Inspired a post a friend shared on Facebook – where to go in LA when you’re down* – I posed the question on the Oh My! Omaha page – Where do you go in Omaha when you need to cheer up?
And you answered!
You had some answers that were off my radar, though they are happy places in Omaha I’ve enjoyed. Take Melissa and Anna, who suggested specific things at the Joslyn Art Museum. Melissa said she heads for Jennifer Steincamp’s tree installation. Anna loves the museum’s new children’s area (ArtWorks… I love it too!).
1. Bookstores – This is one of my top picks.
Head to Jackson Street Bookstore to really get lost in pages – this used bookstore in the Old Market is incredible. I love the old cookbooks, the well-read travelogues and peeking at the collectibles.
Jamie recommended The Bookworm. I haven’t been to its new location on Center Street, but I trust this locally-owned shop for featuring both bestsellers and the underdogs with great stories.
2. Omaha Public Libraries – Let’s stay with the book theme. Bobi recommended any location within our public library system. She suggests browsing through magazines – you never know what you’ll find there.
3. Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium – Dana said the zoo was one of her picks, and I’m with her on it. I’ll admit it, I go to the zoo without my kids sometimes. I got off of work early on Christmas Eve and decided to check out all the new babies at the zoo. Holy cuteness, Batman. But, it’s not just the furry lion cubs making me smile – in the winter, I head to the indoor rainforest to warm up (and perk up). Any time of year, you can’t beat sitting down and watching the penguins at the aquarium.
4. Parks – Without fail, being outside in green space lifts my spirits. How about you? The Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge is a place that makes reader Jaimie happy.
In a pinch, I’ll go to the places closest to me, so from my downtown office, I’ll walk around the Heartland of America Park and watch the geese and swans or Pioneers’ Courage Park for a little more isolation in the bustling city.
Midtown, I’ll head to Elmwood Park and walk the short trails hidden in the trees near the grotto.
I prefer larger parks, though, with trails to explore for more than the five minutes it takes at Elmwood. Last winter, I needed a quick escape and brought the kids to Platte River State Park. We left in better moods that day.
While not a park, a beautiful place to head for some nature therapy is Lauritzen Gardens, which was suggested by Anna.
5. Comfort food and drinks – Sometimes something sweet or savory provides a brief pick-me-up. Chai latte from Crane Coffee is comforting. For comfort food at its best, I like the mac and cheese at Mark’s Bistro – as an added perk at that restaurant, sitting out in their pretty patio is also an easy mood boost.
Dana recommended her comfort foods spots, all downtown staples – Hiro 88, Wilson & Washburn, and Kitchen Table.
Michele had a good drink suggestion – try the Mango Margarita at Roja. That’ll put a smile on your lips.
6. Fun stores – I can count on City Limits in the Old Market to have funny stuff. Browse the quirky items and giggle at inappropriate cards. Another Old Market shop was suggested by a reader, Pretty in Patina (thanks, Dana!).
Now it’s your turn: Where do YOU go in Omaha to cheer up! Comment below.
* Turns out, I have a bad memory. It was where to go in LA when you’re bored. Oh well.