Things To Do in Omaha in the Winter That Will Force You Out Of Your Home

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A Nebraska winter can get brutal at times.  But even with varying temperatures through the season, there are still plenty of indoor and outdoor things to do in Omaha in the winter that everyone can enjoy!
Whether you are looking at staying warm and cozy indoors or want to head outdoors during the Omaha Nebraska Winter, here are all the things that can keep you busy, the kids’ energy burned, and you sane!

If you are looking at other Fun Winter Activities in Nebraska, read this.

things to do during an Omaha winter

^Pin It To Your #NEBucketList Board So You Always Have Ideas On What To Do During An Omaha Winter!^

First, there are the Obvious Things To Do in Omaha Nebraska In Winter

(If you are looking for Omaha Date Night Ideas for any season, give this a read!)

Omaha Zoo In The Winter

omaha zoo winter

A well kept secret of Omahans is that the Omaha Henry Doorly Zoo is the perfect place to spend the whole day at even in the winter!  With tons of state of the art indoor exhibits, you can spend hours on end just inside and it’s a great location to escape the cold and see a Classic Thing to Do in Omaha at the same time.

If you are looking for a cute New Years Eve activity with the kids, you can also check out the Omaha Zoo’s Noon Year’s Beach Ball Drop.

Lauritzen Gardens

Lauritzen Gardens winter

While the outdoor exhibits at the Lauritzen Gardens are nothing short of impressive, the indoor gardens are open all year round and will make you feel like you’ve escaped to a whole different place in the world.  What I love about Lauritzen Gardens is that no two visits are the same since they are always creating and changing amazing exhibits.  My son LOVED the dinosaur exhibit and “Dino Yoga” class (ok, so did I!), the Lego Exhibit is sure to excite kids and kids at heart alike, and of course there is the infamous “Stinko” plant that everyone loves seeing (well, smelling).
During the Christmas season, you can also enjoy the stunning, annual, Poinsetta Show.

Omaha Museums

omaha museums durham

If you are looking for things to do in Omaha during winter, no list would be complete without visiting the museums.

Of course you already know about the classics:

  • Durham
  • Children’s Museum
  • Joslyn Art Museum

But if you just go to these museums in Omaha, you are really missing out on some Omaha gems.  You could easily go to a unique museum in Omaha every week of the winter and still have more to explore!  Here are just a few to start your planning:

  • Czech and Slovak Educational Center and Cultural Museum
  • The Great Plains Black History Museum
  • Nebraska Jewish Historical Society and Riekes Museum
  • The Mormon Trail Center at Historic Winter Quarters

Next, there are the obvious general winter activities

These are winter activities that are just good winter activities to do inside, no matter where you live!

Go Bowling

omaha bowling

There are plenty of bowling alleys throughout Omaha and the Metro.  The best part is that a ton of them have special deals (for example, Papio Bowl has $10 off, many locations have cheaper open bowls on Sunday afternoons, etc)

Ice Skating in Omaha

mahoney ice skating

Indoor Ice Rinks in Omaha

Outdoor Omaha Ice Rinks

 

Go Swimming

omaha indoor pools

Just because it’s not the summer doesn’t mean you can’t dive into the pools!  Here are some of the main indoor pools in Omaha

  • City of Omaha Aquatics: Montclair and Mockingbird Pools
  • Gym/Fitness Pools: Many gyms have pools perfect for taking the kids swimming such as Omaha YMCAs or the South O Kroc Center
  • Coco Key Water Resort
  • Goldfish Swim School (West Omaha)

See a Movie

There are plenty of movie theaters in the Omaha area.  Many even have specials and discounts for low traffic times (like Friday mornings).

Other Things To Do in Omaha Nebraska In the Winter

If the above list isn’t filling your calendar or brain with enough ideas, here are more things to do in the winter in Omaha.

Spielbound

Nothing says a warm and cozy winter day like a board game-athon!  Speildbound is an awesome game cafe, perfect for all ages, where you are welcome to stay as long as you like playing games.
Address: 3229 Harney Street Omaha, NE, 68131

Support Our Local Teams

Are you even a true Omahan if you’ve never been to a Creighton Basketball game?
The UNO Mavs Hockey games are the perfect night doing something different, or of course, go see the Lancers!

Rollerskating

Rollerskating in Omaha is a quickly dying event (sadly).  However, you can still lace up those skates at Skate City in Bellevue!  It’s the perfect weekend afternoon activity when you want to burn some energy and do something fun and different!
Address: 1220 Fort Crook Rd S, Bellevue, NE 68005

Hit the Dance Floor

While you can always channel your inner college days at The Max, don’t forget about all the other great places to go dancing in Omaha:

  • Buschwackers: Country dancing
  • Jitterbug: Swing dancing
  • Omaha Ballroom: Often has special events and themed dancing events

Visit A Theater and See a Play

Omaha’s performing arts scene is amazing!  Go see the top Broadway hits at the Orpheum, but don’t forget to see what shows are playing at other Omaha venues such as:

  • Holland Center
  • Omaha Community Playhouse
  • Bellevue Little Theater
  • Bluebarn Theater

Learn To Rock Climb

If you haven’t been to Approach Climbing Gym then you are missing out.  What I love about this Omaha indoor rock climbing gym is that it is UH-MAZING for all ages!  There is a toddler room that is free for under 2.  You can take a class to learn how to rock climb or come in during open climb times.
Address: 4923 S 72nd St

 Go Golfing (Yes in the winter!)

An Omaha winter doesn’t exactly lend itself well to getting your 18 holes in….outside at least.  At Beyond Golf, you can “play” on some of the world’s most famous golf courses through insanely realistic golf simulators!

It’s actually pretty crazy how “real” it can feel!  It might be indoor, but it’s better than getting rusty!

Escape Rooms

Omaha Escape Room

You all know how much I love escape rooms.  They are a blast, especially with small group of 4-5 people.  Here are several Escape Rooms in Omaha

  • House of Conundrum: 2564 Leavenworth St, Omaha, NE 68105
  • Get Out: 501 S 13th St, Omaha, NE 68102
  • The Escape Omaha: 6315 Center St, Omaha, NE 68106
  • Entrap Games: 7905 L St #110, Ralston, NE 68127
  • Locked Room Omaha: 741 N 120th St, Omaha, NE 68154
  • Mind Meld Escape Rooms: 2819 S 125th Ave #353, Omaha, NE 68144

Axe Throwing

Everyone is loving the new trend of Axe Throwing in Omaha!  There are now several locations to try your hand at target practice.

  • Ax Games:  11106 Q St, Omaha, NE 68137
  • Flying Timber:  1507 Farnam St, Omaha, NE 68102
  • Craft Axe Throwing:  What I find awesome about this location is they have a lot of unique events like “Axe Speed Dating” and “Ladies Night” 2562 Leavenworth St #100, Omaha, NE 68105

Paint and Sip

The winter months are the perfect time for DIY painting crafts to spruce up your holiday decor!  Grab some friends and go to any of the numerous “Paint and Sip” type of businesses throughout town.

Beer Taste Test

omaha breweries

Omaha is not lacking in top notch breweries.  An afternoon or evening sipping on a flight of beers is a great way to support a local business and try something new!

Outdoor Winter Activities in Omaha

Snowshoeing

fontenelle forest Snowshoeing

I absolutely LOVE snowshoeing!  The best part is that you really don’t need any experience or expertise.  If you can walk, you can snowshoe!  We’ve had amazing times snowshoeing at Fontenelle Forest and Hitchock Nature Center (Loess Hills, Iowa).  It was a totally different perspective on the forest and almost seemed magical in the quiet, white, calm winter months.  Here are a few places to try snowshoeing in Omaha.  Most of the locations you can rent your gear on site.

  • Fontenelle Forest:  1111 Bellevue Blvd N, Bellevue, NE 68005
  • Neale Woods: 14323 Edith Marie Ave. Omaha, NE 68112
  • Hitchcock Nature Center: (Iowa) 27792 Ski Hill Loop, Honey Creek, IA 51542

Ice Fishing

Ice fishing on Wehrspan Lake, Chalco Hills Recreation Area Photo Courtesy Nebraska Tourism

There is some really great ice fishing in Nebraska! Here are our top picks, including our best places for ice fishing in Omaha.

Winter Hikes

Even during a Nebraska winter, we can get occasional nice days where the sun pops out enough to take the bitter chill out of the air.  It’s the perfect time to go for a hike!  You’ll get some much needed fresh air (and hopefully sunshine) and might even have the trails all to yourself as well!  Some of my favorite places to hike in Omaha are:

  • Heron Haven
  • Platte State Park
  • Fontenelle Forest
  • Neale Woods
  • Any of the Omaha area lakes: Ok, these aren’t technically HIKES, but they are wonderful walks!!! Zorinsky, Standing Bear, Walnut Creek, Wehrspann, and Prairie Queen are all some of my personal favorite lakes in Omaha to take a walk around.

Cross Country Skiing

Many people don’t think of Omaha as a place to go cross country skiing, but it is actually a pretty ideal location!  Elmwood Park and Zorinsky Lake are both great places to go cross country skiing in Omaha, as they are spread out and flat enough to get in a great workout!

Fun Things To Do in Nebraska In the Winter FOR KIDS

While the majority of the items in this article are great for kids, here are a few more that are specific just for our youngsters.  Whether they need to burn some energy off (and out of your house!) or if you just need fun winter activities in Omaha with kids, here are my top picks.

Do Space

This place is such an underrated gem in Omaha!!! If you’ve got a child into tech (ok, what kid ISN’T today!?) then you’ve GOT to spend some time here.  Oh, and did I mention it’s free!?  What is great about Do Space is that there are things to do for all ages from toddlers through teens, even things like 3D printing for us adults!

Learn New Skills at Home Depot

The first Saturday of the month, head to Home Depot, where there is a kid-oriented workshop where children/kids (5-12) learn how to create some really awesome stuff using tools, crafts, and more.

Bounce Gyms and Indoor Gyms

Urban Air Trampoline and Adventure Park as well as Skyzone : These places aren’t necessarily cheap but wow are they jam packed full of fun! There are tons of different kinds of trampolines as well as dodge ball courts, a Ninja course, and even a huge indoor play area for the younger kids.
Urban Air 15364 Weir St, Omaha, NE 68137
Skyzone 4215 S 133rd StOmaha, NE 68137

BounceU is another classic with tons of different styles of inflatable features and bounce houses. 11144 Q St, Omaha, NE 68137

Cabelas, Scheels, and Bass Pro (Council Bluffs)

Ok, so this is kind of a weird one, but is perfect for kids who just need out of the house.  When my nephew was a kid, he’d sit in the canoes at Bass Pro pretending to paddle for what seemed like ages!  Going to one of these outdoor shops can be an imagination playground for young ones! Make it a whole outing and stay for lunch as well!
During the Christmas season, they also have some of the best Santas in town!

Library Story Time

We are huge book junkies in this house.  Luckily, most of the local libraries have fun storytimes for younger kiddos.  We’ve found ones for a baby storytime, toddler time, and even pre-school targeted groups.  The majority of them do a great job of doing song and movement as well as (obviously) reading a few books.  Many of them also have a crafts or hands-on element incorporated as well.

The Rose

omaha rose childrens theater

I can never say enough good things about The Rose Theater.  It’s gorgeous.  It’s the perfect introduction to theater for kids.  The shows are phenomenal.  Should I go on?

We love seeing at least one show a season at the Rose.  My son and I make it a “Mommy and Me” date night, where it’s just the two of us (we leave brother and Daddy at home!), we both get dressed up real fancy, go out to dinner, then go to the show!

Things To Do in Omaha In the Winter (Nearby)

Go Skiing

Hit the ski slopes in less than 30 minutes from Omaha at Mt. Crescent.  It is the perfect place for beginners and kids to get their ski legs!  Here’s why you should go skiing at Mt. Crescent rather than an expensive trip out to Colorado.

Strategic Air Command and Aerospace Museum

Whether you are into spacecraft, Coldwar planes, or just anything flight related, you can’t beat a winter day at the SAC museum.
Address: 28210 W Park Hwy, Ashland, NE 68003

Mahoney State Park Winter Activities

Mahoney Playground

Everyone on this site knows how much I love Mahoney!  One of those reasons being all there is to do in the winter, including the things to do at the Mahoney Activity Center.  Take the kids to the enormous indoor play area, go ice skating, toboggan and sled down the hills, indoor rock climb, take a winter hike, hole up in a cabin for the weekend with a roaring fire…and more.

Click Here To Read The Ultimate Guide To Mahoney State Park (for all seasons).

Have a Staycation

Omaha Staycation

I’m a HUGE fan of Omaha staycations! (Read my Omaha Staycation Ideas Here)  In the winter, sometimes you just need to get out of YOUR house.  To plan the perfect Omaha Winter Staycation, you just need a few things:

  1. Several of the above activities:  Choose 2-3 activities from this list to keep you busy
  2. Best Omaha Restaurants: Part of the fun of a vacation is trying out local restaurants.  Omaha has some AMAZING local places to eat.  Find at least one new one to try during your Omaha staycation!
  3. A Great Hotel: I love staying at relaxing hotels while on vacation.  Since it is winter, you gotta have a pool with a hot tub!

A few great hotels to look into for a Staycation in Omaha are:

The Magnolia Hotel is a great hotel for solo or couple staycations.  It’s a splash of luxury combined with a homey and unique feel.  Read Reviews About The Magnolia Hotel Here.

The Hampton Inn and Suites (both Downtown and LaVista locations) is perfect for families.  It’s got a fantastic pool AND hot tub that everyone will enjoy and be able to relax in! See Current Prices for The Downtown Location HereView Photos of the Pool and Hotel in LaVista Here.

Looking For the Perfect Omaha Staycation Hotel? Find it Here



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