February 6, 2019

Children’s Museum Within 3 Hours Of Omaha

I rarely plan a trip that doesn’t include a stop to a museum. That’s just how I roll. And when it’s a family trip, a stop to a children’s museum or a science center is in order. My kids love it. This list is for those planning a day trip or a weekend trip within three hours of Omaha. It has all the children’s museums and kid-friendly museums within three hours of the city.

Two things to note:

1. Children’s museums, in general, are going to be geared more toward younger kids. My general rule is that they’re best for the 8 and younger crowd. There is likely something there for older kids, but it’s going to be designed for little ones. Many are going to be suited for preschoolers more so than early grade-schoolers.

2. Science centers, in general, are going to be geared for the 8 and older crowd. That’s not to say they don’t have an area for younger kids – many do and they’re awesome. But, the ones who are going to get the most out of a visit are going to be a little older.

Kid-friendly museums that are a road trip away from Omaha! See which children's museums & science centers are within 3 hours of Omaha, Nebraska. #familytravel #museums

OK, now we can get down to business. Here are children’s museums, science centers, and technology centers that are within three hours of Omaha:

Museums in Nebraska

Omaha Children’s Museum

Where: Omaha, Neb.

Food available for purchase? Yes. There is a cafe on the top floor, plus you’re allowed to bring food in.

Any reciprocal benefits? Yes, it’s a member of the Association of Science and Technology Centers. Know that benefits do have exclusions based on how close a place is to where you have a membership. Read more about reciprocal benefits in this post.

Learn more: Check out my post about Omaha Children’s Museum Family Membership Perks (one being that you get to enjoy reciprocal membership benefits!). To plan a visit, go to Omaha Children’s Museum.

Disclosure: I work at Omaha Children’s Museum now, but I’ve been a member of the museum for a lot longer.

Edgerton Explorit Center

Where: Aurora, Neb.

Food available for purchase?No. Outside food is also not permitted in the building.

Any reciprocal benefits? Yes, it’s a member of the Association of Science and Technology Centers. Know that benefits do have exclusions based on how close a place is to where you have a membership. Read more about reciprocal benefits in this post.

Learn more: Gretchen at Nebraska Odyssey wrote about her family’s visit to Edgerton Explorit Center. To plan a visit, go to Edgerton Explorit Center.

Hastings Museum

Where: Hastings, Neb.

Food available for purchase? No.

Any reciprocal benefits? Yes, it’s a member of the Association of Science and Technology Centers. Know that benefits do have exclusions based on how close a place is to where you have a membership. Read more about reciprocal benefits in this post.

Learn more: Hastings Museum explores the history of Nebraska, including one of my favorite things about the state: The history of Kool Aid. The Walking Tourists wrote a good post about the museum with a lot of pictures. To plan a visit, go to Hastings Museum.

Children’s Museum of Central Nebraska

Where: Hastings, Neb.

Food available for purchase? No, but it is located in a mall.

Any reciprocal benefits? No.

Learn more: Nebraska Odyssey shared pictures from her family’s visit in this post. To plan a visit, go to Children’s Museum of Central Nebraska.

Kearney Area Children’s Museum

Where: Kearney, Neb.

Food available for purchase? No.

Any reciprocal benefits? Yes, it’s a member of the Association of Children’s Museums. Know that benefits do have exclusions based on how close a place is to where you have a membership. Read more about reciprocal benefits in this post.

Learn more: To plan a visit, go to Kearney Area Children’s Museum.

Lincoln Children’s Museum

Where: Lincoln, Neb.

Food available for purchase? No.

Any reciprocal benefits? Yes, it’s a member of the Association of Children’s Museums. Know that benefits do have exclusions based on how close a place is to where you have a membership. Read more about reciprocal benefits in this post.

Learn more: Here’s my review of the Lincoln Children’s Museum. Since I wrote it, they’ve updated things (and are planning more updates!). To plan a visit, go to Lincoln Children’s Museum.

University of Nebraska State Museum of Natural History

Where: Lincoln, Neb. (This is better known as Morrill Hall by my family.)

Food available for purchase? No.

Any reciprocal benefits? Yes, it’s a member of the Association of Science and Technology Centers. Know that benefits do have exclusions based on how close a place is to where you have a membership. Read more about reciprocal benefits in this post.

Learn more: Read about my family’s adventures at Morrill Hall, including the not-to-be-missed kids area in the basement! To plan a visit, go toUNL Museum of Natural History.

Museums in Iowa

LaunchPAD Children’s Museum

Where: Sioux City, Iowa

Food available for purchase? No.

Any reciprocal benefits? Yes, it’s a member of the Association of Children’s Museums. Know that benefits do have exclusions based on how close a place is to where you have a membership. Read more about reciprocal benefits in this post.

Learn more: To plan a visit, go to LaunchPAD Children’s Museum.

Des Moines Children’s Museum

Where: Valley West Mall, 1551 Valley W. Drive, Des Moines, IA

Food available for purchase? No.

Any reciprocal benefits? No.

Learn more: To plan a visit, go to Des Moines Children’s Museum.

Science Center of Iowa and Blank IMAX Dome Theater

Where: Des Moines, Iowa

Food available for purchase? Yes.

Any reciprocal benefits? Yes, it’s a member of the Association of Science and Technology Centers. Know that benefits do have exclusions based on how close a place is to where you have a membership. Read more about reciprocal benefits in this post.

Related post: Exploring the Science Center of Iowa gives you a good look at the museum and what younger kids will like there. To plan a visit, go toScience Center of Iowa.

Museums in Kansas

Kansas Children’s Discovery Center

Where: Topeka, Kan.

Food available for purchase? There are vending machines, and you may bring food into the museum to eat in the cafe.

Any reciprocal benefits? Yes, it’s a member of the Association of Children’s Museums. Know that benefits do have exclusions based on how close a place is to where you have a membership. Read more about reciprocal benefits in this post.

Learn more: To plan a visit, go to Kansas Children’s Discovery Center.

Wonderscope Children’s Museum

Where: Shawnee, Kan.

Food available for purchase? There are vending machines, and you may bring food into the museum to eat in the picnic area.

Any reciprocal benefits? Yes, it’s a member of the Association of Children’s Museums. Know that benefits do have exclusions based on how close a place is to where you have a membership. Read more about reciprocal benefits in this post.

Learn more: To plan a visit, go to Wonderscope Children’s Museum.

Museums in Missouri

Science City at Union Station

Where: Kansas City, Mo.

Food available for purchase? No. There are restaurants, though, in other areas of Union Station.

Any reciprocal benefits? Yes, it’s a member of the Association of Science and Technology Centers. Know that benefits do have exclusions based on how close a place is to where you have a membership. Read more about reciprocal benefits in this post.

Learn more: For my family, nearly every visit to Kansas City includes a trip to Science City. Here’s a guide to Science City I wrote after our first visit. To plan a visit, go to Science City.

Museums in South Dakota

Children’s Museum of South Dakota

Where: Brookings, S.D.

Food available for purchase?Yes.

Any reciprocal benefits? Yes, it’s a member of the Association of Children’s Museums. Know that benefits do have exclusions based on how close a place is to where you have a membership. Read more about reciprocal benefits in this post.

Learn more: To plan a visit, go to Children’s Museum of South Dakota.

Washington Pavilion of Arts and Science

Where: Sioux Falls, S.D.

Food available for purchase? Yes.

Any reciprocal benefits? Yes, it’s a member of the Association of Science and Technology Centers. Know that benefits do have exclusions based on how close a place is to where you have a membership. Read more about reciprocal benefits in this post.

Learn more: To plan a visit, go to Washington Pavilion of Arts and Science.

Kid-friendly museums near Omaha, including children's museums & science centers. Learn about museums in Iowa, Missouri, Kansas & South Dakota that are 3 hours or less from Omaha! #familytravel #Nebraska

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