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Sightseeing/Must Dos?

Level Contributor
126 posts
8 reviews
Sightseeing/Must Dos?

I have never been to the Nation's Midsection. I am flying into Omaha and headed to Ames, Iowa for a competition with my 11 year old. We are Pittsburgh/Florida Natives. We will have a few hours to kill on Wed and a little more on Sunday. Is there anything I should make sure to see or stop by real quick? I love Laura Ingalls and thought about trying to make a quick stop at a historical sight, but it doesn't look like anything is really worth the detour.

My son is an outdoors kind of nature loving animal kid. He would love to see a prairie, some animals we don't see at home, any cool geological formations, bodies of water we may only ever see on a map, or any strange roadside attraction type of thing. It is not likely we will ever be out this way again. Is there anything just SO Iowa/Nebraska that I should take him to see? He is going to remember this trip forever and I want to make it special.



7 replies to this topic
Level Contributor
539 posts
33 reviews
1. Re: Sightseeing/Must Dos?

Our zoo is one of the top rated zoos in the world.

Lincoln, NE
Destination Expert
for Lincoln
Level Contributor
702 posts
53 reviews
2. Re: Sightseeing/Must Dos?

He might enjoy walking the prairie trails at Homestead National Monument west of Beatrice. There are many artifacts from the pioneer days, hiking trails, one room schoolhouse, a cabin, & a sod buster shaped building that houses the visitor’s center. It is free. Many birds and some wildlife can be observed on the trails.

Another possibility is Mahoney State Park west of Omaha. Exit 426 on I-80. There are trails, paddle boats, horse riding, swimming pool with slides. There is a charge to get into the state park & additional charge for things except walking the trails are free. Welcome to the Midwest.

Omaha, Nebraska
Level Contributor
7 posts
22 reviews
3. Re: Sightseeing/Must Dos?

The Zoo is awesome.walk in Old market . Get some ice cream

omaha, nebraska
Level Contributor
163 posts
20 reviews
4. Re: Sightseeing/Must Dos?

On your drive from Omaha to Ames and back, pull off at a photo op of Albert the Bull. Also stop at a rest stop and notice the giant wind turbines. If he likes baseball go by college World Series statue in downtown Omaha at corner of stadium. Will be packed if u are actually here during the series. While at stadium park and walk across Bob Kerry Pedistrian Bridge that spans Missouri River. Lunch around stadium or in Old Market.

Omaha, Nebraska
Level Contributor
25 posts
53 reviews
5. Re: Sightseeing/Must Dos?

Henry Doorly Zoo is great, Wildlife Safari Park, or Lauritzen Gardens. You'll see lots of farm land on the drive to Ames, IA!

Omaha, Nebraska
Level Contributor
18 posts
350 reviews
6. Re: Sightseeing/Must Dos?

Ames to Omaha, most of your options will be in Iowa. State capitol in Des Moines is really nice. Elkhorn has the Danish museum. Menlo has Patriot Rock just south of the interstate. At Adair take US 6 just south of town to find the site of Jesse James' first train robbery. Well marked location.

Level Contributor
25 posts
1 review
7. Re: Sightseeing/Must Dos?

1) Must see the Henry Doorly Zoo (budget 1 full day)

2) Wonderful museums

Durham Museum ( has great exhibits such is all trains you can climb on, history of the Midwest in Omaha, with interactive pioneer and displays) or even the children’s museum if he’s younger they have a lot of interactive activities

3) If you go to the old market in downtown Omaha a block north they have a park with a large slides you can go down and have a great time. Two blocks east is also a little lake with lots of swans ducks and rabbits and fish to feed a big water fountain and there is ice cream at Ted and Wally’s in the old market that’s really good

4)If you drive 20 to 30 minutes on the outside of Omaha there is a wildlife car Safari that is technically run by the zoo and you drive around looking at Buffalo birds and there is a stop to get out and see a petting zoo, wolves, and a brown bear that’s really fun and very cheap And affordable. This is right across the road from Mahoney State Park which has lots of activities for kids such is big swimming pool and waterslides, arts and crafts, horse riding, and other amenities

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