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Best things to do in Omaha

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Where in the world: USA  /  Nebraska  /  Omaha

Top 15 things to do in Omaha

1. Lauritzen Gardens Omaha's Botanical Center

Stroll through the Victorian garden, English border garden, rose garden, and bird sanctuary on your visit to Lauritzen Gardens Omaha's Botanical Center. This 40 hectare (100 acre) property is home to more than a dozen types of landscaped gardens. The Marjorie K. Daugherty Conservatory encapsulates plants from tropical and temperate regions under glass. Watch for a model train running through the models of the city's landmarks. You can view the sculptures, waterfalls, and plant life via a self-guided tour, or take a narrated tram tour of the gardens, which are available seasonally.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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2. Henry Doorly Zoo

Suggested duration: 2 hours
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3. The Durham Museum

Learn about the history of the region with a trip to The Durham Museum. Through partnerships with the Smithsonian Institution, Library of Congress, National Archives, and Field Museum, this museum covers a range of subjects, such as history, culture, science, and industry. You'll learn a great deal about the city of Omaha as you view exhibits about the different neighborhoods, well-known citizens, and important landmarks. Your hands-on learning experience includes trains you can walk through, a large coin collection, and Native American artifacts. Housed in the impressive Art Deco building of Union Station, the museum's architecture alone is worth a visit.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
Learn more about The Durham Museum
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5. Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge

Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge stretches 910 m (3,000 ft) across the Missouri River and features a 4.6 m (15 ft) wide walkway, two 61 m (200 ft) towers, and programmable lights with different colors. Standing 16 m (52 ft) above the river, the bridge offers a new perspective for photography and boat-watching, as well as views of Omaha's skyline. Take a leisurely walk or cycle along this curvy walkway, and rest on one of the benches. The Iowa side connects you to a large park with fountains.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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6. Old Market

The brick-paved streets of Old Market neighborhood are home to a number of historical buildings, galleries, and museums, as well as stores and restaurants. Get acquainted with the neighborhood via walking tour or a horse-and-carriage ride. To learn more about Omaha's history, visit the Durham Western Heritage Museum. Pop into some of the area's stores to browse antiques, clothes, records, fine art, candy, books, and more. Top your visit off with some classic American comfort food with a "cowboy twist" at the Twisted Fork Grill & Bar. Those who prefer international cuisine can find sushi, Mexican, and Italian restaurants.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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Tours including Old Market:

7. Room Escape Games

Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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8. Horseshoe Council Bluffs, Council Bluffs

Horseshoe Council Bluffs is a casino and former greyhound racing track in Council Bluffs, Iowa, near Omaha, Nebraska. It is owned by Vici Properties and operated by Caesars Entertainment. It has 60,000 sq ft (5,600 m2) of gaming space with 1,438 slot machines, 63 table games, a William Hill racebook, and a WSOP poker room. Accommodations are offered at an adjoining Hilton Garden Inn, and the nearby Country Inns & Suites, Holiday Inn Express and SpringHill Suites.

The Horseshoe holds the World Series of Poker Circuit Event during August of each calendar year, and the Horseshoe Poker Championships (HPC) during February in each year in their poker room.

Bluffs Run Greyhound Park opened in 1986. In March 1995, slot machines were added and the property became Bluffs Run Casino. Harveys Casino Resorts bought the property in 1999 for $165 million. Harrah's Entertainment (now Caesars Entertainment) acquired Harveys in 2001. In 2006, Harrah's completed an $85-million expansion and renovation of the casino and rebranded it as Horseshoe Council Bluffs. Greyhound racing ended in 2015. On October 6, 2017, ownership of the property was transferred to Vici Properties as part of a corporate spin-off, and it was leased back to Caesars Entertainment.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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10. Nebraska State Capitol, Lincoln

Admire the architecture and artwork at Nebraska State Capitol. Both the inside and the outside of the 120 m (400 ft) capitol are adorned with symbolic friezes, mosaics, and murals that depict both the world and the Nebraskan heritage. The tower provides excellent views of Lincoln and is capped by a reflective, golden dome that features a 5.8 m (19 ft) sculpture of the Sower. The building offers many amenities, including a cafeteria, gift shop with Nebraska-related books and memorabilia, restrooms, and a private room for mothers with children. Free guided tours of the capitol are readily available.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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11. Sunken Gardens, Lincoln

The Sunken Gardens was constructed during the winter of 1930-31 in Lincoln, Nebraska.

It is the only garden in Nebraska listed in the National Geographic Guide to Public Gardens 300 Best Gardens to Visit in the United States and Canada.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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12. Heartland of America Park

Heartland of America Park is a public park located at 800 Douglas Street in downtown Omaha, Nebraska. It has been closed for renovations since 2019 and will not reopen until 2023. The 31-acre (130,000 m2) park is situated between Interstate 80 and the Missouri River, and is adjacent to Gene Leahy Mall and the Old Market and connects to Lewis & Clark Landing. Where the park sits has been the site of exploration, expansion and now, recreation. Lewis and Clark reportedly discovered conspicuous earthen mounds when they explored the location in 1804. Historians speculate the mounds may have been natural or the remains of an Otoe village. Opened in 1990, the park was built on recovered after the controversial demolition of the Jobbers Canyon Historic District. The area, filled with warehouses dating to the 1870s, was integral to the growth and development of Omaha.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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Tours including Heartland of America Park:

13. Strategic Air Command & Aerospace Museum, Ashland

The Strategic Air Command & Aerospace Museum is a museum focusing on aircraft and nuclear missiles of the United States Air Force during the Cold War. It is located near Ashland, Nebraska, along Interstate 80 southwest of Omaha. The objective of the museum is to preserve and display historic aircraft, missiles, and space vehicles, and provide educational resources.
Suggested duration: 4 hours
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14. Museum of American Speed, Lincoln

Founded in 1992 by “Speedy” Bill and Joyce Smith, the Museum of American Speed is dedicated to preserving, interpreting and displaying physical items significant in racing and automotive history. The vast collection resulted from the Smiths’ personal involvement in racing and hot rodding for more than six decades, and their lifelong passion for collecting and preserving historic automotive artifacts. The museum is a federally recognized 501(c)3 Private Foundation and currently encompasses more than 150,000 sq. ft. over three levels.

Located in Lincoln Nebraska on the Speedway Motors campus, the Museum of American Speed is one of Nebraska's best kept secrets and has a large collection of unique, one of a kind racing engines, automobilia, pedal cars, and toys.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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15. Gene Leahy Mall

Gene Leahy Mall, also known locally as Central Park or The Mall, is a 9.6-acre (39,000 m2) park located at 1302 Farnam on the Mall in Downtown Omaha, Nebraska, U.S.A., and bordered by South 10th Street. There are also two huge slides, a sculpture garden, a remote-control boat cove, a large children's play area, and an amphitheater where outdoor concerts are held in the summer. The mall is decorated with thousands of lights during the winter holiday season. Connected on its eastern edge with the Heartland of America Park, it is also borders the W. Dale Clark Library, the former Burlington Headquarters Building, the Old Market and the ConAgra campus.

Suggested duration: 2 hours
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Tours including Gene Leahy Mall: