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21 Great Places To Go In Omaha With A Baby

So, you’re a new parent in Omaha, and you’re wondering, “Now what?” After you get over the initial fear of driving with a baby in your car, you’re going to want to get out and show your baby the world. Luckily, there are a lot of places in Omaha to take a baby and toddler.

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. At no extra cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

UPDATED: This post was first published in 2013 when my youngest was a toddler! It has been updated in April 2024 with current information and new places.

Kim holds a baby girl in a hat and stands next to her small son as the pose for a picture by gorilla statues at Omaha's zoo
Kim and her kids at the zoo (back in the day)

Now, full disclosure: My “babies” are now my height so I’m far from the early parenting stage. However, I’ve got a grand-nephew now (which seems impossible since I still think of my nephew as a Ninja Turtle-loving 3-year old). And I’ve started thinking about all the cool places my new sweet grand-nephew will get to experience for the first time.

No place is off-limits in my eyes (well, maybe no place super loud unless you got those cute, noise-blocking baby headphones). What interests you at this point should be a deciding factor, though. Go where you want to go, and talk about what you are seeing with your baby. Let them touch things, if allowed. Share your love with your baby. 

Outdoor places in Omaha for young kids

Take your baby to every park you encounter, even if it’s just to walk around because they’re super tiny still. Start in your neighborhood and then start branching out to nearby parks and beyond.

The RiverFront has three different playgrounds: Gene Leahy Mall, Heartland of America Park, and Lewis & Clark Landing. There is a small area for little ones at the Gene Leahy Mall playground that’s separate from the bigger kids area. It has two toddler swings and a small slide. The ground is mostly astroturf.

The toddler area of the Gene Leahy Mall playground in downtown Omaha
Gene Leahy Mall

The Mall also has public art sculptures, swings, and a fun water area called the Cascades, you may want to check out.

Lewis & Clark doesn’t have an area dedicated just for smaller kids, but there is a cool little water feature your babe might like to splash in. Outside of the playground at the Landing, you’ll notice the sandy, beach-type area. That’s a fun place to set a little one down so he or she can feel the textures.

Tip: There are bathrooms located near both playgrounds at Gene Leahy Mall and Lewis & Clark Landing.

I recommend Memorial Park for two reasons. There’s a rose garden at 6005 Underwood Ave. It’s a relaxing place, and I’ve never once visited and seen more than one other family there. Walk around and talk about colors, and the scent and feel of the rose petals. When you’re done, there’s a playground just west of the rose garden.

Now, if you want to see A LOT of different flowers, plan a visit to Lauritzen Gardens at First and Bancroft streets. Pick a garden, any garden. Plants and flowers are all labeled, so you can both learn something as you describe what you’re looking at to your kiddo.

Most kids are going to love the sights and sounds at the Railroad Garden, but you could also visit the Herb Garden and talk about all the different smells, in addition to what you see. 

Lauritzen Gardens is building a new Children’s Garden that will be closer to the visitor and education center. I can’t wait to see what it will be like!

If the weather is not cooperating – and even when it is – plan a visit to the Conservatory. One part feels like the rain forest and the other is more temperate. Both sides of the Conservatory, though, have a ton of cool plants, sculptures, and things to look at.

Related post: Guide to taking kids to Lauritzen Gardens

A toddler plays the xylophone at Fontenelle Forest
Acorn Acres at Fontenelle Forest

Fontenelle Forest, 1111 Bellevue Blvd., Bellevue, Neb. has an early childhood education program called Mud Pies. It’s for 5-year-olds and younger, so I’m going to speculate here that if you go with your teeny one, he may be the youngest in the group.

Of course, you can always visit Fontenelle and explore with your kiddo if you feel awkward attending this program with a baby. Definitely make the short trek on the stroller-friendly boardwalk to Acorn Acres, the natural playscape in the forest. When your baby becomes a more stable walker and climber, it will become a favorite place for him or her to explore.

Related post: Learn more about things to do at Fontenelle Forest with kids.

For a forest experience without admission, head for the tiny, free wildlife sanctuary hidden right in the heart of the city, Heron Haven, 11809 Old Maple Road.

A kid takes a closer look at a snail on the ground at Heron Haven
Heron Haven

The paths are easy for little feet to navigate, but they are not paved (just in case you’re there with a stroller). Be sure to take your kiddo to the boardwalk, where you’ll likely see (or at least hear) frogs and birds.

Now onto the nearby farms! These are awesome places for families, because you’ll find animals there as well as fun activities. Gifford Farm at 700 Camp Gifford Road in Bellevue, is one not many people know about outside of Sarpy County. They’re only open to the public on Mondays (seasonally) and on for special events. 

The animals you can find there include sheep, alpacas, horses, and goats. The price is pretty reasonable, but you’d better bring cash or check since they don’t accept credit cards. Don’t worry: They won’t charge admission for kids under age 2.

Feeding a sheep at Nelson Produce Farm In Valley, Nebraska
Nelson Produce Farm

Nelson Produce Farm is a little further outside of Omaha in Valley, Neb. But Omaha families come in droves once they open for the season each June. The farm is located at 10505 N. 234th St., Valley, Neb. Kids of all ages can get up close to bunnies and chicks, see cows and burros, and the older ones can run wild on hay bales and a tower of tires. 

Being a produce farm, you get a chance to purchase and taste produce at its freshest. There’s a cafe on-site. We’ve been there during strawberry picking season (yep, this is a U-pick farm, too). 

It’s a long drive, so if it’s just you and a baby, I’d recommend waiting to go there until your little one is a little older. If it’s you, baby, and older siblings, that’s different. Go and all of you will have fun!

Chances are good you are just like me and COULD NOT WAIT for the first trip to the Omaha Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium, 3701 S. 10th St., with your baby. It’s the perfect place to build vocabulary with so many animals, and it’s a whole sensory experience with sounds and smells added in. 

When the weather’s nice, the sand and stream at the Children’s Adventure Trail is a fun place to be with a little one. The sandy area by the stream is a favorite spot to plop down and while away the time. Plus, there’s a family bathroom there.

Kids play in the stream of water that runs through the Children's Adventure Trail at Omaha's zoo
Children’s Adventure Trail

There’s a sprayground close to the Children’s Adventure Trail, and it is super popular in the summer. I’d recommend waiting until your kid is more sure on their feet before taking them there. It just gets super crowded and may be overwhelming.

Related post: Expert tips for visiting Omaha’s zoo

Indoor places in Omaha for babies and young kids

Omaha Public Library branches are incredible assets to any first-time parent. Visit any branch and head for the children’s section. There’s usually a comfy place to sit down and read board books to your kid, as well as toys and hands-on playthings.

Two young kids smile by a shelf of books at Omaha Public Library
Omaha Public Library

But the real bonus of our library system is that there are weekly storytimes (even Baby Storytime), Music & Learning sessions, and more that are perfect for the under 3 crowd. Check OPL’s events calendar for days and times. And they’re all free!

The city’s community centers are another great option for programs geared toward the youngest kids. A few popular activities include:

  • Parent & Tot Play/Gym Time at A.V. Sorensen Community Center. It’s held on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to noon. It only costs $1 for adults and kids are free.
  • Toddler Gym Time at Saddlebrook Community Center. It’s held on Tuesdays and Fridays from 9 to 11:30 a.m. and Saturdays from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. It’s also only $1 for adults, and free for kids.
  • Open swim at Montclair Community Center is on Saturdays and Sundays from 1 to 4 p.m. The drop-in fee is $5 for adults, and babes in arms (2 and under) are free.

Keeping with the active theme, there are kids’ gyms in Omaha that can be welcoming places for littles. I asked on Facebook for recommendations, and got some great ideas:

Chirpy’s Play Cafe, 2063 Creek Side Drive, Papillion, Neb. is exactly what it sounds like: A cafe with couches (great for parents!) with a play area for kids. It has adorable decor, to boot.

Schramm Education Center, 21502 West Highway 31 Gretna, Neb., will impress you, especially if you remember back when it was called Aksarben Aquarium. There are now a lot of interactive exhibits, six touch tanks, and a preschool play area that has a cute nature theme to it. And of course, there are quite a few animals to see there.

A play area inside Schramm Education Center, with green flooring, a tree with a slide in it, and a small tent in the background
Schramm Education Center

There’s a fee to get in, but at least kids under 3 are free. If the weather’s nice, head outdoors and explore a trail at Schramm Park. Or just sit by one of the bird feeders and relax. Whatever sounds appealing at the moment!

While we’re on the topic of nature and animals, Cabela’s and Bass Pro Shoppe are two outdoor shops that are a parent’s best friend if you’re looking for something free to do with your baby. There are massive displays in each store with taxidermied animals to marvel at, as well as a large aquarium. 

If your little one is walking, they’re old enough to experience bumper bowling at a bowling alley. Obviously, you’ll help them get the bowling ball ready to roll, but they get to have the thrill of seeing how many pins they’re able to knock down each time. 

Tip: Be sure to sign up for Kids Bowl Free, a summer program that allows for two free games for a kid, each day, all summer long. It’s legit! They also sell Family Passes, should you want to bowl with them.

The newest museum in Omaha – Kiewit Luminarium, 345 Riverfront Drive – is part-science center, part-children’s museum, part-maker’s space. It’s great for all ages. In fact, you may want to be playing right alongside your kids.

A boy plays with the colored shadows wall at Kiewit Luminarium in Omaha
Kiewit Luminarium

On the surface, the Luminarium may not look like a place to take a baby. But, like all the other places mentioned here, it’s a place that should interest you and will allow you to talk about what you’re doing, what you’re seeing, and what you’re experiencing. I recommend the light exhibit and splashing around the water table.

Omaha Children’s Museum, 500 S. 20th St., is a favorite for any age group. It’ll cost you admission for yourself, but as long as your kid is under 2, they’re free.

The Wiggle Room at the museum caters to the 3 and younger crowd. Shoes must be off or covered to protect crawlers. 

Activities include building blocks, trains, puzzles, books and a little kitchen. I like the large mat on the floor because watching my toddler learn to walk gave me heart palpitations and having a soft falling surface was reassuring for a first-time parent like me. This is a great place for play, exploring and being encouraged to touch everything.

Tip: There’s a nursing room near the Wiggle Room.

Once you get out of the baby stage, the Imagination Playground next to the Wiggle Room will be your kid’s favorite spot. I guarantee it. There’s a huge water table, kid-size grocery store, and other make believe areas.

The Durham Museum, 801 S. 10th St., has been known as “the train museum” to my kids from an early age. It was once Union Station, and the remnants of its past are everywhere. 

A dad holds a baby while smiling out the window of a streetcar at The Durham Museum
The Durham Museum

Head downstairs, though, to walk through train cars and watch the model trains run. The museum has permanent exhibits covering the region’s history, as well as special exhibits. Find the exhibitors that interest you, so you can enjoy the visit and have the chance to narrate what you see on display to your baby. 

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I’d love to hear your suggestions! Please leave a comment with the places you recommend parents, grandparents, and caretakers can go with babies and toddlers!

Best places to go in Omaha with a baby or toddler, including top attractions with areas just for small kids! Guide includes free places to visit, too.

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