Experience gifts are big now, and Omaha offers a treasure trove of experience gifts. Whether you’re looking to indulge a foodie with Omaha’s culinary delights, ignite a spark of wonder in animal lovers at world-class wildlife sanctuaries, or fuel the adventurous spirit of active kids with endless explorations, this guide to Omaha’s experiential gifts is your compass to gifting the unforgettable.
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Why give an experience gift?
It’s been at least six years, but I can still remember the day my son got back from going on a behind-the-scenes tour at Omaha’s zoo. He went with my dad, and it was part of his Christmas gift, this tour. And he was so excited to tell me what they saw. He still remembers that day, too.
Experience gifts offer a unique alternative to traditional material presents, providing lasting memories and a deeper emotional connection. Rather than adding to a collection of seldom-used items, an experience gift is an invitation to explore new passions, or maybe, to enjoy quality time with loved ones.
In the age of minimalism and the quest for meaningful engagement, experience gifts in Omaha cater to the desire for enrichment. This type of gift is not just about the activity itself, but the joy of anticipation, the pleasure of the experience, and the fond recollection of memories that can be revisited time and again.
Experience Gift Ideas For The Foodie
Hear me out: The foodie in your life does not need another brightly-colored spatula or funny egg timer. If you know what they like, get them an experience gift that lets them try more of it.
- Hot cocoa flight or coffee flight at Zen Coffee Co.
- Ice cream flight at Graley’s Creamery & Confections
- Margarita flight at MULA Mexican Kitchen
- Afternoon Tea at Chocolat Abeille
- High Tea at Chippy’s
- Cereal (and old-school SEGA playing) at CTRL Coffee & Cereal Bar
- Pairing Dinner through Metropolitan Community College
- Food and drink public tours with Ollie the Trolley
Cooking Classes in Omaha
The following local businesses offer cooking classes:
- Helping U BBQ class
- PACE (offers kids and teen cooking classes)
- Sur La Table
- Metropolitan Community College’s Continuing Education courses (classes are also available for teens and kids)
- Chef Around The Block
Experience Gift Ideas For The Sports Fan
Whether you gift a sports fan tickets to a game or for a whole season, they will appreciate it!
- Omaha Supernovas Professional Volleyball (first game is January 24, 2024!)
- Creighton University games (Mens’ Basketball plays at CHI Health Center Omaha)
- UNO Mavericks games (Men’s Hockey and Women’s Basketball plays at Baxter Arena)
- Union Omaha
- Omaha Storm Chasers
- Omaha Lancers
- Harlem Globetrotters’ 2024 World Tour stops in Omaha in early January
- BUCKET LIST ITEM: NCAA Men’s College World Series Fan Experience
Experience Gift Ideas With Annual Passes
Memberships or annual passes offer the opportunity to indulge in favorite activities or explore new ones throughout the year.
- Kiewit Luminarium
- Omaha Children’s Museum
- The Rose Theater (single tickets or season memberships available; the Black Friday deal is for “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” and you can buy a ticket to any Friday night performance for $25 using the promo code SHINY25.)
- The Omaha Army Kroc Center (which has an awesome indoor pool with a water slide)
- Lauritzen Gardens
- Strategic Air Command & Aerospace Museum
- Lee G. Simmons Conservation Park and Wildlife Safari Park
- Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium (look for a Black Friday deal that combines the zoo membership with the Wildlife Safari Park)
Experience Gifts That Are Fun With A Group
Some of the best experiences are those shared with others. The following selection of group-friendly experience gifts are the perfect way to celebrate relationships and create new, shared memories.
- Spielbound Board Game Cafe (Individual or family memberships)
- Amazing Pizza Machine
- Dave and Buster’s
- Infinite Loop VR
- Prehistoric Putt
- Medieval Putt
- Pirate Putt
- The Fat Putter
Experience Gift Ideas For An Escape Room Fan
- The Cryptic Room
- Entrap Escape Rooms
- Escape de Facto (at Westroads Mall)
- The Escape Omaha
- Get Out: Omaha
- House of Conundrums
- Locked Room Omaha
- Mind Meld Escape Rooms
Unique Overnight Stays Around Omaha
I’ve gifted a glamping getaway to my husband on a few occasions. While he got the gift in December, the dates of our giveaways weren’t until late-summer and early fall the next year. And you know what? The anticipation and wait was worth it.
- Glamping at Slattery Vintage Estates & Tasting Room
- Platte River State Park glamping cabin
- BUCKET LIST ITEM: Safari Tent Camping at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium
Experience Gifts For The Outdoor Enthusiast
Looking for a gift for the outdoor enthusiast, the adventurer at heart who thrives on fresh air and the allure of the natural world? Memberships and park permits are the ticket to the adventures that lies just beyond the doorstep.
- Nebraska State Park annual permit
- Omaha Parks and Recreation Adventure Card
- Fontelle Forest (individual or household memberships)
- REI Membership or gift card
Experience Gifts For A History Lover
If you’ve got a friend who’s always got their nose in a history book, Omaha’s got some treats in store for them. These experience gifts let history lovers time travel to the olden days, all while staying right here in the present.
- The Durham Museum (individual or family memberships available)
- River City History Tours
- Joslyn Castle & Gardens (membership available)
Experience Gift Tours for Craft Brew, Wine and Spirits
Omaha has plenty of craft breweries and some nearby wineries, but few offer tours. But if you’re thinking that a tour would make a great gift for someone, you’d be correct!
For non-tour type gifts for the beer and booze drinkers in your life:
Experience Gift Ideas For An Animal Lover
My daughter is a particular fanatic about animals, so she’s been gifted everything from a summer camp with horses to becoming an “animal parent” at the zoo. Here are a few more ideas!
- Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium (individual or family memberships available or even a behind-the-scenes experience)
- Backstage experience at Nebraska Wildlife Safari (or make it even more memorable, and gift an overnight campout experience at the safari park!)
- JAMS Goat Yoga
- Felius Cat Cafe
- Alpacas of the Heartland
- Scatter Joy Acres
- Nelson Produce Farm (their season doesn’t start until June 2024)
Experience Gift Ideas For An Art Lover
- Joslyn Art Museum (it’s temporarily closed but will be reopening in 2024)
- Hot Shops Art Center (classes include drawing, printmaking, and youth art making)
- The 402 Lesson Studio has art classes for kids
- Two Keys Creative Studio (art classes for different age groups)
Paint and Sip Classes In Omaha
Experience Gift Ideas For A Crafters Or Maker
- The Makery
- Creative Culture
- Hot Shops Art Center (classes range from glass blowing to lamp working)
- Lauritzen Gardens offers several types of programs for adults in art making ranging from watercolor to fabric dying to homemade stationary.
- The Creative Impulse
- PACE (offers classes in ceramics and painting for youth)
Where You Can Make a Custom Candle or Soap
Where You Can Make Jewelry
Where You Can Make Pottery or Paint Your Own Pottery
Experience Gift Ideas For A Concert Lover
Gift a concert experience — like a pair of tickets to their favorite band! Check out the calendar of 2024 concerts and see if there’s something coming up that’s perfect for the music fan in your life. A few venues that typically bring major shows:
- CHI Health Center Omaha
- Omaha Performing Arts brings in top-notch performers in all genres to perform at the Orpheum Theater, Holland Performing Arts Center, and the new Steelhouse Omaha. (OPA’s Black Friday Sale runs Nov. 24-27 and includes up to 40% off several shows including Broadway shows, comedians, and kids shows)
Experience Gifts For A Live Performance Lover
- Omaha Community Playhouse (OCP’s Black Friday sale starts at 6 a.m. on Nov. 24)
- Omaha Performing Arts (including Broadway Series) – OPA’s Black Friday Sale runs Nov. 24-27
- Omaha Symphony
- Opera Omaha
- BLUEBARN Theatre
If you are looking for a gift for someone who loves to perform, consider gifting a class or music lessons.
Experience Gift Ideas For Active Kids And Teens
Indoors or outdoors, these activities are perfect for the active kid in your life. Get them a gift card — or in some cases, a membership — and they’re set for a fun afternoon.
- Approach Climbing Gym
- MW Climbing
- Archery Games
- TreeRush Adventures
- Go Ape
- Fun-Plex (season pass sale kicks off on Black Friday)
- Papio Fun Park (the season pass is on sale through Nov. 30)
- Boulder Creek Amusement Park
- Moylan Iceplex
- Chirpy’s Play Cafe (Shop Small Sale runs from Nov. 23 at midnight to Nov. 26)
Indoor Multi-Activity Attractions
Obstacle Courses/Warrior Courses
Experience Gift Ideas For A Movie Fan
You can’t go wrong with a gift card to a movie theater. That’s a given. There are the movie chain theaters in town, as well as the following locally-owned or nonprofit cinemas: