Need to ideas for staying cool in Omaha this summer? This city is loaded with options: pools, splash gardens, water parks, etc.
UPDATE: This post was first published in 2013 and updated April 2019.
For all budgets, here’s our list of where to go to stay cool in Omaha:
Spraygrounds – Omaha Parks and Recreation Departments offers FREE spraygrounds that are open Memorial Day to Labor Day, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. They are found at:
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
Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge Plaza, 705 Riverfront Drive
Other spraygrounds & Water features to play in: Head over to Council Bluffs’ Bayliss Park to find a small sprayground by the fountain. Head to Shadow Lake Towne Center in Papillion for their sprayground. First National Bank Tower in downtown Omaha has a sprayground that I can vouch for kids enjoying, and there’s one in front of the Omaha Children’s Museum as well. Platte River State Park opened a two-level spray ground in 2018.
Josleyn Art Museum – The fountain on the grounds of Joslyn Art Museum is open to the public to walk through, at your own risk.
Tom Hanafan River’s Edge Park – The new water feature at this Council Bluffs park just opened in May 2018.
Hydrant parties – Omaha has hydrant parties around the city three times a day on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Here is the schedule for 2019 Omaha hydrant parties. Hydrant parties in Omaha run through Aug. 2, 2019. Council Bluffs also has hydrant parties. Here is the schedule for 2018 Council Bluffs hydrant parties. Hydrant parties in Council Bluffs run through Aug. 9, 2018,
Less than $10
Lake Manawa State Park – A close beach getaway in the metro area lies in nearby Lake Manawa State Park in Council Bluffs. Sandy beach and calm lake waters await. You get in for the price of a vehicle’s day-pass into Iowa State Parks, plus beach admission: $3 for 12 and older, $2 for ages 4-11 and FREE for children younger than 4.
Paddleboat – The nearest paddleboat rental is Platte River State Park. A half-hour rental is $8. Website
More than $10
Kroc Center – Check out the aquatic center at the Kroc Center – it has two slides (one just for little kids) and a small lazy river. A family of four can get a day pass for $24 ($7 per adult, $5 per kid).
Omaha Pools – A family of two adults and four children can visit any of the Omaha public pools for less than $20. Save money and purchase a household pass for $175; punch cards are $50 and are good for 10 adult admissions or 20 youth admissions to any pool.
Outdoor pools in Omaha are: Gallagher Leisure, Miller Water Park, Camelot Traditional, Elkhorn Traditional, Lee Valley Traditional, Roanoke Traditional, Elmwood Leisure, Hanscom Leisure, Hitchcock Traditional, Karen Traditional, Spring Lake Traditional, Cryer Traditional, Deer Ridge Leisure, Oak Heights Leisure, Zorinsky Aquatic Center. Indoor pools: Montclair, Mockingbird and Common Ground
Council Bluffs pools – A family of four can get into Pirate Cove Water Park for $20 (use of water slides) or Katelman Water Park for $16. Save money with a season pass for the family, and get into both all season long for $200.
Goldfish Swim School – The West Omaha location of Goldfish Swim School (opening Spring 2019) will feature afternoon Family Swim sessions that are open to the public. The cost is $5 per person up to a maximum of $15 per family.
RiversWest Park – The launch site for a outfitters on the Elkhorn River is also a little beach area known for camping, music festivals and outdoor movies. You can pay a $5 entry fee per person (kids 12 and younger are FREE) and enjoy the water. Website (See the listings below for tubing and tank rentals from this park)
Fun Plex – Fun Plex includes the water park and unlimited rides in one admission pass. Enjoy the Makana Splash, Motion Ocean, Lazy River and slides for $25.95 for guests 54” and taller and $17.95 for guests 54” and shorter. Kids 2 and younger are FREE. And price is significantly cheaper if you go between 4 and 8 p.m. Website
Alaskan Adventure at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium – The zoo’s huge Alaskan Adventure splash garden is a destination itself within the zoo. Admission to the zoo is FREE for members and children younger than 2; $18.95 for ages 12+; $17.95, military adult (12+) and seniors; $12.95, children ages 3-11; and $11.95, military children ages 3-11.
Tubing down the Elkhorn River – Families and groups can take a short or long float trip down the Elkhorn River for $20 per person through Tubing & Adventures. Kids have to be at least 8 years old. Uncle Scott Outfitters is another tubing outfitter for Elkhorn River. Price options are $20 and $25 per person, depending on whether you want lunch and games included.
Saturday 22nd of July 2017
This is such a great list! I had never even heard of most of these. Definitely bookmarking for our trip to Omaha next month!
Saturday 22nd of July 2017
Thanks! Enjoy your upcoming visit!