Weekend Getaway from KC: Omaha

Posted August 17, 2009 3:27pm by Jane

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It sounded like a good idea at the time. Of course, I am slightly crazy. Which may explain why it sounded like a good idea. I took my four kids – ages 7, 6, 2 and 2 – to Omaha for a few days by myself. For fun.

“Trip to Omaha” had been on our List of Fun Things to Do This Summer since school got out. We had worked our way down the list and just a few items remained, including the trip from Kansas City to Omaha. Baseball and softball were finally over. High School Musical dance camp and golf lessons were done. All the out-of-town grandparents had come and gone. And my husband got a new job – meaning lots of long hours at the office.

IMG_4763 [800x600]So, I bit the bullet and announced to the kids that we were going on our Omaha adventure. They were beyond thrilled. And then they asked me if Omaha was in the United States, if we needed to pack silverware and “do they speak English there?” We don’t travel much. Heh. My daughter packed five bags for a two day trip.

IMG_4765 [800x600]I booked two nights at a hotel and we set off. The drive, three hours up I-29, was an easy one. I timed it to coincide with naptime for the toddlers and let the older kids watch a movie. We checked into the hotel and settled into our room. I booked a suite about 10 minutes west of downtown Omaha (Doubletree Suites on 72nd St.). I could have found someplace cheaper and closer to downtown – but I wanted a suite so that I could put my 2-year-olds to bed in the bedroom and then let the older kids watch a movie in the evenings in the living room. Everyone loved it. (There is an Embassy Suites in the Old Market area downtown but they didn’t have anything available by the time I made my reservations.)

IMG_0868 [800x600]After we got settled and checked out the room completely, we headed to Omaha’s Old Market area, parked and walked around a bit before deciding to eat dinner at Zio’s Pizzeria. The kids were each given a ball of dough to play with while we waited for our pizza to cook. They had fun and the pizza was delicious. We walked over to Maggie Moo’s for ice cream afterwards.

The Old Market area is very quaint with its brick streets and old buildings. I enjoyed it and I think the kids did too.

img112The next morning, we took advantage of the free breakfast buffet at our hotel, then headed out to the Henry Doorly Zoo. Thankfully, I reserved the entire day for the zoo. We spent SEVEN hours there! Admission for me and the older two kids was $27; the little two still got in free (2 and under).

We saw penguins, giraffes, rhinos, elephants, monkeys, lions, tigers, gorillas, polar bears, orangutans and more. I checked out a map of the zoo beforehand and planned to see the outdoor exhibits in the morning and the indoor exhibits in the afternoon when the sun got hot. We loved the gorilla exhibit, the monkeys and koi fish, the big cats and the giraffes.

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The Scott Aquarium was not all that large but very engaging. We especially loved the penguins (great exhibit allowing you to see how they swim) and the sharks in the tunnel aquarium tank.

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And we also loved the desert dome. A desert environment is perfectly replicated underneath a huge geodesic dome. A great surprise was the extensive exhibit of nocturnal animals beneath the desert display. My son LOVED the bats and snakes and alligators and beavers. My daughter was a little freaked out. My toddlers were asleep in the stroller by that point.

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While at the zoo, we also took advantage of the train ride and the carousel. Which were pretty standard but still fun. So, a big thumbs up for the Henry Doorly Zoo. It was worth the trip (and we still didn’t even see all of it!)

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That night, we had dinner at the hotel and swam at the indoor pool there. We capped our evening off with a hotel room showing of Monsters vs. Aliens.

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IMG_4849 [800x600]The next morning, we did hotel breakfast again and checked out. We headed to the Omaha Children’s Museum, planning to spend about two hours. Three hours later, we staggered out at my insistence – the kids could have stayed all day.

The Omaha Children’s Museum reminded me quite a bit of Wonderscope here in the Kansas City area, just on a larger and newer scale. But most of the activities were very similar in nature to those offered at Wonderscope and at Science City. It was a blast and I dragged them in order to get lunch and get back on the road home.

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Between the zoo, the hotel and the children’s museum, my kids were sufficiently impressed and entertained for the entire two-and-a-half day adventure. They were all very good. I was exhausted but pleased.

I recommend Omaha for a fun family getaway from Kansas City without reservation! While I splurged on the hotel room, you could definitely find cheaper digs. You can also pack your own lunch to take to the zoo to avoid the pricey concession stands. If anyone else has tips for fun things to do in Omaha with the family, please share them in the comments!!



48 Responses to “Weekend Getaway from KC: Omaha”

  1. Lori Strnad says:

    We are headed there the last weekend of August with our twin 20-month-olds. We have planned the SAME activities as you including the suite (Embassy Stes.) for the same reason. I’m exhausted to think you did it by yourself – I’m already nervous about our trip with twins only and a husband. Kudos to you!!!! This was great information for us and your readers.
    Lori Strnad

  2. Lori Strnad says:

    We are headed there the last weekend of August with our twin 20-month-olds. We have planned the SAME activities as you including the suite (Embassy Stes.) for the same reason. I’m exhausted to think you did it by yourself – I’m already nervous about our trip with twins only and a husband. Kudos to you!!!! This was great information for us and your readers.
    Lori Strnad

  3. Lori Strnad says:

    We are headed there the last weekend of August with our twin 20-month-olds. We have planned the SAME activities as you including the suite (Embassy Stes.) for the same reason. I’m exhausted to think you did it by yourself – I’m already nervous about our trip with twins only and a husband. Kudos to you!!!! This was great information for us and your readers.
    Lori Strnad

  4. Lori Strnad says:

    We are headed there the last weekend of August with our twin 20-month-olds. We have planned the SAME activities as you including the suite (Embassy Stes.) for the same reason. I’m exhausted to think you did it by yourself – I’m already nervous about our trip with twins only and a husband. Kudos to you!!!! This was great information for us and your readers.
    Lori Strnad

  5. Lori Strnad says:

    We are headed there the last weekend of August with our twin 20-month-olds. We have planned the SAME activities as you including the suite (Embassy Stes.) for the same reason. I’m exhausted to think you did it by yourself – I’m already nervous about our trip with twins only and a husband. Kudos to you!!!! This was great information for us and your readers.
    Lori Strnad

  6. Lori Strnad says:

    We are headed there the last weekend of August with our twin 20-month-olds. We have planned the SAME activities as you including the suite (Embassy Stes.) for the same reason. I’m exhausted to think you did it by yourself – I’m already nervous about our trip with twins only and a husband. Kudos to you!!!! This was great information for us and your readers.
    Lori Strnad

  7. Debo! says:

    We took our 3-yr to do the exact same things you did – even stayed downtown! We all loved every minute of it. This is excellent mini-vacation and I’ve been telling everyone about it. I wish our Wonderscope was more like their Children’s Museum – WOW!

  8. Debo! says:

    We took our 3-yr to do the exact same things you did – even stayed downtown! We all loved every minute of it. This is excellent mini-vacation and I’ve been telling everyone about it. I wish our Wonderscope was more like their Children’s Museum – WOW!

  9. Debo! says:

    We took our 3-yr to do the exact same things you did – even stayed downtown! We all loved every minute of it. This is excellent mini-vacation and I’ve been telling everyone about it. I wish our Wonderscope was more like their Children’s Museum – WOW!

  10. Debo! says:

    We took our 3-yr to do the exact same things you did – even stayed downtown! We all loved every minute of it. This is excellent mini-vacation and I’ve been telling everyone about it. I wish our Wonderscope was more like their Children’s Museum – WOW!

  11. Debo! says:

    We took our 3-yr to do the exact same things you did – even stayed downtown! We all loved every minute of it. This is excellent mini-vacation and I’ve been telling everyone about it. I wish our Wonderscope was more like their Children’s Museum – WOW!

  12. Debo! says:

    We took our 3-yr to do the exact same things you did – even stayed downtown! We all loved every minute of it. This is excellent mini-vacation and I’ve been telling everyone about it. I wish our Wonderscope was more like their Children’s Museum – WOW!

  13. madyl says:

    We took our 2 grandkids, 5 & 9 yrs. just 2 weeks ago. Stayed at new Holiday Inn Downtown-Airport. It has a small but really fun waterpark for hotel guests only (Holiday Bay, NOT Coco Key…). Hotel was very nice and kid-friendly without being noisy and crazy. Great nighttime view of downtown and ped. bridge area., and shuttles to Old Market. We’ll stay there again because of the location, nice atmosphere, and water activities. Old Market was fu for all! Went to Ted and Wally’s Ice Cream and watched them make new batches in old-fashioned crank freezers. Zoo was wonderful, though crowed (it was Sat.) River front park and Lewis and Clark Center were fun also. We need more time there next trip! Heard SAC museum at Offutt AFB is great.

  14. madyl says:

    We took our 2 grandkids, 5 & 9 yrs. just 2 weeks ago. Stayed at new Holiday Inn Downtown-Airport. It has a small but really fun waterpark for hotel guests only (Holiday Bay, NOT Coco Key…). Hotel was very nice and kid-friendly without being noisy and crazy. Great nighttime view of downtown and ped. bridge area., and shuttles to Old Market. We’ll stay there again because of the location, nice atmosphere, and water activities. Old Market was fu for all! Went to Ted and Wally’s Ice Cream and watched them make new batches in old-fashioned crank freezers. Zoo was wonderful, though crowed (it was Sat.) River front park and Lewis and Clark Center were fun also. We need more time there next trip! Heard SAC museum at Offutt AFB is great.

  15. madyl says:

    We took our 2 grandkids, 5 & 9 yrs. just 2 weeks ago. Stayed at new Holiday Inn Downtown-Airport. It has a small but really fun waterpark for hotel guests only (Holiday Bay, NOT Coco Key…). Hotel was very nice and kid-friendly without being noisy and crazy. Great nighttime view of downtown and ped. bridge area., and shuttles to Old Market. We’ll stay there again because of the location, nice atmosphere, and water activities. Old Market was fu for all! Went to Ted and Wally’s Ice Cream and watched them make new batches in old-fashioned crank freezers. Zoo was wonderful, though crowed (it was Sat.) River front park and Lewis and Clark Center were fun also. We need more time there next trip! Heard SAC museum at Offutt AFB is great.

  16. madyl says:

    We took our 2 grandkids, 5 & 9 yrs. just 2 weeks ago. Stayed at new Holiday Inn Downtown-Airport. It has a small but really fun waterpark for hotel guests only (Holiday Bay, NOT Coco Key…). Hotel was very nice and kid-friendly without being noisy and crazy. Great nighttime view of downtown and ped. bridge area., and shuttles to Old Market. We’ll stay there again because of the location, nice atmosphere, and water activities. Old Market was fu for all! Went to Ted and Wally’s Ice Cream and watched them make new batches in old-fashioned crank freezers. Zoo was wonderful, though crowed (it was Sat.) River front park and Lewis and Clark Center were fun also. We need more time there next trip! Heard SAC museum at Offutt AFB is great.

  17. madyl says:

    We took our 2 grandkids, 5 & 9 yrs. just 2 weeks ago. Stayed at new Holiday Inn Downtown-Airport. It has a small but really fun waterpark for hotel guests only (Holiday Bay, NOT Coco Key…). Hotel was very nice and kid-friendly without being noisy and crazy. Great nighttime view of downtown and ped. bridge area., and shuttles to Old Market. We’ll stay there again because of the location, nice atmosphere, and water activities. Old Market was fu for all! Went to Ted and Wally’s Ice Cream and watched them make new batches in old-fashioned crank freezers. Zoo was wonderful, though crowed (it was Sat.) River front park and Lewis and Clark Center were fun also. We need more time there next trip! Heard SAC museum at Offutt AFB is great.

  18. madyl says:

    We took our 2 grandkids, 5 & 9 yrs. just 2 weeks ago. Stayed at new Holiday Inn Downtown-Airport. It has a small but really fun waterpark for hotel guests only (Holiday Bay, NOT Coco Key…). Hotel was very nice and kid-friendly without being noisy and crazy. Great nighttime view of downtown and ped. bridge area., and shuttles to Old Market. We’ll stay there again because of the location, nice atmosphere, and water activities. Old Market was fu for all! Went to Ted and Wally’s Ice Cream and watched them make new batches in old-fashioned crank freezers. Zoo was wonderful, though crowed (it was Sat.) River front park and Lewis and Clark Center were fun also. We need more time there next trip! Heard SAC museum at Offutt AFB is great.

  19. Kate says:

    Thanks for your comments, ladies! Glad to hear that you all enjoyed Omaha too – and I’ve already been told that we “have” to go back next summer, so we’ll be looking for new fun things to do there next year!!

  20. Kate says:

    Thanks for your comments, ladies! Glad to hear that you all enjoyed Omaha too – and I’ve already been told that we “have” to go back next summer, so we’ll be looking for new fun things to do there next year!!

  21. Kate says:

    Thanks for your comments, ladies! Glad to hear that you all enjoyed Omaha too – and I’ve already been told that we “have” to go back next summer, so we’ll be looking for new fun things to do there next year!!

  22. Kate says:

    Thanks for your comments, ladies! Glad to hear that you all enjoyed Omaha too – and I’ve already been told that we “have” to go back next summer, so we’ll be looking for new fun things to do there next year!!

  23. Kate says:

    Thanks for your comments, ladies! Glad to hear that you all enjoyed Omaha too – and I’ve already been told that we “have” to go back next summer, so we’ll be looking for new fun things to do there next year!!

  24. Kate says:

    Thanks for your comments, ladies! Glad to hear that you all enjoyed Omaha too – and I’ve already been told that we “have” to go back next summer, so we’ll be looking for new fun things to do there next year!!

  25. Jenni H. says:

    I glad you posted this. We’re looking at taking a weekend trip to Omaha in a few weeks. We were planning to go to the zoo, but I didn’t know anything about the children’s museum.

  26. Jenni H. says:

    I glad you posted this. We’re looking at taking a weekend trip to Omaha in a few weeks. We were planning to go to the zoo, but I didn’t know anything about the children’s museum.

  27. Jenni H. says:

    I glad you posted this. We’re looking at taking a weekend trip to Omaha in a few weeks. We were planning to go to the zoo, but I didn’t know anything about the children’s museum.

  28. Jenni H. says:

    I glad you posted this. We’re looking at taking a weekend trip to Omaha in a few weeks. We were planning to go to the zoo, but I didn’t know anything about the children’s museum.

  29. Jenni H. says:

    I glad you posted this. We’re looking at taking a weekend trip to Omaha in a few weeks. We were planning to go to the zoo, but I didn’t know anything about the children’s museum.

  30. Jenni H. says:

    I glad you posted this. We’re looking at taking a weekend trip to Omaha in a few weeks. We were planning to go to the zoo, but I didn’t know anything about the children’s museum.

  31. Henry C. says:

    Hey Kate,
    I’m a reporter with the Omaha paper doing a story on how local attractions saw more traffic this summer. I liked your blog. If you get a chance, call me at 402 444 1130. I’d like to talk to you more about your trip.

  32. Henry C. says:

    Hey Kate,
    I’m a reporter with the Omaha paper doing a story on how local attractions saw more traffic this summer. I liked your blog. If you get a chance, call me at 402 444 1130. I’d like to talk to you more about your trip.

  33. Henry C. says:

    Hey Kate,
    I’m a reporter with the Omaha paper doing a story on how local attractions saw more traffic this summer. I liked your blog. If you get a chance, call me at 402 444 1130. I’d like to talk to you more about your trip.

  34. Henry C. says:

    Hey Kate,
    I’m a reporter with the Omaha paper doing a story on how local attractions saw more traffic this summer. I liked your blog. If you get a chance, call me at 402 444 1130. I’d like to talk to you more about your trip.

  35. Henry C. says:

    Hey Kate,
    I’m a reporter with the Omaha paper doing a story on how local attractions saw more traffic this summer. I liked your blog. If you get a chance, call me at 402 444 1130. I’d like to talk to you more about your trip.

  36. Henry C. says:

    Hey Kate,
    I’m a reporter with the Omaha paper doing a story on how local attractions saw more traffic this summer. I liked your blog. If you get a chance, call me at 402 444 1130. I’d like to talk to you more about your trip.

  37. Tami Bader says:

    If the family is looking for something relaxing to top of the weekend in Omaha, try a 1-hour sightseeing cruise on the River City Star Riverboat. The Sunday Sightseeing cruises take you along the Omaha Riverfront, under the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge, by Freedom Park and the USS Hazard, and is very reasonably priced. Adults $12.00, Children 12 and under $8.00, and Children 3 and under are free! Visit http://www.rivercitystar.com or call us at 402-342-7827. We look forward to cruising with you!

  38. Tami Bader says:

    If the family is looking for something relaxing to top of the weekend in Omaha, try a 1-hour sightseeing cruise on the River City Star Riverboat. The Sunday Sightseeing cruises take you along the Omaha Riverfront, under the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge, by Freedom Park and the USS Hazard, and is very reasonably priced. Adults $12.00, Children 12 and under $8.00, and Children 3 and under are free! Visit http://www.rivercitystar.com or call us at 402-342-7827. We look forward to cruising with you!

  39. Tami Bader says:

    If the family is looking for something relaxing to top of the weekend in Omaha, try a 1-hour sightseeing cruise on the River City Star Riverboat. The Sunday Sightseeing cruises take you along the Omaha Riverfront, under the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge, by Freedom Park and the USS Hazard, and is very reasonably priced. Adults $12.00, Children 12 and under $8.00, and Children 3 and under are free! Visit http://www.rivercitystar.com or call us at 402-342-7827. We look forward to cruising with you!

  40. Tami Bader says:

    If the family is looking for something relaxing to top of the weekend in Omaha, try a 1-hour sightseeing cruise on the River City Star Riverboat. The Sunday Sightseeing cruises take you along the Omaha Riverfront, under the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge, by Freedom Park and the USS Hazard, and is very reasonably priced. Adults $12.00, Children 12 and under $8.00, and Children 3 and under are free! Visit http://www.rivercitystar.com or call us at 402-342-7827. We look forward to cruising with you!

  41. Tami Bader says:

    If the family is looking for something relaxing to top of the weekend in Omaha, try a 1-hour sightseeing cruise on the River City Star Riverboat. The Sunday Sightseeing cruises take you along the Omaha Riverfront, under the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge, by Freedom Park and the USS Hazard, and is very reasonably priced. Adults $12.00, Children 12 and under $8.00, and Children 3 and under are free! Visit http://www.rivercitystar.com or call us at 402-342-7827. We look forward to cruising with you!

  42. Tami Bader says:

    If the family is looking for something relaxing to top of the weekend in Omaha, try a 1-hour sightseeing cruise on the River City Star Riverboat. The Sunday Sightseeing cruises take you along the Omaha Riverfront, under the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge, by Freedom Park and the USS Hazard, and is very reasonably priced. Adults $12.00, Children 12 and under $8.00, and Children 3 and under are free! Visit http://www.rivercitystar.com or call us at 402-342-7827. We look forward to cruising with you!

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