February 8, 2019

Most Unique Places To Stay In Nebraska

Nebraska offers a wide variety of adventures for families, from stagecoach rides in the west, to canoeing in the north, and a world-class zoo in the east. And while you’re out venturing to each of those corners to the state, you’ll need a place to stay. I’ve been planning mini getaways for my family (checking off things on my Nebraska Bucket List), and I’ve started coming across some unique places to stay in Nebraska.

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. At no cost to you, if you purchase something after clicking the link, I may receive a referral fee from it.

My hope is to eventually spend at least one night in each of these. I’ll report back to you all with a review of the accommodations so you can decide if it’s right for you and your family. Take a look at some of the cool inns, B&Bs, and, well, quirky places you can stay in Nebraska:

List of incredibly unique overnight experiences in Nebraska - From glamping to sleeping in a corn crib or teepee #Nebraska #travel

The Corn Crib 

Where: Crab Orchard, Neb.

Fits: 2 people

Why: You’re staying in a unique “cottage” that screams “Nebraska.” The Corn Crib is just that, a corn crib, but it’s been remodeled into a guest cottage, complete with a balcony overlooking a lake. It’s located on the estate grounds of Sheah Blue Vineyard.

Book it (Get $40 off your first AirBnB booking if you use this referral link!)

The Former Officers Quarters at Fort Robinson State Park in western Nebraska
Instead of individual cabins, Fort Robinson State Park lets guests stay overnight in former officers quarters. Photo courtesy Nebraska Tourism

Former Officers’ Quarters

Where: Fort Robinson State Park, Crawford, Neb.

Fits: 2 to 20 people

Why: This state park’s accommodations are pretty unique. You can stay in former officers quarters that date from 1874 to 1909. While they’re not cabins, They’re equipped like them: They have a kitchen and bathroom, and some of the larger ones have living rooms. And it’s full housekeeping, so they have linens and all the kitchen utensils you might need.

Book it

Glamping At A Winery

Where: Slattery Vintage Estates & Tasting Room, Nehawka, Neb.

Fits: 2 people

Why: Slattery was the first place that introduced the concept of glamping in Nebraska to me. Glamping tents are set up within walking distance to the tasting room (and of yeah, you can request wine and snacks to be waiting upon your arrival).

Note: This is one overnight you’ll want to leave the kids at home. Also note that, due to its location, you cannot bring outside alcohol with you when you’re glamping here.

Book it

Glamping cabins are available at Platte River State Park in eastern Nebraska
Glamping cabins opened at Platte River State Park in the summer of 2018. These cabins are part of the Outdoor Venture Park initiative. Photo courtesy NEBRASKAland Magazine, Nebraska Game and Parks Commission

Glamping At A State Park

Where: Platte River State Park, Louisville, Neb.

Fits: 2 people

Why: The three glamping sites at Platte River State Park have been a hot item to reserve ever since they first opened in 2018. They’re modern and outfitted with all the amenities you’d want (namely air conditioning and a comfy bed). Snagging a weekend reservation is tough, though.

Note: This is one overnight you’ll want to leave the kids at home.

Book it

A teepee at Platte River State Park in eastern Nebraska
Teepee Village is located at Platte River State Park in eastern Nebreaska. Photo courtesy Nebraska Tourism

Teepee Village

Where: Platte River State Park, Louisville, Neb.

Fits: 8 people

Why: While we’re talking about Platte River State Park, let me tell you about the teepees there. The Pawnee TeePee Village at Platte River State Park consists of four teepees situated on top of platforms, so at least your not sleeping on a ground. It’s a step above camping, but not on par with even a yurt. I’m pretty sure the only reason why you’d want to stay in one of these is to say you’ve stayed in one.

Book it

Kottage Knechtion Treehouse

Where: South Sioux City, Neb.

Fits: 2 people

Why: The Kottage Knechtion Treehouse is a B&B nestled between two cottonwood trees. It’s not far from downtown Sioux City, which I had fun exploring with my husband.

Book it (Get $40 off your first AirBnB booking if you use this referral link!)

One-Room School House

Where: Arnold, Neb.

Fits: 5 people

Why: Facebook fan Laura S. recommended Center School B&B and Museum, saying “We stayed there on the last night of our Sandhills trip. The apartment is clean and serviceable but the museum is AMAZING. Berni, the owner, is putting so much work into making it as authentic as possible and she has so many great stories to tell about the building and one room schoolhouses in general! As a teacher myself, I appreciated the care and detail in the museum so much!”

Note: This lodging does not have air conditioning, but the host notes that guests stay in the basement, which stays cool in the summer and warm in the winter.

Book it (Get $40 off your first AirBnB booking if you use this referral link!)

River Inn Resort

Where: Brownville, Neb.

Fits: 2 people (possibly more)

Why: Here’s your chance to stay in a floating B&B! This 18-room floating inn is located on the Missouri River (and near one of my favorite towns in Nebraska).

Book it

Safari Tent Camp

Where: Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium, Omaha, Neb.

Fits: 2 people

Why: While zoo offers a variety of camping options for the whole family, it was the Safari Tent Camp for adults-only that caught my eye – you stay in the safari tents near the African Grasslands. Tents include an electrical outlet, nightstand with lantern, area rug, dining table, two director chairs and oscillating fan. There are only a few nights offered each year, so you’ll have to plan ahead.

Book it

Cabooses at Two Rivers State Recreation Area in Waterloo, Nebraska
The cabooses at Two Rivers State Recreation Area in Waterloo, Neb., can accommodate up to six people. Photo courtesy Nebraska Tourism

Vintage Caboose

Where: Two Rivers State Recreation Area, Waterloo, Neb.

Fits: 6 people

Why: Ever since we saw the cabooses on our first camping trip to Two Rivers SRA, I knew that one day, we’d have to stay there. First off, they’re REAL cabooses, outfitted with bunkbeds and two mattresses in the cupola. But more important, unlike camping in a tent, they have air conditioning.

Note: Two Rivers is catch-and-release fishing spot more than anything else, though there is a small beach at one of the lakes. If you’re looking for hiking, this ain’t your park.

Book it

Get some road trip inspiration for your trip through Nebraska. Follow the Nebraska Travel board by Oh My! Omaha on Pinterest.

Stay somewhere fun in the Cornhusker State! Here's a list of unique places to stay in Nebraska, from clamping to staying in a corn crib, one-room school house or teepee #Nebraska #travel

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July 13, 2018

What’s New At Nebraska State Parks Near Omaha

There are a lot of updates happening at four Nebraska state parks and state recreation areas near Omaha, including an addition of a ropes course, “glamping” cabins, and an aqua playground. The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission calls them Outdoor Venture Parks. Here’s a look at what’s new and what’s coming. What’s great for us is that these parks are located within about 30 miles of Omaha.

For the most up-to-date information and to see the artist renderings of everything, visit Nebraska Game and Parks Commission’s website.

A look at the plans for four venture parks in eastern Nebraska #statepark #outdoors #adventure

Mahoney State Park

Artist rendering of Mahoney State Park climbing walls
A rock wall will open in the Activity Center at Mahoney State Park in Nebraksa. Artist rendering courtesy Nebraska Game and Parks Commission

Where: Ashland, Neb.

What’s new: The Go Ape Ropes Course opened at Mahoney State Park in the spring of 2018. It’s Nebraska’s only treetop rope course, and in it you’ll find ziplines and suspended walkways. There are age and height restrictions.

What’s on the way: Slated to open in the fall of 2018, Mahoney State Park is expanding its Activity Center and adding an indoor rock climbing wall. In the winter of 2018-2019, be on the lookout for a new alpine and sledding hill. That means year-round sliding, folks. There is also the addition of a lazy river at the park that’s been proposed, but no design plan has been selected yet and no installation date has been set.

Platte River State Park

Glamping cabins are available at Platte River State Park in eastern Nebraska
Glamping cabins opened at Platte River State Park in the summer of 2018. These cabins are part of the Outdoor Venture Park initiative. Photo courtesy NEBRASKAland Magazine, Nebraska Game and Parks Commission

Where: Louisville, Neb.

What’s new: Glamping! The three glamping cabins opened in July 2018, and are an upscale way to camp. The feature I’m most interested in is the queen-size bed on rollers that can be moved out onto the deck to sleep under the stars. This summer, Platte River State Park also opened a two-tiered splash pad. It replaces the pool, and is intended for preschoolers on up to young teens. In 2017, Platte River State Park added Crawdad Creek, which was a hit with my kids. Find it by Jenny Newman Lake – it’s a series of small ponds. Look up program times, where kids (and adults) can learn and explore with a parks employee.

Related post: Glamping isn’t only found at Platte River State Park. Check out this post about all the unique places to stay in Nebraska!

What’s on the way: Sometime in the summer of 2018, they park should have river access for visitors, including kayaks to rent. It may be open already. Be on the lookout for a new RV campground in the fall of 2018. Further ahead in the future, the park will be enhancing mountain bike trails to make it a premier regional destination for mountain bikers. Those trails are scheduled to be completed in 2019.

Louisville State Recreation Area

Louisville State Recreation Area floating playground is the first of its kind in Nebraska
The floating playground at Louisville State Recreation Area (SRA) will open in July 2018. Photo courtesy NEBRASKAland Magazine, Nebraska Game and Parks Commission

Where: Louisville, Neb.

What’s new: A new floating playground is supposed to open any day now. It’s a huge, inflatable obstacle course, and as such, there are age restrictions. You’ll also be able to rent watercycles and paddleboards.

What’s on the way: A new access point to the Platte River should open in the fall of 2018. No word on being able to rent equipment.

Schramm Park State Recreation Area

Artist rendering the the Schramm Park interactive exploration center
Schramm Park State Recreation Area (SRA) will open a new interactive exploration center aquarium soon as part of the Nebraska Outdoor Venture Parks. Artist rendering courtesy Nebraska Game and Parks Commission

Where: Gretna, Neb.

What’s new: Nothing new…yet, though sometime this summer, there should be more access to the river, with expanded rec options like canoeing, kayaking and other water-based activities.

What’s on the way: I’m happy to say the former Aksarben Aquarium is getting a makeover. Expect the renovated center, soon to be called Interactive Exploration Center, to open in the fall or winter of 2018. It should be a state-of-the art nature center and aquarium when finished. This fall, there should be some enhanced and expanded mountain bike trails opening.

List of what has opened at the Nebraska Venture Parks and what is planned. These are all parks within 30 miles of Omaha.

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May 2, 2018

8 Great Things To Do With Kids In Lincoln

Lincoln, Neb., is a favorite quick getaway for my family. 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.

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, Neb.:

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.

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.

 

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.

Cost: Adults 19 and older, $6 ($10 to include planetarium); children 5-18, $3 ($6 to include planetarium); families of 2 adults and children/grandchildren 18 and younger, $13; children 4 and younger, FREE ($3 to include planetarium, though children younger than 3 are not permitted in the planetarium); UNL students and faculty, FREE ($3 to include planetarium)

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

 

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.

Cost: FREE

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

 

https://www.instagram.com/p/BKySqGlA8vo/?taken-by=ohmyomaha

 

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. 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 business of handmade food since 1917. If you plan ahead, you can sign up for a complimentary tour the dairy facilities.

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.

Cost: Mega Fun Pass (ages 6-14), $10.75; Mini Fun Pass (ages 2-5), $6.25; Micro Fun Pass (12 months old), $3.75; 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.

Cost: Adults, 13-61, $9.95; children 2-12 and seniors, 62+, $8.95; 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 Boulebard

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.

 

 

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April 12, 2018

New Family-Friendly Hotel In Lincoln’s Haymarket

When I look for hotels in Lincoln, Neb., I tend to stick to the Haymarket area. I love the cool shops and great restaurants within walking distance from a hotel, and the Haymarket is super close to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln campus and places like the Lincoln Children’s Museum. There’s a new family-friendly hotel in Lincoln’s Haymarket – Graduate Hotel.

Disclosure: I received a complimentary stay in order to write this review. I was not compensated to write this post. All thoughts, opinions and typos are my own.

If you’ve been to Lincoln, you may recognize the Graduate Hotel has replaced the Holiday Inn that was in the Haymarket. The restaurant inside Graduate Hotel, John J’s Chow Hall, replaces the Red Onion.

What families like about Graduate Hotel

There are few things that stand out for the Graduate Hotel, as far as family-friendly amenities, and a few that work if your kids are older. Let’s start with a pool, which is about No. 1 on any traveling family’s list. There is a pool… but there is a caveat. It’s deep.

The pool at Graduate Lincoln is deeper than typical hotel pools. The pool deck had a foosball table and ping pong, plus access to some rooftop decks for lounging.

The shallowest it gets is still deeper than 4 feet. It’s great for confident swimmers, but not so much for little ones.

There are a few FREE game options that my family took advantage of, particularly the free arcade games in the lobby. Those were a blast from my past and my oldest, in particular, enjoyed playing them. They’re a little challenging for younger kids, though.

The pool area also has foosball and ping pong tables.

I think the older your kids are, the more they’re going to like staying at the Graduate in Lincoln.

What makes this hotel uniquely Nebraskan

Graduate Hotels is a chain that finds locations in college towns across the U.S., and then curates a look and atmosphere that reflects the community each hotel is in. For Lincoln, there’s a blend of Instagram-worthy designs, especially in the lobby, that’s paired with touches inspired by Nebraska’s landscape. There’s vintage-inspired corn print fabric and wallpaper, art inspired by the state’s national history, and more than a few Husker touches.

Simple touches in the room and lobby made it clear that thought went into the decor and tying things to Nebraska history and pop culture.

There is even an homage to Johnny Carson, native of Nebraska. The rooms all have nightstands that look like old-fashioned TVs.

The hotel’s restaurant, John J’s Chow Hall, is in tribute to John J. Pershing, a World War I general with Nebraska ties.

What’s near Graduate Hotel Lincoln

Graduate Lincoln is located in the historic Haymarket of Lincoln, Neb. Photo courtesy Graduate Hotels

You can’t beat the location of Graduate Lincoln! While the Haymarket is appealing for couples or friends on a group getaway, it also has some kid-friendly places.

Locally-owned Indigo Bridge Books & Cafe is a short walk from Graduate Lincoln. The children’s area has a great selection of books.

Indigo Bridge Books & Cafe about a block away from the hotel and has a darling children’s section. The building it’s located in, The Creamery, is also home to a great little ice cream shop called Ivanna Cone.

Art Alley is also nearby, and is possibly my favorite spot in all of Lincoln.

Art Alley is exactly what it sounds like. By day, it’s a simple alley with some sculptures and murals on walls and doors. At night, it transforms with light adding new dimensions.

For kid-friendly restaurants, I recommend Lazlo’s Brewery & Grill, which has an excellent kids’ menu (all entrees include ice cream for dessert). There are some chains that are kid-pleasers, as well, like Old Chicago, Mellow Mushroom, and Hurts Donut.

Hurts Donuts is known for having unique toppings and flavor combinations – from cereal and candy to bacon and maple. For simpler tastes, there’s always cake donuts with sprinkles and long johns.

There isn’t a playground nearby, though there is a small courtyard with a engine. You’re not far from Haymarket Park, for baseball games, or Pinnacle Bank Arena for a mix of sporting events and concerts. In the winter, there is an ice skating rink at the Railyard and in the spring through fall, you’ll find the Lincoln Farmer’s Market is steps away from the hotel.

Lost in Play in Lincoln had a bounce house, jumping pillow, foam pit, and climbing structures. It’s a sure way to tire your kids.

During this 24-hour visit, we went to Morrill Hall at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, Lincoln Children’s Museum and Lost at Play. The first two are very near the hotel. Lost at Play is out of the way, for sure, but it is a unique space for a ton of active play. My kids loved it, and I thought the cost was reasonable (if you can stay away from the arcade).

A Novel Idea in Lincoln, Neb., had the best stairwell ever.

One last place to recommend: A Novel Idea, a used bookstore near UNL campus and Lincoln Children’s Museum. I passed time there while the kids and Mr. Wonderful were at the children’s museum.

If you go

Graduate Hotel

Where: 141 N. Ninth St., Lincoln, Neb.

Website

 

Plan a Lincoln getaway

It’s hard to capture all three levels of the Lincoln Children’s Museum in one shot.

You have a hotel recommendation, now you need an itinerary. Start with this 24-hour Lincoln itinerary! There’s a lot packed in there, but it’s all kid-friendly.

By far, my kids’ favorite place to visit in Lincoln is the Lincoln Children’s Museum. If you go, here are some things to do near the museum to round out your day. Another great place for families is the Lincoln Children’s Zoo.

 

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February 28, 2018

Nebraska Travel Book Recommendations

People have asked how I plan trips, what sites and resources I use to find off-the-beaten-path stops. I do quite a bit of research online, solicit other travel bloggers’ recommendations, and I request travel brochures from cities and states on my route. And books. I use travel books.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Oh My! Omaha is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

Books to help plan your next trip through Nebraska #travelbooks

And those are great resources. To find the truly memorable things, though, the stuff that slips under the radar, I look to books.

When planning a trip through a state I know well (my home, Nebraska), here are the travel books I read to learn more about my destination and the hidden gems along the way:

Off The Beaten Path Series

Look to the “Off The Beaten Path” series for eclectic recommendations, especially when traveling the Midwest. These won’t necessarily be the biggest attractions, and some will be downright odd, but I’ve found the series to give me one or two additions to my itineraries each time I read one. Make sure you have the most recent version of your book, as is the case with any travel book, some information may have changed. Double check before going anywhere to be sure things are still open and you know the hours of operation.

Planning a Nebraska road trip? The newest edition of “Off The Beaten Path: Nebraska” will be published this Thursday.

I’ve used an earlier version of this book to plan our adventure in western Nebraska a couple years ago.

Looking through Diana Lambdin Meyer’s updates, I’ve found inspiration for day trip ideas from Omaha, as well as more thing I want to see when I’m at Lake McConaughy. I like the little side stories in the book about some attractions, as well as lists of special events, restaurants, and places to stay.

It’s useful for planning trips since it’s divided by regions and then by counties. If you have a destination in mind, it’s easy to find additions to your itinerary. When I was planning a road trip to Wichita, I found a reason to take a pit stop in Hebron, Neb. thanks to “Off The Beaten Path: Nebraska.” I mean, when else were we going to get a chance to sit on the world’s largest porch swing?

Detour Nebraska

I think planning Nebraska road trips is going to be a cinch combining tips from “Off The Beaten Path: Nebraska” and “Detour Nebraska” by Gretchen Garrison. Both have insightful tips for small town destinations that you just aren’t going to find online.

“Detour Nebraska” has a mix of hidden gems, historical sites, and main attractions for cities and towns in Nebraska. It’s a fairly new book so I haven’t done any road trips through Nebraska since I received the book, but I have a list of things to add to my next trip thanks to this book. Read about the five must-see places I’m adding to my Nebraska Bucket List thanks to “Detour Nebraska.”

100 Things To Do Series

I’m a sucker for lists. I’m not a completist, at least, so I only cherry pick from lists, but still. I love lists for planning trips.

Reedy Press has this series, 100 Things To Do Before You Die, for various cities throughout the U.S. The first that I’ve found for Nebraska is coming out April 15, 2018 (you can pre-order now). “100 Things To Do In Omaha Before You Die” is written by two friends of mine, Tim and Lisa Trudell, so I’m pretty excited to read through it to see what I’m missing in my own city.

More Nebraska Travel Books

Nebraska’s Curiosities – There’s a 2010 book out for Nebraska in the series called “Nebraska Curiosities: Nebraska Curiosities: Quirky Characters, Roadside Oddities & Other Offbeat Stuff.”  According to the book cover, this one covers everything from the Avoca Quack Off (which I’ve never heard of, so a point for the authors) to the world’s largest covered wagon.

Culinary History of the Sandhills – OK, less travel book than cookbook and history of a region, but it offers insight to Nebraska’s famous Sandhills. Food plays a big role in the community.

Nebraska Beer“Nebraska Beer: Great Plains History by the Pint” is definitely more of a history book, but since Nebraska breweries are pretty young compared to other regions, you’ll be able to visit most of the breweries in the book.


Omaha Food – Wondering where to eat when visiting Omaha? Rachel Grace’s 2015 book “Omaha Food: Bigger Than Beef” might tip you off to a few that will satisfy you. Chapters are divided by food types, so you got diverse foods (think Thai to Mexican), pizzas, Reubens, farm-to-table, and booze.

I’d love more book recommendations. Share your favorite Nebraska books that might help a fellow traveler explore the state. Thanks!

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February 11, 2018

What’s New At Strategic Air Command & Aerospace Museum

My last visit to Strategic Air Command and Aerospace Museum in Ashland, Neb., was over a year ago to see the new Children’s Learning Center, a permanent exhibit that explores aspects of flight and engineering in a super fun way for kids. That was 2016, so it was well overdue for me to see what’s new at the museum, especially since there’s a kid-friendly exhibit there this winter.

Guide to Strategic Air Command & Aerospace Museum in Nebraska

If you haven’t visited Strategic Air Command and Aerospace Museum with your children yet, read this post!

Temporary Exhibit At The Museum

We returned this winter to see a new temporary exhibit that compliments the hands-on activities at the Children’s Learning Center. “Energy Explorers” helps museum visitors of all ages explore principles of energy, like comparing potential and kinetic energy, how energy is transferred to another form, and the relationships of electrical or
magnetic interactions. The new exhibit is open until April 23, 2018.

Temporary exhibit at Strategic Air Command & Aerospace Museum in Nebraska
A table to create circuits at the new exhibit “Energy Explorers” at Strategic Air Command & Aerospace Museum in Ashland, Nebraska.

It has the look and feel that it’s designed for school aged children, with slightly complicated instructions for my youngest to understand without my help. She’s not a strong reader yet.

I stayed by her side to explain and build alongside her. She spent the most time playing with the magnets and dominos. And this thing below.

Temporary exhibit activity at Strategic Air Command & Aerospace Museum in Nebraska
Doesn’t matter your age, it’s always going to be fun to fire an air cannon.

She loved firing shots with the air vortex cannon, knocking down cups and moving tiles with the wind energy she created.

My 8-year-old son jumped right into the more difficult areas like the circuit boards, which involved step-by-step instructions on completing a circuit on your own to light a lightbulb or start a fan.

Temporary exhibit circuit board at Strategic Air Command & Aerospace Museum in Nebraska
The kids worked together as a team to build circuits.

Here’s what’s all in the exhibit:

– Learning and exploring primary sources of energy – nuclear, fossil, solar, geothermal, hydro, wind

– Performing hands-on experiments that test energy in motion

– Testing the power of wind energy with an air vortex cannon

– Discovering where energy comes from through interactive learning on a kiosk

– Testing the transfer of energy using an electric circuits board or hand crank bulbs

– Experiencing conservation of energy through a newton’s cradle

– Learning about magnetic and electrical fields using magnets, snap circuitry, or sound tubes

This is one of the museum’s two annual interactive exhibits that focus on topics in science, technology, engineering or math (STEM). I enjoy timing our visits to the museum specifically to see these interactive exhibits, because my children enjoy them so much.

Children's Learning Center quake table at Strategic Air Command & Aerospace Museum in Nebraska
The Children’s Learning Center is a permanent exhibit at Strategic Air Command & Aerospace Museum in Nebraska.

We ended our visit by playing in the Children’s Learning center, walking around the planes, and trying out the flight simulator.

New-To-Us At The Museum

The kids finally got their chance to try out the simulation ride, too. It’s an additional fee ($10 each) and there is a height requirement that my daughter finally reached this year. For observers, it looked like an intense rollercoaster experience, completely with several spins upside down, but the kids loved it.

If you think your kids will want to ride it, buy your tickets at the time of purchasing museum admission. You cannot purchase tickets at the ride.

I walked through “Searching for Humanity: Veterans, Victims, and Survivors of World War II” for the first time during this visit. It’s intense, and definitely intended for adults and children old enough to grapple with the subject matter. The exhibit includes photos, memorabilia and testimony of Nebraska Holocaust survivors, soldiers and others who helped liberate prisoners from concentration camps in Nazi-occupied Europe.

The newest permanent exhibit honoring the Tuskegee Airmen of World War II opened on February 2018. It opened after our visit, so we’ll have to check it out the next time we’re there.

Win Passes To Visit!

Planes in the hangar at Strategic Air Command & Aerospace Museum in Nebraska
It’s truly amazing to get such a close-up look at so many airplanes at the Strategic Air Command & Aerospace Museum in Ashland, Nebraska.

I’m working with Strategic Air Command & Aerospace Museum to giveaway one daily pass for four to visit the museum! Here’s your chance to see what’s new at the museum. To enter, fill out the Rafflecopter form below. Giveaway ends on Sunday, Feb. 25, 2018 at 11:59 p.m. CST.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Must be 18 or older to enter. I was not compensated to host this giveaway or visit the museum.

If you go

Strategic Air Command & Aerospace Museum

Where: 28210 West Park Highway, Ashland, Neb. (about 30 miles west of Omaha)

When: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., 7 days a week; 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve; closed: New Year’s Day, Easter, Thanksgiving & Christmas. “Energy Explorers” is open through April 28, 2018.

Cost: Adults, $12; senior citizens, military, $11; children (ages 4-12), $6; FREE for children aged 3 and younger

Extras: Fight simulators, 2D rides are $9 for members $10 for non-members, and 3D rides are $12 for members $13 for non-members.

Website

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