Top Things to do with Kids in Omaha, Nebraska

Omaha is the perfect weekend getaway or even a 3-4 day summer, fall, or spring break vacation destination for families.  There are so many awesome things to do with kids in Omaha. 

Even more, if you are wanting your getaway or vacation to be more affordable, there are also a number of amazing free things to do in Omaha as well. 

Keep reading to find out everything you need to know for the perfect getaway to Omaha as well as the many things to do with kids in Omaha.

Two boys looking out the back window of a rusty old brown truck
Hollywood Candy

Where to Stay in Omaha

My number one place to stay in Omaha is the Embassy Suites Omaha Old Market

Here is why this is our favorite hotel in Omaha.

First of all, we LOVE Embassy Suites for not only its one bedroom suites to sleep our whole family, but also its free cooked to order breakfasts and manager’s receptions in the evenings.

Our family also really enjoys the large lobby areas in Embassy Suites hotels as it is the perfect place to play a game or just hang out too!

This Embassy Suites Omaha Old Market is our favorite hotel because it is so easy to walk to the restaurants and shops in the Old Market area. 

We never have to get in the car to go to dinner, and we absolutely love that!

Boy standing in front of a fountain in the Embassy Suites lobby
Embassy Suites lobby area

Where to Eat in Omaha’s Old Market

The best place to eat with kids in Omaha’s Old Market is Spaghetti Works!

It is only 2 minute walk from the Embassy Suites.

I do want to warn you that Spaghetti Works gets REALLY busy especially on the weekend. Sometimes the wait time is over 2 hours–this is no joke!

Top Tip

If you are visiting Omaha on the weekend or during a busy time and want to eat at Spaghetti Works, I would suggest at least an hour before you want to eat to have someone from your family or group to go check on the current wait time and put your name on the wait list.

Since the Embassy Suites is so close to Spaghetti Works, it is easy to have someone walk there to do that.

Another great restaurant for families in the Old Market area is the Twisted Fork Grill and Saloon.

It has really delicious food and a fun cowboy atmosphere. 

The Twisted Fork also has a kids menu and is just a block away from the Embassy Suites. 

Spaghetti Works sign and people waiting outside of the building
Spaghetti Works in Omaha’s Old Market area

11 Amazing Things to do with Kids in Omaha

Spend the day at the Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium

The zoo is a must do for most families that visit Omaha.

It is going to take you most of the day to visit the zoo. There really is so much to do and see here. 

Our kids’ favorite exhibits and activities at the zoo are Gorilla Valley, the aquarium, the splash park, and the Bay Family Children’s Adventure Trails.

The zoo has so many more attractions besides animal exhibits which are incredible in themselves. 

Our kids could easily spend a half of a day at the Splash park and then the other half of the day at the Bay Family Children’s Adventure Trails. 

FIND OUT MORE: Visiting the Omaha Zoo and Aquarium

Visit the Durham Museum

The Durham Museum is located in Omaha’s Union Station. 

This museum always has amazing traveling exhibits to check out as well as its permanent exhibits which reveal the captivating history of Omaha and the surrounding area. 

In addition to these exhibits plus the impressive architecture of Union Station, there is also the Soda Fountain and Candy shop to check out!

The Soda Fountain serves lunch as well! 

Visiting the Durham Museum is a great way to learn about and experience the history of Omaha with your family.

Play and relax at the Gene Leahy Mall 

The Gene Leahy Mall is a huge green space with so many awesome activities for kids including its iconic slides, Cascades water feature, and Arches Playground. 

This green space is located between Douglas and Farnam Streets, and the Gene Leahy Mall extends from 13th to 8th Streets.

There is metered parking surrounding the Gene Leahy Mall. We visited on a Sunday morning when parking was free!

From the Embassy Suites, a walk to the Gene Leahy Mall takes about 10 minutes. 

I highly recommend checking this area out when you visit Omaha. It is a great thing to do on a Sunday morning or any other time too. 

Must Know Information

There are public restrooms less than a half of a block from the top of the slides and from the Arches Playground.

Also, when visiting, keep in mind the fact that your kids may want to get wet in the Cascades water feature so plan accordingly for that. 

Visit The Omaha Children’s Museum

Visiting the Omaha Children’s Museum is also a super fun thing to do with kids in Omaha. 

This museum has so many interactive and imaginative exhibits for kids of all ages. 

The Omaha Children’s Museum also always has some impressive temporary exhibits that are only there for a certain period of time. 

There is always something new to see and experience at the Omaha Children’s Museum!

Take a Carriage Ride in the Old Market area

Taking a carriage ride through the Old Market area is a unique activity for the family to do in Omaha. 

Each carriage fits 6-8 people, and so is perfect for the whole family.

Check the carriage service’s website for more information and to make a reservation. 

Walk ups are not guaranteed so if your family is interested in doing a carriage ride, I would suggest reserving a spot online ahead of time. 

Horse pulling a carriage on a brick road

Get some ice cream

The Old Market area has so many fantastic ice cream shops. They are so great that on some evenings the lines for ice cream are out the doors and around the corner. 

We had ice cream from Dolci Ice Cream and Desserts, and it was top notch. This ice cream shop is across the street from the Embassy Suites which is a major plus, too!

Additionally, we had ice cream at the Coneflower Creamery.

Fun Fact

The Coneflower Creamery currently holds the honor of being the number 1 ice cream shop on Yelp’s 2023 list of top U.S. ice cream shops.

I say that is an incredible achievement!

If you want to visit the Coneflower Creamery to experience this ice cream shop for yourself, you will need to drive to 3921 Farnum Street and expect a long wait to get in. The line will be down the block.

Check out Hollywood Candy

This quirky store has so much to offer everyone. 

First of all, there is basically any candy that your heart may desire. 

Both inside and out, there are so many fun photo opportunities as well!

You would never realize it from the outside, but there is an arcade inside too!

I definitely recommend taking the time to wander through this candy shop as the kids will love it, and you are bound to find a few surprises along the way.

Three boys standing in front of brick building for Fairmont Mercantile Treats and Amusements

Stand in two states at once on the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge

Walking across the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge also known as Bob is a unique and free activity to do with kids.

On a gorgeous day, families can enjoy the beauty of the Missouri River and the stunning Omaha skyline. 

Additionally, while on the bridge you can stand in both Nebraska and Iowa otherwise known on this bridge as “Bobbing”. 


You can park at the National Park Service Midwest Region Building for free which is right next to the bridge on the Nebraska side.

Alternatively, it is about a 10 minute walk from the Old Market area to the bridge.

Also, now that the Heartland of America Park and Lewis and Clark Landing are complete, it is a short walk to the Bob Kerry Bridge from these parks as well as the Kiewit Luminarium.

Take a picture with Omar the Blue Troll Statue

You can also go under the bridge on the Omaha side to see and take a photo with Omar the blue troll statue. 

Additionally, you can pose with Omar’s walking stick, too!

Visit the Kiewit Luminarium on the Riverfront

Omaha’s newest museum, the Kiewit Luminarium is definitely one of a kind.

Located right next to the Discovery Playground at Lewis and Clark Landing, the museum has a prime spot along Omaha’s revitalized riverfront.

The Kiewit Luminarium is best suited for kids 5 and over although there are some things younger children could enjoy as well.

Our kids LOVED the Geometric Playground which is for ages 5 and up.

They also enjoyed the Cast of Shadows exhibit, gears, Pile It High, Pulling Together exhibit, and so many more.

Must Know Information

You will likely spend about 2 hours at the Kiewit Luminarium. There is a cafe on the premises called the Fig Cafe. It is super delicious and has a good little kids menu too!

Explore Heartland of America Park and Lewis and Clark Landing

Downtown Omaha recently completed a major renovation of its riverfront.

In doing so, three different park systems including the Gene Leahy Mall, Heartland of America Park, and the Lewis and Clark Landing were built and updated.

Visitors can enjoy the newly constructed Skate Ribbon and enjoy roller skating during warmer months and ice skating in the winter. Skating is free, and skate rentals are available.

At the Lewis and Clark Landing, visitors especially the kids will LOVE the Discovery Playground.

There are so many incredible climbing structures, slides, zip lines, sand and water play, and so much more.

Between the Kiewit Luminarium and playing at the Discovery Playground, visitors will easily spend the better part of the day at Lewis and Clark Landing.

DISCOVER MORE: Heartland of America Park and Riverfront Guide

Omaha with Kids Itinerary

There are so many fantastic things to do with kids in Omaha, sometimes it is actually difficult to fit it all in one weekend especially when you add in your visits to the hotel swimming pool. 

If you have never been to Omaha before and want to experience as much as possible, I would suggest spending at least 3 days here. 

The zoo is going to take an entire day in itself so you will want at least two more days to visit the other attractions. 

Day One

Visit and spend the entire day at the Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium. You will have lunch here and spend most of the afternoon at the zoo as well.

In the evening, you can get some take out and enjoy an evening of swimming and relaxing at your hotel.

Day Two

Grab a coffee and head to the Gene Leahy Mall for the morning. 

After playing on the slides and Arches Playground for a bit, you could walk to the Heartland of America Park and Lewis and Clark Landing.

The kids will want to spend some time playing at the Discovery Playground.

Then, plan on having lunch at the Fig Cafe right next to the Discovery Playground and inside of the Kiewit Luminarium.

Must Know Information

There is a separate entrance to the Fig Cafe from the outside. This means that you can enjoy food and beverages from the Fig Cafe without paying admission to the Kiewit Luminarium.

In the afternoon, visit the Kiewit Luminarium, and then walk to the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge.

Don’t forget a picture with Omar the Blue Troll!

For dinner you could eat at Spaghetti Works followed by a carriage ride.

Day Three

Head to the Omaha Children’s Museum for the morning. 

After spending some time there, visit the Durham Museum. You could have lunch at the soda fountain there.

Then in the early evening, spend some time wandering about the Old Market area. 

Don’t forget to stop at the Hollywood Candy shop.

Finally have some dinner at the Twisted Fork Grill and grab some ice cream for dessert at Dolci Ice Cream and Desserts. 

Small child on all fours like the gorilla statue that is next to him

I hope this gives you a helpful overview of the fun to be had in Omaha as well as where to stay and eat.

We adore Omaha and are grateful we only live a couple of hours away so we can easily visit.

Download my free travel itinerary planner to help you plan your Omaha getaway!

If you are road tripping to Omaha, sign up to receive my free road trip activities printable for the kids. 

May you LOVE your adventure. KW

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