What to do in Omaha, NE

Activities, attractions and tours
Omaha featuring night scenes, a skyscraper and a river or creek

Omaha Attractions

A metropolis at the edge of the great American West, Omaha offers open spaces, cozy neighborhoods, and true pioneer spirit. Between the spot where Lewis and Clark's expedition made its first landing and the station where the Union Pacific Railroad began its path to California, there's now a bustling collection of galleries, museums, pedestrian malls, and performance spaces in between the towers and convention centers. That combination makes for a variety of things to do in Omaha as you get to know how the city became known as the Gateway to the West.

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What to do in Omaha

Free Things to Do in Omaha

A vacation in Omaha doesn't have to break the bank. You won't have to spend a penny if you go to:

Joslyn Art Museum - Stroll the halls and appreciate the fascinating exhibits and collections at this popular museum.

Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts - Spend a bit of time here and enjoy an insight into the cultural and artistic side of the area.

Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge - If you're a fan of modern-style design and architecture, add this landmark to your sightseeing list.

Creighton University - You'll feel like you've traveled back in time while ambling around this historic site.

First National Bank Tower - Make time to stroll around this place of local significance.

St. Cecilia Cathedral - Throw a bit of spirituality into your escape by paying a visit to this sacred place.

Spirit of Nebraska's Wilderness Park - Nurture your green thumb and admire the diverse range of plants on display.

Areas & Neighborhoods in Omaha

Old Market

A historic piece of Omaha's Downtown that still has its covered sidewalks and brick-paved roads from the horse-and-carriage days, the Old Market still feels like a frontier town in the middle of the city. Now frequented by artists and street performers, the neighborhood is home to lofts built in converted warehouses, along with restaurants and retailers in storefronts that date back to the 1870s.


Public parks, research centers, century-old buildings, and modern developments make Midtown one of the city's most dynamic districts. Fueled by its proximity to I-480 and some of Omaha's biggest employers, the area has collected its share of trendy outlets on tree-lined streets, which sit alongside grand churches and stately manors that hearken back to the olden days.

Elmwood Park

Walking and bicycle trails, a swimming pool, and an 18-hole golf course make Elmwood Park a prime outdoor destination. Framed by the University of Nebraska Omaha, the College of St. Mary, and one of the city's newest developments in Aksarben Village, the area has a modern college-town feel of pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods alongside the open fields and tree-lined streams.

What to See in Omaha

A waystation for pioneers since the Oregon Trail, Omaha has a wealth of historic buildings. You can spot an array of styles, from the Spanish Renaissance Revival design of St. Cecilia's Cathedral and the Second Empire architecture of the Cornish House to the Scottish Baronal manor of Joslyn Castle. A few more landmarks stand as gardens and open spaces, including the birthplace of Gerald Ford in Hanscom Park and that of Malcolm X in North Omaha. And the Missouri boasts plenty of natural allure, from the monument of Lewis & Clark Landing to the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge, where you can walk over the water to visit the vast riverside parks of Council Bluffs.

Sightseeing in Omaha

Omaha's favorite attraction is the Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium, which features wildlife in artificial biomes that include one of the biggest indoor deserts and rainforests in the world, not to mention sea creatures from jellyfish to sharks. You can take a look at the rise of the West at the Durham Museum, housed in the grand Union Station building, and relive the pioneer era at Florence Mill.

If you're after arts and culture, then the Joslyn Art Museum offers a collection of works that range from ancient Greek and European works to Western and Native American creations. You can find a showcase of Hispanic and Latin American culture at El Museo Latino, and Modern Arts Midtown features contemporary paintings and sculpture.

For some time outdoors, go water-skiing on Carter Lake, go tubing on the Elkhorn River, or ride a gondola along the downtown waterfront. If you're in Omaha in the winter months, try ice skating on Standing Bear Lake, take your snowshoes for a trek in Neale Woods nature preserve, or head out to Mahoney State Park for some ice fishing or cross-country skiing in the wilderness.

Things to Do in Omaha with Kids

There are loads of fun activities to do with your kids in and near Omaha. Keep everyone happy with our family friendly experiences.


Looking for sports, concerts, or theater events in Omaha? Search event tickets to see what's happening today, or to plan what to do this weekend!



Frequently asked questions

What should I not miss in Omaha?
Carve out time in your schedule to discover top-rated attractions like Creighton University and University of Nebraska-Omaha.
Are there cheap things to do in Omaha?
Get ready for a little inexpensive fun with an Omaha Bar Hunt: Oh My Omaha! or a Omaha Scavenger Hunt: The West’s Glorious Gateway.
What can you do in Omaha for free?
Your getaway in Omaha doesn’t have to cost a fortune with free attractions like these to keep you entertained:

  • Creighton University
  • University of Nebraska-Omaha
  • University of Nebraska Medical Center
  • Ralston Arena

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