Memorial Day Weekend is the unofficial start to summer in Omaha. Most years, you can expect at least one parade, one fun run, and a lot of concerts and exhibit openings. Here’s what planned for Memorial Day Weekend 2023!
UPDATE: This post was first published in 2022 and has been updated in May 2023 with current dates and new events.
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Traditionally, there have been fun runs and parades on the actual day of Memorial Day (Monday), but throughout the weekend, festivities are held. Major attractions have opened temporary and permanent exhibits over the holiday weekend, as well. The list below contains events not just related to the holiday, but other fun things to do from Saturday, May 27, through Monday, May 29, 2023.
Things to do on Saturday
- There will be a patriotic parade on Saturday, May 27, starting at 10 a.m. in the Old Market (along Jackson and Howard streets), followed by a concert at 12th and Jackson streets. FREE
- The Salute to Summer Festival is held in La Vista on Saturday, May 27, from noon to 10 p.m. around City Hall Campus. The parade will begin at noon and run along Park View Boulevard. The community cookout follows with free activities, fun challenges and entertainment will take place outdoors and indoors all day. Live music, food trucks, beer gardens, a car show and a unique drone and fireworks display will round out the evening. The fireworks and drone show will begin at 9:30 p.m. at Central Park Lakes. (La Vista map of events)
- Lake Manawa Beach (located at Lake Manawa State Park in Council Bluffs) opens for the season on Saturday. Hours will be 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. Admission is $4 per person; kids under 2 are free.
- The Durham Museum, 801 S. 10th St., opens “Towers of Tomorrow with LEGO Bricks” on Saturday, May 27. Included with museum admission.
- Omaha Children’s Museum, 500 S. 20th St., opens “Jurassic Nebraska” on Saturday, May 27. Included with museum admission.
- Lauritzen Gardens, 100 Bancroft St., presents “Glass in Flight 2” outdoors. Included with admission.
- It’s the opening weekend of “Dance Nation” at BLUEBARN Theatre, 1106 S. 10th St.
- Film Streams at Dundee’s Forever Young Film Series will feature “Hook” on Saturday and Sunday, at 10 a.m. each day.
- A short drive away in Ashland: “Above and Beyond” is at the Strategic Air Command and Aerospace Museum and “Jurassic Adventure” is at the Nebraska Wildlife Safari.
Things to do on Sunday
- Activities at Gene Leahy Mall at The RiverFront include the Leahy Mall Yacht Club at 11 a.m. on Sunday and the Dunia (World) Youth Fest presented by AFROMAHA from noon to 5 p.m.
- Exhibits that are open on Sunday include “Towers of Tomorrow with LEGO Bricks” at The Durham Museum; “Jurassic Nebraska” at Omaha Children’s Museum; “Glass in Flight 2” at Lauritzen Gardens; “Above and Beyond” at Strategic Air Command and Aerospace Museum; and “Jurassic Adventure” at Nebraska Wildlife Safari.
Things to do on Monday
** Note from Kim: There was an incorrect listing for a Memorial Day Parade on May 29. That is my fault for not double checking the source. My sincere apologies for anyone who drove to Elkhorn this morning.
- The Forest Lawn Cemetery Memorial Day Ceremony is May 29 starting at 10 a.m. at Forest Lawn Cemetery & Funeral Home, 7909 Mormon Bridge Road. The ceremony will include a flyover, remarks by Congressman Donald Bacon and Commander of the American Legion Post 1, Paul Taylor, and a 21 Gun Salute. FREE
- The Memorial Day Observance at Prospect Hill Cemetery, 3202 Parker St., will be on May 29 starting at 10:45 a.m. The ceremony will include an invocation, performances by the Prospect Hill Preservation Brass Band, and a presentation of the Colors and a three-volley salute. FREE
- Exhibits that are open on Monday include “Towers of Tomorrow with LEGO Bricks” at The Durham Museum; “Glass in Flight 2” at Lauritzen Gardens; “Above and Beyond” at Strategic Air Command and Aerospace Museum; and “Jurassic Adventure” at Nebraska Wildlife Safari. The Luminarium is also open.
More things to do over Memorial Day Weekend
There are a lot more ideas on things to do in the summer in Omaha. Check out the Omaha Summer Guide.
Are city pools open on Memorial Day Weekend?
The answer to that is…yes and no.
City of Omaha pools will not be open on Memorial Day Weekend 2023. Some of the pools will open on June 5 and some will open on July 5. All City of Omaha pools will have reduced hours this summer. However, the city does open spray grounds traditionally on Memorial Day Weekend. They’re open Memorial Day to Labor Day from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and are located:
- Benson Park, 7028 Military Ave.
- Fontenelle Park, 4405 Fontenelle Blvd.
- Kountze Park, 1920 Pinkney St.
- Orchard Park, 66th and Hartman
- Seymour Smith Park, 6802 Harrison St.
- Upland, 3104 Jefferson St.
- Morton, 5724 S. 41st St.
- Westwood Heights, 12334 Seldin Drive
Public pools that will be open on Memorial Day Weekend 2023
- At least one public pool in Council Bluffs opened on Memorial Day Weekend in 2022 (it was Katelman Water Park, 1230 16th Ave.). Current 2023 schedule hasn’t been announced though. Pirate Cove Water Park, 915 N. 21st St., is also TBD.
- The Municipal Swimming Pool in La Vista, 7529 S. 85th St., has listed Memorial Day as its opening date in 2023 (which is May 29, 2023).
- Papio Bay Aquatic Center, 815 E Halleck St., Papillion, announced opening day to be Saturday, May 27, 2023, with normal operating hours.
Swimming at Nebraska state parks
Nebraska State Parks typically open their seasonal activities over Memorial Day Weekend. The aquatic center at Mahoney State Park near Ashland, Neb., opens on Monday, May 29. Swimming at the beach at Louisville State Recreation Area in Louisville, Neb., opens on Monday, May 29 (the floating playground opening is TBD).
I’ve gathered a list of more outdoor waterparks within driving distance of Omaha, too!