoor space. Do you want to enjoy it without spending too much? There are many free or inexpensive attractions and events to help you enjoy this amazing city!
- Walk around the park and enjoy the spectacular fountain and light show at the Heartland of America Park.
- Take a walk on the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge, and enjoy the amazing view of downtown Omaha.
- Fill your senses with the scenic parks surrounding Omaha that feature walking paths, gardens, picnic areas, and lagoons at the Gene Leahy Mall (don’t miss the slides!) and the Lewis and Clark Landing (peaceful walk along the Missouri River).
- Memorial Park features monuments honoring men and women of the armed forces who were killed or missing during service. A beautiful rose garden highlights the expansive grounds which are perfect for sledding in the winter, or concerts and games in the summer.
- Omaha Parks – Search for parks by name or amenities.
- Visit the OPPD Arboretum (108th and Blondo) for a picturesque walk in the city.
- Stroll around the beautiful lakes and feed the ducks at Lakeside Hills Park (173rd and Francis behind Lakeside Hospital), Halleck Park (Papillion), and Schwer Park (Papillion)
- Omaha and the surrounding areas offer many beautiful bike and walking paths and an abundance of Recreation Areas for the entire family to enjoy, including:
Art, Museums, Historical Places
- Joslyn Art Museum offers Free general admission every day! While there, be sure to visit the new ART WORKS interactive space for all ages and the Peter Kiewit Foundation Sculpture Garden which is open year-round from 7 a.m. – 11 p.m.) (Joslyn Art Museum is closed Mondays and holidays.)
- First Friday Old Market – Held the first Friday of each month, 6-9pm, First Friday is a free event celebrating local creativity in Omaha’s most historic neighborhood. They are also offering free parking and free rides on Ollie the Trolley, 6-9pm.
- View the Fertile Ground Mural, an amazing 32,500 square-foot mural located near the CenturyLink Center.
- Visit Boys Town, the world-known Village founded by Father Flanagan.
- Kenefick Park displays two of the greatest locomotives ever to power Union Pacific Railroad, highly visible to drivers passing on I-80. Free admission to the park, and free parking at Lauritzen Gardens.
- Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts is an artist-centered organization whose sole mission is to support contemporary artists of exceptional talent.
- The Spirit of Nebraska’s Wilderness and Pioneer Courage Park consists of more than 120 individual bronze pieces integrated within downtown Omaha that covers more than six city blocks.
- Visit the Hot Shops Art Center, with four “hot shops” featuring glass blowing, pottery, bronze casting and blacksmithing, and more than 80 artists. Their Spring or Fall Open Houses are especially fun times to visit.
Especially for Kids
- Visit Free Kids Programs in Omaha!
- Omaha Community Centers offer many classes for people of all ages. You can learn a new craft, take swim lessons, get some exercise, play in a sports league, or participate in the many special events they host throughout the year or special camps while the kids are off of school. You can also enjoy open gym time with your little ones for as little as $1/adult!
- There are many Public Libraries in Omaha and the surrounding communities which host wonderful storytimes, fun programs for children and teens, classes for adults, and special events throughout the year!
- Omaha Public Libraries – Check out their event calendar under Events and Programs: Calendar, for all of the latest details.
- Bellevue Public Library
- Gretna Public Library – Kids Korner, Teen Zone, and Adult Services
- LaVista Public Library
- Sump Memorial Library in Papillion
- Baright Public Library in Ralston
- Several Movie Theaters offer free or reduced movies during the summer and winter months including Marcus Theaters, Aksarben Cinema, and Regal Omaha Stadium 16 (Follow Family Fun in Omaha to keep posted on the latest details!)
Special Places of Interest
- The Old Market, a favorite among locals and visitors, is an historic area in downtown Omaha featuring shopping, restaurants, boutiques, nightlife, galleries, horse-drawn carriages, street musicians, all surrounded by cobblestone streets. First Friday Old Market, held on the first Friday of each month from 6-9pm, is a free event celebrating local creativity.
- Holy Family Shrine is a beautiful glass chapel overlooking I-80 that serves as a place of rest and solitude for people of all faiths.
- St. Cecilia Cathedral, with its beautiful architecture and amazing stained-glass windows, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It also hosts a wonderful flower festival every January.
- Visit the Memorial to the 38th President of the United States, who was born in Omaha, at the Gerald R. Ford Birthsite and Gardens.
- Mormon Trail Visitors Center, a monument to the trials and tribulations of the early pioneers, includes a full-sized log cabin, covered wagon, oxen and handcart, with special Gingerbread House displays at Christmas.
- During special times throughout the year, many favorite Omaha attractions occasionally offer free or reduced admission including the Omaha Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium, The Durham Museum, Omaha Children’s Museum, Lauritzen Gardens, the Omaha Stormchasers, and Strategic Air and Space Museum. (Follow Family Fun in Omaha to keep posted on the latest events!)
- Many local shopping areas offer free or inexpensive family events throughout the year including Rockbrook Village, Midtown Crossing, Aksarben Village, The Shops of Legacy, Village Pointe, and Shadow Lake Towne Center. (Follow Family Fun in Omaha to keep posted on the latest events!)
It is always a good idea to verify the information with the business before visiting.
Other Helpful Resources:
- Omaha Kids Calendar
- Ultimate Guide of Things to Do with Kids in Omaha
- Weekend Fun
- Kids Eat Free
- Free Kids Programs in Omaha