April 22, 2018

8 Great Parks In Omaha

There was a great Facebook conversation going on about parks in Omaha recently. Everyone has an opinion about parks and what makes them the best: Sand vs. non-sand, themes, variety, location, crowd levels. So I’ll chime in below with my favorite parks.

This “8 Great” list is the first in the series I’ll be doing on the blog with reader input on what to include. Check back for future ones on breweries, restaurant patios, and more! If you’re bored with your neighborhood park, here are some of my family’s favorite parks in Omaha. If you’re looking for parks with hiking trails, here’s a list of seven great trails for families near Omaha.

Omaha parks

Benson Park & spray ground

Where: 7002 Military Ave.

Size: 217.3 acres

Why: This park’s playground is outstanding–and a no-sand playground to boot–and it’s next to a fun (and popular) splash pad. The small lake is nice for a stroll and fishing is allowed.

Sand: No

Summer time at Benson @omahaparks!

A post shared by Kim Reiner (@ohmyomaha) on

 

Elmwood Park

Where: 802 S. 60th St.

Size: 216.4 acres

Why: This park’s playground was recently updated, with some nice climbing areas added to it. Elmwood is one of my favorite parks because of the open space and the trails surrounding it. Take a short walk through the woods to imagine a little escape from the city. And if you’re so inclined, there is a fitness area right next to the playground where you can sneak in some weight-bearing exercises in while the kids play (I’m never so inclined).

Sand: Yes

 

Hanscom Park

Where: 3201 Woolworth Ave.

Size: 58 acres

Why: Omaha’s oldest park often gets overlooked by shinier new parks. However, its playground was updated in 2017, and it’s a great one. This park also has the perk of lots of gorgeous trees, a nice little lake, a pool, and a dog park.

Sand: Yes

 

Hummel Park

Where: 3033 Hummel Park Road

Size: 202 acres

Why: This is our favorite city park for hike! It also has the best special events (so check the city’s calendar from time to time). The playground consists of rather large metal slides. They look cool, and my kids love them, but if you’re a nervous parent, I’d stay clear until your kids are steady climbers.

Sand: No

 

Lawrence Youngman Park

Where: 192nd Street and West Dodge Road

Why: This lakeside park has a pretty sizeable playground, a boat ramp, and fishing is allowed. And the covered picnic area is a nice bonus.

Sand: Yes

 

Standing Bear Lake

Artist rendering of the new Standing Bear Lake playground.

Where: 6404 N. 132nd St.

Size: 685 acres

Why: I like Standing Bear Lake for the lovely trail, but soon, it’s getting a new playground with a Native American them. The good news is: It won’t have sand.

Sand: No

 

 

Zorinsky Lake Park

Where: 3808 S. 156th St.

Size: 1,023 acres

Why: This is my absolute favorite park to run the trails, and they’re good for bike rides, too. The trail to the west of 168th Street is so wooded, you’ll feel removed from the city. The main playground near the boat ramp is huge and a hit with kids.

Sand: Yes

 

Plus one beyond Omaha

If you look beyond the Omaha metro, you’ll encounter more fun parks to visit. One to keep on your radar is in Council Bluffs:

Dreamland Park

Where: Lake Manawa State Park, Council Bluffs, Iowa

Why: This large, wooden park located in Lake Manawa State Park in Council Bluffs, Iowa, was originally designed by kids’ submissions of what the perfect playground would look like. It’s pretty cool, though a bit rundown. The good news is that Dream Playground Reimagined is in the works and it may, someday, get a makeover. Until then, it’s still fun to visit (just look out for splinters). Lake Manawa State Park also has trails and a small beach.

Sand: Yes

 

I’d love to know your favorite parks in Omaha! Please leave a comment with your favorites.

 

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Comments

  1. How fun! We love exploring parks around our area too. Makes me want to make a list myself!

  2. These parks look awesome! And I’m loving the idea of the Great 8 series!

  3. These parks look amazing. I wish I lived closer to take advantage of some of them!

  4. Luisa Sanchez says:

    When is the Standing bear due to open?

  5. Great breakdown of the parks! I’m so glad you included pictures!

  6. Oh my gosh! Hummel Park looks so fun! I can see why its one of your favorites 😉 Even as an adult, I could spend a whole afternoon there!

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