Best Things To Do With Kids In Lincoln

Lincoln is a favorite quick getaway for my family, since it’s less than an hour drive from Omaha. We plan a day trip or overnight trip to the city at least once a year. After a few years of doing this, we have a good idea of some of the most fun things to do with kids in Lincoln, Ne.

Note: This post was written in 2018 but has been updated in 2019 to include new admission prices.

I’ve compiled a list of the places my kids loved the most in Lincoln. Here they are, eight great things to do with kids in Lincoln:

Looking for a kid-friendly Midwest destination that's affordable and fun? Try Lincoln, Nebraska. From the children's zoo to fossils and ice cream and bounce gyms, Lincoln has a lot to do on a weekend getaway. Things to do in Lincoln Nebraska #Lincoln #LNK #Nebraska # family travel #familytime

Lincoln Children’s Museum

Where: 1420 P St., Lincoln, Neb.

Why: Hands down, this is the one place in Lincoln my kids request to visit every. single. time. If your kids are younger than 8, this place will be a hit with them. It’s three stories and full of play opportunities. My kids love the role play areas, like pretending to be Johnny Carson.

Bridge inside Lincoln Children's Museum in downtown Lincoln, Nebraska

Cost: Children (18 months to 15 years old), $10.95; adults (ages 16+), $9.95; and children younger than 18, FREE. Reciprocal membership alert! If you have a Patron membership to Omaha Children’s Museum, you receive 50% off admission for up to 6 people.

Learn more about the Lincoln Children’s Museum.

Tip: Lincoln Children’s Museum is within walking distance a FREE museum worth visiting with kids – Nebraska History Museum.

Morrill Hall

Where: 635 N. 14th St., Lincoln Neb. (located on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln campus)

Why: In a word: Dinosaurs. This is a natural history museum has an appeal for all ages, but if you have younger kids, don’t skip the bottom level, where there’s a great kid’s space with tons of hands-on play like a fossil dig.

The hall of mammoths at Morrill Hall on the campus of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Cost: Adults 19 and older, $8 ($12 to include planetarium); children 5-18, $4 ($7 to include planetarium); children 4 and younger, FREE ($4 to include planetarium, though children younger than 3 are not permitted in the planetarium); UNL students and faculty, FREE ($4 to include planetarium)

See lots of pictures of the kid-friendly side of Morrill Hall here.

Tip: UNL’s sports teams tend to overshadow this museum. Consider pairing a well-timed visit to the museum with a seeing a Huskers game. Football is king, but the women’s volleyball team is also a must-see game.

Sunken Gardens

Where: South 27th Street and Capitol Parkway, Lincoln, Neb.

Why: The Sunken Gardens are meticulously cared for, so it’s a sight to behold. The best part is, it’s a public garden, so there is no cost to stroll the grounds. My kids were fans of the ponds. It’s very near the Lincoln Children’s Zoo, so it’s easy to visit both.

Things to do in Lincoln Ne with kids - Explore the Sunken Gardens, a free public garden. The Sunken Gardens has water features and trails.

Cost: FREE

I shared details on our visit to Sunken Gardens in this post about 24 Hours in Lincoln.

Gallery Alley

Where: 701 P St., Lincoln, Neb.

Why: By day, this alley in the historic Haymarket isn’t going to draw you in. At night, however, the strung lights are aglow and the murals and sculptures found along the alley walls take on a whole new and exciting life.

Things to do with kids in Lincoln - Take a short stroll along Gallery Alley in the Haymarket in at night.

The Haymarket is nice to stroll around with kids, too. I’ve seen it referred to as Art Alley, which I think is fitting. Read this post for a Haymarket hotel suggestion and restaurant tip.

Cost: FREE

UNL Dairy Store

Where: 114 Food Industry Complex, Lincoln, Neb.

Why: Ice cream! The dairy on the East University of Nebraska-Lincoln campus has been in the business of handmade food since 1917. If you plan ahead, you can sign up for a complimentary tour of the dairy facilities.

Looking for family fun in Lincoln Ne? Don't skip getting ice cream at UNL Dairy Store.

Cost: FREE (unless you want to buy ice cream, which obviously, we all do)

I shared details on our visit to UNL Dairy Store in this post about 24 Hours in Lincoln.

Lost In Fun!

Where: 8431 Cody Drive, Lincoln, Neb.

Why: Lost in Fun! is an excellent rainy day outing in Lincoln. Think bounce house, jump pillow, foam pit, jungle gyms and arcade games. The only downside is that it’s not near ANYTHING else on this list, and it’s not near the interstate. So, it’s not a convenient place, but it’s a ton of fun for kids.

Lost in Play in Lincoln, Nebraska had a bounce house, jumping pillow, foam pit, and climbing structures.

Cost: Mega Fun Pass (ages 6-14), $10.99; Mini Fun Pass (ages 2-5), $6.99; Micro Fun Pass (12 months old), $3.99; and FREE for children younger than 12 months old and adults

Lincoln Children’s Zoo

Where: 1222 S. 27th, Lincoln, Neb.

Why: This zoo may be on the small side, but it packs in a lot of animal engagement opportunities. Some are additional fees, like riding a horse or feeding the goats, while others are free, such as touching a lizard or bunny.

Top things to do in Lincoln with kids - Visit the Lincoln Children's Zoo, and splurge on a pony ride.

The zoo’s largest expansion ever opened in May 2019.

Cost: Adults, 13-61, $13.95; children 2-12 and seniors, 62+, $11.95; children 1 and younger, FREE. Check if your zoo membership qualifies for a reciprocal discount.

Get the scoop on things to do at the Lincoln zoo here.

Antelope Park

Where: 23rd and N Streets to 33rd Street and Sheridan Boulevard

Why: Few parks can compare to the massive Antelope Park. I counted 12 slides when we were there. This is a great, budget-friendly option to let the kids run wild.

Cost: FREE

I shared details about Antelope Park in this post about 24 Hours in Lincoln.

Pioneer Park Nature Center

Where: 3201 S. Coddington Ave.

Why: This beautiful park spans 668 acres, featuring tallgrass prairie, woodlands, wetlands, and a stream. The hiking trails are pretty kid-friendly, but the real draw is the animals like the raptor exhibits, bison, elk, and white-tailed deer.  

Don’t skip the nature center and the children’s natural play area.

Cost: FREE (there is a suggested donation)

Planning a weekend in Lincoln, Nebraska? Here's a list of fun things to do with kids in Lincoln. This includes free places to visit, kid-friendly dining and, of course, a children's museum and zoo! #Nebraska #familytravel #Midwest

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